701.9411/1103: Telegram

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

119. Our 115, March 2, 3 p.m.16

1. Yesterday the House of Peers discussed in appreciative terms the action of the President in making available an American cruiser to [Page 456] return to Japan the remains of the late Ambassador Saito. Former Ambassador Debuchi characterized such action as “an expression of friendly feeling toward Japan”, The Minister for Foreign Affairs reporting briefly on the events which began with the offer of the President, added that events in China had aroused American public opinion, but he expressed confidence that with American feeling gradually becoming allayed it would be possible to arrive at a just settlement of the question of American rights and interests in China without there being application of pressure on the part of the United States. In this respect, he believed that the graceful act on the part of the United States following the death of Ambassador Saito would provide an opportunity for the restoration of good relations.

2. Editorials on the subject appear this morning in all but one of the metropolitan papers. The editorials in all cases refer to the attitude of the American Government in emphatic terms of appreciation and gratification, and they express confidence that this manifestation of desire for friendship on the part of the United States will contribute toward adjustment of the issues which have arisen over the treatment of American rights and interests in China. Typical of these editorials are those of the:

(a) Yomiuri: (After reviewing American-Japanese relations):

“The treatment being accorded by the American Government of the remains of former Ambassador Saito is not in any way reflective of American foreign policy but transcends that policy and is to be construed generally as a manifestation of international friendship. The friction which now disturbs American-Japanese relations is largely caused by difficulties which arise out of emotions and therefore these difficulties can only be resolved by a relaxation of feelings. If the display of good-will at this time by the American Government can provide an opportunity for reflection on the relations between the two countries an emotional drawing together of the two peoples must inevitably occur. In the light of these considerations we express thanks to the American Government for its good-will.”

(b) Nichi Nichi (First refers to the unanimous vote of condolences adopted by the House of Representatives on the motion of Congressman Kennedy):

“President Roosevelt’s offer to send the remains of the late Ambassador by a cruiser doubly endorses feelings of Americans of all classes. That action is a recognition of efforts of the late diplomat to further American-Japanese friendship. The arrangements have been made by the American Government as an act outside the field of mere diplomatic courtesy. There may yet be vicissitudes in the relations between Japan and the United States. The American people are extremely straightforward and the high respect which they are now showing to a soldier of peace creates a profound impression. Although American-Japanese relations are now in a transitional stage, due to [Page 457] the start of a new Japan, we now have renewed evidence of the fact that the two peoples are bound together by mutual understanding and friendship.”

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