The Japanese Ambassador (Horinouchi) to the Secretary of State
With reference to reports which have recently been circulated to the effect that anti-American demonstrations have been taking form in North China and other parts of China under Japanese control, the Japanese Embassy is in receipt of the following communications.
On August 9 Mr. Frank P. Lockhart, Counselor of the American Embassy in Peking, called on our Consul-General to make an inquiry into a reported detention of American nationals in Kaifeng, Honan Province. Two days previously Mr. Eugene II. Dooman, Chargé d’Affaires of the American Embassy in Tokyo, referred to the same subject in the course of his conversation with Mr. S. Yoshizawa, Director of the Bureau of American Affairs of our Foreign Office.
On August 11 the Japanese military authorities at Kaifeng investigated the matter and transmitted to the Army headquarters in Peking words of Reverend Francis Clougherty, formerly professor at the Pujen University in Peking, expressing his appreciation of the efforts of the Japanese Army in protecting the lives and property of American citizens in this locality.
In view of the persistence of the above rumor concerning the safety of American residents in Kaifeng, Mr. R. Yuguchi, Third Secretary of the Japanese Embassy in Peking was dispatched to that city to make further investigations. At Kaifeng Mr. Yuguchi interviewed, among others, Reverend Hendon Harris, Reverend Arthur Samuel [Page 854]Gillespie and Reverend Francis Clougherty, all of American nationality.
Their joint statement was that thirty Americans residing in Kaifeng had been safe, had in no way been molested, and were carrying on their respective occupations in perfect peace. Despite the fact that Kaifeng was situated so near the first line of hostilities, order has been well maintained and American residents had no complaint with the protection rendered by the Japanese Army. They also mentioned that they were much disturbed by unfounded rumors emanating therefrom and had already telegraphed to the American Consul at Hankow and to the United Press correspondent at Peking denying their veracity.
Similar reports alleging anti-American demonstrations at Hwohsien in Shansi Province and at Shihchiachwang in Hopeh Province have also been found entirely groundless.
It is true that there have been a few isolated incidents in which American citizens were involved and by which they were inconvenienced. Such incidents, however, were mostly cases arising from misunderstanding, exigencies of the situation or the difference of customs. It is strongly pointed out that not a single incident occurred because the person concerned was an American.
The Japanese Government deplores that this kind of rumor was circulated and that premature publicity was given by the United States authorities in China, as was the case indicated by a wireless dispatch from Chungking to the New York Times, dated August 9, and a United Press news dispatch from Shanghai, dated August 11.
In its firm belief that widespread circulation of such unfounded rumors does nothing but harm to good relations between Japan and the United States, the Japanese Government sincerely hopes that necessary steps may be taken to eradicate any suspicion of anti-Americanism that may have been left by the said false reports in the mind of the American public. The case of the American missionaries at Kaifeng is cited as an apt example for the above purpose.