January 24, 1941
Secretary of Navy to Secretary of War: "…If war eventuates with Japan, it is believed easily possible that hostilities would be initiated by a surprise attack upon the fleet or the navel base at Pearl Harbor… …The dangers envisioned, in their order of importance and probability, are considered to be (1) air bombing attack, (2) air torpedo-plane attack, (3) sabotage, (4) submarine attack, (5) mining, (6) bombardment by gunfire. Defense against all but the first two of these dangers appears to have been provided for satisfactorily…"
February 7, 1941
Marshall to Short: "…My impression of the Hawaiian problem has been that if no serious harm is done us during the first six hours of known hostilities, thereafter the existing defenses would discourage an enemy against the hazard of an attack. The risk of sabotage and the risk involved in a surprise raid by air and by submarine, constitute the real perils of the situation… …Please keep clearly in mind in all your negotiations that our mission is to protect the base and the Navel concentration…"
March 5, 1941
Marshall to Short: "…I would appreciate your early review of the situation in the Hawaiian Department with regard to defense from air attack. The establishment of a satisfactory system of coordinating all means available to this end is a matter of first priority…"
July 7, 1941
War Department Adjutant General to Hawaiian Department Commanding General: "For your information. Deduction from information from numerous sources is that the Japanese Government has determined upon its future policy which is supported by all principal Japanese political and military groups. This policy is at present one of watchful waiting involving possible aggressive action against the Maritime Provinces of Russia if and when the Siberian Garrison has been materially reduced in strength and it becomes evident that Germany will win a decisive victory in European Russia. Opinion is that Jap activity in the South will be for the present confined to seizure and development of Navel, Army and Air Bases in Indo China although an advance against the British and Dutch cannot be entirely ruled out. The neutrality pact with Russia may be abrogated. They have ordered all Jap vessels in US Atlantic ports to be west of Panama Canal by first of August. Movement of Jap shipping from Japan has been suspended and additional merchant vessels are being requisitioned."
September 24, 1941
Tokyo (Toyoda) to Honolulu: "Henceforth, we would like to have you make reports concerning vessels along the following lines insofar as possible. 1. The waters (of Pearl Harbor) are to be divided into five sub-areas. (We have no objection to your abbreviating as much as you like.) Area A. Waters between Ford Island and the Arsenal. Area B. Waters adjacent to the Island south and west of Ford Island. Area C. East Loch. Area D. Middle Loch. Area E. West Loch and the communicating water routes. 2. With regard to warships and aircraft carriers, we would like to have your report on those at anchor, (these are not so important) tied up at wharf’s, buoys and in docks. (Designate types and classes briefly. If possible we would like to have you make mention of the fact when there are two or more vessels along side the same wharf.)"
October 14, 1941
Washington (Nomura) to Tokyo: "I had an interview with Rear Admiral TURNER. If I sum up what he told me, it is this: ‘What the United States wants is not just a pretense but a definite promise. Should a conference of the two governments be held without a definite preliminary agreement, and should, in the meantime, an advance be made into Siberia, the President would be placed in a terrible predicament. Japan speaks of peace in the Pacific and talks as if she can decide matters independently, and so it would seem to me that Japan could set aside most of her obligations toward the Three-Power Alliance. As to the question of withdrawing or stationing troops, since it is impossible to withdraw troops all at once, it would seem that a detailed agreement could be arranged between China and Japan for a gradual withdrawal,’ He speculates on the various difficulties which Japan had to face internally. It seems that this opinion of his has also been given to the Secretary of State. He said that should the Russo-German war suddenly end and should Germany offer Great Britain peace, it would after all be a German peace and England would not accept it. Now, this man is a responsible fellow in an important position and I take it that this is the view of the Navy. On the other hand, HOOVER and his considerable following consider that should Moscow make a separate peace with Berlin and should Berlin then turn to London with generous peace terms, this whole fray would end with unimaginable quickness. CASTLE (former US Ambassador to Japan) told me that HUGH GIBSON feels the same way and that Japan, too, should be on the alert for this possibility. This, however, I take to be a minority view entertained by the Isolationists. MOORE (American legal adviser to the Japanese Embassy in Washington) reports that Secretary HULL told Senator THOMAS that he is proceeding patiently with the Japanese-American negotiations, but he hopes that Japan will not mistake this for a sign of weakness on America’s part, and that no answer has arrived to the memos of October 2. KIPLINGER (A Washington newspaper correspondent) reports that there is a very good basis for rumors of a cessation of hostilities between Russia and Germany and that the chances for war between Japan and the United States are fifty-fifty."
October 16, 1941
Tokyo (Toyoda) to Washington: "Although I have been requested by both the German and Italian Ambassadors in Tokyo to give to give them additional information on the Japanese-American negotiations, I have, in consideration of the nature of the negotiations, been declining to do so. However, early this month, following the German attacks on American merchant ships and the consequent (revival?) of the movement for the revision of the Neutrality Act, the German authorities demanded that the Japanese Government submit to the American Government a message to the effect that the Japanese Government observes that if the ROOSEVELT Administration continues to attack the Axis Powers increasingly, a belligerent situation would inevitably arise between Germany and Italy on the one hand and the United States on the other, and this would provide to reasons for the convocation of the duties envisioned in the Three Power agreement and might lead Japan to join immediately the war in opposition to the United States. We have not, as yet, submitted this message because, in view of the Japanese-American negotiations, we found it necessary to consider carefully the proper timing as well as wording of the message. The German authorities have been repeatedly making the same request and there are reasons that do not permit this matter to be postponed any longer. While Japan on the one hand finds it necessary to do something in the way of carrying out the duties placed upon her by the Three-Power Alliance she had concluded with Germany, on the other hand, she is desirous of making a success of the Japanese-American negotiations. Under the circumstances, we can do no other than to warn the United States at an appropriate moment in such words as are given in my separate wire and as would not affect the Japanese-American negotiations in one way or another. This message is a secret between me and you."
October 16, 1941
Tokyo (Toyoda) to Washington: "The Imperial Government has repeatedly affirmed to the American Government that the aim of the Tripartite Pact is to contribute toward the prevention of a further extension of the European war. Should, however, the recent tension in the German-American relations suffer aggravation, there would arise a distinct danger of a war between the two powers, a state of affairs over which Japan, as a signatory to the Tripartite Pact, naturally cannot help entertain a deep concern. Accordingly, in its sincere desire that not only the German-American relations will cease further deterioration but the prevailing tension will also be alleviated as quickly as possible, the Japanese Government is now requesting the earnest consideration of the American Government."
October 16, 1941
Chief of Navel Operations to Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet: "Japanese Cabinet resignation creates a grave situation. If a new cabinet is formed it probably will be anti-American and strongly nationalistic. If the Konoye Cabinet remains it will operate under a new mandate which will not include rapprochement with the United States. Either way hostilities between Japan and Russia are strongly possible. Since Britain and the United States are held responsible by Japan for their present situation, there is also a possibility that Japan may attack these two powers. In view of these possibilities you will take due precautions, including such preparatory deployments as will not disclose strategic intention nor constitute provocative action against Japan."
October 20, 1941
War Department to Hawaiian Department Commanding General: "Following War Department estimate of Japanese situation for your information. Tension between the United States and Japan remains strained but no, repeat no, abrupt change in Japanese foreign policy seems imminent."
