793.94/9738: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State

323. Department’s 171, August 27, 3 p.m.84 The following is complete text of statement issued to the press by the Foreign Office on August 26, 1937:

“Although Japan has been forced to adopt measures of self-defense in the face of lawless attacks upon her forces by Chinese Armies and their wanton disregard of Japanese lives and property and violations of Japan’s rights and interests in China, it has always been the desire of the Japanese Government to minimize the scope of the present affair. However, the Chinese Armies by their repeated outrages and provocations have intensified still further the gravity of the situation.

In these circumstances, with a view to prompting China’s reconsideration and to effecting a speedy settlement, the Japanese naval authorities found it necessary to close to traffic of Chinese vessels the Chinese sea coast from 32 degrees 4 minutes north latitude and 122 [Page 437] degrees 44 minutes east longitude, to 23 degrees 14 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees 48 minutes east longitude, beginning at 6 p.m., August 25, 1937.

The above measure is solely one of self-defense against the lawless acts of the Chinese, and applies only to Chinese vessels. It may be added that peaceful commerce carried on by the third powers will be fully respected, the Japanese Navy having no intention of interfering with it.”

  1. Not printed.