The Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Nomura) to the American Ambassador in Japan (Grew)

No. 204, Asia I

Excellency: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that I have carefully perused the contents of the Embassy’s note no. 1366, September 1, 1939, concerning the supervision of the Swatow Maritime Customs.

The Swatow district is now under occupation by the Japanese military forces, and therefore, it is natural that the Swatow Maritime Customs should be affected by the exercise of the authority of the Japanese forces of occupation. Accordingly, the Imperial Government cannot accept the protest of the American Government concerning the seizure of the Swatow Maritime Customs by the Japanese forces. In regard to the use of the Swatow Maritime Customs House by the Japanese forces, it is a fact that the Maritime Customs officials offered, at the time of the landing of the Japanese forces at Swatow, the use of the customs houses, the Chinese Club, the home of the [Page 751]Harbor Master, and a warehouse. The Japanese forces stated that the building would be used temporarily until other suitable houses were found. The action was taken with the complete understanding of both parties. However, the Japanese forces themselves are considering moving into suitable places as soon as possible, and it is reported that the forces in that area are now making preparations therefor.

I avail myself [etc.]

Kichisaburo Nomura