The Counselor of Embassy in China (Peck) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 23—9 a.m.]
23. 1. Following statement for the press has been received from the Foreign Office:
“Interview by press correspondents concerning Mr. Koki Hirota’s42 reference, in his speech before the Japanese House of Peers last Tuesday, to alleged concurrence by China to Japanese three principles vis-à-vis China, one of which is stated to be China’s recognition of the puppet state of ‘Manchukuo’, a spokesman of the Waichiaopu stated as follows:
‘By the three principles Mr. Hirota must have meant those three points which he put forward to General Chiang Tso Pin, then Chinese Ambassador to Tokyo, in September 1935 by way of reply to the latter’s proposals. It will be recalled that in the fall of last year the Chinese Government proposed, through Ambassador Chiang, to the Japanese Government certain fundamental measures for the improvement of the relations of the two countries. In reply, Mr. Hirota informed Ambassador Chiang to the effect that the Chinese proposals, in principle, were not unacceptable to Japan but that before Japan’s acceptance of the same China must agree to three things:
- China must abandon her policy of playing one foreign country against another;
- China must respect the fact of the existence of the “Manchukuo”;
- China and Japan must jointly devise effective measures for preventing the spread of Communism in regions in the northern part of China.
However, these three points were considered by the Chinese Government as being too vague in their phraseology to serve as a subject for useful discussion. So the Japanese Government was requested to state the concrete terms embodied in these points, but up to the present time Japanese Government have not yet done so. Mr. Hirota’s recent statement to the effect that China has indicated her concurrence to these points is, therefore, without foundation.
On the other hand, General Chang Chun shortly after assuming his duties as Minister for Foreign Affairs, has proposed that Sino-Japanese negotiations should be conducted according to regular procedure and through diplomatic channels with a view to the fundamental readjustment of the relations between the two countries. Now in his recent speech before the House of Peers, Mr. Hirota not only expressed concurrence to General Chang’s proposal but also reiterated Japanese fundamental policy of non-menace and non-aggression against neighboring countries in the hope of restoring the relations of the two countries to normalcy as well as adjusting their mutual [Page 22]interests. From this standpoint, there seems to be no divergence of views between the two sides. With these as a starting point in the negotiations between China and Japan there can be no doubt that the relations between the two countries will be greatly improved’.”
- Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs.↩