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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1919

Japan,   pp. 415-463 PDF (17.1 MB)

Page 425

When the American Consul General, after the fracas on the night
of March 12, approached the Japanese officials with a view to ascer-
taining the whereabouts of these two wounded soldiers the Japanese
officials denied that the American soldiers were confined in the
Japanese police station. One of them, however, was found locked
in a cell in the Japanese police station and the other lying injured
in the courtyard of the station. The American Consul General, hav-
ing secured the release of the two Americans, was stoned by Japanese
in the Japanese concession while returning to the American Consu-
late at 2 a.m., on March 13 in his automobile.
On March 13, an American soldier, apparently without cause,
struck a Japanese in the grounds surrounding the residence of the
Japanese Acting Consul in the British concession. The American
Commanding officer made apologies to the Japanese authorities for
this improper conduct on the part of the soldier, who was promptly
About 9 p.m., on March 13, a body of about 50 Japanese carrying
clubs and followed by an excited mob pursued three American mili-
tary police into the Empire theatre in the French concession. En-
trance to the theatre was denied the Japanese, however, and they
were dispersed an hour later by the Japanese police. French Anna-
mite soldiers then policed the French concession to prevent further
While it has been asserted that the trouble arose from the presence
of a body of American soldiers in the Japanese concession on the
night of March 12, careful investigation discloses that there were no
groups of American soldiers in the Japanese concession on that night.
It appears that the American military commander made every
effort to stop each fracas as soon as it occurred and to prevent others
from occurring but that the Japanese authorities were remiss in this
You will bring the above statement informally to the attention
of the Japanese Foreign Office, leaving a copy thereof if it is desired,
and say orally that, after making all due allowance for the origin
and nature of the disturbances and the inevitable confusion of testi-
mony, a comparison of the above statement with the statements is-
sued by the Japanese War Department and Foreign Office 28 appears
to leave still unexplained the illegal arrest of Americans by Japanese
officers, the deliberate misleading by Japanese officials of the Ameri-
can Consul General as to the fact of the detention of the Americans
in the Japanese jail, and the serious injury to the American soldier
who is partially paralyzed. You may say that the Department,
equally with the Japanese Foreign Office sincerely deplores this un-
fortunate affair; that our Commanding officer has voluntarily apol-
ogized to the Japanese authorities for the action of the American
25 See telegram of Mar. 23, 11 p.m., from the Ambassador in Japan, p. 422.

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