793.94/8543: Telegram

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

121. Our 119, March 16, 1:00 [3:00] p.m.49

Japanese Economic Commission yesterday morning ended 2-day visit here and proceeded to Shanghai. How long it will remain there and whether it will visit North China and other places has not been announced although press reports quote Peiping Japanese Embassy as stating that one important member, president of bank of Chosen, Kato, will shortly visit Peiping.
Additional entertainment in Nanking included luncheon by Japanese Ambassador first day and second day luncheon by Minister for Foreign Affairs, reception by Chiang Kai Shek50 at the Office Moral Endeavor Association and dinner by Kung.51 At his reception Chiang likened the “gigantic reconstruction movement” which China is undertaking to the transformation of Japan during the Meiji era, asserted that China desires the friendly help and advice of Japan, expressed hope that the Mission would unreservedly point out fault of Chinese economic and other reconstruction projects, and stated “Chinese industrial circles will unquestionably accept their advice and will follow their footsteps so that China’s culture and economy may rise on the same plane with Japan for the stability of oriental peace and welfare”. He added that oriental nations should have oriental [Page 579] culture as basis for work in order to coexist with other nations and that characteristics of oriental culture are magnanimity and morals. He asked the gathering to stand and observe a 1-minute silence in honor of the late Viscount Shibusawa, an industrial magnate whom Chiang had met in Japan in 1928.
Leading articles in this morning’s Central Daily News states (1) economic cooperation must be carried out within framework of Chinese laws and administrative decisions, (2) Japan can render only technical assistance in regard to railway and mining enterprises and in no way should such assistance entail infringement of China’s sovereign rights, (3) in connection with Japanese and in improving Chinese farm products such as cotton, attention should be paid to increasing output and under no circumstances should there be any conditions aiming at squeezing raw materials out of China, (4) in regard to all questioning of Sino-Japanese trade in general, Japan must respect existing of Chinese national industries, and should not demand as a return for its assistance the downward readjustment of Chinese tariff duties on Japanese imports. The Journal adds that these conditions “represent the Chinese people’s unanimous conception of the matter of economic cooperation with Japan.”
Central Daily News is semi-official publication.
We learn on good authority that the mission’s activities in Nanking were purely social and no proposals were suggested by the Mission to Government officials or others. Comment in this respect by one prominent Chinese party official was that the Mission “is still hiding its tricks in its sleeve.”
Sent to the Department, by mail to Peiping, Shanghai, Tokyo.
  1. Vol. iii, p. 46.
  2. President of the Chinese Executive Yuan (Premier).
  3. H. H. Kung, Vice President of the Chinese Executive Yuan (Vice Premier) and Minister of Finance.