October 22, 1941
Washington (Namura) to Tokyo: "I have already wired you something about my present psychology. I am sure that I, too, should go out with the former cabinet. I know that for some time the Secretary of State has known how sincere your humble servant is, yet how little influence I have in Japan. I am ashamed to say that it has come to my ears that this is the case. There are some Americans who trust this poor novice and who say that things will get better for me, but alas, their encouragement is not enough. Among my confreres here in the United States there are also some who feel the same way, but, alas, they are all poor deluded souls. As for Your Excellency’s instructions, WAKASUGI can carry them out fully. Nor do I imagine that you all have any objections. I don’t want to be the bones of a dead horse. I don’t want to continue this hypocritical existence, deceiving other people. No, don’t think I am trying to flee the field of battle, but as a man of honor this is the only way open for me to tread. Please send me your permission to return to Japan. Most humbly do I beseech your forgiveness if I have injured your dignity and I prostrate myself before you in the depth of my rudeness."
November 3, 1941
War Department to Hawaiian Department: "Subject: Information Received from the Orient. Summary of Information: The following information received from the Orient, dated August 26, 1941, is considered reliable: 1. Mr. HIROTA, a presiding officer at directors’ meeting of the Black Dragon Society, told of an order issued by War Minister TOJO (now Premier) ‘to complete full preparation to meet any emergency with the United States in the Pacific. All guns to be to be mounted in the islands of the Pacific under Japanese mandate. The full preparation to be completed by November.’ 2. HIROTA and others are said to have stated: ‘War with United States would best begin in December or in February.’ 3. Very soon,’ they say, ‘the cabinet will be changed. The new Cabinet would likely start war within sixty days.’ G-2 Note: Full name of individual mentioned above is KOKI HIROTA, who is reported to be a member of the House of Peers, former Premier of Japan and director of the Bureau of Intelligence, US Section."
November 5, 1941
Tokyo to Washington: "Because of various circumstances, it is absolutely necessary that all arrangements for the signing of this agreement be completed by the 25th of the month. I realize that this is a difficult order, but under the circumstances it is an unavoidable one. Please understand this thoroughly and tackle the problems of saving the Japanese-US relations from falling into chaotic condition. Do so with great determination and with unstinting effort, I beg of you. This information is to be kept strictly to yourself only."
November 14, 1941
Tokyo to Hong Kong: "Though the Imperial Government hopes for great things from the Japan-American negotiations, they do not permit optimism for the future. Should the negotiations collapse, the international situation in which the Empire will find herself will be one of tremendous crisis. Accompanying this, the Empire’s foreign policy as it has been decided by the cabinet, insofar as it pertains to China, is: (a.) We will completely destroy British and American power in China. (b.) We will take over all enemy concessions and enemy important rights and interests (customs and minerals, etc.) in China. (c.) We will take over all rights and interests owned by enemy powers, even though they may have connections with the new Chinese Government, should it become necessary. In realizing these steps in China, we will avoid, in so far as possible exhausting our veteran troops. Thus we will cope with a world war on a long-time scale. Should our reserves for total war and our future military strength wane, we have decided to reinforce them from the whole Far Eastern area. This has become the whole fundamental policy of the Empire. Therefore, in consideration of the desirability to lighten our personal and material loads, we will encourage the activities of important Chinese in their efforts in the occupied territories insofar as possible. Japan and China, working in cooperation, will take over military bases. Thus, operating wherever possible, we will realize peace throughout the entire Far East. At the same time, we place great importance upon the acquisition of materials (especially from the unoccupied areas). In order to do this, all in the cabinet have concurred, in view of the necessity, in a reasonable relaxation of the various restrictions now in force (after you have duly realized the critical situation which has brought the above decisions into being you will, of course, wait for instructions from home before carrying them out). In connection with the above, we have the precedent of the freezing legislation. We are writing you this particularly for your information alone. Please keep absolutely quiet the existence of these decisions and the fact that they have been transmitted to you."
November 15, 1941
Tokyo (Togo) to Washington (Riyoji): "As relations between Japan and the United States are most critical, make your ‘ships in harbor report’ irregular, but at a rate of twice a week. Although you already are no doubt aware, please take extra care to maintain secrecy."
November 16, 1941
Tokyo to Washington: "…you may be sure that you have all my gratitude for the effort you have put forth, but the fate of our Empire hangs by the slender thread of a few days, so please fight harder than you ever did before… …In your opinion we ought to wait and see what turn the war takes and remain patient. However, I am awfully sorry to say that the situation renders this out of the question. I set the deadline (November 25, 1941) for the solution of these negotiations…and there will be no change. Please try to understand that. You see how short time is; therefore do not allow the United States to sidetrack us and delay the negotiations any further. Press them for a solution on the basis of our proposals, and do your best to bring about an immediate solution."
November 18, 1941
Honolulu (Kita) to Tokyo: "1. The warships in Harbor on the 15th…Area A – A battleship of the Oklahoma class entered and one tanker left port. Area C – 3 warships of the heavy cruiser type were at anchor. 2. On the 17th the Saratoga was not in the harbor. The carrier, Enterprise, or some other vessel was in Area C. Two heavy cruisers of the Chicago class, one of the Pensacola class were tied up at docks "KS". 4 merchant vessels were at anchor in Area D. 3. At 10:00 AM on the morning of the 17th, 8 destroyers were observed entering the Harbor. Their course was as follows: In a single file at a distance of 1,000 metes apart at a speed of 3 knots per hour, they moved into Pearl Harbor. From the entrance of the Harbor though Area B to the buoys in Area C, to which they were moored, they changed course 5 times each time roughly 30 degrees. The elapsed time was one hour, however, one of these destroyers entered Area A after passing the water reservoir on the Eastern side."
November 19, 1941
Tokyo to Washington: "The condition outlined by them namely "After the peaceful policy’s of Japan have been made more definite" we imagine would naturally have reference to the question of the three-power treaty. It does not mean merely that Japan will withdraw her troops from Southern Indo-China, and that then the US will go back to conditions prior to the freezing act. It leaves the way open for the US to bring up rather complicated terms. On the other hand, the internal situation in our country is such that it would be difficult for us to handle it if we withdraw from Southern Indo-China, merely on assurances that conditions prior to the freezing act will be restored. It would be necessary to have a proposed solution that would come up to the B proposal. With the situation as urgent as it is now, it is of utmost importance that you play your hand for the amelioration of the situation, to the extent of the proposal in your message, then to push on for an understanding. The Ambassador did not arrange this with us beforehand, but made the proposal contained in your message for the purpose of meeting the tense situation existing within the nation, but this can only result in delay and failure in the negotiations. The Ambassador, therefore, having received our revised instructions…will please present our B proposal of the Imperial Government, and no further concessions can be made. If the US consent to this cannot be secured, the negotiations will have to be broken off; therefore, with the above well in mind put forth your very best efforts."
