November 16, 1941
#782 (To be handled in government code.)
Re your #1083. [a]
1. Please give the following reply to them regarding the question of recognition:
the various points in the statement made by the Japanese Government on August 28, which is included in the American oral statement, (quote only the points given in the said oral statement) were also included in our proposals of September 6 and 25, and the present cabinet also has no objection to recognizing them as they stand. However, these points have been given on the assumption that the Japanese-American negotiations would reach an agreement. Naturally, therefore, should the negotiations end in a failure, these points would not be binding on Japan alone. We wish to have this clearly understood.
2. Regarding the general question of use of force, the expression "without provocation" was used in the reply of the Japanese Government made on August 28. In the same reply, relative to the Soviet question, we used the words "as long as the Soviet Union remains faithful to the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Treaty" and then in our proposal of September 6, we used the words "without any justifiable reason." Now all these expressions mean fundamentally the same thing. The reason for our having gone somewhat into detail concerning the Soviet Union is that we found it necessary to do so in view of the connection between the existence of the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Treaty and the Russo-German war.
In short, we had stipulated the "qualification" which we as an independent country should necessarily and naturally state. It goes without saying that this qualification by no means either limits nor minimizes our peaceful intentions.
Army 24879 Trans. 11/17/41 (S)
[a] See S.I.S. #24785-88, inclusive. The text of an oral statement given to Ambassador NOMURA by Secretary Hull at the conference on the 12th.
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)