793.04/11999: Telegram

The Consul General at Shanghai (Gauss) to the Secretary of State

39. Reference my 959 [1259], December 31, 11 p.m.10 quoting Johnson’s December 31, noon, regarding safety of Americans at Hankow. Japanese Consul General has asked me to communicate to Johnson reply from Japanese Ambassador that, careful consideration having been given to the suggestion concerning safety of lives and property of foreigners in and around Hankow, the Japanese authorities both civil and military came to the conclusion that they were unable to do better in answering the note under acknowledgment than to bring to your knowledge the following general principle to which the Japanese forces have so firmly subscribed, that is, the Japanese forces have no intention whatever to attack such places as are not utilized by Chinese troops for military purposes or such areas where Chinese troops have not established their military works and establishments and where there are no Chinese troops.

Sent to the Department, Hankow and Tokyo.