November 20, 1941
Berlin to Tokyo: "I received a visit from the Thai Minister on the 20th. He opened his remarks by saying that he was also a soldier and would like to have a frank talk with me as between men who had know each other for many years. He then referred to a recent crop of rumors to the effect that JAPAN was to invade THAILAND, and to reports of large Japanese troop concentrations on the Thai frontier of French Indo-China, and asked point blank whether there was any truth in them or not. I replied that I had no news from my home Government on these matters but that my own belief was that Japan’s actions toward all Far Eastern races were aimed at applying the principle of live-and-let-live, the fact being that in cases such as that of the recent arbitration between THAILAND and French INDO-CHINA JAPAN had done her utmost for Thailand for this very reason and would never invade THAILAND for the purpose of aggression. But the facts were that GREAT BRITAIN and AMERICA had set up the so-called ABCD front in opposition to JAPAN’s establishment of a New Order, finally threatening the existence even of JAPAN herself. JAPAN of course would be compelled to continue her course brushing this aside, and that she wished to attain this and by peaceful means was obvious from the mere fact of her having sent Mr. KURUSU to AMERICA. However if the worst came to the worst and it was unavoidable, JAPAN would have to take the necessary steps for her own existence – not that there would be any question of this happening if THAILAND soon understood JAPAN’s ultimate purpose and displayed an attitude of cooperation with JAPAN; she would have to invade THAILAND only if that country should blindly follow the lead of GREAT BRITAIN and AMERICA and take up an attitude of opposition. The Minister interposed by describing the position in which THAILAND was placed and by stating emphatically that THAILAND would never oppose JAPAN as an Anglo-American cat’s-paw. When suggesting his visit the Minister said that he wished to see me urgently, and OMMINISI’s view that he probably came on instructions from his home Government. The Germans are also extremely interested in Thai problems and I should be glad if you would inform me at once as to the latest situation."
November 22, 1941
Tokyo to Washington: "To both you Ambassadors (Nomura, Kurusu). It is awfully hard for us to consider changing the date we set…(November 25, 1941)…You should know this, however, I know you are working hard. Stick to our fixed policy and do your very best. Spare no efforts and try to bring about the solution we desire. There are reasons beyond your ability to guess why we wanted to settle Japanese-American relations by the 25th, but if within the next three or four days you can finish your conversations with the Americans; if the signing can be completed by the 29th (let me write it out for you – twenty-ninth); if pertinent notes can be exchanged; if we can get an understanding with Great Britain and the Netherlands; and in short if everything can be finished, we have decided to wait until that date. This time we mean it, that deadline absolutely cannot be changed. After that things are automatically going to happen. Please take this into your careful consideration and work harder than you ever have before. This, for the present, is for the information of you two Ambassadors alone."
November 24, 1941
Chief of Navel Operations to Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet: "There are very doubtful chances of a favorable outcome of negotiations with Japan. This situation coupled with statements of Nippon Government and movements of their navel and military forces indicate in our opinion that a surprise aggressive movement in any direction including an attack on the Philippines or Guam is a possibility. The Chief of Staff has seen this dispatch and concurs…Utmost secrecy is necessary in order not to complicate an already tense situation or precipitate Jap action…"
November 26, 1941
Washington to Tokyo: "As we have wired you several times, there is hardly any possibility of having them consider our ‘B’ proposal in toto. On the other hand, if we let the situation remain tense as it is now, sorry as we are to say so, the negotiations will inevitably be ruptured, if indeed they may not already be called so. Our failure and humiliation are complete. We might suggest one thing for saving the situation. Although we have grave misgivings, we might propose, first, that President ROOSEVELT wire you that for the sake of posterity he hopes that Japan and the United States will cooperate for the maintenance of peace in the Pacific (just as soon as you wire us what you think of this, we will negotiate for this sort of arrangement with all we have in us), and that you in return reply with a cordial message thereby not only clearing the atmosphere, but also gaining a little time. Considering the possibility that England and the United States are scheming to bring the Netherlands Indies under their protection through military occupation, in order to forestall this, I think we should propose the establishment of neutral nations, including French Indo-China, Netherlands India and Thai. (As you know, last September President ROOSEVELT proposed the neutrality of French Indo-China and Thai.) We suppose that the rupture of the present negotiations does not necessarily mean war between Japan and the United States. Then we would attack them and a clash with them would be inevitable. Now, the question is whether or not Germany would feel duty bound by the third article of the treaty to help us. We doubt if she would. Again, you must remember that the Sino-Japanese incident would have to wait until the end of this world war before it could possibly be settled. In this telegram we are expressing the last personal opinions we will have to express, so will Your Excellency please be good enough at least to show it to the Ministry of the Navy, if only to him; then we hope that you will wire us back instantly."
November 26, 1941
Washington (Namura) to Tokyo: "The United States is using the excuse that she is at present negotiating with the various competent countries. In view of the fact that she will propagandize that we are continuing these negotiations only with the view of preparing for our expected moves, should we, during the course of these conversations, deliberately enter into our scheduled operations, there is a great danger that the responsibility for the rupture of negotiations will be cast upon us. There have been times in the past when she could have considered discontinuing conversations because of our invasion of French Indo-China. Now, should we, without clarifying our intentions, force a rupture in our negotiations and suddenly enter upon independent operations, there is great fear that she may use such a thing as that as counter-propaganda against us. They might consider doing the same thing insofar as our plans for Thai are concerned. Nevertheless, such a thing as the clarification of our intention is a strict military secret; consequently, I think that it might be the better plan, dependant of course on the opinions of the Government, that the current negotiations be clearly and irrevocably concluded either through an announcement to the American Embassy in Tokyo or by a declaration for internal and external cosumptions. I would like, if such a course is followed, to make representations here at the same time. Furthermore, in view of the fact that there are considerations of convenience having to do with my interview with the President, should there be anything that you would want me to say at that time, please wire me back at once."
November 27, 1941
War Department to Hawaiian Department Commanding General: "Negotiations with Japanese appear to be terminated to all practical purposes with only the barest possibilities that the Japanese Government might come back and offer to continue. Japanese future action unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment. If hostilities cannot, repeat cannot, be avoided, United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act. This policy should not, repeat not, be construed as restricting you to a course of action that might jeopardize your defense. Prior to hostile Japanese action, you are directed to undertake such reconnaissance and other measures as you deem necessary but these measures should be carried out so as not, repeat not, to alarm the civilian population or disclose intent. Report measures taken. Should hostilities occur you will carry out the tasks assigned in Rainbow 5 as far as they pertain to Japan. Limit dissemination of this highly secret information to minimum essential officers."
November 27, 1941
G-2 War Department to G-2 Hawaiian Department: "Advise only the Commanding Officer and the Chief of Staff that it appears that the conference with the Japanese has ended in an apparent deadlock. Acts of sabotage and espionage probable. Also possible that hostilities may begin."
November 27, 1941
Cincaf and Cincpac: "This dispatch is to be considered a war warning. Negotiations with Japan looking toward stabilization of conditions in the Pacific have ceased and an aggressive move by Japan is expected within the next few days. The number and equipment of Jap troops and the organization of navel task forces indicates an amphibious expedition against either the Philippines or the Kra Peninsula or possibly Borneo. Execute an appropriate defensive deployment…"
November 28, 1941
Tokyo to Washington: "Well, you two Ambassadors have exerted superhuman efforts but, in spite of this, the United States has gone ahead and presented this humiliating proposal. This was quite unexpected and extremely regrettable. The Imperial Government can by means use it as a basis for negotiations. Therefore, with a report of the views of the Imperial Government on this American proposal which I will send you in two or three days, the negotiations will be de facto ruptured. This is inevitable. However, I do not wish you to give the impression that the negotiations are broken off. Merely say to them that you are awaiting instructions and that, although the opinions of your government are not yet clear to you, to your own way of thinking the Imperial Government has always made just claims and has borne great sacrifices for the sake of peace in the Pacific. Say that we have always demonstrated a long-suffering and conciliatory attitude, but that, on the other hand, the United States has been unbending, making it impossible for Japan to establish negotiations. Since things have come to this pass, I contacted the man you told me to…and he said that under present circumstances what you suggest is entirely unsuitable. From now on do the best you can."
