The Ambassador in China ( Johnson ) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 30—7:50 a.m.]
217. Reference paragraph 6 of the Embassy’s 213, April 29, 3 p.m.
The Embassy is reliably informed that several changes are being made in the status of the Japanese military in Hopei Province for the purpose of showing the Chinese “the fixed determination” of the Japanese military and of enhancing the prestige of Lieutenant General Tada’s position vis-à-vis other Japanese military. Appointment of the commander of the North China Garrison will hereafter be made directly by the Emperor, thereby putting the post in the same status as that of commanders of the Kwantung army, the forces in Chosen and Taiwan Districts. Presumably Tada will receive the first appointment as he has recently been raised in rank. As a result of the approaching increase of the strength of the North China Garrison (which Japanese sources state will be double the present number) the Japanese Embassy Guard in Peiping will be raised from the status of a [Page 129] regiment to that of a brigade. The present commander, a lieutenant colonel, is being replaced by a colonel. At the same time, the brigade will be commanded by a major general who will have under him two lieutenant colonels. There will thus be an exceptional number of high ranking officers in Peiping, including Major General Matsumuro, head of the North China Garrison. Matsumuro is assisted by a major; Assistant Military Attaché continues to be a major.
By mail to Tokyo.