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Saito Says His Country Has 'No Unreasonable Ambitions'

Japanese Ambassador Speaks Of "Shocking Blunder" Of Panay In Interview

By Cleveland Amory

"When the showdown comes, the world will see that Japan has no unreasonable ambitions," declared Hirosi Saito, Japanese Ambassador, interviewed in his office at the Washington embassy during the vacation.

Although his face was lined and showed clearly the strain of his position, the 51-year old diplomat seemed cordial and was not at all reluctant to speak of the Far East crisis. He smoked continually but by no means nervously.

"Japan will present moderate terms of settlement at the end of the conflict," he said, enlarging on his "no unreasonable ambitions" theme. He implied that his country was driven to war. Most of the land which Japan is acquiring he classed as "all expense, no remuneration."

"Shocking Blunder"

Terming the Panay bombing "a shocking blunder," Ambassador Saito said that there is "no compensation which mortal man can make that is adequate for the families bereft."

He said that his country was doing all in its power to prevent repetition of such an event as the Panay affair. "The naval officer who was in command of the aircraft squadron in Shanghai has been dismissed and recalled home," Saito revealed. "All other necessary steps are being and will be taken so that guarantees of safety will be assured all foreign persons and interests in the future."

Got "Soaked" During 300th

The Ambassador said that he had visited Harvard several times. "I got soaked during your Tercentenary," he remarked, smiling. He admitted having spoken at Radcliffe three years ago.

"It is a great debt which Japan owes to Boston," Saito declared. "Many of the makers of modern Japan had their education at Harvard." He mentioned in particular Baron Kikkawa, who wrote of his education here, "Had I lived those years in Japan, I would have been surrounded by so many attendants that I should not have learned to depend upon myself so much . . . I recommend my children to cultivate the spirit of independence so to prepare themselves as to be able to stand in the world without the aid of others."

When the subject of baseball was brought up, the Ambassador said that he hoped the Harvard team would make another trip to his country. He added that "at our best institution, Tokyo Imperial, we do not have much emphasis on athletics."

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