The Ambassador in France (Bullitt) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 27—2:56 p.m.]
837. The Chief of the Far Eastern Division of the Foreign Office read to us this morning telegrams received recently from the French Embassy at Tokyo regarding German efforts to strengthen Japanese collaboration with the Axis. The gist of these telegrams was that the Germans had in fact urged Japan to enter into a military alliance with Germany; that there had been a “cat and dog fight” in Tokyo regarding the answer to be made to this proposal; that the moderates had won out; and that a week ago the Privy Council had taken a decision to agree to strengthen “on an ideological basis” the Anti-Comintern Pact, but to refuse the offer of a military alliance. It was also reported that the Germans had proposed that the former German colonies in the Pacific should be returned to Germany and that certain ports in China should be placed at their disposal.
The Embassy reported that by agreeing to strengthen ideologically the Anti-Comintern Pact the moderates hoped that they had appeased both the extremists in Japan as well as the Germans while at the same time intending to see to it that any strengthening of the pact which might take place would be largely a matter of words.