123G861/814: Telegram

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

524. 1. Department’s 303, October 7, 3 p.m., is very highly appreciated.

2. After most careful consideration I have reached the conclusion that favorable results are more likely to accrue from informal approaches to influential individual[s] and groups than by the public controversies which I now realize would be stirred up by my proposed address, with the inevitable risk of undesirable irritation and friction. [Page 585] This seems to me to be particularly true in view of the present noticeable trend in Japanese attitude and opinion towards building up better relations with the United States. I believe this to be one of the fundamental policies of the present Cabinet98 and it would therefore now be unwise to take any step which might conceivably embarrass the Government in that endeavor, especially as the Cabinet is at present undergoing heavy weather arising from the recent Foreign Office crisis.

3. Steps are already being taken to arrange a meeting for me with the Prime Minister and with certain other influential persons. I also expect soon to seek an interview with the Foreign Minister, delayed owing to the recent crisis in the Foreign Office. Today I am to meet the Japanese-American Trade Council. In all these meetings I expect to use orally and informally some or all of the substantive parts of the draft address and thus to aim at its main objectives without the risk of public (and military) irritation.

4. My address before the America–Japan Society on October 19 will therefore aim to avoid controversial material although something will have to be said in general terms regarding the present attitude of the American Government and public toward Japan.

5. The fact that both Admiral Nomura and Kato, the New Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, are both believed to be friendly to the United States and that both are personal friends of mine leads me to hope for constructive results from our future endeavors.

Grew
  1. Gen. Nobuyuki Abe became Japanese Prime Minister on August 30.