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 reminded Mr. Yoshizawa of our note to the Foreign Office of December 5 and of the several conversations which the Ambassador has had with the Minister for Foreign Affairs with regard to the Chinese Customs, in which the interest of the American Government in preserving the integrity of the Chinese Customs had been emphasized. The reports which we had received from Mr. Gauss at Shanghai indicated that the attitude on this question of his Japanese [Page 733]colleague was not one which inspired confidence in the intention of the local Japanese authorities to work cooperatively with the representatives of other foreign Governments toward safeguarding their common interests in the Customs.
Mr. Yoshizawa regretted that any such impression should have been gained of the attitude of the Japanese authorities at Shanghai. The fact of the matter was, he said, that the Japanese had no concrete plan which they wish to “put over”. Their only concern was that none of the revenues of the Customs should revert during the hostilities to the Chinese Government, and they would be glad to consider any plan which would fully serve that end.
I replied that we had no plan to present and we supported no specific plan. Our concern is that the integrity of the Customs be safeguarded and the Customs revenues fully secured. We felt very strongly that only by prior consultation with regard to any plan put forward which might affect these two points could the interests in the Customs of the concerned Governments be conserved.
After further conversation largely repetitious of the foregoing, Mr. Yoshizawa said that the matter was “very complicated” but that he would do his best to have our wishes met.