The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Bullitt) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6:30 p.m.]
407. My telegram No. 405, September 2, 8 p.m.82 Sakoh has just informed Wiley that yesterday the Japanese Ambassador saw Stomaniakov, not Krestinski; that on the telegraphic instructions of his Government he drew the “serious attention” of the Soviet Government to the recent Comintern Congress held with the participation of high Soviet officials in which malicious attacks against the Japanese Government were permitted with publicity in the official Soviet press. The Japanese Ambassador insisted that this had constituted a violation of the comity of nations and could not but have serious consequences for Japanese-Soviet relations. Moreover, he asked Stomaniakov if the Soviet Government proposed to permit a repetition of such incidents in which case the Japanese Government would feel obliged to take steps. Stomaniakov replied that the Soviet Government had learned in advance through the press that the Japanese Government proposed to make representations with regard to the Comintern Congress. The Soviet Government including himself personally had thereupon studied the speeches and documents pertaining to the Congress and had come to the conclusion that there was no breach of the provisions of the treaty of Peiping83 and that therefore Japanese representations would not be warranted. The Japanese Ambassador replied that he had alleged no violation of the treaty of Peiping and repeated that his representations were based on the comity of nations. He explained further that there were groups in Japan who were working energetically for a rupture of relations between the two countries. Mr. Stomaniakov answered that it was a fundamental provision of the Soviet constitution that political refugees from abroad should be protected in the Soviet Union. He then called the Japanese Ambassador’s attention to the fact that “Manchukuo” was a puppet government of Japan and harbored White émigrés who were continually agitating against the Soviet Government. According to Sakoh, the Japanese Ambassador, contested Stomaniakov’s statement with regard to the status of “Manchukuo” and insisted that the activities and scope of the Comintern Congress were entirely different from these of White émigrés’ in “Manchukuo.” Stomaniakov during the conversation evaded giving any commitment with regard to future Comintern activities and endeavored in every way to advance extenuating circumstances in defense of the recent Congress.[Page 346]
Sakoh does not believe that official publicity with regard to the Japanese Ambassador’s representations will exceed a brief statement from the official spokesman of the Foreign Office. He said that no effort would be made to elicit assurances with regard to the future. It was asserted that the purpose of the representations had been served, namely, to give a “serious warning”. He explained that although anti-Soviet sentiment had been developing very rapidly in Japan a rupture of relations or other aggressive steps would not be warranted in his opinion at the present juncture as indeed there had been no violation of the treaty of Peiping.
On the subject of the fisheries dispute, he added that the Soviet Government was very anxious to expedite an agreement but that the Japanese Government was not. There would certainly be no settlement of the question before May at the earliest.