Informal and Personal Message From, the Japanese Minister For Foreign Affairs (Hirota) to the Secretary of State [17], February 21, 1934


It is a significant fact that ever since Japan and the United State opened their doors to each other exactly eighty years ago, the two countries have always maintained a relationship of friendliness an cordiality.

It is a matter for gratification to both our countries that they produce very few commodities which represent conflicting interests in their foreign trade, that each supplies what the other wants, that they are good customers of each other's products, and that they are strengthening their relation of interdependence year after year.

I firmly believe that viewed in the light of the broad aspect of the situation and studied from all possible angles, no question exists between our two countries that is fundamentally incapable of amicable solution. I do not doubt that all issues pending between the two nations will be settled in a satisfactory manner, when examined with a good understanding on the part of each of the other's position, discussed with an open mind and in all frankness, and approached with a spirit of cooperation and conciliation.

I can state with all emphasis at my command that the Japanese nation makes it its basic principle to collaborate in peace and harmony with all nations and has no intention whatever to provoke and make trouble with any other Power.

It is the sincere desire of Japan that a most peaceful and friendly relation will be firmly established between her and her great neighbor across the Pacific, the United States. And to this end I have been exerting my best efforts since I took the post of Foreign Minister.

I am happy, therefore, to avail myself of the occasion of the arrival in your country of Mr. Saito, the new Ambassador, to lay before you, through him, Mr. Secretary, my thoughts as to the necessity of promoting our traditional friendship as above.

I hope and believe that the desire of the Japanese Government in this respect will be reciprocated by a full support and countenance on the part of your Government.

[17] Handed to the Secretary of State by the Japanese Ambassador, February 21, 1934.

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. 208-209.

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