123 C 353/227: Telegram

The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

47. Following from Consul General at Mukden:

“January 9, 7 p.m. Acting Consul General Morishima called on me January 9, 4 p.m., and after expressing his deepest regret for the incident stated following:

‘I have been instructed by the Japanese Government to call upon you and convey [to] you the expression of sincere regret of the Japanese Government and inform you of the action taken by the Japanese Government with regard to the unfortunate incident which occurred in Mukden on January 3rd to Mr. Chamberlain, American Consul.

In pursuance of the instruction, I take the liberty of submitting to you the following four items to be duly carried out by the Japanese authorities. [Page 737]

Sakakihara, the interpreter in the service of the Japanese military police, and the chief offender against Mr. Chamberlain, has already been dismissed of [from] the service; but on account of his having been in the Army before the dismissal, he will be tried before the court-martial in accordance with military criminal law. For this purpose the legal proceedings have been taken already, and he is now in custody.
The two military police involved in the matter are to be subjected to due disciplinary punishment.
Major General Ninomiya, commander of the military police, and his subordinate officers who are responsible for the conduct of the interpreter and the two military police, are also to be subjected to due disciplinary punishment.
The Japanese Acting Consul [General?] at Mukden and Major General Ninomiya are to call upon Consul General Myers, to convey to him the expression of their deep regrets and apology for the occurrence of the incident.
The Japanese Consul General and the Japanese military representative in Harbin are to convey the expression of regrets and apology to Mr. Chamberlain.’

Mr. Morishima explained that the punishment of a Major General in a matter of this kind has been rare. There is no precedent to his knowledge; that the Army was not satisfied with the original investigation and that in the subsequent inquiry it was found that the fault rested with the Japanese.
Item (4), he stated, has already been attended to. Concerning item (3), he stated that the Major General is now ill in bed and he is not well enough to call; he will send an officer to represent him.
Mr. Morishima also said that it may be necessary for either the Japanese judicial Consul at Harbin or the military judge at Mukden to call upon Mr. Chamberlain in order that the investigation may be through [thorough?] and in that event it is hoped that one of these officers could see him.
In conclusion Mr. Morishima expressed the hope that this settlement would be acceptable. He was informed that his statement would be promptly referred to the Department of State.”