894.00/803: Telegram

The Consul General at Shanghai (Lochhart) to the Secretary of State

945. Following from Tokyo:

“July 4, 7 p.m. Department’s 212, June 25, 4 p.m. In an interview of more than 2 hours with the Minister for Foreign Affairs this morning I covered the general field of American desiderata in connection with the Japanese hostilities in China as outlined by the Department.87 My representations were forceful and emphatic both in matters of detail and principle. The Minister was given a perfectly clear picture of the viewpoint and attitude of the American Government and people. I left with the Minister a typewritten statement88 of every point covered, not as a diplomatic document but as an informal aid to him in recording our conversation so that there can be no misunderstanding whatever as to what was said. Also an itemized list89 of more than 250 specific cases of damage and other interference marked ‘Partial list of incidents affecting American rights and interests as a result of activities of the Imperial Japanese forces in command since July, 1937 as known to the American Embassy Tokyo June 30, 1938’. Copies of these papers will go to the Department in the next pouch.

[Page 212]

Representations were made under the following headings:

Respect for American property rights.
Maintenance of the personal rights of American citizens.
Maintenance of equality of opportunity in Japanese controlled areas in China as between Japanese and others.
Protection of legitimate American financial interests.
Avoidance of interference with American treaty rights in China.
Japanese-American relations.
General principles.

The following individual cases were mentioned:90

Thomson incident.
Scovel incident.
Occupation of University of Shanghai.
Werner and Smith Company wood oil case.
Embargo upon exportation of hides and skins in North China (Department’s 329 [229], July 2, 7 p.m., via Peiping91);
Statement by Japanese special representative in Shanghai regarding extraterritoriality.
Salvaging of Standard Oil vessels on Yangtze without presence of representatives contrary to assurances (Department’s 223, June 29, 8 p.m.92).

The Minister after listening to my complete representations said that he wished to express appreciation of the manner of my approach. He would take a further opportunity to discuss the points which I had raised. These points required most careful investigation, consideration and detailed examination. For the present he wished to make the following comments.

The Japanese Government is making whole-hearted efforts to settle the conflict and to secure peace in East Asia at the earliest possible moment. The Minister hopes that we understand that desire.

The Japanese Government is giving most careful thought to Japanese-American relations. There must be frank discussion and we must understand each other on a basis of mutual fairness and justice.
The Open Door in China will be maintained. We may rest assured that the Japanese Government will maintain full respect for the right of equal opportunity. In some cases there may be temporary difficulties during the period of hostilities not entirely satisfactory to the American Government. These are purely temporary.
Indiscriminate bombing is strictly prohibited by special instructions. In actuality a few Japanese aviators have not had long enough training and miss their marks which explains the damage of which [Page 213] I complained. Every effort is to be made to avert this kind of damage.
Full consideration is being given to the return of American citizens to their goods and property. The Minister hopes we will understand that ordinary Japanese people are not allowed to follow the army but only contractors and purveyors. He gave the illustration of sea gulls following a ship.
In Shanghai and Nanking there is now peace and order but while the Japanese are pushing their drive on Hankow those places are actually bases of military activity. The Minister hopes that we will take that fact into consideration.

Certain points raised by the Minister before my representations began reported to the Department separately.

Please repeat to the Department and Hankow as our 427 [437], July 4, 7 p.m. Grew.”

  1. See memorandum of July 4, Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. i, p. 605.
  2. ibid., p. 611.
  3. Not printed.
  4. See also vol. iv, pp. 214 ff.
  5. See telegram No. 176, July 2, 7 p.m., ibid., p. 23.
  6. Not printed.