13 October 1941
#939 (In 3 parts, complete)
The details of the Wakasugi-Welles conversations will be reported in a subsequent cable*, but in the meantime, I shall submit this which concerns the two points on which you requested information in your message #658**. In view of the fact that the talks lasted for over two hours, will you please await the subsequent message for the details of the tone, etc. of the talks.
In general, the tone of the talks were friendly and frank. Welles said that there is no change in the President's expressed desire of meeting with the Premier if the three points can be agreed upon. He added that Secretary Hull is in full agreement on this point, too.
(1) As far as he knew, Welles said, there were no obstacles to the materialization of the leaders' conference, other than the three points. Wakasugi said that he got the impression that Secretary Hull was of the opinion that there would be one or two more points which would have to be cleared up when the preliminary arrangements were brought up to date, and asked Welles about that. Welles replied that he had not been advised by Hull of those points but that he would ascertain them and then advise us.
With regard to the matter of withdrawing or stationing troops in China, Wakasugi said that the U. S. attitude had been made clear in her proposal of 21 June and again in her oral statement of 2 October. We have no intention of arguing about that point any further, Wakasugi continued, but that he would like to ask one question about it. This question was his own personal one as an individual and was not instigated by or put with the knowledge of either the Government or the Ambassador.
So saving, Wakasugi said that when a nation had been sending fighting forces to another over a long period of years, it was exceedingly difficult, from a practical standpoint, to suddenly evacuate them.
Even if such a program were to be carried out, years and months would be required before its completion, Wakasugi said, adding that Welles, who has had long years of experience as a diplomat should well understand that.
Moreover, Wakasugi continued, the matter of whether troops were to be removed or not was a matter involving Japan and China. Should, therefore, the United States be assured the withdrawal of troops by Japan, would the United States be willing to leave the details up to Japan and China to decide?
Welles replied that that would depend entirely upon Japan's sincerity. If Japan is truly sincere in her assurance of troop evacuation there no doubt would be ways of coming to a successful agreement as to ways and means of carrying it out.
1. The United States has no intention of making any counter proposals other than those she has already submitted to Japan on 21 June and the Oral Statement of 2 October. The above two proposals were the result of careful and thorough consideration. However, it is in the realm of possibility that if the objectives contained in those proposals are kept intact the wording may, under certain circumstances, be altered. The United States' objections to the Japanese proposals of __ September and 25 September are based on the fact that they considerably restrict the terms contained in the two U. S. proposals-which incidentally, contained the terms of the earlier Japanese proposals-referred to above.
JD-1: (D) Navy Trans. 10-20-41 (1)
*Available, dated 13 October. (A 6 part message, only Part 4 available at present.)
**JD-1: 5779 S.I.S. #23421. Since the situation at home is fast approaching a crisis, in your talks with Welles cover the entire subject of the U. S.-Jap negotiations, and in particular, just what the U. S. wants re evacuation or garrisoning of troops in China.
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)