The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 30—5:17 a.m.]
19. In recent conversation my British colleague asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs as to the truth of the local press report that one of the three Japanese requirements for a Sino-Japanese rapprochement was that China should recognize Manchukuo. Hirota replied that such was not the case. He realized that China could not possibly recognize Manchukuo under present circumstances but hoped that the situation could be gradually developed with recognition as an ultimate aim. For the present he merely wished to see an improvement in the factual relations between China and Manchukuo involving customs ports, et cetera. He also hoped that the Chinese Government would cease to refer to Manchukuo as “a puppet state”.
In the same conversation Clive54 said that he considered the alleged autonomous government in East Hopei a farce and that Yin Ju Keng is notoriously a “scalawag”. Hirota did not commit himself.
Repeated to Peiping by mail.
- Sir Robert H. Clive, British Ambassador in Japan.↩