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

Cablegram 969 WASHINGTON, 14 November 1941, 11.40 p.m.


I saw Sumner Welles [1] today. He confirms that they believe
Kurusu [2] has no different instructions to those [possessed] [3]
by Nomura. [4]

I asked him if he thought I was right in believing Japanese-Anglo-
American relations were heading fairly rapidly towards a break. He
said he believed this to be so. He said that he believed that the
Japanese Government were under definite necessity of providing
some justification to their own people after four years of
national effort and sacrifice. They were so far 'out on a limb'
that he did not believe they could get back.

Sumner Welles says that he could not believe that Japanese will
agree to evacuate China completely and nothing less will satisfy
United States.

If the Kurusu discussions came to nothing, he believes that the
Japanese will prepare themselves for a major attempt on the Burma
Road and he thinks it unlikely that this operation will be carried
through without infringing on Thailand and Burma.

I asked if it were not possible for Japan to attempt to cut Burma
Road in China without treading directly on American or British
toes. Without saying so directly, I inferred from his reply that
United States would not sit idly by and watch China's life-lines
being cut 'any more than the United States would be indifferent if
the Japanese sought to deny us access to Vladivostok'.

1 U.S. Under-Secretary of State.

2 Japanese special envoy to the United States.

3 Corrected from the Washington copy on file AA : A3300, 99.

4 Japanese Ambassador to the United States.

[AA : A981, JAPAN 178]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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