740.0011 European War 1939/12941: Telegram

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

966. For the Acting Secretary only. Supplementing my No. 953, July 8, 4 p.m.77

[Page 298]
If as appears likely the Foreign Minister’s reference to the despatch of American war materials to Vladivostok as one of the “future developments” which might cause Japan to alter its policy toward the Soviet-German war is the result of German pressure, it affords further confirmation that the main objective of German policy in regard to Japan is to seek in every manner to produce friction between the United States and Japan and to prevent any rapprochement between the two countries. It is hardly likely that the German Government is seriously concerned as to the practical effect of American supplies via Vladivostok on the outcome of the Soviet-German war in view of the length of time it would take for such supplies to reach the front and the limited transportation facilities available. On the other hand, in view of our announced policy of extending aid to the Soviet Union,79 a Japanese decision to prevent the delivery of American supplies to Vladivostok would in German eyes offer a real opportunity of embroiling Japan with the United States.
The Japanese for their part may be expected to be hospitable to any suggestion designed to safeguard Japanese supremacy in Asiatic waters and the application to the Far East of the safety zone principle adopted in regard to the Americas at the outbreak of the war with a view to preventing in the vicinity of Japan any operations on the part of German raiders against supplies destined for the Soviet Union.
  1. Post, p. 1002.
  2. See memorandum of June 26 by the Acting Secretary of State, Vol. i , section III under Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.