761.94/7–2145: Telegram

No. 1230
The Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs ( Togo ) to the Japanese Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Sato )

932. Re my telegram No. 931.1

We cannot accept unconditional surrender (understood fully your telegram No. 14162) in any situation. Although it is apparent that there will be more casualties on both sides in case the war is prolonged, we will stand united as one nation against the enemy if the enemy forcibly demands our unconditional surrender. It is, however, our intention to achieve, with Soviet assistance, a peace which is not of unconditional nature, in order to avoid such a situation as mentioned above in accordance with His Majesty’s desire. It will be necessary for us to exert our utmost efforts to have the United States and Great Britain understand thoroughly this intention. Thus, it is impossible at this time to ask the Soviet Union unconditionally for assistance in obtaining peace; at the same time, it is also impossible and to our disadvantage to indicate the concrete conditions immediately at this time on account of internal and external relations. Under such delicate circumstances, we hope to have Prince Konoye transmit to the Soviet Union our concrete intentions based on the Emperor’s wishes and following a conference to have the Soviets deal with the United States and Great Britain, while considering the Soviet demands in Asia.
Taking into consideration the fact that this matter is a negotiation of the utmost importance which may determine the fate of our country, I request that you take full measures to grasp the true intentions of the Soviet Union by seeking sufficient explanations, for instance, even with respect to the Soviet reply transmitted in your telegram No. 1417.3
It is a matter of course that the special envoy has the responsibility of advising the Government; but please explain to the Soviets, if necessary, that the envoy is to be dispatched as a special envoy in accordance with the wishes of the Emperor, whose chief aim is benevolence. Please take care to fully impress the other party [Page 1259] with the facts regarding His Majesty’s trust in Prince Konoye and the prominent position held by the Prince in the political circles in our country.
If the proposal at the beginning of my telegram No. 931 is not absolutely necessary, please avoid making a written proposal.
Furthermore, I understood your opinion transmitted in telegram No. 1427,4 but wish to request your further endeavors since the decision regarding the matter at the beginning of my telegram was that of the Cabinet.