The Chargé in Japan (Neville) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 20—10:40 a.m.]
26. Department’s 20, March 18, 1 p.m. Yesterday and again today I saw the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs. Mr. Yoshida told me, on behalf of the Prime Minister, that the Japanese Government hopes to have the Paris Pact ratified at the latest by the middle of April. For the past week Baron Tanaka has been conferring with different Privy Councilors, and again I was assured of ultimate ratification not being in doubt, but members of the Privy Council require delicate handling and the Government does not wish to request ratification by this body so long as questions regarding the treaty are pending in the Diet.
In response to my statement that some adhering countries are pressing the Secretary of State for information concerning the time the treaty goes into effect, Mr. Yoshida said he appreciated this fact and regretted not being able to give an earlier date, but the Japanese Government would do all in its power to advance the date. Further, he said the Government would, depending on the Diet’s closing date, submit the treaty to the Privy Council either at the end of March or in the first week of April.
On March 22 I shall see the Prime Minister. In my view, there can be no doubt regarding Japanese sentiment being strongly favorable to the treaty. I deem as most unfortunate the suggestion to have the treaty put into effect without Japan’s adherence and before the constitutional requirements have been complied with here. May I earnestly urge serious consideration prior to action.
At the time of the negotiation of the treaty, the Japanese urged with regard to article I an alteration of phraseology, but they yielded to American explanations and representations, though they knew this would cause difficulty in getting ratification. The foreseen situation has arisen, and I know that action depriving Japan of its position as one of the original adherents of the Paris Pact would be resented deeply. Since the opposition to the phrase is not academic, the Government by accepting it at American instance has been placed in [Page 244] an embarrassing position. I beg that no step be taken implying any doubt of American belief in the good faith of the Japanese Government, for the treaty’s purpose is so indissoluble that its launching should not be spoiled through the wounding of the feelings of a principal signatory.