Oral Statement by the American Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs (Ohashi)

During the past seven months the American Embassy has addressed five separate notes to the Foreign Office with regard to damage to American property by Japanese bombings of Kunming:38

No. 1655, October 15, 1940.
No. 1668, October 26, 1940.
No. 1738, February 4, 1940 [1941].
No. 1779, April 14, 1941.
No. 1793, May 6, 1941.

On each of these occasions, substantial damage was done to American property, including the American Consulate, and the lives of American citizens and officials were put in jeopardy.

The American Consul General at Hongkong, on October 28, 1938, handed his Japanese colleague a map showing clearly the location of all American property in Kunming.

It is pointed out that according to the American Consul at Kunming, the localities attacked during the raids were largely commercial, residential, or otherwise of a non-combatant character. In fact, the raids were carried out in such manner that it is difficult to escape the conclusion that they were designed more to terrorize a helpless population rather than to demolish military works. Although fortunately and completely by chance, no American citizens have been killed or injured of recent months as a result of Japanese military activities, it is hardly necessary to point out that especially at the present juncture an American death or injury might have repercussions of a serious character. The American Government looks to the Japanese Government to take appropriate measures to prevent such an occurrence, and earnestly requests that express instructions be issued to the military authorities in that regard.

  1. Notes No. 1655 and No. 1668 not printed.