Memorandum by Mr. Joseph W. Ballantine to the Secretary of State

Mr. Secretary: In connection with the meeting which will take place with the Japanese on November 18, it is suggested that you may care to bring up the following points:

(1) As Mr. Kurusu knows, we have gone over very exhaustively in our conversations the various questions involved in the proposed settlement between the United States and Japan and have examined these questions from every angle. It will be helpful to have a fresh point of view on the matter and for this reason we would like to hear all the suggestions which Mr. Kurusu may have in mind to offer.

What Mr. Kurusu may have to say in response to your drawing him out in this way might take up most of the time of the meeting. Opportune occasion may arise, however, for you to bring up any or all of the following points:

(2) We have noted the contents of the two documents which the Japanese Ambassador presented on November 17.31 In one of these documents the Japanese Government confirms as expressing its general purpose certain excerpts from a statement of the Japanese Government delivered to the President on August 28.32 While we still do not see the need of the qualifying phrases, the statement of the Japanese Government serves to clarify the point that the present Japanese Government’s attitude in this respect is the same as that of the previous Japanese Government. In the other document there was expressed the willingness of the Japanese Government to apply the principle of political stabilization to the entire Pacific area and to omit the word “southwestern” in the text of Article VI of its proposal of September 25,33 We wish to inquire whether the Japanese Government would be willing to omit the word “southwestern” throughout the document.

(3) We shall await with interest the reactions of the Japanese Government to our proposal of November 15 on economic policy.34 We feel that if we can reach agreement on that aspect of a Pacific settlement it will be helpful toward enabling us to dispose of the other outstanding questions.

[Page 606]

(4) The Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs has on various occasions spoken to the American Ambassador of the latest Japanese proposals as representing material concessions on the part of the Japanese Government and has intimated that this Government was not adopting a concessive attitude. From the outset of our conversations we have talked about a comprehensive and consistent peaceful program. We have neither asked for anything for ourselves nor have we felt that from the long-swing interests of both countries there was any room for compromise on the principles essential to establishing and maintaining such a comprehensive peaceful program. Entirely apart from this aspect of the question, however, it is not clear what the Japanese Government has in mind when it says that its recent proposals represent concessions.

(5) It would be a very fine thing at this time if Japanese industry could be put actively to work in pursuance of the program for the promotion of peace. There are many ways in which, if we could reach an agreement with Japan on the economic program, Japanese factories could be put into operation for the production of commodities needed by the United States and by other peaceful countries in connection with this program. The problem of demobilizing large numbers of armed forces and making room for the men thus demobilized in peaceful pursuits always presents difficulties, but it is felt that the situation now is exceptionally advantageous for such demobilization in view of the great existing need throughout the world for the products of industry.

J[oseph] W. B[allantine]