Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conference With the Japanese Ambassador on Special Mission (Ishii), October 31, 1917

The Viscount came to the Department this afternoon by appointment and said that he was happy to state the suggested amendments in the confidential protocol were entirely acceptable to his Government, and he therefore concluded that the negotiation was ended successfully.

We then read over the note as drafted, after he had pointed out the change of the word “a” to “the” in the last paragraph, and the making of the word “agreements” to singular (agreement).24 To both of these changes I agreed. We then read over the protocol and agreed as to its form. He asked me as to the ending of our note to him, and I replied it would be the usual form which appeared in the Root note to Takahira.25

We also discussed the time of publication and he repeated to me that it would be necessary for his Government to submit the document to Great Britain on account of the treaty of alliance but that it would be a pure formality. As to the protocol he thought it needless to submit it to Great Britain as it was only to be used in case certain events arose and would be treated as confidential by the two Governments.

We further agreed to the exchange of notes on Friday, November 2d and that it would be possibly four or five days before the notes could be made public.

  1. See footnotes 19 and 20, p. 447.
  2. See Foreign Relations, 1908, pp. 510512.