500.A4/314: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Warren) to the Secretary of State


405. My telegram no. 403, November 30. There is evidence of Government efforts, since the Cabinet meeting yesterday, to prepare the public mind to consider the matter of ratio of naval strength as but part of the fundamental question of an agreement on Far Eastern and Pacific questions.

As Uchida stated to me ratio is not the only problem. He is following up the statement he made to me with the information that you, Kato, and Balfour are holding informal conversations and are progressing on the fundamental problems apart from mere naval ratios, in order to secure their solution simultaneously. The Nichi Nichi today contains an obviously inspired report of yesterday’s Cabinet meeting. In it the statement is made that:73

“Of course the kernel of the Pacific and Far Eastern questions is the fate of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the fortifications on Pacific islands. If an understanding is reached between Japan, America and England on these questions the matter of a naval ratio ought not to cause much trouble and therefore our delegates appear to be devoting themselves first to reach a solution of the fundamental questions regarding the Pacific and the Far East. Owing to the incompleteness of the reports reaching the Government from the Japanese delegates regarding the situation respecting the future of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance it is impossible to ascertain anything positive about it as yet. However there have been disagreements in regard to a tripartite Pacific agreement advocated by Great Britain and Japan and the association of nations advocated by the American President; but Japan, America and England are gradually coming into accord with regard to the establishment of some form of agreement between the principal powers having interests in the Pacific [Page 84] which will guarantee the peace of Pacific and the permanent peace of the entire Far East as well. We do not know yet until reports from the delegates have been received whether this will be of such nature as to take the form of a treaty, but if a general understanding in regard to a Pacific agreement between the three aforesaid countries is established it will spell a great success for the Washington Conference. In the Cabinet meeting of yesterday there was a report on this matter by Count Uchida.”

In my conversation with Hara reported in my 377 of November 9,74 he stated his [willingness] to cooperate with Great Britain and the United States in establishing a common policy with regard to China; and, as reported in my 390 of November 17, Takahashi expressed a similar willingness to make an agreement relating to China. The Government is now beginning its publicity here on this important phase of the Washington Conference.

  1. Statement not paraphrased.
  2. Foreign Relation, 1921, vol. i, p. 84.