November 28, 1941
US War Department Adjutant General to Hawaiian Department Commanding General: "Critical situation demands that all precautions be taken immediately against subversive activities within field of investigative responsibility of War Department… …Also desired that you initiate forthwith all additional measures necessary to provide for protection of your establishments, property, and equipment against sabotage, protection of your personnel against subversive propaganda and protection of all activities against espionage. This does not, repeat not, mean that any illegal measures are authorized. Protective measures should be confined to those essential to security, avoiding unnecessary publicity and alarm….this does not, repeat not, effect your responsibility under existing instructions."
November 29, 1941
Berlin to Tokyo: "I was to have had an evening meeting yesterday, the 28th, with RIBBENTROP at his request, but he suddenly asked me to postpone it, and it was ten at night before we met. The reason for the postponement was that GOERING and leading Government and Forces personalities met at the Fuehrer’s official residence and held an important conference lasting many hour. Now that the objects of the Russian campaign have for the most part been achieved, and the results of interviews with the Premiers and Foreign Ministers of the European countries collated, they discussed the direction and policy of next years campaign, and I have no doubt that at this conference JAPAN’s action was also discussed. 1. First of all RIBBENTROP again asked if I had received any news about the Japanese-American negotiations. I replied that I had not yet received any official news. RIBBENTROP said JAPAN must not lose this opportunity of achieving the establishment of the New Order in East Asia, and never had there been a time when close cooperation between the three Allies was more imperative. If JAPAN hesitated and GERMANY carried through the New Order in EUROPE alone, BRITAIN and AMERICA would turn the brunt of their attack to JAPAN. He insisted that, as the Fuehrer had said that day, the existence of JAPAN and GERMANY on the one hand and AMERICA on the other was fundamentally incompatible, and the Germans were in receipt of reports that, owing to the stiff attitude of the Americans, there was practically no possibility of the Japanese-American negotiations being successful. If this was so, and if JAPAN determined on war against BRITAIN and AMERICA, not only would this be to the common advantage of JAPAN and GERMANY, but he believed it would be to JAPAN’s advantage also. I said I know nothing of JAPAN’s plans and therefore could not answer, but I asked whether His Excellency really thought a state of war would arise between GERMANY and AMERICA. He replied that Roosevelt was diseased, and there was no knowing what he would do. Considering that hitherto RIBBENTROP has always answered that AMERICA would avoid war, and in view of recent speeches by HITLER and RIBBENTROP, it seems to me that GERMANY’s attitude towards AMERICA is gradually stiffening, and that she has reached the stage where she would not shun even war with AMERICA. 2. I enquired about the future of the war against RUSSIA, RIBBENTROP replied that the Fuehrer had said that it was now his inflexible determination to sweep away and crush the Soviet once and for all. The most important military operation had been concluded, and a large part of the army would withdraw to GERMANY. They would, however, continue operations in the CAUCASUS, and next Spring with a part of it they would make an attack on and beyond the URALS and chase STALIN into SIBERIA. I asked when approximately this was to be, and he said it was intended that the attack should start in about May of next year. I next observed that I gathered from what he said that they were quite determined on attacking the SOVIET, and the thing I should like done as soon as possible was the creation of air communications between MANCHURIA and GERMANY. He replied that the Germans had been thinking of this for some time past, and he thought that next Summer it would not be impossible to fly in one hop from somewhere hear the URALS to MANCHURIA. 3. I asked about plans for an attack on BRITAIN. He said that before the landing in BRITAIN they would chase British influence clean out of the NEAR EAST, AFRICA, GIBRALTAR and the MEDITERRANEAN. I gather from this statement by RIBBENTROP that they attach even more importance than before to this area. I asked if they intended to carry on without attacking the BRITISH ISLES. RIBBENTROP said that GERMANY was of course making preparations for this, but according to reports reaching GERMANY the internal situation in BRITAIN was not any too good. For instance the split in the Conservative Party, the lack of confidence in CHURCHILL, and the revolutionary ideas of BEVIN, the Labour leader, were making internal conditions quite difficult. There were of course some people who did not believe this: but the Fuehrer believed that conditions in BRITAIN were bad and thought that as a result of GERMANY’s future operations, even, it might be, without an invasion, BRITAIN would be beaten. In any case, however, GERMANY for her part had no intention whatever of making peace with ENGLAND, and the plan was to drive British influence out of EUROPE entirely. After the War, therefore, BRITAIN would be left absolutely powerless, and although the BRITSH ISLES would remain, all other British territory would be split up into three under GERMANY, ITALY and JAPAN. In AFRICA, GERMANY would, generally speaking, be satisfied with her old colonies and would give a great part to ITALY. It was, he said, to obtaining…(corrupt transcript)…that GERMANY attached the most importance. 4. Remarking in conclusion that the very satisfactory progress of the War under Germany leadership was fully recognized and that GERMANY naturally had to extend the area of operations by regarding as enemies not only BRITAIN but also countries under British influence and those helping BRITAIN. I asked him when he thought the war would end. To this he replied that, although he hoped it would be brought to a conclusion in the course of next year, it might possibly continue till the following year. He also said that if JAPAN were to go to war with AMERICA, GERMANY would, of course, join in immediately, and Hitler’s intention was that there should be absolutely no question of GERMANY making a separate peace with ENGLAND. At the end of the talk RIBBENTROP asked that the substance of it should be kept strictly secret, so please pay special attention to its handling. This telegram has been given to the Naval and Military Attaches and to Vice-Admiral NOMURA and Major-General ABE. Please have it shown to the Army and Navy."
November 29, 1941
Tokyo to Honolulu: "We have been receiving reports from you on ship movements, but in the future will you also report even when there are no movements."
November 29, 1941
Tokyo to Washington: "We wish you would make one more attempt verbally along the following lines: The United States Government has…taken a fair and judicial position and has formulated its policies after full consideration of the claims of both sides. However, the Imperial Government is at a loss to understand why it has now taken the attitude that the new proposals we have made cannot be made the basis of discussion, but instead has made new proposals which ignore actual conditions in East Asia and would greatly injure the prestige of the Imperial Government. With such a change in front in their attitude toward the China problem, what has become of the basic objectives that the US Government has made the basis of our negotiations during these seven months? On these points we would request careful self-reflection on the part of the United States government. (In carrying out this instruction, please be careful that this does not lead to anything like a breaking off of negotiations."
November 30, 1941
Tokyo to Berlin (Part 1 of 3): "The conversation begun between Tokyo and Washington last April during the administration of the former cabinet, in spite of the sincere efforts of the Imperial Government, now stand ruptured – broken. (I am sending you an outline of developments in separate message) In the face of this, our Empire faces a grave situation and must act with determination. Will Your Honor, therefore, immediately interview Chancellor HITLER and Foreign Minister RIBBENTROP and confidentially communicate to them a summary of the developments. Say to them that lately England and the United States have taken a provocative attitude, both of them. Say that they are planning to move military forces into various places in East Asia and that we will inevitably have to counter by also moving troops. Say very secretly to them that there is extreme danger that war may suddenly break out between the Anglo-Saxon nations and Japan through some clash of arms and add that the time of the breaking out of this war may come quicker than anyone dreams."
