7 November 1941
#1055 (Part 1 of 3) (Part 2 not available)
At 0900 on this, the 7th, I, accompanied by Wakasugi, called on Secretary Hull at his home. (Ballantine was also present.)
I said that I had been instructed by my home government to explain to the President and to the Secretary of State, Japan's attitude and position in the hope of bringing about immediate settlement of the various problems involved in the relationship between Japan and the United States.
In way of replying to this, Hull said that at present there were two political factions in this world which were at odds with each other and which were, consequently, embroiled in an armed conflict. Neither faction is able to decide the outcome speedily and hence there is a danger that they will be gradually thrown into the chaos of anarchism.
If, at a time like this, the United States and Japan simultaneously hit upon a method of maintaining peace on the Pacific, it is quite possible that the world may be saved from the apparently imminent chaos.
I, therefore, said, in accordance with your various instructions, that:
1. Of the three outstanding problems, agreements have been practically been reached on two. With regard to the matter of garrisoning or withdrawing troops, Japan is prepared to make the maximum concessions which can be permitted by the domestic political conditions of Japan. ------ (9 groups missed here ------) I urged that the United States cooperate in bringing about a speedy settlement on that assumption.
JD-1: 6372 (b) (D) Navy Trans. 11-10-41 (7)
In JD-1: 6372 (b), the last paragraph on the first page of this message should be changed to read as follows:
1. Of the three outstanding problems, agreements have been practically reached on two. With regard to the matter of garrisoning or withdrawing troops, Japan is prepared to make the maximum concessions which can be permitted by the domestic political conditions of Japan.
2. From the viewpoint of U. S.-Japanese friendship in its broad sense, the U. S. Government should take a philosophic attitude concerning present conditions, I said, and I urged that the United States cooperate in bringing about a speedy settlement on that assumption.
From: Washington (Nomura)
7 November 1941
#1055 (Part 2 of 3) [a]
. . . (I pointed out that):
3. I have been instructed by my home government to fully explain Japan's determination and Japan's position to the President and the Secretary of State, and through such understandings to reach settlements as soon as possible.
4. After six months of negotiations, the people of Japan are getting a little impatient and that hence the situation there is becoming exceedingly critical. For this reason, we are very anxious that these negotiations are brought to a successful conclusion as soon as possible.
5. In view of the very critical situation parallel negotiations in Tokyo are to be conducted.
Explaining that Japan is now displaying the maximum amount of good will and the utmost of sincerity, I submitted the counter proposal which you sent us, to them. I requested that the United States give it her consideration from the broad aspect, and urged them to accept the terms contained therein.
Hull carefully read this document. He nodded approval of the section concerning the principle of non-discrimination, and commented that that way would prove to be to Japan's interest. With regard to the section of garrisoning troops, he simply asked what would be the proportion of those remaining to those being withdrawn. I replied that much the greater part would be withdrawn and only a small portion would be kept in China. I went on to explain our position with regard to the "right of self-defense" issue, in accordance with your instruction which I received today.
It was decided that an answer to all of the points would be submitted after this note had been carefully studied by them. They will submit their reply after my interview with the President, at which time I shall endeavor to make more detailed explanation.
JD-1: 6372 (b) (D) Navy Trans. 11-12-41 (1)
[a] Parts 1 and 3-S.I.S. #24577.
7 November 1941
#1055 (Part 3 of 3) (Part 2 not available)
Hull went on to say that as he had said on previous occasions, Britain, China, the Netherlands and other countries had to be consulted regarding Japanese-U. S. talks of maintaining peace on the Pacific. He let it leak out in this connection that China was being consulted with regard to matters pertaining to the China problems.
Hull then said that he had happened to wonder what Japan's attitude would be if there were the following developments: Supposing an influential and reliable representative of China were to join in these talks. Supposing, further, that this representative states that China is desirous of resuming friendly relations with Japan, giving his pledge of true friendship and sincerity. What would Japan's reaction be?
Wakasugi asked whether he could assume first, that China's attitude had been ascertained. Hull replied that the matter hadn't been taken up with China as yet, and that it was just something that he as an individual had happened to think of. If such a thing could be done, however, he continued, peace on the Pacific would be maintained, and no doubt it would set an example for the world and thus have a very favorable effect on it.
We got the impression that he may have already discussed this matter with the Chinese and that his plan was a consequence thereof. In either event, Hull requested that this plan be struck upon, be relayed to the government of Japan and its attitude on it be ascertained. I said that I would give it my consideration.
JD-1: (D) Navy Trans. 11-10-41 (7)
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)