THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

VOLUME I

(February 14, 1941-May 12, 1941)

 

Department of Defense                                                                                                                      United States of America

 

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402
 (8-part set; sold in sets only)

 

FOREWORD

 

The Department of Defense is releasing for public use and research this multi-volume study giving the "MAGIC" or communications intelligence background of the 1941 Pearl Harbor disaster. In its review of classified records pursuant to E.O. 11652, the Department of Defense decided that it was in the public interest to declassify the intelligence which the U.S. obtained from the communications of its World War II enemies. This study contains a major part of the communications intelligence which the U.S. derived from intercepted Japanese communications during 1941.

The documentation presented here is both voluminous and significant. The large volume of intelligence concerning Japanese secret plans, policies, and activities which U.S. cryptologic specialists produced will augment the information already available on Pearl Harbor from Congressional and other public hearings. Of particular importance in this study is the correlation of the intelligence with the discussions of Secretary of State Hull and Japanese Ambassador Nomura in the critical months before Pearl Harbor. Scholars no doubt will find new challenges in this voluminous intelligence information as they examine not only the decisions made by the U.S. but also the intelligence which influenced and occasionally prompted those decisions.

 

 

Department of Defense             1977          United States of America

 

PREFACE

 

By the fall of 1940 United States government cryptanalysts had solved some of the Japanese Foreign Office's highest grade cryptographic systems. The interception, decryption and translation, on a current basis, of secret Japanese world-wide diplomatic messages then began. The information the United States derived from this source, designated MAGIC, was highly classified and closely guarded. It went to only a few of the highest-level United States officials.

Included in MAGIC were dispatches between the Foreign Office in Tokyo and the Japanese Ambassador in Washington. Intelligence gained by the United States from these particular dispatches became especially important during the "talks" between the United States Secretary of State, Mr. Cordell Hull, and the Japanese Ambassador, Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura. Begun in February 1941 and lasting until the military forces of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, these talks proceeded in secret by agreement between the two sides. Their objective was to improve the rapidly deteriorating United States-Japanese relations. Held in Washington, these talks usually took place in Mr. Hull's apartment or, by means of secret access, in the White House with the President himself. Secretary Hull's memoirs of these talks appear in the United States Department of State official history of that period, published in 1943: Papers Relating to The Foreign Relations of the United States, Japan 1931-1941, two volumes (GPO).

During 1944, several members of the United States cryptanalytic organization began preparing a highly classified history of these critical United States-Japanese negotiations. They placed in juxtaposition an account of the talks from Mr. Hull's memoirs and the Japanese diplomatic messages available to the United States which were pertinent to those negotiations. The information so arranged became Part A of each of the five volumes in the series. Parts B and C contained dispatches dealing with Japanese espionage activities in the Western hemisphere and Japanese diplomatic relations world-wide, respectively. Included in the appendix to each volume were the actual translated Japanese messages which had been used as the basis for that particular narrative section. The compilers of this historical account completed the five volumes in 1946. In 1945, the Joint Congressional Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack used some of these translations, especially those of late 1941, as unclassified exhibits.

A few explanations for the reader are in order. Occasionally in the text of a given translation a series of dashes will occur. These blank spaces indicate that a portion of the original encrypted text was not intercepted, was garbled, or could not be decrypted.

The date when each decrypted message was translated, e.g., "TRANS 8-28-41", shows the earliest date when this information could have been made available to that limited number of senior officials of the United States government authorized to receive this material. In this connection, the reader may wish to review the system of dissemination of MAGIC during this period, as published in the records of the Joint Congressional Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack (PHA) (see, for example, Volume 36, p. 22-23; Volume II, p. 5475). The Japanese diplomats of 1941 exchanged a large number of messages, and senior United States officials probably could not have read all these messages in their entirety. Which messages were actually seen by them and which were not are questions beyond the scope of this study.

The date shown at the top right of the translation, it is important to note, is always the date assigned by the originator of the message. The time in hours and minutes is not available. An understanding of the world's time zones is essential, particularly for the period just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Technical problems account for the differences which occur between the "day of origin" and "the day translated."

From time to time references are made to "Kana". Kana refers to the system of notation for representing the Japanese language in terms of sounds rather than in written ideographs. This system consists of approximately fifty syllables: a, i, u, e, o, ka, ki, ku, ke, ko, etc. There is a symbol for each that may be used in written form. For example, ROOSEVELT in Kana becomes "RO-O-SU-BE-RU-TO." These symbols are in contrast to the ideographic system, in which each character represents a unique meaning, rather than a sound. When the United States translator could not be certain of the name (place or person) he indicates this fact in a footnote as "Kana spelling."

The Department of Defense reviewed the original series of volumes for declassification and reissue in unclassified form. In this process the reviewers located many additional pertinent Japanese messages. They either integrated them at the appropriate places in the appendices or included them in the last volume of the series. Necessarily, there has been editing, cross-checking, clarification and supplementation. These five volumes, The "MAGIC" Background of Pearl Harbor, should best be viewed as a compilation of historical source materials—many of which have not been disclosed to the public before—and not necessarily as a definitive history of that tumultuous period.

In the process of declassifying and re-publishing the original 1944 version of The "MAGIC" Background of Pearl Harbor, efforts were made to preserve as much of the original publication as possible. The original style and format remain the same. Spellings of personal and place names are those of that period, except where some misunderstanding might arise. The text and decrypted messages still reflect the strong emotions of a nation at war. References to the enemy, now considered perhaps dated and quaint, were not always the most flattering. These references remain intact. Identifications of individuals are those given in the original.

The re-published version respects the rights of privacy of individuals, business firms and so on. From time-to-time the footnote, "DoD Comment: Name withheld" will be seen.

The original translations, decrypted by U.S. cryptanalysts in 1941, were heavily footnoted with cross references, identifying data, and clarifying information. In accordance with editorial practices of that time, these footnotes were placed at the end of the translation, regardless of the number of pages. Both the original 1944 versions and the declassified re-publication continue that editorial practice.

Most of the technical processing details and symbols have been deleted. Such information, it is believed, would not only be superfluous and confusing to the reader, but would be of no historical value. Each of the first four volumes covers a particular period. Volume V contains supplementary and explanatory material, including an Index to all the volumes.

 

 

Department of Defense                            United States of America

 

Page i

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

                                                                    Page

Introduction ......................................................  iii

 

CHAPTER I

 

A. THE HULL-NOMURA CONVERSATIONS ..................................    1

 1. Political Background ..........................................    1

 2. Formal Introduction to the President ..........................    4

    (a) Secretary Hull's Report ...................................    4

    (b) Ambassador Nomura's Report ................................    4

 3. Views of Foreign Minister Matsuoka ............................    5

 4. War Warnings ..................................................    5

 5. Reaction of American Press to Ambassador Nomura ...............    5

 6. Ambassador Nomura's Estimate of the Situation .................    6

 7. Ambassador Nomura's Press Conference, (February 19, 1941) .....    6

 8. Hull-Nomura Conversation (March 8, 1941) ......................    6

    (a) Secretary Hull's Report ...................................    6

    (b) Ambassador Nomura's Report ................................    8

 9. Views of American Newspapermen ................................    9

10. Views of Foreign Diplomats ....................................    9

11. Roosevelt-Hull-Nomura Conversation (March 14, 1941) ...........   10

    (a) Secretary Hull's Report ...................................   10

    (b) Ambassador Nomura's Report ................................   10

12. American Moves to Aid Britain and to Restrain Japan ...........   11

13. American Indifference to Axis Threats .........................   12

14. President Roosevelt's Defense Program .........................   12

15. Anti-Japanese Petroleum Embargo ...............................   12

16. Proposals of Private Individuals (April 9, 1941) ..............   13

17. Hull-Nomura Conversation (April 14, 1941) .....................   13

    (a) Secretary Hull's Report ...................................   13

    (b) Ambassador Nomura's Report ................................   14

18. Ambassador Nomura Summarizes the Japanese-American Situation

    (April 15, 1941) ..............................................   15

19. Hull-Nomura Conversation (April 16, 1941) .....................   15

    (a) Secretary Hull's Report ...................................   15

    (b) Ambassador Nomura's Report ................................   17

20. Reactions of Tokyo to Ambassador Nomura's Proposal ............   18

21. Ambassador Nomura Awaits Tokyo's Action .......................   19

22. Hull-Nomura Conversation (May 2, 1941) ........................   20

    (a) Secretary Hull's Report ...................................   20

    (b) Ambassador Nomura's Report ................................   20

23. Mr. Matsuoka Suggests a Neutrality Pact .......................   21

24. Japan Discovers Code Decipherment by the United States ........   21

25. Hull-Nomura Conversation (May 7, 1941) ........................   22

    (a) Secretary Hull's Report ...................................   22

    (b) Ambassador Nomura's Report ................................   23

26. Ambassador Nomura's Estimate of American Public Opinion .......   24

27. Ambassador Nomura Urges Mr. Matsuoka to a Prompt Agreement ....   26

28. Mr. Matsuoka Submits Proposals (May 9, 1941) ..................   26

29. Hull-Nomura Conversation (May 11, 1941) .......................   27

    (a) Secretary Hull's Report ...................................   27

    (b) Ambassador Nomura's Report ................................   28

 

Page ii

 

                                                                   Page

B. JAPANESE DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD ............  29

30. Expansion of Japanese Espionage in North and South America ....  29

31. Japanese Interest in American Plans ...........................  32

32. Coordination of Japanese Intelligence in the United States ....  32

33. Japanese Interest in American Labor Unions ....................  33

34. Japanese Census in the United States ..........................  33

35. Reports of Japanese Intelligence Agents in America ............  33

36. Japanese Security Precautions .................................  34

37. Decline of Japanese Commerce in the United States .............  34

38. Japanese-American Relations Abroad ............................  35

39. Japanese Intelligence Reports on China ........................  36

40. Tokyo's Suppression of Japanese Pro-Ally Sentiments ...........  38

41. Anti-Comintern Pact and the Tripartite Pact ...................  38

42. Japanese-German Discussions ...................................  39

43. Japanese-German Economic Cooperation ..........................  39

44. Mr. Matsuoka Visits Germany, Italy and Russia—

    Rumors of the Visit ...........................................  40

45. Japanese Suspicion of Code Decipherment .......................  40

46. Pessimism of Ambassador Nomura ................................  41

47. Purpose of Mr. Matsuoka's Visit ...............................  41

48. Mr. Matsuoka Declines to Visit the United States ..............  42

49. Mr. Matsuoka Arrives in Rome and Berlin .......................  42

50. Mr. Matsuoka Meets U.S. Ambassador Steinhardt .................  43

51. Mr. Matsuoka Reassures the Axis Nations .......................  44

52. Attempts of Japanese Moderate Elements to Keep Japan Out

    of the War ....................................................  45

53. Foreign Minister Matsuoka Congratulates Hitler ................  45

54. Secret Japanese-Russian Trade Agreements ......................  45

55. The Japanese-Russian Neutrality Pact (April 13, 1941) .........  46

56. Japan Reassures the Axis ......................................  46

57. World Reaction to Neutrality Pact .............................  47

58. German Reaction to Neutrality Pact ............................  47

59. Russian Espionage in Manchukuo ................................  48

60. Stalin Assumes New Powers in May, 1941 ........................  48

61. Germany Plans to Attack Russia ................................  48

62. England's Concern Over Japanese Policies ......................  50

63. Mr. Churchill's Exchange with Mr. Matsuoka ....................  51

64. British Views of the Far East Situation .......................  51

65. British Counter Intelligence Against The Japanese .............  52

66. Japanese Threats Against the Netherlands East Indies ..........  52

67. Dutch Counter Intelligence Against the Japanese ...............  53

68. Japanese-Dutch East Indies Negotiations .......................  53

 

APPENDIX I

 

 

A. THE HULL-NOMURA CONVERSATIONS .................................. A-1

B. JAPANESE DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD ............ A-73

 

Page iii

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The recent publication of State Department documents relating to the informal conversations in 1941 between Secretary of State Hull and the Japanese Ambassador, Admiral Nomura, has made it possible to review the story of their fateful meetings, which took place just before the outbreak of the American-Japanese War. [1] The Hull-Nomura conversations were of tremendous importance, because on the shoulders of these two representatives, carefully chosen to guard their nations' best interests, rested for a time the responsibility for staving off a war which had long seemed inevitable to most students of the Far East. The eventual failure of these discussions to achieve their purpose has changed in no way the significance of their contents.

