The Ambassador in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 9—9:30 a.m.11]
9. 1. Several incidents have occurred recently which are alleged to have caused dissatisfaction on the part of the Japanese military with General Sung12 and his men. They are as follows: (a) According to Japanese press report, some 40 Chinese soldiers in uniform of Sung’s army looted on January 2, two Japanese owned shops at Taku, destroyed [Page 4]Japanese flags, and interfered with Japanese consular police. (b) As the result of delay by Chinese guards in opening a Peiping city gate at 10 p.m. January 5, to a motor car containing six or seven Japanese military, some ineffective shooting occurred and one or two Chinese guards were allegedly beaten. The entire blame is placed by the Japanese on the Chinese, although reports indicate that the Japanese were by no means blameless, (c) General Sung refused some days ago the request of the commandant of the local Japanese guard to call to discuss certain important matters, Sung sending word that the matters were within the province of the mayor, (d) Three Koreans attempted to enter the local military headquarters compound to shoot birds. Refusal resulted in a Chinese guard and the three Koreans being beaten.
2. At least the first incidents have been taken up officially. The local assistant to the Japanese Military Attaché informed the foreign press yesterday that demands would be made with regard to the second upon receipt of instructions from Tokyo and that the incident was regarded as an insult to the Japanese Army and as the result of the fundamentally anti-Japanese attitude of Sung’s army.
3. These incidents, the Japanese attitude in regard thereto, and alleged Japanese dissatisfaction with Sung’s delay in doing what the Japanese want have aroused apprehension that the Japanese will in the near future force Sung and his army out of North China (putting into nominal power Chinese more susceptible to Japanese direction) unless he complies with Japanese desires.
By mail to Tokyo.