Oral Statement by the American Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Matsuoka)

In my note No. 1665 dated October 24, 1940, I made representations concerning the “regulations governing the control of inspections and shipments of raw materials for light industries in North China” imposed by the Japanese military authorities in North China since October 1, 1940. It was pointed out that the regulations as published in the press specified that any movement, either locally or for exportation, of certain materials including furs, should be subject to permits signed by the Shimizu Unit of the Japanese Army.

Since the date of that note the Embassy has been informed by the Association of Fur Exporters and Importers that the Shimizu Unit has not yet issued permits for the export of furs to members of that Association, even though the Shimizu Unit has inspected goods purchased [Page 892]in Tsining which arrived under military passes in Tientsin. The Embassy has further been informed from authentic sources that the Shimizu Unit has, however, promptly issued permits in cases where Japanese financial interests were involved, and that goods bought by Japanese firms since October 1 for the account of foreign firms have already been exported. In view of the fact that for many weeks prior to October 1 goods belonging to the Tientsin Fur Exporters’ and Importers’ Association have been detained at Tsinanfu, Japanese goods are obviously receiving preferential treatment. The foregoing disproves the statements made by officers of the Shimizu Unit that the new regulations are being applied equally to nationals of all countries including the Japanese.