British Empire 1.bre.0002 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             October 18, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           No Number.

Accept my congratulations on your appointment. Although I was instructed to carry out the policy of the former cabinet and endeavored to do my best, I was not able to do anything useful and naturally I have been keenly conscious of the responsibility. Since my appointment to this post, things have developed contrary to my wishes and, for this reason, I am deeply concerned. It should be fairly clear that I, with my limited ability, shall not be able to accomplish much in the future; I am afraid I shall be leading not only a useless existence but even a harmful one. Grateful for the kind encouragement which the former minister gave me, I would like to think over carefully what I should do; I would like also to return to Japan in the near future so that I may personally report the situation here to you and incidentally receive your instructions in all matters. Will you, therefore, give your approval at once. Inasmuch as both WAKASUGI and IGUCHI are men of ability and efficiency, there should be no objections to leaving matters in their hands after I have left.

Trans. 10-22-41

No. 2

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             October 20, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           No Number.


Will Your Excellency please read this for your own information and then please transmit it to the Minister of the Navy.

My dear Mr. Minister:

Congratulations on your new appointment! When this humble Ambassador was appointed to his present post he asked for the fervent support of the whole Navy Department, but since I came to Washington I am sorry to say that there has been no cooperation between us. Furthermore, the Navy has not cooperated with the Foreign Office. The times do not permit of such lack of coordination. On the one hand the United States is faced by the European war and on the other hand by the Pacific problem, but still she has made no military move. I believe that there is a weak point here. Therefore, I had expected the United States to take a more less conciliatory attitude toward us as soon as the situation was favorable, but, contrary to my surmises, so far all America has done is to stick to her own national policy, and I am beginning to doubt if she can be reformed very much. I think that probably in the last analysis that is due to the fact that the United States has too many interests in China. My own desire has been to leave the China question out of the picture and work out some modus vivendi between our two countries. In my conversations with the Secretary of State I have shown this by my way of talking. However, the Secretary says that the China question is inseparably bound up with the stability of the Pacific. Some days ago I talked for an hour or more with HALIFAX. He said that the


British Empire has a great interest in the Pacific problem and he would like to see some modus vivendi worked out between Japan and the United States to avoid a crisis. He said that he would like to talk with Secretary HULL about this. Since then, however, I have had no chance to talk with him. Well, before I came here I had talked with all the cabinet officials of that time and thought I thoroughly understood the position of the Government; however, since then there have been two administrative changes and now I am left floundering.Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire I cannot tell you how much in the dark I am. I have talked along my own lines with the Secretary of State so often that, if we now explore the situation from a new angle, all my presence would do would be to confuse the situation and cause an unfavorable reaction. There is no doubt about this. That is why I wired the other day that I would like to come home. If you have anything which you want the Foreign Office to transmit to me, please be sure to let them know.

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