894.711/77a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)

571. Department’s 500, August 14, 11 a.m., sections relating to interference with mail to and from American nationals, and your 1351, August 30, 2 p.m.,20 interference with mail at Dairen.

Recent reports clearly indicate that there continues to be flagrant and completely unwarranted interference by Japanese authorities and their agents with mail addressed to American nationals, including Government officials. The Chase Bank of New York has informed the Department that certain registered mails, the numbers of which are unobtainable but which were dispatched to them on Japanese vessels by their offices in Tientsin and Shanghai during the period from June 15–July 30, are believed to be detained in Japan. The Chase Bank desires that this mail, which consists of drafts and documents covering merchandise valued at nearly 1 million dollars, be released and sent to China for forwarding to the United States on American vessels.

In view of the foregoing and the conditions reported in Tientsin’s 100, August 23, Canton’s 54, August 28, 5 p.m., and Peiping’s, September 5,21 which Peiping is hereby requested to repeat to you, the Department desires that you again approach the Foreign Office and in most emphatic terms request that immediate steps be taken to bring to an end interference with American mails not only in Japan but in Japanese occupied areas. You should also point out that to date Japanese mails in the United States have in no instance been subjected to treatment similar to that accorded American mails by Japanese authorities and their agencies and that the American Government looks to the Japanese Government for prompt remedial action irrespective of whether the interferences under reference may have taken place within Japanese post offices or within Chinese post offices situated in Japanese occupied areas.22

Sent to Tokyo via Peiping. Repeated to Shanghai, Chungking and Canton.

  1. Latter not printed.
  2. None printed.
  3. For Ambassador Grew’s representations on September 13, see Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, Vol. i, pp. 913917.