The failure in 1938 of the Japanese attack at Lake Khassan had revealed the unexpected military strength of the U.S.S.R. in the Far East. The conclusion on 23rd August 1939 of the Non-Aggression Pact between Germany and the U.S.S.R. and the preoccupation of Germany with her war against Britain and France had freed the U.S.S.R. for the time being of anxiety as to her Western Frontiers. Japan's advance to the North, hitherto intended to be the first step in the realization of her national policy, was now deferred until a better opportunity presented itself.
The Pacific War
As the door of opportunity closed in the North, the Southern gates began to open, and Japan took various steps preliminary to the realization of the second major part of her national policy, the advance to the South. France and Britain suffered a grave rebuff at Munich in September 1938. Thereafter, Prince Konoye, on 3rd November 1938, publicly declared Japan's intention to establish the New Order in East Asia; and in that same month, Japan announced that she could no longer apply the Treaty System unconditionally. She said that the application
of the principles of "The Open Door" and "Equal Opportunity" might have to yield in face of the changed conditions in China. in that same month of November 1938, the Five Ministers' Conference decided to capture Hainan Island. That island was taken in February 1939 and the Sprately Islands in March 1939.
In September 1939, there came war between Germany and Poland, France and Britain. At once, we find Ambassador OSHIMA and General Terauchi speaking of the advisability of Japan advancing to the South: from the month of September 1939 onwards, the attitude of the Japanese military in China towards foreign interests was noticeably more intransigent; and about that time, the Japanese began to bomb the Yunnan Railway. In November 1939, the Japanese Foreign Office demanded that France should cease forwarding military supplies over the Yunnan Railway to China and should admit a Japanese Military mission to French Indo-China to see that no such supplies went forward. Nothing could better advertise Japanese aggressiveness in the South, for France was entitled to forward these supplies, and there was as yet no indication that French military strength would be broken. Nevertheless, Japan felt strong enough to present these demands upon France, in view of France's preoccupation with the war in Europe. On 2nd November 1940, Japan presented to the Netherlands demands which, if granted, would have given her a preferential position among the
nations in respect to the economy of the Netherlands East Indies. In March 1490, KOISO told the Diet Committee of Accounts that Japan should expand into the Pacific Islands so as to be economically independent of the United States of America.
On 9th May 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands. Japan at once asked for and received from the United States of America, Britain and France assurances that they would preserve the status quo of the Netherlands East Indies. Japan gave a similar assurance. Nevertheless, by 22nd May 1940, she had asked for and received from Germany the statement that Germany had no interest in the Netherlands East Indies, a statement which was interpreted, in Japan, and as it turned out rightly interpreted, as giving Japan a free hand in her relations with the Netherlands East Indies, as far as Germany was concerned.
On 17th June 1940, France asked Germany for an armistice. on 19th June 1940, Japan renewed her demand on French Indo-China for the cessation of passage of supplies through Indo-China to China and for the reception of a Japanese Military Assistance Mission to ensure that none went forward. These demands had been refused by France when they were made in 1939, but the situation of France was now very different, a fact of which Japan was taking advantage. Now the Governor of French Indo-China agreed, and the Japanese Military Mission arrived in Hanoi on 29th June 1940.
KOISO, then Minister of Overseas Affairs, spoke to the German Ambassador on 24th June 1940, of Japan's colonial aspirations in French Indo-China and the Netherlands East Indies and inquired what Germany's attitude was towards proposed military activity of Japan in these territories. The Ambassador adhered to the German declaration of disinterest in the Netherlands East Indies already given on 22nd May 1940. He further stated that Germany would probably raise no objections to Japanese action in French Indo China, but she would wish Japan to tie down the United States in the Pacific by a threat of attack on the Philippines and Hawaii. On 1st July 1940, Japan refused a United States offer of an agreement to preserve the status quo in the Pacific during the European War. The reason for this refusal was stated in an interview between KIDO and Arita, the Foreign Minister, as the inadvisability at this time of having Japan's activities, including those in the Netherlands East Indies, restricted. There could be no plainer admission of Japan's aggressive intentions towards her neighbors. On 8th July 1940, Kurusu and Sato told Ribbentrop that for nine years the object of Japan had been to build a new China freed from the Treaty System, thus giving the lie to repeated official declarations of Japan made during those years. On 16th July 1940, Japan notified the Netherlands that she was sending an economic mission to Batavia to discuss supplies by the Netherlands East Indies to Japan.
On that same day, the Yonai Cabinet resigned under pressure from the Military and their supporters, who thought the Cabinet too supine to take advantage of the opportunity for Japanese aggression in the South now presented by the fall of France and the Netherlands and the anxieties of Britain in Europe. The way was clear for the accession of the Second Cabinet of Konoye on 22nd July 1940 and for the steps it took to further that policy of Japanese aggression to the South.
During the Second Konoye Cabinet, which took office on the 22nd July 1940, important decisions were made which contributed directly to the launching of the Pacific War on 8th December 1941.
Japanese Policy in 1940
The negotiations with Germany leading to the signing of the Tripartite Pact on 27th September 1940 have been discussed in an earlier part of the judgment. However, for a clearer understanding of the decisions made and the plans adopted during the Second and Third Konoye Cabinets and the succeeding Cabinet under TOJO, it is advisable to review briefly the policy and plans adopted from July to October 1940. These were a reaffirmation of the policy enunciated by the HIROTA Cabinet on 11th August 1936, and the practical application of that policy to the circumstances obtaining in the latter half of the year 1940.
The important matters were: The Cabinet decision of 26th July 1940, the decision of the Four Ministers' Conference of 4th September 1940, and the Liaison Conference of 19th September 1940, the outline of Japanese foreign policy prepared in the Foreign Office on 28th September 1940--the day after the signing of the Tripartite Pact,--the decisions of the Cabinet meeting of 3rd October 1940, and the "Tentative Plan Towards the Southern Regions" prepared in the Foreign Office on 4th October 1940.
As a result of these, it was settled by the beginning of October 1940 that the policy of the Japanese Government was to move to the Southern Regions with a view to the occupation of Singapore, british Malaya, and the Dutch East Indies, at the same time striving to avoid war with the U.S.S.R. and the United States of America. In the event of war breaking out with the United States, which was considered possible, the Philippines, Guam and other American possessions would be included among the territories to be taken.
In somewhat more detail, the policy aimed at the following: (1) reliance on the Tripartite Pact; (2) conclusion of a Non-Aggression Pact with the U.S.S.R.; (3) successful conclusion of the war in China: (4) incorporation of French Indo-China, the Netherlands East Indies, the Straits Settlements, British Malaya, Thailand, the Philippines, British Borneo and Burma into the Greater East
Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (which hereafter for shortness we will refer to as the "Co-Prosperity Sphere"); (5) to offer to mediate for settlement of the European War and in return obtain from Great Britain recognition of the Co-Prosperity Sphere; (6) conclusion of a Non-Aggression Pact with the United States, whereby the United States would recognize the Co-Prosperity Sphere in return for Japanese respect for the independence of the Philippines.
On the 4th October 1940, Konoye made a statement to the Press in which he said that if the United States refused to understand the real intentions of Japan, Germany and Italy and continued its challenging attitude and acts, both the United States and Great Britain would be forced into war with Japan, meaning that Japan would be compelled to go to war with them. He explained that Japan was maneuvering, diplomatically to induce the U.S.S.R., Great Britain and the United States to suspend aid to China.
By this time, the aggressive intentions of Japan had become so evident that the United States of America was not prepared to continue to supply Japan with the raw materials to manufacture munitions of war which would be used to realize these aggressive aims. A Presidential Proclamation was issued extending to all iron and steel scrap, except to the Western Hemisphere and Great Britain, the embargoes imposed in 1938 and 1939 in protest against Japan's disregard of treaties. It should be noted that the
United States of America had, on 26th January 1940, terminated its Commercial Treaty with Japan. The embargo was extended and placed under a licensing system on 10th December 1940. Copper, brass, zinc, bronze, nickel, and potash were added to the embargo list on 3rd February 1941. Scrap rubber was added on 5th May 1941. By 20th June 1941, the situation had so deteriorated that all petroleum exports from the United States were banned, except to Great Britain and South America.
Measures were adopted to counteract the American embargoes by strengthening the national economy of Japan and by organizing Japan-Manchukuo-China as an economic bloc. The Cabinet decided that tit was necessary to allot to each of the three countries within the bloc well defined spheres of activity in labor, finance, exchange, manufacturing, communications, transportation, etc., in order to avoid economic rivalry, dual investments, and duplication of enterprises.
In a policy study of 25th October 1940, the Konoye Cabinet decided to recognize the puppet Central Government of China led by Wang Ching-Wei and to negotiate a basic treaty with that government for adjustment of relations between it and the Government of Japan. The Treaty was signed on 30th November; and the new Ambassador to the puppet government was instructed that
Measures to Implement Policy
since the Cabinet had adopted the puppet Central Government as an instrument for long term warfare, he should bear that point in mind and cooperate to the fullest extent with the Army and Navy.
HOSHINO, as President of the Planning Board and formerly Director of the General Affairs Board of Manchukuo, was actively directing the negotiation of a joint declaration to be made by Japan, Manchukuo and China upon the occasion of the signing of the Sino-Japanese Basic Treaty. KIMURA was appointed to the Japan-Manchukuo Joint Economic Committee on 7th November 1949. The Japan-Manchukuo-China Joint Declaration was initialed in final form on 8th November and published on 30th November 1940 at the time the signing of the Sino-Japanese Treaty was announced. This joint declaration stated that the three countries would cooperate on a military and economic basis and take all necessary measures to establish the New Order in Asia.
HOSHINO has explained the reorganization of the Japanese economy to bring it in line with the new economic bloc. He stated that in November the Cabinet decided upon a plan to group companies of each industry into associations in order to control those companies through the heads of the associations, who were to be appointed by the Cabinet and placed under the supervision of the Minister of Commerce and industry. He said that laws and ordinances were issued to place the plan into effect and that
there was little revision of the plan thereafter. As a result of that plan, no less that 212 major corporation mergers took place in 1940 involving capital amounting to 2,300,000,000 yen; and during the dirst half of 1941, there were 172 major mergers involving over 3,000,000,000 yen.
The Privy Councillors had indicated during the deliberation upon the Tripartite Pact a number of measures that should be taken to prepare Japan for the war which they expected to follow the signing of the Tripartite Pact. Immediately after the Privy Council meeting, HOSHINO began to take measures to strengthen Japan's financial structure. On 19th October 1940, an Imperial Ordinance entitled "Ordinance Concerning Operation of Funds of Banks and Other Financial Institutions" was promulgated to add to government control over finances by requiring all financial institutions to adjust their investment policies according to government directives and providing for compensating of losses incurred by financial institutions as a result of government directives. On the same day, the Imperial Ordinance for Control of Corporate Accounts was promulgated, by which institutions were required to conserve funds for attainment of the object of the National General Mobilization Law.
One of the matters giving the Privy Councillors concern at the meeting of 26th
Imperial Rule Assistance Association
September 1940, during the discussion of the Tripartite Pact, was the reaction to be expected from the Japanese people to the hardships to which they were being subjected and which would be increased as a result of the signing of the Pact because of economic sanctions the United States was expected to impose. Konoye's answer to that problem was the organization of the imperial Rule Assistance Association on 10th October 1940. KIDO and Konoye had discussed the organization of a great all-embracing political party in May 1940a, before the fall of the Yonai Cabinet, but had deferred action. HASHIMOTO brought to the Preparatory Committee of the Association his long experience in the organization of political associations; and HOSHINO assisted as a member of the Committee. The Articles of Association were drawn in detail with the obvious intention that the Association should spread over Japan into every district, county, city and even into every home. The Association was designed to turn Japan into a one party state on the lines of totalitarian states in Europe. Other political parties would be abolished. The Premier was to be at the head of the Association and the leader of the one party. Its purpose was presented euphemistically as being to establish a spiritually and physically the national structure to aid the Emperor in realizing the aims of Hakko Ichiu and making Japan the leader of a glorious world.
A number of organizations were affiliated with the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. HASHIMOTO was a member of the Board of Directors of the Association. He organized the Sekiseikai, an ultra nationalist society. On 7th November 1940, while on an organizing tour, he issued his command to that society as follows: "Rise up resolutely, time approaches. Instigate at once a powerful national movement, using every kind of method, speeches, meetings, posters, etc., and begin a sweeping campaign against sympathizers of England and America and at the same time start a movement ot inspire moral support of the Advance Southward." He delivered an address to a meeting of the society at Kyoto attended by more than 5,000 persons on
Hashimoto and Shiratori Appeal for Public Support of War Policy
2nd January 1941. In that speech, HASHIMOTO advocated the overthrow of England and America, as he had done in his popular speech "Praying to Soldiers". Here again, he advocated a "Southward Advance".
HASHIMOTO was engaged in writing during this period. He published his "Inevitability of Renovation" on 20th December 1940; and on 30th January 1941, he published his "Road to the Reconstruction of the World" and issued the 14th edition of his "Second Creation". In his "Inevitability of Renovation", after mentioning that the end of the year was approaching and that it was time to "ring a loud alarm bell", he advised that it was time to attack Great Britain while she was engaged in war with Germany and Italy in order ot eliminate her opposition to the establishment of the New Order in Asia and the Pacific Region, and that the defeat of Great Britain should be followed by an attack upon the United States. His "Second Creation" contained the "Declaration of HASHIMOTO Kingoro". That declaration was to the effect that the world was facing an historic turning point, and that Japan, whose national policy was Hakko Ichiu, should take a bold leap and immediately display her original character by following the Emperor blindly with all the Nation's capacity in order to become the glorious leader of the World. He stated that war preparations should be completed to enable Japan to crush Great Britain and the United States, who were interfering with Japan's expansion upon the Continent of Asia and her advance to the south. In his "Road to the Reconstruction of the World", HASHIMOTO displayed his support of totalitarian government and admiration of the methods of dictators and admitted having taken part in the Manchuria Incident. Japan's secession from the League and renunciation of the Washington Naval Limitations Treaty, as well as in the May and
February incidents and other plots in Japan.
SHIRATORI had retained his position as ambassador to Italy until 28th August 1940, when he became a Diplomatic Councillor in the Foreign Office and assisted in the reorganization of the Government along totalitarian lines and in the purge from the Foreign Service of those thought to have Anglo-Saxon sympathies. During this period, he lectured and wrote extensively in support of the proposed Tripartite Pact. In november 1940, he collected a number of his lectures and magazine articles and published them in one volume for distribution in support of the Pact. He declared in his "European War and the Attitude of Japan", which had been published in November 1939, that the European War could be developed to aid Japan in the establishment of its aims in the Far East. He stated in his "Necessity of the Japan-Germany-Italy Alliance" of December 1939 that the aim of Germany and Italy was to divide the world into a comparatively few groups of States with each group dominated by one member State, and that Japan should join Germany and Italy in their endeavor in order to establish the New Order in Asia, i.e. the domination of East Asia. In his "Trend of the Great War" of June 1940, he said that Japan was actually involved in the war because the fuse of the European War was first attached by the China War; and he asked significantly whether the enemies of Germany and Italy who were opposing the establishment of the New Order in Europe were not the enemies of Japan. He advised, in his "Comment on Japan's Non-interference" of June 1940, that since Japan had been assuming the leading role in establishing the New Order ever since the beginning of the Manchurian Incident, she should give early assistance to the Axis Powers, who were attempting to destroy the Old Order based upon democratic
capitalism and establish the New Order based on totalitarian principles. He advised that this assistance should take the form of containing the American Fleet in the Pacific and suggested as Japan's possible reward the Netherlands East Indies and British colonies in the Far East and the Pacific.
SHIRATORI continued his writings after the Tripartite Pact was signed. He stated in his "Conclusion of Japan-Germany-Italy Alliance" of 29th September 1940 that historians of the future generations would probably refer to the Pact as the "Treaty of the New World Order", as it not only represented a racial feud between the Anglo-Saxon and the Teuton and between the Yellow and White Races, but it included a positive programme to overthrow the status quo and prescribe the New World. He declared in his "Three Power Pact and the World of Tomorrow", published in December 1940, that the totalitarian movement was spreading over the world like a prairie fire, leaving no room in the World of Tomorrow for any other concept of world and man. He said that Japan had maintained a pure and unadulterated totalitarian government during her entire existence which embodied the principle of the unity of the sovereign and subjects of one organic body as the immutable faith of the Japanese people. He said that the Manchurian Incident was a bursting forth of this healthy instinct of the nation, which had been hitherto suppressed by conditions long imposed by the democratic powers. He called for reexamination and a return to the true spirit of Hakko Ichiu. He pointed to the China War as essentially a conflict between Japan and the democratic powers, and declared that the wars in the East and in the West were in fact one war.
A Privy Councillor had inquired during the deliberations upon the Tripartite Pact about preparations to meet the situation in case of war. The National Policy Investigation Association, or Kokusaku-Kenkyu-Kai had existed since 1936 as an investigating and advisory body to assist the Government in the solution of the graver political problems; but its principal value was that it served as a medium to bind the Zaibatsu to the Military. The Total War Research Institute was organized as an official government board or commission by Imperial Ordinance on 30th September 1940. The Ordinance provided that the Institute should be under the Prime Minister and control basic study and research in connection with national total war as well as with the education and training of officials and others to wage total war. HOSHINO became the Acting Director of the Institute on 1st October; and he was followed by high-ranking Generals and Admirals, who continued the work of the institute until April 1945. SUZUKI was one of the Councillors of the Institute. Each Ministry of the Government was represented in the Institute. Many Boards and Bureaux of the Government, as well as the Government of Formosa, the South Manchurian Railway, the Zaibatsu Companies, and the Yokohama Specie Bank were also represented on the staff of the Institute. Students were selected from every branch and department of the country's activities. Lectures were delivered, studies or exercises were conducted. The Institute compiled research reports on important subjects which were useful in planning total war.
Total War Research Institute
To provide more manpower in order to achieve Japan's leadership of all East Asia, a campaign to encourage increase in the birth rate of the Japanese was adopted by the Cabinet on 22nd January 1941. HOSHINO advanced the plan and
it was adopted by the Cabinet with Home Minister HIRANUMA and War Minister TOJO warmly supporting the measure. The plan was to make payments to young married people to encourage early marriages, reduce the marriage age, ban birth control, give priority on materials to prolific families and establish special bureaux to encourage a high birth rate. The purpose was to increase the population so as to insure the leadership of Japan over East Asia, and furnish manpower for labour and military service in the development of Japan's plan in East Asia. The goal set was a population for Japan of 100,000,000 by 1950. The plan was put into effect by appropriate ordinances and decrees.
Active cooperation with Germany and Italy under the Pact began shortly after it was signed. OSHIMA wrote in a newspaper article published on 27th October 1940, that one could not fail to be deeply stirred by the fact that the Pact had been concluded and that Japan's objective of founding a New World Order had been made clear, but that the nation with unswerving resolution should make preparations for the attainment of that objective without delay. he advised that mutual economic and military cooperation with Germany and Italy should be perfected speedily so that no opportunities to establish the New Order in Greater East Asia and the South Seas would be lost.
Cooperation Under Tripartite Pact
The three Signatories of the Pact agreed on 20th December 1940 to form the Commissions provided for by the Pact. The Agreement called for the establishment of a General Commission and two Technical Commissions, military and economic, to be formed independently of each other in each of the three capitals. MUTO, as Chief of the Military
Affairs Bureau, and OKA, who had become Chief of the Naval Affairs Bureau of the Navy Ministry, were appointed to the Technical Military Commission in Tokyo.
OSHIMA was appointed Ambassador to Germany on the day the agreement was reached, and became a member of the General Commission in Berlin. The Army and Navy had urged OSHIMA's appointment as Ambassador because he was recognized as a strong supporter of the Pact and his appointment would promote cooperation with Germany and Italy. Matsuoka, in a speech delivered on 15th January on the occasion of OSHIMA's departure for Germany, stated that he was most delighted that OSHIMA was returning as Ambassador to Germany as he had built up such a personal credit among the German leaders that he could talk to them without reserve, and that practical use of the Pact would largely depend upon OSHIMA's ability.
Matsuoka planned a visit to Germany after OSHIMA's arrival there. His purpose was to promote cooperation under the Pact, to secure German assistance in settlement of the China War and to negotiate a Non-Aggression Pact with the U.S.S.R., as contemplated by the Pact, for the purpose of neutralizing the U.S.S.R. during the advance to the South. The mediation of the border dispute between French Indo-China and Thailand, which we will mention presently, delayed Matsuoka's departure for Germany, He arrived in Berlin in March 1941, and after holding conversations with Ribbentrop and Hitler, proceeded to Moscow, where he concluded the Soviet-Japanese Non-Aggression Pact of 13th April 1941. Ratifications of that Pact
were exchanged in Tokyo on 20th May 1941. As we have indicated, and as we have discussed elsewhere, this Pact did not mean that Japan had abandoned its aims of aggrandisement at the expense of the Soviet. The Pact was dictated by expediency. It was a matter of timing.
With war proceeding in China and a war in contemplation with Great Britain and the Netherlands and possibly with America, it was necessary to do everything possible to avoid immediate war with the U.S.S.R.
One of the principal elements of the policy adopted by the Cabinet in September and October 1940, was the establishment of an economic bloc of Japan, Manchukuo and China in order to accelerate the establishment of the East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. It was decided that the first stage of development of the Co-Prosperity Sphere should be a penetration into the whole area west of Hawaii, including French Indo-China, the Netherlands East Indies, British Burma, and the Straits Settlements, excluding for the time the Philippines and Guam. A complete strategical plan was formulated. An attempt was to be made to effect a settlement with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and to employ his troops, rewarding China by allowing her to annex Tonkin Province of French Indo-China and Northern Burma. It was planned to conclude protective treaties with french Indo-China and Thailand under the guise of military and economic alliances in order to secure bases in those countries for an advance on Singapore. Thailand was to be promised part of French Indo-China as her reward. However, in order to delay Thailand in making preparations to resist invasion by Japan, it was planned to pretend that Japanese-Thailand relations were secure until Japan was ready to start military action. To avoid destruction of the oil wells and other resources in the Islands of the Netherlands Indies, it was decided to capture Singapore before beginning operations against the Netherlands East Indies, and to call upon the inhabitants during the seige of Singapore to declare their independence, seize the oil wells and
Preparations for Move to the South
hand them over intact to the Japanese. Independence movements were to be used in French Indo-China, Burma and Malaya to assist penetration in those areas. Military action was to begin upon settlement with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, or upon Germany's invasion of England, whichever occurred first; and in the event that neither occurred, the action was to commence when Germany had achieved some substantial military success. Action was to be coordinated with Germany military plans.
