Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hamilton) and Mr. Joseph W. Ballantine9

Differences Between Japanese Draft and Our Revision of Japanese Draft

In the Japanese draft, there is carried out the concept of a joint paramountcy of Japanese and American interests and influence in the [Page 155] Far East and Pacific area over the interests and influence of other nations and of a Japanese-American control of the Pacific area. In our revision there has been appropriate rephrasing to eliminate this aspect of the draft and to take into account the rights and interests of all concerned based upon the principle of equality among nations.

Certain parts of the Japanese draft in form leave room for ambiguity as to whether or not the document purports to be in the nature of an agreement which in this country would require formal submission to the Senate. In our revision the document is described as a “joint declaration of policy and intention” and its form and content made consistent with this description.

Many of the changes in wording made in our revision do not effect any material alteration of substance but have been adopted in the interests of clarity and precision. Changes in substance have been made in order to broaden the basis of the document to integrate its contents with principles of universal application underlying our foreign policy. Some provisions—to which we could not subscribe—have been omitted.

A comparison of the two drafts, in which there is pointed out the differences on material points, is given below.

With regard to the introductory statement in the Japanese draft, there is perceived no need for including such statement and it is doubted whether the Japanese contemplate that such statement be included. If, however, the Japanese should desire some such statement, it is believed that the substance of the Japanese statement could be readily rephrased so as to be mutually satisfactory.

I. The Concepts of the United States and of Japan respecting International Relations and the Character of Nations.

The first paragraph in the Japanese draft has been deleted. There is danger that such a provision would create in the minds of Japanese the idea that the United States and Japan have special positions in the Pacific area and that the rights and interests of other nations are somewhat subordinate to the rights and interests of the United States and those of Japan. Moreover, there is no need for such a provision.

The remainder of the section has been rephrased to some extent so as to make the wording more precise and to broaden the contents, without, however, effecting any material changes.

II. The Attitudes of Both Governments toward the European War.

The only change in substance is the inclusion in our revision of a new paragraph reading as follows:

“The Government of Japan further declares that it is under no commitment under its Axis Alliance or otherwise which is inconsistent [Page 156] with the terms of the present declaration of policy and intention agreed upon between the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States.”

III. China Affairs.

Under the Japanese wording of the introductory sentence of this section, the Japanese might contend that the President of the United States had committed himself to asking the Chinese Government to negotiate peace with Japan and not to communicate to the Chinese Government the bases on which Japan would undertake to negotiate peace. In our revision the President of the United States would be free in approaching the Chinese Government to communicate to the Chinese Government the basic terms as set forth in the draft.

The Japanese draft enumerates eight points, a to h, inclusive, as bases on which Japan would undertake to negotiate peace with China.

In our revision there is no material change in points a to d, inclusive, and point g.

Our revision omits point f of the Japanese draft, “Coalescence of the Governments of Chiang Kai-Chek and Wang-Ching-Wei”. This Government does not recognize the Wang Ching-wei regime and, while there is no objection on our part to the personnel of the Wang Ching-wei regime or of the regime itself being incorporated in the Chungking Government, it would be undesirable that this Government be put in a position of putting pressure on Chiang Kai-shek to incorporate the Wang Ching-wei regime in the Chungking Government.

Point e in the Japanese draft provides for resumption of the “Open Door” at some indefinite future time. Our revision is more precise in language and contains no specification as to the time when the provision will be implemented.

Point h in the Japanese draft, which reads “Recognition of ‘Manchukuo’”, appears in our draft as point f and is revised to read, “The question of the future of Manchuria to be dealt with by friendly negotiations to which China, Japan and ‘Manchukuo’ shall be parties.” The reason for this change is that this Government must not be put in a position of pressing the Chinese Government to recognize “Manchukuo”.

Our revision omits the third paragraph of the Japanese draft, which calls for inclusion in the Japanese terms of peace to China of proposals for “joint defense against communistic activities and economic cooperation”, and it substitutes a paragraph providing for the conduct of negotiations “on a basis of legal equality and in a spirit of good neighborly friendship”. The provision in the Japanese draft for “joint defense against communistic activities” is objectionable in that it could envisage permanent Japanese military control of wide areas of north China.

