The Secretary of State to the Chinese Ambassador ( C. T. Wang )

My Dear Mr. Ambassador: I have noted with sympathetic concern the contents of your note of June 1, 1938, in regard to the aerial bombardment by Japanese aircraft of unfortified localities in China.

Public opinion in the United States regards as barbarous methods which are currently being used in the conduct of hostilities in the Far East and in Europe in the form of ruthless bombing of unfortified localities with the resultant slaughter of civilian populations. Several times during the past year, the Government of the United States has expressed the views of this country to that effect, and on June 3, 1938, this Government, taking cognizance of recent aerial bombings in China and in Spain, reiterated this nation’s emphatic reprobation of such methods and acts.16

I assure you that this Government is deeply desirous that methods and acts of an inhumane character be avoided, and that it will continue to exert its influence in all practicable ways toward that end.

I am [etc.]

Cordell Hull
  1. See statement by the Acting Secretary of State, June 3, 1938, Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. i, p. 595.