The American Chargé in Japan (Dooman) to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Abe)

No. 1366

Excellency: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that the Japanese military forces at Swatow have continued to occupy the premises of the Chinese Maritime Customs at that port for a period of more than two months. Demands have been presented to the Inspector General of Customs requiring that any documents which may be required by the Japanese authorities must be produced for inspection by those authorities, and that the Commissioner of Customs at Swatow shall not, without the approval of the Japanese authorities, withdraw any bank balances nor pay the maturities from customs revenues. The customs officials have also been prohibited from performing any duties outside the Customs House pending further notice. At the same time the Commissioner of Customs has received intimations from the Japanese that he will soon have half the premises returned to him but that a Japanese deputy commissioner should be appointed to facilitate the functioning of the customs service in Swatow.

It is the view of my Government that the actions, as set forth above, of the Japanese authorities at Swatow constitute an effective seizure of the Chinese Maritime Customs at Swatow. I am, accordingly, desired by my Government to protest against such seizure and continued [Page 749]occupation of the customs house which prejudice the integrity of the Chinese Maritime Customs. My Government takes this occasion to reiterate and further to emphasize to the Japanese Government its very real interest in the preservation and integrity of the Chinese Maritime Customs and in the safeguarding of the customs revenues.

I avail myself [etc.]

Eugene H. Dooman