Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)
In the course of conversation on other matters this morning with the Minister for Foreign Affairs I took up informally the disregard of customs requirements for Japanese goods and vessels. The Minister said that this question was now under discussion and it is hoped that some solution will shortly be found. The problem he said is to separate incoming war supplies for the Japanese forces from other goods. I pointed out the damaging effect upon the customs administration of the present procedure.
I took occasion once again to repeat to the Minister that a disruption of the Chinese customs service and inability of the customs to meet foreign loan and indemnity quotas would bring most unfortunate consequences to all concerned. Mr. Hirota said that the matter is now under discussion and he implied, although without specific assurances, that the final result would be entirely satisfactory to American interests.