761.94/7–2145: Telegram

No. 1235
The Japanese Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Sato) to the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs (Togo)

1449. Re my telegram No. 1441.1

On the 25th I met Lozovsky in order to make the proposal contained in my telegram No. 1450,2 and we continued our conversation as follows:

Sato: As you have already understood from my proposal, the Japanese Government is asking the Soviet Government to mediate in a friendly manner relative to the termination of the war, and at the same time will have Prince Konoye explain directly to you the concrete intentions of our Government.

L.: Could you give me the text of the proposal which you have just made? Its content is really important. If you could prepare a written text for me, I should be able to understand it more correctly. It is difficult to expect real accuracy from an oral presentation. It would also be convenient for me to make a report to my Government if I have a written text.

I should like to ask one or two questions: (1) I understand that the Japanese Government is asking the Soviet Government to mediate in order to terminate the war, and (2) concerning the above problem Prince Konoye is going to bring us some concrete proposals. Now, are these concrete proposals for the termination of the war or for strengthening Russo-Japanese relations? As this point was not made clear, I should like to have you explain it to me so that I can make a report to my Government.

Sato: As to your latter question, the concrete intentions which Prince Konoye is going to explain to the Soviet Government are, as I understand it, concerned with both of the problems you have just mentioned. In other words, I understand that they are concerned, first, with the request to the Soviet Government for mediation and, [Page 1264]second, with the problem of strengthening Russo-Japanese relations. As to your first request, it is outside the instructions which I have received to prepare a written text of the proposal which I made today. However, I shall prepare such a text for your reference on my own initiative and present it to you later, since the problem itself is significant, as you have suggested, and also in due consideration of the fact that the leaders of the Soviet Government are now in Berlin. Needless to say, however, I have to ask you to treat this text as top secret, because of its extremely secret nature. I should also like to mention that Prince Konoye, whose mission I have just explained to you, has our Emperor’s greatest confidence and occupies an eminent position in our Government. Therefore, in my opinion, his mission will cover a vast area: he will ask the Soviet Government for mediation; at the same time he will exchange views concerning problems common to both of our countries. Moreover, he may go into the problem of future relations between the two nations. I believe you will not be wrong in understanding the matter as I have indicated above.

L.: I understand well the secret nature of this problem; I also understand well that what you have conveyed to me, Mr. Ambassador, is very confidential. I will make a report to my Government as soon as I receive your written text. Moreover, I will let you know immediately concerning any instructions I receive from my Government.

Sato: Thank you for your kind help. I personally would also wish to hear from you as soon as possible.

Before leaving, I added the following:

The intention of the Japanese Government, regarding Prince Konoye’s mission, is to ask the Soviet Government’s assistance in terminating the war. I am sure that the intention is good. Therefore, it is my hope that you will be able to make arrangements so that the Soviet Government will have an opportunity to hear directly from the Prince on this matter.

This would have ended today’s meeting. However, I repeated my own explanation of the mission of the special envoy, which appeared to impress L. a great deal. Particularly the fact that our Government has asked the Soviet Government to mediate seemed to arrest his attention. L. listened to our proposal with an earnest and attentive attitude throughout, and promised me an answer from his Government.