762.94/84: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy (Phillips) to the Secretary of State

470. My telegram No. 468, November 17, 6 p.m., and Moscow’s 279, November 17, 6 p.m. In my conversation with the Japanese Ambassador this morning he said that he understood an agreement between Germany and Japan had been initialed in Berlin but that it had not yet been formally approved by the Government in Tokyo. This formal approval he expected however would be given in due course. Some of the press despatches he added had maintained that in addition to the understanding reached in regard to resisting the spread of Communism and exchange of information on this subject there was a hidden military understanding between the two Governments. [Page 396] This the Ambassador assured me was not the case nor was it the desire of Japan to become involved in European affairs through a military alliance either with Germany or with anyone else. The Ambassador insisted that the initiative for this agreement had come from Berlin and that Japan would like to have any other country join the arrangement which was intended as a concentration of efforts to resist Communism rather than an alliance in any form. He recalled that there had been a Japanese officer stationed for some time in Berlin for the purpose of watching communistic activities and indicated that the new agreement was one step further along this line.