711.9412Anti-War/94: Telegram

The Chargé in Japan ( Neville ) to the Secretary of State


24. Department’s 14, March 9, 6 p.m. To assume that the Japanese Government is not disposed to take steps to ratify the Paris Pact would be, I think, a mistake. On the morning of March 9 I saw the Prime Minister, Baron Tanaka, who said there was no cause to worry over the ultimate outcome, but that the Foreign Office would inform me regarding developments. Today again I saw the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs; and Mr. Yoshida, replying to my inquiries, said his Government was anxious for ratification of the treaty without reservations; members of the Privy Council, as matters stand now, have insisted that there should be attached to the treaty a reservation clarifying Japan’s position regarding the phrase “in the names of their respective peoples”. The Japanese Government, objecting to reservations, above all has no wish to yield to interference with treaty matters by the Diet.

Japanese ratification may, I believe, be counted upon as soon as members of the Privy Council are satisfied there is not involved any question affecting the Japanese Constitution. How long this will take, it is impossible to predict; but, especially if the session of the Diet is not prolonged, I do not believe it will be more than a few weeks. The delay has been caused by a combination of political hostility in the Diet to the Government and of genuine constitutional doubts concerning the treaty in the Privy Council (reference my telegram 20, March 7, 4 p.m.8). The Government would not do itself any good by an attempt to coerce the Privy Council, an independent body, into acting soon and easily might lay itself open to a charge that it is acting without regard to Japanese constitutional procedure at foreign instigation.

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