711.94/1925: Telegram

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

102. At a large gathering of the America–Japan Society this afternoon in honor of its new president, three members of the Diet separately told me that at the meeting of the Diet held in camera today it was definitely announced that the policy of the Government is to conciliate the United States and that the “southward advance”23 will not under present circumstances be pursued by armed force. I am making an effort to obtain in confidence a transcript of the stenographic [Page 10] notes of the proceedings but this may prove difficult. The very marked anxiety over Japanese-American relations indicated by the remarks and questions of my Japanese contacts in recent weeks had given place today to an unmistakable air of optimism. Mrs. Grew, who was visiting Mrs. Matsuoka this afternoon, reports that the Foreign Minister returned from the Diet while she was there and exhibited an unusual spirit of buoyancy “as if a great load had been taken off his mind.”

While these symptoms are interesting, they are, of course, inconclusive. I believe, however, that they may properly be associated with the influences which appear to have prevented a public reply to Mr. Hull’s statement before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. One member of the Diet said to me that the proceedings in the Diet today reflected the desires of the Emperor. The general anxiety over the worsening of relations with the United States, as indicated in my recent contacts with prominent Japanese, has been more intense than at any time of my observations during the past eight years in Japan.24

  1. For correspondence on this subject, see vol. v, pp. 1 ff.
  2. See also telegram No. 126, January 27, 7 p.m., Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. ii, p. 133.