Draft Proposal Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador (Nomura)
[WASHINGTON,] June 21, 1941.
The Governments of the United States and of Japan accept joint responsibility for the initiation and conclusion of a general agreement of understanding as expressed in a joint declaration for the resumption of traditional friendly relations.
Without reference to specific causes of recent estrangement, it is the sincere desire of both Governments that the incidents which led to the deterioration of amicable sentiment between their countries should be prevented from recurrence and corrected in their unforeseen and unfortunate consequences.
It is our earnest hope that, by a cooperative effort, the United States and Japan may contribute effectively toward the establishment and preservation of peace in the Pacific area and, by the rapid consummation of an amicable understanding, encourage world peace and arrest, if not dispel, the tragic confusion that now threatens to engulf civilization.
For such decisive action, protracted negotiations would seem ill-suited and weakening. Both Governments, therefore, desire that adequate instrumentalities should be developed for the realization of a general understanding which would bind, meanwhile, both Governments in honor and in act.
It is the belief of the two Governments that such an understanding should comprise only the pivotal issues of urgency and not the accessory concerns which could be deliberated later at a conference.
Both Governments presume to anticipate that they could achieve harmonious relations if certain situations and attitudes were clarified or improved; to wit:
1. The concepts of the United States and of Japan respecting international relations and the character of nations.
2. The attitudes of both Governments toward the European war.
3. Action toward a peaceful settlement between China and Japan.
4. Commerce between both nations.
5. Economic activity of both nations in the Pacific area.
6. The policies of both nations affecting political stabilization in the Pacific area.
7. Neutralization of the Philippine Islands.
Accordingly, the Government of the United States and the Government of Japan have come to the following mutual understanding and declaration of policy
I. The concepts of the United States and of Japan respecting international relations and the character of nations.
Both governments affirm that their national policies are directed toward the foundation of a lasting peace and the inauguration of a new era of reciprocal confidence and cooperation between our peoples.
Both Governments declare that it is their traditional, and present, concept and conviction that nations and races compose, as members of a family, one household living under the ideal of universal concord through justice and equity; each equally enjoying rights and admitting responsibilities with a mutuality of interests regulated by peaceful processes and directed to the pursuit of their moral and physical welfare, which they are bound to defend for themselves as they are bound not to destroy for others; they further admit their responsibilities to oppose the oppression or exploitation of other peoples.
Both Governments are firmly determined that their respective traditional concepts on the character of nations and the underlying moral principles of social order and national life will continue to be preserved and never transformed by foreign ideas or ideologies contrary to those moral principles and concepts.
II. The attitudes of both Governments toward the European war.
The Government of Japan maintains that the purpose of the Tripartite Pact was, and is, defensive and is designed to contribute to the prevention of an unprovoked extension of the European war.
The Government of the United States maintains that its attitude toward the European hostilities is and will continue to be determined solely and exclusively by considerations of protection and self-defense: its national security and the defense thereof.
NOTE: (There is appended a suggested draft of an exchange of letters as a substitute for the Annex and Supplement on the Part of the Government of the United States on this subject which constituted a part of the draft of May 31, 1941 . . . .)
III. Action toward a peaceful settlement between China and Japan.
The Japanese Government having communicated to the Government of the United States the general terms within the framework of which the Japanese Government will propose the negotiation of a peaceful, settlement with the Chinese Government., which terms are declared by the Japanese Government to be in harmony with the Konoe principles regarding neighborly friendship and mutual respect of sovereignty and territories and with the practical application of those principles, the President of the United States will suggest to the Government of China that the Government of China and the Government of Japan enter into a negotiation on a basis mutually advantageous and acceptable for a termination of hostilities and resumption of peaceful relations.
NOTE: (The foregoing draft of Section III is subject to further discussion of the question of cooperative defense against communistic activities, including the stationing of Japanese troops in Chinese territory, and the question "of economic cooperation between China and Japan. With regard to suggestions that the language of Section III be changed, it is believed that consideration of any suggested change can most advantageously be given after all the points in the annex relating to this section have been satisfactorily worked out, when the section and its annex can be viewed as a whole.)
IV. Commerce between both nations.
When official approbation to the present understanding has been given by both Governments, the United States and Japan shall assure each other mutually to supply such commodities as are, respectively, available and required by either of them. Both Governments further consent to take necessary steps to resume normal trade relations as formerly established under the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between the United States and Japan. If a new commercial treaty is desired by both Governments, it would be negotiated as soon as possible and be concluded in accordance with usual procedures.
V. Economic activity of both nations in the Pacific area.
On the basis of mutual pledges hereby given that Japanese activity and American activity in the Pacific area shall be carried on by peaceful means and in conformity with the principle of non‑discrimination in international commercial relations, the Japanese Government and the Government of the United States agree to cooperate each with the other toward obtaining non‑discriminatory access by Japan and by the United States to commercial supplies of natural resources (such as oil, rubber, tin, nickel) which each country needs for the safeguarding and development of its own economy.
VI. The policies of both nations affecting political stabilization in the Pacific area.
Both Governments declare that the controlling policy underlying this understanding is peace in the Pacific area; that it is their fundamental purpose, through cooperative effort, to contribute to the maintenance and the preservation of peace in the Pacific area; and that neither has territorial designs in the area mentioned.
VII. Neutralization of the Philippine Islands.
The Government of Japan declares its willingness to enter at such time as the Government of the United States may desire into negotiation with the Government of the United States with a view to the conclusion of a treaty for the neutralization of the Philippine Islands, when Philippine independence shall have been achieved.
