7 August, 1941
Through my previous messages on the subject, you are perfectly well aware of the fact that the Konoye Cabinets have been sincerely interested in the betterment of Japanese-U. S. relations. Through misunderstandings and manipulations by third countries, and in spite of our above described desires, Japanese-U. S. relations are, today, critically tense. We feel that a policy of laissez faire should no longer be pursued.
We are firm in our conviction that the only means by which the situation can be relieved is to have responsible persons representing each country gather together and hold direct conferences. They shall lay their cards on the table, express their true feelings, and attempt to determine a way out of the present situation.
2. In the first proposal made by the United States mention was made of just such a step. If, therefore, the United States is still agreeable to this plan, Prime Minister Konoye himself will be willing to meet and converse in a friendly manner with President Roosevelt.
Will you please make clear to them that we propose this step because we sincerely desire maintaining peace on the Pacific. Please sound out their attitude on this proposal.
3. If, however, they show any signs of hesitation (from the contents of your message #649* this possibility cannot be discounted entirely) on the grounds of our occupation of French Indo-China and the reports that we have increased our military strength in the north, put up the following arguments:
(a) That we recognize the exceedingly criticalness of the situation and for that reason, the Prime Minister made up his mind to break all precedent to represent his country himself.
(b) That unless every possible effort is made to maintain peace on the Pacific, we would be failing to fulfill our duties to our people.
4. If they are agreeable to holding such a conference, make inquiries as to the time which would best meet the President's convenience. In view of the times and conditions, we are of the opinion that the sooner that such a meeting took place, the better.
The subjects which will be discussed, undoubtedly will depend greatly on the time it is held. In general, however, the discussion will be conducted along the lines of the negotiations which were being conducted in an attempt to bring about better relations between Japan and the United States. In view of the fact that both the Prime Minister and the President have many uses for their time, arrangements should be made so that the discussions between them will last no longer than a few days. With a view to practicalness it is our hope that the delegations representing Japan and the United States will consist of the minimum number of persons.
5. In view of the extremely important nature of this subject, it is essential that strict secrecy be observed until the holding of the discussions are definitely agreed upon. Therefore, Your Excellency will convey this proposal in person to the President or to the Secretary of State. As soon as you come to an agreement and if the President
as no objections, it shall be publicly announced. Therefore, will you confer as to the opportune time, etc. and come to an agreement those points as well.
For the purpose of security, we are not advising the U. S. Ambassador in Tokyo regarding this subject for the time being. This is for our information.
*JD-1: 4345 S.I.S. #20649. Amb. Nomura discusses various angles of Jap-
U.S. relations with a U. S. cabinet member (identity not given);
suggests conclusion of an agreement upholding the integrity of territories
adjacent to F. I. C. to facilitate supplies of materials.
JD-1: (D) Navy Trans. 8-8-41 (S-TT)
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)