The Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Arita) to the American Ambassador in Japan (Grew)
Excellency: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that I have carefully perused the contents of Your Excellency’s note No. 1126, November 24, 1938, concerning the seizure of the Canton Maritime Customs.
I wish to request Your Excellency’s understanding of the fact that since the Canton area is at present occupied by the Imperial Army, it is proper that the Canton Maritime Customs be placed under the authority of the Japanese Army of Occupation and, accordingly, the Imperial Government can not accept Your Excellency’s protest concerning the seizure of the Canton Maritime Customs by the Imperial Army.
I avail myself [etc.]