894.00/865: Telegram

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

445. Our 443, August 28, 4 p.m.5

There is general expectation that General Abe will be able to constitute a Cabinet6 and that arrangements therefor will be completed by August 29 or 30.
By reference to our 435 [437], August 25, 7 p.m.7 third paragraph and 444 [440], August 26, 2 p.m.8 second paragraph, it will be perceived how today’s events were brought about. They were the handiwork of leaders experienced in world affairs who, because of the colossal miscalculations of the military with regard to European affairs and because of the storm impending in Europe, have succeeded in regaining at least some measure of control over foreign policies. The likelihood of the military hereafter intervening in Japan’s relations with Europe has, I believe, been greatly reduced; but whether the new government will be able to modify Japanese objectives in China to conform to the needs created by the European political situation is a question concerning which no definite opinion would be warranted.
It seems quite clear that the “free and independent” new policy was decided upon first and search was then made for some one who could be counted upon to give effect to that policy. There has been no organized movement by any political faction in the army or among the political parties which brought about the selection of General Abe. The selection came about through the suitability and qualifications of the man for the position under conditions already laid down.
The reason for the resignation of Baron Hiranuma as set forth in a public statement issued today is that explained in our 444 [440]. The resignation of the Cabinet en bloc was designed to manifest their sense of joint responsibility although the army offered to assume entire responsibility.

Repeated to Peiping. Peiping please repeat to Chungking.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Baron Kiichiro Hiranuma’s Cabinet resigned August 28.
  3. Vol. iii, p. 54.
  4. Ibid., p. 55.