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

No. 1370

The American Embassy presents its compliments to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, acting under instructions from the American Government, has the honor to bring to the attention of the Japanese Government the reported action of the Chinese “Superintendent of Customs” at Shanghai, an appointee of the regime at Nanking, in publishing notification effective September 1, 1939, that:

“… payments of customs duties in gold unit notes or in customs gold unit cheques will not be accepted, and all customs duties, dues and fees will either be paid in Hwa Hsing dollars or in standard dollars. The customs gold unit will remain unchanged but no account will be taken of the depreciation of local currency down to a minimum of six pence. That is to say, the duty collecting rate will remain unaffected until the value of local currency depreciated to below six pence and then duty collecting rate will be adjusted to meet the difference between six pence and the market rate for local currency. The exchange rate of the customs gold unit with the Hwa Hsing dollar and the standard dollar together with the exchange rate between the latter two currencies will be notified daily at the Customs.”

The American Embassy has the honor again to point out to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs the broad interest of the American Government in the preservation of the integrity of the Chinese Maritime Customs which this reported action seriously affects and, at the same time, emphatically to protest against attempts of the Japanese-sponsored regime at Shanghai to dictate to the Customs authorities with respect to the currencies and notes to be used in the collection of customs duties at Shanghai.

Furthermore, in accordance with its instruction above referred to, the American Embassy has the honor to request that effective steps be taken by the Japanese authorities to cause the abandonment of such attempts against the integrity of the Chinese Maritime Customs.