793.94/9178: Telegram

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

366. Department’s 125, August 3 [2], noon. I am not convinced that Chinese Government intends or plans to take any aggressive action against Japanese forces in North China or elsewhere. Indications lead me to believe that Chinese will fight rear guard actions wherever advancing Japanese forces come into contact with Chinese armed forces no matter where those may be. See in this connection my 347, July 31, noon,34 as well as my 343, July 30, 2 a.m.35 Thus initiative rests and remains with the Japanese whose immediate plans are still obscure. Under these circumstances it has not seemed to me necessary that steps should be taken to evacuate Americans generally as we have no means of discovering where hostilities may take place and ordinary concentration points might be more dangerous than interior points from which they might be evacuated. Embassy is endeavoring to keep Consuls currently informed in order that each office may be forewarned of possible dangers and take necessary and customary measures to get Americans to places of safety. At the moment, many Americans from the interior are at customary summer resorts. Time may soon come when it may be advisable for various reasons to suggest that they remain temporarily at those places rather than return to areas which we can identify as danger zones.

There is no anti-foreign feeling evident. Embassy believes that Americans should not be more likely to suffer damage or danger in areas of conflict than occurred in Manchuria in 1931. The Embassy is watching situation narrowly from day to day and will cooperate with Consulates should further steps be deemed necessary.