Memorandum by Mr. Joseph W. Ballantine to Mr. George W. Renchard, of the Secretary’s Office66

Mr. Renchard: When the Secretary telephones today you may wish to inform him that on the afternoon of July 4 the Japanese Ambassador sent for Mr. Ballantine and handed him an unsealed letter addressed to the Secretary reading as follows:

“July 4, 1941.

“My dear Mr. Secretary: I am glad to inform you that I am now authorized by the Foreign Minister to assure you that there is no divergence of views in the Government regarding its fundamental policy of adjusting Japanese-American relations on a fair basis.

Yours very sincerely,

K. Nomura”

The Japanese Ambassador asked Mr. Ballantine to telephone the contents of this letter to the Secretary as soon as possible.

The letter was apparently intended as an answer to the Secretary’s oral statement of June 21.67 In the conversation which Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Ballantine had with the associates of the Japanese Ambassador on July 268 the Japanese repeatedly endeavored to emphasize the unanimity of the Japanese Government in its support of the [Page 292] proposed understanding and a considerable part of our effort was directed toward making clear that this was not the point brought up in the Secretary’s oral statement of June 21 and that the point brought up in the oral statement was that there existed definite indications that some important elements in the Japanese Government did not favor courses of peace but rather continued and close association with Hitler in a program of world conquest.

It does not seem that the contents of the Japanese Ambassador’s letter improves the situation in any respect from our point of view.

  1. Notation on file copy: “The contents of this memorandum were telephoned to the Secretary by Mr. Renchard on July 5.”
  2. Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, Vol. ii, p. 485.
  3. See memorandum of July 2, 1941, ibid., p. 495.