811.5034 (China) American Radio Service/72: Telegram

The Consul at Tientsin (Fletcher) to the Secretary of State

My October 22, 6 p.m. and Embassy’s 403, October 25, 3 p.m. to the Department,87 American Radio Service. In a conversation yesterday with Vice-Consul Yuni the Japanese Acting Consul General Okuma stated that his office intends to do nothing more at present to settle the problem of the American Radio Service’s seized equipment and files but desires to let the matter remain in the status quo. He claimed to have but did not exhibit evidence that Nichols had been communicating with Chungking and criticized this office for “permitting” people like Creamer and Nichols to carry on their “anti-Japanese” activities. He said that his office was drafting a protest to this Consulate General against such activities by American citizens in Tientsin. He implied that Japanese “martial law” in North China transcends extraterritoriality with regard to all political activities of third country nationals, including Americans. He was informed that the United States Government does not recognize any such rights of the Japanese.

I addressed another representation to the Japanese Consul General yesterday stating that his assertion that my previous protests had been “misdirected” was in error since the facts of the case clearly indicated the responsibility of the Japanese with regard to the illegal seizure of the equipment; that he is in possession of American-owned property which was acquired unlawfully; and that the United States Government does not recognize the right of the Japanese to subject American citizens or property in China to Japanese regulations here. I reiterated my protest and requested the immediate return of the property to this Consulate General. In view of the adamant attitude exhibited by the Acting Consul General yesterday, I doubt that my latest protest will serve any other purpose than to place on record [Page 928] the position of this Consulate General regarding the unsatisfactory reply from the Japanese to my former protests.

Sent to Peiping. Repeated to Department, Chungking. Code text by air mail to Tokyo.

  1. Latter not printed.