The Consul General at Shanghai (Gauss) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 16—10:55 a.m.]
124. A letter dated February 15, addressed by the Japanese Consul General to the Senior Consul quotes the following notice received by him from the Japanese naval authorities:
“The Imperial Japanese Navy has decided to start shortly an operation at Haimen at Taichow Bay, Chekiang Province, and its vicinity. It is therefore requested that all the vessels of third powers now at or near Haimen should evacuate by sunset on the 17th of February 1939 to a distance sufficient to avoid danger, at least outside a radius of 30 nautical miles of Haimen.
The Imperial Japanese Navy will not hold themselves responsible for any loss or damage sustained by any vessel remaining within the aforesaid region after the specified time.”
Interested American firms notified.
Repeated to Chungking, Peiping and Tokyo.