List of Papers

[Unless otherwise specified, the correspondence is from or to officials in the Department of State.]

Growing Tension Between the United States and Japan Arising From Japanese Military Aggression

1939

Date and number Subject Page
1939 May 18 (234) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Message for the Secretary of State from the Prime Minister, for delivery by the Ambassador during his forthcoming visit to the United States (text printed), expressing concern at the existence among European nations of antagonism which may lead to open conflict; belief that it is the duty of the United States and Japan, owing to their situation outside the scope of European conflict, to exert efforts to prevent the occurrence of the casualty envisaged; and ardent wish of Japan that nations should have their own proper places in the world and thus true world peace might be established and maintained.
1
May 18 (235) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Report of farewell conversation with the Foreign Minister in which were discussed the proposed anti-communistic agreement between Japan, Germany, and Italy, Japanese interference with American rights and interests in China, the “new order” in East Asia, and the so-called “South Sea advance.”
1
June 21 (Go 13, Asia I) From the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Chargé in Japan
Information that operations begun May 21, 1939, on the coast of Kwangtung Province, China, are purely military in character; expression of hope that the U. S. Government will cooperate with Japanese forces to avoid accidental damage to American interests and the occurrence of unfortunate incidents.
5
July 8 (1767) To the Chargé in Japan
Communication for the Prime Minister (text printed), conveying the Secretary of State’s interest in being informed definitively of the Prime Minister’s concept as to steps which might be taken toward moderating the situation in Europe.
5
Aug. 30 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the departing Counselor of the Japanese Embassy, in which the Secretary of State reiterated the general principles of American policy with regard to international conduct.
8
Sept. 5 (458) From the Chargé in Japan (tel.)
Foreign Office note to diplomatic representatives of the European belligerents and to the American and Italian Ambassadors for their information (text printed), giving “friendly advice” to the belligerents to withdraw their naval vessels and troops from Japanese-controlled areas of China in order to avoid unfortunate incidents. Information that this is intended to include foreign concessions and international settlements such as the French concession and the International Settlement at Shanghai.
9
[Page VIII]Sept. 6 (459) From the Chargé in Japan (tel.)
Suggestion that the U. S. Government express its unqualified disapproval of Japan’s action of September 5 as calculated to prejudice the position in China of non-Oriental powers. Request for authorization to make a statement of personal opinion to the Foreign Minister.
10
Sept. 6 (276) To the Chargé in Japan (tel.)
Authorization to indicate to Foreign Minister that in the Chargé’s opinion any action to force withdrawal of armed forces of France and Great Britain from China would be interpreted in the United States as a step toward elimination of Western influence from China and the consequent reaction would be seriously prejudicial to Japanese-American relations.
12
Sept. 7 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador in which the Secretary of State expressed his concern regarding the effect on Japanese-American relations of the Japanese notes to the belligerent nations and asked for an indication of the Japanese Government’s reaction to his discussion of the subject, which had dealt particularly with the situation at Shanghai.
12
Sept. 7 (463) From the Chargé in Japan (tel.)
Conversation with the Foreign Minister who expressed regret at the state of Japanese-American relations, declaring he would endeavor to improve them, and, in connection with the notes of September 5, emphasized Japan’s determination to prevent the extension of the European hostilities to the Far East.
15
Sept. 15 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador in which the Ambassador stated that his Government had no idea or purpose to invite the guards of the U. S. Government to leave Shanghai and promised to present the Secretary’s views to his Government for further consideration.
15
Oct. 19 Address Delivered by the Ambassador in Japan Before the America-Japan Society at Tokyo
Report on the Ambassador’s recent visit in the United States and the nature of American public opinion regarding the Far Eastern situation in general and U. S.–Japanese relations in particular.
19
Oct. 23 (544) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Report of press interview granted by the Foreign Office spokesman (text printed), regarding the American Ambassador’s speech and other phases of Japanese-American relations.
29
Oct. 28 (560) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Foreign Minister’s statement to the Cabinet meeting of October 27 (text printed), pointing out that, because of the state of Japanese-American relations, it must be expected that upon the expiration of the commercial treaty on January 25, 1940, those relations may reach the worst state possible.
30
[Page IX]Nov. 4 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister in which the Ambassador expressed the opinion that the first steps toward improvement of Japanese-American relations are (1) cessation of bombings, indignities, and other interferences with American rights and interests in China, and (2) action of a positive nature which would be concrete evidence of Japanese intention to improve relations.
31
Nov. 4 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Information that the Ambassador in Japan has reported by telegraph that in his talk with the Foreign Minister on November 4 he made no threats of economic sanctions.
34
Nov. 13 (349) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Opinion that the central regime in China, proposed to be set up under Wang Ching-wei with Japanese armed support, will only serve to render an adjustment of Japanese-American relations more difficult.
34
Nov. 21 Press Statement by the Japanese Prime Minister
Outlining various aspects of Japan’s future relations with the proposed new regime in China.
35
Nov. 24 Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State
Conversation between the Japanese Ambassador and the Secretary of State, in which the former expressed his desire to improve Japanese-American relations, and the latter stated that the first move as to the practical manner of removing obstacles to friendly relations must come from the Japanese Government.
36
Dec. 4 (656) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Conversation with the Foreign Minister in which the Minister reiterated the assurances of his predecessors that Japanese forces in China have not the slightest intention to drive out American interests, and suggested that Foreign Office and Embassy officials constitute themselves a permanent committee to deal with pending matters.
40
Dec. 6 Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy in Japan
Conversation with the Director of the American Bureau of the Foreign Office regarding procedure for dealing with pending matters, in which were discussed the Japanese classification of the various problems and the negative and positive measures to be taken by Japan.
43
Dec. 8 (392) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Comments on the Foreign Minister’s remarks during conversation with the Ambassador on December 4, for possible assistance in further conversations.
46
Dec. 12 (687) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Pro memoria read by the Foreign Minister during his conversation with the Ambassador on December 18 (text printed), outlining progress of Japanese efforts to solve pending difficulties, and expressing the hope that, in view of imminent expiration of the commercial treaty, negotiations might be entered into to make possible the continuance of normal commercial relations.
48
[Page X]Dec. 18 (688) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Further information as to conversation with the Foreign Minister, in which the Ambassador conveyed the reactions of the Department as transmitted in telegram No. 392 of December 8.
51

1940

Date and number Subject Page
1940 Jan. 8 (13) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Instructions, in the event that Foreign Minister should mention his Government’s decision to sponsor a new regime in China under Wang Ching-wei, to express the opinion that the proposed new regime would seem to be designed primarily to serve the purposes of Japan and would operate to deprive third countries of long-established rights in China.
53
Jan. 31 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador, in which the Ambassador inquired regarding violation of a gasoline contract between Japanese agencies and American citizens, and the Secretary of State expressed his views concerning the proposed new puppet government in China.
53
Feb. 29 (147) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Statement by the Foreign Minister on February 28, in reply to a parliamentary interpellation (substance printed) regarding difficulties with the United States and Japan’s purpose to establish a new order in East Asia.
55
Mar. 15 (179) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Statement by the Prime Minister, March 13 (text printed), expressing gratification over the formation of the Wang Ching-wei government and pledging wholehearted assistance.
56
Mar. 23 (199) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Statement by the Foreign Minister, in reply to a parliamentary interpellation (text printed) to the effect that the fundamental cause of unsatisfactory Japanese-American relations is the American failure to understand Japanese thought and action relating to the China incident, and that every effort is being exerted in this connection.
57
Mar. 24 (200) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Statement by the Prime Minister, March 23, in reply to a parliamentary interpellation (text printed) expressing doubt that the United States would risk applying a general embargo upon Japan. Statement by the Foreign Minister on the same occasion (text printed), referring to relations between the U. S. and Chungking Governments and recommending that every opportunity be taken to make the United States understand the Japanese attitude in East Asia.
58
Mar. 30 Statement by the Secretary of State
Declaration that, with respect to the setting up of a new regime at Nanking, the U. S. attitude toward the Far Eastern situation remains unchanged and the U. S. Government continues to recognize the government at Chungking as the Government of China.
59
[Page XI]Mar. 30 (215) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Statement by the Japanese Government upon the occasion of the establishment of the new Nanking government in China (text printed).
60
Apr. 1 (222) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Remarks by the Foreign Office spokesman (substance printed), commenting unfavorably on the statement made on March 30 by the Secretary of State.
61
Apr. 26 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Informal conversation with the Foreign Minister in which the Ambassador expressed his discouragement concerning the recrudescence of bombings and other interferences with American rights and the absence of visible efforts to implement Japanese assurances already given with regard to equal opportunity and respect for American interests in China.
62
May 16 (154) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Instructions to advise the Japanese Government informally of U. S. gratification concerning the understanding reached between commanders of European treaty forces in China to maintain the peaceful status quo in event the European war should spread.
65
June 4 (413) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Summary of remarks of the Foreign Minister at the Pacific Society meeting on June 3, in which he stated that Japan was concerned not only with continental China but also with the South Seas areas because of close economic relations, and queried whether nations so situated can avoid friction if such things as trade and immigration barriers exist.
66
June 10 (191) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information that in reply to an inquiry at the press conference of June 8 the Under Secretary of State stated that the United States was always hopeful that friendly relations might be created and maintained with Japan.
66
June 10 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister in which relations between Japan and the United States were explored in general; Foreign Minister’s remark that the continued stay of the American Fleet in Hawaiian waters constitutes an implied suspicion of the intentions of Japan vis-à-vis the Netherlands East Indies and the South Seas.
67
June 10 Oral Statement by the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
Emphasizing that Japanese-American relations cannot improve so long as interference with American rights and interests continues, and advising that when Japan gives definite evidence of reorientation of policy and efforts, foregoing the use of force as an instrument of national policy, the United States will be disposed to view such efforts with sympathy.
71
June 10 Oral Statement Off the Record by the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
Remarks concerning the Foreign Minister’s address before the Pacific Society on June 4; the Ambassador’s view that if the Japanese Government would associate itself with the U. S. Government in bringing about a free flow of commodities between nations, substantial progress might be made toward removing the causes for unrest reflected in the Far Eastern and European conflicts.
73
[Page XII]June 10 From the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
Remarks on general relations between Japan and the United States, with the observation that until Japanese assurances of cessation of interference with American rights and interests are implemented, it is not seen how Japanese-American relations can improve.
75
June 11 (437) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Foreign Office note to the Italian Chargé (text printed) giving “friendly advice” to withdraw troops and warships from Japanese-controlled areas of China. Information that similar communications repeating the advice of September 5, 1939, were handed to the British and French Ambassadors, and that copies of the note to the Italian Chargé were sent to the American and German Ambassadors for their information.
77
June 11 (438) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Informal Foreign Office communication (text printed) stating that the position taken in September 1939, regarding withdrawal of Far East forces of European belligerents, must be maintained; oral observations by the Foreign Office (text printed) stating Japanese Government’s displeasure at action of the American Admiral in taking steps to obtain agreement of the European commanders at Shanghai without first consulting the Japanese Admiral as senior officer.
78
June 12 (448) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Confidential oral statement by the Foreign Minister (text printed), declaring that a termination of the China incident is essential to the improvement of Japanese-American relations, suggesting the study of Japanese economic problems, and inquiring as to the possibility of the conclusion of a commerical modus vivendi, cessation of aid to Chiang Kai-shek, and recognition of new conditions in East Asia.
79
June 18 (82) From the Consul at Tsingtao (tel.)
Remarks of the American Admiral to the effect that he was in fact the senior officer but that he acted primarily as a representative of a power entirely unengaged in hostilities.
80
June 19 Oral and Informal Statement by the Counselor of Embassy in Japan
Suggestion that uneasiness among the foreign community in Shanghai due to rumors regarding changes in administration of the International Settlement and the French Concession would be dispelled if the Japanese authorities were to make a public statement along the lines of the assurances given to the American Ambassador at Tokyo on May 13, 1939, to the effect that Japan had no intention of occupying the International Settlement in Shanghai.
(Footnote: Information that this oral statement was handed to the Director of the American Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Office and that the Ambassador took up the same matter with the Foreign Minister on June 20.)
80
June 19 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister in which the Ambassador presented an oral statement and an informal list of certain points meriting consideration (texts printed infra) and discussed them at length.
81
[Page XIII]June 19 Oral Statement by the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
Restatement of the general position of the U. S. Government.
83
Undated From the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
“List of points meriting special consideration,” handed to the Foreign Minister during the conversation of June 19.
85
June 22 (215) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Instructions to call upon the Foreign Minister and explore the question of entering into an exchange of notes regarding maintenance of the status quo in respect to the Pacific territories and possessions of belligerent European countries.
86
June 22 (217) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Instructions to advise the Foreign Office informally that the commanders of the British, Italian, and American forces at Shanghai are acting under a signed agreement in regard to liberty areas, drawn up at the request of the Italian commander, and that liberty parties are operating in Peiping and Tientsin; further instructions to explain the circumstances concerning the action of the American commander regarding the agreement for the maintenance of the peaceful status quo at Shanghai.
87
June 24 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Information that the suggestion for exchange of notes regarding maintenance of status quo of the Pacific possessions and territories of European belligerents was presented to the Foreign Minister.
88
June 28 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister during which the Foreign Minister discussed and presented oral statements (texts printed infra) concerning the American oral statement of June 19 and the U. S. suggestion regarding exchange of notes.
89
June 28 Oral Statement by the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Ambassador in Japan
Belief that, in order to preserve peace, the principles of national sovereignty, justice, law, and order should be respected, but also that all countries should appreciate one another’s position in the light of the world’s changes and actual conditions.
90
June 28 Oral Statement by the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Ambassador in Japan
Doubt that exchange of formal notes regarding Pacific possessions of European belligerents would be advisable at present.
91
June 29 (518) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Radio address by the Foreign Minister entitled “International situation and Japan’s position” (text printed).
92
[Page XIV]July 11 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister in which the Ambassador presented oral statements (texts printed infra), and in which the Foreign Minister commented on the statement regarding U. S. policy of continuing to support the Chinese Government at Chungking.
94
July 11 Oral Statement by the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
Comments on the Foreign Minister’s oral statements of June 12 and 28; exposition of several basic and comprehensive reasons why it lies in Japan’s best interests to follow a course of good relations with the U. S. Government.
95
July 11 Oral Statement by the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
Suggestion that Japanese Government clarify its attitude with respect to various fundamental questions in order to accelerate the conversations.
99
July 16 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Opinion of the Secretary of State that the reported prohibition by the British Government, at the instance of the Japanese Government, of the movement of certain commodities over the Burma Route into China would constitute unwarranted interposition of obstacles to world trade.
101
July 22 (671) From the Consul at Shanghai (tel.)
Official letter from Colonel D. Peck, Commanding Officer, Fourth Marines, to Major General Miura, Commanding Officer of Gendarmes (text printed), asserting that an investigation of the incident of July 7 in which Japanese gendarmes in plain clothes were arrested as a precautionary measure against possible terrorism during an unannounced tour of the American defense sector by the Japanese General Nishio has failed to sustain Japanese charges of undue force and maltreatment.
101
July 26 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Report of the Ambassador’s reception by the new Foreign Minister, Matsuoka, during which the Ambassador presented a copy of the record of his last talk with the Foreign Minister’s predecessor, in order to afford a useful basis for their next conversation.
104
July 26 (620) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Private message from the Foreign Minister to the President of the United States (text printed), expressing his interest in the maintenance of world peace and stating that a new order must come about in the world and world peace must be based on adaptations to growth and changed conditions in world affairs.
105
[Page XV]July 30 (712) From the Consul at Shanghai (tel.)
Information that Major General Miura’s reply of July 25 practically accuses Colonel Peck of bad faith, that letter of July 28 from Lieutenant Commander General Fujita to Rear Admiral Glassford (summary printed) asks for an immediate settlement of the incident, and that Admiral Glassford’s reply of July 29 (text printed) restates the circumstances and points out that an apology for alleged wrongs cannot be expected.
(Footnote: Information that local negotiations failed to bring about any settlement of the incident and the issue was dropped.)
106
July 31 (286) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Informal comments by the President (text printed) on the Foreign Minister’s private message, for communication to the latter.
108
Aug. 1 Statement by the Japanese Government
Summary of fundamental national policies.
108
Aug. 1 Statement by the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
Declaration that immediate aim of Japanese foreign policy is to establish “a great East Asian chain of common prosperity with the Japan-Manchoukuo-China group as one of the links.”
111
Sept. 4 Statement by the Secretary of State
Information to press correspondents that, in view of the notification of withdrawal of British defense forces at Shanghai and dissent of the commanding officer of Japanese forces to an agreement for assumption of Sector B by American forces and Sector D by Japanese forces, negotiations are now in progress with the Japanese Government with regard especially to Sector B.
111
Sept. 28 Extract From Address by the Under Secretary of State on “Our Foreign Policy and National Defense” at Cleveland
Remarks concerning the Far Eastern situation.
112
Oct. 8 Extract From Radio Bulletin No. 289 Issued by the Department of State
Information to press correspondents that, in view of the abnormal situation continuing in the Far East, the Department has suggested that especially women and children, and men not detained by essential considerations, consider coming out of various disturbed areas.
114
Oct. 9 (962) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Report of a conversation held at urgent request of the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs regarding reports of a total U. S. embargo against Japan and orders to American citizens to evacuate the Far East. Ambassador’s opinion that the Foreign Minister is seriously disturbed by developments in the United States resulting from the Japanese Government’s recent actions and statements.
114
Oct. 17 Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State
Conversation with the departing Japanese Ambassador in which both men expressed regret for the difficult relations prevailing between the United States and Japan and the hope that conditions would improve.
115
[Page XVI]Nov. 30 Treaty and Agreements Between Japan and the Wang Ching-wei Regime in Japanese-occupied China
(1) Treaty concerning the basic relations between Japan and China; (2) annexed protocol; (3) agreed terms of understanding between the plenipotentiaries of Japan and China concerning the annexed protocol.
117
Nov. 30 Joint Declaration by the Governments of Japan, “Manchukuo”, and the Wang Ching-wei Regime in Japanese-occupied China
Pledging cooperation in the establishment of a new order in East Asia.
122
Dec. 1 (595) From the Ambassador in China (tel.)
Statement by the Chinese Foreign Minister at Chungking, November 30 (text printed), declaring that the so-called treaty signed at Nanking between Japan and the puppet organization of Wang Ching-wei is illegal and without binding force.
122
Dec. 19 Address Delivered by the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs at the America-Japan Society Luncheon at Tokyo
Remarks regarding Japanese-American relations.
123
Dec. 19 Address Delivered by the Japanese Ambassador to the United States at the America-Japan Society Luncheon at Tokyo
Desire to improve Japanese-American relations in his capacity as newly appointed Ambassador to the United States.
128
Dec. 19 Remarks by the Ambassador in Japan at the America-Japan Society Luncheon at Tokyo
Comments on the Foreign Minister’s address.
129

