The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 19—1:15 p.m.]
266. Our 257, April 18, 1 p.m.27 My Turkish colleague28 told me today in confidence that he called yesterday on the Foreign Minister29 to inquire as to the accuracy of press reports that the Soviet Government had recently proposed to the Japanese Ambassador in Moscow the commencement of negotiations to cover the whole field of Soviet-Japanese relations. Mr. Arita replied that these reports were greatly exaggerated and that the Soviet proposal related only to the reopening of negotiations for a treaty of commerce which had been broken off. The Turkish Ambassador then asked the Foreign Minister whether he thought that these negotiations would prove successful, to which Mr. Arita replied in the negative. According to informant, Mr. Arita expressed to him the belief that the Soviets have made this gesture merely with a view to keeping Soviet-Japanese relations on a conciliatory basis while the Soviets are faced with other problems in Scandinavia, [Page 640] the Balkans and the Near East, and that their alleged desire to conclude a treaty of commerce is without “sincerity”.