761.94/7–2145: Telegram

No. 1260
The Japanese Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Sato) to the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs (Togo)

1480. Re your telegram No. 952.1

There is no reason to believe that Stalin was not informed beforehand on the Potsdam joint declaration2 and this must be considered only natural, judging from the present relationship among the three countries—the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. Also, for the most part, we can surmise that the above-mentioned joint declaration had some connection with our plan to send the special envoy, i. e., our first request to the Soviet Union on the 13th regarding the dispatch of a special envoy.3 It can be suspected that the subject was casually mentioned to the leaders of the United States and Great Britain at Potsdam.4 I believe we can conclude that the recent joint declaration was based on this information and that the three countries—the United States, Great Britain, and China—made a proclamation in an effort to make their stand clear and definite. As to whether or not the declaration of the 26th was made after the leaders of the United States and Great Britain were informed5 of the first request which I made to Lozovsky on the 25th and also regarding the second request6 (my telegram No. 14497) on sending the special envoy, all this is not actually too important. Also, in reality, we believe that a discussion was held with Chiang Kai-shek prior to our presentation of the request on the 25th. Nevertheless, it is possible that they have already ferreted out signs of our overtures to conclude a negotiated peace at that time. The only ones who knew the circumstances of that period are Stalin and Molotov, and it is a difficult task to find out the truth. As for our side, I believe there is nothing we can do but to reason as indicated above.
In connection with the above problems, one important point is that by issuing the joint declaration, the United States and Great Britain made persistent demands on Japan to surrender unconditionally immediately, and another important point which they made clear is that they have no intention of relaxing the terms as stated in he declaration. If Stalin sees that it is impossible to shake the will [Page 1297] of the United States and Great Britain regarding the above points, it would mean that our request to send the special envoy cannot be accepted and will be futile, regardless of how we explain that our desire to terminate the miserable war is in accordance with the will of our gracious Emperor and that Stalin will be called the advocate of world peace, etc. As for the United States and Great Britain, their contention will be that the only way for Japan to avoid the bloodshed of war is to surrender immediately. Stalin will also exert sufficient heavy pressure on the United States, Great Britain, and China regarding Manchuria, China, Korea, etc., in the event that Japan surrenders. He is also believed to have made up his mind to push through his claim and actually holds the power to do so. Therefore I believe that Stalin feels there is absolutely no necessity for making a voluntary agreement with Japan. On this point I see a serious discrepancy between your view and the actual state of affairs.

Also, attention should be paid to Australian Foreign Minister Evatt’s announcement, as reported by the B. B. C. on the 30th, that he was opposed to the attitude of the joint declaration against Japan since it tends to be more lenient toward Japan than the stand taken by the Allied nations against Germany in the past.8

I request that you read through my telegram No. 14769 together with this telegram.