Memorandum by the Counselor of the American Embassy in Japan (Dooman) of a Conversation With the Director of the American Bureau of the Japanese Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Yoshizawa)
I asked Mr. Yoshizawa if he were familiar with the discussions which had taken place between the Foreign Office and the British Embassy here with regard to the Chinese Customs and Salt Administrations. Mr. Yoshizawa said that he had seen various documents on the subject. I said that we would like to associate ourselves with the British Embassy in urging the importance of maintaining the integrity of both of the Chinese services mentioned. I then proceeded with a statement substantially along the lines of the last paragraph of the Department’s telegram No. 214 of September 18, 3 p.m.1
Mr. Yoshizawa replied that the American Government is correct in assuming that the Japanese Government is concerned in maintaining the Chinese Customs and Salt Administrations. A difficult situation had arisen in Tientsin, Mr. Yoshizawa said, for the reason that, although the Japanese Government realizes that the customs collections should revert to the Chinese Government, it would be injurious to the prosecution of the military operations to permit the funds collected to pass at the present time into the hands of the Chinese Government. Arrangements had, therefore, been made to deposit the revenues of the Customs with the Yokohama Specie Bank, to be held until the present situation had been adjusted. Mr. Yoshizawa went on to say that the fact that the present head of the Customs at Tientsin had been appointed by the Chinese Government should demonstrate the sincerity of the desire of the Japanese Government to maintain the integrity of the Maritime Customs.
Mr. Yoshizawa said that he would look into the matter further and give me a more detailed reply in due course.
- Not printed.↩