November 30, 1941
Tokyo to Berlin (Part 3 of 3): "4. If, when you tell them this, the Germans and Italians question you about our attitude toward the Soviets, say that we have already clarified our attitude toward the Russians in our statement of last July. Say that by our present moves southward we do not mean to relax our pressure against the Soviets or that if Russia joins hands tighter with England and the United States and resist us with hostilities, we are ready to turn upon her with all our might; however, right now it is to our advantage to stress the south for the time being we would prefer to refrain from any direct moves in the north. 5. This message is important from a strategic point of view and must under all circumstances be held in the most absolute secrecy. This goes without saying. Therefore, will you please impress upon the Germans and Italians how important secrecy is. 6. As for Italy, after our Ambassador in Berlin has communicated this to the Germans, he will submit a suitable translation to Premier MUSSOLINI and Foreign Minister CIANO. As soon as the date is set for a conference with the Germans and Italians, please let me know. Will you please send this message also to Rome, together with the separate message."
November 30, 1941
Tokyo to Berlin (Part 1 of 2): "Japan-American negotiations were commenced in the middle of April of this year. Over a period of half a year they have been continued. Within that period the Imperial Government adamantly stuck to the Tri-Partite Alliance as the cornerstone of its national policy regardless of the vicissitudes of the international situation. In the adjustment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States, she has placed her hopes for a solution definitely within the scope of that alliance. With the intent of restraining the United States from participating in the war, she boldly assumed the attitude of carrying through these negotiations. 2. Therefore, the present cabinet, in line with your message, with the view of defending the Empire’s existence and integrity on a just and equitable basis, has continued the negotiations carried on in the past. However, their views and ours on the question of evacuation of troops, upon which the negotiations rested (they demanded the evacuation of Imperial troops from China and French Indo-China), were completely in opposition to each other. Judging from the course of the negotiations that have been going on, we first came to loggerheads when the United States, in keeping with its traditional ideological tendency of managing international relations, re-emphasized her fundamental reliance upon this traditional policy in conversations carried on between the United States and England in the Atlantic Ocean. The motive of the United States in all this was brought out by her desire to prevent the establishment of a new order by Japan, Germany and Italy in Europe and the Far East, that is to say, the aims of the Tri-Partite Alliance. As long as the Empire of Japan was in alliance with Germany and Italy, there could be no maintenance of friendly relations between Japan and the United States was the stand they took. From this point of view, they began to demonstrate a tendency to demand the divorce of the Imperial Government from the Tri-Partite Alliance. This was brought out at the last meeting. That is to say that it has only been in the negotiations of the last few days that it has become gradually more and more clear that the Imperial Government could no longer continue negotiations with the United States. It became clear, too, that a continuation of negotiations would inevitably be detrimental to our cause."
November 30, 1941
Tokyo to Berlin (Part 2 of 2): "3. The proposal presented by the United States on the 26th made this attitude of theirs clearer than ever. In it there is one insulting clause which says that no matter what treaty either party enters into with a third power it will not be interpreted as having any bearing upon the basic object of this treaty, namely the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. This means specifically the Three-Power Pact. It means that in case the United States enters the European war at any time, the Japanese Empire will not be allowed to give assistance to Germany and Italy. It is clearly a trick. This clause alone, let alone others, makes it impossible to find any basis in the American proposal for negotiations. What is more, before the United States brought forth this plan, they conferred with England, Australia, the Netherlands, and China – they do so repeatedly. Therefore, it is clear that the United States is now in collusion with those nations and has decided to regard Japan, along with Germany and Italy, as an enemy."
December 1, 1941
Washington to Tokyo: "Indications are that the United States desires to continue the negotiations even if it is necessary to go beyond their stands on the so-called basic principles. However, if we keep quibbling on the critical points and continue to get stuck in the middle as we have in the past, it is impossible to expect any further developments. If it is impossible from the broad political viewpoint, to conduct a leaders’ meeting at this time, would it not be possible to arrange a conference between persons in whom the leaders have complete confidence, (for example, Vice President Wallace or Hopkins from the United States and the former Premier Konoye, who is on friendly terms with the President, or Advisor to the Imperial Privy Council Ishii). The meeting could be arranged for some midway point, such as Honolulu. High army and navy officers should accompany these representatives. Have them make one final effort to reach some agreement, using as the basis of their discussions the latest proposals submitted by each. We feel that this last effort may facilitate the final decision as to war or peace. We realize of course that an attempt to have President Roosevelt and former Premier Konoye meet (could) fail. Bearing in mind the reaction to that in our nation, it may be to our interest to first ascertain the US attitude regarding the possibility. Moreover, since we have no guarantee either of success or failure of our objectives even if the meeting is held, careful consideration should first be given this matter. We feel, however, that to surmount the crisis with which we are face to face, it is not wasting our efforts to pursue every path open to us. It is our opinion that it would be most effective to feel out and ascertain the US attitude regarding this matter, in the name of the Japanese Government. However, if this procedure does not seem practical to you in view of some internal conditions, then how would it be if I were to bring up the subject as purely of my own origin and in that manner feel out their attitude. Then, if they seem receptive to it the government could make the official proposal. Please advise me of your opinions on this matter."
December 1, 1941
Tokyo to Washington: "When you are faced with the necessity of destroying codes, get in touch with the Navel Attaché’s office there and make use of the chemicals they have on hand for this purpose. The Attaché should have been advised by the Navy Ministry regarding this."
December 1, 1941
Tokyo to London: "Please discontinue the use of your code machine and dispose of it immediately. In regard to the disposition of the machine please be very careful to carry out the instructions you have received regarding this. Pay particular attention to taking apart and breaking up the important parts of the machine. As soon as you receive this telegram wire the one word SETUJU in plain language and as soon as you have carried out the instructions wire the one word HASSO in plain language. Also at this time you will of course burn the machine code and YU GO No. 26 of my telegram. (The rules for use of the machine between the head office and the Ambassador resident in England.)"
December 1, 1941
Tokyo to Hsinking: "…In the event that Manchuria participates in the war…in view of various circumstances it is our policy to cause Manchuria to participate in the war in which event Manchuria will take the same steps toward England and America that this country will take in case war breaks out. A summary follows: 1. American and British consular officials and offices will not be recognized as having special rights. Their business will be stopped (the sending of code telegrams and the use of short wave radio will be forbidden). However it is desired that the treatment accorded them after the suspension of business be comparable to that which Japan accords to consular officials of enemy countries resident in Japan. 2. The treatment accorded to British and American public property, private property, and to the citizens themselves shall be comparable to that accorded by Japan. 3. British and American requests to third powers to look after their consular offices and interests will not be recognized. However the legal administrative steps taken by Manchoukuo shall conform to the provisions of the Japanese-Soviet neutrality pact. Great care shall be exercised not to antagonize Russia."
December 1, 1941
Tokyo to Washington: "1. The date set… (November 25, 1941) …has come and gone, and the situation continues to be increasingly critical. However, to prevent the United States from becoming unduly suspicious we have been advising the press and others that though there are some wide differences between Japan and the United States, the negotiations are continuing. (The above is only for your information.) … 3. There are reports here that the President’s sudden return to the capital is an effect of Premier Tojo’s statement. We have an idea that the President did so because of his concern over the critical Far Eastern situation. Please make investigations into this matter."
