The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received 5:07 p.m.]
143. As a result intense renewed belligerence of Japanese military spokesman at a time when the Chinese have apparently undertaken to meet the Japanese Army’s wishes and the Japanese Embassy has intimated that the crisis is over, grave fears are now felt here in official [Page 220]circles that the Japanese formulated their demands in the expectation that the Chinese would not comply, thus giving an excuse for direct action by troops, and that either the recognition of “Manchukuo” or the extension of the demilitarized zone or both are the ulterior aims of the Japanese forces [military?]. One explanation of the new threats which is reasonable, in view of the curious dualism in Japanese policy as expressed by the divergence between acts of the Foreign Office and those of the Army, is that Japanese Army leaders in North China, offended at complaints of the Chinese Ambassador in Tokyo concerning alleged “personal attacks” by Japanese officers upon Chiang Kai-shek, are now furious with the Foreign Office because of Hirota’s subsequent conciliatory references to Chiang and are determined to exhibit forcefully to the Foreign Office their independence of any civil branch of the Government.