1941

Date and number Subject Page
1941 Jan. 15 Statement by the Secretary of State Before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives
Remarks dealing with conditions in the Far East and the Sino-Japanese conflict.
131
Jan. 27 (125) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Report of rumors of Japanese plans for a surprise mass attack on Pearl Harbor in event of trouble with the United States.
133
Jan. 27 (126) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Summary of press report of the Foreign Minister’s reply to a parliamentary interpellation on January 26, in which he commented on the statement by the U. S. Secretary of State on January 15 regarding the Sino-Japanese conflict and declared that if America does not understand Japan’s rightful claims and actions, there is not the slightest hope for improvement of Japanese-American relations.
133
Feb. 4 (80) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Instructions to compare available press reports of the Foreign Minister’s remarks to determine whether he indicated that the attackers at Marco Polo Bridge were the Japanese.
135
[Page XVII]Feb. 5 (167) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Summary of press reports of the Foreign Minister’s reply to a parliamentary interpellation on February 4, in which he stated that Japan must clarify its true intentions and national power, that American illusions regarding Japan must be dissipated, and that every effort to avoid a Japanese-American clash must be exerted.
135
Feb. 10 (196) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information that through an unfortunate error in translation the Liutiaokow and Lukouchiao incidents were confused and that the Foreign Minister’s reference was not to the Marco Polo Bridge incident but actually to the incident at Liutiaokow on September 18, 1931, using phraseology which does not necessarily assert that the Japanese made the original attack.
136
Feb. 15 (235) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Cabinet Information Bureau statement (text printed) appealing to Japanese living in the Americas to remain calm in the face of propaganda intended to worsen Japanese-American relations.
136
Feb. 26 (5397) From the Ambassador in Japan
Memorandum of conversation between the Counselor of the Embassy and the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs on February 14 (text printed) in which were discussed the war in Europe, the effect on Japanese-American relations of any occupation of strategically important British and Dutch areas in the Southwest Pacific, responsibility for the Sino-Japanese conflict, Japanese participation in the Tripartite Pact, and commercial negotiations being carried on by Japan with Indochina and the Netherlands Indies.
137
Feb. 27 (334) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information that on February 26 the Ambassador told the Foreign Minister of his entire concurrence in the remarks made by the Counselor on February 14 and was much surprised when the Foreign Minister stated his entire agreement with the Counselor’s remarks.
143
Mar. 24 (581) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conversation with the Japanese Foreign Minister, on special mission to the Soviet Union, who stated that under no circumstances would Japan attack Singapore or any of the American, British, or Dutch possessions, that Japan had no territorial ambitions, and that any time the President of the United States wanted to bring the Sino-Japanese conflict to an end on terms satisfactory to all concerned he was in a position to do so by bringing his influence to bear upon Chiang Kai-shek.
143
May 14 (673) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Conversation with the Foreign Minister subsequent to his return from Berlin, in which he criticized the United States for “engaging in acts of war under cover of neutrality,” and stated in connection with Japan’s policy concerning the southward advance in Asia, that it would be carried out by peaceful measures unless circumstances rendered this impossible.
145
[Page XVIII]Dec. 1 (1869) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Public message by Premier Tojo, November 30, on the first anniversary of the Japan-China-Manchukuo declaration (extract printed) stating that certain countries are trying to obstruct the East Asia co-prosperity sphere, that Chiang Kai-shek is being aided in his futile resistance against Japan by Great Britain and the United States because they wish to pit East Asiatic peoples against each other and grasp the hegemony of East Asia, and that this practice must be purged from East Asia.
148
Dec. 1 (1870) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Address by the Foreign Minister, November 30 (extract printed), in which he stated that Japan, Manchukuo, and China must proceed to the establishment of a new order in East Asia which has the co-existence and co-prosperity of East Asiatic peoples as its basic principle, and declared that the United States is inclined not to recognize the real situation in East Asia and shows a disposition to apply coercively to East Asia fanciful principles not adapted to the actual world situation.
149

Relations of Japan With the European Axis Powers

Date and number Subject Page
1936 Nov. 26 (2159) From the Chargé in Japan
(1) Anti-Comintern agreement and supplementary protocol between Japan and Germany, signed at Berlin on November 25, (2) statement by the Japanese Foreign Office on the same date concerning reasons for Japan’s entrance into the pact, and (3) memorandum by the American Chargé of a conversation with the Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs on November 23 in which the latter declared that the agreement under negotiation was not an alliance and contained no secret military or economic arrangements (texts printed).
153
1937 Nov. 6 Protocol Concluded by Italy, Germany, and Japan
Containing the adherence of Italy to the anti-Comintern pact and supplementary protocol of November 25, 1936.
159
Nov. 13 (2660) From the Ambassador in Japan
Observation that the present triangle combination of states is bent upon upsetting the status quo as opposed to those states who wish to preserve it, and that anti-communism is merely the banner under which they are rallying.
160
1939 Feb. 8 (73) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information that Japan is negotiating with Germany and Italy for a definite military and political alliance, and that the Ambassador has acted through informal channels to convey to the Foreign Minister the idea that Japan will do well to consider, before taking an irrevocable step, the possible effects upon relations with the United States.
161
Feb. 10 (33) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Instructions to use his own discretion regarding the form and substance of any further approach; opinion that whatever approach the Ambassador makes should be on his own responsibility.
162
[Page XIX]Feb. 14 (89) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information that the Ambassador has conveyed his personal views to the Foreign Minister and is convinced that the Japanese will consider all, factors before reaching a decision.
163
Mar. 7 (120) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Statement by the Foreign Minister at a meeting of the budget committee of the Lower House on March 6 (text printed), concerning the erroneous character of the impression existing in Great Britain, United States and various other countries that the present relation between Japan, Germany, and Italy is an association of totalitarian states opposed to the democracies.
163
1940 Sept. 27 (909) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Receipt from the Foreign Office of four documents concerning the three-power pact between Japan, Germany, and Italy, signed at Berlin September 27: (1) summary of the pact, (2) radio address by the Foreign Minister, (3) Imperial rescript by the Emperor, and (4) message of the Prime Minister.
164
Undated [Rec’d Sept. 27] Summary of the Three-Power Pact Between Japan, Germany, and Italy, Signed at Berlin, September 27, 1940
Agreement to cooperate in the establishment and maintenance of a new order in their respective regions and to render mutual assistance, political, economic, and military, if any one of the contracting parties should be attacked by an outside power not at present involved in the European war or in the China affair.
165
Sept. 27 (910) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Radio address by the Foreign Minister (text printed), concerning Japan’s participation in the three-power pact.
166
Sept. 27 (911) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Imperial rescript (text printed), calling upon Japanese subjects to unite in heart and strength to surmount the present emergency and thereby assist the promotion of the Imperial fortune.
168
Sept. 28 (912) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Message of the Prime Minister of September 27 (text printed), expressing confidence that the Japanese people, in obedience to the Imperial will, will overcome any and every obstacle in order to surmount the present emergency.
168
Sept. 27 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Statement by the Secretary of State that announcement of the alliance merely makes clear to all a relationship that has long existed in effect and to which the U. S. Government has repeatedly called attention.
169
Sept. 29 (916) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information that, in an off-the-record talk with the Foreign Minister, the Ambassador expressed the opinion that Japan by tying herself to the Reich would become merely a satellite of Germany, however the European war turned out. Observation that the pact is primarily aimed at the United States and that it is the German-Italian hope that it will increase American fears of developments in the Pacific.
169
[Page XX]Oct. 2 (929) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Report that the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs told certain diplomatic representatives that the pact is specifically-directed against the United States.
171
Oct. 5 (948) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Japanese statement to the United States (text printed), declaring that the three-power alliance is not aimed at any particular country and that it further clarifies Japan’s intention to establish a new order in Greater East Asia, including the South Seas; stating, also, that if the United States understands the conditions and circumstances and Japan’s intentions with regard to the establishment of a new order in East Asia, there will be no change whatever in the relationship between Japan and the United States following conclusion of the treaty.
171
Oct. 26 (4466) From the Chargé in Germany (tel.)
Information that the first indication of implementation of the pact has been the dispatch of a German commission to assist in the construction of air and naval fuel bases on Japanese islands.
173
Dec. 29 Radio Address by President Roosevelt
Concerning national security.
173
1941 Mar. 29 (200) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Transmittal of information received from the Embassy in Germany concerning the forthcoming visit of the Japanese Foreign Minister to Berlin.
182
Mar. 29 (201) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information that during the Japanese Foreign Minister’s visit in Moscow he declared to diplomatic representatives of Germany, Italy, and powers associated with the Axis, that Japan was with the Axis 100 percent, that after Britain’s collapse the United States would not continue the struggle but would withdraw and devote its attention to its own affairs and interests, and that peace would be assured in the Balkans once Greece had made peace.
183
Apr. 11 (738) From the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (tel.)
Conversation with the Japanese Foreign Minister in which the Foreign Minister categorically approved the Ambassador’s report of their conversation on April 8 in which the Foreign Minister stated that he had made no commitments to Berlin or Rome, that Japan’s reason for entering the Tripartite Pact was preservation of the peace, that her obligations under the pact would be adhered to, and that he desired the trust of President Roosevelt and the Secretary of State.
184
Apr. 14 (551) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Statement by the Prime Minister issued by the Board of Information on April 13 (text printed), announcing the signature of the neutrality pact between Japan and the Soviet Union and the joint declaration providing that each would respect the territorial integrity and inviolability of the People’s Republic of Mongolia and of Manchukuo.
186
Apr. 14 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Statement by the Secretary of State that the significance of the Soviet-Japanese neutrality pact could be overestimated and that it would seem to be descriptive of a situation which has in effect existed for some time past.
186
[Page XXI]

