894.00/920: Telegram

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

590. This morning’s press reporting resignation Yonai Cabinet21 virtually unanimous stating political change necessary now to (a) strengthen national unity through “new political structure” and (b) “revitalize [and] strengthen” Japan’s foreign policy. Describing sequence events leading up Premier Yonai’s resignation, practically all newspapers state resignation grew out of gradually widening divergence opinion between “army and Cabinet”. Reported that July 9 War Minister [in] conference with Premier urged latter take steps strengthen internal political structure and emphasized inevitability change Japan’s foreign policy. No concrete steps taken subsequently by Premier, accordingly War Minister July 14 sent Premier Yonai written communication reiterating army views. (Yomiuri purporting to give summary this document states as follows:

“To cope successfully with difficulties during present great world changes, nation’s international structure must be strengthened, diplomacy must be renovated. To continue present hesitation [and] indecision will lose to Japan its great opportunity. Public has lost confidence in present Government through Cabinet’s failure successfully to deal with changing world situation. This will adversely affect settlement of [China] incident, therefore, now necessary establish new domestic foreign policies. Premier should consider resignation …22 new structure capable formulating [and] executing domestic [and] foreign policies must be established”).

At Cabinet meeting yesterday morning Hata and Premier unable agree and Hata resigned. Since impossible obtain successor to Hata, entire Cabinet decided resign.
Prince Konoye only person suggested by press as likely receive Imperial command form new cabinet. Considered logical choice because close connection present movement establishment “new political structure” following dissolution present political parties. Yosuke Matsuoka, former President, SMR23 and Shiratori, former Ambassador [to] Italy, considered most likely candidates Foreign Minister. Press confidently expects choice will be made today.24

Repeated to Shanghai. Shanghai please repeat to Peiping and Chungking.

  1. The Ambassador In Japan notified the Department of this in a brief telegram on July 16 (894.00/919).
  2. Omission indicated in the original telegram.
  3. South Manchuria Railway.
  4. In telegram No. 591, July 17, 10 p.m., the Ambassador in Japan reported Prince Konoye’s commission from the Emperor to form a new Cabinet (894.00/922).