During November 1940, the Konoye Cabinet began to make advances to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek for settlement of the China War. MATSUOKA continued his overtures to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and expected favourable progress as a result of conversations to be held by him in Berlin. The recognition by Japan of the puppet Central Government of China, however, had destroyed any possibility of reaching an agreement with the Generalissimo.
With the outbreak of war in Europe, thailand had presented demands to French Indo-China for the return to Thailand of territory lost to Indo-China in the year 1904. On 12th June 1940, a Non-Aggression Pact was signed between French Indo-China and Thailand. One of the terms provided for the appointment of a commission to settle the matter of the disputed border. When France sued for an armistice with Germany on 17th June 1940, Thailand demanded the revision of the border in accordance with her wishes as a condition of ratifying the Non-Aggression Pact of 12th June 1940.
On 30th August 1940, there was concluded between Japan and France the so-called Matsuoka-Henri Agreement, by which France agreed to the entry of Japanese troops into Northern Indo-China. A note was sent by Thailand to the French Indo-China authorities on 28th September 1940, repeating her demands and proposing the Mekong River as the boundary between Thailand and French Indo-China. The Note stated that Thailand would not press her claims to territory in Laos and Cambodia unless and until such time as France renounced her sovereignty over French Indo-China. On 11th October, the French rejected these demands. Thailand then began to concentration of troops along the border, and France countered by a like concentration. It appeared that hostilities would commence soon, but Japan limited her occupation of French Indo-China to the Northern part of that territory, and Thailand, left without Japanese support, stayed her hand.
In late October 1940, Thailand sent a delegation to Japan to learn the Konoye Cabinet's intentions regarding the border dispute between Thailand and French Indo-China. The Japanese plans formulated in September and October 1940 contained a suggestion that a secret committee should be formed under the Japanese Thailand Non-Aggression Pact to make preparations for a military alliance between Japan and Thailand, to be signed as soon as Japan should begin the military action against Singapore. Accordingly, it was decided at the Four Ministers' Conferences of 5th and 21st November 1940 to assist Thailand in her negotiations with French Indo-China and force French Indo-China to accept THailand's demands by returning the territory on the west side of the Mekong River across from Luangprabang and Bakuse to
Thailand, provided Thailand would accept the Japanese demands. Prime Minister Pibun of Thailand accepted the Japanese demands. In this way, Japan prejudged the issue of a dispute in which she subsequently insisted in acting as arbitrator.
Following the Four Ministers' Conference of 21 November 1940, Matsuoka informed the German Ambassador that he had proposed to Thailand that if she limited her territorial claims, the Konoye Cabinet would be willing to mediate between Thailand and French Indo-China. He told the Ambassador that if the need should arise, Japan would request the support of the German Government in dealing with the Vichy French Government. He said also that a cruiser was to be despatched to Saigon as a demonstration against French Indo-China to force her to agree to the Japanese demands. This cruiser was scheduled to arrive in Saigon about the middle of December.
The Prime Minister of Thailand, having agreed to the Japanese terms for so-called "mediation" of the dispute, Thailand resumed military action against French Indo-China; and on 28th November 1940, an engagement was fought between Thailand and French troops. Taking advantage of this action, Matsuoka informed the French Ambassador that he would act as an arbitrator regarding Thailand's demands for recovery of territory ceded to France in 1904.
The Ambassador replied the next day that the Vichy French Government appreciated the offer of arbitration, but that it expected its territorial integrity in French Indo-China to be respected.
On 23rd January 1941, Kurusu, the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin, explained to Weizsacker that an advance southward against Singapore was unthinkable without using the land bridge of the Malay Peninsula after crossing French Indo-China and Thailand territory. For that reason, Britain should be prevented from interfering with Japanese arrangements with Thailand. A group led by Diplomatic Councillor SHIRATORI was demanding an immediate attack upon Singapore, which they considered the key position in the Pacific Area. As a consequence, the Japanese military authorities and the German Military Attachés; in Tokyo in January 1941, made a study of the possibilities of such an attack. The conclusion reached was that the attack should be carried out in phases by occupying Saigon, and then landing on the Malay Peninsula.
French Indo-China and Thailand to be Used
for Attack on Singapore
The Liaison Conference of 30th January 1941 decided to utilize the mediation of the border dispute between French Indo-China and Thailand to establish Japan's position in those countries and to obtain naval bases on Camranh
Bay as well as air bases in the vicinity of Saigon to be used for the attack upon Singapore. The steps taken to give effect to this decision will be dealt with later. The true purpose of the mediation was to be concealed, it was decided, and the negotiations were to be described as an attempt to maintain the peace between the disputing parties. After the Liaison Conference, Konoye and the Chiefs of the Army and Navy General Staffs informed the Emperor of the decision of the Conference and secured his approval. KIDO, who was aware of the decision, recorded in his diary that this procedure of by-passing the Imperial Conference was unusual.
Germany prevented the Vichy French Government from sending reinforcements to French Indo-China, and French Indo-China was forced to sign an armistice with Thailand on 31st January 1941. Under the terms of the armistice, the troops of both countries were to retreat from the lines held on 28th January, and all military action was to cease. Japanese were to supervise the observance of the armistice, which was to continue until a permanent peace treaty could be agreed upon. SATO, who had been on temporary duty with the South China Expeditionary Forces during the first invasion of French Indo-China in September and October 1940, was one of Japan's representatives in the supervision of this armistice. He did not return to his duties in
the Military Affairs Bureau until March, when an agreement had been reached between Japan and Vichy France for settlement of the dispute and France had agreed to all of Japan's demands.
The armistice having been signed, preparations for the mediation proceeded. The Japanese Mediation Commission was appointed on 5th and 6th February 1941, with Matsuoka, MUTO and OKA among its members. The negotiations were to begin on 7th February; and on 6th February, Matsuoka informed the German Ambassador that his Cabinet intended to use the mediation to force both France and Thailand to agree to make no political or military agreement with any third power, and requested that the German Government be so notified.
The results of this mediation of Japan in the dispute between Thailand and French Indo-China were seen when the peace treaty between Vichy France and Thailand was finally signed on 9th May 1941. The Treaty provided for the cession by France to Thailand of territory and for the establishment of the border along the centre of the Mekong river, all as claimed by Thailand. We have previously seen that this result had been determined at the Japanese Four Ministers' Conferences of 5th and 21st November 1940.
The action of the Prime Minister and Chiefs of the General Staffs on 30th January
1941 established a precedent which was customarily followed until the end of the Pacific War. Important decisions were made at Liaison Conferences, and reported directly to the Emperor for his approval. Thereafter, Imperial Conferences were held only on the most important questions, such as decisions to declare war. The Liaison Conference therefore latterly became the real policy-determining body of the Empire. Members of the Conference were the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Army Minister, Navy Minister, Home Minister, Chiefs of the Army and Navy General Staffs and their Vice-Chiefs, the Chiefs of the Military Affairs Bureau and Naval Affairs Bureau, President of the Planning Board and the Chief Secretary of the Cabinet. In the Second Konoye Cabinet, TOJO, HIRANUMA, HOSHINO, MUTO, SUZUKI after his appointment as President of the Planning Board, and OKA after his appointment as Chief of the Naval Affairs Bureau, regularly attended these Conferences and participated in the formation and execution of government policies.
In February 1941, British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden summoned Ambassador SHIGEMITSU for a conference on the situation. He referred to reports that the situation in the Far East was extremely strained, and expressed disapproval of Matsuoka's statements
and contentions that only Japan had the right to mediate in conflicts in the Far East. He condemned the fraudulent nature of the mediation then being conducted between France and Thailand. He declared Britain's intention to defend her territories in the Far East. SHIGEMITSU replied that he was not aware of any strained situation. The evidence shows, however, that he was not only aware of the critical situation but was also thoroughly familiar with the plans adopted by the Konoye Cabinet and the action which had been taken up to that date to carry them into effect. He said that he interpreted Mr. Eden's remarks as a clear statement of the British position based on the premise that British-Japanese relations were near the breaking point; and after complaining of British-American cooperation, he stated that he would make a complete report to his Government and request instructions.
Matsuoka saw in this conference between Mr. Eden and SHIGEMITSU an opportunity to carry out the fifth provision of the plan adopted in September and October 1940, which was that at an appropriate time Japan should attempt to mediate so that Britain would make peace with Germany, and to use that mediation to obtain from Britain recognition of Japan's domination of South East Asia and the adjacent parts of the Pacific. The plan was that Japan, in return for that recognition, would promise the preservation
of the British Empire, including Australia and New Zealand, and would promise general economic cooperation with Britain. Matsuoka was conducting the mediation between France and Thailand; and on 10th february 1941, he informed the German Ambassador that an attack upon Singapore was being prepared. However, on 13th February, he cabled SHIGEMITSU to inform Mr. Eden that the British Ambassador's report of an impending crisis in the Far East was a ridiculous fantasy.
Matsuoka told SHIGEMITSU that the report of the British Ambassador seemed to have been made upon the assumption that Japan would acquire military bases in French Indo-China and Thailand and then commence action against Britain in the South Seas concurrently with Germany;s invasion of England. He said it was difficult to understand on what ground the Ambassador in Tokyo had based the alarming report as he, Matsuoka, he privately investigated and had been unable to find any basis for the report. Notwithstanding Matsuoka's denial, the substance of the British Ambassador's report was in fact what had been decided by the Liaison Conference of 30th January 1941 at which Matsuoka was present. Matsuoka instructed SHIGEMITSU to say to Mr. eden that there was no basis for the Press reports that Japan was planning to start military action at any moment as there was nothing that Japan could gain by such action.
Matsuoka saw the British Ambassador in Tokyo on 15th February 1941, and, after attempting to learn the source of the Ambassador's information regarding the impending crisis in the Far East, assured him that so long as Britain and the United States refrained from taking provocative action, Japan would under no circumstances initiate action which should cause anxiety on the part of those Powers. [Singapore surrendered to Japanese forces on this date exactly one year later. --HyperWar] The Ambassador enquired whether Matsuoka would check the southward advance and asked whether Japan expected exhorbitant compensation for her role as mediator of the French-Thailand dispute. Matsuoka replied that he would try to check the southward advance to the best of his ability, and assured the Ambassador that Japan's purpose in mediating the dispute was solely to restore peace between French Indo-China and Thailand.
Matsuoka, on 20th February 1942, complained to the British Ambassador regarding the reinforcement of the British garrison in Malaya. Matsuoka complained also to the American Ambassador that Britain was taking offensive action in reinforcing the garrison in Malaya. The American Ambassador replied that it seemed to him extraordinary that Japan should interpret and characterize an obviously defensive measure as an offensive one. He then mentioned the occupation by Japan in succession of Weichow, Hainan Island and the Spratley Islands, as well as the concentration of troops in French Indo-China, and the public declarations of intention
to advance to the South. He observed that the facts could hardly be interpreted by either Great Britain or the United States as indicating peaceful intentions on the part of Japan.
Matsuoka address a Note to Mr. Eden on 17th February 1941. He denied the report of an
impending crisis in the Far East. He claimed that the primary purpose of the Tripartite Pact was to limit the sphere of the European War by preventing third Powers from becoming engaged, and thereby to bring the war to an early termination. He assured the British Government that this was the sole object of the Pact, which constituted the fundamental basis of Japanese foreign policy. He submitted that he could not but be anxious because of the British and American Governments' attempt to prepare for supposed contingencies in the Pacific Ocean and in the South Seas, and observed that if the United States would restrict its activities to the Western Hemisphere, the situation would indeed be very much mitigated. He then stated that the uppermost thought in his mind had always been world peace, and that he sincerely hoped for an early termination of the China and European Wars. He suggested that Japan act as mediator for the settlement of the European War.
The British Government replied to Matsuoka's offer of mediation of 24th February 1941. After assuring the Japanese Government that the preparations by Great Britain and the United States in the Pacific Ocean and the South Seas were purely defensive, and that they intended to take no offensive action against Japan, the British Government rejected the offer for mediation of the European War. The British Government stated that it had made every effort to avert the hostilities in Europe before their commencement; but having been forced into the hostilities, it had no thought but to carry them to a victorious conclusion.
Mr. Churchill had a conversation with
SHIGEMITSU on the day this reply was despatched to the Japanese Government in which he emphasized Britain's determination to continue the war. He expressed regret that Anglo-Japanese relations, which had been friendly from the time of the conclusion of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, should be getting worse. He said it would be a tragedy if a clash should occur between the two Nations, that the defensive works under construction around Singapore were merely for protection, expressed his confidence in victory in the European War, and said that the question of mediation of that war as mentioned by Matsuoka would not arise. SHIGEMITSU denied that Matsuoka had suggested mediation and stated that Matsuoka had only intended to emphasize Japan's spirit toward peace. He expressed regret that Britain had been giving aid to the Chungking Government in its resistance to Japan.
Matsuoka, in a communication addressed to Mr. Churchill on 27th February 1941, reaffirmed his explanation of Japan's intentions under the Tripartite Pact, and again assured Britain that Japan had no intentions of attacking her. He professed surprise that his Note to Mr. Eden of 17th February had been interpreted as an offer of mediation, but hinted that he was not adverse to the idea.
The failure of the attempt to destroy British-American cooperation and gain British acceptance of their penetration into South East Asia through mediation in the European War made it
Preparation for the Attack Upon Singapore
necessary for the Japanese leaders to pursue their alternative plan to use force to accomplish the same end by an attack upon Singapore. Preparations for the attack proceeded at a rapid rate. Aerial photography was undertaken in January 1941 to collect data for the landing operations at Kota Bharu. Additional mapping of that area was completed by the Japanese Hydrographic Office in July 1941. The maps were completed and printed by the Naval General Staff in early October 1941.
The War Ministry, in conjunction with the Finance Ministry, as early as January 1941, commenced preparing military currency for use in the areas which they expected the Japanese troops to occupy in the advance to the South. Special currencies were printed and deposited with the Bank of Japan to be drawn by the Army as it occupied enemy territories. The military currency thus prepared consisted of dollars which were suitable for use in Malaya, Borneo and Thailand; guilders for use in the Netherlands East Indies; and pesos for the Philippines. In January 19841, therefore, both the War Ministry and the Finance Ministry contemplated Japanese armies occupying those territories for which this currency was prepared.
The Total War Research Institute early in 1941 compiled research reports on such subjects as "The Estimate of the domestic and Foreign Situation from the Total War Viewpoint", "Study of Total War Pertaining to the National Strength of Imperial Japan and the Foreign Powers", "Draft of the Plan for the Establishment of Greater East Asia", and "First Phase in the Total War Plan".
OSHIMA returned to Berlin to take up his duties again as Ambassador to Germany. He informed Weizsacker of the German Foreign Office on 22nd February 1941 that
Singapore would have to be seized by an attack from the sea and from the land; and on 27th February, he told Ribbentrop that preparations for the attack upon Singapore would be completed by the end of May; he added that the occupation of Hong Kong and the Philippines had been provided for in case of need. On 28th March 1941, Ribbentrop told Matsuoka that the capture of Singapore was essential and that the Philippines could be occupied at the same time. Matsuoka agreed with Ribbentrop and felt that if Japan did not take the risk of conquering Singapore, she would become a third-rate power.
The Japanese Imperial Headquarters continued its preparations for the attack upon Singapore during Matsuoka's visit to Germany. The Chiefs of the Army and Navy General Staffs informed the German Ambassador late in March 1941 that they were vigorously preparing for the attack upon Singapore. SHIRATORI discussed with the German Ambassador the strategy for the attack; it was his opinion that a frontal attack by the Navy should not be made, but that bases should be established on the Malay Peninsula from which the Japanese Air Force, aided by German dive bombers, might bomb Singapore in preparation for the attack down the peninsula. Matsuoka, in a conference with Field Marshal Goering on 29th March 1941, made arrangements for assistance from the German Air Force in return for an increase in the amount of rubber to be supplied to Germany by Japan.
Economic measures for war were being accelerated in Japan. An important question was oil, as the United States was increasing its embargo and the negotiations with the Netherlands East Indies at Batavia were making
no progress. HOSHINO, of the Planning Board, estimated that the Army and Navy had sufficient oil in storage until the oil in the Netherlands East Indies could be seized. He, however, believed that the maring was narrow, as Japan's production was only 300,000 tons and her annual consumption was 2,000,000 tons. This fact made careful planning necessary for the capture of the oil resources of the Netherlands East Indies intact. this need for careful planning caused the Imperial Headquarters to suggest to Konoye in April 1941 that HOSHINO be replaced by SUZUKI,a soldier, in whom the Army and Navy had complete confidence. Konoye discussed the matter with KIDO, and on the 4th April, HOSHINO was appointed a member of the House of Peers and SUZUKI was appointed President of the Planning Board and Minister without Portfolio.
The leaders of Japan now decided to strengthen the close relationship among Japan, French Indo-China, and Thailand, to continue economic negotiations with the Netherlands at Batavia, and to maintain normal economic relations with other countries; but, in case they should conclude that the Empire's self-existence was threatened by the embargoes of the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands, to resort to arms immediately to prevent consumption of Japan's reserve of vital war materials. KIMURA was appointed Vice-Minister of War on 10 April, and nine days later he became Director of War Supplies. These appointments necessitated his relief from the Japan-Manchukuo Join Economic Commission.
Military topographical data was being assembled for military operations in various part of
the world. Espionage activities in the Netherlands East Indies were being carried out increasingly. Operations were being planned against Java, Sumatra, Bali and other places as well as Singapore. Mandated Islands were being fortified and plans were being completed for operations in the South Seas. Data were being assembled for use in Burma and Malaya. The work of printing military script for use in the occupation of southern areas continued.
Matsuoka, in conference with Hitler on 4th April 1941, requested Hitler to furnish Japan, through the Technical Military Commission established under the Tripartite Pact, with all available information, including the latest technical improvements and inventions relating to submarine warfare. He explained that the Japanese Navy would need this information in case it should decide to attack Singapore. Matsuoka added that sooner or later war with the United States would be unavoidable and Japan desired to be ready to strike decisively at the right moment. But Matsuoka cautioned Hitler not to mention in any cab les to Japan that an attack upon Singapore had been agreed upon, lest the secret leak out. Ambassador OSHIMA took part in Matsuoka's conferences in Berlin relating to assistance in the plans for the attack upon Singapore.
An important question was th time for the attack upon Singapore. The Germans urged its immediate commencement, but the Konoye Cabinet's policy from the beginning, which Matsuoka had helped to form at a Conference on 19th July 1940, had contemplated a
Neutrality Pact -- Japan-U.S.S.R.
Non-Aggression Pact with the U.S.S.R. to protect the Japanese rear during the attack upon Singapore and the Netherlands East Indies. Hitler insisted in his conversation with Matsuoka on 27th March 1941, with OSHIMA and other present, that a better opportunity to begin the attack than the present would never occur again. Matsuoka replied that it was only a matter of time before Japan would attack, as the Japanese had the feeling that otherwise she would lose a chance which might only return after a thousand years. Matsuoka referred to negotiations with the U.S.S.R. for a Non-Aggression Pact. The next day, Ribbentrop tried to discourage Matsuoka from concluding the Pact with the U.S.S.R., stating that Japan should attack Singapore immediately, and this if the U.S.S.R. interfered, Germany would attack the U.S.S.R. immediately. Ribbentrop repeated that assurance the following day. Matsuoka maintained his intention to visit Moscow on his return from Berlin, and he concluded the Pact with the U.S.S.R. on the 13th of April 1941.
Matsuoka returned to Japan to conclude the formal agreements with France and Thailand which he had arranged before his departure for Berlin and support for which he had obtained during that visit.
In June 1940, shortly after the fall of France, she was forced to agree with Japan's demands to permit a military mission into Indo-China to ensure observance of the embargo on materials to China. The Military Mission arrived at Hanoi on the 29th June 1940.
The Japanese Cabinet having decided upon its foreign policy, Foreign Minister Matsuoka moved on 1st
August 1940 to put that policy into effect. He called the French Ambassador and delivered what was virtually an ultimatum to France regarding French Indo-China. He also discussed with the German Ambassador an alliance and the securing of German approval to a Japanese invasion of French Indo-China.
In presenting his views to the french Ambassador, Matsuoka informed him that, although Japan appreciated the admission of the military mission into French Indo-China, the Konoye Cabinet desired that France should allow Japanese troops to be stationed in Northern French Indo-China and the right to establish air bases there for action against the National Government of China. The French Ambassador pointed out that the demand was equivalent to requesting France to declare war against China, although Japan had not done so. Matsuoka replied that the request was the result of necessity and that unless it was granted, French neutrality might be violated. Matsuoka assured the French Ambassador that if the request was granted, Japan would respect French territorial integrity and would evacuate French Indo-China as soon as possible.
Matsuoka informed the German Ambassador of his demands upon France and stated that he would be grateful if the German Government would not object ot the action taken and would use its influence to induce the French Government to grant the demands. The French Ambassador asked, on 9th August 1940, for a clarification of the Japanese demands and a guarantee of French territorial rights in French Indo-China. Matsuoka again requested the German Government on 14th August 1940 to support the Japanese demands by influencing the Vichy France Government. On that day, he threatened France with military
action if the decisions to grant the demands of Japan were further delayed. After further negotiation between Matsuoka and Henri on 20 and 25th August, the latter, on 25th August, informed the Japanese Foreign Office that France had decided to yield to the Japanese demands. The so-called Matsuoka-Henri Agreement, consisting of an exchange of letters, was signed on 30th August 1940.
According to the Matsuoka-Henri Agreement, the occupation of French indo-China was to be temporary, as it was stated to be solely for action against China and would be limited to Tonkin Province; and further, that Japan would respect the rights and interests of France in the Far East, especially the territorial integrity of Indo-China and the sovereignty of France in all parts of the Union of Indo-China.
The arrangements for the establishment of air bases and the passage of Japanese troops into TOnkin Province were left for negotiation between the head of the Japanese Military Mission at Hanoi and the Governor-General of French Indo-China. The Governor-General of French Indo-China was slow to yield to the demands of the leader of the Japanese Military Mission, Nishihara. Nishihara threatened on 4th September 1940 to remove his Mission from Hanoi and order the advance of the Japanese South China Expeditionary Army across the French Indo-China border. On 4th September 1940, an agreement was signed, but certain details remained to be settled. On 6th September 1940, a unit of the Japanese Army in China crossed the border into French Indo-China. This action was said to have occurred through mistake and negotiations were continued.
The American Ambassador called upon Matsuoka on 19th September 1940 and informed the Foreign Minister that the United States Government regarded Japan's demands upon France as a serious infringement of the status quo in French Indo-China contrary to the Japanese Cabinet's announcement. The Ambassador's remonstrance was disregarded, however, as an understanding had been reached with the German Government and the Tripartite Pact was expected to be signed in a few days.
