U.S. Citizens Plan Flight from Far East (10-9-40)

Reading Eagle (October 9, 1940)


State Department Asked For Ships to Speed Far East Evacuation

Shanghai, Oct. 9 (UP) –

Leaders of the Shanghai American Association cabled the State Department today for ships to speed the evacuation of United States citizens.

Offices of the American President shipping lines reported that all passenger accommodations had been engaged up to the end of the year.

Americans crowded shipping offices in hope of getting passage, and some engaged cabins on the round-the-world liner President Garfield, leaving for the United States via Cape Horn October 14, rather than risk waiting here for months.

Will Require Months

Shipping experts said it would take months to evacuate all Americans from China, and the likelihood that some American ships might be diverted for their use was increasingly discussed.

acute at any time, even aside from the always-smoldering dispute over control of the International Settlement and the French concession, which the Japanese have long sought to dominate.

Japanese naval parties occupied the island of Liugong, off the Shandong Peninsula, long leased by the British government.

Authoritative reports said that the tension between French Indo-China and Thailand was tightening and that the Vichy government had rejected Thailand’s territorial demands despite pressure from Japan to accept them.

See Secret Agreement

It was believed here that there was a secret agreement between Thailand and Japan aimed at Indo-China.

The two Japanese Army organs here, Tairiku and Sin-Shun-Pao, denounced the United States bitterly.

Tairiku, blaming the United States for Great Britain’s decision to reopen the Burma Road for supplies to China, said that the decision was an Anglo-American challenge to Japan, and to Germany and Italy as well.

The newspaper said:

Any military interference with the reconstruction of the new order will be dealt with seriously.

Sin-Shun-Pao said:

The United States high sounding policy of maintaining the present status in the Far East is an open lie. For 60 years, the United States had been instigating wars for the purpose of selling war materials, and at the same time adopting a high sounding policy of righteousness, humanity and peace to cover its malicious aims. The signatories of the Japanese-German-Italian treaty will not tolerate any arrow which the United States may shoot from ambush into the new order. The United States should appreciate the commanding position of the treaty signatories and sympathizer with them if she wants to retain her riches.

Stock Market Drops

The stock market lost 10 points and remained weak as the result of the evacuation news.

Americans generally remain calm. None foresaw an immediate emergency, though the general belief was that Japanese-American relations had reached a point where dependents should be sent home within the next few months.

Situation in Tokyo
Tokyo, Oct. 9 (UP) –

American quarters and Japanese newspapers forecast today that State Department advice to Americans to evacuate Japan and Far Eastern trouble zones and the British decision to reopen the Burma Road indicated early and drastic economic Anglo-American economic pressure on Japan.

Living conditions in Japan, it is possible to say now, have been getting steadily worse for Americans, and inability to obtain necessities, previously an annoyance, has become a hardship.

In addition a general anti-foreign feeling, nourished by anti-espionage campaigns, has caused an uncomfortable feeling even among old residents; who say that now, for the first time, living in Japan has become difficult.

American missionaries were especially anxious because they expected their activities to be rigorously restricted, and most of them were without funds or connections which would permit them to operate under such conditions.

The American Embassy was still undecided as to the best means of conveying to the 6,286 registered Americans in the Japanese Empire the State Department advice to go home. It was believed that the Americans would be circularized and that the Embassy would do all it could to avoid any alarmist move. It was predicted that the Americans would be told that, since the whole Far East was upset, Americans whose work was not essential, especially women and children, would be well advised to go home.

Deny Rumors
Manila, Oct. 9 (UP) –

United States Army and Navy officials today denied rumors that Washington had ordered the wives and families of officers and enlisted men to leave Manila for the United States.

Combined with High Commissioner Francis B. Sayre’s statement yesterday that the evacuation order for Japanese and Chinese points must not be interpreted as meaning that serious trouble is expected, the service denials calmed earlier nervousness on the part of some Americans here.

Advised to Leave Peiping
Peiping, Oct. 9 (UP) –

Americans residing here, about 580, today received circular letters from American consular officials advising them to return to the United States as soon as possible.

The United States Embassy lists showed that at present Americans living in Peiping include 185 men, 233 women and 162 children.


I’ve heard that American missionaries, especially the Methodists, were having tremendous success in converting people during this period, for example Chiang Kai-Shek.


During this time, Pyongyang was called the “Jerusalem of the East” because of the American missionaries. After the Communist took over, not so much as all the Korean Christians moved south. Ironically, Kim Il-sung came from a Christian family… maybe? It’s hard to tell fact from fiction with anything about that family.