793.94119/382: Telegram

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

28. Department’s 10, January 12, 7 p.m. The Imperial Conference was held only for the purpose of giving the Emperor’s sanction to decisions, whatever they were, already formulated and approved by the Government. It ended after a brief session and in the eyes of the Japanese the decisions previously taken are “immutable”.

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Even a friendly talk with the Minister for Foreign Affairs on this subject would have to be reported to the Cabinet and in the present tense atmosphere I have little doubt that the proposed representations by the American Ambassador seeking to influence or to modify the decisions of the Imperial Conference as contrasted with the protection of specific American interests would be interpreted at this moment as an effort to interfere with the prerogative of the Emperor and would entail reaction the reverse of that desired.

Fully realizing the fundamental importance of the facts and views set forth in your telegram, I shall have them constantly in mind for expression when a favorable occasion offers. We are aware, however, that the substance of the points outlined by the Department as well as the ramifications, effects and hazards involved in Japanese policy was very carefully weighed by the Japanese Government before the proposals implementing that policy were presented to the Emperor.

I fully appreciate your wish that I should use my own discretion in this matter and I trust that the foregoing views when given consideration will prove not to run counter to your own opinion.