894.52/51: Telegram

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

71. My telegram 70, March 4, 3 p.m., perpetual leaseholds.

This afternoon the Chief of the Treaty Division of the Foreign Office handed a member of the Embassy staff in strict confidence, and as he said with the consent of the British Ambassador, copies of the notes with accompanying letters to be exchanged between the Japanese Government and the British Embassy.45a The notes confirm substantially the terms proposed in the British Ambassador’s note of January 14, copy of which accompanied our despatch 2240, February 1.
The letters accompanying the notes are designed to clarify the statement in the notes that “until the 31st day of March, 1942, the present position as regards exemptions shall be maintained”. The letters state that this is to be understood as providing that until March 31, 1942, no taxes at present in force shall be collected other than those hitherto collected from the leaseholders nor shall any taxes which may be introduced in future be collected from them if such taxes are directly connected with the perpetual leaseholds. The letters also specify that in the event of a leasehold being transferred it shall continue to be subject to the terms of their agreement in the notes.
Kuriyama said that because of my visit to the Vice Minister this morning to make known our attitude we were the only other interested Government being informed regarding the exchange of notes with the British and that other governments would not be informed until the exchange had been approved by the Privy Council which would be done on March 17. Kuriyama added that if we wished to submit a draft note and letter of the same tenor as the British note and accompanying letter the Foreign Office would be pleased to receive them on or before March 10 as the Foreign Office wished to have them at least a week before submitting them to the Privy Council.
Please instruct.
  1. British and Foreign State Papers, vol. cxli, p. 390.