Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hornbeck) of a Conversation With the Japanese Ambassador (Debuchi)76
(3) After discussion of the question of Viscount Ishii’s visit, the Ambassador said that he was tremendously gratified over the reports which he had received of the splendid hospitality which had been shown to the Japanese training squadron at the various ports into which it had put on the Pacific Coast, especially at San Francisco. He said that this was an evidence of the really friendly attitude of the American people toward Japan. I remarked that I had on several occasions assured the Ambassador that the American people entertain very friendly feelings toward the Japanese people. He said that he realized that, but that portions of the American press indulge in a great deal of criticism of Japan and particularly of the Japanese Army. I remarked that the whole world had had a good deal of occasion to feel critical of the acts of the Japanese Army; that it was my impression that the American press admitted or affirmed that the Japanese Army was a good Army but did not hesitate also to affirm that the acts of the Japanese Army were very bad acts. I followed this by turning the conversation again to the question of the reception given the Japanese squadron on the Pacific Coast: I said that I also had been gratified over the receipt of reports which indicated that the reception had been cordial and the officers and men of the Japanese Fleet were being given and were enjoying a good time. The Ambassador said that such things were very useful toward the cultivation of good relations between the two countries. I expressed concurrence in that view.
The Ambassador then referred to events in the Peiping-Tientsin area. (See memorandum No. (4).)