762.94/286: Telegram

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

104. My 101, February 20, 9 p.m. via Shanghai. A prominent member of the House of Peers tells me that former Ambassador Debuchi at the general meeting of the Budget Committee of the Diet on February 17 put the following interpellation to the Government after the official stenographers had been withdrawn:

“At the time of the conclusion of the Anti-Comintern Agreement the Government emphasized in the statement issued by the Foreign Ministry17 the following two points: (1) the pact does not aim to form any special international bloc, (2) the pact has no intention to aim at any specific nation but to check the activities of the Comintern.”

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The interpellator then asked: “Does the present Government also adhere to the aforesaid two points?”

In reply to the interpellation the Prime Minister, Baron Hiranuma, said that the Government adheres to the policies mentioned.

My informant further tells me in strict confidence that the foregoing interpellation was made at the direct instance of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister and that Hiranuma’s reply was emphatically expressed. Their purpose, he says, was to indicate that while the Government advocates a strengthening of the Anti-Comintern Pact, the Government is nevertheless determined to avoid any European commitment of a broader nature than to check Comintern activities.