The Vice-Foreign Minister informed the French Ambassador on 19th September that unless an agreement was reached between Nishihara and the Governor-General of French Indo-China before 23rd September, the Japanese Army would cross the border into Indo-China on that day. The Japanese Military Mission evacuated French Indo-China and put to sea on 22nd September in preparation for the expected invasion. The Japanese Army began the advance into French Indo-China at 2:30 p.m. of the same day. Faced with an actual invasion, the Governor-General was forced to accept the Japanese demands and signed an agreement on 24th September 1940 for military occupation of Tonkin Province, the establishment of air bases and the grant of military facilities in French Indo-China. The occupation of Tonkin Province proceeded rapidly and the air bases were established.
Japan's policy and actions having provoked sanctions and economic restrictions by America, she decided that her warlike needs, especially of oil, must be obtained from the Netherlands East Indies.
Relations With the Netherlands East Indies
On 12th January 1940, Japan gave notice to the Netherlands that the Treaty of Judicial Settlement,
Arbitration, and Conciliation of August 1935 would expire in August 1940. Under this treaty, the parties were bound to settle any dispute between them by peaceful means, and a permanent committee had been set up to settle disputes.
The Foreign Office made a study of Japan's economic preparation for war in March 1940. That office came to the conclusion that the United States, having insisted upon observance of the Nine-Power Pact from the very beginning of the China War, might be expected to extend her embargoes against vital war supplies for Japan if Japanese aggression continued. Ways and means were considered to make Japan independent of the United States for the supply of war materials. Counter-measures suggested were: to seek sources of supplies in other countries, to consolidate the "intimate relationship" between Japan, Manchukuo, and China, and to bring the counties of South East Asia under Japan's economic control.
The Japanese Minister at The Hague had delivered to the Netherlands Foreign Minister a Note on 2nd February making certain demands. The principal demands made at that time were: that restrictions upon exports from the Netherlands and Netherlands East Indies to Japan and restrictions upon imports from Japan into the Netherlands East Indies should be removed; that laws respecting entry into the Netherlands East Indies should be modified; that facilities for Japanese investment in the Netherlands East Indies should be extended; and that all anti-Japanese publications in the Netherlands East Indies should be censored. A reply to these demands was still under consideration when Germany invaded the Netherlands.
On the 15th April 1940, Foreign Minister Arita
issued a statement to the press. In this he pointed out that an intimate economic relationship of mutual dependence existed between Japan and the South Seas Region, especially the Netherlands East Indies, and that if the European War were allowed to spread so as to disturb the status quo of the Netherlands East Indies, Japan would be deeply concerned and the peace of East Asia would be disturbed. The next day, the Japanese Minister at The Hague called upon the Netherlands Foreign Minister to explain Japan's concern regarding the maintenance of the status quo in the Netherlands East Indies. The Netherlands Minister replied that his Government had not sought, nor would it seek any country's protection of the Netherlands East Indies, and that it was determined to refuse any offer of protection or intervention of any kind which might be made by any country. the United States Secretary of State, Mr. Hull, in reply to Arita's press statement, informed him on 17th April that intervention in the domestic affairs of the Netherlands East Indies or any alteration of the status quo anywhere in the entire Pacific Area by other than peaceful means would be a threat to the peace.
Germany invaded the Netherlands on 9th May 1940; and two day slater, Arita reaffirmed his statement of 15th April regarding the status quo in the Netherlands East Indies. This statement contained the information that he had called upon the Metherlands Minister in Tokyo to reaffirm the determination of the Netherlands Government to accept no intervention in the Netherlands East Indies. The announcement stated that the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany and
Italy had been notified of Japan's continued concern over the maintenance of the status quo in the Netherlands East Indies.
The United States Secretary of State, Mr. Hull, issued a statement the day following, in which he said that during recent weeks a number of Governments, including the United States, Great Britain and Japan, had made clear in official utterances their attitude of continued respect for the status quo of the Netherlands East Indies, that this was in harmony with definite commitments formally made in writing in 1922, and that he assumed those Governments would continue to abide by their commitments. The british Ambassador called upon Arita on 13th May and delivered a British statement to the effect that the British Government had no intention of intervening in the Netherlands East Indies and believed the Dutch forces there sufficient ot maintain the status quo. The Netherlands Minister called upon Arita on 15th May and informed Arita that the Netherlands Government believed that Great Britain, the United States and France had no intention of intervening in the Netherlands East Indies. The French Ambassador called upon Arita on 16th May and stated that his Government agreed that the status quo in the Netherlands East Indies should be maintained.
The day after the French Ambassador had called upon Arita and delivered to him the assurance from France, which completed the assurances from all the Allied and Neutral Powers concerned that the status quo would be maintained in the Netherlands Indies, the Japanese Ambassador called upon Mr. Hull
in Washington. After the Ambassador had questioned Mr. Hull regarding the status of certain Netherlands possessions in the Western Hemisphere, Mr. Hull interrupted him and pointed ot material which had arrived via news services from Tokyo in which the Yonai Cabinet was reported to be discussing frequently questions regarding the Netherlands East Indies and Japan's supposed special rights in them. He said that the United States, Great Britain and France had recently renewed their commitments to respect the status quo of the Netherlands East Indies, but notwithstanding the efforts to maintain an understanding with Japan, there were constantly coming from Tokyo statements implying that the commitments had not been made. The Ambassador assured Mr. Hull that the Yonai Government was completely satisfied with the situation following the statements of the powers and that his Government had no intention of proceeding against the Netherlands East Indies.
The Netherlands Minister assured Arita on 16th May 1940 that the Netherlands East Indies had no intention of placing any restrictions on the exportation of oil, tin, rubber and other raw materials vital to Japan, and was desirous of maintaining general economic relations with Japan. In a Note handed to the Netherlands Minister in Tokyo on 20th May, Arita referred to that assurance and informed the Minister that Japan desired the Governor-General of the Netherlands East Indies to give definite assurances that the quantities of articles enumerated in an accompanying list would
be exported to Japan each year regardless of circumstances which might arise. This demand was rejected by the Netherlands on 6th June and attention was called ot the fact that economic relations between the two countries were governed by the so-called Hart-Ishizawa Agreement of April 1937 and to the further fact that Japan had recently renewed its commitment to respect the status quo in the Netherlands East Indies.
In Berlin, the Japanese Ambassador called at the German Foreign Office in Berlin on Arita's instructions and asked for a declaration of the German position upon the status of the Netherlands East Indies. Ribbentrop instructed the German Ambassador in Tokyo to assure Arita that Germany had no interest in the Netherlands East Indies and that she thoroughly understood Japan's anxiety regarding the Netherlands East Indies. He instructed the Ambassador to mention during his interview with Arita that Germany, in contrast to the policy of the other great Powers, had always pursued a policy of friendship with Japan and believed that this policy had been advantageous to Japanese interests in East Asia. The German Ambassador delivered this declaration of disinterest to Arita on 22nd May as instructed, for which Arita expressed gratitude. The next day, the Japanese Press gave great publicity to the declaration, contrasted the German attitude with that of the other Posers, and asserted that the German declaration gave Japan a free hand to act as she desired with regard to the Netherlands East Indies. Subsequent events showed that this assertion was entirely justified. On 24th June
KOISO told the German Ambassador that Japan had colonial aspirations in Indo-China and the Netherlands East Indies. Japan, having received Germany's statement of disinterest in the Netherlands East Indies on 22nd May 1940, informed the Netherlands Minister in Tokyo on 16th July 1940 of their intention to send a delegation into Batavia for economic negotiations. Before the departure of the mission from Japan, the Yonai Cabinet resigned. The Second Konoye Cabinet took office on 22nd July. the basic principles of foreign policy decided by Konoye, War Minister TOJO, Foreign Minister Matsuoka and the Navy Minister on 19th July before they assumed office were formally adopted at the Liaison Conference of 27th July. The policy thus adopted, among other things, called for strengthening of the diplomatic policy towards the Netherlands Eats Indies in order to obtain important materials. Accordingly, the Konoye Cabinet proceeded with arrangements to despatch the economic mission to Batavia.
Drafts of alternative demands to be made upon the Netherlands were in the course of preparation while the selection of a chairman for the economic mission was being debated. The Navy was not prepared for an attack against the Netherlands East Indies. This is confirmed by a statement made by prince Fushimi, Chief of the Naval General Staff, to the Emperor on 10th August 1940, that the Navy at that time wished to avoid using force against the Netherlands and Singapore, and that the later war came, the better, since at least eight months were needed to complete preparations after a decision for war was made. Now the help of the Navy was essential in any attack on the Netherlands East Indies, for seaborne expeditions would be necessary. The drafts of the alternative demands to be made upon the
Netherlands stated that the Cabinet had decided to express their opinions frankly upon the problems of entry, enterprise and investment in the Indies, and requested that the Netherlands Government agree to the demands of the Japanese Empire, which was devoting itself to the establishment of the New Order in East Asia, and Japan maintained that it was necessary to establish rapidly the economic self-sufficiency of the Co-Prosperity Sphere centered around Japan, Manchukuo and China and extending to the South Pacific. The first proposal asked, inter alia, that the Netherlands East Indies, as a member of the Co-Prosperity Sphere, give preferential treatment to Japan and allow Japan to exploit and develop certain natural resources of the Indies. The second proposal asked that the Netherlands East Indies cease relations with europe and take its place as a member of the Co-Prosperity Sphere, allow a measure of self-government by Indonesians, and conclude a joint defense agreement with Japan to defend the Co-Prosperity Sphere. All restrictions on the export of goods, especially to Japan, must be abolished. these were demands which no independent country would grant, save under duress.
The mission met with a cool reception when it arrived in Batavia in September 1940, and Kobayashi, the head of the Mission, advised Matsuoka on 13th September 1940 that the Governor-General of the Indies was not impressed by the serious situation and by Japan's threatening attitude. he suggested termination of the negotiations as he considered them to be futile. Matsuoka, however, had advised Kobayashi's assistant, Consul-General Saito, on 3rd September 1940, that the negotiations should not be limited to political problems and should also be directed toward the
acquisition of oil fields, as that was one of the Cabinet's main purposes in despatching the mission to Batavia. Kobayashi advised Matsuoka on 18th September that he would continue the negotiations as an aid to the acquisition of oil fields, but suggested that the negotiations on that subject, which had until then been in progress in Tokyo, be transferred to Batavia.
The Tripartite Pact was signed, and the occupation of Tonkin Province, together with the acquisition of military bases in French indo-China was assured in late September 1940. According to the plan adopted in September and October 1940, it was decided to develop the attack upon Singapore by securing bases in French Indo-China and Thailand, and to lull the Dutch into a sense of security by continuing the economic negotiations at Batavia while secretly instigating an independence movement among the natives and securing military data for the invasion of the Netherlands East Indies. it was decided also to launch a sudden attack upon Singapore, and while that attack was in progress, to call upon the natives of the Netherlands East Indies to declare their independence of the Netherlands, secure the oil wells and natural resources of the Netherlands East Indies, and deliver them intact to the Japanese forces as they advanced from Singapore to occupy the Netherlands East Indies. The call for the uprising of the natives of the Indies was to include a warning that if any of the oil wells or other resources of the Netherlands East Indies were destroyed, the leading Dutch officials would be killed by the invading Japanese forces. The plan contained provisions for the organization of a new government in the Netherlands East Indies in order that Japan might conclude a protective treaty with it under the guise of a military alliance which would provide for the
appointment of Japanese military and economic advisers in powerful positions in the new government. The new government was to be organized by a committee of Japanese and natives, with the Japanese forming a majority, and the Netherlands East Indies were to be governed by the committee until the new government could be established.
The signing of the Tripartite Pact and the invasion of French Indo-China raised serious misgivings among the Netherlands delegation at Batavia, who hesitated to continue the negotiations. The Japanese delegation assured them that the Pact was not directed toward the Netherlands Government and that Japan desired to continue the negotiations in order to promote friendly political and economic relations between the Netherlands East Indies and Japan. The Netherlands delegation agreed to continue, on the understanding that Japan had no hostile intentions towards, and did not claim leadership over the Netherlands East Indies, and requested the Japanese delegation to submit a list of points for discussion. On the day that the assurance was given, Kobayashi sent to Matsuoka a recommendation that no time should be lost in placing the Netherlands East Indies in the Co-Prosperity Sphere, and that, with that in mind, appropriations should include funds for propaganda and training of personnel in preparation for that move. the new policy necessitated the replacement of Kobayashi by a man thoroughly familiar with the policy and plan. Kobayashi announced his recall to Tokyo two days after giving the above assurance.
The Japanese Ambassador in Berlin informed the German Government that Japan was prepared to act as purchasing agent to supply the German Government with vital war materials from the Far East and the Netherlands East Indies in return for Germany's support of Japan's advance to the
South and into the South Seas. The German Government accepted this offer, and on 4th October 1940, delivered to the Ambassador bills of exchange as advance payment for tin, rubber, castor oil, and spice to be obtained in the Netherlands East Indies. A complete working agreement for conducting the purchases was made. This agreement made further revision of the policy toward the Netherlands East Indies necessary. The Cabinet, on 25th October 1940, revised its policy to meet its agreement with Germany. It was decided that the obligations of the Japanese Government to Germany required the Indies to be in the Greater East Asia Economic Sphere immediately by establishing close economic relations and by developing and utilizing their rich natural resources for cooperation with the Axis Powers. Complete details of a plan to place the policy into effect were agreed upon. Among others, these were that the Netherlands East Indies should sever economic relations with Europe and America, that the production in and export of essential war materials from the Netherlands East Indies should be placed under Japanese control, and that the formulation and execution of all economic problems of the Netherlands East Indies should be placed under a Japanese-Netherlands Commission. Had these ends been achieved, Japan would have controlled the economy of the Indies.
OSHIMA, who at this time had no diplomatic post, wrote an article for the Yomiuri newspaper on 27th October 1940, in which he called attention to Japan's obligation to cooperate with the Axis, pointing out that the Tripartite Pact imposed new obligations. He advised that the Japanese should realize that fact and establish a close relationship of mutual harmony and prosperity among Japan, French Indo-China, India, the Netherlands East Indies, the South Seas
Islands, etc., for cooperation with Germany and Italy. He referred to the American embargo on vital war supplies, which was then being increased in an effort to halt further Japanese aggression, and said that America was not the world's arbiter, and that if she would employ her vast natural resources to help establish the New Order, she would indeed make a great contribution to world peace.
The Netherlands delegation had given the Japanese an elaborate and detailed statement of the oil situation on 7th October 1940, in which they set forth the amount of the various petroleum products they were prepared to supply to Japan in view of the overall situation and demands by other countries, and also detailed the areas in the Netherlands East Indies which were available to the Japanese for exploration and exploitation for oil The Japanese delegation replied on 21st October 19940 that they were not satisfied with the amount of oil which the Dutch proposed to supply, and expressed general dissatisfaction with the proposals. They said that Japan desired to acquire rights to explore and exploit not only the oil areas reserved for private enterprise, but also the Government reserve areas as well.
Consul-General Saito, in commenting upon the proposals to Matsuoka on 25th October 1940, explained, that from the viewpoint of an industrialist, the proposals were most reasonable, but that from a strategical viewpoint, they should be given further consideration. He pointed out that the plan to prospect for oil must be used for the exploration of areas as bases for military operations against the Dutch by sending into those areas a large number of planes, as well as troops disguised as labourers, and he requested advice as to the areas considered strategically important by the Military.
The Japanese delegation purported to accept the Dutch proposals on 29th October 1940. They, however, stated that they understood the proposals and their acceptance as granting to Japan certain large areas in Borneo, the Celebes, Dutch New Guinea, the Aroa Archipelago and the Schouten Archipelago as Japan's sphere for exploration and exploitation for oil They added that areas in Sumatra were also desired and that Japanese interests desired to participate in the capital investment of the Dutch oil companies. The Dutch took the position that the acceptance, which went far beyond the Dutch offer, put an end to the negotiations. The Konoye Cabinet however, had completed its plans to place the policy decisions of September and October 1940 into effect. Their preparations for employing force against the Netherlands were not yet complete. They announced that a special envoy was about to be appointed to instill new life into the negotiations. This envoy was appointed on 28th November 1940. He was Yoshizawa, a member of the House of Peers and formerly the Foreign Minister in the Inukai Cabinet.
Yoshizawa proceeded to Batavia and presented new proposals on 6th January 1941, which were in keeping with the policy decisions of October 1940. In the preamble to those proposals, it was stated that a certain interdependence existed between Japan and the Netherlands East Indies, that the Indies were abundant in natural resources and thinly populated and undeveloped, and that Japan earnestly desired to participate in the exploitation of their natural resources and to promote trade and economic relations with the Netherlands East Indies. The detailed proposals called for modification of the entry
laws, granting mining and fishing rights to Japanese, opening an air service between Japan and the Netherlands East Indies, abolition of restrictions upon Japanese ships, the lifting of import and export restrictions, and the granting of manufacturing and enterprising rights to Japanese nationals in the Netherlands East Indies. These proposals, if accepted, would have placed the Netherlands East Indies under the economic domination of Japan. Had they been accepted, Japan would have obtained without war at least a considerable portion of her aggressive aims in South East Asia.
Yoshizawa reported to Matsuoka that he did not expect a favourable reply to this proposals, as the Netherlands East Indies were depending more
and more on Great Britain and the United States since the removal of the Dutch Government to London, following the German invasion of the Netherlands. He stated that the defeat of the Italian Army in the Mediterranean Theater, the firm attitude of the United States toward Japan, and the improvement of the Indies defences, had given the Dutch new confidence, and that determined measures would be necessary to include the Netherlands East Indies in the Co-Prosperity Sphere.
The Netherlands delegation answered Yoshizawa's proposals on 3rd February 1941 by stating that their first consideration was to provide for the welfare and progress of the native population of the Netherlands East Indies by improving economic relations and increasing trade with all neutral countries in a spirit of goodwill, and that the interest of the Netherlands East Indies demanded that economic relations with foreign countries be maintained on a basis of strict non-discrimination. They also pointed out that during the war, it was necessary to restrict trade and other economic activities in order to ensure that direct or indirect advantages would not accrue to enemies of the Netherlands. A strong objection was then made to the claim of interdependence between Japan and the Netherlands East Indies as being unwarranted by the facts.
The Dutch reply to Yoshizawa's proposals left the door open for further negotiations, but the Dutch were aware of a speech delivered by Matsuoka before the Diet on 21st January 1941, as well as of events in French Indo-China dn Thailand which seemed to indicate preparations for military action by Japan against the Netherlands East Indies, and consequently were suspicious of the
continuation of the negotiations. They warned the Japanese delegation that a Japanese occupation of Southern French Indo-China would constitute a military menace towards the Netherlands East Indies of such seriousness that it would cancel any agreement reached in the economic negotiations.
Matsuoka had said in his speech on 21st January 1941, that the Netherlands East Indies and French Indo-China, if only for geographical reasons, should be in intimate and inseparable relationship with Japan. He declared that the situation which had hitherto thwarted that relationship should be remedied, and pointed to the negotiations at Batavia as being directed to that end. Yoshizawa attributed the rejection of his proposals to Matsuoka's speech and complained to Matsuoka, warning him that if he were to be successful in maintaining the negotiations while the attack was being prepared, it was necessary for the officials in Tokyo to conduct themselves in a manner more conducive to that end.
The Dutch had been warned; and on 13th February 1941, Yoshizawa informed Matsuoka that the Dutch expected positive aid from the United States and Great Britain and preferred to rely upon the United States rather than upon Japan. He advised that discontinuance of the negotiations at Batavia was merely a matter of time, and that Japan's only means of settling the Indies problem was by force. Konoye instructed Yoshizawa on 28th March 1941 that failure of the negotiations would injure Japan's prestige, and that as the European situation was rapidly changing, the Japanese delegation should remain in batavia to await developments, despite the Dutch
attitude. These instructions were followed, and the negotiations continued.
The Japanese delegation replied on 14th May 1941 to the Dutch rejection of their proposals by making modified proposals, but stated that they desired to make it clear that the views expressed in the preamble to their proposals of 16th January were firmly held by the Japanese Government. The Netherlands delegation, aware of the further developments in the dispute between French Indo-China and Thailand, as well as the signing of the Soviet-Japanese Non-Aggression Pact, rejected the modified proposals on 6th June 1941 as being incompatible with the essential principles of Netherlands economic policy. They also required that raw materials exported from the Indies to Japan would not be reexported to Germany.
The next day, Yoshizawa urgently requested authority to withdraw from the negotiations as he feared a Dutch request for the departure of his delegation. Matsuoka, describing the terms of the Dutch reply as "unwarrantable", authorized discontinuance of the negotiations. Yoshizawa asked for an audience with the Governor-General of the Netherlands East Indies on 17th June 1941. After making one last futile attempt to secure modification of the Dutch attitude, he produced a draft of a joint communiqué to be issued announcing termination of the negotiations. The communiqué, designed to save "face" for Japan both at home and abroad, was approved with minor changes by both delegations; it contained this statement: "It is needless to add that the discontinuance of the negotiations will lead to no change in the normal relations
between the Netherlands East Indies and Japan."
TOJO said, during the discussion of the Tripartite Pact before the Investigation Committee of the Privy Council, that the Cabinet had considered the possibility of war with the United States resulting from the conclusion of the Pact, and revealed that there had been careful planning to meet that eventuality. The discussion at the Imperial Conference and before the Investigation Committee of the Privy Council in September 1940 revealed that the Navy considered a Japanese-American war inevitable and was completely prepared for it, excepting that no adequate provision had been made for replenishing its war reserves of oil. HOSHINO said that the Planning Board had been carefully planning for the war with the United States by accumulating vital war materials, including oil, and that he considered the supply sufficient for a short, decisive war. He considered, moreover, that the supply could be replenished from the Netherlands East Indies and elsewhere if the war should be prolonged. The Privy Councillors were aware that the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact probably meant war with the United States, and in reporting upon the Pact, recommended that all necessary preparations be made for it.
