123G861/816: Telegram

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

534. 1. Department’s 318, October 18, 6 p.m. Section 1 was decoded and handed to me after I had left the Embassy for the America–Japan [Page 588] Society luncheon; section 2 arrived after the luncheon and speech were over.

2. The address covered in general all of the Department’s desiderata as expressed in its telegram. It was by far the strongest speech that I have ever made in Japan. I outlined the cardinal principles of American policy, including the settlement of international issues by orderly processes, equality of commercial opportunity et cetera, and presented a cursive account of specific Japanese policies and actions which cause American resentment. These two sections of the address were intended to bring the differences between respective American and Japanese policies and objectives into clear relief and I believe that this method of approach will have better reception and more beneficial effects than a direct frontal attack on Japanese policies and actions would have had.

3. In view of the considerations advanced in my 524, October 16, 11 a.m., I am not giving the text to the local press. In any case it is shortly to be published in pamphlet form for the members of the America–Japan Society. I have given the text to the Associated Press and the United Press.

4. I feel that Dooman can more appropriately convey to the Department than can I his own observations and those of the other members of the staff of the general reaction of the 200 or more members of the society who were present at the luncheon, both Japanese and American.

5. Following from Dooman:

The members of the staff had been asked to observe carefully the Japanese present at the luncheon while the speech was being delivered and to elicit comment from Japanese afterwards. Although the address took 40 minutes to deliver it was noticed that the entire audience followed it intently. In view of the strong and protracted applause after the conclusion of the address, the fact that there was no applause during delivery indicates how closely the address was followed. Only one Japanese left the room during the address and he is a retired army officer. About 20 Japanese were approached by us after the luncheon and the comment made in every case was one of enthusiastic approbation. Among those made to me by Japanese were: “The most courageous speech I have ever heard”; “a splendid speech which will clear the air”. The American members of the society were emphatic in their support of the address and many expressed gratified relief that the entire scope of problems arising out of American-Japanese relations had been presented to the Japanese people for the first time in a clear and precise form.