Memorandum of Conference with Japanese Ambassador Concerning a Siberian Program

Identifier

WWP25067

Description

Memo on the conference with Japan about the situation in Siberia.

Source

Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson Papers

Publisher

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum

Contributor

Relation

WWP25066

Language

English

Provenance

Document scan was taken from Library of Congress microfilm reel of the Wilson Papers. WWPL volunteers transcribed the text.

Text

DEPARTMENT OF STATE
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY

MEMORANDUM OF CONFERENCE WITH JAPANESE AMBASSADOR CONCERNING A SIBERIAN PROGRAM.

10 a. m. July 8, 1918.

The Ambassador came to the Department at my request and I laid before him orally the propositions and program determined upon by the President after the Conference at the White House.

He told me that he was favorable personally to the views expressed and the plan proposed and that he would immediately communicate with his Government and ask their agreement to the plan.

He said that I would be pleased to know that on his return to Washington last night he found a telegram from Tokio directing him to advise me that the leader of the Czecho-Slovaks at Vladivostok had asked his Government to furnish that force with arms and ammunition and that his Government were ready to do this at once if it met the approval of this Government. I said that this news was most gratifying as that was the first step in our program, and that I hoped that he would urge the shipment with all possible speed. He replied that he would.

We discussed more in detail the possible effect of landing troops by this country and Japan with an identical announcement at Washington and Tokio as to the purpose of the expedition and the preservation of the integrity of the political and territorial sovereignty of Russia. We also considered the possibility of a friendly attitude by the Russians toward the Czecho-Slovaks thus aided and also the possible consequence of their forming a nucleus about which the Russians might rally even to the extent of becoming again a military factor in the war.

We both agreed, however, that, while we had these possibilities in mind, no plans should be predicated upon them; and that the objective for the present should be limited to furnishing facilities for the Czecho-Slovaks at Vladivostok to form a juncture with those near Irkutsk by obtaining control of the Amur branch of the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

In discussing the foregoing Ishii said: “The possibilities of extending the program will depend very much upon the way the Siberian people view the present plan (if it is adopted) and how other Russians will look upon it. This we cannot tell until our forces are actually landed at Vladivostok. That will test the question. If they are very friendly, we can revise our program.”

The Ambassador spoke as if he was sure the suggestion of a small force of 14,000 men equally divided between the United States and Japan would be acceptable to his Government.

I impressed upon him that time was an essential factor in carrying out the program and I urged him to emphasize to his Government the great importance of a speedy decision and prompt action.

This he said he would do.

RL/RCS

Original Format

Memorandum

Files

http://resources.presidentwilson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/WWI1075A.pdf

Collection

Citation

Lansing, Robert, 1864-1928, “Memorandum of Conference with Japanese Ambassador Concerning a Siberian Program,” 1918 July 8, WWP25067, World War I Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.