393.0015/95: Telegram

The Vice Consul at Hankow (Davies) to the Secretary of State

American, British naval commanders, British Vice Consul and I conferred this evening concerning Kuling evacuation with Lieutenant Colonel Sakurai, Nanking Japanese staff officer; Lieutenant Colonel Hara, Kiukiang staff officer; Major Kishinami, Shanghai Japanese Consulate General Army Liaison officer; and Kiukiang Japanese Consul.

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Japanese stated: (1) evacuation, with or without aid of official party from Kiukiang as we find feasible, must be completed by the night of February 20th; (2) Japanese forces are determined to mop up Kuling Chinese forces and will not consider further postponement; (3) Japanese will not be responsible for the safety of foreigners after February 20th; (4) Japanese believe Kuling Chinese will obstruct withdrawal of foreigners.
We replied to (1) above that we could only report the time limit to our respective Governments for consideration and could not, as they could see, accept it as binding without instructions to that effect. With respect to (3) above we stated that our respective Governments had already declared that the Japanese military authorities could not divest themselves of responsibility for such actions of theirs as might injure the life or property of our nationals.
4. [3.]
The Japanese reacted favorably to the British proposal of concentrating foreigners remaining in Kuling in one premises.
Chungking’s 9586 just received, “other conditions” referred to in the telegram from Kuling may be connected with (4) above.

Sent to Hankow, the Department, Chungking, Shanghai, Peiping. Shanghai please repeat to Tokyo.

  1. Dated February 11, 5 p.m., not printed.