23 November 1941
#1161 (In 2 parts, complete)
Regarding my #1160*
General outline of conversation on the night of 22nd is as follows:
Trade between Japan and the United States could gradually be resumed if Japan were willing to take a peaceful attitude, representatives of foreign powers that are friendly with the United States met in conference yesterday. They were all advised of this and are to meet again on Monday, after they have reported to their own government and received their answers.
Hull continued that there was a limit to his powers, and although he understood the reason for Tokyo's demand of urgency regarding the matter, he does not seem to see the reason why Tokyo can not wait a few days.
The Chinese Ambassador KOTEKI came to the conference yesterday, getting up from. bed (due to illness) and arriving at the end of the conference.
According to Hull he does not intend to act as a mediator in the Japan-China incident right now, or to give up aid to China, (however the aid to China today is not to a very great extent). It seems as though he wishes to handle (discuss) the China incident later.
According to reliable information it seems that to station troops for duration of necessity can be considered as stationing of troops indefinitely, but if it was stated that troops were to be stationed for a certain period of four or five years, at the end of which period conditions were to govern restationing of troops, there might not be so much opposition. But with just an indefinite stationing of troops for an indefinite period, it would be against the U. S. policy which is against annexation and interfering with self-government. (The fact that during the preparatory conference last July, the Japanese troops went into French Indo-China, causing the conference of that time to be broken off)-the above was mentioned again today and thus hinting that it was hoped a similar occurrence would not develop this time.
He continued that to merely move troops which were in southern French Indo-China to the north would not relieve the tension in the south Pacific or relieve the anxiousness of the countries of the south Pacific, etc. so that it was explained that to an experienced military observer this was great information and should add much to the peace of that part. Hull explained that the contents of the conference would be strictly restricted to himself alone, (then later said he would mention it to a few), so that gave the appearance of his not understanding much about military aspects.
I presented the prelude of our B Proposal and tried to get his answer of yes or no on each item, and Hull seemed to feel that our B Proposal was a demand on the United States by Japan, and seemed very displeased. He said there was no cause for Japan's making such demands, and that he was greatly discouraged in the attitude of Japan of insisting on direct answers when he was trying so hard to arrange a peaceful negotiation between the two countries.
We (Japanese Ambassadors) kept a calm appearance throughout the talk, and at no time became excited, and the opponent's attitude was also the same.
Hull explained that the United States was following peaceful attitude in the negotiations and he hoped Japan would also follow this peaceful attitude of the United States throughout the negotiations.
JD-1: (Y) Navy Trans. 12-201 (X)
*JD-1: 6857 (S.I.S. #25397).
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)