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The last paragraph of this section of the Japanese draft, which provides for discontinuance of American assistance to China in the event that Chiang Kai-shek rejects the request of President Roosevelt to negotiate a peace settlement with Japan, is omitted in our revision.

IV. Naval, Aerial and Mercantile Marine Relations in the Pacific.

The Japanese draft declares that America and Japan shall not resort to such disposition of their naval and aerial forces so as to menace each other. In our revision the two Governments pledge that their naval and aerial forces shall not be used for purposes of disturbing or altering the status quo in the Pacific. The Japanese proposal would seem to envisage a division of the Pacific Ocean into a Japanese sphere and an American sphere, and would bring up questions such as fortification of Guam, et cetera, discussions with regard to which would not be opportune.
No material change.
No material change.

V. Commerce between Both Nations and Their Financial Cooperation.

The first paragraph of the Japanese draft calls for assurances of mutual supply of commodities as available or required. Our revision limits commitments during the present emergency to figures of pre-war trade and excepts commodities which each country may need for its own purposes of security and defense.

In the second paragraph of the Japanese draft there is provision for extension of American gold credits to Japan. In our revision there is provision that American gold credits might be extended also to other countries of the Far East and Western Pacific area.

VI. Economic Activity of Both Nations in the Southwestern Pacific Area.

No change in general substance has been made, but our revision would preclude this Government’s assisting Japan to obtain materials to supply a country such as Germany with war supplies.

VII. The Policies of Both Nations affecting Political Stabilization in the Pacific.

The Japanese draft provides for non-acquiescence by Japan and the United States in future transfers of territory in the Far Eastern and Southwestern Pacific area to any European power. Our revision calls for non-assent to such transfer to any power under conditions of duress.
The Japanese draft calls for joint guarantee of the independence of the Philippines. Our revision provides that Japan would declare its willingness to enter into negotiations for a treaty for the neutralization [Page 158] of the Philippines (as provided for in the Tydings–McDuffie Act of March 24, 193410).
The Japanese draft calls for assistance by the United States for the removal of Hong Kong and Singapore as doorways to facilitating political encroachment by the British in the Far East. Our revision provides that the Government of the United States would be willing to discuss with the Japanese and the British Governments a project for an agreement that the territorial possessions of any of the three powers shall not be used as bases for aggression.
Our revision omits altogether this point in the Japanese draft which relates to immigration. This is in accordance with the position of this Government that the regulation of immigration is a matter falling within the province of domestic jurisdiction.


Our revision contains an additional section providing that Japan and the United States will, upon the conclusion of a peace settlement between Japan and China, enter into negotiations with China looking to the relinquishment of extraterritoriality and other special rights.


Our revision contains a new provision to the effect that the Chairman of the Government of China shall be invited to attend the opening meeting of the conference at Honolulu proposed in the Japanese draft. Such a provision would broaden the setting of the conference and dignify the position of China; and it should not be objectionable to the Japanese Government as the Chairman of the Chungking Government (Lin Sen) is also nominally Chairman of the Wang Ching-wei regime.

Our revision contains a further additional paragraph proposing the inclusion in the agenda of the conference of a plan for holding as soon as world conditions permit a second conference between delegates of all the powers principally interested in the Far East and Western Pacific area.

Our revision omits paragraphs b, c, and d and the addendum contained in the Japanese draft. Paragraph b in the Japanese draft provides that there shall be no foreign observers. Paragraph c provides for the time of the conference. Paragraph d provides that the conference will not reconsider matters covered by the present document. The addendum relates to the confidential character of the contents of this document. It is believed that these points should not be included in the agreement but may be discussed and disposed of satisfactorily in oral discussion.

  1. Notation on file copy: “Memorandum by Mr. Ballantine and Mr. Hamilton relating to the Japanese draft of April 9 and our tentative redraft of April 16. For use in the Department.” For draft of April 9, see Foreign Relations. Japan, 1931–1941, vol. ii, p. 398; for redraft of April 16, see infra.
  2. 48 Stat. 456.