Japan publishes demand by U.S. on Indochina (5-20-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (May 20, 1941)


Warning to balk Vichy on Axis cooperation is reported

By H. O. Thompson, United Press staff writer

Tokyo, May 20 –
Newspapers reported today that the United States had given a strong warning to the French Indochinese government not to follow the lead of the Vichy government in a policy of cooperation with Axis powers.

It was asserted that the United States had threatened “some sort of retaliatory measure” if Indochina did cooperate with the Axis.

Yomiuri, in a dispatch from Hanoi, Indochina, said the alleged warning was an expression of American antipathy to the Vichy government’s policy and at the same time:

…an attempt to disturb Japanese-Indochinese rapprochement.

Rejection predicted

The dispatch predicted that Indochina would “flatly reject” the alleged American threat.

Nichi Nichi displayed prominently a dispatch from its Washington correspondent which said President Roosevelt was:

…between the devil of his promise not to fight and the deep sea of unlimited aid to Britain.

The President, the dispatch said, was aware of the danger that if American warships engaged in convoy work and were compelled to use their guns, hostilities might spread to the Pacific and:

…the United States would have on its hands Japan, France, Russia, Spain and Turkey.

Ratifications exchanged

Foreign Minister Matsuoka and Constantin Smetanin, the Russian Ambassador, exchanged today ratifications of the Russo-Japanese Neutrality Pact. Matsuoka expressed pleasure at having the chance to cooperate with Smetanin and the Russian government:

…in ensuring world peace as well as peace in east Asia.

Newspapers reported that the Foreign Office was considering whether to send a ship to evacuate Japanese from Iraq, Iran and Syria.

It was made known Japan expected Germany and Italy to recognize the Nanking regime, which Japan set up in opposition to the Chinese government.

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