The Ambassador in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

No. 3025

Sir: I have the honor to enclose as of possible interest a copy of a memorandum57 prepared by Dr. J. Leighton Stuart, President of Yenching University, of a conversation had by him on January 29, 1941, with Counselor Tsuchida, in charge of the Japanese Embassy in Peiping, in regard to Sino-Japanese relations. The memorandum is brief and interesting.

It will be noted that Counselor Tsuchida stated that the news of General Chiang Kai-shek’s vigorous disbandment of the Chinese 4th Route Army would produce a favorable effect in Japan as indicating an attitude to Communism similar to their own, but that Japan would continue its recognition of the Wang Ching-wei regime rather than that of General Chiang Kai-shek. It will also be noted that Dr. Stuart expressed the view that, if Japan regarded Chinese Communism as a hindrance to peace, Japan should recognize the fact that, from the standpoint of the Chungking government, the Wang Ching-wei regime was another rebellious movement, created and maintained purely by Japanese military force, and as such at least as great a hindrance to peace as Chinese Communism; Dr. Stuart added that the problem of peace or of lengthening hostilities was therefore one to be discussed in Tokyo rather than to be settled through further attempts to meet with representatives of the National Government and alter their views. At the close of the conversation Counselor Tsuchida quietly remarked that he agreed with Dr. Stuart but feared that it would be difficult to persuade his Government.58

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Robert L. Smyth

First Secretary of Embassy
  1. Dated January 31, not printed.
  2. The First Secretary of Embassy in his despatch No. 3044, March 6, reported another talk between Dr. Stuart and Mr. Tsuchida at the latter’s initiative, in which the Japanese Counselor “appeared to be concerned over Dr. Currie’s recent visit to Chungking in particular, and Japanese-American tension in general” (793.94/16547).