Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)

At the end of my conversation this morning with the Minister for Foreign Affairs he said that he would like to explain to me the background of the announcement made by the Japanese Government yesterday. The Minister said that through the good offices of the German Ambassador certain peace proposals were made to the Chinese Government in December and that an answer was expected during the early part of January. On January 14th the Chinese Government returned a “perfunctory” reply merely asking for further information concerning the proposed terms. The Japanese Government then became convinced of the futility of further negotiations and decided to have no further dealings with the Government now located in Hankow. The Minister said that this did not involve a specific act effecting a breach of diplomatic relations but simply meant a cessation of dealings with Hankow on the ground that the Government in Hankow no longer represents China. The Minister said that there would be no immediate recognition of any regime but that the Japanese Government would await developments. The regime in North China would constitute the “basic power” of whatever government should eventually be recognized and that that government would include such regimes as were friendly to Japan. It was not possible as yet to foresee whether such a regime would develop in Nanking.

J[oseph] C. G[rew]