From: Washington
To: Tokyo
(18 November-probable date of drafting)
(19 November-intercepted)
#1133 (In 2 parts, complete)

From Kurusu.


(1) According to Ambassador Nomura's and my own observations, the President is maintaining a very self-composed attitude outwardly, but he seems also to be very much in earnest in regard to effecting an understanding between Japan and the United States. Therefore, we must exercise great care just now against forming a hasty conclusion that they are merely deferring in order not to seem to swallow our proposals at a gulp, and also against taking any steps that might prove irretrievable.


(2) As a result of the revision of the neutrality act, the attention of the United States has turned more than ever toward the Atlantic of late, and a determination is being strengthened to be ready even for a war with Japan if necessary. However, there seems to be a desire to be reassured as to their rear by negotiations with our country. Herein seems to be the chief reason why both in the conference with the President on the 17th and in the one with Secretary Hull on the 18th the point of emphasis was on the Three Power Pact, and there was more insistence than heretofore on this. In other words, the United States, in order to give the American people the impression that an estrangement is taking place between Japan and Germany, would make use either of a joint declaration by Japan and the United States regarding non-discrimination in trade, or of having Japan become party to a treaty on problems similar to those on which negotiations are now in progress between Britain and the United States, or again, of a message from our country giving a declaration of peace policies, as was suggested by Secretary Hull in conference on the 18th.


(3) Of course, any sudden change in the present status of Japanese-German relations would be out of the question, but in view of the above mentioned situation I feel that it is most essential that we do everything we can to fully reassure the United States and let them become more and more involved in the Atlantic areas, and thus place us in a favorable position, not only for effecting a settlement of the China incident, but also, in regard to the international situation following the war.


(Part 2)

In regard to the question as to whether after the war Britain and America will not turn their weapons toward oppressing us, in our conference on the 17th, I explained about the bitter experience that came to us after the former world war, and frankly told them how some of our nation have felt in regard to Britain and the United States. To this the President replied that the treaty now under consideration would "cover all" such points.


(4) In view of the internal situation in our country, although I think there will be difficulties to be met in trying to reach a settlement in harmony with the wishes of the Americans, I feel that as a stop-gap for the present, we should ask them to consider our strong desires for a "time limit" in connection with the conclusion of such a Japanese-American agreement and for the purpose of breaking the present deadlock, as them for the removal at once of the freezing act and also for assurances regarding imports of a specified amount of oil.


In the conference of the 18th both Ambassador Nomura and I suggested the resumption of the status quo prior to 24 July, but in view of the progress of negotiations thus far, the Americans will likely not consent to this merely for our agreeing to not forcefully invade any territory aside from French Indo-China as per Proposal "B" or for our promise in vague terms of evacuation of troops from French Indo-China . Please have your mind made up to this. I desire instructions re "time limit" and as we desire to press for a speedy settlement, please give consideration to the above and advise at once.

JD-1: 6759                                  (F) Navy Trans. 11-25-41 (2)