December 1, 1941
London to Tokyo: "It is feared that in the event of the situation becoming critical the exchange of telegrams may become impossible. I therefore submit the following points for your consideration and request instructions. 1. In view of conditions at this post, countries suitable for protecting our interests after the withdrawal of this Embassy are BRAZIL or SWITZERLAND. I suggest that the matter be discussed in TOKYO with the country concerned, so that instructions may be sent by that Government to its Ambassador (Minister) in LONDON. 2. Is there any objection to burning the consular exequaturs at present held in custody…3. The stipulations for withdrawal of the Embassy etc. staffs and of resident Japanese should be made with the British on a strictly reciprocal basis. If this could be done it would be necessary to effect the exchange at a stipulated place, each side providing a ship. An agreement would have to be drawn up regarding the dates of departure, etc. to prevent anything going amiss. (In case of GERMANY the exchange took place in HOLLAND, in ITALY’s case it was LISBON. If hostages are taken there is the danger that our nationals will not be able to leave the country.)…"
December 2, 1941
Washington to Tokyo (Part 1 of 2): "Today, the Ambassador KURUSU and I had an interview with Under-Secretary of State WELLES. At that time, prefacing his statement by saying that it was at the direct instruction of the President of the United States, he turned over to us the substance of my separate wire #1233. Thereupon we said: "Since we haven’t been informed even to the slightest degree concerning the troops in French Indo-China, we will transmit the gist of your representations directly to our Home Government. In all probability they never considered that such a thing as this could possibly be an upshot of their proposals of November 20th." The Under-Secretary then said: "I want you to know that the stand the United States takes is that she opposes aggression in any and all parts of the world." Thereupon we replied: "The United States and other countries have pyramided economic pressure upon economic pressure upon us Japanese. (I made the statement that economic warfare was even worse than forceful aggression.) We haven’t the time to argue the pros and cons of this question or the rights and wrongs. The people of Japan are faced with economic pressure, and I want you to know that we have but the choice between submission to this pressure or breaking the chains that it invokes. We want you to realize this as well as the situation in which all Japanese find themselves as the result of the four-year incident in China; the President recently expressed cognizance of the latter situation."
December 2, 1941
Washington to Tokyo (Part 2 of 2): "Furthermore, I would have you know that in replying to the recent American proposals, the Imperial Government is giving the most profound consideration to this important question which has to do with our national destiny. Under-Secretary of State WELLES said: "I am well aware of that." I continued: "We cannot overemphasize the fact that, insofar as Japan is concerned, it is virtually impossible for her to accept the new American proposals as they now stand. Our proposals proffered on the 21st of June and the proposals of September 25th, representing our greatest conciliations based on the previous proposal, still stand. In spite of the fact that the agreement of both sides was in the offing, it has come to naught. At this late juncture to give a thoughtful consideration to the new proposals certainly will not make for a smooth and speedy settlement of the negotiations. Recently, we promised to evacuate our troops from French Indo-China in the event of a settlement of the Sino-Japanese Incident and the establishment of a just peace in the Far East. In anticipating the settlement of fundamental questions, the question of the representations of this date would naturally dissolve." The Under-Secretary assiduously heard us out and then said: "The American proposals of the 26th were brought about by the necessity to clarify the position of the United States because of the internal situation here." Then he continued: "In regard to the opinions you have expressed, I will make it a point immediately to confer with the Secretary." I got the impression from the manner in which he spoke that he hoped Japan in her reply to the American proposals of the 26th would leave this much room. Judging by my interview with Secretary of State HULL on the 1st and my conversations of today, it is clear that the United States, too, is anxious to peacefully conclude the current difficult situation. I am convinced that they would like to bring about a speedy settlement. Therefore, please bear well in mind that this fact in your considerations of our reply to the new American proposals…"
December 2, 1941
Tokyo to Honolulu: "In view of the present situation, the presence in port of warships, airplane carriers, and cruisers is of utmost importance. Hereafter, to the utmost of your ability, let me know day by day. Wire me in each case whether or not there are any observation balloons above Pearl Harbor or if there are any indications that they will be sent up. Also advise me whether or not the warships are provided with anti-mine nets."
December 3, 1941
Washington to Tokyo: "Judging from all indications, we feel that some joint military action between Great Britain and the United States, with or without a declaration of war, is a definite certainty in the event of an occupation of Thailand."
December 3, 1941
Rome to Tokyo: "Accompanied by ANDO I saw the Duce, MUSSOLINI (CIANO also was present) at 11 AM on the 3rd. I first gave him an outline of Japanese-American negotiations… MUSSOLINI said he had been following the negotiations from their inception until today with the greatest attention, and my communication had caused him no surprise. There was no doubt that the present situation was the natural result of the obstinacy of the American Government and of President ROOSEVELT’s policy of intervention. The plutocrats of AMERICA aimed at the economic exploitation of Eastern ASIA for their own benefit, and wanted to detach JAPAN from the Axis and intervene in the European war. He had always known from the beginning that JAPAN, who was faithful and loyal, would not respond to such an attitude on AMERICA’s part, negotiations or no negotiations. As I and my predecessor knew, he was a whole-hearted supporter of JAPAN’s fundamental policy for the establishment of a New Order in East ASIA, and as it was in the past, so it was in the present and would be in the future. He firmly believed that JAPAN, as a natural right, would be the leader of Greater East Asia… …MUSSOLINI said if that war broke out ITALY would give military support to the best of her power; that is to say she would do her best to keep the British Navy in the MEDITERRANEAN. Moreover GERMANY and ITALY together had recently established an air blockade and were trying to put further pressure an BRITAIN in the MEDITERRANEAN… …At this meeting MUSSOLINI asked me questions about the Russian question, and I therefore did not refer to it."
December 4, 1941
Chief of Naval Operations to Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, Asiatic Fleet: "Highly reliable information has been received that categorical and urgent instructions were sent yesterday to the Japanese diplomatic and consular posts at Hong Kong, Singapore, Batavia, Manila, Washington, and London to destroy most of their codes and ciphers at once and to burn all other confidential and secret documents."
December 5, 1941
Washington to Tokyo: "From Councilor of Embassy Iguchi to the Chief of the Communication Section: We have completed destruction of codes, but since the US-Japanese negotiations are still continuing I request your approval of our desire to delay for a while yet the destruction of the one code machine."
December 5, 1941
Rome to Tokyo: "Accompanied by ARDO I had an interview with Foreign Minister CIANO on the 5th at his request. CIANO showed me the Italian text of the draft of a Three-Power Pact to which GERMANY and ITALY have agreed. BERLIN will have telegraphed this to you, I imagine, regarding participation in the war and not making an independent armistice or independent peace. He said that if the Japanese would agree to this it could be signed at any time. The procedure could be arranged by conversations between BERLIN and TOKYO and then all parties could sign. Repeated by telegram to BERLIN."
December 6, 1941
Tokyo to Washington: "1. The Government has deliberated deeply on the American proposal of the 26th of November and as a result we have drawn up a memorandum for the United States contained in my separate message… 2. This separate message is a very long one. I will send it in fourteen parts and I imagine you will receive it tomorrow. However, I am not sure. The situation is extremely delicate, and when you receive it I want you please to keep it secret for the time being. 3. Concerning the time of presenting this memorandum to the United States, I will wire you in a separate message. However, I want you in the meantime to put it in nicely drafted form and make every preparation to present it to the Americans just as soon as you receive instructions."
December 6, 1941: The FBI monitors an early morning telephone call in Japanese from a Dr. Mori in Honolulu to a Tokyo newspaper reporter. The message details such things as flying conditions around the islands, the number of searchlights and soldiers in town, and what ships are moored in Pearl Harbor. The Doctor then notes that the ‘Poinsettias and hibiscus’ (obvious code words) are blooming in Honolulu. Translated by the FBI, the information ends up on the desk of General Short'’s intelligence officer by 4:00. Short, the Army half of the Army-Navy co-command at Pearl, is presented with the information at 5:30. His reaction is recorded: ‘the message was quite in order, that it described the situation in Hawaii as it was, and that possibly there was nothing very much to be excited about the content of the message.’
