23 September, 1941
#842 (3 Parts-complete)
On the morning of the 23rd. I called on Hull and handed to him the English texts of your messages #562* and #564**, and our terms of peace between Japan and China as contained in your message #590***.
I took this opportunity to point out the following points: That with these notes, together with the various other statements made by us, we have said all that we can say; that we have nothing further to say to Ambassador Grew, either; that we shall leave all matters pertaining to the Tripartite Pact, other than the points which have already been brought up and explained, to be decided upon at the meeting of the leaders of the two countries; that the proposals which we now make are not intended to show down the original proposals made by the U. S., but rather are intended to enlarge their scope.
I continued by describing the situation and conditions in Japan in accordance with the contents of your message #589****. I added that our government was sincerely interested in having the "Leaders' Conference" materialize at the earliest possible opportunity.
In reply to this, Hull said that he was spending much time in promoting the materialization of the "Leaders' Conference". He then said that he had previously expressed his hope that we would guide public opinion to a more favorable one, and inquired if we had been successful in this.
I replied that as I had pointed out on several previous occasions, the government has faced this problem with sincerity, and that it is gradually being improved.
Hull then asked for my own personal opinions on the matter, so I replied that it is the government's opinion that the Tripartite Pact and the improvement of U. S.-Japanese relations can be made parallel each other. I also said that I was firmly convinced that the meeting between the two leaders would immeasurably strengthen peace the of the Pacific.
Hull then advised me that he has received Grew's report of the Minister Toyoda-Grew meeting of the 22nd, and that he is giving it his careful study at the present time. He said that he is anxious to reply to it at the earliest possible moment. I then tried to have him commit himself to be in favor of the materialization of the "Leaders' Conference", even if in principle only, but I was unable to make say anything definite.
Hull then went on to say that in view of world conditions, it is not too early even now, for the U. S. and Japan to consider the reconstruction of a peaceful world. He, himself, thinks that Japan and the U. S. are ideally situated right now to lend leadership to the world. At the same time, however, he is not sure whether the caliber of statesmanship of the two countries is capable of coping with such an undertaking.
I, therefore, said that even from this standpoint, it was essential that the "Leaders' Conference" takes place.
With this, our meeting was brought to an end.
*JD-1: 5160 (S.I.S. #22248)-Detailed reply of Foreign Minister to Grew's request for interpretation of various phrases and paragraphs in Japan's notes and statements of intentions in the current U. S. negotiations.
**JD-1: 5162 (S.I.S. #22250)-"Equitable basis" is not to be judged solely by Japan. (Refers to open door & commerce in China.)
***JD-1: 5360 (S.I.S. #2250-51)-Outline of Japan's terms for peace with China.
****JD-1: 5359 (S.I.S. #22547-49)-Grew-Toyoda talk in which Japs again emphasize that all U. S questions have now been answered and they therefore expect a U. S. reply on the leaders' conference question. The situation during past month has steadily become more critical and will become more so, due to pro-Axis elements in Japan, if a decision is not reached prior to the 1st anniversary of the Tripartite Pact the 28th of this month. Tell the Secretary this and wire his reactions.
JD-1: Navy Trans. 9-26-41 (1)
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)