393.115/108: Telegram

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

43. Reports received from American missionaries at Soochow and Hangchow indicate that there has been much looting of American property by Japanese troops in spite of the fact that almost without exception such properties were clearly marked by American flags and that in many instances they also bore notices issued by this office in the English, Japanese and Chinese languages indicating American ownership.

I have protested to the Japanese Consul General here against the looting of American property which appears to have been continuing and have requested that these facts be brought to the immediate attention of General Matsui;12 that the soldiers responsible be disciplined and that stringent orders be issued and enforced to prevent extended looting, to protect to the fullest extent all American property in the areas now occupied by troops under General Matsui’s command. I feel that similar representations in Tokyo would materially assist in inducing the Japanese authorities to take really effective measures to prevent further looting and give adequate protection to American property.

Repeated to Tokyo.

  1. Japanese Army Commander in Chief in Central China area.