Preparations Following Tripartite Pact
Extensive preparation for war with the United States, Great Britain and other Powers followed. The puppet Central Government of China was recognized and the Japan-Manchukuo-China economic bloc was strengthened to improve Japan's economic position to meet the American embargo on war supplies after War Minister HATA and other Japanese leaders had publicly proclaimed that Japanese
operations would not be stopped by what they termed the obsolete Nine-Power Treaty. The Planning Board under HOSHINO renewed its efforts to accumulate vital materials. As already related, Konoye's Imperial Rule Assistance Association was organized with the help of HOSHINO, KIDO and HASHIMOTO to steel the people against the deprivations of the war with the United States and Great Britain which the Japanese leaders claimed to be inevitable. Propaganda in the form of writings and lectures was disseminated to popularize the waging of wars of aggression for acquisition of territory and natural resources. HASHIMOTO, SHIRATORI and OSHIMA were heavy contributors to this propaganda campaign. A military planning board in the form of the Total War Research Institute was organized and placed in operation with HOSHINO as its first President and with SUZUKI as one of its Councillors. OSHIMA was sent to Germany to promote cooperations between the Axis members in the adventure upon which they had embarked.
In October 1940, Konoye issued a statement to the Press in which he said that his government was maneuvering diplomatically to induce the United States, Great Britain and the U.S.S.R. to recognize the Co-Prosperity Sphere envisaged by the Japanese leaders, a euphemism for Japan's domination of East Asia. He implied that if the United States refused to understand the real intentions of Japan, she, as well as Britain, would be forced into war. The United States Government because of that statement, extended its embargo to iron and steel scrap and increased its preparedness for
Relations With U.S.A. and Great Britain
defense. The Japanese Embassy in Washington complained that the Japanese Government found it difficult to concede that the extension of the embargo was caused solely by concern for the defence of the United States. The United States Government replied that despite the Nine-Power Treaty and other Japanese obligations, American trade had been practically eliminated from Manchuria and North China, and that it now appeared that Japan was intent upon forcing American enterprises from Shanghai also.
The United States Government was concerned about Japan's advance to the south and the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact, which had been followed by Konoye's warning. The President of the United States, in an address to Congress, declared that at no previous time had American security been so seriously threatened. On 15th January 1941, the Secretary of State told the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives that it was clear that Japan was animated from the start by broad and ambitious plans for establishing herself in a dominant position in the entire region of the Western Pacific, and that her leaders had openly declared their determination to achieve and maintain that position by force of arms, so as to make themselves masters of an area containing almost one half of the entire population of the world. It was apparent to the Government of the United States that the Japanese military leaders were about to undertake the conquest of the entire Pacific Area, at least to the westward of Hawaii and extending to the South Seas and to India.
The United States Pacific Fleet, based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, represented one of the greatest
obstacles to the execution of the Konoye Cabinet's policy for military moves to the South. It was feared by many of the Japanese leaders that this fleet might be used to reinforce Singapore, and they advocated an immediate attack upon Singapore to prevent this. The Japanese Navy, however, was demanding that more oil essential supplies be accumulated and that adequate preparations be made for replenishing those supplies before launching the attack upon Singapore. The Navy estimated in August 1940 that at least eight months would be required for this preparation. The Navy maintained its demands before the Imperial Conference and the Privy Council during the discussions which preceded the signing of the Tripartite Pact.
The general plan adopted by the Konoye Cabinet took the Navy's demands into consideration by providing for an attempt to eliminate the threat of the United States Pacific Fleet through negotiations for a non-aggression pact with the United States Government. The suggestion was that, as part of such a Treaty, Japan should guarantee the security of the Philippines and Guam, and the United States should recognize the Co-Prosperity Sphere. Preparation for an attack upon the United States forces was to proceed during the negotiations, so that in case the negotiations should fail, a surprise attack might be launced.
A plan to destroy the United States Pacific Fleet while it lay at anchor in Pearl Harbor by a surprise attack to be launched while the United States was at peace with Japan, was conceived and submitted to the Commander of the Combined Fleets for study. He approved the plan and transmitted it to the Imperial General
Headquarters as early as January 1941. The plan called for the organization of a task force to deliver an aerial attack upon the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. to avoid detection and make the surprise complete, this force was to use a Northern route little used by commercial shipping. In conjunction with the aerial attack, it was planned to use submarines to destroy any ships that might attempt to escape the air attack. There were many details to be worked out, such as the development and manufacture of shallow water torpedoes and midget submarines, as well as the perfection of a method of refueling at sea to allow the employment of the longer but more secure Northern route of approach. The Japanese leaders considered that if the attack upon Pearl Harbor should be successful and result in the destruction of the United States Fleet, they would be able to seize all the important points in the Pacific and Indian Oceans before the United States would be able to prepare and launch a counter-attack. It was hoped that the United States would weary of a prolonged and costly war, and negotiate a peace which would recognize Japan's supremacy in the territories it would have seized.
Foreign Minster Matsuoka took the first step toward the execution of the Cabinet's plan in January 1941 by appointing Nomura as Ambassador to the United States to undertake the negotiations. Matsuoka delivered to Nomura his instructions on 22nd January, immediately before Nomura's departure from Japan. These were that Nomura should make the President of the United States and his subordinate officials understand that Japan had been forced to sign the Tripartite Pact
because of American and British interference wit the organization of the Co-Prosperity Sphere, that the Pact was merely defensive, but that it provided for immediate military assistance from the other two Powers in case the United States attacked any one of the Signatory Powers, and that Japan would be faithful to the Alliance. He further instructed Nomura to advise the United States Government that it would be well for the United States to cease interference with Japan's aims in East Asia and to cooperate with Japan in the establishment of the Co-Prosperity Sphere in return for an opportunity to participate in the benefits which might accrue from the establishment of that sphere.
A propaganda campaign was immediately commenced, which was designed to convince the United States Government of the gravity of the situation and of the need for prompt negotiation of an understanding. The Cabinet decided to secure bases on Camranh bay and around Saigon for an attack to the South and called upon the German Government to prevent the reinforcement of French troops in French Indo-China. The Plan was approved at the Liaison Conference on 39th January 1941. The United States Government learned of the plan from its observer at Vichy, France, who reported on 28th January 1941 that the German Government had forbidden the Vichy Government to send reinforcements. in consequence of this, America, on 3rd February 1941, added many non-ferrous metals and potash to its embargo list. It was at this time that Mr. Eden saw SHIGEMITSU and asked for an explanation of the report form the British Ambassador in Tokyo to the effect that a crisis was expected in the Far East within a week or two.
The extension of the embargo by the United States Government caused Matsuoka some embarrassment in the Diet. He sent Nomura further instructions. He urged Nomura, immediately upon his arrival in Washington, to make it clear that Japan had never intended to attack the United States, but that the Japanese Government did not understand why the United States was preparing for war against Japan; and that, if the United States continued to prepare, the result would endanger peace in the Pacific, as Japan had not been so much exhausted by the China war as some seemed to think and that continued warlike preparation by the United States was not advisable. He again instructed Nomura to emphasize the necessity for cooperation between the two Governments in the establishment of the Co-Prosperity Sphere in order to avert a crisis in the Pacific Area.
The United States Lend-Lease Act became effective and gave new encouragement to the Powers resisting the Axis to the extent that the Netherlands delegation increased its resistance to the demands of the Japanese economic mission at Batavia. Mr. Eden was awaiting a reply from SHIGEMITSU to his inquiry regarding the report of an impending crisis in the Far East, and the American Ambassador in Tokyo was demanding cessation of Japanese interference with American trade in French Indo-China. Matsuoka instructed SHIGEMITSU to inform Mr. Eden that the British Ambassador's report of an impending crisis was a ridiculous fantasy, although only three days before he had informed the German Ambassador that he planned to visit Berlin to learn the attitude of the German Government toward the activities of the United States Government, for, as he explained, Japan planned to attack Singapore to deprive the United
States as bases in the Pacific in case she should enter the European War. This was the situation when Nomura arrived in Washington.
The President of the United States received Nomura on 14th February 1941. He said that relations between the United States and Japan were deteriorating as a result of Japan's advance to the South and the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact. He suggested that the new Ambassador might like to re-examine and frankly discuss with the United States Secretary of State the important phases of American-Japanese relations. Nomura made a cautious reply to the President, and in reporting to Matsuoka, asked for further clarification of Japan's obligation to attack the United States in the event of that Power's entry into the European War. Matsuoka replied to Nomura on 4th March that he had made his position clear on that point on a number of occasions, that Japan would participate in the war in case the United States declared war on Germany.
The preparations for the attack upon Singapore were rapidly progressing. OSHIMA informed Ribbentrop in Berlin on 22nd February 1941 that the preparations would be complete by the end of May, and that for safety's sake, preparations were also being made for war upon the United States as well as upon Great Britain.
He said that the occupation of the Philippines had been included in the preparations. Notwithstanding these preparations, Matsuoka assured Mr. Eden in his message of 17th February of the Japanese Government's peaceful intentions, and suggested that Japan act as mediator of the European War. The British Government rejected the offer on 24th February 1941, and said that, although it had been an unwilling participant in the European War, with the assistance it was receiving from the United States it would be able to maintain itself against all enemies, and that it was determined to continue the war until Naziism was completely eradicated from Europe.
United States Secretary of State Hull and Ambassador Nomura held a conversation on 8th March 1941. Nomura said it was unthinkable that Japan and the United States should fight because of the destructive effects that would inevitably result. Mr. Hull agreed with him, but enquired whether the Japanese Military, who were in control of the Japanese Government, could expect the United States to sit quiet while two or three nations organized naval and military forces and went out to conquer the rest of the world. Nomura denied that these were the intentions of his Government and said he did not believe there would be any more military movements
unless the United States embargo should force his Government ot make them. Mr. Hull then mentioned the Tri-Partite Pact and the public declarations of Hitler, Matsuoka and other important German and Japanese leaders to the effect that their countries under the Pact were determined to establish a New Order in the World by use of force. Nomura again denied that it was the intention of his Government to use military force for conquest. Mr. Hull replied that as long as Japanese forces were all over China and as far south as Thailand and Indo-China, and so long as this was accompanied by threatening declarations by Japanese statesmen, there could only be increasing concern by nations who were vitally interested in halting the world conquest by force.
The President of the United States talked with Nomura again on 14th March 1941, only three days after Matsuoka, with the assistance of the German Government, had forced the Vichy French Government to accept Japanese terms of settlement of the border dispute between France and Thailand. The President complained to Nomura that the American people were aroused over what appeared to be a concerted effort under the Tripartite Pact to effect a junction of the German and Italian forces approaching the Suez Canal and the Japanese forces approaching Singapore. Nomura assured the President that Japan did not intend to
advance further to the South. The President then suggested that an armed clash between Japan and the United States could be avoided if the Japanese Government would remove the cause of the American people's suspicion of their intentions.
Matsuoka went to Berlin for consultations with Hitler upon the question of concerted action under the Tri-Partite Pact after receiving the French acceptance of his terms for settlement of the France-Thailand dispute. He paused in Moscow, and the American AMbassador in the U.S.S.R. was invited to talk with him on 24th March 1941. Matsuoka was emphatic in his assurance to the American Ambassador that under no circumstances would Japan attack Singapore or any American, British or Dutch possession and he insisted that Japan had no territorial ambitions. He said that Japan was ready to join the United States in a guarantee of the territorial integrity and political independence of the Philippines. He declared that Japan would not go to war with the United States. However, upon Matsuoka's arrival in Berlin, he explained to Hitler that his denials of his Government's intentions to attack were intended to deceive the British and Americans until the day when Japan would suddenly attack Singapore.
Colonel Iwakuro, of Nomura's staff, working in cooperation with certain private citizens of the United States and Japan, composed a draft of proposals which it was thought might serve as the basis for an agreement between Japan and the United States. This draft was presented to the State Department for delivery to Mr. Hill. Mr. Hull saw Nomura on 16th April 1941, informed him that the draft had been received, but that the United States Government could only consider proposals presented formally by the Ambassador. Nomura said he was prepared to present the draft formally as a basis for negotiations. Mr. Hull explained to Nomura that before the United States Government would commence negotiations, it was necessary for the Japanese Government to convince the American Government of its sincerity by abandoning its doctrine of conquest by force and its use of force as an instrument of national policy and to adopt the principles which the United States had proclaimed and was practising, and which it considered as embodying the foundation on which all relations between Nations should properly rest. Mr. Hull then stated these principles as being: (1) Respect for the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of each and all nations: (2) Non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries; (3) Equality of commercial
United States Conditions for Discussions
opportunity; and (4) Non-disturbance of the status quo of the Pacific, except by peaceful means. Mr. Hull emphasized that his talk must not be considered as the commencement of negotiations and that his statement of principles must be accepted before negotiations could begin. Nomura replied that he was convinced that his Government had no intention of advancing further to the South, but that he would submit the principles enunciated by Mr. Hull to his Government and ask for instructions.
Nomura's request for instructions was received in the Japanese Foreign Office on 18th April 1941 and Konoye consulted with KIDO and the Emperor upon the answer to be given. The principle of equality of commercial opportunity appealed to the Zaibatsu, which urged the Cabinet to commence negotiations upon the basis of the proposed draft. KIDO and Konoye agreed that negotiations might be commenced with the United States Government, but that the Cabinet should be careful to keep faith with the German and Italian Governments, and should not abandon its plan to establish the Co-Prosperity Sphere, that being Japan's fixed national policy.
Matsuoka, on his return to Tokyo, again paused in Moscow, where negotiations resulted in his signing of the Japanese-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact on 13th April 1941. He explained to the
German Ambassador to Japan, who was accompanying him, that the Pact would substantially facilitate the Japanese advance to the South.
Konoye, after discussing with KIDO and the Emperor the reply to be given to Nomura's request for instructions, cabled Matsuoka to return to Tokyo promptly in order to consider the matter. Matsuoka arrived in Tokyo on 22nd April 1941, and sent Nomura a draft proposal to submit to the United States Government.
The campaign of infringement of the interests of the United States continued during the deliberation upon the answer to be given to Nomura. Japanese interference with the movements of American nationals and American merchandise in China became more pronounced. The American Consulate at Kunming in China was bombed for the third time and heavy damage caused. The Japanese Navy occupied Eniwetok Atoll and began setting up naval installations there. On 5th Mary 1941, the United States Government answered those acts by adding additional items, including scrap rubber, to its embargo list.
Ribbentrop learned of the conditions laid down by the United States for the commencement of the negotiations between Japan and the United States, and of the Japanese Cabinet's decision to open negotiations. He immediately stated to Ambassador OSHIMA that he could not
understand submitting to such conditions. OSHIMA assured Ribbentrop that his government had non intention of entering into any treaty with the United States embodying the principles laid down by Mr. Hull. Ribbentrop accused the Japanese Cabinet of having abandoned its plan for attacking Singapore and of having broken faith with the German Government. He demanded that the Japanese Government either refuse to agree to the Hull principles or agree only on condition that the American Government give its assurance that it would remain neutral. OSHIMA agreed with Ribbentrop, transmitted his views to Matsuoka,
and stated that he considered Ribbentrop's suspicions and accusation well-founded. He recommended that the Cabinet adopt ribbentrop's suggestion.
On 8 May 1941, Nomura reported to Matsuoka and pointed out that the United States would not recognize the New Order in East Asia, nor the retention of territory acquired through aggression, and was insistent on the observance of the four principles enunciated by Mr. Hull.
Nomura delivered the first official Japanese proposal to Mr. Hull on 12 May 1941. That draft was couched in obscure and platitudinous terms, which really provided for a secrete understanding between the two Governments, in substance as follows: The United States Government would agree (1) to recognize the establishment by Japan of the New Order in China in accordance with Konoye's three principles as embodied in the Japan-Manchukuo-China Joint Declaration of 30 November 1940, and 6to advise generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek to negotiate peace with Japan forthwith; (2) to enter into a secret agreement to withdraw aid to the National Government of China if the generalissimo did not enter into negotiations for peace; (3) to recognize the right of Japan to establish the Co-Prosperity Sphere embracing China and the Southern Area upon the understanding that Japan's expansion in that area was to be of a peaceful nature and to cooperate in producing and procuring from this sphere the natural resources which Japan needs: 94) to amend its immigration laws so as to admit Japanese nationals on the basis of equality and non-discrimination; (5) to restore normal economic relations between the two countries; (6) to take note of Japan's obligation under Article 3
of the Tripartite Pact to attack the United States if, in the opinion of the Japanese Government, the assistance rendered to the Allied Powers resisting Germany and Italy amounted to an attack upon the Axis; and (7) to refrain from rendering assistance to the Allied Powers. The Japanese Government in return would agree to (1) resume normal trade relations with the United States; (2) assure the United States an supply of the commodities available in the Co-Prosperity Sphere; and (3) join the United States Government in a guarantee of the independence of the Philippines on condition that the Philippines would maintain an status of permanent neutrality.
The day after this draft proposal was delivered to Mr. Hull, the Japanese delegation at Batavia delivered its amended demands to the dutch delegation which reiterated the Japanese Government's previous declaration of interdependence between the Netherlands East Indies and Japan. In Tokyo, Matsuoka informed the american Ambassador that both he and Konoye were determined that Japan's advance to the South would be made by peaceful means, "unless", he added significantly, "circumstances rendered that impossible." The American Ambassador inquired what circumstances Matsuoka had in mind. Matsuoka replied that he referred to the concentration of British troops in Malaya, which he described as provocative.
Ribbentrop learned of the draft proposal presented by Nomura to the United States of America, and immediately took OSHIMA to task, expressing resentment of Matsuoka's decision to commence negotiations with the United States without consulting
the German and Italian Governments. He demanded that the attack upon Singapore be commenced without further delay. OSHIMA, reporting to Matsuoka, said: "I express my apprehension that should Japan lose this opportunity to expand southward and the possibility of attacking Singapore, she will invite the contempt not only of the United States and Great Britain, but also of Germany and Italy." He informed Matsuoka of the resentment of the German leaders against the negotiations with the United States and stated that, since the Japanese-American negotiations were considered to involve a change in Japanese foreign policy which violated the plans of the military, he had taken the liberty of informing the Japanese Army and Navy officials. This was the beginning of the friction between Konoye and Matsuoka.
The United States Government accepted the Japanese draft proposal of the 12th May 1941 as a starting point for the negotiations and undertook to explore the possibility of an understanding with the Japanese Government. On 28 May 1941, Mr. Hull and Nomura met. In the course of the conversation, it became clear that there were two great obstacles to any successful prosecution of the negotiations: (1) the obscurity in which Japan's commitments under the Tri-Partite Pact were at present left, and (32) the provisions
United States Agrees to Negotiate -- May 1941
for settlement of the China question. As to the first matter, Mr. Hull desired that Japan qualify its attitude towards the possible event of the United States being drawn into the European War as a measure of self-defense. As to the second matter, Mr. Hull pointed out that the Japanese insistence on retaining troops in China after the conclusion of any peace treaty with China would be a factor operating against friendship between the United States and Japan. Nomura was not able to state how many troops Japan proposed to retain in China, nor the areas where they would be quartered.
On 31 May, Mr. Hull told Nomura that, at some proper time before definitive discussions, he would discuss the draft proposal in strict confidence with the Chungking Government. Moreover, on 31 May, a further United States draft was handed to Nomura, in which it was proposed, inter alia, that Japan should state that the provisions of the Tripartite Pact did not apply to nations which became involved in the European War by reasons of protection, self-defense and national security. It was further proposed that Japan should submit to the United States of America the framework of the terms which she would submit to China. Annexed to this draft was a full statement of the attitude of the United States towards the activities of Germany and a declaration that the United States was resolved to take measures of self-defense in resistance to a movement which, in the view of the United States of America, was clearly directed to world conquest by force.
On the 4th of June, the Japanese Embassy suggested certain amendments to the American proposals.
Among them was the suggestion that the United States should drop from its draft the provision that the obligations of Japan under the Tripartite Pact did not apply to the case where a nation became involved in the European War as a measure of self-defence. Mr. Hull considered these Japanese amendments, and on 6th June, he told Nomura that they had carried the negotiations away from the fundamental points which the United States of America believed to be involved. In his view, they revealed a stressing of Japan's alignment with the Axis, no clear indication of intention to place Japan's relations with China on a basis which would contribute to peace in the Far East, and a veering away from clearcut commitments on policies of peace and non-discriminatory treatment. Nevertheless, Nomura on 15 June 1941, submitted to Mr. Hull a new draft embodying the very suggestions to which Mr. Hull had already taken objection. Chungking was bombed by more than 100 Japanese planes on 10th June and American property was destroyed. Public statements by spokesmen of the Japanese Government emphasized Japan's commitment and intentions under the Tripartite Pact in a sense hostile to the interests of the United States of America. The negotiations at Batavia were obviously breaking down. The United States Government issued an order on 20th June banning all shipments of oil, except those to Great Britain and South America.
The Japanese had been pressing for an answer to their proposals of 12th May. Mr. Hull talked to Nomura on 21st June. He referred to the accumulating evidence from all over the world, including the public statements of Japanese leaders, indicating that the Japanese Military would endorse no understanding with the United States except one that envisaged Japan fighting on the side of
Hitler, should the United States become involved in the European War through its programme of aid to the democracies. He then stated that the proposal of 12th May 1941 violated the principles which the American Government was committed to uphold, particularly in respect to the provisions of the proposal relating to China. Mr. Hull then informed Nomura that he had come to the conclusion that, before proceeding with the negotiations, the United States Government must await some clearer indication than had yet been given that the Japanese government desired to pursue a course of peace. He expressed the hope that the Japanese Government would manifest such an attitude.
The plan of September and October 1940 had been followed. The ultimate objective of the plan was the domination of East Asia by Japan. That objective was to be reached by the use of force if necessary. Some of the steps to be taken in the execution of that plan were in the alternative. The tripartite Pact had been entered into and used as an instrument for the intimidation of the Western Powers and as a guarantee of cooperation by the Axis Powers with Japan as she advanced to the South. The Non-Aggression Pact had been signed with the U.S.S.R. as a protection of Japan's rear as she made that advance. The attempt to negotiate a peace with generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek in order to free Japanese troops and acquire the use of Chinese troops in making that advance had failed. The attempt to mediate the European War, and thereby secure British recognition of Japan's advance into South East Asia so as to eliminate the necessity of an attack upon Singapore had likewise failed.
The attempt to eliminate possible interference with that attack by the United States Pacific Fleet through negotiation with the United States had also failed. The negotiations at Batavia for acquisition of oil and other vital materials had failed also; those negotiations had terminated on 17th June 1940. Japan's reserves of war supplies were in danger of being depleted. The decision of the Imperial General Headquarters made in early April 1941 stood. The time for final preparation had now arrived.
The Japanese Navy began training and practice for the attack on Pearl Harbor in late May 1941. Dive bombing was practiced at Kagoshima, Japan, where the terrain resembled that at Pearl Harbor. The development of a shallow-water torpedo had been started early in 1941, as the waters in Pearl Harbor were shallow. The Navy spent considerable time in developing and experimenting with that type of torpedo during the summer. Refueling at sea was made a matter of special training in order to permit the use of the more secure northern route of approach to Pearl Harbor.