The Hull-Nomura conversations will acquire a still greater significance in the future when historians of the American-Japanese war begin to investigate the period immediately preceding the catastrophe of Pearl Harbor. It should be pointed out here that United States naval and military authorities had a full appreciation of the value of these informal discussions while they were still in progress. For this reason, cryptanalysts of the United States devoted their attention to diplomatic dispatches emanating from the Japanese Embassy in Washington, and since they successfully deciphered many of these messages, it was possible to obtain a well-detailed picture of the Japanese viewpoint. This intelligence was made available to the proper authorities of the State Department all during the year of 1941, and was undoubtedly of great value to those charged with estimating the trend of future events.

For the sake of those high authorities of the United States who need to know, it has been decided to combine in the same volumes both the evidence made available to the public in the State Department documents and the intelligence resulting from the decryption of secret dispatches in which Ambassador Nomura reported the results of each conversation with Secretary Hull.

The present volumes are unusual in that they have been written within a few years of the events described, though derived from sources which are usually concealed for generations. Rarely is the opportunity given to scan the confidential records of rival diplomats as is possible in this instance.

 

[1] Papers relating to the Foreign Relation of the United States, Japan: 1931-1941, 2 vols., U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1943, II, 325-795. Hereafter this volume will be referred to as S.D., II.

 

Page 1.

 

CHAPTER I

 

Preliminary Phase

(February 14, 1941 - May 12, 1941) [1]

PART A—THE HULL-NOMURA CONVERSATIONS

 

1. Political Background

 

The year 1941 was important for many reasons. World War II had been in progress for more than a year, and the Axis nations, Germany, Italy and Japan, had bound themselves to a strict military alliance which had its formal beginnings in the Tripartite Pact of 1940. Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka's New Year message for 1941 had stressed the Japanese-Axis "New Order" aims, and though Premier Fumimaro Konoye's message had been more conciliatory in that it urged cooperation with the United States, his warning to the Japanese people to prepare for international pressure was also ominous. [2]

The United States was anxiously watching both the European scene and the activities of Japan in Asia, for there were grave fears that in the near future it would be necessary to enter the struggle against the Axis. Twelve hundred United States citizens were reported ready to leave Japan if a crisis occurred, [3] and emergency conferences were being held by Japanese national leaders prior to a session of Parliament in which Cabinet policies were to be explained by Premier Konoye, War Minister Hideki Tojo, and Navy Minister Admiral Koshiro Oikawa. [4] However, most Americans were interested in the spectacular events of the European war, and only a few observers in the United States were conscious that an even more immediate danger was rising in the Far East.

There were many signs of the approaching storm. As early as January 24, 1941, Secretary of the United States Navy, Frank Knox, had sent a letter to the Secretary of War, warning of the possibility of attack by the Japanese. [5] Furthermore, Premier Konoye had been having Cabinet trouble with the extremists, though the House of Peers had followed the House of Representatives in agreeing to surrender debate rights and to grant full support to the Cabinet. [6] Thus, at the end of January, Premier Konoye, who had been thinking of resigning, now promised to remain at his post. [7] But in succeeding months, there were many who were dissatisfied with the Premier, [8] despite the fact that the Diet rushed through measures giving wide powers to the government. [9] It was evident that there was no unanimity in Japan on important policies, [10] and after the House of Representatives adjourned on May 18, 1941, there were many predictions of Cabinet changes. [11]

 

[1] For the convenience of the reader, chapter headings have been taken from the divisional arrangement of the Hull-Nomura documents published by the State Department.

[2] N. Y. Times, Jan. 1, 1941, 15:6.

[3] Ibid., Jan. 10, 1941, 4:2.

[4] N. Y. Times, Jan. 9, 1941, 10:6.

[5] Report of Pearl Harbor Inquiry Board, Justice Owen J. Roberts, Chairman, Section VII.

[6] N. Y. Times, Jan. 24, 1941, 5:4.

[7] Ibid., Jan. 28, 1941, 9:1.

[8] Ibid., Feb. 26, 1941, 6:5.

[9] Ibid., Feb. 17, 1941, 3:1.

[10] Ibid., Feb. 25, 1941, 6:3.

[11] Ibid., Feb. 28, 1941, 5:1.

 

Page 2

 

Navy Vice Minister Toyoda attempted at this time to calm public opinion by stating that the Japanese Navy was not menaced by the Pacific power of the United States, but the Nichi Nichi of Tokyo strengthened the positions of Japanese extremists by assuring its readers that Japan could destroy Singapore and Guam with a single blow. [12] Tokyo's Asahi warned Britain and the United States that a crisis was near, [13] and in Italy, Mussolini's mouthpiece, Gayda, predicted a Japanese-United States war in the Spring. [14] Meanwhile, the United States House of Representatives approved a huge fund bill providing for Pacific bases for the Fleet.

Thousands of miles away across the Pacific, China had been at war for several years. The lack of supplies, and the threat of inflation were robbing the Chinese of some of the tremendous vitality which had permitted them to oppose Japan for so long despite the loss of most of their industrial centers and communication facilities. Though many Japanese were anxious to avoid entrance into the European war and were desirous only of profiting from wartime trade, a strong group of nationalistic militarists were determined to win a dominant place in Asia for Japanese interests, even if it meant conflict with the United States. Yet the official Japanese government was publicizing its desire to end the war in China and to isolate the war in Europe.

Despite these allegations of friendship, many sources of friction existed between Japan and the United States. While the troops of Chiang Kai-Shek were making the Japanese invasion of their homeland very costly, American aid to China was growing in volume. At the end of 1940, fifty million dollars was loaned to China by the Export-Import Bank in Washington, and a second loan of equal magnitude was contemplated for 1941. Another irritant affecting the Japanese was the gradual tightening of export control by the United States on such war materiel as iron and steel.

On the other hand, the United States was alarmed at the efforts of Japan to create a "New Order" in the Far East by economic pressure on Indo-China, Thailand and the Netherlands East Indies. The tremendous problem of supplying materials of war to Great Britain, to the Near East and to Mediterranean battle fields, as well as to Russia and to South American countries cooperating with the "Good Neighbor" plan, emphasized the difficulties of sending adequate equipment to the Pacific nations which had determined to resist both the economic and military aggressions of the Japanese. Australia and New Zealand were very conscious of the potential danger to their national existence, and British and Dutch authorities were concerned over the future fate of the Netherlands, British Malaya, Burma and India.

It was apparent that most of the burden would fall upon the United States, if trouble broke out in the Pacific, since the British were faced with the major responsibility of waging war in the Atlantic Ocean and in Europe. There seemed to be little hope of expecting aid from any other source. Although China, Australia and New Zealand could supply splendid fighting men, who were the equal of any infantry in the world, most of their equipment would have to be furnished by American industry.

Russia, at this time, was still neutral, having entered into a non-aggression pact as well as into close economic relations with Germany. Despite this seeming friendship, it was suspected that the age-old enmity of Germans and Russians still continued beneath the surface. Accordingly, the government of the United States was not surprised to learn early in 1941 that Germany planned to attack Russia. [15]

 

[12] Ibid., Feb. 26, 1941, 1:2, 5, 6.

[13] Ibid., Feb. 28, 1941, 15:1.

[14] Ibid., Feb. 28, 1941, 3:5.

[15] "Memorandum by the Secretary of State", S. D., II, 328. Russia was informed confidentially.

 

Page 3

 

It will be remembered that there were many internal problems confronting the United States at the beginning of 1941. Domestic problems such as labor disputes, the controversy between the isolationists and interventionists, and the necessity of stimulating production to meet the wartime needs of many friendly nations throughout the world—all these had to be solved. But now the feeling that national security was more important than any domestic problem began to emerge. The dangerous predicament of England in Europe and the overweening ambitions of Japan in Asia made a two-fold problem which could not be solved by wishful thinking.

There appeared to be little hope of preserving England as a fortress of democracy without giving her tremendous support, even if this meant eventually coming into the war at her side. It seemed the better part of wisdom, therefore, to eliminate the danger of war in the Pacific, if it were at all possible, so that the full strength of the nation could be concentrated against one foe. It was probably in the light of this that the American government decided to honor an informal suggestion from private individuals that the Japanese government be given an opportunity to discuss a change in its policy concerning the Far East.

It was thought that if an equitable agreement could be reached with the United States, the moderate elements in Japan might be able to control the extreme militarists. This agreement would naturally be based on an understanding which would provide security for Japan, but which, it was hoped, would disassociate it from its two Axis partners. Yet, despite the wishes of sincere individuals in both countries to bring about a peaceful settlement of American-Japanese problems, it was evident that the heart of the controversy was the China question. Secretary Hull represented the complete accord of the American government in insisting that the rights of China should not be violated by any aggressor. If Japan would not agree to terms which would permit the maintenance of the "Open Door" in China, with Japan receiving the same privileges in the rest of the Far East, the discussions would fail.

Furthermore, despite the prevailing opinion that the Japanese people were weary of war with China, and that most of them were anxious to have moderate elements controlling their nation's destiny, it was obvious that any program emerging from Japan would have to be scrutinized carefully. Japan's record for the past ten years had been such that no realistic observer could put much faith in the promise of her diplomats to maintain treaties, to preserve the rights of other countries, or to submit their decisions to any other tribunal but that of armed force. Open declarations by Japanese diplomats and militarists of their determination to create a "New Order" in the Pacific would eventually mean complete physical, economic, social and military domination by Japan in all of the Far East.

Addicted to frequently inflammatory utterances was Mr. Matsuoka, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, who did not hesitate to express his views openly concerning Japanese supremacy in the Western Pacific. Japan's adherence to the Tripartite Pact as the keystone of its foreign policy indicated that its demands upon Indo-China for military and naval bases, and the political intrigues of Japanese agents in Thailand, Burma, and India, were portents of even more violent actions.