Abrogation by the United States of the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation Between the United States and Japan Signed February 21, 1911

Date and number Subject Page
1939 July 26 To the Japanese Ambassador
Notification of U. S. desire to abrogate, 6 months from date, the treaty of commerce and navigation signed with Japan on February 21, 1911, in order to give new consideration to certain provisions and to better safeguard U. S. interests as new developments require.
189
July 28 (366) From the Chargé in Japan (tel.)
Foreign Office statement of July 27 (text printed), declaring that the reasons given by the United States fail to explain why the notice of abrogation should have been given in such a hasty and abrupt manner and suggesting that this action is highly susceptible of being interpreted as having political significance.
189
Dec. 18 (402) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Statement (text printed) defining U. S. position concerning the question of the negotiation of a new commercial agreement or treaty, for use if approached by the Japanese Government concerning U. S. attitude toward such negotiation.
190
Dec. 19 (404) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Observation that although the statement of U. S. position deals only with the commercial aspect of Japanese-American relations, that fact does not signify any modification in U. S. position with regard to other aspects of Japanese-American relations.
193
Dec. 20 (405) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information that the Department is not in a position to commit itself to entering upon negotiations, although it is felt advisable not to return a categorical negative in response to the initiative taken by the Japanese Foreign Minister.
193
Dec. 21 (410) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Instructions to present to the Foreign Minister two oral statements (substance printed): (1) Containing statement transmitted in telegram No. 402, December 18; and (2) advising that upon expiration of the treaty the U. S. Government will refrain from collecting the 10 percent discriminatory duties on goods entering the United States in Japanese ships and also the discriminatory tonnage duties.
194
Dec. 22 Press Release 19–75 Issued by the Treasury Department
Circular instructions, December 21, issued to collectors of customs (text printed), advising them that the 10 percent ad valorem discriminating duties are not to be collected unless and until further instructions are issued.
195
1940 Jan. 23 (32) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information that the Japanese Ambassador has been advised that the expiration of the treaty would not of itself bring about changes in import duties and tonnage rates, that the possibility of an exchange of notes defining treaty status of the two countries would have to be held open, and that Japanese treaty merchants doing business in the United States may be permitted to qualify as temporary visitors.
196
[Page XXII]Jan. 25 (48) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Foreign Office statement to the press (text printed) advising that, although negotiations to prevent the treatyless situation are still in progress, no agreement has been reached thus far, that the U. S. and Japanese Governments have taken steps so that in practice commercial relations will be subject to no change, and that it is hoped that Japanese-American relations will be restored to a normal state with a treaty basis.
197
Jan. 25 (34). To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Note to the Japanese Ambassador, January 24, containing a statement (text printed) that the Japanese merchants in the United States under treaty provisions need not, upon termination of the treaty, take any action towards changing their status and that administrative authorities will, for the time being, take no action in the matter provided there are no violations of the terms of admission under section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act of 1924, as amended.
198

Economic Measures by the United States Affecting Trade With Japan

Date and number Subject Page
1937 Sept. 14 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Announcement by the President (text printed) that Government-owned merchant vessels will not be permitted to transport arms, ammunition, or implements of war to China or Japan and that any other American merchant vessels attempting to transport such articles to China and Japan will do so at their own risk.
201
1938 July 1 From the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control, Department of State, to 148 Persons and Companies Manufacturing Airplane Parts
Information that the Department would with great regret issue any licenses authorizing exportation, direct or indirect, of any aircraft, aircraft equipment, or aerial bombs to countries which are making use of airplanes for attack upon civilian populations.
201
1939 Dec. 2 Press Release Issued by the White House
Statement by the President (text printed), expressing the hope that manufacturers and exporters of airplanes, airplane equipment, and materials essential to airplane manufacture will bear in mind the U. S. Government’s condemnation of unprovoked bombing and machine-gunning of civilian populations from the air, before negotiating contracts for exportation of such articles to nations obviously guilty of such unprovoked bombing.
202
Dec. 15 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Letter to American manufacturers and exporters of aircraft, aircraft equipment, and aerial bombs (text printed), expressing the Department’s hope that it will not receive any applications for licenses for exportation, direct or indirect, of any such articles to countries engaged in bombing or machine-gunning of civilian populations from the air; similar letter to producers of molybdenum and aluminum (text printed).
202
[Page XXIII]Dec. 20 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Information that it has been decided that there should be no further delivery to certain countries of plans, plants, manufacturing rights, or technical information required for the production of high-quality aviation gasoline, and that this decision has been communicated to the interested American oil companies.
203
1940 Jan. 6 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador concerning the moral embargo against Japan.
204
Jan. 6 (2) From the Japanese Ambassador
Protest against steps taken by the U. S. Government which have made it virtually impossible for Japanese firms to import American airplanes and airplane parts and have prevented consummation of negotiations for manufacturing rights to high-quality gasoline processes; declaration that no bombing or machine-gunning has been resorted to against civilian populations as such; belief that U. S. measures are in contravention of the commercial treaty of 1911 and that their continuance may affect efforts to improve Japanese-American relations.
205
Jan. 27 To the Japanese Ambassador
Observation that trustworthy reports have been received which indicate that Japanese forces in China have resorted to bombing and machine-gunning of civilians from the air at places near which there were no military objectives and that aerial bombs have damaged clearly marked American properties, hence the U. S. policy had to be extended to withhold technical processes for high-quality aviation gasoline. Inability to agree that the U. S. Government has infringed either the letter or spirit of the commercial treaty.
208
July 2 Proclamation No. 2413
Vesting execution of section 6 of the Export Control Act of July 2, 1940, in an Administrator of Export Control, listing certain articles and materials which shall not be exported except by license on and after July 5, 1940, and making provision for the issuance of licenses.
211
July 2 Regulations Governing the Exportation of Articles and Materials Designated in the Presidents Proclamation of July 2, 1940
Definition of terms used in proclamation; forms for use in applying for and issuing licenses; and specific rules concerning licenses.
213
July 2 Press Release Issued by the White House
Information concerning the signature by the President of the Export Control Act and the proclamation of July 2; military order signed by the President (text printed) designating Lt. Col. Russell L. Maxwell, U. S. A., as Administrator of Export Control.
216
July 26 Proclamation No. 2417
Putting the exportation of petroleum products, tetraethyl lead, and iron and steel scrap under the licensing system.
216
[Page XXIV]July 26 Regulations Governing the Exportation of Articles and Materials Designated in the President’s Proclamation of July 2, 1940
Additional regulations governing the exportation of petroleum products, tetraethyl lead, and iron and steel scrap.
217
July 31 Press Release Issued by the White House
Announcement by the Administrator of Export Control, with the President’s approval, that export of aviation gasoline is being limited to nations of the Western Hemisphere.
218
Aug. 3 From the Japanese Embassy
View that the limitation on export destinations of aviation gasoline singles out Japan for discriminatory treatment; registration of a protest against U. S. policy, while reserving all rights of further action.
218
Aug. 9 To the Japanese Embassy
Statement that the action regarding aviation gasoline is necessary in the interest of national defense and that the U. S. Government, accordingly, considers a protest by any foreign government to be unwarranted.
219
Sept. 12 Proclamation No. 2423
Putting the exportation of equipment and plans for the production of aviation motor fuel, of tetraethyl lead, and of aircraft or aircraft engines, under the licensing system.
220
Sept. 13 Press Release Issued by the White House
Information that the proclamation of September 12, taken with previous proclamations, has the effect of putting under the President’s control for export purposes not only aircraft and engines but also the plans and designs for building them.
221
Sept. 25 Press Release No. 48 Issued by the Federal Loan Agency
Announcement that the Metals Reserve Company has agreed to buy $30,000,000 of tungsten from China and that a $25,000,000 loan to China by the Export-Import Bank will be liquidated through the sale of the tungsten; information concerning previous R. F. C. and Export-Import Bank loans to China.
222
Sept. 26 Press Release Issued by the White House
Information that on October 15, all outstanding balances of licenses for exportation of No. 1 heavy melting steel scrap will be revoked, and that on October 16 the exportation of all grades of iron and steel scrap will be placed under the licensing system; also that under the new regulations licenses will be issued to permit shipments to countries of the Western Hemisphere and Great Britain only.
222
Sept. 30 Regulations Governing the Exportation of Articles and Materials Designated in the President’s Proclamation of July 26, 1940
Additional regulations, to become effective October 16, defining iron and steel scrap as designated in the proclamation of July 26 to include such scrap of every kind and description.
223
Oct. 7 (235) From the Japanese Embassy
Objection to the regulations of September 30 and the announcement of September 26 on the ground that they can hardly be solely in the interest of national defense of the United States and cannot fail to be regarded as directed against Japan, and, as such, to be an unfriendly act.
223
[Page XXV]Undated [Rec’d Oct. 8] From the Japanese Embassy
Observation that, in the event of continuation of the present attitude toward Japan in matters of trade restriction, or further measures of curtailment, future relations between Japan and the United States will be unpredictable.
224
Oct. 8 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador in which the Secretary of State declared that it was unheard of for one country engaged in aggression and seizure of another country to turn to a third peacefully disposed nation and seriously insist that it would be guilty of an unfriendly act if it should not cheerfully provide some of the necessary implements of war to aid the aggressor nation in carrying out its policy of invasion.
225
Oct. 15 Press Release Issued by the White House
Information concerning the act of Congress approved October 10 and the Executive order and regulations issued October 15 with regard to requisitioning by the Government of arms, ammunition, implements of war, machine tools, and other articles needed for national defense.
228
Oct. 23 To the Japanese Embassy
Statement that the restrictions on exportation of iron and steel scrap have been found necessary in the interest of national defense and that the U. S. Government perceives no warrantable basis for a raising of question by any other government.
229
Nov. 19 Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Chargé in which the Chargé stated that the Embassy understood that certain machine tools would be permitted export licenses unless they were needed in the domestic market, but that licenses had been denied, and the Assistant Secretary replied that he would have the matter looked into.
229
Nov. 30 Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Chargé in which the Chargé pointed out that although export licenses were not required for certain machine tools, notably cutters and grinders, nevertheless collectors of customs were not permitted to allow the tools to go forward.
230
Dec. 9 To the Japanese Chargé
Information that applications for licenses to export machine tools are considered in the light of needs of the defense program and the policy expressed by the President on December 2, 1939; that instructions to collectors of customs regarding non-requirement of export licenses for tools had been “until further notice;” and that certain specific cases referred to by the Chargé on November 19 are being studied by the interested agencies of the Government.
231
Dec. 10 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Announcement by the White House that as of December 30 export licenses will be required for iron ore, pig iron, ferro alloys, and certain iron and steel manufactures and semi-manufactures; that licenses will be granted for exports to the British Empire and the Western Hemisphere, and, for the present, so far as interests of national defense permit, to other destinations in quantities approximating usual or pre-war exports.
232
[Page XXVI]Dec. 10 Proclamation No. 2449
Putting the exportation of iron and steel under the licensing system, effective December 30.
232
Dec. 10 Executive Order No. 8607
Regulations governing the exportation of articles and materials designated in proclamation No. 2449.
233
Dec. 17 To the Japanese Chargé
Explanation that the Department’s communication of November 25 to collectors of customs and manufacturers advised that licenses would be required in certain individual cases for export of certain specific tools of the types previously exempted, and that this action accounts for the course pursued in the cases brought up by the Embassy.
235
Dec. 20 Proclamation No. 2451
Putting the exportation of certain articles and materials including bromine, strontium metals and ores, abrasives, specific kinds of machinery, and equipment and plans for the production of aviation lubricating oil, under the licensing system.
236
Dec. 21 (316) From the Japanese Embassy
Protest against the restrictions of December 10 governing the exportation of iron and steel as being discriminatory against Japan.
237
1941 Jan. 7 To the Japanese Embassy
Information that the statements concerning the interests of national defense contained in the Department’s notes of August 9 and October 23, 1940, apply fully to the considerations raised in the Embassy’s note of December 21, 1940.
237
Jan. 10 Proclamation No. 2453
Putting the exportation of copper, brass and bronze, zinc, nickel, and potash under the licensing system.
238
Jan. 10 Executive Order No. 8631
Regulations governing the exportation of articles and materials designated in proclamation No. 2453.
239
Undated Article Concerning Control of Exports in National Defense
Telegram from the Secretary of State to collectors of customs, January 29, 1941 (text printed), announcing that licenses will be required for export of aluminum foil. Information that applications for certain articles and materials, for destinations other than the British Empire, must be accompanied by affidavits giving statistics regarding exports to the country concerned since January 1, 1937, in addition to a copy of order from the foreign purchaser.
241
Feb. 4 Proclamation No. 2456
Putting the exportation of well and refining machinery, radium, uranium, and calf and kip skins under the licensing system.
241
Feb. 4 Executive Order No. 8668
Regulations governing the exportation of articles and materials designated in proclamation No. 2456.
242
Feb. 4 Executive Order No. 8669
Regulations governing the exportation of iron and steel.
243
[Page XXVII]Feb. 25 Proclamation No. 2460
Putting the exportation of belladonna, atropine, sole leather, and belting leather under the licensing system.
248
Feb. 25 Executive Order No. 8693
Regulations governing the exportation of articles and materials designated in proclamation No. 2460.
249
Feb. 25 Proclamation No. 2461
Putting the exportation of beryllium, graphite electrodes, and aircraft pilot trainers under the licensing system.
250
Feb. 25 Executive Order No. 8694
Regulations governing the exportation of articles and materials designated in proclamation No. 2461.
251
Mar. 4 Proclamation No. 2463
Putting the exportation of certain articles and materials including cadmium, carbon black, coconut and other oils, glycerin, shellac, and titanium, under the licensing system.
252
Mar. 4 Proclamation No. 2464
Putting the exportation of jute, lead, borax, and phosphates under the licensing system.
253
Mar. 4 Proclamation No. 2465
Putting the exportation of any model, design, photographic negative, document, or other article containing a plan, or technical information of any kind which can be used in connection with any process or operation of any articles or materials whose exportation is now restricted in accordance with the act of July 2, 1940, under the licensing system.
254
Mar. 4 Executive Order No. 8702
Regulations governing the exportation of articles and materials designated in proclamation No. 2463.
255
Mar. 4 Executive Order No. 8703
Regulations governing the exportation of articles and materials designated in proclamation No. 2464.
257
Mar. 27 Proclamation No. 2468
Putting the exportation of 51 additional items, including certain oils, chemicals, and drugs, under the licensing system.
258
Apr. 14 Proclamation No. 2475
Putting the exportation of all machinery under the licensing system.
260
Apr. 14 Proclamation No. 2476
Putting the exportation of vegetable fibers and manufactures, theobromine, caffein, sodium cyanide, calcium cyanide, and casein under the licensing system.
261
May 28 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Announcement that the President has signed a joint resolution of Congress authorizing the extension to the Philippines of export control of strategic and critical articles and materials.
261
May 28 Proclamation No. 2488
Establishing export control in the Philippine Islands, the Canal Zone, and the District of Columbia.
262
[Page XXVIII]July 18 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador regarding the holding-up at Cristobal of three Japanese ships wishing to transit the Panama Canal, in which the Acting Secretary stated that he would investigate but that he understood repairs were being made and merchant shipping through the Canal would be prohibited or severely restricted for an indefinite period.
263
July 25 Excerpt From Radio Bulletin No. 176, Issued by the White House
President’s remarks to the Volunteer Participation Committee, July 24, 1941, stating that U. S. policy of permitting oil shipments to Japan had succeeded in keeping war out of the South Pacific.
264
July 25 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs
Conversation with the Japanese Minister who requested assurances that the U. S. Government would not detain or seize the Japanese vessels which were reported to be standing out at sea and not coming into port, and the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs stated he was not in a position to give assurances.
265
July 25 Press Release Issued at Poughkeepsie, New York, by the White House
Announcement of the issuance of Executive Order No. 8832, freezing Japanese and Chinese assets in the United States.
266
July 26 Executive Order No. 8832
Amending Executive Order No. 8389 of April 10, 1940, to include China and Japan.
267
July 29 (440) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information that on July 28 the Japanese Ambassador inquired concerning the effect of the freezing order on Japanese vessels in American waters, and was advised that for the time being the Treasury would grant prompt clearances and would grant licenses for the necessary food supplies and fuel.
267
July 29 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs
Conversation with the Counselor of the Japanese Embassy who inquired whether the Tatuta Maru might be permitted to clear without discharge of cargo, or, if this should not be possible, what would happen to the cargo and whether it would be “frozen.”
268
July 30 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador concerning cargoes of Japanese ships waiting to enter American ports, in which the Ambassador was informed that specific and individual licenses for cargoes would have to be applied for to the Treasury Department, which would decide each case in accordance with the policy of the Government and upon the merits of the individual application.
268
July 30 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs
Record of two telephone conversations with the Counselor of the Japanese Embassy in which the Counselor was informed that the Treasury Department would permit Japanese ships entering American ports before August 2 to leave without discharging cargo and that if a ship did not wish to discharge cargo the manifest should be corrected at sea to show that no cargo was destined for discharge at an American port.
269
[Page XXIX]July 31 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador in which the Acting Secretary stated that libel actions against the Japanese steamer at San Francisco were brought by private individuals, that the Department’s statements regarding willingness to grant prompt clearance were in no way modified, and that the appropriate officials would be glad to be helpful to the Japanese Embassy or Consulate General in San Francisco.
270
Aug. 1 Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State
Conversation with the Counselor of the Japanese Embassy in which the Assistant Secretary assured him that the matter of ballast for the Tatuta Maru would be taken care of within the limits of export restrictions, and informed him that, while the Government had no intention of interfering with Japanese ships, no assurance could be given regarding cargoes on account of action of private parties in filing libel suits.
271
Oct. 28 (694) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information that on October 15 the Japanese Embassy requested immunity from the jurisdiction of U. S. courts for three vessels, including the Tatuta Maru, on the ground of their official status as a consequence of having been requisitioned by the Ministry of Communications; that the Attorney General has been informed that the statements in the Japanese note were accepted by the Department as true and the Japanese Government’s claim of immunity was allowed; and also that the Attorney General has been requested to bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate courts.
272
Dec. 5 To the Japanese Ambassador
Notification that the Ambassador’s statements have been accepted as true and the claim of immunity has been recognized and allowed, and that steps have been taken to bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate courts.
273