OSHIMA, acting on instructions from his Government, began discussions with Ribbentrop on 10th June 1941 which were to lead to the acquisition of additional naval bases in southern French Indo-China for use in the attack upon Singapore and the Netherlands East Indies. KIDO was advised by Konoye of the decision of the Imperial General Headquarters to attack Singapore and the proceedings under that decision. On 21st June 1941, Matsuoka informed the German Ambassador of the decisions, telling him that
Cabinet Policy and Decisions of June and July 1941
the situation had become unbearable, that the negotiations with the Netherlands Government were not to be resumed, and that in order to attack Singapore and the Netherlands East Indies, additional bases were required in southern French Indo-China. He said that he had instructed OSHIMA to inquire whether the consent of Vichy France could be obtained by the German Government, and if not, he would take the matter up directly with the Vichy French Government.
OSHIMA informed Konoye as early as 6th June 1941 that the German Government had decided to attack the U.S.S.R. This information caused considerable confusion among the Japanese leaders. There were some, including Matsuoka, who considered it better for Japan to postpone the attack to the South and emulate the role of Italy in the European War by attacking the U.S.S.R. in the rear at the opportune time in the German-Soviet struggle for the purpose of seizing Soviet territories in the Far East, thereby obtaining oil from Sakhalin. There were others, including Konoye and KIDO, who argued that the original plan of September-October to prosecute the advance to the South should not be abandoned. Germany attacked the U.S.S.R. on 22nd June. Acting upon KIDO's advice, the Emperor instructed Matsuoka to conform to Konoye's wishes, and KIDO and HIRANUMA repeated this advice.
The Liaison Conference of 25th June 1941, attended by HIRANUMA, TOJO, MUTO and OKA and others, decided that Japan would accelerate its measures towards French Indo-China and Thailand. This was necessary in view of the failure of the negotiations at Batavia. Naval and air bases were to be established promptly in southern French Indo-China and force employed if the French did not comply
with the Japanese demands. Preparations were to be made for despatch of the necessary military forces before beginning negotiations with France. These bases were needed for the attack on Singapore and the Netherlands East Indies. Konoye and the Chiefs of Staff reported these decisions to the Emperor.
The decisions of the Liaison Conference show that HIRANUMA, TOJO, MUTO, and OKA agreed with Konoye that the fixed policy should not be changed. TOJO reported to the Emperor on 28th June 1941. He told KIDO, later in the day, that the Army's plan was for the time being to remain neutral in the German-Soviet War, with the Kwantung Army "remaining calm and prudent", and to strengthen the Imperial General Headquarters by arranging for it to meet every day in the Palace. SUZUKI had proposed measures for strengthening the Imperial Headquarters on 23rd June. KIDO had agreed with him, but advised that the Board of Field Marshals and fleet Admirals should be consulted. DOHIHARA was a member of the Board and was present when TOJO and his Vice-Minister of War, KIMURA, appeared before the Board on 30th June to express TOJO's views regarding the fast-moving situation. Thus, the Military marshalled their forces to prevent Matsuoka from upsetting their strategy by his plan of postponing the move Southward and attacking the U.S.S.R. at once, which he had outlined to the Emperor on 22nd June 1941. The embarrassment caused by Matsuoka's attitude and the necessity of his resignation was being discussed.
The Imperial Conference of 2nd July 1941, following the Liaison Conference of 25th June, finally put the question at rest. TOJO, SUZUKI, HIRANUMA and OKA< among others, were present at that conference. The Conference decided that, regardless of any change in the situation,
Japan would adhere to its plan for the domination of East and South-East Asia, and would proceed with the Southward advance, at the same time being ready to take advantage of any favourable situation in the German-Soviet War to attack the U.S.S.R. Necessary diplomatic negotiations were to be continued while final preparations for the attack upon Singapore and Pearl Harbor were being completed and the Japanese forces were moving into position in southern French Indo-China and Thailand for the attack. Japan was to remain neutral in the German-Soviet War, while secretly preparing an attack upon the Soviet Union which was to be launched if and when it became apparent that the U.S.S.R. had been so weakened by the war that it would not be able to offer effective resistance. TOJO was a strong advocate of this plan, and stated that, "Japan would gain great prestige by attacking the U.S.S.R. at a time when it is ready to fall to the ground like a ripe persimmon".
The Army General Staff was ordered to proceed with its final operational plans for the campaigns to be waged in the Southern Areas. The troops which later carried out landing operations in the Philippines and in the Malay Peninsula began practicing landing operations along the China coast, on Hainan Island, and along the coast of French Indo-China, while others trained on Formosa. The units which were to attack Hong Kong were given rigorous training in night fighting and in storming pillboxes at a station near Canton, China. Training areas were selected at places where the terrain and climate approximated to that of the area to be attacked. The training continued all through the summer and until the actual attack. Admiral SHIMADA was in command of the China Area Fleet while this training was in progress.
Three Japanese Army divisions were prepared for action against French Indo-China. The Japanese Government planned to demand that the Vichy French Government grant permission to the Japanese Government to occupy southern French Indo-China and to construct military bases there. This action had been suggested to OSHIMA by Ribbentrop, who considered it inadvisable for Germany to make the demand. The Japanese plan was that the demand would be made in the form of an ultimatum which was to be followed by invasion if the demands were not granted. The demands were to be made on 5th July 1941, but inquiries by the British and American Ambassadors revealed that the plan had leaked out, and KIDO recorded in his diary that in view of that fact, it had been decided to postpone issuance of the ultimatum for five days in order to observe what moves, if any, the British and Americans would make to resist the ultimatum. The American and
British Ambassadors were given a flat denial of any intentions to advance into southern French Indo-China.
Matsuoka instructed the Japanese Ambassador to Vichy France on 12th July 1941 to serve the ultimatum and demand an answer on or before 20th July. The next day, Konoye in a personal message to Marshal Petain assured the Marshal that Japan would respect the sovereign rights of France in French Indo-China if the Japanese Army were allowed to base there and establish naval bases on the sores. Before an answer to the ultimatum was received, the Second Konoye Cabinet resigned because of disagreement between Konoye and Matsuoka regarding the strategy to be employed.
Following the Imperial Conference of 2nd July 1941, Matsuoka was not easily reconciled to the decision of the Conference and did not act completely in accord with it.
Third Konoye Cabinet
MUTO and OKA, as Chiefs of the military Affairs Bureau and the Naval Affairs Bureau respectively, had drawn up a formula which would insure continuation of the negotiations with America by making additional proposals. Konoye had agreed to continue with Matsuoka as his Foreign Minister provided Matsuoka would cooperate in applying the MUTO-OKA formula. Matsuoka said he had no objection to the formula, but at the same time, he insisted on rejecting Mr. Hull's statement to Nomura of 21st June 1941 as being disgraceful to Japan. This was the statement in which Mr. Hull had said that before proceeding with the negotiations, the United States must await some
clearer indication than had yet been given that the Japanese Government desired to pursue a course of peace. Matsuoka proposed to present the MUTO-OKA proposals only after Mr. Hull's statement had been specifically rejected. Konoye was fearful lest this action might cause the United States to refuse to negotiate further, and insisted that Matsuoka send the counter-proposals drafted by MUTO and OKA to Nomura, along with the instructions for rejection of Mr. Hull's statement, so that the danger of termination of the negotiations might be reduced. Matsuoka disregarded Konoye's advice and in the instructions he issued to Nomura acted on his own view, thus precipitating a Cabinet crisis. KIDO, upon learning of the crisis, was determined to preserve the Konoye Cabinet for the execution of the decisions reached at the Imperial Conference of 2nd July 1941, and conferred with members of the Imperial Household and with the Emperor upon a plan to return the Imperial Mandate to Konoye if the Cabinet should resign en bloc. KIDO recommended that Matsuoka be asked to resign. Konoye vetoed that suggestion lest Matsuoka and his followers make political capital of his forced resignation by suggesting that it had been dictated by America. The Konoye Cabinet accordingly resigned en bloc on 16th July 1941 and the Emperor ordered KIDO to summon the Jushin, a body composed of former Prime Ministers acting as Senior Statesmen, together with the President of the Privy Council, to recommend Konoye's successor.
On 17th July 1941, KIDO conferred with the Senior Statesmen upon Konoye's resignation statement. Wakatsuki, Abe, Okada, Hayashi, Yonai and HIROTA were
present. The view was expressed that Konoye would be able to unite all political circles behind the Military, and the meeting was unanimous that he should be recommended to the Emperor. The Emperor summoned Konoye and delivered the Imperial Mandate to him to form a new Cabinet. The third Konoye Cabinet was formed on 18th July. Toyoda became Foreign Minister, TOJO remained as War Minister, HIRANUMA became Minister without Portfolio, and SUZUKI remained as President of the Planning board and Minister without Portfolio. KIMURA remained as Vice-Minister of War. MUTO and OKA continued in their positions. The new Foreign Minister declared that there would be no change in policy as a result of the Cabinet change.
OSHIMA handed Ribbentrop a memorandum on the Japanese ultimatum to the Vichy French Government on 19th July 1941, explaining that the ultimatum had been delivered in order to secure military bases in French Indo-China as the first step in the "push to the South", meaning thereby the attack upon Singapore and the Netherlands East Indies. he requested the German Government to advise the Vichy Government to accept the ultimatum and meet the demands of the Japanese Government. Toyoda advised the German Ambassador in Tokyo on 20th July that the Cabinet change would not affect the policy decision reached at the Imperial Conference on 2nd July. After reporting to Germany the terms of the ultimatum with the statement that it had no alternative but to give in to violence, Vichy France accepted the Japanese ultimatum and agreed to the Japanese demands. 40,000 troops sailed on 24th July to take up the occupation of Southern French Indo-China and the
Occupation of Southern French Indo-China
construction of eight air bases near Saigon and of naval bases at Saigon and Camranh Bay, in accordance with the agreement. The formal agreement was ratified on 28th July and signed the next day. TOJO, MUTO, SUZUKI and OKA were present at the meeting of the Privy Council on 28th July and represented the Cabinet as explainers of the agreement. TOJO stated that the agreement was one of the measures decided at the Imperial Conference of 2nd July based upon the decision of the Liaison Conference of 25th June, that the Cabinet and the Army and Navy Chiefs of Staff were united and were holding Liaison Conferences almost every day in the Palace in order to take appropriate measures under the Cabinet's strategic policy.
Ambassador Nomura had warned on 3rd July and 19th July 1941, in telegrams to the Foreign Minster, that when the advance to the South commenced, there would be danger that diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States might be severed by the United States Government. The American Acting Secretary of State, Mr. Welles, inquired of Nomura on 23rd July the meaning of the demands upon Vichy France; and in reply to Nomura's explanation that Japan needed to secure an uninterrupted supply of raw materials and insure against military encirclement, he stated that the agreement which had been under discussion between the Japanese and American Governments would give Japan far greater economic security than would the occupation of French Indo-China. He added the United States Government considered the occupation as notice that Japan "was taking the
Further Discussions With United States of America
last step to proceeding on a policy of expansion and conquest in the region of the South Seas," and that he had been instructed to say that the Secretary of State could see no basis for pursuing further the conversations with the Japanese Ambassador. The next day, the American State Department issued to the Press a statement that by the course the Japanese Government had followed and was following in Indo-China, it was giving a clear indication of determination to pursue an objective of expansion by force or threat of force and that there was no apparent reason which warranted the occupation of French Indo-China other than a desire for military bases to be used in the conquest of adjacent areas.
The President of the United States proposed to the Japanese Government on 24th July 1941 that French Indo-China be regarded as a neutralized zone, Japan being given full opportunity of assuring for herself food supplies and other raw materials she was seeking, but the proposal was rejected. On 25th July, the President issued a directive freezing all Japanese and Chinese assets in the United States. Japan's actions towards Indo-China were regarded as creating a great risk of war, compelling the threatened nations to take steps to prevent their security being wholly undermined. On 26th July 1941, Toyoda, the Japanese Foreign Minster, explained Japan's actions towards French Indo-China as being necessary to carry through the China affair. He alleged also that Japan had reports of an intended encirclement of French Indo-China which would be a menace to the area which was indispensible in prosecuting the China affair. No
evidence of any such intended encirclement of French Indo-China or of any report thereof has been adduced before us. The evidence is conclusive that Japan's reason for advancing into southern French Indo-China was the desire to secure bases for an attack upon Singapore, preliminary to an attack upon the Netherlands East Indies. These bases also threatened the Philippines. When Singapore was in fact attacked, troops from Saigon and planes from bases in southern French Indo-China took part in the attack. Britain and the Netherlands issued similar freezing orders on 26th and 28th July respectively. On 8th August, after the freezing order was issued by the United States Government, Nomura inquired of the American State Department whether it might be possible for the responsible heads of the two Governments to meet with a view to discussing means for reaching ad adjustment of relations. After reviewing briefly the steps which had led to a discontinuance of the informal negotiations between him and Nomura, the Secretary of State said that it remained with the Japanese Government to decide whether it could find means of shaping its policies along lines which would make possible an adjustment of views.
OSHIMA learned of the slowing down of the German advance into Russia at the end of July 1941, which information gave the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters considerable concern, for it was realized that Japan's supply of accumulated war materials was not sufficient to wage war against the U.S.S.R., the United States and Great Britain at the same time.
It was feared the U.S.S.R. might assist the United States by giving the United States military bases in Soviet territory if Japan should attack the United States of America. this possibility was discussed between the Japanese Foreign Minister and the Soviet Ambassador in early August 1941.
Towards the end of July 1941, the Emperor called the Naval Chief of Staff for consultation on the subject of Japan's policy with the United States. Nagano, the Chief of Staff, informed the Emperor that he was opposed to the Tripartite Alliance and believed that so long as it existed it would be impossible to adjust relations between Japan and the United States of America. If the relations could not be adjusted and Japan was cut off from oil, in case of war with the United States of America, Japan's oil supply would be sufficient for only one and half years. There would be no alternative but to take the initiative in operations. The Emperor asked Nagano if it would be possible to win a sweeping victory. Nagano replied that it was doubtful if Japan would win.
The Emperor expressed anxiety to KIDO about having to wage a desperate war, but KIDO reassured the Emperor by saying that the opinion of the Chief of Staff was too simple. He said that Japan was not without means of restoring the friendship between the United States of America and Japan. He stated, however, that he would ask the Prime Minister to give careful consideration ot the questions raised by the Navy Chief of Staff. KIDO and Konoye considered the questions on 2nd and 7th August 1941. KIDO outlined in his diary the points advanced by the Navy
in its argument against proceeding with the attack. The Navy had expected to obtain oil from Sakhalin and the Netherlands East Indies to replenish its supply in case the war should be prolonged. Now there was a possibility that the U.S.S.R. would become allied with the United States, thus preventing the acquisition of oil from Sakhalin. The risk involved in depending upon the capture of the oil installations in the Netherlands East Indies intact, and upon the transportation of the oil over great stretches of submarine-infested waters which might be patrolled by aircraft based in Soviet territories was entirely too great. The Army did not agree with the Navy and maintained that the accumulated supply of oil would be sufficient to ensure victory. Konoye and KIDO agreed that the situation was serious and that it was necessary to have an agreement between the Army and navy without loss of time.
Ambassador Nomura's suggestion of 26th July 1941, following the American freezing order of the 25th, that the heads of the two Governments should meet in an effort to adjust relations was renewed on orders of his Government on 7th August, and was welcomed by the Government of the United States., Accordingly, on 17th August, while the Japanese Army and Navy Chiefs canvassed the subject of oil to supply the Japanese Navy in a war with the United States, the President replied to Nomura's suggestion. He said that if the Japanese Government were in a position to embark upon a peaceful programme along the lines suggested by the principles stated by Mr. Hull, the United States Government would be pleased to resume the
Further Discussions With United States of America
informal discussions and endeavour to arrange a suitable time and place for the heads of the two Governments to exchange views. The President referred to the circumstances in which the discussions had been interrupted and said it would be helpful before proceeding with plans for a meeting, if Japan would furnish a clear statement as to its present attitude and plans. The President further stated to Nomura that nothing short of complete candour would further the objective. If Japan took any further steps in pursuance of a policy of military domination by force or threat, the United States of America would be compelled to take steps immediately to safeguard the rights, interests, safety and security of the United States and its nationals.
The Total War Research Institute had been studying the question of negotiations with the United States, and during the first half of August 1941 suggested a solution: "To the proposal of America, we shall neither give our word clearly concerning the position of Japan, but adopt a delaying policy by diplomatic negotiations, repleting war preparations in the meantime."
Konoye addressed a letter to the President on 27th August 1941, in which he stated that he believed that the deterioration of relations between the two countries was largely due to a lack of understanding, and that he desired to meet the
President personally for a frank exchange of views. He suggested that they meet first and discuss from a broad standpoint all important problems before a formal negotiation of an agreement. At the same time, a statement from the Japanese Government was also presented to the President. In this, the Japanese Government said it welcomed the invitation to an exchange of views, that Japan was ready for peace and would be proud to make sacrifices to obtain peace in the Pacific. It said that Japan's action in French Indo-China was intended to hasten settlement of the China Incident, to remove all menace to the peace of the Pacific and to secure to japan an equitable supply of essential materials. it said also that Japan did not intend to threaten other countries and was prepared to withdraw its troops from French Indo-China aas soon as the China Incident was settled or a just peace established in East Asia, and that Japan's action in French Indo-China was not preparatory to a military advance into neighbouring territories. The statement continued that the Government of Japan was willing to restrict the discussions to proposals which were in conformity with the basic principles to which the United States had long been committed, as the national policy long cherished by the Japanese Government was in full accord on that point.
Japan's statements in regard to French Indo-China were false. We now know that Japan's motive for quartering troops and seizing bases in southern French Indo-China in July 1941 was the desire to secure a base and jumping off place for her intended attack on Malaya
and the Netherlands East Indies. It had nothing to do with the so-called "China Incident". Japan was proposing, as we now know, that she should retain this base for attack on Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies, which was also a threat to the Philippines and the sea lanes, until her demands on China were satisfied, or until "a just peace" was established in East Asia, an event the occurrence of which she alone would determine, for no other criterion for its determination was suggested. This statement is founded on by the defense as amounting to Japan's agreement that the four principles stated by Mr. Hull would be given effect to. If any clear representation by Japan to that effect can be read out of the statement, it is now proved that at that time the leaders of Japan had no intention of living up to such representation.
The President replied to Konoye's letter and his Government's statement on 3rd September 1941. He said that he noted with satisfaction Konoye's expressed desire for peace in the Pacific and his Government's statement that its long cherished national policy was in accord with the principles to which the United States Government had long been committed. The President stated that he could not avoid taking cognizance, however, of indications in some quarters in Japan of support of concepts which would seem capable of raising obstacles to successful collaboration between Konoye and the president along the lines proposed. He therefore, suggested that it would seem highly desirable to take precautions toward ensuring success for their proposed meeting by entering immediately upon preliminary discussions of the fundamental questions on which they sought agreement.
The President requested an indication of the Japanese Governments' attitude regarding those fundamental questions.
Meantime, from the month of August onward, the Japanese General Staff had been advocating an immediate breaking off of negotiations and the opening of hostilities. Konoye was opposed to this and held repeated conversations with the Army and Navy Ministers and others, in which he sought to counter this policy.
Immediately upon receipt of the President's letter on 5th September 1941, Konoye called a Cabinet meeting. TOJO opposed the proposed meeting of Konoye and the President. he testified before this Tribunal that his reason for doing so was that the President expressed reluctance to meet with Konoye unless an agreement was first reached covering all the essential matters. The Emperor asked Konoye many questions regarding the strategy to be employed in a war with the United States and Britain. Konoye advised the Emperor to summon the Chiefs of Staff of the Army and Navy to answer those questions, and KIDO seconded that advice.
The Imperial Conference met on 6th September 1941 with TOJO, SUZUKI, MUTO, OKA and other present. The Conference decided that Japan should advance to the South, that an effort should be made to obtain Japan's demands through negotiations with the United States and Great Britain, but that, if those demands were not fulfilled by the beginning of October, a decision on the opening of hostilities would be made. The demands which Japan desired to see fulfilled were also decided at that Conference and were as follows:
Imperial Conference 6th September 1941Japan's minimum demand to be fulfilled in her negotiations with the United States (Britain), and the limit Japan is able to come to an
agreement in this connection.
Sect. I. Japan's minimum-demand to be fulfilled in her negotiations with the United States (Britain).
- Matters concerning the CHINESE INCIDENT.
The United States and Britain will neither meddle in nor interrupt the disposition of the Chinese Incident.
- They will not interrupt Japan's attempt to settle the Incident in accordance with the Sino-Japanese Basic Treaty and the Japan-Manchukuo-China Tripartite Joint Declaration.
- "Burma Route" will be closed; and the United States and Britain will give Chiang's Regime neither military nor economic support.
. . .
- Matters concerning the security of Japan's national defense.
The United States and Britain will not take such action in the Far East as to threaten Japan's national defence.
- Recognition of the special relations existing between Japan and France based on the Japan-French Agreement.
- They will not establish any military interests in Thailand, Butch East-India, China and far-eastern Soviet territory.
- They will not further strengthen their present armaments in the Far East.
- Matters concerning Japan's obtaining necessary materials.
The United States and Britain will cooperate with Japan in obtaining her necessary resources.
- They will restore their commercial relations with Japan and will supply Japan from their territories in the South Western Pacific with resources indispensable for her self-existence.
- They will gladly collaborate in Japan's economic cooperation with Thailand and French Indo-China.
Sect. II. The Limit Japan is able to come to an agreement.
If the United States and Britain will consent to our demands in Section I:
- Japan, with French Indo-China as a base, will make no military advances into any of the adjacent areas except China.
- Japan will be ready to withdraw her troops from French Indo-China after an impartial peace will have been established in the Far East.
- Japan will be ready to guarantee the neutrality of the Philippines.
One cardinal vice in this decision is the proposal that Japan should be left controlling the economy of China for her own ends, as had been achieved by the agreement Japan had made with the puppet government of China, and that America and Britain should withdraw all military and economic support from the legitimate government of China, which had long been the victim of Japan's aggression, which support these countries were quite entitled to give. If Japan had revealed that this was her "minimum demand to be fulfilled in her negotiations with the United States of America and Britain", it is not too much to say that these negotiations would have proceeded no further. This "minimum demand" was in vital conflict with the four principles which Mr. Hull had stated, upon the observance of which he insisted throughout the negotiations.
