740.00/1890: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Japan (Dooman)

194. 1. On occasion of Japanese Ambassador’s call on July 1065 he expressed a desire that I comment on the question, raised by Mr. Arita66 with Mr. Grew, of action by our two Governments directed toward averting war in Europe. I told him that we regard the preservation of peace of such supreme importance to the future of all nations that we make a distinction between peaceful countries, without reference to their form of government, and countries which are threatening military conquest; that we will collaborate with every peaceful nation and have indicated our desire to cooperate in every practicable way toward peace and toward a restoration to normality of international finance and commerce; and that we have made earnest pleas to the nations of Europe looking to the adjustment by peaceful means of their economic and other relations. I intimated that, while Japan might itself have made or may be making similar efforts, inasmuch as it might appear to other nations that Japan is engaged in military operations for purposes of conquest, Japan might, by bringing this situation to an end, exercise its fullest influence along with the United States and other countries in efforts to discourage aggression in other parts of the world.

The Ambassador made no particular comment other than to refer to and deny reports that Japan might enter into a military pact with Germany and Italy.

2. The Ambassador said also that he would be interested in anything that I might have to say in regard to this Government’s concern over the possible detriment to American interests arising from possible [Page 194] Japanese policies for permanent control over China and in regard to the reported apprehension of this Government that the Japanese occupation of Hainan is part of a plan of permanent military conquest, subjects which the Ambassador said had been mentioned to Mr. Grew by the Japanese Foreign Minister shortly before Mr. Grew left Tokyo.

In regard to the first point I referred to the fact that for 6 years I had been urging upon his Government the view that the world was large enough for all nations and that great progress of the whole world would flow from cooperation along progressive and mutually helpful lines.

In regard to the second point I said that while existing American rights and interests in the Far East are very important a paramount consideration was whether all of China and the adjacent islands were to be disposed of by Japan as was Manchuria, with the observance of treaties abolished, international law destroyed and the door shut and locked except as to preference for Japanese subjects. I said that I need not speculate upon how Japan would feel if it were announced that the western hemisphere and a part of Europe were to be foreclosed against Japan in a similar way. I observed that the interference which was taking place beyond all possible military requirements with the rights and interests of third power nationals all over China aroused resentment of the governments whose nationals are thus affected, that Japanese businessmen were being permitted to step in to the places of American and other businessmen who were being obliged to abandon their businesses, and that it was these circumstances and indications which gave rise to American apprehension that, as the “Manchuriaizing” of all China proceeded, American rights and interests might be permanently jeopardized or held in abeyance by Japan.

I also pointed out, speaking from my viewpoint, that efforts by any nation to dominate a large part of the world could result only in disaster to all and that I had endeavored for 6 years to urge this general idea upon Japanese statesmen.

  1. See memorandum of July 10, Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, Vol. i, p. 656.
  2. Hachiro Arita, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs.