From: Washington
To: Tokyo
13 November 1941

Re my #1087*


On this, the 13th, Wakasugi called on Ballantine.


(1) Wakasugi said:


"Yesterday's conversations led to no settlement and moreover, the outcome of it fell far short of Japanese anticipations. The times have become exceedingly critical and the Japanese people have become impatient with regard to the Japanese-U. S. conversations. They are becoming desperate as far as Japanese-U. S. relations are concerned. This being the general condition in Japan, and being confronted with the fact that it is the eve of the convening of the session of the Diet, the government of Japan is anxious to have these U. S.-Japanese talks reach some conclusion without a moment's unnecessary delay.


"The above is as was explained forcefully in yesterday's conversations. In the next conversations, any discussions of general attitudes and comments on the possible outlook should be unnecessary.


"We request that Hull be asked to give a clear reply at our next meeting on the following points: Does the United States intend to accept our proposal of 25 September, including the proposals submitted by us on 7th and 10th of this month? If not, will the United States submit a counter proposal to the above, clearly indicating the revision desired? Or, on the other hand, is the United States of the attitude that she will stick to her proposal of 21 June and make that instrument her final proposal?


"Many in Japan are of the opinion that the United States is purposely stalling the procedure", Wakasugi said.



"The United States is also aware of the fact that matters have reached an exceedingly critical stage. In spite of the fact that the 11th was a holiday, it was disregarded and this matter was discussed. There is no truth in the charge that the United States is pursuing a "stalling" policy.


"However, in spite of the fact that we do not wish to appear to be quibbling about details, there are several points which will have to be explained by Japan before the United States can make definite replies.


(Part 2)

"For example, Japan has expressed her acceptance of non-discrimination of commerce on the Pacific but on condition that said nondiscriminatory treatment be applied to the entire world. Does this sweeping proposal include those nations which are at present embroiled in the war? We cannot help but have some misgivings as to when such an agreement would become effective over the entire Pacific area, if its effectivity there depends on its applicability on the nations at war."



"Fundamentally speaking, the basic aims of this is to bring about a U. S.-Japanese agreement. The supporters would be Japan and the United States, hence the terms are not intended to be made applicable to every country in the world. It is our intention that the United States and Japan agree upon the basic principle of non-discriminatory treatment throughout the world."


(2) Concerning the matter contained in your messages #758** and #764***, it is true that the United States is still assuming that, as it was in the beginning, these talks are as yet in the exploratory stages through which the basis of agreements may be discovered. We, on the other hand, are going on the assumption that these are the actual negotiations. There exists, therefore, a fundamental discordant note.


Wakasugi pointed out this fact, to which Ballantine replied:


"The United States is proceeding along the lines set forth heretofore. Even as late as yesterday, Hull said that if these conversations can be carried to the point of their being made the basis of a negotiation, we could no doubt get Britain and The Netherlands to participate."


(Part 3)


"Leaving aside the U. S. viewpoint on this particular matter for the time being, if talks between the duly recognized Ambassador of one country and the President and Secretary of State of another, concerning adjustments of relations between the two countries they represent-regardless of the form in which said talks are conducted-are not negotiations, we are indeed hard put to it to figure out what, indeed, does constitute a diplomatic negotiation.


"I request that Hull be clearly advised that we are treating the present proceedings as part of the negotiations."


(3) Regarding your message 766****:


The main objective of that day's interview was to submit our new proposal and to arrange for a meeting with the President together with Secretary Hull and to advise them that we would make a more detailed explanation at that time. For that reason, as I reported in my message, the only reference I made to the Tripartite Pact was to express my hopes that they would not insist upon enlarging the scope of the right of self-defense. Besides that, we discussed nothing pertaining to the Tripartite Pact. Hull never requested that we made a "concrete statement" concerning our relations with the Axis Powers. Had he done so, I would have been compelled to make some reply.

For the sake of reassuring myself, I had Wakasugi make indirect reference to this matter to Ballantine who was present on the occasion in question. Wakasugi asked Ballantine if he could remember any other points that might have been discussed, stating that he wanted this information for the sake of the records. Ballantine replied that he could recall nothing further.


If any mention was made of the topic you state was in the records of the meeting, it would not be likely that Ballantine, who was the only other person there, knows nothing about it. No doubt there is some mistake there. You are aware, of course, that the United States is trying to get us to assure them on our stand with regard to our duties under the terms of the Pact. You can see that by the contents of their proposal.


(Please insert "766-(2)" following that part reading "764" in (2) of this message.)

JD-1: 6559                                  (D) Navy Trans. 11-17-41 (2)
*JD-1: 6521 (S.I.S. #24794, 24837-38). 
**JD-1: 6413 (S.I.S. #24650).
***JD-1: 6417 (S.I.S. #24824). (Note: In connection with this ref. see last sentence above.)
****JD-1: 6455 (S.I.S. #24712).