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  Library Correspondence Joseph Grew: Memorandum, May 29, 1945

Memorandum on Conversation on Japanese future
From: Joseph C Grew, Acting Secretary of the State
Date: May 29, 1945

[Washington,] May 29, 1945.

Participants: Secretary of War Stimson, Secretary of the Navy Forrestal, General Marshall, Mr. Elmer Davis, Judge Samuel I. Rosenman, Mr. Eugene H. Dooman, Acting Secretary, Mr. Grew

At the President's request I called a meeting in Mr. Stimson's office at the Pentagon Building of the Secretaries of War and Navy and General Marshall. Admiral King was absent but I brought with me Mr. Elmer Davis, Judge Rosenman, and Mr. Dooman.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the question as to whether the President, in his forthcoming speech about our war with Japan, should indicate that we have no intention of determining Japan's future political structure, which should be left ft to the Japanese themselves, in the thought that such a statement, which had already been made by Mr. Hull and by Chiang Kai-shek, might ender it easier for the Japanese to surrender unconditionally instead of fighting fanatically for their Emperor. The meeting lasted for an hour and in the course of the discussion it became clear that Mr. Stimson, Mr. Forrestal, and General Marshall were all in accord with the principle but for certain military reasons, not divulged, it was considered inadvisable for the President to make such a statement just now. The question of timing was the nub of the whole matter according to the views presented. I undertook to inform the President of the consensus of the meeting.

Joseph C Grew


[Washington,] May 29, 1945

In my talk with the President this afternoon I told him of the consensus at the meeting in Secretary Stimson's office this morning to the effect that, while Mr. Stimson, Mr. Forrestal and General Marshall concurred in the desirability of letting the Japanese know that they themselves will be permitted, at the termination of the military government of occupation, to choose their own future political structure, it was not considered wise, owing to certain military considerations, to make such a statement just now. It was therefore felt that the matter should remain temporarily in abeyance. I reported this to the President, who accepted the consensus of the meeting.

Joseph C. Grew

Source: Foreign Relations of the United States 1945, vol. 6, 548-549.
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