Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hornbeck) of a Conversation With the Japanese Chargé (Fujii)

I. Mr. Fujii called by appointment and said that he had come to give me such information as he had with regard to the recent unfortunate incidents in Arizona. He said that on September 12 some parties unknown had fired shots at a Japanese farmer who was working in his garden, at night, and had pushed this farmer’s automobile into the river. The farmer was not injured. On a later date some “bomb-shells” had been exploded at points near houses of Japanese farmers. Mr. Fujii said that he had not come under instructions and that he was not making “representations”, but that he hoped that the State Department would take any action which it might appropriately take toward ensuring the safety and safeguarding the rights of Japanese nationals.

Mr. Hornbeck said that we had not received any special information; we knew only what had appeared in the press and what Mr. Fujii had just said. We had found the Arizona authorities sincerely disposed to try to prevent unlawful acts. Even with the best of intention on the part of authorities, there occur frequently and almost everywhere some unlawful acts. It would appear from the press reports that both the state and the local authorities are trying to prevent such acts and to apprehend the perpetrators of the acts which have been reported. There does not appear as yet any warrant for further action by the Department, but we have the situation much in mind and will not fail to do what may seem appropriate, if and when. Mr. Fujii said that he was sure that we would do whatever seemed appropriate.

II. Mr. Hornbeck then said that he would take this opportunity to speak of an unfortunate incident which had occurred a few days ago in the Philippines. Mr. Fujii said that he knew to what Mr. Hornbeck was referring. Mr. Hornbeck went on to say that in that incident Filipino authorities had boarded a Japanese fishing vessel, which they had the right to do, and the Japanese crew had apparently assaulted [Page 693] these authorities and thrown them overboard; apparently these authorities would have been drowned had not a third party picked them out of the water; authorized Philippine vessels had gone in pursuit of the offending Japanese vessel but had apparently not caught it. The unlawful resistance and forceful action of the Japanese crew in this case was of a rather serious character. Mr. Fujii inquired whether we had made any representations at Tokyo. Mr. Hornbeck replied that we had not, as we were endeavoring to ascertain the full facts; but that we might find it necessary to make some representations. Mr. Fujii inquired whether the Japanese Consul General at Manila had not done something in the matter. Mr. Hornbeck replied that we had understood that he had expressed himself as regretting and condemning the action of the Japanese crew.

Mr. Fujii then referred to some other matters and said that he had originally intended calling yesterday but had put his call off until today in order to avoid newspaper correspondents: he thought that the less publicity there was given to his call—in connection with the Arizona matter—the better. He repeated that he had not been sent by his Government. Mr. Hornbeck said again that we would watch the Arizona situation closely. And the conversation there ended.

S[tanley] K. H[ornbeck]