Despite the many discouraging circumstances, American and Japanese private individuals constantly emphasized the good intentions of many high Japanese authorities, and stressed their belief that a working agreement could be reached and made effective in Japan. It was decided, however, to delay any decision concerning these suggestions until the new Japanese Ambassador, Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura, arrived in Washington. He presented his credentials to President Roosevelt on February 14, and it is from this point on that we shall examine in minute fashion the extended conversations held between the Japanese Ambassador and Secretary of State Hull.

 

Page 4

 

2. Formal Introduction to President

 

(a) Secretary Hull's Report [16]

 

The formal introduction of the new Japanese Ambassador to President Roosevelt took place on February 14, 1941. The meeting was marked by much cordiality and personal friendliness since the President considered Admiral Nomura as an old Navy friend of long acquaintance. The President, not disguising the fact that recent relations between Japan and the United States had been quite unsatisfactory, remarked that the press of both nations had not helped the situation. Pointing out that the American people were very seriously concerned about the movements of Japan into French Indo-China and other areas in that region, he indicated that the alignment of Japan with the Axis nations had led to serious doubts of Japan's desire for peace. In view of current conditions, it would be very easy for some incident, such as the sinking of the Maine or the Panay, to cause domestic explosions which would shatter the peace. Yet, there was plenty of room in the Pacific area for everyone, and the President suggested that the Japanese Ambassador review with American officials the significant phases of relations between Japan and America for the past few years. Thus, important differences might be eliminated and all relations improved.

Both the President and Japanese Ambassador agreed that it would do neither country any good to enter the war. Ambassador Nomura spoke earnestly of his desire to preserve peaceful relations between the two countries, and referred to chauvinistic militarists in Japan as the chief obstacle to the peace which he, and those of his countrymen who agreed with him, would like to make permanent between the two nations. The Japanese Ambassador also assured Secretary Hull that his home government was in complete accord with his views. The meeting ended with Ambassador Nomura expressing his recognition of the current unsatisfactory relations and indicating his desire to do everything to improve them. [17]

 

(b) Ambassador Nomura's Report [18]

 

Ambassador Nomura's secret report to his government concerning this formal meeting gave the details of President Roosevelt's conversation as outlined in Secretary Hull's memorandum described above. According to the Ambassador, Mr. Roosevelt was afraid that Germany and Italy would force Japan into the war, but the Japanese Ambassador assured the President that his one desire was to prevent the rupture of Japanese-American relations. In response to this, the President promised the Japanese Ambassador that he also would exert every effort to improve relations between their countries. [19]

Other important Japanese diplomatic appointments in the United States about this time were those of Morito Morishima as Counsel General in New York City, Sadao Iguchi as Counsel to the Washington Embassy, and Kanome Wakasugi as Minister to the United States. [20] There had been some question concerning the diplomatic rank of Mr. Wakasugi, who had formerly been a consul general in New York and who was accompanying Ambassador Nomura as an adviser. As early as January 13, 1941, Japanese representatives in Washington had suggested that Mr. Wakasugi be given the rank of Minister and Counselor so as to receive the special considerations accorded to such diplomatic rank. [21] But three days after Admiral Nomura had been formally introduced to President Roosevelt as the Japanese Ambassador, the diplomatic status of Mr. Wakasugi was still undetermined. [22]

 

[16] "Memorandum by the Secretary of State", February 14 1941. S.D. II 387-389.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Appendix I, 1. The complete text of all pertinent dispatches will be found in the appendices as deciphered and translated by American cryptanalysts. Appendix I will hereafter be cited as—I, 1, etc.

[19] Ibid.

[20] N.Y. Times, Feb. 18, 1941, 6:3

[21] I, 2.

[22] I, 3.

 

Page 5

 

3. Views of Foreign Minister Matsuoka

 

On this same day, February 14, 1941, Ambassador Nomura received a message from Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka, who was quite frank in his discussion of Japanese aims in Asia. Though talking of peace and Japan's desire to cooperate with the United States, his truculent tone made it obvious that Ambassador Nomura would have a difficult time conciliating some of his own countrymen. It seemed certain that as long as Mr. Matsuoka was in power, Japan would reserve the right to act independently in those areas of the Pacific which were deemed part of her "co-prosperity sphere". [23]

This interpretation was further justified by Mr. Matsuoka's statement before the Japanese House of Representatives' Budget Committee on January 27, 1941, wherein he claimed that Japan's domination of the Western Pacific was absolutely necessary to accomplish her nation's ideals:

 

My use of the word "dominate" may seem extreme and while we have no such designs, still in a sense we do wish to dominate and there is no need to hide the fact. Has America any right to object if Japan does dominate the Western Pacific?

As Minister of Foreign Affairs, I hate to make such an assertion, but I wish to declare that if America does not Japan's rightful claims and actions, then there is not the slightest hope of improvement of Japanese-American relations. [24]

 

4. War Warnings

 

In view of the difficult situation between the two countries, it was not surprising that diplomats on both sides were concerned about the approach of war. Ambassador Grew had sent the following telegram to the Secretary of State on January 27, 1941, which in the light of later events had striking significance:

 

TOKYO, January 27, 1941— 6 p.m.

(Received January 27—6:38 a.m.)

 

(125.) A member of the Embassy was told by my . . . colleague that from many quarters, including a Japanese one, he had heard that a surprise mass attack on Pearl Harbor was planned by the Japanese military forces, in case of "trouble" between Japan and the United States; that the attack would involve the use of all the Japanese military facilities. My colleague said that he was prompted to pass this on because it had come to him from many sources, although the plan seemed fantastic. [25]

 

On the other hand, Tokyo was also receiving war warnings from its diplomats. A dispatch from Honolulu on February 15, 1941 stated:

 

1. Indications seem to be that the U.S. has decided to declare war on Japan within the next three weeks.

2. Definite advice will be available twenty-four hours in advance of such a declaration by the U.S.

3. The U.S. plans to cut Japanese trade lanes to South America. [26]

 

5. Reaction of American Press to Ambassador Nomura

 

Ambassador Nomura now reported to Tokyo some of the observations made by American newspapers on the occasion of his formal introduction to President Roosevelt on February 14, 1941. The editors remarked that though Ambassador Nomura had a great many friends in America, the relations of the United States with Japan would depend principally upon happenings in the Far East and South Pacific. The newspaper editors were not too optimistic about the Japanese situation, reminding their readers that according to the President there would be no change in the established policy of assisting Britain whether or not the United States became involved in war in the Far East. [27]

 

[23] I, 4, 5.

[24] "Telegram from the Ambassador m Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State", S.D., II, 134.

[25] I, 6.

[26] I, 7.

[27] I, 8.

 

Page 6

 

6. Ambassador Nomura's Estimate of the Situation

 

The Japanese Ambassador also submitted some personal views concerning the diplomatic situation as he had found it during the few days he had occupied his post. Recognizing the solidarity between the United States and England and the existence of a great deal of feeling in the United States against Germany, he believed that most Americans thought that Japan was their real enemy. All felt that Japan would move southwards in the spring, using the Thailand-French Indo-China situation as an excuse for an attack on Singapore.

It will be remembered that Japan had won vital political and economic control in several sections of Asia with the signing of the Thailand-Indo-China armistice. [28] At the same time that Japan was acquiring these fruits of war, the Japanese Diet was considering her military and naval budgets which had been approved by the Cabinet. This extraordinary war budget for the period from April 1941 to January 1942 was approved one week before Ambassador Nomura was presented to President Roosevelt. [29]

Reporting that there was much support in the United States for America's backing of the British and the Dutch against the advance of Japan into the South Pacific, Ambassador Nomura mentioned that when the Americans and the British would begin to operate jointly, many British capital ships would be sent to the Pacific and American destroyers would be used in the Atlantic. Some Americans believed that their fleet in Hawaii would make a move to the West in a year or two to block Japan's southward advance. Should Britain collapse, the remaining units of her fleet would be added to America's warships to attack Japan in the Pacific. [30]

 

7. Ambassador Nomura's Press Conference (February 19, 1941)

 

Authorities in both Tokyo and Berlin were rather concerned about some views expressed by Ambassador Nomura at a newspaper conference in Washington on February 19, 1941. [31] When asked whether or not Japan would declare war on the United States if the latter entered the war against Germany, the Japanese Ambassador replied that this was a question of treaty interpretation and he would not go into it. Berlin was disturbed presumably because the Japanese Ambassador had not answered unequivocally in the affirmative. [32] When Ambassador Nomura had reported the details of the interview, [33] Mr. Matsuoka left no doubt in the following reply as to the decision which he would make if America entered the war against Germany:

 

Though Your Excellency is sufficiently aware of the necessity of being extremely cautious in your replies to questions as to whether Japan will enter the conflict in the event the United States attacks Germany, I am gradually clarifying this in the affirmative at the Plenary Budget Sessions of the Lower House. [34]

 

8. Hull-Nomura Conversation (March 8, 1941) [35]

 

(a) Secretary Hull's Report

 

Ambassador Nomura called at Secretary of State Hull's apartment at the Carlton Hotel on March 8, 1941 for a meeting which had been arranged in secret because of the delicate nature of the discussions. Mr. Hull informed Ambassador Nomura that though there were private citizens in both Japan and the United States who were patriotically trying to bring about better understanding between both governments, it would be necessary for him to con-

 

[28] N.Y. Times, Feb. 2, 1941, 1:2.

[29] Ibid., Feb. 7, 1941, 5:6.

[30] I, 9.

[31] I, 10.

[32] I, 11.

[33] I, 12, 13.

[34] I, 14.

[35] "Memorandum by the Secretary of State", March 8, 1941, S.D., II, 389-396.

 

Page 7

 

fine his dealings on all official questions to the duly authorized Ambassador of Japan. The Japanese Ambassador made no reply to these remarks, but bowed as if to demonstrate his agreement. [36]

Mr. Hull then developed his program for the adoption of liberal commercial policies and trade agreements by all important nations. Briefly reviewing post-war economic conditions, he demonstrated how extreme nationalism since 1918 had cut off international trade so that world consumption had fallen drastically, and unemployment had affected every nation. Reminding Ambassador Nomura of his efforts to bring about an agreement to permit all nations to share equally in the economic resources of the world, and to accord each other equal trade opportunities, Secretary Hull stated that military movements had blocked peaceful commerce in most areas. For many years Mr. Hull had been striving to bring about a peaceful solution of world economic problems to avoid difficulties which very frequently ended in armed conflict, and so he welcomed the opportunity to discuss any change Japan might make from its present policy of the use of force.

Ambassador Nomura, expressing his interest in the plan of Mr. Hull, said that his people and even most of the military men, with very few exceptions, were opposed to entering war with the United States. Prime Minister Konoye was opposed to a policy of military expansion, but Yosuke Matsuoka, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and known as a politician, used vehement language at times for home consumption. However, since Japan was anxious to bring about peace with China, it was hoped that a treaty could be arranged with Chiang Kai-Shek.

