Diplomacy: The Ambassador

Offered the job of U.S. Ambassador to Japan in 1932, Joseph Clark Grew had deep doubts: Japanese militarists al ready had made clear their intention to try to take over Asia. He consulted his wife, a granddaughter of Commodore Matthew C. Perry who had opened Japan to Western commerce in 1853.

"Finally," he recalled, "I told Mrs. Grew that if we took the post in Tokyo, some day we might be in a position to sway the issue of peace or war between Japan and the U.S."

In his ten-year Tokyo tenure,. Joe...

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