The Chief of the Army General Staff instructed his Chief of Operations, immediately after this Imperial
Continued Preparations for War
Conference, to intensify his plans and preparations for war. Because of the practices governing the relationship between the War Ministry and the General Staff, War Minister TOJO, Vice-Minister of War KIMURA, Chief of the Military Affairs Bureau, MUTO, and Chief of the Naval Affairs Bureau, OKA, must have known and assisted in the preparations being made.
The training for the attack upon Pearl Harbor, and the training along the China coast for the landing operations against Malaya, the Philippines and the Netherlands East Indies and Borneo were drawing to a close. Admiral SHIMADA, Commander-in-Chief of the China Area Fleet, was transferred to command the Yokosuka Naval District near Tokyo and was appointed a member of the Naval Officers' Council on 1st September. The final "War Games" of Naval Staff Conferences to work out details for the operation, in which a large number of high-ranking naval officers participated, were held at the Naval War College in Tokyo between 2nd and 13th September 1941. The problems to be solved were two: first, the problems of working out the details of the carrier attack upon Pearl Harbor, and second, the problem of establishing a schedule of operations for the occupation of Malaya, Burma, the Netherlands East Indies, the Philippines and the Solomon and Central Pacific Islands. The solution of these problems as worked out constituted the basis of Combined Fleet Secret Operations Order NO. 1, which was later issued.
The Foreign Minister, Toyoda, whose Consul-General at Hawaii was engaged in espionage, arranged a code on 24th September for transmitting secret reports on the American Fleet in Hawaiian waters.
Internal preparations for the attack continued at a rapid pace. TOJO made a survey of the preparations and reported on that survey to KIDO on 11th September. The Cabinet adopted a "Workers Mobilization Plan" which had been devised jointly by SUZUKI's Planning board and the Welfare Ministry for increasing production of munitions. The Inspector General of Military Education issued training manuals on landing operations and identification of Allied planes. TOJO's War Ministry prepared operation maps for Singapore and Hawaii. The Cabinet Printing Bureau continued printing occupation currency in pesos, dollars and guilders for use in the Philippines, Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies.
Konoye, on 6th September, the day of the imperial Conference just referred to, and notwithstanding the contrary nature of the decisions of that conference, told the American Ambassador that he fully subscribed to the four principles which Mr. Hull and the President of the United States had enunciated. The next day] in Washington, Ambassador Nomura presented a new Japanese draft proposal to the United States Government which was apparently intended as a basis for the commencement of the preliminary negotiations to which the President had referred in his letter to Konoye on 3rd September. The essence of that draft proposal was that Japan would not "without any justifiable reason" make further military moves to the South and would interpret her obligations under the Tripartite Pact "by the concepts of protection and self-defence" without consideration of the views of the other Axis Governments. The United States was to cease giving aid to China, assist Japan in negotiating
Talks With United States of America Continued
peace with China on Japanese terms, agree to cooperate with Japan in the acquisition and development of natural resources in the Southern areas, and suspend military measures in the Far East and in the South Western Pacific Area. Japan had refused to withdraw her troops from French Indo-China. This draft proposal reaffirmed japan's' intention to adhere to the Tripartite Pact, for Japan refused to give, or evaded giving, her assurance that she would not attack the United States under the terms of that Pact. the subsequent negotiations revealed the peace terms for China s founded on the Konoye principles, which would have given Japan economic domination of China enforced by Japanese troops stationed in China, and as providing for the recognition by China of Japan's seizure of Manchuria.
The acceptance of this proposal by the United States would have secured the Japanese Government its objective as decided on 3rd October 1940. That this was the intention of the Japanese government is revealed by Toyoda, who instructed Nomura on 13th September 1941, that his Government was not prepared, as he expressed it, "to swallow" the four American principles. The United States Government considered that the draft proposal of 3rd September was unsatisfactory and inconsistent with Konoye's letter and his Government's statement to the president of 28th August 1941.
On 25th September 1941, the Japanese Government presented to the American Ambassador in Tokyo a completely new draft proposal and urged that an early reply be made. The new draft did not indicate any modification of the Japanese attitude on fundamental points. HASHIMOTO
declared in an article published in the Taiyo Dai Nippon on 25th September, that there was no hope of adjusting relations with the United States and Great Britain, and that proper action for the Japanese Government was clearly indicate din the Tripartite Pact, meaning thereby direct action in conjunction with Germany and Italy. The President of the Cabinet Information Bureau made a speech in commemoration of the first anniversary of the signing of the Tripartite Pact in which he said that the real meaning of the Pact was clear from the Imperial Rescript issued on the day of its conclusion. He declared that, by that Pact, the leading position of Japan in the establishment of the New Order in Greater East Asia was definitely recognized and that whatever changes might occur in the international situation, and whatever difficulties Japan might encounter, there would be no change whatever in the fact that the Pact constituted the keynote of Japan's diplomacy.
The beginning of October, the time set by the Imperial Conference of 6th September for the decision of the opening of hostilities, was rapidly approaching, but the Army and Navy were still contending as to whether the Navy would be able to carry out its mission with the existing supply of oil. TOJO was impatient of the diplomatic discussions with America and insisted that the attack should not be delayed. The Army leaders declared that they would withhold the attack until 15th October, but would wait no longer. Konoye and KIDO discussed the question of disagreement between the Army and Navy on the subject of oil reserves. Konoye declared that he had no confidence so long as this disagreement existed, and there was no choice for him to consider his
resignation if the Army insisted on starting the war on 15th October. KIDO implored him to be prudent, and called in SUZUKI for consultation.
Mr. Hull delivered to Nomura a complete review of the negotiations on 2nd October. The review concluded with a statement that the United States Government had endeavoured to make clear that it envisaged a comprehensive programme calling for the uniform application to the entire Pacific Area of the principles which Mr. Hull and the President had enunciated, but that the japanese Government had indicated its intention to circumscribe the application of those principles by qualifications and exceptions. Mr. Hull then asked: "If this impression is correct, can the Japanese Government feel that a meeting between the responsible heads of Government under such circumstances would be likely to contribute to the advancement of the high purposes which we have mutually had in mind?"
The impression was correct. As we have previously noted, Toyoda, Japan's Foreign Minister, told Nomura on the 13th September that Japan could not accept the four principles. Nomura reported to Toyoda on 8th October 1941 that the Americans insisted upon the four principles as the basis on which relations between the two countries should be adjusted, that they had always felt that if conversations between Konoye and the President were to occur, it would be necessary to have a definite understanding that those principles would be applied ot the problems in the Pacific, and that they believed that, so long as there was disagreement on that matter, it would be futile to discuss details. KIDO and Konoye agreed after receiving this message that the
prospects of an agreement were very discouraging; and KIDO suggested that it might be necessary to reconsider the decision of 6th September and postpone the attack until Japan should be better prepared. KIDO suggested that the termination of the China Incident was the first consideration, meaning thereby the military defeat of China.
War Minister TOJO, the Army Chief of Staff and other Army leaders revealed in their discussion of the subject with the German Ambassador in the first days of October that they had signed the Tripartite pact in order to carry out the advance to the South and establish Japan in South East Asia, and that in order to accomplished their purpose by defeating Britain, it was necessary to keep America at bay and eliminate the U.S.S.R. The Chief Secretary of the Cabinet discussed the American negotiations with KIDO on 7th October 1941. He reported that the Army, under the leadership of TOJO, was of the opinion that there was no room left for the continuation of the parley with America, but that the Navy held the opposite view. He suggested that Konoye should talk to TOJO in an effort ot promote a better understanding with the Navy, and then call TOJO and the Navy Minister to a meeting with Konoye and the Foreign Minister to secure cooperation between the Army and Navy.
Decision for War -- 12 October 1941
Konoye talked with TOJO, but TOJO insisted that there was no hope for diplomatic success in the American negotiations and that the Cabinet should make up its mind for war. Konoye requested War Minister TOJO, Navy Minister Oikawa, Foreign Minister Toyoda and President
of the Planning Board SUZUKI to meet at his residence on 12th October 1941 for a final conference on the question of war or peace. Before the conference, the Navy Minister sent OKA to Konoye with the message that the Navy was not ready for war with the United States, but was prevented from saying so by its prior consent to go to war, given at the Imperial Conference of 6th September. Accordingly, he intended at the approaching conference to leave the matter to Konoye, and that he hoped Konoye would decide to continue the negotiations.
Konoye opened the meeting on 12th October 1941 by stating that at last the Ministers must decide whether it would be war or peace and suggested that they re-examine the possibility of success by diplomatic negotiations. TOJO retorted that there was no hope of success by continuing the negotiations. They Navy Minister suggested that the decision of that question should be left to the Prime Minister. TOJO declared that, since all of the Ministers were responsible for the decisions, it should not be left to the Prime Minister alone. TOJO agreed to reconsider his determination to break off the negotiations provided the Foreign Minister would assure him of inevitable success by continuing them. The Foreign Minister pointed out the obstacles to an agreement between Japan and the United States, and stated that the major obstacle was the presence of Japanese troops in China. TOJO emphatically declared that Japan could not yield on that point, and that, due to the sacrifices she had made in the China War, the Government must insist upon complete realization of the Konoye principles. It was finally decided (1) that
Japan should not abandon the plan adopted in September and October 1940, (2) that an effort should be made to determine whether the negotiations with the United States would be successful within the time to be set by the Imperial Headquarters, and (3) that preparations for the attack should not be discontinued unless that question should be answered in the affirmative.
The Chief Secretary of the Cabinet reported the results of the Conference to KIDO; and ther next day, KIDO and SUZUKI, in discussing the Conference, came tot the conclusion that Konoye should make further efforts to promote and understanding between TOJO and the Navy Minister. That night, Konoye summoned Toyoda to give a complete report upon the Japanese-American negotiation. Toyoda gave it as his opinion that Japan would inevitably be forced to withdraw her troops from China in order to reach an agreement with the United States. The next morning, 14th October 1941, prior to the Cabinet meeting, Konoye summoned TOJO, informed him that according to his investigation there was no hope of obtaining Japan's objectives through negotiating with the United States if Japan insisted on retaining troops in China, but there was some hope of success if Japan "yielded on the pretence and took the reality". He tried to persuade TOJO to agree to an abandonment of the plans for the advance to the South and to concentration of Japan's efforts on settlement of the China War. He pointed out the apparent weakness of Japan and her Allies, and warned that if Japan should attack the United States it would be a real world war. TOJO answered that the sacrifices of Japan
in the China War were such that he could not agree to Japanese troops being withdrawn from China even if it meant his resignation from the Cabinet. Konoye then requested that he repeat his statement at the cabinet meeting. TOJO maintained his position before the Cabinet meeting of 14th October, and the meeting adjourned without reaching a decision.
MUTO attempted through OKA to persuade the Navy Minister to declare whether or not the Navy was prepared to proceed with the war, but MUTO was unsuccessful. Late on the night of the 14th October 1941, TOJO despatched SUZUKI to Konoye with a message to the effect that since the Navy Minister would make no declaration in the matter, nothing could be done, and that since the Cabinet was unable to carry out the decision of the Imperial Conference of 6th September, there was nothing left for them to do but resign en bloc. He asked Konoye to inform KIDO> Konoye in turn instructed SUZUKI to inform KIDO, which he did the next morning. later in the day, Konoye called on KIDO and told him that he would no longer continue as Prime Minister because of the disagreement with TOJO. TOJO had said that he did not wish to discuss matters with Konoye as he was not sure he would be able to control his anger. Konoye collected the letters of resignation of his Ministers on the morning of the 16th October 1941, and added his own, delivered them to the Emperor over the objection of KIDO late in the afternoon of that day.
Konoye's letter of resignation gives a vivid explanation of the situation. He explained that, when he organized the Third Konoye Cabinet to prosecute the expansion to the South, it was his firm conviction that his Cabinet's objective would be
obtained through negotiations with the United States Government, and that although his expectations had not bee realized to date, he still believed that "If we take the attitude of yielding to her in appearance but keeping for us the substance and casting away the name", those objectives might be obtained through the negotiations. Konoye said that TOJO had been demanding that war be commenced with the United States on 15th October in accordance with the decision of the Imperial Conference of 6th September, and had given as his reason that the situation had come to a point when no other means could be found to obtain the Japanese demands. Konoye declared that it was impossible for him to accept the responsibility for plunging the Nation again into a titanic war, the outcome of which could not be forecast.
KIDO make a last minute appeal to TOJO for harmony among the Cabinet members by explaining that the country had a right to expect unity of purpose and cooperation between the Army and Navy before plunging into a war with the United States. He suggested that the decision of the 6th September to begin the war in the first part of October might have been wrong and that it should be reviewed in an effort to obtain complete agreement. TOJO agreed with KIDO; but before KIDO could take further action, Konoye had submitted the resignation of his Cabinet.
Tojo Becomes Prime Minister 18 October 1941
KIDO immediately saw the Emperor and discussed a successor to Konoye. KIDO recommended either TOJO or the Navy Minister should be appointed.
The next morning, the Senior Statesmen assembled with Watatsuki, Okada, Hayashi, HIROTA, Abe and Yonai, among others, present. KIDO opposed a suggestion of either Prince Higashikuni or Ugaki as a successor to Konoye and suggested TOJO. He said that the most important matters were the revision of the decision of 6th September and the settlement of differences between the Army and Navy. HIROTA was among those who gave positive approval of KIDO's suggestion that TOJO be Prime Minister, none opposed it. Upon submitting the recommendation, KIDO advised the Emperor to issue special instructions to both TOJO and the Navy Minister. these special instructions were discussed by KIDO with TOJO and the Navy Minister in the anteroom after their audience with the Emperor. KIDO told them that he presumed that the Imperial message had just been given them regarding cooperation. He understood it to be the Emperor's wishes that in deciding national policy it was necessary to investigate domestic and foreign affairs more broadly and deeply and to carry out an earnest study without considering themselves bound by the decision of 6th September. He then delivered to each of them written instructions calling for cooperation between the Army and Navy and especially calling upon the Navy Minister to further that cooperation more closely.
TOJO was promoted to General on 18th October 1941, and given permission to remain on active duty while serving as Prime Minister in order that he might also serve as War Minister. He held both of these position during the entire
term of his Cabinet. He also served as Minister of Munitions and for short periods of time as Minister of Education, Home Minister, Foreign Minister, and Minister of Commerce and Industry. SHIMADA served as Navy Minister for the entire term of the TOJO Cabinet. In February 1944, TOJO took over the duties of Chief of the Army General Staff in addition to his many other duties, and SHIMADA took over the position of Chief of the Navy General Staff at the same time in addition to his position as Navy Minister. KIMURA remained as Vice-Minister of War until 11th March 1943, when he became War Councillor. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Japanese forces in Burma on 30th August 1944. MUTO remained as Chief of the Military Affairs Bureau until 20th April 1942, when he was appointed Commander of the Imperial guards Division in northern Sumatra. SATO remained in the Military Affairs Bureau and succeeded MUTO as Chief of that Bureau. OKA remained as Chief of the Naval Affairs Bureau of the Navy Ministry during the entire term of the TOJO Cabinet. TOGO served as Foreign Minister until 1st September 1942. KAYA served as Minister of Finance until 19th February 1944. SUZUKI served as President of the Planning Board and as Minister without Portfolio until the TOJO Cabinet resigned. HOSHINO was Chief Secretary of the Cabinet during its entire term. OSHIMA continued as Ambassador to Germany. SHIGEMITSU remained as Ambassador to Great britain until his appointment as Ambassador to the puppet Central Government of China on 16th December 1941, where he served until his appointment as Foreign Minister in the TOJO Cabinet on 20th April 1943. DOHIHARA remained as Chief of Air Inspectorate General and concurrently a Supreme
War Councillor. Later, in May 1943, he was given command of Japan's Eastern Army until March 1944, when he was appointed Commander of the 7th Area Army at Singapore. HATA, UMEZU, and ITAGAKI were in command of Japanese forces in China and Korea.
TOJO carried on the plan decided in September and October 1940. Under interrogation after the surrender he was asked: "You explained that the policy after the 6th September (1941) Imperial Conference was on the one hand to negotiate for peace and on the other to prepare for war; did you continue that policy?" TOJO answered, "Yes, I undertook the work as Premier".
Preparations for War Carried on Under Tojo
The Japanese overseas intelligence service was improved and extended after the TOJO Cabinet was organized, particularly in the Netherlands East Indies, in preparation for the capture of the oil installations in those Islands. The Kokusaku-Kenkyu-Kei, or National Policy Investigation Association, which had been in existence since 1936, began to make plans and appointed a "Committee for Administrative Measures" to devise plans for administration of the Southern Areas which the Japanese Government expected to occupy. Its first report was forwarded to TOJO as Prime Minister in October 1941. The Army and the Ministry of Overseas Affairs adopted the plan. Additional invasion maps were prepared. The Army and Navy began issuing plans and regulations for joint operations, and the organization of the Southern Army, which was later to have its headquarters at Singapore, was completed and its commander selected. Its initial headquarters was established at Saigon. The Corps in training near Canton for the attack upon Hong Kong was preparing intensively for the attack and, according to captured diaries of its members, expected to complete its training early in December.
SHIMADA and OKA were concerned with the plan to attack Pearl Harbor. Discussions took place at the
Naval War College regarding the plan. The Commander of the Combined Fleet, Yamamoto, proposed to attack the United States Pacific Fleet while it lay at anchor at Pearl Harbor. Others advocated a waiting strategy, which called for an attack upon the American Fleet if and when it attempted to advance among the Japanese fortified islands of the Pacific. Yamomoto threatened to resign and secured the adoption of his plan. The final plans were completed by 1st November 1941. These plans provided for attacks against Pearl Harbor, Singapore, and various other American, British, as well as Dutch, possessions.
TOJO immediately upon the formation of his Cabinet, began to act upon KIDO's advices as approved by the Emperor "to investigate the domestic and foreign affairs more broadly and deeply". A list of subjects to be so investigated was completed in the latter half of October. The list was entitled "Major Items to be Re-Examined Concerning Essentials for the Prosecution of National Policies". The list contained such subjects as: "What is the future outlook of the European War Situation?", "What is the outlook from the point of view of strategy in regard to a war against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands in the initial stage and when protracted over several years?", "Assuming that we initiate war in the Southern Regions this Fall, what will be forthcoming as relative phenomena in the North?", "What degree of cooperation can we induce Germany and italy to give us in connection with the opening of the war against the United States, Great Britain, and Holland?", "Is it possible for use to restrict our adversaries of the war to only the Netherlands, or
Great Britain and the Netherlands?", "Will it be possible to attain within the shortest possible time our minimum demand which was decided at the Imperial Conference of 6th September by continuing negotiations with the United States?"
The foregoing subjects were assigned to various Ministries and Bureaux for study, and the Government conferred upon them with the Imperial General Headquarters in a series of Liaison Conferences. These Liaison Conferences were held almost daily as TOGO explained to Nomura in Washington, "in order to lucubrate "upon a fundamental national policy". The conferences were regularly attended by TOJO, TOGO, SHIMADA, KAYA, SUZUKI, HOSHINO, MUTO and OKA. HOSHINO, formerly Director of the General Affairs Board of the puppet state of Manchukuo, in which position he had worked with TOJO, and formerly President of the Planning BOard in Japan, had been selected as Chief Secretary of the Cabinet by TOJO because of his long experience in economic planning, and had been charged by TOJO to devote his main efforts to such activities in cooperation with SUZUKI, whom TOJO had selected to head the Cabinet Planning Board. HOSHINO also acted as Recorder for the conferences. SUZUKI acted as liaison between the conferences and the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal KIDO. MUTO as Chief of the Military Affairs Bureau acted as liaison between their Ministries and the Army and Navy General Staffs respectively.
TOJO had selected TOGO as his Foreign Minister primarily to conduct the negotiations with the United
Negotiations With United States of America Renewed
States, Ambassador Nomura was uncomfortable and desired to be relieved. He said in his communication to TOJO on 23rd October, "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 I was, yet knew how little influence I have in Tokyo. Nor do I imagine that you all have any objections at the Foreign Ministry now that I am already a dead horse. For me, it is painful to continue in a deceptive existence, deceiving myself and others". TOGO advised Nomura on 2nd November, "We have carefully considered and discussed a fundamental policy for the improvement of relations between Japan and America; but we expect to reach a final decision at the Imperial Conference on the morning of 5th November and will let you know the result immediately. This will be our Government's last effort to improve diplomatic relations. When we resume negotiations, every aspect of the situation makes it urgent that we reach a decision at once. This is to be strictly kept for your information".
TOGO cabled Nomura again on 4th November. He said that conference had followed conference, and at last they were able to bring forth a counter-proposal for the resumption of Japanese-American negotiations based upon the unanimous opinion of the Cabinet and the Military. He added, however, that this would be the last effort at negotiation, that they had decided to gamble the fate of their land on the throw of this die, and that if a quick accord was not reached, the talks would be ruptured and the relations of the two countries would be on the brink of chaos. He declared that Japan was making her last possible bargain. He instructed Nomura to follow his
instructions to the letter in conducting the negotiations as there would be no room for personal interpretation. He then impressed upon Nomura the importance of his mission by stating that he was in a key position and that the Cabinet was placing great hopes on his ability to "do something good for our Nation's destiny". At that point, he urged Nomura to think deeply and compose himself and make up his mind to continue at his post.
TOGO, in his series of cables to Nomura on 4th November, transmitted the counter-proposal which had been decided upon. He said that the proposal was yet to be sanctioned at the Imperial Conference scheduled for the next morning, but that as soon as that sanction was obtained, he would inform Nomura, and that he desired the proposal presented immediately upon receipt of that information. The proposal was designated "Proposal A", and was in the form of an amendment of the Japanese Government's proposals of 25th September, and was described in the cable from TOGO to Nomura as an "ultimatum". The proposal provided for a gradual withdrawal of Japanese troops. The first withdrawal was to be from French Indo-China and was to be made if and when a peace treaty should be signed with the National Government of China. Upon the signing of the peace treaty, troops would be withdrawn from China, except in designated areas to be specified in the treaty, whence they would be evacuated after a suitable period. On the period of the stationing of troops in these areas, TOGO told Nomura "Should the American authorities question you in regard to 'the suitable period' answer vaguely that such a period should encompass 25 years". Regarding the Tripartite Pact, the proposal renewed the Japanese Government's
determination not to give an assurance that Japan would not attack the United States as provided by the Pact, but the Japanese Government would make its own interpretation, independently of the other Axis Powers, of its obligation under the Pact. On the question of non-discrimination in trade, Japan would agree to apply the principle provided it would be applied universally throughout the world. TOGO made it clear that while terms might be made with American upon other matters, Japan would not yield on their de,mand to station troops in China. Their sacrifices in China over four years and the internal situation in Japan made it impossible to yield upon this point. In other words, Japan required America to condone the invasion of China and to leave that country in servitude to Japan. A "Proposal B" was also transmitted to Nomura to be presented if no agreement could be reached on "Proposal A". This will be dealt with later.
