The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 21—9:40 a.m.]
190. Following is translation of a circular note received last night from the Minister for Foreign Affairs:
“Tokyo, March 20, 1938. Excellency: According to reliable information obtained by the Imperial Government, the Chinese are now extensively using junks for the transportation of arms and munitions in the vicinity of Canton with a view to invading the area within which communications are being effectively blocked by the Japanese Navy. In the event of occasion arising for making even more strict the control of such junks, it may become necessary to subdue by force those junks which offer resistance. Accordingly, with a view to avoiding unfortunate incidents arising involving junks belonging to third countries, it is requested that those who may be concerned be informed of the desire that junks belonging to American nationals carry vertical and horizontal markings clearly discernible from a distance.”
Repeated to Shanghai for communication to the Commander-in-Chief and relay to Hankow.