Japan wants to settle rift with America, Tokyo hears (4-29-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (April 29, 1941)

Will Matsuoka visit U.S.?
By H. O. Thompson, United Press staff writer

Tokyo, April 29 –
Japan’s current diplomacy was described by responsible sources today as desiring adjustment of relations with the United States.

There was little explanation in Japanese sources, however, of procedure that might be followed toward that end.

Some official circles said it was hoped that various hints dropped by Japan would result in definite proposals from the U.S., but so far here there was no immediate prospect of such a development.

Private sources said Foreign Minister Yōsuke Matsuoka would be willing to go to Washington if he were convinced he could win a diplomatic triumph.

A Japanese-American non-aggression pact, discussed frequently in recent years, has been mentioned again recently by some Japanese as part of a move to offset Japan’s membership in the Axis.

Japanese conclusion of a non-aggression pact with the U.S. has been favored by some Japanese. They say it must be assumed that the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo alliance was an instrument of peace and that accordingly peaceful gestures in other directions, such as toward the U.S. would be a logical accompaniment of it.

The Russo-Japanese treaty fitted into the category of logical accompaniments to the Axis pact, these sources argued.

Japanese attention is now fixed closely on the possibility of the U.S. convoying war material to Britain.

The newspaper Kokumin had an editorial today entitled “America hastens to join the war.”

The British were reported here to be more active than the U.S. in efforts to stabilize the situation in East Asia. Japan, however, was represented as more eager to deal with the U.S. than with the British, who were regarded by some Japanese as likely to be defeated by Germany.

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