ANNEX AND SUPPLEMENT ON THE PART OF THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT
III. Action toward a peaceful settlement between China and Japan.
The basic terms as referred to in the above section are as follows
1. Neighborly friendship.
2. (Cooperative defense against injurious communistic activities—including the stationing of Japanese troops in Chinese territory.) Subject to further discussion.
3. (Economic cooperation.) Subject to agreement on an exchange of letters in regard to the application to this point of the principle of non‑discrimination in international commercial relations.
4. Mutual respect of sovereignty and territories.
5. Mutual respect for the inherent characteristics of each nation cooperating as good neighbors and forming an East Asian nucleus contributing to world peace.
6. Withdrawal of Japanese armed forces from Chinese territory as promptly as possible and in accordance with an agreement to be concluded between Japan and China.
7. No annexation.
8. No indemnities.
9. Amicable negotiation in regard to Manchoukuo.
ANNEX AND SUPPLEMENT ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES
IV. Commerce between both nations.
It is understood that during the present international emergency Japan and the United‑States each shall permit export to the other of commodities in amounts up to the figures of usual or pre‑war trade, except, in the case of each, commodities which it needs for its own purposes of security and self‑defense. These limitations are mentioned to clarify the obligations of each Government. They are not intended as restrictions against either Government; and, it is understood, both Governments will apply such regulations in the spirit dominating relations with friendly nations. `
SUGGESTED EXCHANGE OF LETTERS BETWEEN THE SECRETARY OF STATE AND THE JAPANESE AMBASSADOR
The Secretary of State to the Japanese ambassador:
EXCELLENCY: In Section II of the Joint Declaration which was entered into today on behalf of our two Governments, statements are made with regard to the attitudes of the two Governments toward the European war. During the informal conversations which resulted in the conclusion of this Joint Declaration I explained to you on a number of occasions the attitude and policy of the Government of the United States toward the hostilities in Europe and I pointed out that this attitude and policy were based on the inalienable right of self‑defense. I called special attention to an address which I delivered on April 24 setting forth fully the position of this Government upon this subject.
I am sure that you are fully cognizant of this Government's attitude toward the European war but in order that there may be no misunderstanding I am again referring to the subject. I shall be glad to receive from you confirmation by the Government of Japan that, with regard to the measures which this nation may be forced to adopt in defense of its own security, which have been set forth as indicated, the Government of Japan is not under any commitment which would require Japan to take any action contrary to or destructive of the fundamental objective of the present agreement, to establish and to preserve peace in the Pacific area.
The Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State:
EXCELLENCY: I have received your letter of June—.
I wish to state that my Government is fully aware of the attitude of the Government of the United States toward the hostilities in Europe as explained to me by you during our recent conversations and as set forth in your address of April 24. I did not fail to report to my Government the policy of the Government of the United States as it had been explained to me, and I may assure you that my Government understands and appreciates the attitude and position of the Government of the United States with regard to the European war.
I wish also to assure you that the Government of Japan, with regard to the measures which the Government of the United States may be forced to adopt in defense of its own security, is not under any commitment requiring Japan to take any action contrary to or destructive of the fundamental objective of the present agreement.
The Government of Japan, fully cognizant of its responsibilities freely assumed by the conclusion of this agreement, is determined to take no action inimical to the establishment and preservation of peace in the Pacific axes.
SUGGESTED LETTER TO BE ADDRESSED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE TO THE JAPANESE AMBASSADOR IN CONNECTION WITH THE JOINT DECLARATION
EXCELLENCY: In the informal conversations which resulted in the conclusion of a general agreement of understanding between our two Governments, you and your associates expressed fully and frankly views on the intentions of the Japanese Government in regard to applying to Japan's proposed economic cooperation with China the principle of non‑discrimination in international commercial relations. It is believed that it would be helpful if you could be so good as to confirm the statements already expressed orally in the form of replies on the following points
1. Does the term "economic cooperation" between Japan and China contemplate the granting by the Government of China to the Japanese Government or its nationals of any preferential or monopolistic rights which would discriminate in favor of the Japanese Government and Japanese nationals as compared with the Government and nationals of the United States and of other third countries? Is it contemplated that upon the inauguration of negotiations for a peaceful settlement between Japan and, China the special Japanese companies, such as the North China Development Company and the Central China Promotion Company and their subsidiaries, will be divested, in so far as Japanese official support may be involved, of any monopolistic or other preferential rights that they may exercise in fact or that may inure to them by virtue of present circumstances in areas of China under Japanese military occupation?
2. With regard to existing restrictions upon freedom of trade and travel by nationals of third countries in Chinese territory under Japanese military occupation, could the Japanese Government indicate approximately what restrictions will be removed immediately upon the entering into by the Government of Chungking of negotiations with the Government of Japan and what restrictions will be removed at later dates, with an indication in each case in so far as possible of the approximate time within which removal of restrictions would be effected?
3. Is it the intention of the Japanese Government that the Chinese Government shall exercise full and complete control of matters relating to trade, currency and exchange? Is it the intention of the Japanese Government to withdraw and to redeem the Japanese military notes which are being circulated in China and the notes of Japanese-sponsored regimes in China? Can the Japanese Government indicate. how soon after the inauguration of the contemplated negotiations arrangements to the above ends can in its opinion be carried out?
It would be appreciated if as specific replies as possible could be made to the questions above listed.
(PEACE AND WAR, UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY 1931-1941, UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WASHINGTON: 1943)