Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)
With reference to paragraph 4 of our telegram to the Department, no. 22, January 13, 2 p.m., and the Department’s reply, no. 17, January [Page 748]19, 9 p.m., via Shanghai,14 concerning the Chinese Maritime Customs at Canton, I took occasion this afternoon when calling on the Minister for Foreign Affairs on another matter to state to the Minister orally that the Japanese Government’s reply of December 16, 1938, is not responsive to my note no. 1126 of November 24, 1938, in respect of the fact that the basis upon which the Japanese Government declined to accept my representations fails to give consideration to the principal issues involved, namely, the preservation of the integrity of the Chinese Maritime Customs and respect for American and other foreign interests in the customs.
The American Government cannot accept the Japanese contention that military occupation of the Canton area affords justification for taking over the customs or for placing the customs under the authority of the Japanese army of occupation.
The Minister said that he took note of my statement but he made no further comment.
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