Secretary Hull then asked for more details concerning the proposed peace, but the Japanese Ambassador requested that further discussion be postponed until the arrival in Washington of his adviser, Colonel Hideo Iwukuro. [37] Both Secretary Hull and Ambassador Nomura agreed that the destructive effects of war would make any struggle between Japan and the United States unthinkable, but Secretary Hull indicated that a nation such as his could not be expected to stand idly by and watch military groups in Japan impose their will on all weaker nations. The Japanese Ambassador, denying that military conquest was the intent of his government, remarked that the elimination of embargoes by the United States would do much to alleviate the current unpleasantness. Mr. Hull replied that such embargoes would cease if Japan would limit her military expansion.

Answering Ambassador Nomura's attempt to minimize Japan's military aspirations, Mr. Hull pointed to the terms of the Tripartite Pact and to the public statements of Foreign Minister Matsuoka and other high Japanese officials, who were hoping to establish a new world order under their control. Associating the activities of the Japanese Army and Navy in Asia with the cruel tyranny of Hitler in Europe, Mr. Hull declared that the American people were becoming thoroughly aroused and that they could not be expected to retain their previous complacency. Japanese troops were over all of China and as far south as Thailand and Indo-China, and the open threats of some Japanese statesmen indicated Japanese aspirations for the future. Returning to the question of peace for China, Mr. Hull stated that it was very necessary for Japan to prove by acts, not utterances, that she did not intend to follow a course of military expansion.

Extending the personal greetings of President Roosevelt to Ambassador Nomura, Secretary Hull promised to arrange a secret meeting with the President at any time convenient to the Japanese Ambassador. Though assenting to this suggestion and agreeing also that conferences with other American officials would be advantageous, Ambassador Nomura made no definite commitments as to when the interviews would take place.

 

[36] Ibid.

[37] Appointed as aide to Ambassador Nomura on March 4. N.Y. Times, Mar. 5, 1941, 8:7.

 

Page 8

 

Having been asked at this point whether or not his government would attack Singapore or the Netherlands East Indies, Ambassador Nomura replied in the negative, but asserted that if the embargo system continued in operation, Japanese military and naval groups might consider themselves forced to act. Secretary Hull commented that the embargo had been imposed simply because of the Japanese policy of military conquest. Furthermore, no discussion would be possible if the military group in Japan insisted that they were not expanding by military force, as they had often claimed while proceeding with their conquest in China.

Secretary Hull then spoke of the very friendly and profitable relations between Japan and the United States which had existed up until the time of the Coolidge and Hoover administrations. When Secretary Hull had entered the State Department he had hoped to work out a satisfactory agreement concerning the Quota Limitation Act of 1924, which would have placed all negotiations between the two countries on an equal, though limited basis. Thus, he had hoped to allay the injured feelings of the Japanese.

According to Ambassador Nomura, the exclusion of Japan from trade with other countries, including Indo-China, had made it necessary to ensure the prosperity of Japan. Agreeing that all nations had been extremely nationalistic in their economic policy after the war, Mr. Hull said that in solving these difficulties it would be unwise to abandon the principles of equality and peaceful procedure in favor of military force. Stating that the Pan American Good-Neighbor policy had brought about a great many mutually beneficial effects for North and South American countries, Mr. Hull noted that these trade agreements were so contrived that every country in the world received the same opportunities for trade and commerce as did the American nations themselves. Asia under Japanese domination was radically different, and, therefore, disturbing to the whole world.

Secretary Hull then inquired whether Mr. Matsuoka was going to Berlin, and the Japanese Ambassador replied that he did not believe so, although the Foreign Minister had been invited to visit Europe at the time of the signing of the Tripartite Pact. Ambassador Nomura gave no intimation of his thoughts in regard to a question concerning the future attitude of the Japanese government towards the Tripartite Pact, nor would he make any definite promise concerning Japan's suspension of aggression .while the conversations continued. Mr. Hull mentioned during the conversation that American authorities were fully convinced of the ability of the British to resist Hitler. [38]

 

(b) Ambassador Nomura's Report [39]

 

The Japanese Ambassador's version of this conversation was sent to Tokyo on the day of the meeting. There were no striking differences between the two reports, but Ambassador Nomura's minutes showed that he was trying to maintain a statesmanlike composure to avoid giving provocation. Ambassador Nomura informed his superiors that he had criticized American embargoes as arousing Japanese antagonism, and that Secretary Hull had made no satisfactory reply to this. [40] It will be recalled that, according to Secretary Hull, American embargoes had been imposed because of the military aggressions of Japan in the Far East. [41]

Japan's policy in China, according to Ambassador Nomura, had three objectives; first, a good-neighbor policy with China; second, economic cooperation, especially in regard to iron and coal; and third, an anti-communistic agreement. Furthermore, French Indo-China and Thailand ought to become good neighbors of Japan, although the Japanese Ambassador seemed to concede that force had been used in bringing about a recent Japanese treaty of friendship with Thailand.

 

[38] Ibid.

[39] I, 15.

[40] Ibid.

[41] S.D., II, 392.

 

Page 9

 

Secretary Hull believed that the most important point of this discussion was his inquiry regarding the Japanese advance toward Singapore and the Dutch East Indies, to which the Japanese Ambassador replied that Japan's desires in those areas were of an economic nature rather than military. However, Ambassador Nomura qualified his statement that Japan would not move into these regions by the phrase "unless circumstances makes it unavoidable", by which he meant the maintenance of American embargoes. According to the Japanese Ambassador, Mr. Hull believed that Japan would be forced into this action by its agreement with the Axis under the Tripartite Pact rather than by the embargo. President Roosevelt had expressed a similar view at his first meeting. Ambassador Nomura also commented that the prospective visit of Mr. Matsuoka to Europe was of great concern to Mr. Hull.

These conversations were being held unofficially and "off the record" with the understanding that neither party was to be considered as taking the initiative. Although Mr. Hull and the President were in complete agreement as to the Japanese situation, Ambassador Nomura would be permitted to see Mr. Roosevelt whenever he desired. Secretary Hull even went so far as to show the Japanese Ambassador the back entrance to the White House so that newspapermen could be avoided. [42]

 

9. Views of American Newspapermen

 

Ambassador Nomura sent to his superiors in Tokyo the gist of a conversation between a member of his Embassy and a prominent American newspaper publisher, Roy Howard, who believed that the President might possibly act as a mediator in the Chinese-Japanese war, if Japan would guarantee no further aggression. Predicting that the United States would not tolerate the setting up of a new order in Asia for the convenience of Japan alone, especially if Japan used force, the publisher urged Japan to stress its peaceful intentions and to publicize the fact that its policy involved merely economic factors, rather than political or militaristic ambitions. [43]

Before the conversation with Secretary Hull on March 8, Ambassador Nomura had gone to New York to meet many well-known persons and newspapermen at an official reception. Summarizing their views, he reported that the United States was concerned with the twofold problem of aiding England and restraining Japan. Germany was considered to be the first enemy of the United States and Japan the second, with Italy unimportant because of German domination. In view of these impressions Ambassador Nomura believed that there was little hope of improving Japanese-American relations without a bold diplomatic move which would avert temporary makeshifts. [44]

 

10. Views of Foreign Diplomats

 

Ambassador Nomura had met various foreign diplomats in Washington, and he now forwarded to Tokyo the impressions he had gathered from these representatives. Ambassador Nomura explained Japan's "southward expansion" to the apparent satisfaction of the British Ambassador, who, indicating that England had no real difference with Japan despite the latter's cooperation with the Axis, hoped that Japan would not misjudge the general international outlook since England's war spirit was high, and victory was certain with the aid of the United States. The Russian Ambassador said that his country would probably remain neutral for an indefinite period, and the Italian Ambassador declared that neither Germany nor Italy would welcome a long-term war since the United States was able to withstand a war lasting several years, and it was gradually moving into the hostilities. [45]

 

[42] I, 15, 16.

[43] I, 17.

[44] I, 18.

[45] I, 19.

 

11. Roosevelt-Hull-Nomura Conversation (March 14, 1941)

 

(a) Secretary Hull's Report [46]

 

The Japanese Ambassador held another discussion with President Roosevelt and Mr. Hull on March 14, 1941 at the White House. Ambassador Nomura began by saying that despite Mr. Matsuoka's loud talk for home consumption, few of his people desired to enter a war to achieve the ambitious designs of the Foreign Minister. Japan desired only the good will of the Chinese, their economic cooperation and a mutual pact concerning anti-Communist measures. Raw materials from neighboring countries were needed by Japan, and this economic fact explained Japan's insistence on a "New Order" to permit free access to these supplies. Ambassador Nomura urged that Japan and the United States cooperate in working for peace to avoid the disastrous effects of war which were so noticeable in Europe.

President Roosevelt replied that American public opinion had been disturbed because of the Japanese alliance with Germany and Italy. Japan was damaging her every interest by continuing on this course. The Japanese Ambassador commented that America had forced Japan into the alliance by reason of various embargoes and trade restrictions, but President Roosevelt, denying this, asserted in turn that Hitler would rule over every country which aligned itself with him, as had been proved so often in present day Europe. The actions of Foreign Minister Matsuoka were then discussed, and the Japanese Ambassador explained that the trip to Berlin was merely a compliment to the German government.

President Roosevelt at this point developed his thesis of international trade based on equality of treatment for all nations, illustrating his remarks with references to the "Good Neighbor" policy existing between North America and South America, which ensured the preservation of sovereignty, territorial integrity and equality of opportunity for every nation, small or large. Remarking that Great Britain, if she won the present war, must be willing for Germany to have equal trade opportunities, President Roosevelt also stated that both the United States and Japan would have access to such raw materials as rubber and tin, which were produced only in the British Empire.

Returning to the Tripartite Pact, the President mentioned the belief of most Americans that Germany and Italy had combined with Japan to reach the Suez Canal from one side of the world, as Japan approached Singapore, the Netherlands East Indies, and the Indian Ocean from the other. At this point Ambassador Nomura, expressing his strong belief that Japan would not move south, declared that his country did not want to control China. Secretary Hull informed him that since Japan had departed from a peaceful course, it would be the task of her representatives to suggest some action which would prove her serious intentions of peace. The discussion ended with both the President and the Japanese Ambassador in agreement that difficulties between the two countries could be worked out in peace. [47]

 

(b) Ambassador Nomura's Report [48]

 

Ambassador Nomura, reporting the same meeting described above, declared that the conversation had ranged over a number of topics in the course of which he had notified the President that if further aid were given to China and the American embargo against Japan were tightened, the Japanese people would be very much disturbed. On the other hand, the President had maintained that the most serious obstacle to good relations between the two countries was the Tripartite Pact. As a result of this alliance the American people suspected that the Japanese, coordinating their military activities with the Germans, would move into the South Pacific in the spring. Ambassador Nomura replied that Japanese foreign policy was

 

[46] "Memorandum by the Secretary of State", March 14, 1941, S.D., II, 396-398.

[47] Ibid.

[48] I, 20, 21.

 

Page 10

 

not determined by the Prime Minister alone, but by conference with all Cabinet members. Noting that both the President and the Secretary were concerned about Japan's southward drive, the Japanese Ambassador gave assurances that there was little likelihood of its taking place.

