The Counselor of Legation in China (Peck) to the Minister in China (Johnson) 68

Dear Mr. Minister: Mr. Shinichi Uyemura, Secretary of the Japanese Legation, resident in Nanking, has called upon me to hand me, under the instructions of the Japanese Minister, a translation of a Note Verbale from the Japanese Legation to the Chinese Foreign Office dated Shanghai, February 14, 1933, relating to the recently signed notes providing for the extension of the agreement governing the Chinese Courts in the International Settlement in Shanghai. Mr. Uyemura told me that he handed this Note Verbale to the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs on February 15, 1933.

Mr. Uyemura pointed out to me that this document informed the Chinese Government that the Japanese Government maintained its right to participate in any negotiations for the revision or amendment of the agreement relating to the Courts in the International Settlement, but that the Japanese Government regarded the recent extension of the agreement as a matter of procedure and did not insist upon participation in the arrangements for the extension.

Mr. Uyemura recalled that when the present agreement and attached notes were signed in 1930, Dr. C. T. Wang, Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs, refused to deal with Japan in the matter, on the ground that the treaties granting extraterritorial rights to Japan had terminated. Mr. Uyemura said, however, that Dr. Wang admitted the interest which the Japanese had in the operation of these Courts and merely said that he would prefer to defer the discussion of the Shanghai Court question with Japan until the extraterritorial question should again be discussed.

Mr. Uyemura volunteered the information that the Chinese Government was on record as insisting that the Japanese treaty right to extraterritorial jurisdiction had lapsed, but as promising that Japanese subjects should be treated as though they still enjoyed such rights. Mr. Uyemura could not give me the date of this assurance and he warned me that the language used was very ambiguous. He said that this assurance had not been published, although an earlier [Page 621] part of the document in which it was found, in which China agreed not to raise the question of extraterritoriality for the time being, had been published.

Mr. Uyemura said that on February 15, 1933, when he handed to Dr. Lo Wen-kan69 the Note Verbale, a copy of which is enclosed herewith,70 he stated that the Japanese Government reserved the right to participate in any revision of the present agreement and that Dr. Lo replied non-committally that he understood this. Mr. Uyemura pointed out to me that the present document is a sort of “unilateral declaration” and does not necessarily call for a reply.

I thanked Mr. Uyemura for his courtesy in calling to present a copy of this Note Verbale to the American Legation and I said I would send it to you at once. Mr. Uyemura paid a similar call on M. Baudet, Secretary of the French Legation.

Respectfully yours,

Willys R. Peck
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Minister in China in his despatch No. 1983, March 2; received March 25.
  2. Chinese Minister of Justice; concurrently Minister of Foreign Affairs, February 1932–August 1933.
  3. Not printed.