500.A4/320: Telegram

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


412. Your telegram no. 209, December 3, 7 p.m. I have fully discussed matters with Uchida and found he is adhering to policy of yielding on ratio as a part of the general agreement or entente regarding Pacific and Far Eastern questions, including fortifications.

Yesterday the Diplomatic Advisory Council met and listened to a report on the progress of the negotiations. This morning the Privy Council met with the Premier and Cabinet members present in special session to hear a report on the status of negotiations. I have just been informed … that Uchida stated that the Japanese Government intended to join with Great Britain, the United States, and France in an agreement regarding Pacific and Far Eastern questions to establish peace in the Far East, on the ground that Great Britain, the United States, and France will stand together, of necessity, and Japan must not be isolated. Uchida made the statement that the question of ratio of naval strength had been taken from the naval experts and given to the delegation as a private matter, to be settled as a part of the larger question. He did not mention the discussion as to the necessity of 70% or 60% but said that the question should not be adjusted on any narrow basis, but ought to be considered and a decision reached on grounds broader than mere percentages. The members of the Privy Council understood that 70% would not be insisted upon and there was no discussion [Page 89] of that feature of the negotiations. Some members asked about the effect of the new understanding or agreement on the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. In reply Uchida stated that the necessity for the alliance disappeared with the passing of Germany and Kussia as powers of first magnitude. He reported also on the position regarding fortifications in the Pacific and on Chinese matters. The Privy Council was satisfied. It concurred in the negotiations proceeding along the lines reported on behalf of the Cabinet by Uchida, but requested another report when the agreements assumed more definite shape.

Uchida mentioned the fair attitude of the United States and considered the progress made as pointing to the dawn of a new era in world affairs. An optimistic impression was given.

After the report had been heard by the Privy Council, its members were invited to an audience with the Emperor. He has not received them since his return last September from Nikko. The Emperor was strong enough to stand while he received them and he talked with each. … The audience is significant only as indicating the Privy Council’s desire to express to the Emperor their satisfaction with the progress of negotiations. …