In discussing the possibility of war, Ambassador Nomura pointed out that a war in the Pacific would not be an easy matter for the United States. Even in the event of victory, America would be faced with the loss of peace and order in the Far East together with a tremendous development of Soviet influence in that area. Complaining of the anti-Japanese feeling of the Chinese National Government, Ambassador Nomura stated that it was Japan's intention to terminate the war in China. He defined the "New Order" in East Asia as being one in which Japan would be able to secure commodities essential to her existence while preserving friendly relations with adjacent nations. Both President Roosevelt and Secretary Hull laughed when Ambassador Nomura claimed that the "New Order" in Asia was the same as the "Good Neighbor" policy of the United States in South America, but that the Japanese were not as clever as the Americans in carrying it out and, thus, frequent misunderstandings arose.

Even though the situation was serious and other aggravations might arise, such as further aid to China or stricter American embargoes, Ambassador Nomura believed that some way could be found to solve all difficulties without recourse to war. He explained to President Roosevelt that the Tripartite Pact, which he said was really a peace treaty in that it was preventive and not offensive, had been forced upon the Japanese by the oppressive acts of the United States. Ambassador Nomura summed up his impressions of the discussion by saying that though it was pleasant throughout, the American conferees were much concerned over the situation in the Far East. The Japanese Ambassador then asked Tokyo to allow no publicity concerning these conversations. [49]

 

12. America Moves to Aid Britain and to Restrain Japan

 

Ambassador Nomura was also reporting recent activities in the United States to Tokyo. Noticing that tremendous sums were being allocated for "Aid to Britain" without much Congressional opposition, Ambassador Nomura was convinced that even though Congress had not yet declared war and might never do so, the United States was actually already in the war. Though great obstacles would have to be overcome in the United States' building program, a tremendous number of ships would be available in succeeding years. Most American officials were firmly convinced that even though Great Britain was invaded, the loss of these islands would only be temporary and that they would be recaptured in the future, no matter how long a struggle it took to accomplish it. [50]

It seemed perfectly evident to Ambassador Nomura that the American navy was planning to convoy ships to England whether or not war was declared, and that the American people would favor such a move. Recognizing the fact that some Americans were anxious to avoid entering the war, he anticipated proposals from Congress which would eliminate the dangers of convoying. One proposal would transfer American war-ships to England so that English personnel could protect the convoys, another would extend the cruising limits of the neutrality act. However, Ambassador Nomura's reason for believing that the latter proposal would eliminate convoy dangers is not easy to understand. The Japanese Ambassador also announced that President Roosevelt was planning to cancel the provision in the neutrality act which prevented American merchantmen from stopping in belligerent zones. [51]

 

[49] I, 22.

[50] I, 23.

[51] I, 24.

 

Page 12

 

Ambassador Nomura warned Tokyo that not only members of President Roosevelt's party, but also many Republicans were going to approve the Administration's policy when the vote was taken on the so-called "Aid to Britain" bill. According to the Japanese Ambassador, public opinion in the United States was very much in favor of the President's plan to support Britain as much as possible despite the necessity of convoying ships in the Atlantic to overcome the submarine menace. [52] For this reason, Ambassador Nomura believed that the main strength of the American Navy, acting in coordination with the British in the Pacific, would be concentrated in the Atlantic. Furthermore, the United States was determined to protect the Netherlands East Indies and to assist China as much as possible in her efforts to restrain Japan's advance to the south. Ambassador Nomura was convinced, however, that the United States was very anxious for at least a temporary peace in the Pacific because he was certain that American officials were inwardly very pessimistic, despite their public optimism.

Estimating that a period of two years would pass, about June 1943, until "Aid to Britain" would reach its peak, he declared that production would continue at a high rate for at least the following three years. [53] Although five million tons of shipping were to be built by the funds allotted in the "Aid to Britain" bill, in addition to the three and one-half million tons already under construction, Ambassador Nomura thought that only about one million tons could be completed during 1941. [54]

Two bills before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House, calling for strong economic restrictions against Japan, also attracted the attention of Ambassador Nomura. The first bill requested an embargo against the export of military goods to Japan and against transportation of such equipment on American ships. Restrictions were to be set up against American products being shipped on Japanese ships, and American companies were to be prevented from doing anything that would aid Japan. The second bill in a similar vein requested President Roosevelt to institute economic restrictions against Japan because of the occupation of Chinese territory by Japanese forces. [55]

 

13. American Indifference to Axis Threats

 

Ambassador Nomura reported that the American government would pay no attention to the protests or threats of Berlin and Rome over the confiscation of their ships by the United States. Predicting that the United States would become much firmer in dealing with the Axis, the Japanese Ambassador noted that even at that time it was not hesitating to use economic warfare, despite some public assertions about employing all means "short of war". [56]

 

14. President Roosevelt's Defense Program

 

The German invasion of the Balkans, the English losses in Africa, and the sinking of so much British shipping alarmed the United States, and, according to the Japanese Ambassador, every American, though perhaps disagreeing with the President's foreign policy, approved of President Roosevelt's measure to develop a defense program. [57]

 

15. Anti-Japanese Petroleum Embargo

 

Questions concerning the export of petroleum products to Japan arose at this time since the United States was determined to restrain Japan as much as possible. Ambassador Nomura

 

[52] I, 25.

[53] I, 26.

[54] I, 27.

[55] I, 28.

[56] I, 29-32.

[57] I, 33, 34.

 

Page 13

 

informed his government that it was impossible to negotiate any further with the State Department concerning certain exports because all American officials felt that Japan was technically an enemy of their country. Japanese negotiations with the Universal Oil Products Company of Chicago had met numerous obstacles because approval for exporting oil had to be obtained through the State Department. [58]

Meanwhile, Tokyo was notifying its diplomatic representatives that the American government would soon be informed of Japan's determination to act against any embargo of petroleum. The situation was also complicated by the fact that Japanese authorities in Shanghai were planning to confiscate American gasoline destined for Chungking. [59]

 

16. Proposal of Private Individuals (April 9, 1941)

 

One sign of a conservative trend in American-Japanese affairs was the appointment of Musatsume Ogura as Minister Without Portfolio in the Japanese Cabinet. [60] Two other Cabinet shifts seemed to strengthen this impression of future conservatism in Japan, as Admiral Teijiro Toyoda succeeded Ichizo Kobayashi, and Lieutenant General Teiichi Suzuki replaced Naoki Hoshino. [61] Another important change in Japanese officialdom occurred as Admiral Osami Nagano assumed the duties of Prince Hiroyasu Fushimi as Japanese Naval General Staff Chief. [62]

On April 9, 1941, the Department of State was presented by private American and Japanese individuals with a proposal which was designed to bring about peaceful relations between the nations. Stating that protracted negotiations would damage the situation, the proposal asked that an understanding be reached quickly concerning several vital points, after which subordinate agreements could be arrived at by conferences. [63] Certain fundamental ideas concerning the attitude of the United States and Japan toward the European war and the China affair, and their political, commercial, and military relations in the Pacific were discussed. The independence of China and the withdrawal of all Japanese troops from Chinese territory, resumption of the "open door" policy for all nations, and recognition of Manchukuo were guaranteed, but further aid to Chiang Kai-Shek was to be stopped by the United States, if the Chinese would not come to peace with Japan. Furthermore, Hongkong and Singapore were no longer to be used as a means of further political encroachment by the British. Finally, a conference, attended by President Roosevelt and Prince Konoye with only a very few delegates present and with no foreign observers, was to be held at Honolulu. [64]

 

17. Hull-Nomura Conversation (April 14, 1941)

 

(a) Secretary Hull's Report [65]

 

Another conference between Secretary Hull and Ambassador Nomura took place on April 14 at the Wardman Park Hotel. The private proposal mentioned above (See Section 16)

 

[58] I, 35, 36.

[59] I, 37-40.

[60] N.Y. Times, Apr. 1, 1941, 11:1.

[61] Ibid., Apr. 5, 1941, 4:8.

[62] Ibid., Apr. 10, 1941, 11:1, 3.

[63] "Proposal Presented to the Department of State Through the Medium of Private American and Japanese Individuals on April 9, 1941", S.D., II, 398-402. See I, 41 for English text which was not sent by Admiral Nomura to Tokyo for approval until April 30, 1941. The Japanese text was sent to Tokyo on April 17, 1941. See I, 46.

[64] Ibid.

[65] "Memorandum by the Secretary of State", April 14, 1941, S.D., II, 403-406.

 

Page 14

 

was discussed so as to have Secretary Hull's position in all similar affairs fully understood. Both he and President Roosevelt had suggested at their first meeting with Ambassador Nomura that the Japanese Ambassador review relations between the United States and Japan for the past several years with various American officials. They hoped to eliminate all differences between the two countries by frank discussion in private conferences.

Since none of these preliminary conferences had taken place, Mr. Hull inquired whether it was Ambassador Nomura's desire to present the proposal of private American and Japanese individuals as a first step in the negotiations between the two countries. Declaring that he had collaborated in the drawing up of this document, Ambassador Nomura announced his willingness to use it as a basis for negotiations in bringing about peace.

They then discussed the international situation, with Secretary Hull outlining his ideas concerning the solution of international difficulties by peaceful means rather than by the employment of armed forces, as used by Japan. It would make very little difference who won the war unless there was a restoration of the principles of justice which should underlie orderly and peaceful national relations. Despite Hitler's use of hundreds of thousands of troops to keep the people of Europe in subjugation, ninety-nine per cent of those whose liberty had been taken away would come to the aid of the British cause whenever an opportunity was given to them to throw off the shackles of semi-slavery. Mr. Hull further maintained that his government could not sit still and see the vile methods of Hitler imposed upon the world.

Returning to the main point at issue, Secretary Hull remarked that since certain preliminary phases had already been discussed, other conferences might now establish the basis for negotiations. There would be no need for the presentation of any completed documents. Ambassador Nomura asked why such documents might not be presented at the next meeting, to which Mr. Hull replied that certain points would have to be cleared up before any negotiations could begin. These questions would concern the integrity and sovereignty of China and the equality of opportunity therein, and after they had been raised the Japanese Ambassador could communicate with his government to find out whether or not there was a basis for further discussion.

Ambassador Nomura agreed with this plan and stated that he had not yet presented the proposal mentioned above to his own government, although he knew there would be no objections. Realizing the critical nature of the international situation, and aware that both countries were moving rapidly to a position where clashes might easily occur, both gentlemen agreed that it would be wise to expedite future conferences. [66]

 

(b) Ambassador Nomura's Report [67]

 

Ambassador Nomura's secret report of this meeting confirmed the fact that both men were in agreement as to the urgency of the situation and the necessity of doing something very quickly to restrain the warlike spirit which was inflaming the people of both nations. The Japanese Ambassador, explaining the new neutrality pact between Tokyo and Moscow, stated that the pacification of the Pacific would be the first step in the eventual cessation of hostilities in Europe. [68]

The Japanese Ambassador also reported that because of his interviews with Mr. Hull, the Secretary of State had attempted to calm American opinion in reference to the Japanese

 

[66] Ibid.

[67] I, 42.

[68] Ibid.

