GENERAL MEMORANDUM ON THE SINO-JAPANESE DISPUTE
Document No. 1
Nanking, April, 1932.
Chapter Three – Japanese Policy Towards China > II. Typical Examples of Violations of Existing Treaties > 56. Japanese Police Posts attached to the Consulates
By the Convention of September 4th, 1909, Japan was authorized to establish consulates in four centres situated on the border of the Tumen, a river which forms the boundary between Northern Korea and Manchuria. Many Koreans emigrated into that district. Under the pretext of assuring public order among them, a duty which is regularly performed by the Chinese authorities, Japan established “consular police” and “Police boxes” in Manchuria, either attached to her consulates or stationed in places removed from consular offices.
This practice has been extended from this so-called Chien tao district to other parts of Chinese territory. A detailed statement of those forces was submitted on November 29th, 1921 to the Washington Conference by the Chinese Delegation. Since then, it has assumed even greater importance, the number of places where there is such Japanese police has greatly increased extending to more than forty places including Munden, Harbin, Tsitsihar, etc.
Chapter Three – Japanese Policy Towards China > II. Typical Examples of Violations of Existing Treaties > 57. Japanese Administrative functionaries in Chinese Territory
The Manchuria Year Book of 1931, a publication of the Eastern Asia Economic Research Bureau of the South Manchuria Railway, states on page 41, that the Japanese police of that region is placed under the control of the Government of the leased territory, and adds;
“Outside of the leased territory, Japanese Consuls in South Manchuria are appointed as administrative functionaries of the Government of the territory, in order to direct the chiefs of the police commissariats. There are at present …. 5 commissariats in the leased territory, 14 in the zone of the Railway and 6 in the consular districts; the force amounts to 2,500 men.”
What is the meaning of these Consuls transformed into administrative functionaries as if Chinese territory, where they are called to perform their functions, were placed under Japanese administration?
Chapter Three – Japanese Policy Towards China > II. Typical Examples of Violations of Existing Treaties > 58. Unlawfulness of the presence of Japanese Police
The presence of armed police agents on Chinese territory is not provided by any treaty: it is essentially contrary to the principle of respect for national sovereignty. It has been the object of repeated protests on the part of China at the Peace Conference of Paris (1) as well as during the discussions of the Washington Conference.
To the many protests made in China, the last of which was dated May 30th, 1930 (note from the Waichiaopu to the Japanese Legation) the Japanese Government always replied by pleading exceptions, with the argument that the help of the Japanese police was necessary for the exercise of the rights of consular jurisdiction. But a review of the various texts of the conventions concerning extraterritoriality is sufficient to show that, other than the right of trial, what is to say, to make the Japanese defendant appear before the Consular tribunal in order that Japanese law may be applied to him, no other right has ever been conceded by China.
(1) Questions for Readjustment, submitted by China to the Peace Conference, Paris, April 1919, p. 10.
Chapter Three – Japanese Policy Towards China > II. Typical Examples of Violations of Existing Treaties > 59. Jurisdiction abusively exercised over Chinese citizens
Moreover, regarded even from the Japanese point of view, how could the numerous arrests, even summary executions, of Chinese citizens by the Japanese police be justified? It is hoped that the Commission will investigate these conditions when it finds itself in Manchuria. Is the privilege of consular jurisdiction according to the treaties which provide for its exercise, considered by Japan as giving her the authority over China’s own nationals?
Chapter Three – Japanese Policy Towards China > II. Typical Examples of Violations of Existing Treaties > 60. The Wanpaoshan Incident
The intervention of the Japanese police in the disputes that arise between Chinese and Japanese subjects is without legal basis. Nor is there a precedent for it, because no other Power exercising the right of consular jurisdiction in China has ever claimed it. Its persistence has provoked a series of incidents. One of the most characteristic incidents is that of Wanpaoshan which transpired in the summer of last year.
On April 16th, 1931, a Chinese, Hao Yung-teh, director of an agricultural company, leased from some Chinese farmers a large tract of land, mostly uncultivated, situated in the region of Changchun. This land could only be improved by irrigation from the I-tung River. The lease (Article 11) was to take effect only after the approval of the local authorities.
Without the approval having been given, Hao Yung-teh subleased the land to a group of Korean farmers, who immediately undertook the digging of a canal of about the length of ten kilometres, which traversed the fields of different Chinese proprietors, and stopped the flow of the water of the I-tung River with a dyke. Wherefore claims were made by the inhabitants of the locality whose interests were seriously affected.
The affair was really civil and administrative matter: It was civil so far as it concerns the responsibility of Hao Yung-teh towards his Korean lessees, it was administrative since the water works for this kind of enterprise could only be operated by agreement with the local authorities whose approval was required by the original contract.
Instead of allowing the affair to follow its normal course, the Japanese Consulate at Changchun despatched to the spot an imposing force of Japanese police of about 60 men, provided with machine-guns, under whose protection the Koreans were to carry on with their work. The Chinese farmers whose properties were unlawfully invaded by force tried, on July 1st, to fill up a part of the canal and demolish the dyke. The Japanese police intervened, fired, wounded one of the Chinese and made ten others prisoners. Immediately, the Consulate sent to the scene of the trouble a detachment of regulars of the Japanese army who at once occupied the village of Wanpaoshan.
Chapter Three – Japanese Policy Towards China > II. Typical Examples of Violations of Existing Treaties > 61. The Korean Massacres
The news of the incident of which a distorted version was given to the press, brought about, on July 3rd and the following days, the deplorable massacre of peaceful Chinese residents in Korea. In seven different Korean cities Chinese people were assaulted and massacred by mobs while Chinese houses were ransacked with the Japanese police standing by without attempting to check the acts of violence. There was no Korean victim during the period of disorders. From the 3rd to the 13th of July, 127 Chinese were killed and 393 wounded while 82 are still missing. The material losses suffered are valued at more than two and a half million Yen. The mob attack on Japanese monks at Shanghai which was seized by Japan as a pretext for delivering an ultimatum on January 20th and which eventually led to Japan’s attack on Chapei is an insignificant event compared with the disorders in Korea, about which Japan has kept remarkable silence.