TOGO informed Nomura in his telegram on 4th November that, in view of the gravity of the negotiations, and in view of Nomura's request to be relieved, he was sending Ambassador Kurusu as a Special Envoy to assist him in conducting the negotiations, but that he was carrying no new instructions. A few days later, TOGO confided to the German Ambassador that Kurusu had been instructed on the firm attitude of the japanese gOvernment and that Kurusu had been given a definite time limit which he could not cross. Nomura was instructed to make arrangements for Kurusu to see the President of the United States immediately upon his arrival.
The Cabinet imposed additional censorship regulation on news dispatches and speeches which might disclose Japanese war preparations and strategic activitities
during the conduct of the negotiations.
An Imperial Conference was held on 5th November 1941, as TOGO had advised Nomura. TOJO, TOGO, SHIMADA, KAYA, SUZUKI, MUTO, OKA and HOSHINO were present. The policy to be pursued against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands was decided upon. It was decided to re-open the Japanese-American negotiations and to offer the United States Government two proposition in the alternative, which were designated as "A" and "B". These were the propositions transmitted to Nomura the day before. It was further decided that if neither of these were accepted by the United States on or before 24th November, the Japanese government would notify the German and Italian Governments of its intention to begin the war against he United States and Great Britain and call upon them to participate and to agree not to make a separate peace. The decision contemplated using the American Government for securing an agreement with Great Britain if the American Government agreed to either of the
Immediately after the conference on 5th November, TOGO cabled Nomura that the proposals had been sanctioned at the conference and that he was to begin the talks along the lines given in the instructions of the day before. While arrangements for signing any agreement must be completed by the 25th November, Nomura was instructed to avoid giving the impression that a time limit for agreement had been fixed by the Japanese or that the proposal was of the nature of an ultimatum.
It was further decided at the Imperial Conference that Thailand should be approached to permit passage of Japanese troops through her territory. Japan would promise to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Thailand. The bait was to be held out to Thailand that Japan would consider giving her part of Burma or Malaya. As to the Netherlands East Indies, to conceal Japan's intentions, negotiations would be opened on the subject of procuring essential materials for Japan. The Philippines would be made independent after occupation, as would also a portion of the Netherlands East Indies, while the rest would be retained by Japan.
TOJO called upon KIDO immediately after the conference and informed him of the decisions just mentioned, of the formation of the Southern Army, and of the decision to send Kurusu to Washington to assist Nomura. On 5th November 1941, TOGO sent a further cable to Nomura making 25th November positively the final date for signing terms with America.
The Commander of the Japanese Combined Fleets, Yamamoto, visited the Chief of the Naval General Staff, Nagano, in Tokyo on 34d November and gave his approval to the final draft of the Combined Fleet Operations Order which had been under preparation for months. The order provided for the execution of the advance ot the South by attacking Singapore and completing an enveloping movement against the Netherlands East Indies in the manner originally planned on 4th October 1940. It also provided for the attack upon the Philippines which OSHIMA had mentioned to Ribbentrop months before as being under preparation. These attacks were to be covered by an attack upon Pearl Harbor to destroy the United States Pacific Fleet. The British and Americans were to be driven from China by attacks upon Hong Kong and Shanghai, and other incidental operations were included. The order read:
Navy Order for AttackThe Empire is expecting war to break out with the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands. When the decision is made to complete over-all preparations for operations, orders will be issued establishing the approximate date (Y-Day) for commencement of operations (sic) and announcing 'First Preparations for War'.The order then continued with instructions that upon the announcement of Y-Day, all fleets and forces, without further special orders, would organize and complete battle preparations, and when directed by their commanding officers, the various fleets and forces would proceed to their rendezvous and wait in readiness for the attack. The order provided further:The time for outbreak of war (X-Day) will be given in an Imperial General Headquarters Order. This order will be given several days in advance.
After 0000 hours, X-Day, a state of war will exist. Each force will commence operations according to plan.After leaving the Imperial Conference on 5th November, the Chief of the Naval General
Staff ordered Yamamoto to issue the order, and it was issued on that day.
Ambassador Nomura presented his "Proposal A" to Mr. Hull on 7th November. On 10th November, he read a memorandum explaining that proposal to the President of the United States, but the memorandum was vague and uncertain. on the day Nomura was reading that memorandum, Vice-Admiral Nagumo, who was to command the carrier task force in its attack upon Pearl Harbor, issued his order to his task force to rendezvous at Tankan Wan (Hitokappu Bay, Etorofu island, Kuriles). SHIMADA said that the order directed all ships of the task force to complete battle preparations by 20th November and proceed to the rendezvous under strict security regulations. Combined Fleet Operation Order No. 3 of 10th November fixed 8th December as "X-Day". That was the day when, after 0000hours, a state of war would exist.
Proposal "A" Presented 7 November 1941
On 12th November, Mr. Hull told Nomura that the Japanese proposal was being studied and that he hoped to reply to it on the 15th.
The United States Government was maintaining close contact with the British, netherlands and Chinese Governments during the conduct of the negotiations and there was an understanding that if the Japanese government should agree to the four basic principles which Mr. Hull and the President had enunciated, those Governments would be consulted before any agreement would be reached upon specific problems in the Far East and the Pacific Area. Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared on 10th November, in the course of a speech delivered in London: "We do not know whether the efforts of the United States to preserve peace in the Pacific will be successful. But, if they fail, I take this occasion to say -- and it is my duty to say -- that should the
United States be involved in a war with Japan, a british declaration will follow within an hour". The British Ambassador called upon TOGO the next day to explain his Governments' position. During the course of the conversation, TOGO informed the Ambassador that the negotiations had entered their final phase, that Japan had made her final proposal, and that if the United States rejected it, there would be no reason to continue negotiations further.
The Liaison Conferences continued almost daily for the decision of questions relating to the attack. The conference of 11th November decided upon the policy to overthrow quickly the American, British and Dutch bases in the Far East, to establish Japanese self-sufficiency, and at the same time to hasten the surrender of the Chungking Regime. The plan was to concentrate on Great Britain with the cooperation of the Axis Powers so as to defeat that country first and then deprive America of her will to continue the war. Japanese troops were moving into position. The air units were assembling at Saigon for their attack upon Singapore. The ships which were to make up the carrier task force for the attack upon Pearl Harbor were sailing from Japanese ports bound for their rendezvous at Tankan Wan.
The United States Government impliedly rejected the "ultimatum" of "Proposal A" presented by Nomura on 7th November when Mr. Hull delivered a memorandum to Nomura on 15th November replying to that proposal. Mr. Hull pointed out that the proposals regarding the withdrawal of Japanese troops were indefinite and uncertain, as they did not specify a time limit for such withdrawal nor the areas to be evacuated. He said also that the United States could not undertake that other Powers would give universal application to the principle of non-discrimination in trade. No reply was ever received to this memorandum. Nomura
had advised TOGO the day before that the United States Government was determined to do everything possible short of war to stop further Japanese military moves, either southward or northward; and that, rather than yield on that point, they would not hesitate to fight, as they had no intention of committing another mistake like that of Munich.
After receiving the memorandum from Mr. Hull, TOGO began final preparations for the attack. He cabled the Japanese Consul-General in Honolulu to take extra care to preserve secrecy, but to make his reports on ships in harbor at least twice a week, as the situation was most critical. Nomura had asked for an extension of time, but TOGO replied ot him on the 16th as follows: "I set the deadline for the solution of these negotiations and there will be no change". He instructed Nomura to press for a solution on the basis of the proposals "A" and "B" and to do his best to bring about an immediate solution. TOGO then turned his attention to negotiation of an agreement with the German Government not to conclude a separate peace in case Japan became involved in war with the United States, regardless of the cause of the war. The agreement was reached on 21st November.
Special Envoy Kurusu arrived in Washington on 15th November 1941, but he did not present any new proposals until he and Nomura presented to Mr. Hull the alternative "Proposal B" on 20th November. This was the alternative which TOGO had transmitted to Nomura on 4th November and which had been approved by the Imperial Conference on 5th November. TOGO had instructed Nomura not to present "Proposal B" until it became apparent that an agreement could not be reached on "Proposal A". This "Proposal B" was a completely new draft proposal and was not intended as an amendment of prior proposals. It made no mention
Proposal "B" 20th November 1941
of the Tripartite Pact, the question of removal of troops from China, or the principle of non-discrimination in trade. Japan offered to withdraw her troops from southern French Indo-China upon acceptance of the proposals and to withdraw them from northern French Indo-China upon negotiation of a peace treaty with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, or upon the conclusion of an equitable peace in the Pacific. In return for these so-called concessions, the United States was asked to agree not to interfere with the negotiation of the peace treaty with generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek and to agree to furnish Japan with oil. The proposal also provided for a mutual agreement to cooperate in the acquisition and exploitation of natural resources in the Netherlands East Indies and to cooperate in the restoration of commercial relations to the situation existing before issuance of the freezing orders.
The American Government arrived at the conclusion that the Proposal B was not sincere in view of information contained in Japanese messages which the American intelligence service had intercepted and decoded, and in view of the fact that troops withdrawn from southern French indo-China were to be maintained in northern French Indo-China and on Hainan Island, whence they could be brought back in a day or two. Japan proposed to maintain the position she had seized vis-a-vis southern French Indo-China, a position which threatened the countries to the south and threatened the trade routes. The American Government considered that acceptance of this proposal would amount to condonation of Japan;'s past aggression and approval of unlimited conquest by Japan in the future, as well as abandonment of the principles of the United States of America and the betrayal of China.
Mr. Hull called a conference of the Ambassadors and Ministers from Great Britain, Australia and the Netherlands on the morning of 22nd November and asked for their opinions on the
Japanese proposals. This conference agreed that if Japan sincerely desired peace and firmly intended to adhere to a peaceful policy, they would welcome it and would be glad to cooperate in resuming normal trade relations with Japan, but that the proposals and statements of Japan's Ambassadors in Washington seemed to be opposed to the statements of the Japanese leaders and Press in Tokyo. The British and Dutch representatives agreed to consult their Governments and to report their opinions to Mr. Hull.
Mr. Hull met Nomura and Kurusu on the afternoon of 22nd November 1941. He informed them of the meeting held that morning and of his expectation of a decision by the conference on the following Monday, 26th November. Nomura and Kurusu pressed for an expression of the American attitude independently of the British and Dutch opinions. Mr. Hull replied that all of the Powers concerned were anxious that the pressing problems in the South Pacific be resolved, but from that viewpoint the latest proposal was not sufficient. On 22nd November, TOGO cabled Nomura that the 29th November was the latest date for the conclusion of an agreement as "after that things are automatically going to happen".
Nomura and Kurusu met Mr. Hull again on 26th November. Mr. Hull, after pointing out that the "Proposal B" violated the four fundamental principles which he had enunciated early in the negotiations and to which the United States of America was committed, informed the Ambassadors that the American Government was of the opinion that the adoption of the proposals would not contribute to ultimate peace in the Pacific. Mr. Hull suggested that further efforts be made to reach an agreement on the practical application of these four fundamental principles. With that object in view, he offered a new draft proposal which in its essence provided for enforcement of the four fundamental
principles in the Far East, and which contemplated a multilateral agreement among the United States of America, Great Britain, China, Japan, the Netherlands, Thailand and the U.S.S.R. for withdrawal of Japanese forces from China and for maintaining the territorial integrity of that country.
The proposed agreement provided that Japan and the United States of America, with a view to ensuring a lasting peace in the Pacific, would declare (1) that they had no designs on the territory of other nations, (2) that they would not use military force aggressively, (3) that they would not interfere in the internal affairs of other states, and (4) that they would settle international disputes by peaceful processes. These were the four general principles which Mr. Hull had stated as early as 16th April 1941, and which the United States of America had all along insisted must be agreed upon in principle and applied in practice. They were principles to which Japan had, prior to 1930, repeatedly stated her adherence, but which she had since that date often infringed in practice.
In the domain of international commerce, it was proposed (1) that there should be no discrimination as between nationals of different states, (2) that excessive restrictions on the flow of international trade should be abolished, (3) that there should be access without discrimination by the nationals of all states to raw materials, and (4) that trade agreements between states should ensure the protection of the interests of the populations of countries which must import goods for consumption. these were principles to which Japan in her dependence on international trade and as a large importer of goods for consumption could hardly object, and indeed there had already been agreement on the substance of them in the course of the prior negotiations. But the practical application of all the above principles was a different matter. Japan had waged a war of aggression against China
for years, in the course of which she had possessed herself of Manchuria, had occupied a large part of the rest of China, and had controlled and diverted much of Chinese economy to her own uses. She had no obtained the essential bases in French Indo-China for, had made all the preparations for, and was poised to launch a new series of predatory attacks upon her neighbors to the South. She hoped that these would secure for her the booty of her past aggressions and the further territories and materials she required to make her dominant in East Asia and the Western and Southern Pacific. The practical application of the above principles would involve the surrender of the fruits of her past aggression and the abandonment of her schemes for further aggression towards the South.
From the beginning of the negotiations, the United States of America had steadfastly insisted on an acknowledgment of the principles she stated, and Hull had repeatedly called attention to the necessity of working out the translation of these principles into practice. In the early stages of the negotiations, Japan had evaded giving an unequivocal declaration of agreement with the principles. About the month of August 1941, Konoye succeeded after great difficulty in obtaining the consent of the Military to his informing the United States of America that Japan accepted the four principles. As we have seen, this was a mere empty gesture. There was no intention to apply the principles. The leaders of Japan had never been prepared to give practical application to the principles, to surrender the booty of the past and to abandon the booty in prospect. They had carried on the negotiations in that knowledge, although they had all along been warned by the United States of America that the practical application of the principles was an essential to any agreement. Some of them apparently hoped by a mixture of military threat and diplomatic manoeuvre to persuade the United States of America
to relax the application of her principles so far at least as to allow Japan to retain the dominant position she had seized in Manchuria and China. They were not certain that Japan would emerge victorious from a war with the United States of America and the Western Powers, and, if they could persuade these powers to acquiesce in the position Japan had secured in Manchuria and the rest of China, they were prepared to abandon, for a while, the projected advance to the South. Others of them did not believe that the Powers could be so beguiled and only acquiesced in the protraction of the negotiations until those who were more hopeful should be persuaded that the beguilement was impossible -- which would make for national unity -- and until Japan's preparations for war should be completed.
In his note of 26th November, Hull detailed certain measures which were essential if the principles were to be acknowledged and put into practice. These were (1) that there should be a non-aggression pact among all the nations with interests in the Far East, (2) that all these nations should reject preferential treatment in their economic relations with French Indo-China, (3) that Japan should withdraw her armed forces from China and French Indo-China, and (4) that Japan should withdraw all support from her puppet government in China.
This suggested practical application of the principles brought the leaders of Japan sharply face to face with reality. They had never been prepared to apply the principles in practice and were not prepared to do so now. Their preparations for war were now complete. The fleet which was to strike at Pearl Harbor
sailed this day in the early morning. They unanimously resolved to go to war and so to manipulate the diplomatic exchange that their military forces would be able to attack the armed forces of the United States of America and Britain at the chosen points before warning, through the breaking off of the negotiations, could reach them.
Komura and Kurusu cabled TOGO that their failure and humiliation were complete. On 27th November, the Japanese Foreign Office instructed Kurusu not to break off negotiations. TOGO telegraphed Nomura and Kurusu on 28th November, He said, "In spite of the efforts you two Ambassadors have made, it is surprising and regrettable that such a proposal as the recent one (Mr. Hull's proposal of 26th November) had been made to Japan by the United States. It is impossible for us to negotiate on the basis of their proposal. WIth the submission of the Imperial Government's opinion of the American proposal (which will be telegraphed in two or three days) the situation will be such that there will be nothing left but to practically drop the negotiation. But, we wish you to refrain from giving the impression to the United States that the negotiation is broken off. Tell them that you are waiting for instructions from your Government." On the 29th November 1941, the Japanese Foreign Office instructed Kurusu and Nomura to make certain representations to the United States State Department but to be careful not to say anything which could be construed as a rupture of the negotiations. The Foreign Office repeated this warning to the Japanese Ambassadors in Washington on the 30th November.
KIDO had discussed the situation with the Emperor on 19th November. He advised the Emperor that if the war should be commenced merely because the time limit for the negotiations had expired, it might subject the Emperor to undue criticism and that, therefore, the Premier should be ordered to convene another Imperial Conference, in which the former Prime Ministers would be allowed to participate, before giving his sanction to commencement of the war. At a later conference between KIDO and the Emperor on 26th November, they decided that under the circumstances, another Imperial Conference upon the war should be held. Accordingly, on the morning of 29th November, the Jushin, or Council of Senior Statesmen, was convened in preparation for their meeting with the Emperor later in the day. During the morning session, TOJO, SUZUKI, SHIMADA, TOGO, and KIMURA were present. TOJO explained the inevitability of war with the United States. After an interval, the Jushin and TOJO met with the Emperor, who heard each man's opinion in turn. TOJO gave the Governments' point of view. The discussion proceeded upon the theory that war was inevitable, as TOJO had said, and HIRANUMA, as well as the other members of the Jushin, with the exception of HIROTA and Konoye, contented themselves with giving advice based on that assumption.
The Liaison Conference which met on 30th November was the conference at which the final details for the attack upon the Allied Powers was agreed upon. TOJO, SHIMADA, TOGO, KAYA, SUZUKI, MUTO, OKA, and HOSHINO were present. The planned attack upon Pearl
Liaison Conference 30 November 1941
Harbor was freely discussed. The form and substance of the note to the Government of the United States rejecting Mr. Hull's draft proposal of the 26th and implying a rupture in the negotiations at Washington was agreed upon. It was agreed that a declaration of war would not be necessary. The time of delivery of the note was discussed. TOJO said that there were various theories advanced as to the time that should elapse between the delivery of the note implying a rupture in the negotiations and the actual attack upon Pearl Harbor. He said that some thought an hour-and-a-half should be the time allowed, and that other periods of time suggested were one hour, thirty minutes, etc. All agreed that the time of delivery of the note should not be permitted to destroy the element of surprise in the attack. MUTO said it was finally decided to allow the Navy General Staff to decide upon the time to be allowed between the delivery of the note and the beginning of the attack; that the Navy General Staff was to estimate when their operations would take place and then notify the Liaison Conference of the time at which the United States could be notified.
The Imperial Conference called to sanction the decisions made at the Liaison Conference on 30th November met on 1st December. TOJO, TOGO, SHIMADA, KAYA, SUZUKI, HOSHINO, MUTO and OKA were present, among others. TOJO presided at the conferences; he explained the purpose of the conference, and thereafter the Ministers and the Chiefs-of-Staff discussed the question from the standpoint of their responsibility. The
Imperial Conference 1st December 1941
question of war or peace with the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands. The decision was in favor of war. The record of that decision reads, "Our negotiations with the United States regarding the execution of our national policy, adopted 5th November, have finally failed. Japan will open hostilities against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands." KIDO recorded in his diary: "At 2 p.m. the Imperial Conference was held, and at last, the war against the United States was decided upon. At 4:30 p.m. the Prime Minister visited me to discuss the Imperial Rescript to Declare War." The next day, that is to say 2nd December, the Imperial General Headquarters issued the order designating 8th December as X-Day, but as we have seen this date had already been fixed by Combined Fleet Operations Order No. 3 of 10th November 1941.
Admiral Yamamoto issued an order from his flagship in Hiroshima Bay on 22nd November 1941, which was directed to the carrier task force then in its rendezvous at Tankan Wan. the order was to the effect that the force would move out of Tankan Wan on 26th November and proceed without being detected to Latitude 40 degrees North, Longitude 170 degrees West, so as to arrive there by 3rd December. Refueling was to be carried out there as quickly as possible. On the morning of 26th November, the carrier task force steamed out of Tankan Wan, headed for its refueling point. The force consisted of Japan's six large aircraft carriers, as well as battleships and destroyers and other craft. Admiral Nagumo had
issued the simple order, "Attack Pearl Harbor!" Nothing further was necessary, for on 23rd November he had issued detailed orders for the attack.
In Washington, the peace negotiations were continuing. President Roosevelt, Secretary Hull, and Ambassadors Nomura and Kurusu held a conversation on 27th November 1941 from 2:30 p.m. for a period of about an hour. After this interview, Kurusu attempted to carry on a telephone conversation with a member of the Japanese Foreign Office in Tokyo, in which he displayed an ignorance of voice code but a surprising knowledge of the plans of the TOJO Cabinet to use the negotiations in Washington as a screen to cover the attack upon the Allied possessions in the Pacific. He was advised that the attack was imminent and that he was expected to keep the negotiations going at all costs, in effect,k that the appearance of continued negotiations was to be maintained although "the date set . . . has come and gone". The United States was to be prevented "from becoming unduly suspicious'.
Termination of Negotiations With United States of America
At about 10 a.m. on 7th December 1941 (Washington time 8 p.m. 6th December), TOGO's message to Nomura and Kurusu transmitting the note to be delivered ot the United States Government in reply to the United States draft proposal of 26th November and implying a rupture in the negotiations began to arrive in Washington. It was transmitted in several parts. [The "Fourteen Part Message" --HyperWar] In one part, TOGO informed Nomura that, "Although the exact time for presenting the note to
America will be telegraphed later, all necessary preparations should be made upon receipt of this memorandum so that it can be carried out as soon as instructions for such action are received".
President Roosevelt, in a final effort to reach a peaceful settlement with the Japanese Government, dispatched a personal message to the Japanese Emperor. The message was sent to the American Ambassador in Tokyo, Mr. grew, with instructions to deliver it to the Emperor. This message reached Tokyo at noon, and although its contents were known to Japanese Officials in the course of the afternoon, it was not delivered to Mr. Grew until nine o'clock that night. As soon as he had decoded the message, Mr. Grew called upon Foreign Minister TOGO at 15 minutes after midnight on the morning of 8th December 1941, and requested an audience with the Emperor for the purpose of delivering the message; but TOGO informed Mr. grew that he would present the message to the Throne. Mr. grew took his leave at 30 minutes after midnight (Washington time 10:30 a.m., 7th December 1941). By this time, the two countries were at war, as the Naval Operations Orders already referred to fixed 0000 hours of the 8th December (Tokyo time) as the time at which "a state of war will exist". The attack upon Kota Bharu commenced at 1:25 a.m. and upon Pearl Harbor at 3:20 a.m. (both Tokyo time). No satisfactory explanation of the delay in delivering to Mr. Grew the President's message to the Emperor was given to this Tribunal. Whatever effect that message might have had was precluded by this unexplained delay.
