793.94/8745: Telegram

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


192. An analysis of the attitude of the Japanese at the present time in regard to China is submitted by the American Ambassador in the form of a summary of the situation to the following effect:

[Page 320]

There is a striking unanimity of opinion which is not a case of unwilling submission on the part of the Government to military initiative. The Japanese Cabinet, whose prestige is high, gives full support to steps which the Japanese Army has taken in North China recently and is entirely in command. No inclination has been shown by the press to question the stand taken by the Japanese Government on the incident at Marco Polo Bridge, and the general expressions of approval in the press seem to be spontaneous. The American Embassy has received no intimation that there prevails in the Foreign Office a difference of opinion.

Lieutenant General Kiyoshi Kazuki, a competent officer of high rank, was sent suddenly to take command of the garrison in North China. There is well-coordinated and extensive preparation for such further use of force as may seem to be required in North China. The Government has been careful to consult with and obtain the cooperation of the country’s leaders—in the Diet, in banking and business, in the press, and in the political parties and is mustering its forces in order to put into effect such decision as may be arrived at.

The Ambassador remarks that never during the time in which he has been stationed at Tokyo has he noted signs of a determination so unanimous and strong on the part of the Japanese Government to oppose any movement which might have a tendency to lessen the strength of Japan’s position in North China, even if such opposition should mean extensive hostilities.

The Ambassador feels that he does not yet have enough evidence to warrant the assumption that, in order to force a “show-down,” either the Japanese Army or the Japanese Government engineered the incident deliberately. However, he expresses the belief that the statements in the foregoing paragraphs can be made without qualification. He is of the opinion that if some way of avoiding general hostilities without losing face could be found the Japanese Government might possibly still be pleased to find this way.

Repeated to Peiping.