793.94 Conference/13: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan ( Grew ) to the Secretary of State

470. 1. My Belgian colleague89 today informed me that he had yesterday received a telegram from his Government merely for his information stating that with the concurrence of the American Government the British Government has approached the Belgian Government with a view to the choice of Brussels as a meeting place for the proposed Conference of signatories to the Nine-Power Treaty. The Belgian Government is now considering the matter but has not yet reached a decision.

2. The Belgian Ambassador, nevertheless, yesterday called on the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs90 on his own initiative and referring to reports in the press inquired whether Japan would participate in such a Conference and what would be the attitude of the Japanese Government towards the convocation of such a meeting. The Vice Minister replied that as the proposal had not yet been brought to the attention of the Japanese Government the matter had not yet been given official consideration but that the Japanese Government is “disinterested”.

3. My British colleague91 also saw the Vice Minister on the same subject later yesterday. Craigie has not yet communicated with me but Bassompierre informs me that the Vice Minister told Craigie that he could not see the purpose of holding such a meeting because it could not have the slightest effect on the terms which Japan proposed eventually to demand from China as a result of the hostilities.

4. The Belgian Ambassador has strongly recommended to his Government against the holding of such a meeting in Brussels because no international action short of force could in any way alter the course of developments in China and because the Belgian Government would thereby be futilely injuring its own interests in Japan.

  1. Baron Albert de Bassompierre, Belgian Ambassador in Japan and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.
  2. Kensuke Horinouchi.
  3. Sir Robert L. Craigie, British Ambassador in Japan.