Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)

In accordance with the Department’s rush telegram 125 of May 12, 6 p.m.,48c I called this morning on the Foreign Minister and made oral representations concerning the International Settlement at Shanghai, reading to the Minister the following oral statement:

Acting under instructions from my Government I have the honor orally to inform Your Excellency that a Japanese spokesman in Shanghai, according to a press despatch received in Washington, is reported to have made observations yesterday indicating that the International Settlement in Shanghai might be occupied by Japan. It is of course possible that the remarks of the Japanese spokesman at Shanghai may have been inaccurately reported. In fact my Government cannot believe that the official views of the Japanese Government are correctly represented by the views attributed to the spokesman.

The American Government feels that any problems which have arisen in connection with the International Settlement at Shanghai can and should be adjusted by orderly discussion by and among the parties concerned. Any usurpation by any Power of the rights and duties of the duly constituted authorities of the International Settlement at Shanghai would be regarded by the American Government as unlawful, and unwarranted and as a deliberate impairment of the rights and interests of the United States.

The recent communication by the Japanese Government in regard to matters affecting the International Settlement at Shanghai is being given full consideration by the American Government which expects shortly to have completed a reply to that communication.

Mr. Arita said that he had been unaware of the reported statement of a Japanese spokesman in Shanghai but he asked me to inform the Secretary of State categorically that Japan has no intention whatever of occupying the International Settlement in Shanghai.

At the information that full consideration is being given by the American Government to the Japanese Government’s recent communication in regard to matters relating to the International Settlement in Shanghai and that the American Government expects shortly to have completed a reply thereto, the Minister expressed particular pleasure and satisfaction.

J[oseph] C. G[rew]
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