Document Handed by the Japanese Ambassador (Nomura) to the Secretary of State on September 27, 1941


The Governments of Japan and of the United States accept joint responsibility for the initiation and conclusion of a general agreement of understanding as expressed in a joint declaration for the resumption of traditional friendly relations.

Without reference to specific causes of recent estrangement, it is the sincere desire of both Governments that the incidents which led to the deterioration of the amicable sentiment between their countries should be prevented from recurrence and corrected in their unforeseen and unfortunate consequences.

It is the earnest hope of both Governments that, by a cooperative effort, Japan and the United States may contribute effectively toward the establishment and preservation of peace in the Pacific area and, by the rapid consummation of an amicable understanding, encourage world peace and arrest, if not dispel, the tragic confusion that now threatens to engulf civilization.

For such decisive action, protracted negotiations would seem ill-suited and weakening. Both Governments, therefore, desire that adequate instrumentalities should be developed for the realization of a general understanding which would bind, meanwhile, both Governments in honor and in act.

It is the belief of both Governments that such an understanding should comprise only the pivotal issues of urgency and not the accessory concerns which could be deliberated later at a conference.

Both Governments presume to anticipate that they could achieve harmonious relations if certain situations and attitudes were clarified or improved; to wit:

1. The concepts of Japan and of the United States respecting international relations and the character of nations.
2. The attitudes of both Governments toward the European War.
3. Action toward a peaceful settlement between Japan and China.
4. Commerce between both nations.
5. Economic problems in the Southwestern Pacific area.
6. The policies of both nations affecting political stabilization in the Pacific area.

Accordingly, the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States have come to the following mutual understanding and declaration of policy

I. The concepts of Japan and of the United states respecting international relations and the character of nations.

Both Governments affirm that their national policies are directed toward the foundation of a lasting peace and the inauguration of a new era of reciprocal confidence and cooperation between the peoples of both countries.

Both Governments declare that it is their traditional, and present, concept and conviction that nations and races compose, as members of a family, one household living under the ideal of universal concord through justice and equity; each equally enjoying rights and admitting responsibilities with a mutuality of interests regulated by peaceful processes and directed to the pursuit of their moral and physical welfare, which they are bound to defend for themselves as they are bound not to destroy for others; they further admit their responsibilities to oppose the oppression or exploitation of other peoples.

Both Governments are firmly determined?that their respective traditional concepts on the character of nations and the underlying moral principles of social order and national life will continue to be preserved and never transformed by foreign ideas or ideologies contrary to those moral principles and concepts.

II. The attitudes of both Governments toward the European War.

Both Governments maintain it their common aim to bring about peace in the world, and, when an opportune time arrives, they will endeavor jointly for the early restoration of world peace.

With regard to developments of the situation prior to the restoration of world peace, both Governments will be guided in their conduct by considerations of protection and self?defense; and, in case the United States should participate in the European War, Japan would decide entirely independently in the matter of interpretation of the Tripartite Pact between Japan, Germany and Italy,. and would likewise determine what actions might be taken by way of fulfilling the obligations in accordance with the said interpretation.

III. Action toward a peaceful settlement between Japan and China.

Both Governments, taking cognizance of the fact that the settlement of the China Affair has a vital bearing upon the peace of the entire Pacific area and consequently upon that of the world, will endeavor to expedite a rapid realization of the settlement of the said Affair.

The Government of the United States, recognizing the effort and the sincere desire on the part of the Japanese Government concerning the peaceful settlement of the China Affair will, with the intention of facilitating the realization of the settlement, render its good offices in order that the Chungking Government may promptly enter into negotiations with the Government of Japan for a termination of hostilities and a resumption of peaceful relations, and will refrain from resorting to any measures and actions which might hamper the measures and efforts of the Government of Japan directed toward the settlement of the China Affair.

The Government of Japan maintains that the basic general terms of peace for the settlement of the China Affair will be in harmony with the principles embodied in the Konoye statement, and those agreements between Japan and China and those matters which have been put into effect in accordance with the said statement; that the economic cooperation between Japan and China will be carried on by peaceful means and in conformity with the principle of non-discrimination in the international commercial relations and also with the principle of especially close relationship which is natural between neighboring countries; and that the economic activities of third Powers in China will not be excluded so long as they are pursued on an equitable basis.

IV. Commerce between Japan and the United states.

Both Governments agree to take without delay measures necessary for resuming normal trade relations between the two countries.

Both Government's guarantee each other that they will, as the first of the measures envisaged in the preceding paragraph, discontinue immediately the measures of freezing assets now being enforced, and that they will supply mutually such commodities as are, respectively, available and required by either of them.

V. Economic problems in the Southwestern Pacific area.

Both Governments mutually pledge themselves that the economic activities of Japan and the United States in the Southwestern Pacific area shall be carried on by peaceful means and in conformity with the principle of non-discrimination in the international commercial relations in pursuance of the policy stated in the preceding paragraph, both Governments agree to cooperate each with the other towards the creation of conditions of international trade and international investment under which both countries will have a reasonable opportunity to secure through the trade process the means of acquiring these goods and commodities which each country needs for the safeguarding and development of its own economy.

Both Governments will amicably cooperate for the conclusion and execution of agreements with the Powers concerned in regard to the production land supply, on the basis of non?discrimination, of such specific commodities as oil, rubber, nickel, and tin.

VI. The policies of both nations affecting political stabilization in the Pacific area.

Both Governments, taking cognizance of the fact that it is a matter of vital importance to stabilize promptly the situation in the South-western Pacific area, undertake not to resort to any measures and actions which may jeopardize such stabilization. The Government of Japan will not make any armed advancement, using French Indo-China as abase, to any adjacent area thereof (excluding China), and, upon the establishment of an equitable peace in the Pacific area, will withdraw its troops which are now stationed in French Indo-China.

The Government of the United States will alleviate its military measures in the Southwestern Pacific area.

Both Governments declare that they respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Thailand and Netherland East Indies, and that they are prepared to conclude an agreement concerning the neutralization of the Philippine Islands when its independence will have been achieved.

The Government of the United States guarantees non-discriminatory treatment of the Japanese nationals in the Philippine Islands.


Source: U.S., Department of State, Publication 1983, Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941 (Washington, D.C.: U.S., Government Printing Office, 1943), pp. 746-49


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