The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 24—7:57 a.m.]
564. In my conversation today with the Minister for Foreign Affairs,51 he said on his own initiative that the Japanese forces will take Nanking within 2 to 3 weeks, the actual time of occupation depending on weather conditions; that the Chinese forces opposing the Japanese Army in that region are now completely defeated and can put up no further resistance but that the generals are unwilling to admit defeat and are therefore sending false reports to Nanking; [Page 720] that General Pai Chung Hsi of the Kwangsi forces which are still in good condition has nevertheless advised Chiang Kai-shek to leave Nanking and that the latter is in a very difficult situation. As this conversation was entirely informal, I asked the Minister how he visualized further developments after the occupation of Nanking by Japanese forces in the absence of a peace settlement. He replied that the Japanese forces would remain in Nanking, would take up a defensive position and would go no farther.
- Koki Hirota.↩