90 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 897 WASHINGTON, 25 October 1941, 5.13 p.m.

SECRET

I saw Sumner Welles [1] today. He said that Wakasugi [2] had called on him yesterday to say under instructions that the attitude of the new Japanese Government was in no way different to that of the last and that they wished to continue exploratory discussions in respect of which he would shortly be receiving further instructions.[3]

Sumner Welles was rather irritable about the statement yesterday of the Secretary of the Navy [4] regarding the Far East.

Sumner Welles agrees generally with the first paragraph of my 865.

[5] He said that he believed that there was 'very little chance' of the Japanese undertaking southward offensive in the near future and he added, 'or northward either for that matter'. He said that he believed that the Japanese and the Russians land and air strengths facing each other in the north were about balanced.

1 U.S. Under-Secretary of State.

2 Minister at the Japanese Embassy in Washington.

3 F. K. Officer, Charge d'Affaires in Japan, had reported on 17 October (cablegram 476 on file AA : A981, Japan 40, v) that lack of progress in the discussions with the United States had forced the resignation of the Konoye Govt but that Konoye had continued in office until a successor had been arranged on the understanding that the discussions would be continued. The former Minister for War, General Hideki Tojo, had formed a new ministry on 17 October.

4 Colonel Franklin Knox.

5 Document 88.

[AA : A981, JAPAN 181, iv]