The Japanese Task Force had proceeded to carry out its operation orders as scheduled. One hour after Mr. Grew had taken his leave of TOGO, that is to say at 1:30 a.m., 8th December 1941 (Pearl Harbor time, 6 a.m., 7th December) (Washington time, 11:30 a.m., 7th December), the planes which were to deliver the first attack on Pearl Harbor took off from the decks of their carriers at a point approximately 230 miles north of Pearl Harbor. Ambassador Nomura in Washington had asked for an appointment to see Secretary Hull at 3 a.m., 8th December 1941) Washington time, 1 p.m., 7th December), but he later telephones and asked that the appointment be postponed to 3:45 a.m., 8th December 1941) (Washington time, 1:45 pm., 7th December). Before Nomura called upon Mr. Hull, the first assault upon Pearl Harbor was delivered at 3:20 a.m., 8th December 1941 (Pearl Harbor time, 7:50 a.m., 7th December) (Washington time, 1:20 p.m., 7th December). Ambassadors Nomura nd Kurusu arrived at Secretary Hull's office at 4:05 a.m., 8th December 1941 (Washington time, 2:05 p.m., 7th December), which was 45 minutes after the first attack was actually delivered at Pearl Harbor, and were not received by Mr. Hull until one hour after the attack had begun. The Japanese Ambassador stated that he had been instructed to deliver his message at 3 a.m., 8th December 1941 (Washington time, 1 p.m., 7th December), but that he was sorry that he had been delayed owing to trouble in decoding and transcribing the message. The
Secretary asked why he had been told to deliver the message at the specific hour of 1 p.m. Washington time. the Ambassador replied that he did not know, but that was his instruction. It is true that TOGO had telegraphed instructions to Nomura on 8th December 1941 (Washington time, 7th December), as follows: "Will the Ambassador please submit to the United States Government our reply to the United States at 1:00 p.m.
on the 7th, your time". A second attack was delivered upon Pearl Harbor by horizontal bombers from 4:10 a.m. to 4:45 a.m. (Pearl Harbor time, 8:40 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.), and a third attack was delivered by dive bombers from 4:45 a.m. to 5:15 a.m. (Pearl Harbor time 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.).
Forty-five minutes after Mr. Grew had taken his leave of TOGO in Tokyo, that is to say at 1:25 a.m., 8th December 1941 (Kota Bharu time, 11:45 p.m., 7th December) (Washington time, 11:25 a.m., 7th December), the beach defence troops on the Badang and Sabak Beaches on the east coast of British Malaya, the point of junction of which at Kuala Peamat is about one-and-a-half miles northeast of Kota Bharu Airfield, reported ships anchoring off the coast. TOJO said that these ships had sailed from Saigon in French Indo-China. At 1:40 a.m., 8th December 1941( Kota Bharu time, midnight 7th December) (Washington time, 11:40 a.m., 7th December), these ships began shelling the beaches. This was one hour and twenty minutes before the time at which it had originally been arranged that Kurusu and Nomura should call on Mr. Hull with the Japanese note and two hours and twenty-five minutes before they actually arrived at Secretary Hull's office. About 2:05 a.m., 8th December 1941 (Kota Bharu time, 12:25 a.m., 8th December) the first wave of Japanese troops landed at the junction of Badang and Sabak Beaches. Having secured the first line of beach defences, the Japanese began the second phase of their landing operations against the British Malaya Peninsula. This second phase was a landing operation at Singora and Patani, which towns were located just north of the
boundary between British Malay and Thailand, and were therefore in Thailand. This second landing began at 3:05 a.m., 8th December 1941 (Kota Bharu time, 1:25 a.m., 8th December) (Washington time, 1:05 p.m., 7th December). Air reconnaissance revealed that the Japanese ships were disembarking troops at Singora and Patani and that the airdrome at Singora was under occupation by the Japanese landing party. The Japanese forces later crossed the Malaya-Thailand Border at Pedang Besar and at Kroh to execute a flanking movement against Kota Bharu.
An air raid was made upon the City of Singapore in British Malaya by Japanese planes beginning at 6:10 a.m., 8th December 1941 (Singapore time, 4:30 a.m., 8th December) (Washington time, 4:10 p.m., 7th December). These attacking planes came from bases in French Indo-China according to TOJO and from carriers off-shore. Bombs were dropped on the Seletar and Tengah airfields, as well as on the city.
The first attack on the Island of guam was delivered at 8:05 a.m., 8th December 1941 (Washington time, 6:05 p.m., 7th December), when eight Japanese bombers came through the clouds and dropped bombs in the vicinity of the Cable Station
The Philippines, Wake and guam
and Pan American compound.
During the early morning hours of 8th December 1941 (Wake and Washington time, 7th December), the attack began on Wake Island with bombing by Japanese planes.
The Philippines received their first attacks on the morning of 8th December 1941 (Washington time, 7th December) also. Heavy bombing attacks were made by the Japanese forces on the city of Davao on the Island of Mindanao and on Clark Field on the Island of Luzon.
Hong Kong received its first attack at 9:00 a.m., 8th December 1941 (Hong Kong time, 8:00 a.m. 8th December) (Washington time, 7:00 p.m. 7th December). Although war had not been declared against Great Britain, a broadcast from the Tokyo Radio, which was in code and which gave warning to the Japanese nationals that war with Great Britain and the United States was imminent, had been picked up by the authorities at Hong Kong around 5:45 a.m. 8th December 1941. This warning allowed the defenders of Hong Kong to make some preparation for the expected attack.
The third invasion of Shanghai began in the early morning hours of 8th December (Washington time, 7th December) when Japanese patrols were observed crossing the Garden Bridge over Soochow Creek and running military telephone
lines as they went. Thewy met no opposition and were able to take over the Bund without difficulty. They had taken complete possession of it by 4:00 a.m., 8th December 1941 (Shanghai time, 3:00 a.m. 8th December) (Washington time, 2:00 p.m., 7th December).
Hague Convention No. III of 1907, relative to the opening of hostilities, provides by its first Article "The Contracting Powers recognize that hostilities between themselves must not commence without previous and explicit warning in the form either of a reasoned declaration of war or of an ultimatum with conditional declaration of war". That Convention was binding on Japan at all relevant times. Under the Charter of the Tribunal, the planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of a war in violation of international law, treaties, agreements or assurances is declared to be a crime. Many of the charges in the indictment are based wholly or partly upon the view that the attacks against Britain and the United States were delivered without previous and explicit warning in the form either of a reasoned declaration of war or of an ultimatum with conditional declaration of war. For reasons which are discussed elsewhere, we have decided that it is unnecessary to deal with these charges. In the case of counts of the indictment which charge
The Japanese Note Delivered in Washington on 7th December 1941
conspiracy to wage aggressive wars and wars in violation of international law, treaties, agreements or assurances we have come to the conclusion that the charge of conspiracy to wage aggressive wars has been made out, that these acts are already criminal in the highest degree, and that it is unnecessary to consider whether the charge has also been established in respect of the list of treaties, agreements and assurances -- including Hague Convention III -- which the indictment alleges to have been broken. We have come to a similar conclusion in respect to the counts which allege the waging of wars of aggression and wars in violation of international law, treaties, agreements and assurances. With regard to the counts of the indictment which charge murder in respect that wars were waged in violation of Hague COnvention No. III of 1907 or of other treaties, we have decided that the wars in the course of which these killings occurred were all wars of aggression. The waging of such wars is the major crime, since it involves untold killings, suffering and misery. No good purpose would be served by convicting any defendant of that major crime and also of "murder" eo nomie. Accordingly, it si unnecessary for us to express a concluded opinion upon the exact extent of the obligation imposed by Hague Convention III of 1907. It undoubtedly imposes the obligation of giving previous and explicit warning before hostilities are commenced, but it does not define the period which
must be allowed between the giving of this warning and the commencement of hostilities. The position was before the framers of the Convention and has been the subject of controversy among international lawyers ever since the Convention was made. This matter of the duration of the period between warning and hostilities is of course vital. If that period is not sufficient to allow of the transmission of the warning to armed forces in outlying territories and to permit them to put themselves in a state of defence, they may be shot down without a chance to defend themselves. It was the existence of this controversy as to the exact extent of the obligation imposed by the Convention which opened the way for TOGO to advise the Liaison Conference of 30th November 1941 that various opinions were held as to the period of warning which was obligatory, that some thought it should be an hour and a half, some an hour, some half an hour. The Conference left it to TOGO and the two chiefs of Staff to fix the time of the delivery of the Note to Washington with the injunction that that time must not interfere with the success of the surprise attack. In short, they decided to give notice that negotiations were broken off at so short an interval before they commenced hostilities as to ensure that the armed forces of Britain and the United States at the points of attack could not be warned that negotiations were broken off. TOGO and the naval and military men, to whom the task had been delivered, arranged that the Note
should be delivered in Washington at 1:00 p.m. on 7th December 1941. The first attack on Pearl Harbor was delivered at 1:20 p.m. Had all gone well, they would have allowed twenty minutes for Washington to warn the armed forces at Pearl Harbor. But so anxious were they to ensure that the attack would be a surprise, that they allowed no margin for contingencies. Thus, through the decoding and transcription of the Note in the Japanese Embassy taking longer than had been estimated, the Japanese Ambassadors did not in fact arrive with the Note at Secretary Hull's office in Washington until 45 minutes after the attack had been delivered. As for the attack on Britain at Kota Bharu, it was never related to the time (1:00 p.m.) fixed for the delivery of the Note at Washington. This fact has not been adequately explained in the evidence. The attack was delivered at 11:40 a.m. Washington time, one hour and twenty minutes before the Note should have been delivered if the Japanese Embassy at Washington had been able to carry out the instructions it had received from Tokyo.
We have thought it right to pronounce the above findings in fact, for these matters have been the subject of much evidence and argument, but mainly in order to draw pointed attention to the defects of the Convention as framed. It permits of a narrow construction and tempts the unprincipled to try to comply with the obligation thus narrowly construed, while at the same time ensuring that their attacks shall come as a
surprise. With the margin thus reduced for the purpose of surprise, no allowance can bge made for error, mishap or negligence leading to delay in the delivery of the warning, and the possibility is high that the prior warning which the Convention makes obligatory will not in fact be given. TOJO stated that the Japanese Cabinet had this in view, for they envisaged that the more the margin was reduced, the greater the possibility of mishap.
My apologies for the intrusion, but the preceding section strikes the editor as highly confusing: if the Note had been delivered an hour or day or even a year before the attack, it in no way constitutes a "reasoned declaration of war" or an "ultimatum with conditional declaration of war" as required by the Convention. It simply declares the existing negotiations at an impasse. The Note does not even declare a rupture in diplomatic relations, let alone threaten or declare war.
Further, even if one intuits a declaration that would satisfy the Convention, not even this sorry excuse for a declaration was delivered to the British or Dutch governments at any time.
As shown in the following section, the Japanese Government did not even begin consideration of a formal declaration of war until well after the attacks had begun. --HyperWar
The Japanese Privy Council's Committee of Investigation did not begin the consideration of the question of making a formal declaration of war upon the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands until 7:30 a.m., 8th December (Tokyo time), when it met in the Imperial Palace for that purpose at that time. SHIMADA announced that the attacks had been made upon Pearl Harbor and Kota Bharu; and a bill declaring war on the United States and Great Britain, which had been drafted at the residence of HOSHINO during the night, was introduced. In answer to a question during the deliberations on the bill, TOJO declared in referring to the peace negotiations at Washington that, "those negotiations were continued only for the sake of strategy". TOJO also declared during the deliberations that war would not be declared on the Netherlands in view of future strategic convenience; and that a declaration fo war against Thailand would not be made,
The Formal Declaration of War
as negotiations were in progress between Japan and Thailand for the conclusion of "an Alliance Pact". The Bill was approved; and it was decided to submit it to the Privy Council. The Privy Council met at 10:50 a.m., 8th December 1941 and passed the Bill. The Imperial Rescript declaring war against the United States and Great Britain was issued between 11:40 and 12:00 a.m., 8th December 1941 (Washington time, 10:40 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., 7th December) (London time, 2:40 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., 8th December). Having been attacked, the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland declared war on Japan on 9th December 1941 (London and Washington, 8th December). On the same day, the Netherlands, Netherlands East Indies, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Free France, Canada and China also declared war on Japan. The next day, MUTO stated in a conversation with the Chief of Operations of the Army General Staff that the sending of Ambassador Kurusu to the United States was nothing more than a sort of camouflage of events leading to the opening of hostilities.
It remains to consider the contention advanced on behalf of the defendants that Japan's acts of aggression against France, her attack against the Netherlands, and her attacks on Great Britain and the United States of America were justifiable measures of self-defence. It is
argued that these Powers took such measures to restrict the economy of Japan that she had no way of preserving the welfare and prosperity of her nationals but to go to war.
The measures which were taken by these Powers to restrict Japanese trade were taken in an entirely justifiable attempt to induce Japan to depart from a course of aggression on which she had long been embarked and upon which she had determined to continue. Thus, the United States of America gave notice to terminate the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with Japan on 26th July 1939, after Japan had seized Manchuria and a large part of the rest of China, and when the existence of the treaty had long ceased to induce Japan to respect the rights and interests of the nationals of the United States in China. It was given in order that some other means might be tried to induce Japan to respect these rights. Thereafter, the successive embargoes which were imposed on the export of materials to Japan were imposed as it became clearer and clearer that Japan had determined to attack the territories and interests of the Powers. They were imposed in an attempt to induce Japan to depart from the aggressive policy on which she had determined, and in order that the Powers might no longer supply Japan with the materials to wage war upon them. In some cases, as for example in the case of the embargo on the export of oil from the United States of America to Japan, these measures were also taken in order to build up the supplies which were
needed by the nations who were resisting the aggressors. The argument is indeed merely a repetition of Japanese propaganda issued at the time she was preparing for her wars of aggression. It is not easy to have patience with its lengthy repetition at this date, when documents are at length available which demonstrate that Japan's decision to expand to the North, to the West and to the South at the expense of her neighbors was taken long before any economic measures were directed against her, and was never departed from. The evidence clearly establishes, contrary to the contention of the defense, that the acts of aggression against France, and the attacks on Britain, the United States of America and the Netherlands were prompted by the desire to deprive China of any aid in the struggle she was waging against Japan's aggression, and to secure for Japan the possessions of her neighbors in the South.
The Tribunal is of opinion that the leaders of Japan in the years 1940 and 1941 planned to wage wars of aggression against France in French Indo-China. they had determined to demand that France cede to Japan the right to station troops and the right to air bases and naval bases in French Indo-China, and they had prepared to use force against France if their demands were not granted. They did make such demands upon France under threat that they would use force to obtain them, if that should prove necessary. In her then situation, France was compelled to yield to the threat of force and granted
The Tribunal also finds that a war of aggression was waged against the Republic of France. The occupation by Japanese troops of portions of French Indo-China, which Japan had forced France ot accept, did not remain peaceful. As the war situation, particularly in the Philippines, turned against Japan, the Japanese Supreme War Council, in February 1945, decided to submit the following demands to the Governor of French Indo-China: (1) that all French troops and armed police be placed under Japanese command, and 92) that all means of communication and transportation necessary for military action be placed under Japanese control. These demands were presented to the Governor of French Indo-China on 9th March 1945, in the form of an ultimatum backed by the threat of military action. He was given two hours to refuse or accept. He refused, and the Japanese proceeded to enforce their demands by military action. French troops and military police resisted the attempt to disarm them. There was fighting in Hanoi, Saigon, Phnom-Penh, Nhatrang, and towards the Northern frontier. We quote the official Japanese account, "In the Northern frontiers the Japanese had considerable losses. The Japanese army proceeded to suppress French detachments which had fled to the mountains. In a month public order was re-established except in remote places". The Japanese Supreme War Council had decided that, if Japan's demands were
refused and military action was taken to enforce them, "the two countries will not be considered as at war". This Tribunal finds that Japanese actions at that time constituted the waging of a war of aggression against the Republic of France.
The Tribunal is further of opinion that the attacks which Japan launched on 7th December 1941 against Britain, the United States of America, and the Netherlands were wars of aggression. They were unprovoked attacks, prompted by the desire to seize the possessions of these nations. Whatever may be the difficulty of stating a comprehensive definition of "a war of aggression", attacks made with the above motive cannot but be characterized as wars of aggression.
It was argued on behalf of the defendants that, in as much as the Netherlands took the initiative in declaring war on Japan, the war which followed cannot be described as a war of aggression by Japan. The facts are that Japan had long planned to secure for herself a dominant position in the economy of the Netherlands East Indies by negotiation or by force of arms if negotiation failed. By the middle of 1941, it was apparent that the Netherlands would not yield to the Japanese demands. The leaders of Japan then planned and completed all preparations for invading and seizing the Netherlands East Indies. The orders issued to the Japanese army for this invasion have not been
recovered, bu the orders issued to the Japanese navy on 5th November 1941 have been adduced in evidence. This is the Combined Fleet Operations Order No. 1 already referred to. The expected enemies are stated to be the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands. The order states that the day for the outbreak of war will be given in an Imperial General Headquarters order, and that after 0000 hours on that day a state of war will exist and the Japanese forces will commence operations according to the plan. The order of Imperial General Headquarters was issued on 10th November and it fixed 8th December (Tokyo time), 7th December (Washington time) as the date on which a state of war would exist and operations would commence according to the plan. In the very first stage of the operations so to be commenced, it is stated that the Southern Area Force will annihilate enemy fleets in the Philippines, British Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies area. There is no evidence that the above order was ever recalled or altered in respect to the above particulars. In these circumstances we find in fact that orders declaring the existence of a state of war and for the execution of a war of aggression by Japan against the Netherlands were in effect from the early morning of 7th December 1941. The fact that the Netherlands, being fully apprised of the imminence of the attack, in self defence declared war against Japan on 8th December and thus officially recognized the existence of a state of war which had been begun by Japan cannot change that war from a war of aggression on the part of Japan into something other than that. In fact, Japan did not declare war against the Netherlands until 11th January 1942
when her troops landed in the Netherlands East Indies. The Imperial Conference of 1st December 1941 decided that "Japan will open hostilities against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands". Despite this decision to open hostilities against the Netherlands, and despite the fact that orders for the execution of hostilities against the Netherlands were already in effect, TOJO announced to the Privy Council on 8th December (Tokyo time) when they passed the Bill making a formal declaration of war against the United States of American and Britain that war would not be declared on the Netherlands in view of future strategic convenience. The reason for this was not satisfactorily explained in evidence. The Tribunal is inclined to the view that it was dictated by the policy decided in October 1940 for the purpose of giving as little time as possible for the Dutch to destroy oil wells. It has no bearing, however, on the fact that Japan launched a war of aggression against the Netherlands.
The position of Thailand is special. The evidence bearing upon the entry of Japanese troops into Thailand is meagre to a fault. It is clear that there was complicity between the Japanese leaders and the leaders of Thailand in the years 1939 and 1490 when Japan forced herself on France as mediator in the dispute as to the border between French Indo-China and thailand. There is no evidence that the position of complicity and confidence between Japan and Thailand, which was then achieved, was altered before December 1941. It is proved that the Japanese leaders planned to secure a peaceful passage for their troops through Thailand into Malay by agreement with Thailand. They did
not wish to approach Thailand for such an agreement until the moment when they were about to attack Malaya, lest the news of the imminence of that attack should leak out. The Japanese troops marched through the territory of Thailand unopposed
on 7th December 1941 (Washington time). The only evidence the prosecution has adduced as to the circumstances of that march is (1) a statement made to the Japanese Privy Council between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on 8th December 1941 (Tokyo time) that an agreement for the passage of the troops was being negotiated, (2) a Japanese broadcast announcement that they had commenced friendly advancement into Thailand on the afternoon of the 8th December (Tokyo time) (Washington time, 7th December), and that Thailand had facilitated the passage by concluding an agreement at 12:30 p.m., and (3) a conflicting statement, also introduced by the prosecution, that Japanese troops landed at Singora and Patani in Thailand at 3:05 in the morning of 8th December (Tokyo time). On 21st December 1941, Thailand concluded a treaty of alliance with Japan. No witness on behalf of Thailand has complained of Japan's actions as being acts of aggression. In these circumstances, we are left without reasonable certainty that the Japanese advance into Thailand was contrary to the wishes of the Government of Thailand and the charges that the defendants initiated and waged a war of aggression against the Kingdom of Thailand remain unproved.
Count 31 charges that a war of aggression was waged against the British Commonwealth of Nations. The Imperial Rescript which was issued about 12 noon on 8th December 1941 (Tokyo time) states "We hereby declare war in the United States of America and the British Empire." There is a great deal of lack of precision in the use of terms throughout the many
plans which were formulated of an attack on British possessions. Thus, such terms as "Britain", "Great Britain", and "England" are used without discrimination and apparently used as meaning the same thing. In this case, there is no doubt as to the entity which is designated by "the British Empire". The correct titel of that entity is "the British Commonwealth of Nations". That by the use of the term "the British Empire" they intended the entity which is more correctly called "the British Commonwealth of Nations" is clear when we consider the terms of the Combined Fleet Operations Order No. 1 already referred to. That order provides that a state of war will exist after 0000 hours X-Day, which was 8th December 1941 (Tokyo time), and that the Japanese forces would then commence operations. It is provided that in the very first phase of the operations, the "South Seas Force" will be ready for the enemy fleet in the Australia area. Later, it was provided that "The following are areas expected to be occupied or destroyed as quickly as operational conditions permit, a, Eastern New Guinea, New Britain". These were governed by the Commonwealth of Australia under mandate from the League of Nations. The areas to be destroyed or occupied are also stated to include "Strategic points in teh Australia area". Moreover, "important points in the Australian coast" were to be mined. Now the Commonwealth of Australia is not accurately described as being part of "Great Britain", which is the term used in teh Combined Fleet Secret Operations Order No. 1, nor
is it accurately described as being part of "the British Empire", which is the term used in the Imperial Rescript. It is properly designated as part of "the British Commonwealth of Nations". It is plain therefore that the entity against which hostilities were to be directed and against which the declaration of war was directed was "the British Commonwealth of Nations", and Count 31 is well-founded when it charges that a war of aggression was waged against the British Commonwealth of Nations.
It is charged in Count 30 of the Indictment that a war of aggression was waged against the Commonwealth of the Philippines. The Philippines during the period of the war were not a completely sovereign state. So far as international relations were concerned, they were part of the United States of America. It is beyond doubt that a war of aggression was waged agasint the people of the Philippines. For the sake of technical accuracy we shall consider the aggression against the people of the Philippines as being a part of the war of aggression waged against the United States of America.
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