Page 34

Parent Japanese - German - Italian Collaboration
Language English
Collection Tavenner Papers & IMTFE Official Records
Box Box 14
Folder Japan, Germany, Italy Collaboration and Introduction
Repository University of Virginia Law Library
In April the Japanese Government reconsidered its stand and presented a new draft of the treaty. It requested an agree¬ment that in the publication of the pact an explanation be made which would tend to soften the attitude that would likely result on the part of England, France and America. The reason assigned by the Tokyo Cabinet for the necessity of such a limited inter-, pretation of the pact was that both for political and economic reasons Japan "was at the moment not yet in a position to come forward openly as the opposer of the three democracies." OSHIMA and SHIRATORI again refused to officially communicate the Japanese Government1 s proposal to the nations to which they were accre*- dited.89 This is the third time OSHIMA and SHIRATORI refused to 89Exhibit 502, TP 6,100. In a secret telegram from Ribbentrop to the German Ambassador in Tokyo on 26 April 1939, appears the following statement: "Subsequently at the beginning of April a Japanese draft arrived from Tokyo which fundamentally corres¬ponded to the German and Italian draft but, however, reduced the duration of the agreement to five years. The earlier Japanese wish to limit the obligation of assistance only to the case of Russia was, however, still retained in a weakened form, that the Japanese would ask for our express approval to be able to give, after the signing and publication of the pact, a dec¬laration to the English, French and American ambassa¬dors with roughly the following contents 5 The pact had developed from the Anti-Comintern Pact; the partners had looked upon Russia as being the enemy; England, France and America* had no need to feel -chat they sexe concerned In this. The Tokyo cabinet gave as a rea¬son for the necessity of such a limited interpreta¬tion of the pact the fact that Japan, for political and in particular, for economic reasons was at the moment not yet in a position to come forward openly as the opposer of the three democracies. OSHIMA and SHIRATORI have indicated to Tokyo that this wish of the Japanese Government was also impossible and have informed CIANO and myself again purely confidentially regarding the proceedings. CIANO as well as I left no doubt that the conclusion of an agreement with this interpretation, which is in direct contradiction* to the text of the agreement, is quite out of ques¬tion for us."