740.0011 European War 1939/6333: Telegram

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

1079. Today’s Asahi, Hochi, Yomiuri discussing question article 3 tripartite alliance37 vis-à-vis war Italy–Greece state Japanese Government to withhold decision its attitude pending study detailed official reports today’s Cabinet meeting. Yomiuri, Hochi assert Japan obviously fully prepared render every assistance Italy if requested. All newspapers declare Greco-Italian war result British intrigue instigation Greece. Evening newspapers report today’s Cabinet meeting decision reached withhold final formation Japanese attitude pending further close study detailed cables. Domei reports observers believe interpretation tripartite pact should be agreed upon following tripartite consultations—pact designed prevent extension conflict therefore interpretation should be considered from “practical standpoint” not “literal”.

Sent to Department via Shanghai.

  1. Signed September 27, 1940, by Germany, Italy, and Japan; for text, see Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. ii, p. 165.