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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, Japan: 1931-1941

Bombings of civilians by the Japanese and other acts endangering the life and welfare of American citizens in China,   pp. [485]-726 PDF (90.6 MB)

Page 704

JAPAN, 1931-1941, VOLUME I
United Press, Melville Jacoby, by a warehouse at Haiphong where
it was reported that Japanese soldiers were encamped under an Ameri-
can flag. The newspaper correspondent, who was stated to possess
a photographer's permit issued by the appropriate authorities, took
some pictures of the property in question. The car in which Vice
Consul Rinden and Mr. Jacoby were riding was subsequently pursued
and stopped by Japanese soldiers, who attempted to force them out
of the car and to seize the correspondent's camera. The Vice Consul
identified himself to an English-speaking Japanese army officer, but
the Vice Consul and Mr. Jacoby were taken into the center of Haiphong
under a guard of Japanese soldiers, who prevented them from enter-
ing the Hotel Europe by stopping them on the sidewalk, forming
a semicircle, and training their rifles upon them. Subsequently French
officials arrived and, after discussion between those officials and the
Japanese, the Japanese guard withdrew and the two Americans were
taken, apparently by French authorities, to French military head-
quarters. Vice Consul Rinden and Mr. Jacoby returned to Hanoi
on the night of November 21.
  Consul Reed reported that he has lodged a protest in the matter
with the Governor General of French Indochina and with the Japanese
Consul General at Hanoi.
  The Department is telegraphing appropriate American officials
to make further representations in regard to this matter.
The American Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Japanese Minister
                 for Foreign Affairs (Matsuoka)
No. 1700                                TOKYO, November 26, 1940.
  ExcEILjNcY: Acting under instructions from my Government, I
have the honor formally to protest against the actions of the Japa-
nese military at Hanoi who recently took into custody Mr. Robert W.
Rinden, American Vice Consul, and the United Press correspondent,
Mr. Melville Jacoby.
  My Government considers that the employment of force and the
threat of arms against an American official and the individual accom-
panying him were especially flagrant. I am constrained to recall that
it has been necessary for my Government to point out to Your Excel-
lency's Government, in connection with a deplorably large number
of incidents involving American nationals and the Japanese military
in China, that if the Japanese Government were to issue strict and
effective instructions that American citizens should be treated with
civility by the Japanese military, incidents of the character described
above would not occur.

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