The American Embassy in Japan to the Japanese Ministry for Foreign Affairs


Reports received by the American Ambassador indicate that the Japanese authorities at Shanghai have not, since the cessation of hostilities [Page 740]in and around that city, permitted the Chinese Customs to resume control over the Japanese wharves, and that there has thus arisen a condition in which Japanese vessels putting into Shanghai have not been paying the specified tonnage dues. Evidence is available that cargo carried on these vessels is being introduced into China without duty having been paid on them. These facts were substantially admitted on February 3 by the Japanese Consul General at Shanghai, who, replying to a complaint of his American colleague that Japanese vessels and merchants are not paying tonnage dues and customs duties, indicated that the settlement of the matter of the Shanghai Customs would be a condition precedent to the correction of the situation under reference.

The American Government is gravely concerned over the conditions which have been permitted to arise and which are having a seriously adverse effect on American interests, and it requests that the Japanese Government sharing the view of the American that the requirement that observance of Customs procedure at Shanghai be made contingent upon acquiescence in Japanese wishes in regard to the settlement of Shanghai Customs issue is indefensible, will issue instructions to the Japanese authorities at Shanghai to permit resumption of normal customs control over Japanese vessels and cargo.