761.94/1185: Telegram

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

13. 1. My British colleague informs me in strict confidence that Macchi, First Secretary of the Italian Embassy, called yesterday on the Counselor of the British Embassy and said that pursuant to instructions from the Italian Government the Italian Ambassador21a had stated to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs22 on January 8 that an accord between Japan and the Soviet Union would not fail adversely to affect the cordial relations now existing between Japan and Italy.

2. According to Craigie, Macchi, who gave the impression that he spoke with the knowledge and approval of his Ambassador, said that even to adopt normalization of Japanese-Soviet relations would strengthen the position in Europe of the Soviet Union and would serve to encourage Soviet aggression in the Balkans. It was his view that the adjustment by Japan and Soviet Russia of certain outstanding problems even if only of a nonpolitical character would be bound to add to the Soviet sense of security and thus have important international political repercussions. Macchi then suggested as a possibility a collective démarche in Tokyo on the part of the United States, Great Britain, France and Italy with a view to discouraging Japan from strengthening its relations with Soviet Russia.

3. Craigie is not impressed, nor am I, by the practicability of the Italian suggestion as set forth in the preceding paragraph. Nevertheless, if the normalization of relations between Japan and the Soviet Union would damage Italian-Japanese relations, it is interesting to speculate on the extent to which relations between Italy and Germany have been prejudiced by the working arrangement between Germany and the Soviet Union.

4. I have not been approached by the Italian Ambassador.

  1. Giacinto Auriti, Italian Ambassador in Japan.
  2. Adm. Kichisaburo Nomura.