Extension of Japanese Penetration Into Southern Asia and South Pacific Territories

Date and number Subject Page
1939 Mar. 31 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs
Conversation with the Counselor of the Japanese Embassy in which the Counselor informally presented a memorandum (text printed infra) and accompanying map announcing his Government’s incorporation as of March 30, 1939, of the Sinnan Islands in the territory under the jurisdiction of the Government General of Formosa; and advised that the Foreign Office announcement of annexation March 31, 1939, of the Spratly Islands referred to a second group.
277
Undated [Rec’d Mar. 31] From the Japanese Embassy
Announcement of the incorporation of the Sinnan Islands into the territory under the jurisdiction of the Government General of Formosa as of March 30, 1939.
278
May 17 To the Japanese Ambassador
Statement that the United States does not consider that all the islands within the area delimited in the Japanese memorandum can properly be treated as one group nor that the Japanese action has any international validity.
280
[Page XXX]1940 Apr. 15 Press Release Issued by the Japanese Embassy
Statement by the Foreign Minister that because of the economic interdependence of East Asia, his Government cannot but be deeply concerned over any European war development that may affect the status quo of the Netherlands East Indies.
281
Apr. 17 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Statement by the Secretary of State that any change in the status quo of the Netherlands East Indies would directly affect the interests of many countries; information that doctrine of maintenance of status quo was embodied in notes exchanged between the United States and Japan in 1908 and reaffirmed in 1921 by the British Empire, France, Japan, and the United States.
281
Apr. 20 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador regarding the Japanese quota under the Philippine immigration laws; Ambassador’s opinion that U. S. press misinterpreted Foreign Minister’s views on the status quo of the Netherlands East Indies; Secretary of State’s observations as to the differences between U. S. interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine and apparent application of Japan’s so-called Monroe Doctrine.
283
May 11 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Statement by the Secretary of State that during recent weeks a number of governments, including Great Britain, Japan, and the United States, have made clear in official public utterances their attitude of continued respect for the status quo of the Netherlands East Indies.
285
May 16 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador during which the Ambassador inquired at great length concerning policy with respect to the Netherlands West Indies; and the Secretary of State expressed concern over continued Japanese press discussion of “special interests” in the Netherlands East Indies.
Opinion that the Ambassador’s visit was to develop a pretext to support Japanese plans and purposes in the Netherlands East Indies.
285
June 29 (516) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Press release issued by the Foreign Office June 28, 1940 (text printed) announcing an agreement regarding exportation of commodities from the Netherlands East Indies and negotiations to assure exports of the desired quantities.
289
Aug. 6 (293) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Instructions to express to the Foreign Minister the U. S. Government’s concern regarding reported Japanese secret demands on France with respect to French Indochina.
289
Aug. 7 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Representations to the Foreign Minister regarding reported secret demands with respect to Indochina; the Foreign Minister’s statement that the Japanese demands had already been accepted in principle by the French Government.
290
[Page XXXI]Sept. 3 (334) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Instructions to discuss with the Foreign Minister a reported Japanese ultimatum to French authorities in Indochina in connection with military operations against China.
(Repeat to Shanghai, to be repeated to Peiping and Chungking.)
291
Sept. 4 (789) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Denial by Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of knowledge of ultimatum; admission, however, that Japanese armed forces do intend to seek passage through French Indochina.
292
Sept. 14 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Oral statement by the Foreign Office (translation printed) regarding reported Japanese demands on French Indochina, advising that satisfactory local negotiations are continuing progressively.
293
Sept. 19 (357) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Report that the Japanese commanding general has presented demands to the Governor General of Indochina for the occupation of Hanoi, Haiphong, and five airports by armed forces of Japan and has threatened invasion on September 22 unless demands are accepted.
Instructions to make representations to the Foreign Minister, expressing the U. S. Government’s great surprise and requesting assurances that the reports are unwarranted and represent the intentions neither of the Japanese military authorities at Hanoi nor of the Japanese Government.
(Instructions to inform British and French colleagues and to repeat to Hanoi.)
294
Sept. 20 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister regarding the ultimatum presented to the Governor General of Indochina and U. S. Government’s attitude thereon; reply to oral statement of the Vice Minister of September 14, 1940 (text printed), pointing out inconsistency between Japanese Government’s announced desire to maintain the status quo and stipulations made in Indochina.
295
Sept. 23 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Opinion of the Secretary of State (excerpt printed) that the status quo in Indochina is being upset under duress; U. S. disapproval of French concessions to Japan.
297
Nov. 14 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Details of an agreement for the export of petroleum products, initialed in Batavia on November 12, 1940, by Japanese oil importers and representatives of local oil companies.
297
Nov. 20 (5157) From the Ambassador in Japan
Oral statement left at the Foreign Office November 15, 1940 (text printed) stating that certain American-owned merchandise was being refused re-export permits from Indochina by Indochinese authorities as a result of Japanese pressure, and requesting that appropriate steps be taken to end this unwarranted interference.
298
Dec. 17 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Further representations in the matter of shipment of American-owned goods from Indochina, and presentation of a signed note (text printed infra).
299
[Page XXXII]Dec. 17 (1714) From the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
Observation that there has been no alleviation of the situation with respect to shipment of American-owned goods from Indochina; protest at such continued and unwarranted interference.
299
Dec. 30 From the First Secretary of the American Embassy in Japan to the Acting Director of the American Bureau of the Japanese Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Oral statement by the Ambassador to the Foreign Minister (text printed), expressing the opinion that it would not be consistent with humanitarian considerations to interfere with the movement of Red Cross supplies at present in Indochina.
300
Dec. 31 (5256) From the Ambassador in Japan
Transmittal of copy of treaty between Japan and Thailand signed June 12, 1940, and ratified by the Emperor on December 27, 1940.
301
1941 Jan. 7 From the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Ambassador in Japan
Statement that Japanese authorities interfere in no way whatsoever with granting of permits by Indochinese Government for export of articles the ownership of which is determined to be American; but that American firms who intend to export merchandise will be required to produce evidence of ownership.
301
Jan. 24 (1732) From the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
Advice that the U. S. Government is not aware of any right of Japanese forces in French Indochina to engage in confiscation or to require or request that American firms produce evidence of ownership of merchandise for export.
302
Feb. 8 From the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Ambassador in Japan
Advice that Japanese authorities seize or confiscate only merchandise whose ownership rests clearly with the Chiang Government and that if evidence of ownership is not produced, the matter is determined by Japanese authorities after independent examination.
303
Feb. 10 (5363) From the Ambassador in Japan
Report on recent pronouncements of Japanese officials setting forth Japan’s present policy regarding the Netherlands East Indies, and its divergence from Netherlands policy.
Statement by the Foreign Minister on January 29, 1941 (text printed) in reply to a parliamentary interpellation.
303
Feb. 13 (1744) From the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
Further representations regarding the actions of Japanese officials in Indochina and request for cessation of their interference with the granting of re-export permits.
308
Feb. 27 (317) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Conversation with the Foreign Minister regarding reported British defensive measures in Singapore and Malaya and the facts and actions relating to Japan’s southward advance.
308
[Page XXXIII]Mar. 2 (346) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Foreign Minister’s draft of his remarks in the Diet regarding Asiatic expansion in Oceania.
309
Apr. 8 (220) To the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information that during the Foreign Minister’s visit at Berlin, the German Government assented to his request for war-planes on condition that Germany receive raw materials from the Dutch East Indies as compensation.
311
Apr. 15 (562) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Denial by Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and by deputy spokesman for the Cabinet Information Board of any Japanese intention to send a naval or military force against or to Singapore.
311
June 3 (1812) From the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
Protest against actions of Japanese military authorities at Haiphong in removing American-owned cargo in Indochina for shipment elsewhere; request that cargo be released without delay to the companies holding title to it.
312
June 24 (1829) From the American Embassy in Japan to the Japanese Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Request reiterated that Japanese authorities return seized American cargoes named on lists supplied to the Japanese Military Mission at Haiphong.
313
June 24 From the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Ambassador in Japan
Reasons why seized merchandise accumulated at Haiphong is being transported elsewhere; assurance that goods will be saved concerning which evidence is produced that they belong to third powers or third power nationals.
313
July 8 Oral Statement by the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
Representations regarding Japanese seizure of American cargo at Hanoi as well as at Haiphong.
315
July 24 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Statement by the Acting Secretary of State that the Japanese Government is giving clear indications of its determination to expand by force or threat of force, thereby endangering the peaceful use by peaceful nations of the Pacific.
315
July 25 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation in which the new Foreign Minister presented a statement regarding the agreement reached with the Vichy Government and in which the Ambassador spoke of the fallacy of the Japanese charge of “encirclement”.
317
July 25 From the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Ambassador in Japan
Advance announcement of an agreement reached July 2, 1941, between the Japanese and Vichy Governments concerning the joint protection of French Indochina.
318
July 25 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs
Conversation with the Japanese Minister who left a statement from his Government in regard to the Indochina situation (text printed infra).
319
[Page XXXIV]July 25 Statement by the Japanese Government
Official announcement of Franco-Japanese agreement for the joint defense of French Indochina; assurances of Japanese respect for Indochinese sovereignty and territorial integrity.
320
Aug. 2 Press Release Issued by the Department of State
Statement by the Acting Secretary of State asserting the U. S. Government’s inability to accept the explanation that necessities of “common defense” justified the agreement between the French and Japanese Governments regarding French Indochina.
320
Sept. 30 (1542) From the Ambassador in Japan (tel.)
Information regarding the attitude and behavior of Japanese armed forces in French Indochina and the reported endeavor of Japanese military authorities there to prejudice the success of conversations between the U. S. and Japanese Governments.
322

