In this atmosphere of distrust and suspicion, aggravated by the world-wide economic collapse and internal problems of industrial and social discontent, the Japanese looked about them. In addition to the normal difficulties in China, the Japanese were subjected to an intense boycott; the situation in Manchuria appeared worse than ever as the Chinese had used borrowed money to operate railways to the detriment of the Japanese line; their various agreements with the Chinese remained unimplemented and in the background was Soviet Russia, apparently once more a Power. The Washington undertakings were unfulfilled, and the Conference called to supplement the Naval Treaty had ignored the actual conditions that Japan had to face. So in 1931 Japan acted alone. . . . The British had acted alone in Shanghai and the British and Americans had acted together at Nanking in 1927. . . . After the Japanese action in September, 1931, the Chinese appealed to the League of Nations, alleging aggression on the part of Japan and asking redress under the Covenant. . . . The Chinese are in no position to bring up any of the Washington settlements. They have defaulted on their obligations thereunder and do not come into court with clean hands.
T. J. リーグから、スタンリー・ホーンベック極東部長宛て意見書
Manchuria has never at any time been part of the “Chinese body-politic.” It stands now as it has done, as a unit distinct and entirely separate from China. . . . I should like to suggest to you the wisdom of discrediting entirely the Russian propaganda against Japan, which is, and has been for some time past, virulent. . . . Recognition of Manchukuo would alleviate most of this and put the whole situation in an entirely different and more favorable atmosphere. Personally, I believe that Japan is sincere in her presentations and purposes.
Root had been Secretary of State from 1905 to 1909 and had negotiated the Root-Takahira Agreement that had given Japan a green light in Manchuria. He now warned Stimson about “getting entangled in League measures which we have no right to engage in against Japan.” He also alluded to Japan’s special interests in Manchuria through a long period of years, and spoke of the need for Japan to protect herself in a political sense against “the dagger aimed at her heart.”