Reading Eagle (February 15, 1941)
JAPAN MOVES TO CURB TALKS OF WAR WITH UNITED STATES
‘Foreigners’ are blamed for reports
Nippon admits relations with Washington are ‘cause for concern’
Tokyo, Feb. 15 (UP) –
Japan, while admitting that relations with the United States gave “cause for some concern,” charged today that alarmist reports were being circulated by “foreign elements.”
In a statement issued through the cabinet information bureau, the government urged worried Japanese in North and South Americas to remain calm,m said it was wrong to assume war was inevitable, and emphasized that both the Japanese and American governments were doing all they could to “prevent the situation from coming to such a pass.”
The statement was issued after Japanese spokesmen here, in China and in Australia, has said that Japan could not understand a sudden intensification of anxiety throughout the Far East regarding the possibility of an imminent Japanese drive in the South Seas area. It said in full:
Information has reached Tokyo that unrest prevails among Japanese colonies in the American continents due to a sensational report circulated both in North and South America that the situation between Japan and the United States is marked by extreme tension.
It is true that the situation between Japan and the United States gives cause for some concern, but it is unwarrantable to jump to the hasty conclusion that the situation between the two countries will be overtaken by such an extreme eventually as war.
Needless to say, both the Japanese and American governments are doing everything in their power to prevent the situation from coming to such a pass.
A vigorous propaganda campaign now going on abroad which represents the situation between Japan and the United States as extremely aggravated must be ascribed by impartial observers to the ulterior motives of some foreign elements.
The Imperial government advises all Japanese residents in North and South America not to be disturbed by irresponsible, sensational reports, but instead to steady themselves so as to pursue business as usual.
In a new development in the vigorous Japanese campaign to bring Russia into line with Japan’s policies, the newspaper Hochi said today that it was “urgently necessary” for Russia to close its route of supply to northwest China.
Hochi explained that the Chinese government faced an “unparalleled crisis” because Japanese bombing planes had almost closed the Burma route of supply and that it was to Russia’s advantage to join the Japanese-German-Italian Axis at once.
Russia, Hochi said, should have leadership of “Greater Asia” to Japan and pursue its own advance in the direction of sourthwestern Asia – presumably India, Afghanistan and Persia.