793.94/12030: Telegram

The Consul at Tsingtao (Sokobin) to the Secretary of State

The following memorandum was handed to the senior American naval officer this morning at 10:30:

“Vice Admiral Soyemu Toyoda, the highest commanding officer of His Imperial Majesty’s forces in Tsingtao District, has the honor of informing hereby the Senior Commanding Officer of the United States Navy in Tsingtao that Japanese naval landing forces are expected to enter the city today, January 10, and the public peace and order of the city will be wielded by Japanese forces thenceforth.

Regarding the protection of the third nation’s lives and properties, he also has the honor of announcing herewith that he has fully instructed the forces under his command, as shown in the leaflets strewn from our airplanes this morning”.

The Japanese boarding officer also verbally added that there would be no bombardment of the city, no shelling, no bombing, and no rifle fire unless provoked. He also added that 3,000 men would be landed tomorrow morning. Leaflet in Chinese language distributed from Japanese airplane reads as follows in translation:

“Urgent. Military Command.

The forces of the Japanese Empire have not [now?] come to take over Tsingtao. All principal organizations and institutions in the civic and rural districts of Tsingtao should as quickly as possible hoist white flags to indicate their willingness to submit. The hostile and the antagonistic will be subjected to attack.
As regards Chinese troops, police forces and other armed bodies, they shall make haste to assemble in the great harbor area and send delegates to the [local?] Japanese shrine for negotiations. Those who submit will be spared from attack while those who do not submit shall be exterminated.
Those of the general public who wish to cooperate with the Imperial Forces should send their district leaders or street elders to the Tsingtao Japanese shrine to indicate their sincerity in the matter”.

White flags have already been hoisted on all Government buildings, Chinese now arranging delegation to meet Japanese.

All Americans are being asked to remain indoors for the time being and we are completely satisfied that no danger whatsoever exists for American persons or property.24

Sent to Peiping, Hankow.

  1. The Consul at 3 p.m. reported that the Japanese occupation of Tsingtao was proceeding without incident (793.94/12019).