 

Page 15

 

Soviet neutrality pact. Ambassador Nomura asked that similar precautions be taken in Japan so that American public opinion would not be so disturbed as to make further negotiations impracticable. [69]

 

18. Ambassador Nomura Summarizes the Japanese-American Situation (April 15, 1941) [70]

 

On April 15, 1941, Ambassador Nomura summarized his impressions of Japanese-American relations as he had found them in his several conversations with President Roosevelt and Secretary Hull. Pointing out that the Tripartite Pact was exerting great influence on American public opinion, he said that the United States was facing the grave possibility of war with Japan, since it recognized that the Japanese southward movement would advance in accordance with the progress of Italy and Germany. As a result of the Japanese-Russian neutrality pact, Japan was free to use force in carrying out its economic penetration although the British and the Dutch would offer opposition. With Japan in this favorable position the United States Navy would have to be used in the Pacific, leaving the Allied cause in the Atlantic at a serious disadvantage.

Furthermore, America was impeding Japan's southern progress by its aid to China, which situation would also handicap Japan in case of a war with America. The United States had been disappointed when Russia signed the neutrality pact with Japan for it had hoped to have Russia associated with the democracies in breaking with Germany and restraining Japan. The British Empire, the American Republics, and the Netherlands East Indies were asserting economic pressure against Japan, and America's national strength, already beginning to manifest itself, would be a very serious consideration for Japan in the next year. The rate of shipping losses in the Atlantic was worrying the United States for the fate of the war depended on it, and so convoys were being prepared. In view of these facts, Ambassador Nomura urged Japan to cooperate with America for peace because:

 

If Japan enters the war the Japanese fleet will have to contend single-handed with the combined fleets of Britain and America, and so regardless of whether Germany and Italy obtain supremacy on the continent and regardless of the outcome of the Atlantic war, there will be no change in the fact that as a result of the neutrality pact signed with the Soviet, Japan will have to shoulder a great responsibility.

When America actually begins to convoy and thus declare herself in the war, we will be faced with a graver problem and thus it behooves us at this present time to try and seek some solution whereby we may maintain peace with America. In view of the war existing today we should endeavor through cooperating with America to maintain peace in the Pacific, to take the first step towards establishing world peace. [71]

 

19. Hull-Nomura Conversation (April 16, 1941)

 

(a) Secretary Hull's Report [72]

 

Two days later another conference with the Japanese Ambassador was held at Secretary Hull's apartment. Ambassador Nomura remarked that the Japanese-Soviet neutrality pact was not undertaken for Germany's benefit, but Mr. Hull replied that he had not been disturbed since the document had merely expressed policies which had already been existing between Japan and Russia. Discussing the world picture, Mr. Hull informed the Japanese Ambassador that the British were now certain that they could hold Egypt against Germany; also, the people of Denmark were very much in favor of America's defense moves in Greenland.

Returning to the matter at hand, Secretary Hull declared that the document on which the Ambassador had collaborated with certain private individuals had many points which the United States could readily accept, but that certain provisions would have to be modified, expanded, or eliminated. A preliminary question which had to be considered was whether Japan

 

[69] I, 43.

[70] I, 44.

[71] Ibid.

[72] "Memorandum by the Secretary of State", April 16, 1941, S.D., II, 407.

 

Page 16

 

was willing to abandon its use of military force as an instrument of policy, and ready to adopt principles of law and order in solving its difficulties. Four points were to be discussed by Ambassador Nomura for his government:

 

1. Respect for the territory, integrity, and sovereignty of each and all nations.

2. Support of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

3. Support of the principle of equality, including equality of commercial opportunity.

4. Non-disturbance of the status quo in the Pacific except as the status quo may be altered by peaceful means. [73]

 

Secretary Hull insisted that the conference had not yet reached the stage of negotiations since they were only exploring, in an unofficial way, actions which later might pave the way for negotiations. Even if Ambassador Nomura presented the private proposal to his government as he had said he would, the American government was not to be bound in any way by the provisions in that document. However, if the Japanese government approved the proposal and ordered that it be handed to the Secretary of State by Ambassador Nomura, it would then be considered as a basis for the beginning of negotiations.

Ambassador Nomura studied the four points submitted by Mr. Hull for a few minutes, and then suggested that the principle of equality might be discussed in connection with the negotiations. Secretary Hull replied that the United States would not even enter into negotiations, if this principle were not fully accepted. It was to be the basis for all future discussions, especially since Japan would obtain more advantages from the doctrine of equality than any other country of the world.

Ambassador Nomura commented that the United States had special relations with South America which did not apply to Japanese dealings with the Orient. Mr. Hull then cleared up a few misapprehensions of the Japanese Ambassador concerning the amount of trade enjoyed by the United States in South America, and warned that Japan would achieve nothing if she undertook to segregate certain countries into spheres of influence.

A question as to the status quo in the Pacific was raised by the Japanese Ambassador, since this point might interfere with Manchuria. Mr. Hull replied that this item could be considered when negotiations were begun, since any agreement reached would have to deal with future relations. Mr. Hull also remarked that since the immigration provision was a domestic issue in the United States, Japan would have to accept assurances of good faith in this respect rather than have it made a part of the negotiations.

Secretary Hull reminded Ambassador Nomura that the four points submitted to the Japanese Ambassador were an essential part of the eight-point program contained in the Lima resolutions. The Ambassador then asked whether or not Secretary Hull would approve the proposal previously made by private individuals. Mr. Hull again answered that several items could be approved immediately, but others would have to be modified or eliminated; a satisfactory settlement could readily be achieved, if the Japanese government were willing to adopt peaceful measures.

Despite several attempts of Mr. Hull to explain, Ambassador Nomura did not appear to understand why Secretary Hull could not agree at once to some of the proposals of the private document. Mr. Hull continued to emphasize that they had not yet reached a stage in the discussions which would permit him to negotiate, since Ambassador Nomura had no authority from his country to do so. Secondly, if Secretary Hull agreed to some of the points and then the military leaders of Japan ignored them, both Mr. Hull and the American government would be very much embarrassed. Ambassador Nomura finally said that he understood Mr. Hull, and promised to consult with his own government concerning the four points. Secretary Hull assured him of his readiness for another conference when Ambassador Nomura heard from his government. [74]

 

[73] Ibid.

[74] Ibid., 406-410.

 

Page 17

 

(b) Ambassador Nomura's Report [75]

 

Ambassador Nomura's secret report of this conversation asked for authorization to proceed with negotiations on the basis of the proposal of private American and Japanese individuals which had been submitted to Secretary Hull on April 9, 1941. [76] The Japanese Ambassador explained that since Secretary Hull was in favor of this proposal for an "understanding" between the two countries, he had helped in the writing and translation of this document. The Japanese diplomatic officials in Washington, together with the military and naval attaches for Colonel Iwukuro, had given much study to the document, and although there were points which would undoubtedly require revision, their opinion of the proposal was that:

 

1. It will not in any way conflict with the Imperial edict relative to the Tripartite Pact. (On the contrary there is every assurance that this proposal will meet with His Majesty's approval).

2. It will not conflict with our loyalty to the Tripartite Pact.

3. It will be a step towards realizing our government's sincere aim to maintain peace in the Pacific.

4. It will serve as a basis for Japanese-American agreement when peace resides in Europe again. [77]

 

Ambassador Nomura sent the text of this proposal to Tokyo and appended with it his explanation for the inclusion of various points. [78] The Japanese Ambassador pointed out that since Americans were afraid that Japan was becoming totalitarian it would be wise to make it plain that Japan's ideologies were neither totalitarian, communistic, nor even democratic; they were based upon distinctive traditions three thousand years old which had not been influenced by any foreign ideologies. The Japanese were determined that the "understanding" would not change their obligations under the Tripartite Pact and they planned to continue their efforts to restrain the United States from entering the European war. On the other hand, they would try to avoid breaking with the United States.

Several other passages gave insight into Ambassador Nomura's reasons for accepting certain proposals, a knowledge of which was probably of great value to Secretary Hull in estimating the sincerity of the Japanese proposals and the validity of their promises to engage in peaceful economic pursuits rather than to attempt penetration by force.

The delicate nature of these Japanese-American discussions was demonstrated by the unusual precautions the Japanese Foreign Office took to ensure the secrecy of the Hull-Nomura conversations. As soon as Ambassador Nomura's message announcing the proposal for an "understanding pact" had been received in Japan, instructions were sent to Washington to take special precautions in enciphering all future messages referring to this controversial subject. [79]

Another secret report of Ambassador Nomura stressed Secretary Hull's reticence in disclosing his own opinions. Mr. Hull had remarked that Russia was following a policy of not becoming involved in war itself, and of getting other nations to fight. According to Ambassador Nomura, both Mr. Hull and Mr. Matsuoka were agreed that a war between Japan and the United States would lead to the ultimate destruction of civilization. However, some United States naval officers felt that Japan must be destroyed immediately. [80]

A few days Later Ambassador Nomura's superiors in Tokyo were quite disturbed because a news story from Washington indicated that the Hull-Nomura conferences were in progress.

 

[75] I, 45, 46.

[76] See Section 16, pp. 43-44.

[77] Ibid.; I, 45-47

[78] I, 48, 49. Since Ambassador Nomura's explanations are rather important, the reader is requested to read them in full in Appendix I.

[79] I, 50.

[80] I, 51.

 

Page 18

 

Strict orders were issued from Tokyo, thereupon, to take every precaution in preventing leaks concerning the discussions, especially to Japanese correspondents who might excite the military extremists at home. [81]

 

20. Reactions of Tokyo to Ambassador Nomura's Proposal

 

Foreign Minister Matsuoka was still absent from Tokyo and so until his return, which was expected in a few days, no decision could be made by the Japanese Foreign Office. [82] However, several points were raised by Tokyo as follows: Since the Japanese southward movement would be halted and England's back door would be protected by the proposal, thus permitting the United States to withdraw from the Pacific and concentrate her efforts on aiding Britain, would there not be considerable opposition to this in Japan because of its violation of the spirit of the Tripartite Pact? Ambassador Nomura replied that many people in Japan would probably have this impression for it was true that America hoped to concentrate on aiding Great Britain, but even though the plan was accepted, Japan's allegiance to the Tripartite Pact would not be lessened. [83]

It is evident in some of these replies that Ambassador Nomura was striving hard to bring about peace in the face of his Foreign Office's determination to support fully the Tripartite Pact. He continued by saying that the pact would lessen the danger of war between Japan and the United States; and yet even with this hope for peace, the United States could not quickly withdraw her strength from the Pacific. In a similar case, Japan had been forced to retain troops in Manchukuo, despite the Japanese-Russian neutrality pact. On the other hand, the lessening of the danger of war between Japan and the United States would reduce the chances of a conflict between the United States and Germany. Though the United States would be able to give more assistance to Great Britain as a result of the "understanding", Japan would have more influence in restraining the United States from participating in the war. Thus Japan would support Germany in its desire to have no trouble with the United States and the spirit of the Tripartite Pact would be strengthened. Japan's international position would be enhanced as a result of the "understanding", and, undoubtedly, advantages would accrue from this fact.