Informal Conversations Between the Governments of the United States and Japan, 1941

summary of conversations

Date and number Subject Page
1942 May 19 Memorandum Prepared in the Department of State
An account of informal conversations between the Government of the United States and the Government of Japan during 1941.
325

record of conversations

Date and number Subject Page
1941 Feb. 14 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation between the President and the new Japanese Ambassador, during which the President expressed U. S. concern about the Japanese situation and suggested that the Ambassador and the Secretary of State and Department officials re-examine important phases of Japanese-American relations to see if they could not be improved.
387
Mar. 8 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador during which the Secretary of State pointed out that U. S. efforts to bring about organization of the world along liberal commercial lines had been impeded by movements of military conquest; and the Ambassador expressed his approval of the effort to liberalize international commercial relations, affirmed Japan’s desire to reach a peaceful settlement with the Chinese and establish friendly relations with the United States, and denied that Japan was committed to a course of conquest.
389
Mar. 14 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation between the President, the Secretary of State, and the Japanese Ambassador in which the President emphasized the dangerous effects of the Tripartite Agreement, the Secretary observed that the initiative and responsibility for serious discussion rests with Japan; and the Ambassador expressed the belief that his country would not go south with force.
396
[Page XXXV]Apr. 9 Proposal Presented to the Department of State Through the Medium of Private American and Japanese Individuals
Draft of a proposal for a general settlement in the Pacific area.
398
Apr. 14 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador during which the Ambassador stated that he had known about and had collaborated in the preparation of the proposals which certain Japanese individuals had been formulating, and expressed his belief that his Government did not intend to invade the southwest Pacific area; and the Secretary of State suggested that they proceed with certain preliminary discussions to ascertain whether there was any basis for negotiations.
402
Apr. 16 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador during which the Secretary remarked that the one paramount preliminary question was a definite assurance, in advance, of the Japanese Government’s willingness and ability to go forward along the lines of the proposals of April 9, 1941, formulated by Japanese and American individuals, to abandon the doctrine of conquest by force, and to adopt four broad principles enumerated; and the Ambassador replied that his Government desired peace, that he wished to discuss the questions raised by the Secretary, and that he would consult his Government in regard to the four points.
406
May 2 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador who implied that Japanese politics had delayed the reply to his application for instructions to negotiate along lines of the document of April 9, 1941.
411
May 7 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador during which the Secretary stated that he could not give assurances of further patience in the event of further Japanese delays; also that it seemed incomprehensible that the Foreign Minister could represent his Government in giving utterances to such opposing and threatening expressions while at the same time his Government was supporting the Ambassador here and the principles contained in his document.
411
May 11 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador who presented certain documents, which the Secretary received in a purely unofficial way with a view to ascertaining whether they might afford a basis for a step in negotiations.
(Footnote: Information that the documents were returned, upon request, to the Japanese Ambassador on May 12, 1941, before complete copies had been made.
415
May 12 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador who presented official documents (texts printed infra) in place of the May 11, 1941, documents; their unofficial and informal acceptance by the Secretary.
418
[Page XXXVI]May 12 Draft Proposal Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Confidential memorandum to be agreed upon between the U. S. and Japanese Governments and an annexed oral explanation for proposed amendments to the original draft proposal.
420
May 14 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Ambassador who presented a proposed amendment to the original draft proposal.
425
May 16 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador and his associates, Colonel Iwakuro, Japanese Assistant Military Attaché and Mr. Okumura, Second Secretary of the Japanese Embassy, during which the Secretary handed the Ambassador an informal and unofficial oral statement (text printed infra).
427
May 16 Informal and Unofficial Oral Statement Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador
Preliminary comments upon the Japanese draft proposal. Also four annexes (texts printed) consisting of extracts from an address by the Secretary of State, April 24, 1941, and draft suggestions concerning attitudes toward the European war, the China affair, and economic activity in the Southwestern Pacific area.
428
May 20 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, Colonel Iwakuro, Mr. Wikawa, an officer of the the Cooperative Bank of Japan, and Mr. Hamilton, Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, during which the Secretary inquired whether it might not be possible to cover under some broader provision the questions of joint defense against communism and the stationing of Japanese troops in China; Japanese reply that settlement of China affair was incidental and concerned only China and Japan; the Secretary’s statement that the settlement of the China affair was an essential element in the affair.
434
May 21 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, Colonel Iwakuro, Mr. Wikawa, and Mr. Hamilton regarding the proposed withdrawal of Japanese troops from China, redraft of section VI of the proposal in regard to peace in the Pacific area, and reference to Wang Ching-wei treaties in section III.
437
May 23 Statement Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Errata for the confidential memorandum of May 12, 1941.
439
May 28 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador concerning questions involving relations of Japan and the United States toward the European War and the question of the withdrawal of Japanese troops from China.
440
[Page XXXVII]May 30 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ballantine, of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, Colonel Iwakuro, and Mr. Wikawa concerning Japan’s contemplated arrangement for stationing troops in China as a defense against communism; U. S. inability to divest itself of a certain degree of responsibility inasmuch as the Japanese proposal called for XJ. S. presentation to China of Japan’s terms for peaceful settlement.
444
May 31 American Draft Proposal Handed to the Japanese Ambassador
Suggested amendments to the Japanese draft, submitted as unofficial, exploratory, and without commitment; three annexes (texts printed).
446
May 31 American Statement Handed to the Japanese Ambassador
Oral explanation for suggested amendments to the Japanese draft proposal.
451
May 31 American Informal and Unofficial Oral Statement Handed to the Japanese Ambassador
Advice that the U. S. Government will at some appropriate stage, prior to any definitive discussion, talk over with the Chinese Government the general subject matter involved in the discussions.
454
June 2 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador who expressed agreement with the American draft proposal, dated May 31, 1941; the Secretary’s inquiry whether Japan seriously and earnestly desired to enter into a settlement for peace and nondiscriminatory relations in the Pacific area; the Ambassador’s affirmation.
454
June 4 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ballantine, Mr. Wakasugi, the Japanese Minister-Counselor, Colonel Iwakuro, and Mr. Matsudaira, Second Secretary of the Japanese Embassy, regarding Japanese revisions to draft proposal of May 31, 1941; Japanese unwillingness to be bound by U. S. interpretation of self-defense, or to pledge non-discrimination in international commercial relations, or to accept U. S. mediation of China affair.
455
June 6 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, Colonel Iwakuro, and Mr. Wikawa during which the Secretary handed the Ambassador an oral statement (text printed infra) on U. S. reaction to Japanese revisions; Secretary’s opinion that the President should have an agreement in clear-cut and unequivocal terms before approaching the Chinese Government.
465
[Page XXXVIII]June 6 Informal and Unofficial Oral Statement Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador
Disappointment that successive Japanese revisions have narrowed the proposal down and carried it away from fundamental points U. S. Government considers are involved in establishing and preserving peace in the Pacific; suggestion that the Ambassador review the suggestions proposed by his associates.
Impression of the Secretary that the Japanese Government was disposed: (1) To stress Japan’s alignment with the Axis; (2) to avoid giving a clear indication of an intention to place Sino-Japanese relations on a basis contributing to a lasting peace, and (3) to veer away from clear-cut commitments in regard to policies of non-discriminatory treatment.
467
June 9 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Ballantine, Colonel Iwakuro, and Mr. Wikawa during which Colonel Iwakuro inquired about the Department’s attitude, and commented on U. S. right of self-defense, and his Government’s desire, that the President on his own initiative propose to China that China make peace with Japan.
468
June 15 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador and his associates in which the Secretary declined the Ambassador’s request for an understanding as to what points in the Japanese proposal the United States was agreed on; the Ambassador’s opinion that if the United States withdrew its help, Chiang Kai-shek would be obliged to accept Japanese terms.
471
June 15 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ballantine, Colonel Iwakuro, Mr. Wikawa, and Mr. Matsudaira regarding the application to Japanese practices in China of the principle of non-discrimination in international commercial relations; informal presentation of redraft of Japanese draft of June 8 (text printed infra).
472
June 15 Draft Document Received Informally From Associates of the Japanese Ambassador
Redraft of Japanese draft proposal of June 8, 1941, together with an annex (text printed).
473
June 16 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ballantine, Colonel Iwakuro, Mr. Wikawa, and Mr. Matsudaira continuing the discussion concerning non-discrimination in commercial relations, and exploring further the question of retention of Japanese troops in China in resistance against communistic activities and a formula covering relations of United States and Japan with the European war.
476
[Page XXXIX]June 17 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ballantine, Mr. Schmidt, of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, Colonel Iwakuro, and Mr. Wikawa, at the close of which Mr. Hamilton pointed out as questions outstanding the economic discrimination in China, stationing of troops in China, and the two Governments’ attitudes toward the European war; and added that Colonel Iwakuro’s request for a statement that the United States has no ambitions for new political or military bases in East Asia presented an additional serious problem.
478
June 21 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador during which the Secretary handed the Ambassador an oral statement and a redraft of the proposed understanding with four annexes appended (texts printed infra).
483
June 21 Oral Statement Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador
Advice that the Secretary of State has reluctantly come to the conclusion that the United States must await some clearer indication than has yet been given that the Japanese Government as a whole desires to pursue courses of peace such as constitute the objectives of the proposed understanding.
(Footnote: Acceptance by Mr. Hamilton of return of this document from the Japanese Minister on July 17, 1941.)
485
June 21 Draft Proposal Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador
Complete revision of the proposed understanding, submitted as unofficial, exploratory, and without commitment; together with four annexes (texts printed).
486
June 22 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador regarding Japanese objections to certain provisions in U. S. draft proposal of June 21, 1941; Ambassador’s presentation of oral statement (text printed infra).
492
June 22 Informal and Unofficial Oral Statement Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Suggestions that exchanges of letters attached to draft proposal presented by the Secretary of State, June 21, 1941, either be omitted or be suitably modified.
494
July 2 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Ballantine, Mr. Schmidt, Colonel Iwakuro, Mr. Wikawa, and Mr. Matsudaira, with Mr. Hamilton arriving late; Japanese insistence upon reaching an understanding first and settling detailed questions later; U. S. insistence upon some practical evidence of Japan’s peaceful intentions.
495
[Page XL]July 4 From the Japanese Ambassador
Foreign Minister’s assurances that there is no divergence of views in the Japanese Government regarding its fundamental policy of adjusting Japanese-American relations on a fair basis.
499
July 5 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ballantine, and the Japanese Ambassador in which Mr. Hamilton explained that U. S. oral statement of June 21, 1941, adverted only to evidence that certain elements in the Japanese Government favored courses of support of Hitler and not courses of peace, suggested that Japan make more appropriate response to meet fundamental points of the Secretary’s oral statement, and expressed U. S. desire for prompt denial or frank confirmation of reported Japanese plans toward Siberia, Indochina, and Thailand.
499
July 6 Statement Handed by the American Ambassador in Japan to Mr. Tomohiko Ushiba, Private Secretary of the Japanese Prime Minister
Message sent by the Secretary of State at the specific request of the President for delivery to the Prime Minister, expressing desire for assurances that reports of Japanese intention to enter upon hostilities against the Soviet Union are not based upon fact.
502
July 8 Statement Handed by the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Ambassador in Japan
Message sent at the request of the Prime Minister for delivery to the President, dated July 7, 1941, advising that the Japanese Government have not so far considered the possibility of joining hostilities against the Soviet Union; inquiring whether it is really the intention of the President or the U. S. Government to intervene in the European war; and enclosing an oral statement handed by the Foreign Minister to the Soviet Ambassador in Tokyo on July 2, 1941 (text printed) advising that the Japanese Government does not at present feel compelled to modify their policy toward the U. S. S. R.
503
July 8 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Statement read to the Foreign Minister at the direction of the Secretary of State (text printed), advising that any American aid to Russia will have as its sole aim the defense of American security and will in no manner threaten the security of nations which have not joined the conflict on Hitler’s side.
505
July 14 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ballantine, and the Japanese Ambassador in which the latter stated there was no divergence in views among important Government leaders in regard to desire to improve relations with the United States; U. S. question whether Japanese Government was willing to assert control over certain elements to ensure future pursuit of a policy of peace.
505
[Page XLI]July 15 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ballantine, and the Japanese Ambassador who in reply to Mr. Hamilton’s inquiries stated: (1) That the oral statement of June 21, 1941, had been misunderstood by his Government as indicative of an attempt on the part of the U. S. Government to cause a change in the Japanese Cabinet and of U. S. interference in the internal affairs of Japan; (2) that, with respect to rumors that Japan is planning to acquire naval and air bases in French Indochina, he was without information from his Government as to its intentions; and (3) that he believed Japan retained freedom of action under the Tripartite Pact and was under no commitment to take up arms against the United States in the event of U. S. involvement in the European war, except as provided in article 3 of the pact.
