From: Washington (Nomura)
15 November 1941
#1095 (In 2 parts, complete)
On this, the 15th, I, accompanied by Wakasugi, called on Secretary Hull, (Ballantine was also present), for an interview which lasted about one hour and a half. I shall report in detail subsequently, but in the meantime, I am sending you a resume of the meeting as follows:
The United States handed us an explanation of their stand on the "non-discriminatory treatment in commerce" matter, which I am forwarding to you as separate wire "A", numbered my message #1096*, separate wire "B", numbered my message #1097**, contains the text of their proposal involving this matter. (The latter is a proposed joint statement on economic policy and is composed of (1) general policy; (2) Japanese-U. S. relations; and, (3) policies involving the Pacific area).
We stated that we would give these notes our careful study and after requesting our government's advice, would make a reply. We went on to say that we insist that these talks have now progressed to the negotiations stage.
To this Hull replied that before any settlements can be reached, it is necessary that other countries involved, such as Britain and the Netherlands East Indies, be consulted. This procedure is desired by Japan too, he pointed out. There are reasons, he said, that make it inconvenient for the United States to state that negotiations are being conducted with Japan alone, before they have had a chance to participate therein. He went on to repeat that for those reasons, these talks shall continue to be of an exploratory nature. At the same time, the continuation of these conversations shall not be hampered, he promised.
We then requested that he reply with regard to other matters to which Hull said:
"Japan on the one hand is attempting to enter into a peaceful agreement with the United States, while simultaneously, on the other hand, she is insisting that her military alliance with Germany be maintained. I, personally, can understand Japan's explanations however, I feel that it would be exceedingly difficult to make the general U. S. public and even of the world, see through the seeming paradox.
"For this reason, it is essential that we have the definite word of the new Japanese Cabinet on the peaceful policy. In other words, it is essential that this new Cabinet give definite recognition and approval of the statement submitted by the previous government concerning this matter. On 21 June, we made certain proposals which concerned political stabilization of the entire Pacific area. Even if Japan were to favor limiting this area to only the southwestern Pacific area, the United States would continue to desire that it be made applicable to the entire Pacific area.
"Therefore, we shall submit our reply on the other two points only after we have received a reply to the proposal we are submitting to you today."
We therefore stated that our government's attitude has already been expressed by the contents of our proposal through which it may be seen that there has been no changes therein. However, for the sake of reassurance, we would ascertain this point, we said.
Hull expressed several doubts concerning our relations to the Tripartite Pact. He pointed out that in spite of the Japanese-U. S. S. R. neutrality pact, it was apparently essential that great armed forces of both countries had to constantly face each other across the Japanese-U. S. S. R. border. The United States wants no peace of that nature. He went on to say that the United States desires that simultaneously with a peace agreement between Japan and the United States, the Tripartite Pact shall become a mere scrap of paper.
We, therefore, repeated that part of our proposal which involved that alliance and again pointed out that there need be no clash between U. S.-Japanese peace and the continued existence of that treaty. We went on to say that our government would no doubt be very disappointed at the results of today's conversations. We then decided: to meet again after I had received my government's further instructions.
Will you, therefore, please rush your instructions concerning the matters contained herein.
JD-1: 6584 (D) Navy Trans. 11-18-41 (2)
*JD-1: 6585 S.I.S. No. 24931.
**JD-1: 6586 S.I.S. No. 24932.
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)