To Tokyo's query as to what would happen to American-Japanese relations if, because of friendship for Germany, the Japanese made quite a number of revisions in the text of the proposal or if the proposal were canceled, Ambassador Nomura indicated that he saw no other alternative than an ever worsening of American-Japanese relations.

Tokyo inquired whether or not it would be possible, because of friendship for Germany, to attempt a joint mediation between the United States and Japan in the European war before deciding upon the "understanding". Ambassador Nomura stated that he had sought the opinion of several high American officials in this regard, but the relations between Berlin and Washington were so strained that there was little chance of such mediation. However, after the "understanding" had been signed there would be a much better possibility for this action.

Tokyo agreed that a temporary peace in the Pacific would follow the agreement reached by the "understanding", but it pointed out that Japan would be in a very unfavorable position if Germany and Italy won the war. The Foreign Office was also afraid that if victory went to Britain and the United States, these two nations would cooperate in disregarding the pact and exerting pressure on Japan as, according to the Japanese, they had done after the last

 

[81] I, 52, 53.

[82] I, 54.

[83] I, 55-59.

 

Page 19

 

war. Despite the claims of the United States that its attitude towards the European war would be determined solely by the necessity of self-defense, there were many indications that it would enter the war to prevent the downfall of the British Empire.

In reply to these statements Ambassador Nomura reiterated his belief that the proposal for the "understanding" indicated the United States' strong desire to stay out of the European war, even though it planned to aid England by all measures short of war. If, on the other hand, the United States disregarded the "understanding" and went to war, Japan was free to act individually under the Tripartite Pact.

To Tokyo's inquiry concerning the specific measures which the United States planned to adopt in giving Japan strong economic support in the Southwest Pacific, especially in those countries where Japan had been refused materials, Ambassador Nomura pointed to the promise of the United States to give cooperation and support, stating that future negotiations would provide complete details. Furthermore, the influence of the United States in various British possessions and the Netherlands Indies was increasing, and this would be most profitable for Japan. Ambassador Nomura also calmed Tokyo's fears as to immigration into areas not under the jurisdiction of the United States by stressing the beneficent influence of America.

Tokyo asked whether or not Australia was included in the Southwest Pacific areas as defined in the "understanding", and Ambassador Nomura replied in the negative. When asked if the United States was prepared to act with Japan in refusing to recognize any changes in the Southwest Pacific area made by any European power, Ambassador Nomura responded that the United States had no desire to take any territory in this area, nor would it interfere with Japan's peaceful penetration of this area, although it might cooperate in exploiting it.

In summarizing his replies to the questions from Tokyo, Ambassador Nomura, stating that the present proposal was a logical complement to the Tripartite Pact, declared that the effectiveness of Clause III of this Pact would not be measurably impaired. According to him, the United States would enter the European war eventually, if allowed to go along as usual, and then war between Japan and the United States would ensue. Since the proposal for the "understanding" was designed to prevent the war rather than to stop it after it had begun, Ambassador Nomura believed adoption of the "understanding" would help all the Axis nations. He concluded his remarks with a request for a speedy reply to his message. [84]

 

21. Ambassador Nomura Awaits Tokyo Action

 

To a warning from Tokyo, Ambassador Nomura now responded that every effort was being made by the Japanese Embassy in Washington to prevent leakage of news concerning the conversations with Secretary Hull. Only three persons, the Secretary of State, the Postmaster General and the Secretary of the Navy knew about the proposal for an understanding pact. [85]

Since Ambassador Nomura had already submitted the Japanese text of this proposal to Tokyo and had exchanged opinions with his Foreign Office in regard to the interpretation of some provisions, nothing could be done until an official reply was received from his superiors. But continuing his visits to various members of the American government, he was told by a Cabinet member, presumably Postmaster-General Frank C. Walker, that Secretary Hull would not easily change his mind once he had come to a decision. According to the American official, unless there were some fundamental changes in Japanese principles, the conversations would not be successful. [86]

 

[84] Ibid.

[85] I, 53.

[86] I, 60.

 

Page 20

 

Though Tokyo informed its representatives in Washington that the Foreign Minister, because of his need for a rest after the arduous trip to Europe, would not issue instructions concerning the "understanding" for at least two weeks, [87] Ambassador Nomura urged an immediate reply since, if action were postponed any further, it would be difficult to maintain secrecy. Suspecting that many Americans were becoming aware of the conversations, the Japanese Ambassador was conscious that opposition might also be developing in Japan. He warned that the United States was becoming very much aroused by the European war, and if there were delays in the establishment of the "understanding", it would lose its restraining effect.

Pointing out that it would be most advantageous to settle the affair immediately lest the American government decide not to sign the pact, Ambassador Nomura complained that he had waited fourteen days without any instructions. Since he had assured American officials of his desire to improve relations between Japan and the United States, he believed that by now American officials suspected that he was not representing the real opinions of his government. Ambassador Nomura stressed his personal embarrassment at being placed in such a difficult position. [88]

Despite the Japanese Ambassador's many pleas for speed in coming to a decision, Mr. Matsuoka's only reply was to send a request four days later for the English text of the proposal. [89] Ambassador Nomura sent the English text immediately, and asked that it be handled very carefully since he had not super-enciphered it. [90]

 

22. Hull-Nomura Conversation (May 2, 1941)

 

(a) Secretary Hull's Report [91]

 

The next conversation between Secretary Hull and Ambassador Nomura took place on May 2 in the hotel apartment of Mr. Hull. Ambassador Nomura reported that he had not yet received instructions from his government to negotiate, but that he expected to receive permission within a few days. The Japanese Ambassador implied that politics in Japan had caused the delay. Secretary Hull did not comment on this, but entering into a general discussion of world conditions, emphasized that the United States would not permit Hitler to gain control of the high seas no matter how long such a policy would take. As for relations with Japan in the Pacific, the fundamental point at issue was whether or not Japan was willing to act in accordance with the basic principles of justice and law, which Secretary Hull assumed to be part of Ambassador Nomura's own way of thinking.

The Japanese Ambassador then remarked that American embargoes were a delicate question with his government, but Secretary Hull replied that they were not really as delicate as the question of the harsh treatment Japan had been giving American citizens and interests. The conversation ended with Secretary Hull declaring that he had nothing new to say about the embargoes or the reasons for them. [92]

 

(b) Ambassador Nomura's Report [93]

 

Ambassador Nomura's report of this conversation stated that he had introduced not only the question of American embargoes as a matter of concern to Japan but also American expansion toward the Philippines, since these islands were very near to the Empire. Am-

 

[87] I, 61.

[88] I, 62, 63.

[89] I, 64.

[90] I, 65; S.D., II, 398-402.

[91] "Memorandum by the Secretary of State", May 2, 1941, S.D., II, 411.

[92] Ibid.

[93] I, 66.

 

Page 21

 

bassador Nomura felt that Secretary Hull would do nothing about the American embargoes because of Japan's discriminatory methods in China. Replying to Secretary Hull's statement that Japan would have problems in China similar to those experienced by Germany in occupied Poland, Ambassador Nomura explained that both the Chungking government and its Army were deteriorating, and that Japan's problems in China were growing less rather than greater. [94]

 

23. Mr. Matsuoka Suggests a Neutrality Pact

 

On May 3, 1941 Foreign Minister Matsuoka finally sent a reply to the many messages of Ambassador Nomura. Remarking that he understood the difficult position of the Japanese Ambassador and appreciated his anxiety, Mr. Matsuoka stressed the necessity of his considering all angles of the problem because of the disturbing effect any solution might have upon the various alliances and pacts signed by Japan. Furthermore, the Foreign Minister explained that he had been sick for a few days and, thus, had been unable to attend to official business. The Japanese Ambassador was asked to deliver to Secretary Hull an oral statement, which Mr. Matsuoka was transmitting to serve as a non-committal reply. [95] The Foreign Minister requested Ambassador Nomura to mention in the course of his conversations the possibility of a Japanese-United States neutrality pact similar to the one recently contracted by Japan with Russia. This idea was to be introduced to Mr. Hull as though it were a spontaneous contribution of Ambassador Nomura. Then, if the neutrality pact were agreed upon, some secret clauses, which would apply in time of war, should be inserted into the "understanding". In any event, according to Mr. Matsuoka, it would be most valuable to discover whether or not a neutrality pact would be acceptable to the United states. [96]

The oral statement, which Ambassador Nomura was to hand to Secretary Hull, contained Mr. Matsuoka's observations that Germany and Italy were determined never to have peace by negotiation, since only the capitulation of England would satisfy them. Claiming that Axis leaders considered the war as good as won, and that the entrance of America into the war would not affect the outcome but would only protract it, Mr. Matsuoka explained that American intervention would add untold misery and suffering to all humanity and bring about the eventual downfall of modern civilization. The responsibility for this was now largely in the hands of the President of the United States. Though warning that Japan would not do anything which might harm Germany or Italy, the Foreign Minister was very anxious to begin a discussion of a neutrality pact, if the United States was agreeable. Therefore, on May 7, he asked that Secretary Hull's reply to his suggestion be sent immediately. [97]

 

24. Japan Discovers Code Decipherment by the United States

 

On May 5 Ambassador Nomura was informed by his superiors that it appeared almost certain that the United States government was reading his code messages. [98] This information had first come to Tokyo's attention through Ambassador Osima at Berlin, who had been informed in strict confidence by a German colleague that the German espionage system in

 

[94] Ibid.

[95] I, 67.

[96] I, 68.

[97] I, 69.

[98] I, 70.

 

Page 22

 

America had learned in some undisclosed manner of the success of American cryptanalysts in reading the code messages of the Japanese Ambassador in Washington. [99]

Ambassador Nomura hastened to assure Tokyo that very strict precautions were taken by all custodians of codes and ciphers in his office, and that he would set in motion an immediate investigation into the truth of this statement. [100] Though Ambassador Nomura requested further details, Foreign Minister Matsuoka could only give him as much data as the German Intelligence organization would divulge, and it refused to give the exact source of its information. [101]

As a result of his investigation, Ambassador Nomura was able to report two weeks later on May 20, 1941, his discovery that the United States was reading some of the Japanese codes. He did not disclose his source of information in a dispatch, but promised to send it by courier. [102]

Meanwhile, Japan had issued new regulations for the use of its code machines, [103] and the Japanese Foreign Office instructed Washington to have only one man use the special government code for the enciphering of important dispatches. No telegraph clerks were to be called in to assist this individual no matter how overwhelming was the volume of traffic nor how urgent the necessity for speed. [104] Since this contravened the practice normally employed at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, Minister Wagasuki sent an urgent request to Tokyo for permission to employ telegraph clerks in coding work since the increased volume of traffic in connection with the Japanese-American negotiations made it impracticable to restrict the handling of the code to one individual. [105]

 

25. Hull- Nomura Conversation (May 7, 1941)

 

(a) Secretary Hull's Report [106]

 

On May 7, 1941, Ambassador Nomura again called at Secretary Hull's apartment to congratulate Mr. Hull on his excellent handling of the Japanese situation, and to commend his prudence in not making any controversial statements to the press such as Ambassador Nomura's own superiors were issuing in Japan. Expressing his appreciation for Mr. Hull's patience during the preliminary talks, in which many delays had occurred because of the influence of certain Japanese politicians, Ambassador Nomura tactfully suggested a non-aggression pact. Secretary Hull refused to consider this on the grounds that the United States would not discuss anything except broad principles as a basis for negotiations.

