September 4, 1941
#528 (Part 1 of 2.)
Re your #556 [a].
1. What the United States Government proposed as a preliminary to the meeting of the leaders of the two countries were the questions of self-defense, occupation of China by the Japanese Army and equal treatment in trade, discussed during the informal negotiations in the past. The fact is that the recent situation in Japan, especially since the leakage of Premier KONOYE's message, has made it urgent to hold the conference as soon as possible and thereby adjust Japanese-American relations. However, if we continue to argue merely the legal angle of the aforementioned three pending questions as we have been doing, we believe that it would be impossible to be ready, as you have suggested, by the latter part of September. Furthermore, regarding what was communicated to us by the United States Government on July 24th and (August ?) 17th, we have already expressed our views, in addition to our sending the Premier's message. Since we have nothing more to say on the subject, we have decided to press first of all our viewpoint given in #529 [b], and, after finding out on what points the leaders of the two countries preliminarily and principally can agree, to hold a conference for the discussion of those points and then issue a joint statement at the end (I will wire you our text as soon as it is ready,) and thus help create a more wholesome atmosphere between the two countries.
Army 21790 Trans. 9/4/41 (S)
[a] Not available.
[b] See S.I.S. #21786, #21787 and 21788.
September 4, 1941
#528 (Part 2 of 2.)
And so at 4:30 P. M. on the 4th I asked Ambassador GREW to come to see me and, upon his arrival, I communicated to him what is in the separate telegram. Bearing this in mind, will you also communicate the same to the Secretary of State.
2. The points in the separate telegram which require special explanation are as follows: (This was promised by the leaders of the two countries today during their conference. Whether it should take the form of a secret agreement or an ordinary agreement will be left to the discretion of the conferees.)
(1) We expect each of the matters upon which Japan has made her pledge, especially Japan's stand with regard to the Three-Power Alliance, will win the approval of the United States Government
(2) As to the withdrawal of the orders for freezing of assets by both countries, you should avoid giving the impression that this freezing measure taken by the United States had proven to be damaging to Japan.
(a) Explain the fact that if the ---- of this measure is technical and complicated and, furthermore, a halfway step, it will not be understood by the people at large.
(b) Explain the fact that this step which the United States has taken has given the impression to the Japanese people that it was meant to be a punishment for Japan's occupation of French Indo-China.
(c) Consider its spectacular aspect as secondary and emphatically propose that in view of the importance of the pledges made at this time by Japan, the United States must reciprocate Japan's decision even by overcoming a possible strong opposition within the American Government. By the word "immediately" with reference to the time when these orders are to be withdrawn, the time when an agreement regarding the matter included in the aforementioned (1) has been reached by the leading conferees, is meant.
(3) By ceasing to take military measures we mean, for example, to cease dispatching more submarines and airplanes to the Philippines and cease acquiring military bases in the southwestern Pacific area, in China and in Far Eastern Russia.
Army 21791 Trans. 9/4/41 (S)
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)