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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1934. The Far East
(1934)

Japan,   pp. 631-843 PDF (77.6 MB)


Page 631


JAPAN
POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN JAPAN AND EFFORTS TO IMPROVE
               RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES'
894.0011/91
    The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State
No. 639                                  TOKYO, January 11, 1934.
                                           [Received January 29.]
  SIR: In connection with my telegram No. 191 of December 23,
10 a. M.,2 reporting the birth of a son to the Empress on that day,
it seems appropriate here to comment briefly on the significance of
this event and to indicate to some extent its probable effect on the
political life of Japan.
  For some time past, as I have previously reported, there has been
evident in this country a spirit of unrest and indiscipline which has
affected the whole Government, and has been particularly noticeable
among the younger officers of the Army and Navy. Since the out-
break of the Manchurian venture, the chauvinistic elements have
been especially vocal and have openly expressed extreme dissatisfac-
tion with social and political conditions in the country. It is only
recently that some of the liberal elements in the population have dared
to question the dicta of the super-patriots. Some of the animosity
of dissatisfied groups has been directed against the Emperor's en-
tourage, which they felt was hostile to the new developments and was
working against the plans of the younger military leaders. The pre-
cise degree of this animosity is difficult to estimate. There have been
attempts on the life of the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal, for exam-
ple, and there have been reports, apparently credible, that the Emperor
was to be deposed and another member of the Imperial Family put
in his place. Such action would not be without precedent in Japanese
history. Apparently the Emperor has not been personally in sym-
pathy with much that has recently taken place in Japanese political
life; the Minister of War and other leaders of the chauvinistic ele-
ments are reported to have been made to feel the Emperor's personal
' For previous correspondence concerning political developments in Japan,
see
Foreign Relations, 1933, vol. III, pp. 700 ff.
2Not printed.
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