506
July 16 Oral Statement Handed by the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs
Advice that U. S. attitude toward the European war is based on the inalienable right of self-defense, in pursuance of which the United States will take such measures as may be deemed necessary to resist the Nazi movement toward world conquest and that any suggestions or intimations that the United States should desist from its policy of self-defense would range those making the suggestions or intimations on the side of the aggressors.
509
July 16 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs
Conversation with the Japanese Minister whom the Ambassador had asked to call to return the oral statement of June 21, 1941, inasmuch as his Government had misunderstood it and a governmental crisis had occurred; its non-acceptance by Mr. Hamilton without instructions; presentation to the Minister of a marked copy of the Secretary of State’s statement of July 16, 1937, on U. S. non-interference in internal affairs of other nations.
511
July 17 Oral Statement Handed by the Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Ambassador in Japan
Acknowledgement of oral statement of July 16, 1941; inability to let pass unnoticed any U. S. suggestion or intimation to invoke unlimitedly the so-called right of self-defense; non-concurrence in indictment of Germany; and refusal to acceed to U. S. claim with respect to those who intimate or suggest that the United States desist from its policy of self-defense.
513
July 17 Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs
Conversation with the Japanese Minister who returned the original copy of the oral statement of June 21, 1941, after having received an oral statement of the U. S. position (text printed infra).
513
July 17 Statement by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs to the Japanese Minister
Acceptance of the oral statement of June 21, 1941; reiteration of U. S. interest in the broad general question of attitude of Japanese Government as a whole, as manifested in utterances and acts.
514
[Page XLII]July 18 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador who said the Russo-German war had isolated Japan and admitted it was the second time that Germany had omitted to notify Japan of her intentions; his hope for improvement of U. S.-Japanese relations in view of installation of the new Government in Tokyo.
515
July 21 The Director of the War Plans Division of the Navy Department to the Chief of Naval Operations
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador who discussed in detail the points which Japan considered essential for an agreement between the United States and Japan and conveyed the information that Japan expects to occupy French Indochina within the next few days. The Director’s opinion that the Ambassador was apprehensive that the United States would take further action, economic or military, against Japan as soon as Japanese troops occupied French Indochina.
516
July 21 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Minister during which the Acting Secretary of State stated that should Japan embark upon a policy of the kind demonstrated by the occupation of Indochina, the United States would be forced to reconsider its own position; the Minister’s denial that his Embassy had any knowledge of intention on the part of the Government to occupy Indochina, while inquiring point-blank whether occupation of Indochina would interfere with successful conclusion of the informal conversations.
520
July 23 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador in which the Ambassador announced the conclusion of the agreement with the Vichy Government for the occupation of Indochina and set forth Japan’s reasons for the occupation; and the Acting Secretary of State stated that the agreement could only have resulted from German pressure on Vichy, that the occupation constituted notice of Japanese intent to pursue a policy of force and conquest and expansion into the South Seas, and that the Secretary of State, therefore, could not see any basis for the pursuit of the conversations in which he and the Ambassador had been engaged.
522
July 24 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Conversation between the President and the Japanese Ambassador at which the Acting Secretary of State and Admiral Stark were present; the President’s proposal that if Japan would refrain from occupying Indochina, or withdraw if such steps had already been taken, he would seek to obtain from the British, Chinese, and Netherlands Governments, and of course the United States, a binding declaration to neutralize Indochina, provided Japan would give similar commitment.
527
[Page XLIII]July 25 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Ballantine, Colonel Iwakuro, and Mr. Wikawa during which Colonel Iwakuro attributed Japanese action in Indochina to the delay in reaching an understanding with the United States, and, in suggesting resumption of conversations, stated that such resumption would not influence Japan to revoke its action in Indochina but would be effective in stopping Japan from moving further south, provided that the United States did not take measures such as embargoes or freezing of assets against Japan.
530
July 26 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister concerning the situation which had come about as a result of the establishment by Japan of bases in Indochina and the action of U. S. Government in freezing Japanese assets in the United States; the Foreign Minister’s concern at the rupture of the Washington conversations and his concern whether the U. S. Government would adopt further retaliatory measures.
532
July 27 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister in which the Ambassador, on his own initiative, conveyed orally the gist of the President’s proposal of July 24, 1941, to the Japanese Ambassador at Washington for the neutralization of French Indochina, and strongly urged the Foreign Minister to take advantage of the proposal; Foreign Minister’s advice that no report on the President’s proposal had been received from the Japanese Embassy at Washington.
534
July 28 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador during which the Ambassador inquired concerning U. S. policy with regard to the freezing order in connection with Japanese ships in American territorial waters; and suggested that the objective of the United States and Japan should now be some compromise proposal, which the Acting Secretary rejected.
537
July 31 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador who was informed that, in view of the reports that Japan was making demands upon Thailand, the President desired Japan to know that the previous proposal with respect to Indochina be regarded as embracing Thailand as well.
539
Aug. 4 Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Minister who called prior to his departure from the United States to request an analysis of the present state of U. S.-Japanese relations, to which request the Acting Secretary responded.
540
Aug. 6 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador during which the latter read an oral statement and presented a proposal (texts printed infra); the Secretary’s expressed pessimism over prospect of getting anywhere with such a proposal.
546
[Page XLIV]Aug. 6 Oral Statement Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Transmission of a proposal to serve as a reply to the President’s proposal of July 24, 1941, and to provide a fresh basis for Japanese-American understanding.
548
Aug. 6 Proposal by the Japanese Government Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Japanese undertaking with respect to the southwestern Pacific area in return for a number of specific undertakings on the part of the United States.
549
Aug. 8 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador during which the Secretary presented the U. S. reply (text printed infra) to the latest Japanese proposal; the Ambassador’s suggestion that heads of the two Governments meet in Honolulu; the Secretary’s opinion it remained with the Japanese Government to decide whether it could find means of shaping its policies along lines of the U. S. reply and then to endeavor to evolve some satisfactory plan.
550
Aug. 8 Document Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador
Opinion that Japanese proposals of August 6, 1941, are lacking in responsiveness to the President’s proposal.
552
Aug. 16 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador who suggested a resumption of conversations and a mid-Pacific meeting of high officials.
553
Aug. 17 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation between the President and the Japanese Ambassador in which the Ambassador conveyed the Prime Minister’s offer to meet the President midway between the countries, and the President handed the Ambassador two documents (texts printed infra).
554
Aug. 17 Oral Statement Handed by President Roosevelt to the Japanese Ambassador
Notification that if the Japanese Government takes any further steps in pursuance of a program of domination by force or threat of force of neighboring countries, the U. S. Government will be compelled to take immediately any and all steps deemed necessary toward safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests and toward insuring its security.
556
Aug. 17 Statement Handed by President Roosevelt to the Japanese Ambassador
Conditions under which the United States would be willing to resume the informal exploratory discussions interrupted in July, 1941.
557
Aug. 18 Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy in Japan
Interview with Mr. Terasaki, Director of the American Bureau of the Foreign Office, who conveyed a message for the Ambassador (text printed), expressing the hope that the interview between the Ambassador and the Foreign Minister, to be held that afternoon, would initiate a series of conversations which would eventually yield a satisfactory adjustment of U. S.-Japanese relations.
559
[Page XLV]Aug. 18 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Interview with the Foreign Minister who disclosed in an oral statement the Japanese proposal for a meeting between the President and the Prime Minister at Honolulu, and suggested that U. S. economic pressure against Japan be immediately stopped in order to avoid the impression in Japan and elsewhere that the Japanese Government has entered into negotiations as a result of U. S. pressure.
560
Aug. 18 From the Ambassador in Japan
Strong recommendation that the Japanese proposal for a meeting between the President and the Prime Minister be given careful consideration. Information that the proposal has the approval of the Emperor and the highest authorities in the land.
565
Aug. 23 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador who called attention to the problem of the shipment of oil to Vladivostok through Japanese waters; U. S. determination to aid every country resisting Hitler.
565
Aug. 23 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador who stated that his Government desired the meeting of responsible heads of the two Governments to be held earlier than October 15, 1941, the date on which the President had indicated it might be arranged.
568
Aug. 27 Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Terasaki who delivered an oral message for the Ambassador (substance printed) expressing hope that the Ambassador would find it possible to support the Japanese Ambassador’s request that American oil tankers now en route to Soviet Russia be recalled pending a decision on the proposed meeting between the President and the Prime Minister, and to urge holding the meeting as soon as possible.
568
Aug. 27 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Ambassador who protested against two oil tanker shipments to Soviet Russia through Vladivostok; the Secretary’s reply that the shipments were entirely legitimate.
569
Aug. 27 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador who left with the Secretary a copy of a statement he desired to present to the President the following day, and stated that he felt it represented the maximum in concession his Government under present circumstances was in position to make.
571
Aug. 28 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation between the President and the Japanese Ambassador regarding two communications presented by the Ambassador (texts printed infra); the President’s interest in meeting the Prime Minister at Juneau, Alaska, rather than in Hawaii.
571
[Page XLVI]Aug. 28 From the Japanese Prime Minister to President Roosevelt
Urgent suggestion that the two heads of Governments meet first to discuss from a broad standpoint all important problems between Japan and the United States covering the entire Pacific area, leaving the adjustment of minor items to negotiations between competent officials of the two countries, following the meeting.
572
Aug. 28 Statement by the Japanese Government Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to President Roosevelt
Assurances, with several qualifications, of Japan’s peaceful intentions; also assurances that Japan is seeking a program for the Pacific area consistent with principles to which the United States has long been committed.
573
Aug. 28 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador in which the Secretary indicated that prior to the meeting of the President and the Prime Minister there should be an agreement in principle on outstanding questions of importance and that the meeting should therefore have as its purpose the ratification of essential points already agreed to in principle; brief discussion of outstanding questions.
576
Aug. 29 (1342) From the Ambassador in Japan
Press release issued by the Information Board (text printed), stating that on August 8, 1941, Ambassador Nomura had delivered a message from the Prime Minister to the President of the United States.
579
Aug. 29 From the Japanese Ambassador
Japanese Government’s feeling that secrecy is essential for the success of the conversations; request for U. S. cooperation in this regard.
579
Aug. 29 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Terasaki who deplored the unfortunate publicity in Washington regarding the Prime Minister’s message which revealed to the Japanese public that the Prime Minister had taken the initiative in what was obviously a conciliatory move; and conveyed an appeal from the Foreign Minister that the meeting of the heads of the two Governments take place at once, that the sending of the tankers to the Soviet Union be postponed, and that the order freezing Japanese assets in the United States be suspended.
579
Aug. 30 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Record of his dispatch to the Foreign Minister of an excerpt from the Secretary of State’s press conference August 28, 1941 (text printed) when the Secretary parried questions of the correspondents concerning the delivery of the Prime Minister’s message to the President which the Japanese Ambassador had revealed as he left the White House.
582
Sept. 1 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and Mr. Obata, his interpreter-associate, in which were discussed possible Chinese reaction toward a settlement with Japan, the three outstanding questions between Japan and the United States, publicity concerning the proposed meeting of the heads of the two Governments, and a possible change in the propaganda line of the Japanese press.
583
[Page XLVII]Sept. 2 To the Japanese Ambassador
Assurance of conformity to Japanese desire for secrecy at this time regarding the conversations.
586
Sept. 3 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Terasaki who conveyed a message to the Secretary of State from the Foreign Minister suggesting that, in view of press reports in American newspapers of the proposed meeting, a joint public announcement be made of the meeting, its approximate date, and the place of meeting as “somewhere in the Pacific”; and statement of Japanese intention should the meeting fail to materialize.
586
Sept. 3 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation between the President, the Secretary of State, and the Japanese Ambassador during which the President read an oral statement and a letter to the Japanese Prime Minister (texts printed infra).
588
Sept. 3 Oral Statement Handed by President Roosevelt to the Japanese Ambassador
