711.94/817: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Acting Secretary of State

114. There seems to have been a noticeable improvement recently in the Japanese attitude towards the United States. A number of factors have contributed to this improvement, including the recent outburst against the British on account of the abrogation of the Indian Trade Agreement.6 The Army has obtained the appropriation which it desired, the Chinese situation is less acute while Japan has withdrawn from the League of Nations, all without a clash with western nations. Although the war spirit cannot be said to have died out, the obviously inspired anti-American propaganda is not now in evidence.

This improved feeling towards the United States is shown by the prominent and favorable comment in the press accorded to a number of events which would probably have received less agreeable attention a few months ago.

Public appreciation of Viscount Ishii’s reportedly cordial reception by the President and the general belief that the President listened sympathetically to Ishii’s exposition of Japan’s problems. Public feeling that the United States is hostile to Japan and to Japan’s allegedly vital interests is subsiding.
The visit of Admiral Taylor, Commander in Chief of the United States Asiatic Fleet, on the flagship Houston which has been an unqualified success. There has been general appreciation of Admiral [Page 703] Taylor’s helpful cooperation with Nomura7 in restricting the troubles in Shanghai last year. The American admiral has been most cordially welcomed here.
The brief visit of the new Governor General of the Philippine Islands8 who called on the high Japanese officials and appears to have made a favorable impression.
The visit of Bishop Perry, descendant of Commodore Perry, and his visit to the Perry Monument at Uraga which was given wide publicity.
The opening of St. Luke’s new medical center, built largely by American funds, in the presence of the Emperor’s brother, Prince Takamatsu, and a distinguished Japanese representation.

These various factors have recently filled a prominent place in the Japanese press and have appealed to the public imagination. It is quite possible that the military clique, if they believe that they may thereby further their own interests, may in due course maneuver to undermine this wave of good feeling by continuing its broadside of anti-American propaganda, but I feel that constructive and probably lasting headway has been made. A further hopeful factor is the removal from the Foreign Office of Shiratori, who has been appointed Minister to Sweden.

To Peiping by mail.

  1. Convention respecting commercial relations between Japan and India, signed at Tokyo, August 29, 1904, British and Foreign State Papers, vol. xcvii, p. 58. For temporary extension on October 7, 1933, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cxlii, p. 394.
  2. Kichisaburo Nomura, commander in chief, Yokosuka Naval Station.
  3. Frank Murphy.