793.94/16646

The American Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Matsuoka)

No. 1793

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to my note no. 1779 of April 14, 1941, addressed to Prince Konoye during Your Excellency’s absence from Japan, concerning the repeated indiscriminate bombing of Kunming by Japanese aircraft, and the danger to American lives and damage to American property caused thereby, and to inform Your Excellency that according to information received from the American Consul at that city, the Consulate was again seriously damaged during an air raid on April 29, 1941. Window glass and screens were blown out; plaster, a large memorial tablet, and part of a wall were knocked down; and dirt and debris were blown into the Compound. Fortunately, there appear to have been no casualties.

As stated in my note no. 1779 referred to above, American officials and citizens reside in Kunming and other localities in China for legitimate reasons, and they have every right to continue their activities without danger to themselves or loss to their property from the attacks of Japanese aircraft. It is hardly necessary to point out to Your Excellency the unfortunate effect of these attacks upon public [Page 712]opinion in the United States, and it is difficult to estimate what the reaction would be if the Consul or one of his staff were killed or injured. It is only by chance that the continued bombings of Kunming and elsewhere in China have not recently resulted in death or injury to American citizens.

I have accordingly been instructed by my Government to inform Your Excellency that the American Government looks to the Japanese Government to take such steps as may be required to prevent further endangering of American lives and property.

I avail myself [etc.]

Joseph C. Grew