761.94/7–2145: Telegram

No. 587
The Japanese Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Sato) to the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs (Sato)
[Translation]
very secret
urgent

1386. Re my telegram No. 1385.1

Although it may be presumed that the Soviet side this time will agree to the dispatch of a special envoy, it is still difficult to say before receiving the actual reply. In the event that the Soviets agree [Page 881]but the duties of the special envoy are in accordance with your telegram No. 890,2 where the purpose was to sound out the limits to which the Soviets may be utilized in terminating the war, or in the event that his duties go no further than abstract explanations as indicated in your telegram No. 891,3 they will simply not consider it. It appears from your telegram No. 8934 that His Majesty is deeply concerned about the restoration of peace. Even if we are overawed by the fact that the dispatch of a special envoy is the Imperial wish, if the Japanese Government’s proposal brought by him is limited to an enumeration of previous abstractions, lacking in concreteness, you would not only be disappointing the authorities of this country and causing a feeling of great dissatisfaction with the insincere attitude of Japan but would also be provoking trouble for the Imperial Household. I have great apprehensions on this point.

In my humble opinion, as long as the dispatch of an important special mission from afar has been determined, I believe that its purpose should be nothing other than a proposal for peace and termination of hostilities. The Soviets can understand the Imperial wish for peace as reported by this envoy, but they may not find the appointed task of the mission clear and may very well request a supplementary statement. Consequently, although I have no doubt that the special envoy will report the details in person on his arrival, it may become necessary to give a preliminary explanation of the gist of the special envoy’s mission in the event that the Soviets request it. At any rate, I would appreciate your answer by telegram. In fact, after ascertaining this point, I believe it is possible to carry out the instructions contained in your telegram No. 893. Nevertheless, as Molotov’s departure time is so near, I have not had time to telegraph information to you and I have handled the matter in the manner indicated in the opening paragraph of my reply. However, reflecting on the extremely serious nature of the outline of the proposal which the special envoy would be bringing, I am also thinking of sending a supplementary telegram of my humble opinion for your information after carefully considering the matter.