5 April 1918
Kluchnikov & Sabanin, ii, p. 137

    A report has been received from Siberia, from the Soviet authorities in Vladivostok and Irkutsk, that Admiral Kato, the Japanese naval commander, has landed troops at Vladivostok and has issued a proclamation to the local population, informing them that Japan takes upon itself the maintenance of order. The pretext given for the landing is the murder in Vladivostok of two Japanese by unknown persons.

    At the present moment the Soviet Government has no information whatever about this murder, its causes, circumstances, and the culprits. But it knows, as the whole world knows, that the Japanese imperialists have been preparing a landing at Vladivostok for several months. The Japanese Government press wrote that Japan was called upon to reestablish order in Siberia up to Irkutsk, and even up to the Urals. The Japanese authorities sought appropriate pretexts for their marauding incursion into Russian territory. At Staff headquarters in Tokio monstrous statements were invented about conditions in Siberia, about the part being played by German prisoners of war, etc., etc. The Japanese Ambassador in Rome stated a few weeks ago that the German prisoners of war were armed and ready to seize the Siberian railway. This statement made the round of the world's press. The Soviet military authorities sent a British and an American officer along the Siberian line, and gave them every opportunity to convince themselves of the falsity of the official Japanese statement. With this excuse removed, the Japanese imperialists had to look for other excuses. The murder of two Japanese, from this point of view, was most opportune. The murder took place on 4 April, and on the 5th the Japanese Admiral, without awaiting any investigation, carried out the landing.

    The course of events leaves no doubt whatever that all this was prearranged and that the provocative murder of the two Japanese was an essential part of the preparations. In this way the imperialist blow from the East, which has been a long time in preparation, has fallen. The Japanese imperialists want to strangle the Soviet revolution, to cut Russia off from the Pacific Ocean, to seize the rich territories of Siberia, and to enslave the Siberian workers and peasants. Bourgeois Japan acts as the deadly enemy of the Soviet Republic. What are the plans of the other Governments of the Entente: America, England, France, and Italy? Up to the present their policy in regard to the predatory intentions of Japan has apparently been undecided. The American Government, it seems, was against the Japanese invasion. But now the situation can no longer remain indefinite. England intends to act hand in hand with Japan in working Russia's ruin.

    This question must be put to the British Government unambiguously. The same question must be put to the diplomatic representatives of the United States and the other countries of the Entente. The answer given, and even more, the action taken by the Allied countries will inevitably have a great influence on the future international policy of the Soviet Government.

    While taking the appropriate diplomatic steps, the Soviet Government is at the same time instructing the Soviets in Siberia to oppose any forcible invasion of Russian territory.

Documents on Soviet Foreign Policy

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