The Consul General at Shanghai (Lockhart) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 12.]
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With the arrival in Shanghai of a new Japanese Consul charged with handling economic matters of the Japanese Consulate General, [Page 780] there has been initiated an approach to various local American business men with the request that they supply to the Japanese Consulate General information as to how their enterprises may have been adversely affected as a result of the operation of Japanese restrictions and regulations for the control of trade in the Lower Yangtze region. American business men are being advised by this Consulate General that no reason is perceived why they should not comply with the request of the Japanese authorities for information of that general nature. It would seem highly problematical whether the general program of the Japanese Army in China could be reversed or so altered at this late date as to permit again a substantial degree of freedom of trade to third Power interests; however, it is perhaps indicative of the problems now confronting Japanese political leaders that there should be made at this time moves which seem aimed at exploring the possibility of bettering Japanese-American relations. Incidentally it is conceivable that particular cases of Japanese interference with American trade may be given more sympathetic consideration.