27 September 1941
#865 (In 10 parts, complete)
On this, the 27th, I had Matudaira call on Ballantine and had him relay the contents of your message and at the same time deliver the English texts contained in your messages 591* and 595**. He requested that they be delivered to Hull.
I am taking this opportunity to express my humble opinion on various points which happen to draw my attention in regard to your message #595**. I pass them on to you for whatever value they may have.
1. As I have pointed out on several previous occasions while reporting on matters pertaining to this issue, the United States insists that it would be inappropriate to hold the "leaders' conference" until the two nations have come to a complete agreement on all the points involved. At present the United States is allegedly investigating our attitude with regard to said various points. Since, as you said, we have already said all that is to be said, we are now committed to await expression of intentions by the United States.
If we submit further papers to them in advance of receiving some reply from them, there is a danger that matters would become further complicated and less clear. I am of the opinion that this would tend to hamper the progress of the negotiations.
If, by some chance, some apparent inconsistencies appear in our various papers, it may lead to their becoming suspicious of our sincerity.
Fundamentally speaking, the United States wishes to proceed along the lines she express in the U. S. proposals of 21 June. Judging from developments to date we do not feel that the premises outlined in those proposals are too far afield. Moreover, from the viewpoint of practicability we feel that they are the most concrete. I, therefore, hope that you will accept the reasonings embodied therein.
2. The deletion of the item reading "no northward advance shall be made without justification" will no doubt be the point which will invite the most suspicion.
3. The respective attitudes of the two nations to the war in Europe: As I have pointed out in messages pertaining to this phase, (see particularly my message #540***), it would be exceedingly difficult from the United States' viewpoint to retain paragraph 1 proposing joint mediation. Recent developments (particularly in view of the President's statement subsequent to the sinking of the U. S. vessel) have further stiffened the U. S. attitude. Therefore, it is my opinion that considerable difficulty will be encountered in securing U. S. agreement to this point.
Concerning the matter of self defense as contained in paragraph two: Again, as I have previously reported, all U. S. moves pertaining to the European war are allegedly being made from the basic national policy of self defense as the starting point. Even if the United States does become actively involved in the war, she will do so in behalf of self defense and will not, supposedly, be in any sense an aggressive attack, even though she may have had ample provocation to make it so. In this way, they intend to obviate the necessity of our invoking the terms of the Tripartite Pact. Thus, the United States is very anxious to have the term "right to self defense" as elastic as possible. (Read Secretary Hull's speech, contained in my message #381****). For this reason, they may not be tempted to accept the wording of our proposal on this point. The fact that we outline our needs for self defense may unduly arouse their suspicion.
Regarding the matter pertaining to the settlement of the Chinese Incident: As I pointed out in my message #540***, the United States has, fundamentally speaking, insisted that we outline the peace terms we shall propose to China. She maintains that she will enter into the real negotiations only after a complete agreement as to the contents of the "annex." Therefore, we shall undoubtedly be confronted with the difficult task of coming to an agreement on the matters of garrisoning troops and non-discriminatory treatment. I am of the opinion that in the final analysis, we shall have to agree to the terms offered by the United States in so far as they do not conflict with the terms of the Nanking Agreement. We should word our explanations and counter proposals with this in mind.
Before we are able to have the United States yield, we shall undoubtedly have to conduct several negotiations even after this. The danger of the negotiations breaking down completely as a result of the matter of our stationing troops, is constantly on the increase. The "non-discrimination" phase is not quite as tickling a problem as the former. In our proposal we state that non-discrimination will apply to the conducting of business between China and Japan only.
We add that as long as any third nation conducts her economic enterprises on a fair and even basis, she will in no way be discriminated against. I am not at all sure that the United States will be satisfied with these conditions.
Furthermore, we will probably encounter considerable difficulty in making the United States swallow, from the standpoint of policy, the new "principle of especially close relations".
Aside from these points, paragraph one is so worded as to imply that the United States and Japan were jointly responsible to settle the China Incident. I am not at all confident that we shall be able to succeed in this because it may not give a favorable impression at the time this "understanding" is published. (As I have reported in previous messages, the United States is not in favor of keeping this "understanding" a secret).
______________ with regard to the contents of paragraph two referring to having the United States use her good offices ______________ and the point making the demands, shall necessitate the making of new demands if we are to pursue the lines laid down heretofore, as well as those contained in your instruction of 11 April.
I also believe that considerable difficulty will be encountered in having them agree to the new matter. In that part referring to peace terms, the following words appear: "Konoye statement and those agreements between Japan and China". I feel that here, too, we shall encounter difficulty in getting their approval. Since President Roosevelt is very interested in taking the mediation actions himself it might be well to insert the word "President" in the sentence.
5. We have your instructions of 15 July with regard to the matter of trade between the two countries. We would appreciate your basing your proposal on the U. S. proposal of 21 June.
6. With regard to the matter pertaining to the political stabilization of the Pacific, it is said that that part of the U. S. proposal of 21 June referring to it was written by Secretary Hull himself. Since the United States looks upon this phase with the most importance, we would appreciate your allowing that part of their proposal to stand as is. We would particularly appreciate your deleting from the new proposals that part which states that we agree to evacuate our troops from French Indo-China only at the termination of the China Incident. We feel that it would be more acceptable to the United States if we were to retain only that part which refers to the condition of a large scale peace on the Pacific. In other words, we hope to wind up all arrangements of the preliminary conference,
*JD-1: 5415 (S.I.S. #22709). Japan presents a long explanation of the necessity for her maintaining troops in certain parts of China even after peace with Japan is restored.
**JD-1: 5438 (S.I.S. #22748). Tokyo sends what appears to be nearly their final effort to get the U. S. to agree to a "leaders' conference."
***JD-1: 3842 (S.I.S. #19911) Amb. Nomura expresses the opinion that based on the thought and discussion given the proposals for an Understanding Pact, there is a wide gap between the viewpoints of the Countries' and that Tokyo's proposals will lead to a misunderstanding. Comments on several items of the proposal and requests Tokyo's opinion regarding each.
JD-1: 5534 (D) Navy Trans. 10-1-41 (2)
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)