894.00/928: Telegram

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

595. Today’s press reports Premier designate Konoye, after unusually long audience last night with Emperor lasting almost 1 hour, saw former War and Navy Ministers and exchanged views. Reported Konoye will select War, Navy, Foreign Ministers first, and will in conference with them decide Japan’s high policy and obtain agreement this policy before selecting other Ministers and before deciding upon such important officials as present Cabinet Planning Board, chief secretary Cabinet, and Director Legislative Bureau. High policies to be discussed at Four-Minister Conference to be held tomorrow including question revision Japan’s policy non-involvement [in] European hostilities, strengthening Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis and other fundamental changes Japan’s foreign policy. This important meeting characterized by press and [as?] supreme national defense conference. (Meeting originally scheduled for tonight but latest reports indicate new war minister who was flying back to Tokyo from China inspection trip forced down [by] adverse weather condition [in] Korea and may be unable reach Tokyo until tomorrow morning.)

Nichi Nichi editorial today emphasized strong force which army has exercised [in] political field since Manchurian incident. Expresses hope new cabinet being in harmony with army views will be strongly supported by army and will therefore become strong, enduring Cabinet. To realize “perfect collaboration between army and Government wise policy to from [will be one?] which unites perfectly [Page 966] supreme military command and administration.” Several other vernaculars express similar thought.

Last press bulletins state following Ministers selected, 1. War Minister, Lieutenant General Hideki Tojo, former Vice Minister of War prior Konoye Cabinet, Chief of State [Staff] Japanese Army [of] Kwantung at time outbreak China incident: [2.]Navy Minister, Vice Admiral Zengo Yoshida, held same position Yonai Cabinet; Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka, Japanese delegate extraordinary session League of Nations 1933, president South Manchuria Railway Company 1935 to 1939.

To the Department via Shanghai. Shanghai please repeat to Peiping and Chungking.