U. S. desire for an indication of the present attitude of the Japanese Government toward the fundamental questions respecting which there were divergences of views and which remained unsettled when conversations were interrupted in July 1941; inability of U. S. Government to enter into any agreement not in harmony with the principles in which its people believe.
589
Sept. 3 President Roosevelt’s Reply to the Japanese Prime Minister, Handed to the Japanese Ambassador
Desire to collaborate with the Prime Minister and proceed as rapidly as possible with arrangements for meeting; inability to avoid taking cognizance of concepts in Japan which, if widely entertained, would seem capable of raising obstacles to successful collaboration; suggestion for immediate preliminary discussions of fundamental questions.
591
Sept. 4 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Telephone conversation with Mr. Terasaki who desired to retract that portion of the Foreign Minister’s message to the Secretary of State which dealt with the statement of Japanese intention should the meeting fail to materialize.
592
Sept. 4 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister who presented certain new proposals which also were being transmitted to the Japanese Ambassador at Washington; Foreign Minister’s belief that the proposals contain the solution of the divergence of views not solved when conversations in Washington were interrupted.
The Ambassador’s comments (text printed).
593
Sept. 4 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador during which the Ambassador presented new draft proposals, and was informed, in reply to his inquiry, that the Secretary felt strongly that announcement in regard to negotiations should be deferred until preliminary discussions were completed and other interested Governments had been approached.
595
[Page XLVIII]Sept. 4 Statement Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Redraft of Japanese proposals for a mutual understanding and declaration of policy; and annexes and supplements thereto (texts printed).
(Footnote: Information that the document was submitted without approval of the Japanese Government and was subsequently withdrawn by the Ambassador.)
597
Sept. 5 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister in which the Ambassador informed the Foreign Minister that he did not feel free at this time to discuss with him the divergence of views which had not been solved when the conversations at Washington were interrupted.
The Ambassador’s comments (text printed) containing the information that the Foreign Minister preferred to have conversations regarding the proposed meeting carried on at Tokyo rather than at Washington.
600
Sept. 6 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Terasaki during which the Ambassador conveyed the information that the U. S. Government could not acceed to the suggestions to suspend sailing of American tankers to Vladivostok and to suspend the freezing order pending the proposed meeting; also discussion of Axis influence in Japan.
603
Sept. 6 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Prime Minister, during which the Prime Minister gave further assurances and promises of satisfactory commitments.
604
Sept. 6 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador who handed the Secretary a draft proposal (text printed infra); Ambassador’s opinion that it was the maximum by way of concessions that Japan could offer at this time; Secretary’s reiteration of desirability of preparing the public to insure public support.
606
Sept. 6 Draft Proposal Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Proposed reciprocal undertakings by the Governments of the United States and Japan.
608
Sept. 8 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Terasaki who expressed the Foreign Minister’s concern over the Greer incident, which he mentioned as further proof of the necessity of expediting the suggested meeting between the Prime Minister and the President.
609
Sept. 10 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister and Mr. Terasaki in which the Ambassador presented a statement (text printed infra), and made clear that the inquiries were of an exploratory and preliminary nature and that further questions might emerge.
610
[Page XLIX]Sept. 10 Statement Handed by the American Ambassador in Japan to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
Reaffirmation that U. S. Government has in view an agreement conforming to principles and methods it has put forward; that a fair and just settlement of their differences by China and Japan is an essential condition; that the United States intends to confer with other interested powers before embarking on definitive negotiations. Request for further clarification of Japanese interpretation of proposed commitments.
610
Sept. 10 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and Mr. Obata in which the Ambassador expressed the hope that the President’s forthcoming speech would not furnish ammunition for pro-Axis elements; the Secretary’s opinion that new Japanese proposals narrow down the scope and spirit of the proposed understanding, and his suggestion that Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Ballantine meet with the Ambassador and Mr. Obata to clear up doubtful points.
613
Sept. 10 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ballantine, Mr. Schmidt, the Japanese Ambassador, Mr. Obata, and Mr. Matsudaira regarding the intent of the Japanese Government and the meaning of various points in the Japanese proposals of September 6, 1941; redraft of section 5 of the proposed agreement given to Mr. Obata (text printed).
614
Sept. 13 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister, Mr. Terasaki, Mr. Inagaki of the American Bureau of the Foreign Office, and Mr. Dooman in which the Foreign Minister read his instructions to the Ambassador at Washington (text printed infra), setting forth replies to Mr. Hamilton’s questions of September 10, 1941; Mr. Terasaki read a statement of the Japanese Government’s intentions; and the Foreign Minister made oral answers to the Ambassador’s questions of September 10, 1941, and emphasized the urgency of a meeting between the heads of the two Governments.
620
Sept. 13 Proposed Instructions to the Japanese Ambassador Handed by the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Ambassador in Japan
Replies to questions raised by Mr. Hamilton in conversation of September 10, 1941.
623
Sept. 17 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Shigemitsu, the Japanese Ambassador to England, who asserted that while the Japanese Government was united in support of current endeavors to adjust relations, the time factor was of the greatest importance and that should the Prime Minister fail, no other statesman could bring about the desired solution; confidential advice that initiative in the direction of an understanding with England and the United States had come from the Emperor personally.
624
[Page L]Sept. 18 Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Ushiba who explained that the Japanese Ambassador’s confusing document of September 4 was unauthorized and that Japan still desired the good offices of the President, suggested that U. S. Government request Japan’s basic peace terms for China, and promised satisfactory assurance regarding Tripartite Pact from the Prime Minister orally and directly to the President.
(Footnote: Memorandum by the Counselor on September 18, 1941, noting that Mr. Ushiba telephoned that the Prime Minister would within the next day or two convey to the Ambassador the terms of peace which the Japanese Government is willing to offer China.)
626
Sept. 19 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador in which the Ambassador inquired whether the principal difficulty was not the withdrawal of Japanese troops from China; the Secretary’s reply that it was an important one, but there was also the question of getting the proposal back to the broad basis covering the entire Pacific area, and hope that the Ambassador might communicate Japan’s basic peace terms.
629
Sept. 22 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister who made an oral statement (substance printed) regarding the proposed meeting and his unanswered statement of September 4, 1941, and presented the basic terms Japan is prepared to offer China (text printed infra).
631
Undated From the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Ambassador in Japan
Text of basic Japanese terms of peace with China.
(Footnote: Information that points 1–5 were handed to the Secretary of State by the Japanese Ambassador on September 23, 1941, while points 6–9 were added on October 1, 1941.)
633
Sept. 23 Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Terasaki who made an oral statement supplementary to the Foreign Minister’s statements to the American Ambassador the previous day.
634
Sept. 23 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador who made an oral statement, and presented a copy of Japan’s basic terms of peace with China and a reply to the American communication of September 10, 1941.
634
Undated [Rec’d Sept. 23] Document Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Japanese definition of “equitable basis”; assertion, however, that Japan is not the sole judge in determining what constitutes “equitable basis”.
636
Sept. 27 From the Japanese Ambassador
Redraft of Japanese proposals as presented to the American Ambassador in Japan on September 25, 1941 (text printed); also Japanese translation of oral statement made to the American Counselor of Embassy in Japan on September 23, 1941 (text printed).
636
[Page LI]Sept. 27 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister who conveyed his Government’s anxiety lest the proposed meeting of heads of the two Governments be indefinitely delayed, and presented orally various considerations regarding Japan’s position in connection with present informal conversations.
641
Sept. 29 (1529) From the Ambassador in Japan
Observations respecting U. S.-Japanese relations; opinion that U. S. objectives will not be reached by insisting during preliminary conversation that Japan provide specific commitments such as appear in any final formal convention or treaty.
645
Sept. 29 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador who presented a document (text printed infra), and pressed for an answer to the Japanese proposal.
651
Sept. 29 Document Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Gist of what the Foreign Minister said in his conversation with the American Ambassador at the Foreign Office on September 27, 1941.
652
Oct. 2 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador during which the Secretary presented an oral statement (text printed infra), containing views of the U. S. Government with respect to the Japanese proposals; the Ambassador’s fear that his Government would be disappointed and his opinion that his Government could go no further at the present time.
654
Oct. 2 Oral Statement Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador
Review of significant developments in conversations and explanation of U. S. Government’s attitude toward various points in the Japanese proposals which appear inconsistent with the principles to which the United States is committed.
656
Oct. 3 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador who advised that his Government was now preparing a statement for public release regarding the Secretary’s reply to the Japanese proposals.
661
Oct. 7 Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Ushiba concerning the failure of the preliminary conversations to make any progress.
662
Oct. 7 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister who inquired whether the Ambassador could comment on the U. S. memorandum of October 2, 1941; the Ambassador’s personal reaction to the memorandum; the Foreign Minister’s comment that it was his impression the United States wished Japan to revert to the status quo which prevailed four years ago.
663
[Page LII]Oct. 8 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Terasaki who inquired whether the Ambassador would give his personal, off-the-record impressions of the U. S. memorandum of October 2, 1941; the Ambassador’s private and informal observations, and suggestion that U. S. official interpretation be obtained through the Japanese Ambassador at Washington.
666
Oct. 9 Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Terasaki who inquired whether the Counselor would give his off the record impressions of the U. S. memorandum of October 2, 1941; discussion of need for Japan’s manifesting evidence of intention to withdraw troops from Indochina and China.
667
Oct. 9 Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Terasaki in which the Counselor called attention to the report that 50,000 additional troops were to be landed in Indochina about October 15, 1941, and conveyed the Ambassador’s unofficial opinion that the Japanese Government should expect the current conversations to suffer serious, adverse effects should the proposed landing be carried out.
669
Oct. 9 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, Mr. Ballantine, and Mr. Obata in which the Ambassador, at the express and repeated instruction of his Government, requested an expression of the Secretary’s views in regard to the points on which there remained divergence of view; the Secretary’s suggestion that Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Ballantine meet with the Ambassador to see whether points in the respective documents could be clarified and shades of meaning brought out.
670
Oct. 9 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ballantine, Mr. Schmidt, the Japanese Ambassador, the Japanese Minister, Mr. Obata, Mr. Matsudaira, and Mr. Okumura in which the Japanese displayed a desire to take up point by point their proposals of September 6, 1941, or the redraft of September 25, 1941, and the Americans limited themselves to a discussion and clarification of the points in the U. S. memorandum of October 2, 1941.
672
Oct. 10 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister who requested that the U. S. Government set forth in precise terms the obligations which the United States wishes the Japanese Government to undertake; intimation that Japan contemplates sending to the United States a diplomat of wide experience to assist the Ambassador, and inquiry concerning airplane reservations from Manila to San Francisco.
677
Oct. 13 Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Minister who gave an account of his impressions during the two weeks he spent in Japan, and with whom the Under Secretary explored at length the status of U. S.-Japanese relations.
680
[Page LIII]Oct. 15 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs on the status of the exploratory conversations at Washington; intimation of Germany’s pressure upon Japan to issue a statement to the effect that Japan will declare war upon the United States in the event of war between the United States and Germany.
686
Oct. 16 & 17 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with the Under Secretary of State, and the Japanese Minister which consisted mainly of a rehash of previous conversations, with elaborations with respect to certain phases of the two documents which had been exchanged between the Secretary and the Ambassador.
687
Oct. 17 Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Ushiba who stated that the U. S. memorandum of October 2, 1941, had been a great disappointment to the Cabinet; that the Prime Minister was resigning and the succeeding Cabinet would be headed by an Army officer, since no civilian statesman would undertake the task. Personal letter from the retiring Prime Minister to the Ambassador and the Ambassador’s reply (texts printed).
689
Oct. 24 Memorandum by the under Secretary of State
Conversation with the Japanese Minister who stated that his Government desired to pursue the policy of the preceding Government and to continue the conversations without delay, and inquired whether the U. S. Government had any counterproposals to make and whether the Under Secretary would be willing to meet with him and a Chinese official; the Under Secretary’s belief that the U. S. position needed no clarification.
692
Oct. 25 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Information received from a reliable Japanese informant to the effect that the Emperor’s definite stand against war with the United States had necessitated the selection of a Prime Minister who could control the Army, hence the resignation of Prince Konoye and the appointment of General Tojo who is committed to the policy of attempting to conclude successfully the current U. S.-Japanese conversations.
697
Oct. 25 Memorandum of Comment by the Ambassador in Japan
Opinion that Japanese leaders are willing to give up their expansionist, plans if a workable understanding can be reached with the United States; anticipation of some more positive Japanese attempt to render the conversations more concrete.
