794.00/268: Telegram

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

1811. Foreign Minister’s speech (begin summary). Fundamental Japan’s foreign policy aims at establishment peace in East Asia based on justice, and as result this policy, Japan has unceasingly developed since Meiji restoration. In past 70 years Japan has faced several crises, and is now endeavoring accomplish new East Asian order as contribution toward world peace. Three Power Pact brought into being because Germany, Italy have similar views, and in little more than year has contributed toward construction new orders [in] Asia and Europe, as well as prevention of spread of war.

Manchukuo’s strength is increasing and 13 powers have recognized it. In China, Chungking is being subjugated. Japan[’s] policy is to co-operate with China and [upon?] basis treaty concluded for that purpose. Cooperation with Nanking will increase.

In North, Japan has striven to prevent spread of war to East and concluded Japanese-Soviet pact for that purpose. Japan is determined to prevent development [of] peace disturbance factors, and simultaneously to protect rights [and] interests Japan.

In South, Government mediated that Indochina dispute and established economic-political relations with Indochina. Also concluded protocol for joint defense Indochina to meet threat against that country which menaced security Japan. Yoshizawa30 despatched to [Page 604] draw still closer bonds of friendship. Relations with Thailand also becoming closer.

But third powers disseminate malicious propaganda, accusing Japan of aggression in those regions, and when Japanese troops entered Southern Indochina in accordance defense protocol, Britain, United States regarded step as menace and froze assets which was tantamount rupturing economic relations. They also established encircling positions with cooperation Netherlands Indies, Chungking. Thus international situation increasing in tension and existence Empire affected. Government has exerted utmost efforts preserve peace. Since outbreak China affair, relations with United States deteriorated, which unless checked would end in catastrophe, causing suffering in Pacific and entire world. “Solicitous for peace as ever, the Japanese Government have, since April last, carried on conversations with the Government of the United States with a view to bringing about a fundamental adjustment of the Japanese-American relations. The former Cabinet endeavoured earnestly to reach a successful conclusion of the negotiations, in view particularly of the tension in the situation which had been accentuated since the summer of this year, but an agreement of views was not reached between the two countries.

“The present Cabinet, in order to avert the international crisis and preserve the peace of the Pacific, decided also to continue the negotiations which are still in progress. I regret to say that I have not the liberty of revealing at this juncture the details of the negotiations. But I think an amicable conclusion is by no means impossible if the Government of the United States are, on the one hand, genuinely solicitous for world peace as are the Imperial Government and, on the other, understand Japan’s natural requirements and her position in East Asia and consider the situation as it exists there in the light of realities. Moreover, the views of the two countries have generally been made clear through the conversations which have now lasted more than 6 months, and consequently I believe it must be evident to the United States Government that, viewed even from the technical angle, there is no necessity of spending much time on the negotiations hereafter.

“Such being the circumstances, the Japanese Government are bending their best efforts to the successful conclusion of the negotiations, but there is naturally a limit to our conciliatory attitude. Should an occasion arise such as might menace the very existence of the Empire or compromise the prestige of Japan as a great power, it goes without saying that Japan must face it with a firm and resolute attitude. For my part, I am taking charge of the negotiations with a firm resolve regarding this point.”

Japan faces unprecedented situation and entire nation must unite. National defense and diplomacy are inseparable, and internal and external [Page 605] politics are counterparts. Never before has there been greater need for mobilizing nation’s strength. (End summary).

  1. Kenkichi Yoshizawa, former Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs.