793.94/6989: Telegram

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

117. Embassy’s 115, May 31, 7 p.m. In attempting to analyze the North China situation from this end with the meager information available two points present themselves to the Embassy as significant.

In whatever way the present dispute ends the result will mean more definite political control of the Peiping-Tientsin area by the Japanese military. Chinese accession to the reported Japanese demands will ipso facto concede this control; if the Chinese refuse to accede, the Japanese military if they carry out their threats will take actual control of the area.
The Japanese military apparently intend to take charge of Japanese diplomacy on the Asiatic mainland. So far as this Embassy is aware the Foreign Office was not consulted in regard to the recent démarche and none of the approaches to the Chinese in connection with the Japanese demands were made through the Japanese diplomatic mission in China. There is good reason to believe that certain sections of the Army were distinctly irritated at the action of the Foreign Office in raising the Legation to the status of an Embassy at this moment and it is also evident that the Hirota policy of conciliation with China is believed by them to be unsound in view of the alleged continued anti-Japanese activities in China. In this connection the schism between the civil and military elements in the Government may become progressively more marked.

Repeated to Peiping.