Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Castle) of a Conversation With the Japanese Ambassador (Debuchi)

The Ambassador began his conversation by apologizing for having unintentionally misquoted me in a telegram to Baron Shidehara.49 He said that, in telegraphing, he explained that we were merely considering the transfer of negotiations to China and that he also told Baron Shidehara to keep the communication entirely secret. He said he was sorry that Baron Shidehara had evidently notified Shigemitsu, but that, of course, it would go no further.

The Ambassador then told me that the Japanese were themselves now planning to inaugurate negotiations with the Chinese on the subject of extraterritoriality. He said that their whole thesis was to press for the gradual abolition as the Chinese were able to meet modern conditions of justice. He said that his Government was determined that there should be no sweeping abolition of consular rights and of extraterritorial questions in general and that it hoped to be able to work closely with us and with the British. He said that he thought full instructions had not yet gone to Shigemitsu, but that he had still undeciphered a telegram covering the ground to some extent, which Kato50 was going to bring to the Far Eastern Division. He said that Shigemitsu had instructions to furnish Johnson with a full copy of his orders.

W[illiam] R. C[astle,] Jr.
  1. Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Counselor of the Japanese Embassy.