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 1 of 14): "1. The Government of Japan, prompted by a genuine desire to come to an amicable understanding with the Government of the United States in order that the two countries by their joint efforts may secure the peace of the Pacific Area and thereby contribute toward the realization of world peace, has continued negotiations with the utmost sincerity since April last with the Government of the United States regarding the adjustment and advancement of Japanese-American relations and the stabilization of the Pacific Area. The Japanese Government has the honor to state frankly its views concerning the claims the American Government has persistently maintained as well as the measures the United States and Great Britain have taken toward Japan during these eight months. 2. It is the immutable policy of the Japanese Government to insure the stability of East Asia and to promote world peace and thereby to enable all nations to find each its proper place in the world. Ever since China Affair broke out owing to the failure on the part of China to comprehend Japan's true intentions, the Japanese Government has striven for the restoration of peace and it has consistently exerted its best efforts to prevent the extension of war-like disturbances. It was also to that end that in September last year Japan concluded the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy."
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 2 of 14): "However, both the United States and Great Britain have resorted to every possible measure to assist the Chungking regime so as to obstruct the establishment of a general peace between Japan and China, interfering with Japan's constructive endeavors toward the stabilization of East Asia. Exerting pressure on the Netherlands East Indies, or menacing French Indo-China, they have attempted to frustrate Japan's aspiration to the ideal of common prosperity in cooperation with these regions. Furthermore, when Japan in accordance with its protocol with France took measures of joint defense of French Indo-China, both American and British Governments, willfully misinterpreting it as a threat to their own possessions, and inducing the Netherlands Government to follow suit, they enforced the assets freezing order, thus severing economic relations with Japan. While manifesting thus an obviously hostile attitude, these countries have strengthened their military preparations perfecting an encirclement of Japan, and have brought about a situation which endangers the very existence of the Empire."
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 3 of 14): "Nevertheless, to facilitate a speedy settlement, the Premier of Japan proposed, in August last, to meet the President of the United States for a discussion of important problems between the two countries covering the entire Pacific area. However, the American Government, while accepting in principle the Japanese proposal, insisted that the meeting should take place after an agreement of view had been reached on fundamental and essential questions. 3. Subsequently, on September 25th the Japanese Government submitted a proposal based on the formula proposed by the American Government, taking fully into consideration past American claims and also incorporating Japanese views. Repeated discussions proved of no avail in producing readily an agreement of view. The present cabinet, therefore, submitted a revised proposal, moderating still further the Japanese claims regarding the principal points of difficulty in the negotiation and endeavored strenuously to reach a settlement. But the American Government, adhering steadfastly to its original assertions, failed to display in the slightest degree a spirit of conciliation. The negotiation made no progress."
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 4 of 14): "Thereupon, the Japanese Government, with a view to doing its utmost for averting a crisis in Japanese-American relations, submitted on November 20th still another proposal in order to arrive at in equitable solution of the more essential and urgent questions which, simplifying its previous proposal, stipulated the following points: (1) The Governments of Japan and the United States undertake not to dispatch armed forces into any of the regions, excepting French Indo-China, in the Southeastern Asia and the Southern Pacific area. (2) Both Governments shall cooperate with the view to securing the acquisition in the Netherlands East Indies of those goods and commodities of which the two countries are in need. (3) Both Governments mutually undertake to restore commercial relations to those prevailing prior to the freezing of assets.
The Government of the United States shall supply Japan the required quantity of oil. (4) The Government of the United States undertakes not to resort to measures and actions prejudicial to the endeavors for the restoration of general peace between Japan and China. (5) The Japanese Government undertakes to withdraw troops now stationed in French Indo-China upon either the restoration of peace between Japan and China or the establishment of an equitable peace in the Pacific Area; and it is prepared to remove the Japanese troops in the southern part of French Indo-China to the northern part upon the conclusion of the present agreement."
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 5 of 14): "As regards China, the Japanese Government, while expressing its readiness to accept the offer of the President of the United States to act as "introducer" of peace between Japan and China as was previously suggested, asked for an undertaking on the part of the United States to do nothing prejudicial to the restoration of Sino-Japanese peace when the two parties have commenced direct negotiations. The American Government not only rejected the above-mentioned new proposal, but made known its intention to continue its aid to Chiang Kai-shek; and in spite of its suggestion mentioned above, withdrew the offer of the President to act as so-called "introducer" of peace between Japan and China, pleading that time was not yet ripe for it. Finally on November 26th, in an attitude to impose upon the Japanese Government those principles it has persistently maintained, the American Government made a proposal totally ignoring Japanese claims, which is a source of profound regret to the Japanese government."
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 6 of 14): "4. From the beginning of the present negotiation the Japanese Government has always maintained an attitude of fairness and moderation, and did its best to reach a settlement, for which it made all possible concessions often in spite of great difficulties. As for the China question which constituted an important subject of the negotiation, the Japanese Government showed a most conciliatory attitude. As for the principle of non-discrimination in international commerce, advocated by the American Government, the Japanese Government expressed its desire to see the said principle applied throughout the world, and declared that along with the actual practice of this principle in the world, the Japanese Government would endeavor to apply the same in the Pacific Area including China, and made it clear that Japan had no intention of excluding from China economic activities of third powers pursued on an equitable basis. Furthermore, as regards the question of withdrawing troops from French Indo-China, the Japanese Government even volunteered, as mentioned above, to carry out an immediate evacuation of troops from Southern French Indo-China as a measure of easing the situation."
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 7 of 14): "It is presumed that the spirit of conciliation exhibited to the utmost degree by the Japanese Government in all these matters is fully appreciated by the American Government. On the other hand, the American Government, always holding fast to theories in disregard of realities, and refusing to yield an inch on its impractical principles, caused undue delay in the negotiation. It is difficult to understand this attitude of the American Government and the Japanese Government desires to call the attention of the American Government especially to the following points: 1. The American Government advocates in the name of world peace those principles favorable to it and urges upon the Japanese Government the acceptance thereof. The peace of the world may be brought about only by discovering a mutually acceptable formula through recognition of the reality of the situation and mutual appreciation of one another's position. An attitude such as ignores realities and imposes one's selfish views upon others will scarcely serve the purpose of facilitating the consummation of negotiations."
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 8 of 14): "Of the various principles put forward by the American Government as a basis of the Japanese-American Agreement, there are some which the Japanese Government is ready to accept in principle, but in, view of the world's actual conditions, it seems only a utopian ideal n the part of the American Government to attempt to force their immediate adoption. Again, the proposal to conclude a multilateral non-aggression pact between Japan, United States, Great Britain, China, the Soviet Union, the Netherlands and Thailand, which is patterned after the old concept of collective security, is far removed from the realities of East Asia. 2. The American proposal contained a stipulation which states-"Both Governments will agree that no agreement, which either has concluded with any third power or powers, shall be interpreted by it in such a way as to conflict with the fundamental purpose of this agreement, the establishment and preservation of peace throughout the Pacific area." It is presumed that the above provision has been proposed with a view to restrain Japan from fulfilling its obligations under the Tripartite Pact when the United States participates in the War in Europe, and, as such, it cannot be accepted by the Japanese Government."
