794.00/249: Telegram

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

537. Foreign Vice Minister Ohashi’s review of Japan’s foreign relations made to the conference of prefectural governors today is summarized from the Asahi account:

In the first instance [in spite of?] commodity shortages and friction with the Communist Party the Chungking Government, relying [Page 141] on Britain and the United States, will continue to resist Japan. American aid to Chiang can be expected to increase on the basis of Currie’s report to the President.89 Japan must be resolved to long term endurance.
Satisfactory conclusion of all matters relating to the Thailand–Indochina mediation conference is expected shortly.
Negotiations are in progress with the Soviet Union looking toward conclusion of a fisheries treaty and a commercial agreement. Both parties are practically in accord and results may soon be forthcoming.
The Balkan hostilities brought by third countries’ instigation of Yugoslavia will speedily and effectively be solved by German action.
Possible use of American war ships to convoy shipments to Britain under the Lease-Lend Bill is a matter of deep concern to Japan.
Economic negotiations with French Indochina have progressed smoothly and will be shortly concluded. On the contrary the Netherlands East Indies Government has clung to abstractions and the Japanese-Dutch parleys have struck stormy waters.
British-American economic pressure on Japan continues to increase with future development difficult to foretell. On the other hand Matsuoka’s European visit has strengthened relations with Germany and Italy. The Tripartite Pact is the axis of Japan’s diplomacy and although many difficulties lie ahead the nation must avoid the lure of immediate advantage and proceed unflinchingly.
Japan entering a world crisis of extreme gravity has two advantages: an indivisible nation and protected geographical position. Japan’s great strength guarding the Pacific is a spectacle to the world and future glory awaits us as we face growing difficulties.
It is said that a feeling of hate toward foreigners indicating a narrow-minded people has developed among certain Japanese. Leaving aside questions of their exclusion and control, decent foreigners of whatever nationality must always be protected. Persecution of foreigners living within Japanese jurisdiction is not permitted by the spirit of Bushido and is deplorable in a great nation. I admonish the police to be polite and to avoid arousing unnecessary antagonism when they find it necessary to investigate foreigners.

  1. March 15, p. 81. See also memorandum by Mr. Joseph M. Jones on April 14, vol. v, p. 622.