698
Oct. 30 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Togo, the new Japanese Foreign Minister, and Mr. Kase, the new Chief of the First Section of the American Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which the Foreign Minister expressed his desire that the U. S. Japanese conversations be brought to a successful conclusion without delay.
699
[Page LIV]Nov. 3 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Information received from the reliable Japanese informant who reported that the Government, supported by the Army and Navy, had reached a definite decision as to how far it was prepared to go for an adjustment of relations with the United States; that not later than November 7, 1941, the Foreign Minister probably would ask the Ambassador to call since the question of relations with the United States would have to be clarified before the Diet met November 15, 1941.
700
Nov. 3 (1736) From the Ambassador in Japan
Estimate of Japan’s position; opinion that a resort by Japan to measures of war with the United States may come inevitably with dangerous and dramatic suddenness.
701
Nov. 4 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Kurusu, former Japanese Ambassador to Germany, who said he was going to Washington simply to help the Japanese Ambassador by bringing a fresh point of view and in order to leave no stone unturned in an endeavor to bring the conversations to a successful conclusion.
704
Nov. 7 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Interview with a leading Japanese who called to convey a message from the Foreign Minister to the effect that the Government had decided the limits to which it will go in meeting U. S. desires, but that, should these concessions be regarded as inadequate, it is of the highest importance that the Washington conversations be continued and not permitted to break down.
705
Nov. 7 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and the Japanese Minister in which the Ambassador conveyed his Government’s desire to resume the conversations, advised that Mr. Kurusu was coming at his request to assist him, and presented a document (text printed infra); the Secretary’s suggestion with respect to mutual conciliation between China and Japan.
706
Nov. 7 Document Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Proposals with respect to the stationing of Japanese forces in China and Indochina and the withdrawal thereof, and the principle of non-discrimination.
709
Nov. 10 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister, Mr. Kase, and Mr. Dooman, in which the Foreign Minister inquired whether the time had not come to enter into formal and official negotiations; and handed the Ambassador the text of the new Japanese proposals, which he said were the maximum concessions.
710
Nov. 10 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation between the President and the Japanese Ambassador, with the Secretary of State and the Japanese Minister present, during which the Ambassador read a communication explaining the salient points of the new Japanese proposals and made an oral statement urging the conclusion of a satisfactory understanding, to which the President replied (texts printed).
715
[Page LV]Nov. 10 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Ballantine and the Japanese Minister who said the Ambassador would like to take up with the Secretary immediately his Government’s desire to hasten the conversations and the Secretary’s suggestion regarding means for development of a new relationship of conciliation and friendship between China and Japan.
719
Nov. 12 Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with Mr. Kase who called at the request of the Foreign Minister to make clear the urgency of successfully concluding the current conversations without delay.
719
Nov. 12 Memorandum of Comment by the Ambassador in Japan
Doubt as to the credibility of the alleged message from the Foreign Minister passed on to the Ambassador by a leading Japanese on November 7, 1941.
722
Nov. 12 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and the Japanese Minister in which the Secretary presented two oral statements (texts printed infra); and the Ambassador emphasized his Government’s desire to expedite a settlement.
722
Nov. 12 Oral Statement Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador
Amplification of the Secretary’s suggestion regarding mutual exchanges of pledges between China and Japan for the establishment of real friendship and collaboration between the two countries.
726
Nov. 12 Oral Statement Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador
Recapitulation of statements of the Japanese Government in regard to its position; inquiry if the present Japanese Government would confirm that its position is unchanged; request for certain clarifications.
727
Nov. 13 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Ballantine and the Japanese Minister who stated that Mr. Kurusu was expected in Washington on November 15, 1941, expressed the hope that the Secretary would give the Ambassador the next day a clear-cut answer accepting or rejecting the Japanese proposals, and intimated that the Japanese consider that formal negotiations had been entered upon.
729
Nov. 15 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and the Japanese Minister in which the Secretary presented an oral statement and a declaration of economic policy (texts printed infra), which latter document the Secretary affirmed to be a reply to the Japanese proposal on nondiscrimination; the Secretary’s insistence that the conversations were still merely exploratory, not formal negotiations, and his expressed feeling, in view of the nature of Japanese pressure for replies, that the U. S. Government should not be receiving such representations, suggestive of ultimatums, from the Japanese Government.
731
[Page LVI]Nov. 15 Oral Statement Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador
Review of U. S. experience with unconditional most-favored-nation policy; belief that adoption of non-discrimination policy would be a long, forward step toward attaining Japanese Government’s stated objective; annexed joint declaration on economic policy (text printed).
734
Nov. 17 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation in which the Japanese Ambassador presented Mr. Kurusu to the Secretary of State; Mr. Kurusu’s statement that the Japanese Prime Minister is sincerely desirous of reaching a peaceful settlement with the United States; presentation by the Ambassador of two documents (texts printed infra), in reply to points raised by the United States on Japan’s peaceful intentions and narrowing down the scope of the proposed understanding.
738
Nov. 17 Oral Statement Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Statement that the Japanese Government has no objection to confirming, as expressing the general purport of Japanese policy, certain statements made on August 28, 1941, by the preceding Prime Minister and in documents transmitted to the U. S. Government; and that various qualifying phrases were not intended to limit in any way the peaceful intentions of the Japanese Government.
739
Nov. 17 Oral Statement Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Statement that the Japanese Government has no objection whatever to applying the principle of political stabilization to the entire Pacific area and is willing to eliminate the word “southwestern” from the text of article VI of September 25th proposal.
740
Nov. 17 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation between the President, the Secretary, the Japanese Ambassador, and Mr. Kurusu in which nothing new was brought out by the Japanese, although Mr. Kurusu constantly made the plea that there was no reason why there should be serious difficulties between the two countries and that ways must be found to solve the present situation.
740
Nov. 17 (1814) From the Ambassador in Japan
Advice that there is need to guard against sudden Japanese naval or military actions in areas not now involved in the Chinese theater, with the probability of the Japanese exploiting every tactical advantage such as surprise and initiative; and caution not to depend upon the Embassy’s ability to give substantial prior warning.
743
Nov. 18 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and Mr. Kurusu in which questions outstanding were discussed at length; and the Japanese Ambassador suggested the restoration of the status which existed prior to July, 1941, when, following the Japanese move into southern Indochina, the U. S. freezing measures were put into effect.
744
[Page LVII]Nov. 19 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and Mr. Kurusu concerning the Ambassador’s suggestion in regard to a return to the status which prevailed in July prior to the Japanese move into Indochina, and concerning the situation in Russia and Germany’s prospects.
751
Nov. 20 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and Mr. Kurusu in which Mr. Kurusu presented new Japanese proposals (text printed infra); the Secretary’s comments on the general situation.
753
Nov. 20 Draft Proposal Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Proposal using as a basis for settlement the return to the status which prevailed prior to the Japanese advance into south Indochina and the freezing of Japanese assets in the United States.
755
Nov. 21 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation with Mr. Kurusu, who presented a draft letter dated November 20 (text printed) clarifying Japanese interpretation of Japan’s obligations under the Tripartite Pact.
756
Nov. 22 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and Mr. Kurusu in which the Secretary stated that the representatives of certain other Governments had been consulted concerning the Japanese proposals and there was a general feeling that relaxing the freezing to some extent could be settled if Japan could give satisfactory evidence of a peaceful intent, and that the United States would consider helping Japan out on oil for civilian requirements only as soon as peacefully-minded Japanese could control the situation in Japan; inconclusive discussion of the troop situation in Indochina.
757
Nov. 24 (1839) From the Ambassador in Japan
Conversation with the Foreign Minister concerning the Japanese proposals of November 20, 1941, and the fact that the Secretary of State and representatives of interested Governments considered unsatisfactory the item with respect to the withdrawal of Japanese troops from southern Indochina.
762
Nov. 26 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and Mr. Kurusu in which the Secretary presented an outline of a proposed basis of an agreement and an explanatory oral statement (texts printed infra); Mr. Kurusu’s depreciatory remarks in regard to the contents of the documents and comment that this response to their November 20, 1941, proposals could be interpreted as tantamount to meaning the end of the conversations.
764
Nov. 26 Oral Statement Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador
Explanatory statement concerning and in regard to the outline of proposed basis for agreement between the United States and Japan.
766
[Page LVIII]Nov. 26 Document Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador
Outline of proposed basis for agreement between the United States and Japan.
768
Nov. 27 Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Conversation between the President, the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and Mr. Kurusu in which the President discussed the situation at some length, expressing U. S. disappointment that during the conversations Japanese leaders continued to express opposition to fundamental principles of peace, calling attention to U. S. patience in dealings with the Far East situation, and U. S. conviction that Japan’s best interests will not be served by following Hitlerism and courses of aggression; the Ambassador’s expressed disappointment that it had been impossible to reach agreement regarding a modus vivendi.
770
Dec. 1 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and Mr. Kurusu in which were discussed as factors in the situation the bellicose utterances emanating from Tokyo, especially the speech by the Prime Minister broadcast on November 30, 1941, and the Japanese military moves into Indochina; Mr. Kurusu’s statement that he had been directed to inquire what was the ultimate aim of the United States in the conversations and to request the U. S. Government to make “deep reflection of the matter.”
772
Dec. 2 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Terasaki in which Mr. Terasaki stated that he had been greatly distressed by newspaper reports of the speech, on November 30, 1941, attributed to the Japanese Prime Minister, and presented a document in explanation of the matter (text printed infra).
777
Dec. 2 Statement Handed by the First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy to Mr. Joseph W. Ballantine
Explanation that the so-called speech of the Prime Minister was originally drafted by the office staff of the East Asia Restoration League for delivery on Sunday, November 30, 1941, and had been given to reporters by the League staff the night of November 26 before it had been examined by the Prime Minister or other Government officials; that the Prime Minister made no speech on November 30; that part of the draft was translated incorrectly, anyway.
778
Dec. 2 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Under Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and Mr. Kurusu during which the Under Secretary read a statement from the President (text printed), inquiring what the actual reasons might be for reported continued Japanese troop movements to southern Indochina.
778
Dec. 5 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and Mr. Kurusu, in which the Ambassador read a statement in reply to the President’s inquiry concerning Japanese troops in Indochina (text printed infra); the Secretary’s indication that the reply was completely unsatisfactory.
781
[Page LIX]Dec. 5 Statement Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Advice that Japanese troops, with the object mainly of taking precautionary measures against Chinese border movements, have been reinforced to a certain extent in the northern part of French Indochina and that certain movements have been made among troops in the southern part as a consequence.
784
Dec. 6 From President Roosevelt
Instructions to rush to the Ambassador in Japan the accompanying message to the Emperor of Japan (text printed infra).
784
Dec. 6 From President Roosevelt to Emperor Hirohito of Japan
Message calling attention to the serious situation created in the southwestern Pacific by the continued movement of Japanese troops into Indochina, conveying assurances of U. S. peaceful intent toward Indochina, and expressing the hope that the Emperor may give thought in this definite emergency to ways of dispelling the dark clouds.
(Footnote: Information that this message was transmitted in telegram No. 818, December 6, 1941, 9 p.m., to the Ambassador in Japan for delivery to the Emperor at the earliest possible moment.)
784
Dec. 7 Memorandum of a Conversation
Conversation between the Secretary of State, the Japanese Ambassador, and Mr. Kurusu at 2:20 p.m., in which the Ambassador stated he had been instructed to deliver at 1 p.m. the document which he handed to the Secretary (text printed infra), but had been delayed in decoding; the Secretary’s observation that in all his fifty years of public service he had never seen a document more crowded with infamous falsehoods and distortions.
(Footnote: Information that the attack on Pearl Harbor took place on December 7, 1941, at 1:20 p.m. Washington time (7:50 a.m. Honolulu time) which was December 8, 3:20 a.m. Tokyo time; that on December 8 at 6 a.m., Tokyo time (December 7, 4 p.m., Washington time), the Japanese Imperial headquarters announced that war began as of “dawn” on that date.)
786
Dec. 7 Memorandum Handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State at 2:20 p.m.
Notification that in view of the attitude of the U. S. Government, the Japanese Government cannot but consider that it is impossible to reach an agreement through further negotiations.
787
Dec. 7 Statement by the Secretary of State
Observations in connection with release to the press of the text of the statement of principles governing U. S. policy which the Secretary handed to the Japanese Ambassador November 26, 1941, and the text of the Japanese reply, December 7, 1941.
793
Dec. 8 Message by President Roosevelt to Congress
Request that Congress declare that since Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.
793
Dec. 8 Declaration by the United States of America of a State of War With Japan
Joint resolution of Congress declaring that a state of war exists between Japan and the United States.
795
[Page [LX]]