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 9 of 14): "The American Government, obsessed with its own views and opinions, may be said to be scheming for the extension of the war. While it seeks, on the one hand, to secure its rear by stabilizing the Pacific Area, it is engaged, on the other hand, in aiding Great Britain and preparing to attack, in the name of self-defense, Germany and Italy, two Powers that are striving to establish a new order in Europe. Such a policy is totally at variance with the many principles upon which the American Government proposes to found the stability of the Pacific Area through peaceful means. 3. Whereas the American Government, under the principles it rigidly upholds, objects to settle international issues through military pressure, it is exercising in conjunction with Great Britain and other nations pressure by economic power. Recourse to such pressure as a means of dealing with international relations should be condemned as it is at times more inhumane than military pressure."
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 10 of 14): "4. It is impossible not to reach the conclusion that the American Government desires to maintain and strengthen, in coalition with Great Britain and other Powers, its dominant position it has hitherto occupied not only in China but in other areas of East Asia. It is a fact of history that the countries of East Asia for the past hundred years or more have been compelled to observe the status quo under the Anglo-American policy of imperialistic exploitation and to sacrifice themselves to the prosperity of the two nations. The Japanese Government cannot tolerate the perpetuation of such a situation since it directly runs counter to Japan's fundamental policy to enable all nations to enjoy each its proper place in the world."
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 11 of 14): "The stipulation proposed by the American Government relative to French Indo-China is a good exemplification of the above-mentioned American policy: Thus the six countries,-Japan, the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, China and Thailand,-excepting France, should undertake among themselves to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of French Indo-China and equality of treatment in trade and commerce would be tantamount to placing that territory under the joint guarantee of the Governments of those six countries. Apart from the fact that such a proposal totally ignores the position of France, it is unacceptable to the Japanese Government in that such an arrangement cannot but be considered as an extension to French Indo-China of a system similar to the Nine Power Treaty structure which is the chief factor responsible for the present predicament of East Asia."
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 12 of 14): "5. All the items demanded of Japan by the American Government regarding China such as wholesale evacuation of troops or unconditional application of the principle of non-discrimination in international commerce ignored the actual conditions of China, and are calculated to destroy Japan's position as the stabilizing factor of East Asia. The attitude of the American Government in demanding Japan not to support militarily, politically or economically any regime other than the regime at Chungking, disregarding thereby the existence of the Nanking Government, shatters the very basis of the present negotiation. This demand of the American Government falling, as it does, in line with its above-mentioned refusal to cease from aiding the Chungking regime, demonstrates clearly the intention of the American Government to obstruct the restoration of normal relations between Japan and China and the return of peace to East Asia."
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 13 of 14): "5. In brief, the American proposal contains certain acceptable items such as those concerning commerce, including the conclusion of a trade agreement, mutual removal of the freezing restrictions, and stabilization of yen and dollar exchange, or the abolition of extra-territorial rights in China. On the other hand, however, the proposal in question ignores Japan's sacrifices in the four years of the China Affair, menaces the Empire's existence itself and disparages its honor and prestige. Therefore, viewed in its entirety, the Japanese Government regrets that it cannot accept the proposal as a basis of negotiation. 6. The Japanese Government, in its desire for an early conclusion of the negotiation, proposed simultaneously with the conclusion of the Japanese-American negotiation, agreements to be signed with Great Britain and other interested countries. The proposal was accepted by the American Government. However, since the American Government has made the proposal of November 26th as a result of frequent consultation with Great Britain, Australia, the Netherlands and Chungking, and presumably by catering to the wishes of the Chungking regime in the questions of China, it must be concluded that all these countries are at one with the United States in ignoring Japan's position."
December 6, 1941
Memorandum from the Imperial Government to the United States Government (Part 14 of 14): "7. Obviously it is the intention of the American Government to conspire with Great Britain and other countries to obstruct Japan's efforts toward the establishment of peace through the creation of a new order in East Asia, and especially to preserve Anglo-American rights and interests by keeping Japan and China at war. This intention has been revealed clearly during the course of the present negotiation. Thus, the earnest hope of the Japanese Government to adjust Japanese-American relations and to preserve and promote the peace of the Pacific through cooperation with the American Government has finally been lost. The Japanese Government regrets to have to notify hereby the American Government that in view of the attitude of the American Government it cannot but consider that it is impossible to reach an agreement through further negotiations."
December 7, 1941
Berlin to Tokyo: "At 11PM today, the 7th, I received a radio report that hostilities had broken out between JAPAN and AMERICA, and at once called RIBBENTROP. He said from reports he too had received he thought this was true, and that, therefore, although he had not yet secured HITLER’s sanction, the immediate participation in the war by GERMANY and ITALY was a matter of course… RIBBENTROP said he would discuss with me tomorrow, the 8th, about the time of publication of this declaration and so on. RIBBENTROP rang up CIANO then and there and notified him of the foregoing."
December 8, 1941
Berlin to Tokyo: "…From 5 PM today myself, RIBBENTROP, KASE, USHIDA, and GAUSS put our heads together on this matter of the non-conclusion of a separate peace with a view to imparting to this declaration the loftiest possible significance, and produced the agreement contained in my telegram under reference. This goes beyond the adoption of our proposal in regard to a promise of non-conclusion of a separate peace (Clause II) to the following extent: (a) The Three Powers’ firm intention to fight against Anglo-American aggression until final victory is expressed in Clause II. (b) Cooperation with a view to the establishment of a new order after the war is promised in Clause III. Thereby the significance of this war is elucidated, while at the same time Clause III has an advantage from the point of view of obtaining German and Italian cooperation then the Great East Asia co-prosperity sphere is established after the war, this, I believe, being in accord with the views of the Japanese Government. I hope therefore that the above text will be adopted unless there are any serious objections, and that the formalities for signature may be completed promptly. I would add that in the meantime the Germans have notified me that the Italian Government is in complete agreement with this proposal. 2. RIBBENTROP said that he would like the publication of this agreement to take place on the 10th and immediately afterwards hoped to stage a big demonstration. He was at the moment unable to say what kind of demonstration this would be but it was sure to be something distinctly favorable to JAPAN, and he was most anxious that signature should be on the 10th. I therefore told him that this could not be undertaken in view of formalities in JAPAN, but as it is likely to be helpful to us if we play our part in falling in with GERMANY’s intention I would suggest that you push on with the formalities as fast as possible with a view to prompt signature. Should signature on the 10th not be possible please reply immediately by telegram on what date it can be accomplished. 3. Just as this very talk was in progress RIBBENTROP received the Imperial Headquarters report of the victory in which the American battleships were sunk, and was greatly delighted and praised highly the daring of our Navy."
December 9, 1941
Japanese Foreign Minister Circular: "…The Imperial Japanese forces, however, right at the outset and in one heavy attack, have achieved the following: two battleships sunk, four severely damaged, four heavy cruisers severely damaged (three are confirmed), one aircraft carrier sunk and over one hundred aircraft destroyed. It may be said that the main strength of the American Pacific Fleet has been practically annihilated. From now on the Imperial Navy will be able to extend the scope of its activities little by little to the South Atlantic and South Pacific and it is clear at least that we shall obtain command of the seas in the South Pacific before long. Even, therefore, if economic intercourse between JAPAN and the South American States bordering the Pacific be cut off for the time being, it will not be long before communication is restored. Not only so, but intercourse with ARGENTINA and BRAZIL by merchant ships in convoy will be urged upon these two countries, while sea communications with BRITAIN, AMERICA, and Latin AMERICA will, on the other hand, be severed by the Imperial Navy."
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