Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)
During my conversation with the Foreign Minister today he gave me an eleven-page typewritten “oral statement”75 replying to our June 10 and September 15 notes and appended documents concerning infractions by Japanese authorities of American rights and interests in China.76 The document fails to offer any redress and only expounds the usual explanations and excuses and accuses the United States of harping upon abstract legal points instead of accepting actualities. It further charges that the United States refuses to supply certain articles to Japan.
Upon receipt of this statement, I advised Mr. Matsuoka that I wished to withhold my Government’s views on the matter but that there were two points upon which I desired to make immediate comment. To the Minister’s charge that various points at issue might have been solved locally but for the Department’s insistence upon legal principles, I said that American complaints sprang from concrete facts and realities, aside from the legal principles involved therein. I refuted the Minister’s allegation that the American Government was refusing to supply Japan with certain articles by reading to him apt portions of Mr. Hull’s remarks on October 8 to Ambassador Horinouchi77 including the pargraph on the second page of enclosure one of Department’s instruction No. 2065 dated November 4,76 relative to the embargo on scrap iron and steel. The Foreign Minister replied that he would look up the Japanese Ambassador’s report of this conversation in the Foreign Office file and familiarize himself with it.