Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy in Japan (Dooman) of a Conversation With Mr. Kojiro Matsukata16

Mr. Matsukata said that he had come to the Consulate General to obtain a visa and that he had dropped in to say good-bye to me.

I said that I was glad to have a final opportunity to advise against his speaking in public on the Far Eastern conflict. Mr. Matsukata said that he saw no likelihood of his visit to the United States accomplishing any good result, and that—as he had just said to a group of his friends—he proposed to make of his trip a “good long nap”.

I asked Mr. Matsukata whether he cared, notwithstanding the altered situation, to explain a little more fully what was in the minds [Page 605] of his military and naval friends who had favored American action to end the conflict. Mr. Matsukata remarked that that was now ancient history: that the feeling among naval leaders, who had been accused by the military group of being too “moderate”, had completely changed, and as a result of the President’s Chicago speech and the Department’s announcement of October 6,17 there is intense adverse feeling toward the United States. They had believed that the attitude of the United States was so fair that a final solution of the “Pacific Problem” was at hand, and the people in control were prepared, as a token of their appreciation, to throw the “Open Door in China wide open to the United States” and to any other country taking a similar impartial position. “But that is all finished”, said Mr. Matsukata, “and the same people are saying that, if the United States continues along the policy which was recently announced, Japan will have to get ready”.

E[ugene] H. D[ooman]
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in Japan in his covering despatch No. 2633, October 18; received November 8.
  2. Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. i, pp. 379 and 396.