Ambassador Nomura then announced that he had a document from Foreign Minister Matsuoka. Though there were many things "that were wrong" in it, the Ambassador would like to present it to Secretary Hull. Secretary Hull replied that in view of Ambassador Nomura's own opinion of it, and if the Ambassador had the authority to withhold it, he might just as well not deliver the message, since it might contradict most of the points in the proposal already offered by the Ambassador as a tentative basis for discussion. It will be remembered that Secretary Hull had already seen the secret text of this oral statement as supplied by American cryptanalysts. 107 Ambassador Nomura read only a part of the first page to

 

[99] I, 71, 72.

[100] I, 73.

[101] I, 74.

[102] I, 75.

[103] I, 76.

[104] I, 77.

[105] I, 78-80.

[106] "Memorandum by the Secretary of State", May 7, 1941, S.D., II, 411-415.

[107] I, 67.

 

Page 23

 

Mr. Hull, and then assured him that with just a little more time the whole matter would develop favorably along the lines of the Japanese Ambassador's own viewpoint.

Secretary Hull congratulated Ambassador Nomura on his sincerity and his conscientious efforts to bring about friendly relations between the two countries. Mentioning his own patience in overcoming preliminary difficulties and his own efforts to cooperate with the Japanese Ambassador in attempting to reach a stage where negotiations could begin, Mr. Hull candidly informed Ambassador Nomura that he could not be patient much longer in view of the necessity of defending the seven seas against the encroachment of Hitler. Events were moving very rapidly and Hitler was continuing his aggression; therefore, defense measures would have to proceed just as quickly.

Mr. Hull expressed his concern over the aggressive speeches of Mr. Matsuoka in Japan, especially since such actions were totally opposed to the principles expressed in the Japanese Ambassador's proposal which was then awaiting the Japanese government's approval as a basis for negotiations. It was difficult to believe that the Japanese government could sanction at the same time both the inflammatory speeches of Mr. Matsuoka and the peaceful ideas of Ambassador Nomura. In any event, the American government would have to act in self defense as quickly as possible to stop the aggressions of Hitler.

Emphasizing that the United States knew Hitlerism better than Mr. Matsuoka or any of those he represented, since fifteen nations of Europe, including Italy, Hitler's own ally, had been subjugated by Germany, Mr. Hull declared that the United States wanted nothing from any nation except the maintenance of peaceful relations based on law and order. The wisdom of such a policy was evident in the excellent relations between the United States and South American countries where Japan and all other countries had equal access to markets. However, resistance to world aggression by Hitler or by any other illegal force on the high seas would be begun by the United States solely as a policy of necessary self defense. Secretary Hull noted in his report of this conversation that the Japanese Ambassador constantly bowed and smiled as though trying to assure the Secretary of State of his approval of these ideas.

To an inquiry of Ambassador Nomura's concerning the possibility of an acceptance of his previously submitted document, Secretary Hull replied that a working agreement could be achieved readily by accepting some provisions, eliminating others, and in some cases making new suggestions. According to Mr. Hull, it had been Ambassador Nomura's responsibility to decide whether or not to send the document to Japan for approval, because the United States had not made any commitments concerning it. Ambassador Nomura seemed to understand this point after some difficulty, but Secretary Hull was doubtful at times as to how accurately they understood each other on certain points.

Mr. Hull concluded the conversation by stating he did not know what defense measures his government might have to take from day to day in its resistance to Hitler. Ambassador Nomura replied that he had urged his superiors in Tokyo to proceed quickly in discussing the submitted proposal. [108]

 

(b) Ambassador Nomura's Report [109]

 

Ambassador Nomura's report of this conversation demonstrated that the Secretary had succeeded in impressing him with the necessity for prompt action in view of the United States' determination to act quickly in stopping Hitlerism. Stating that Mr. Hull had never before shown so much enthusiasm about the immediate commencement of the United States-Japanese negotiations, the Japanese Ambassador quoted Secretary Hull as saying that it would be useless to discuss a neutrality pact without definite instructions from the Japanese

 

[108] "Memorandum by the Secretary of State", May 7, 1941, S.D., II, 411-415.

[109] I, 81.

 

Page 24

 

government. Ambassador Nomura was convinced that the American statesman had no intention of dealing with this question, although, according to Secretary Hull, his advisers had unofficially commented that something might be done about the neutrality pact after an "understanding" had been reached. American domestic politics would make a neutrality pact impossible at the moment, but since all of the problems arising between the United States and Japan were mentioned in the "understanding", Secretary Hull felt that agreement on this should be the main consideration.

Ambassador Nomura was frank in expressing his opinion to Foreign Minister Matsuoka that there was no time for "propaganda, bluffing and feeling out each other". Great statesmanship was needed in this crisis, and every effort should be made to regain good relations. Asking that negotiations along the lines of the "understanding" be begun immediately, Ambassador Nomura advised Mr. Matsuoka that the Foreign Minister's oral statement had not been handed to Secretary Hull because the conferences were being held in secret and "off the record"." [110] No mention was made in Ambassador Nomura's report that there were points in Mr. Matsuoka's oral statement which were "wrong" from the Japanese Ambassador's viewpoint, as had been noted in Secretary Hull's memorandum. [111]

 

26. Ambassador Nomura's Estimate of American Public Opinion

 

On May 7, 1941 Ambassador Nomura sent a lengthy report to his government, estimating American public opinion as to involvement of the United States in the European war and the Japanese situation. [112] As an expression of the views of a patriotic Japanese who was anxious to avoid conflict with America, it was important. There could be no doubt of the Japanese Ambassador's sincerity in striving for peace in the face of many obstacles placed in his way by his own Foreign Office.

According to Ambassador Nomura, the National Defense Act had placed all the political and economic powers of the United States in the hands of President Roosevelt. There was a decided bent towards dictatorship because all influential newspapers and communications were being manipulated and guided by President Roosevelt who manufactured the so-called "American public opinion". Ambassador Nomura thought that freedom of expression was rapidly becoming nonexistent since all opposing the policies of the administration were branded traitors or spies. All decisions in important matters were left to the President, who had removed almost all of his former associates. Only Mr. Hopkins, Postmaster-General Walker, Secretary Hull and Secretary Knox had discussed the Japanese proposal with President Roosevelt, and all others, including Secretary Stimson, had been left out of the unofficial negotiations. The publisher Roy Howard, who had been a friend of the Japanese Foreign Minister, was not associated with President Roosevelt for he had opposed the third term campaign and the National Defense Act.

Ambassador Nomura warned Mr. Matsuoka that a great majority of the American people looked upon the European war as a battle between totalitarianism and democracy. The people of the United States stood for the following points which no one could change at any time:

 

That totalitarianism is an enemy of humanitarianism since it refuses to recognize the liberty of an individual;

That they cannot permit the altering of national boundaries by aggression;

That though aggressions may, temporarily, seem successful, in the long run they are all doomed to failure and they give Caesar and Napoleon as examples;

That they must aid England which is a self-claimed democracy, to the bitter end;

That there is a possibility that the German-British war will develop into a German-U.S. war. [113]

 

[110] I, 81.

[111] S.D., II, 412.

[112] I, 83-91.

[113] Ibid.

 

Page 25

 

A small minority, such as Lindbergh, thought that Germany could not be crushed easily, but most Americans believed that though the war would continue for a long time, the United States would eventually aid Britain to crush Germany and Italy. He doubted, therefore, that the United States would initiate mediation between England and Germany.

The United States would have to enter the war before it could put a convoy system into operation, and thus, when a convoy system was established as was expected in the near future, the United States would have taken a big step in the direction of war. As discouraging reports concerning British losses in the Balkans and the Near East were received, the demands for the United States to enter the war were increasing. For this reason the United States was anxious to establish better relations with Japan so as to obviate fighting simultaneously in both the Atlantic and Pacific. However, the Japanese Ambassador warned his superior that the United States would not give in to Japan, because America had already planned, if called upon to fight two wars, to concentrate on defense in the Pacific until a vast Navy and Air Force could be completed for a death struggle with Japan.

Despite Japan's unpopularity in America, President Roosevelt and a few of his supporters were friendly, since they realized that Japan differed from Germany and Italy. Ambassador Nomura stressed, however, that President Roosevelt did not consider close relations between the two countries to be an absolute necessity. Thus, unless action were taken immediately, Japan's friends in the United States might grow cool towards an "understanding" and might exert economic pressure on the Japanese to prevent their moving to the south. This would probably lead to war between the two countries.

Discussing the problem of selecting an opportune time for the bettering of Japanese-American relations, and stating that it was important for both countries to stand on equal terms, Ambassador Nomura indicated the advantages for Japan in having the China incident settled before the end of the European war. Though it might be best, from the Japanese viewpoint, to have the China incident settled when it was clearly apparent that Germany would be victorious in Europe, no one could tell when that would take place, and even then Japan would be in danger of being restrained by a foreign power. If the Japanese waited until the war had developed into a stalemate, the opportunity for improving Japanese-American relations would probably be gone, chiefly because the United States probably would have entered the war or would have lost its desire for peace with Japan. Thus, the best time for eliminating all difficulties was at the present, when the trend of the European war was not clearly defined.

As for the "understanding", Ambassador Nomura informed his superiors that there was little hope of achieving a trade agreement touching upon merely one phase of the whole Japanese-American problem. Nor would the United States recognize the "New Order in East Asia", or accept the proposal to mediate in the European war. Though the United States wanted to appeal to doctrines such as "non-recognition of aggression", it had been mutually agreed to limit the expression of views on the war situation as much as possible. Ambassador Nomura was optimistic that the "understanding" would eliminate some of the current complications and would gradually lead to a true friendship by restraining the United States from entering the present war, or perhaps changing her attitude entirely. [114]

Foreign Minister Matsuoka's reply to Ambassador Nomura's message was very prompt. Contrary to the Japanese Ambassador's views, it directed that his oral statement be submitted immediately to the Secretary of State, who was asked to turn it over to the President. [115]

 

[114] Ibid.

[115] Ibid. I, 82

 

Page 26

 

27. Ambassador Nomura Urges Mr. Matsuoka to A Prompt Agreement

 

On the next day, May 8, 1941, Ambassador Nomura sent several messages to Tokyo which indicated the growing resistance of the United States to aggressor nations throughout the world. He was much concerned lest Japanese delays in discussing the "understanding" were responsible for some of this feeling. [116]

A private conversation with an influential American Cabinet member strengthened Ambassador Nomura's impressions that Secretary Hull was appreciative of his efforts to restore peaceful relations, but that the American government realized the matter rested solely in the hands of Foreign Minister Matsuoka. Secretary of War Stimson, and Secretary of Navy Knox had stiffened in their anti-Japanese attitude because of the speeches of Mr. Matsuoka, and all felt that Japan was under the influence of German authorities. When asked by the Cabinet member whether or not a little more time would be given to Japan for study of the situation, Secretary Hull had replied that this might be possible, but that the present attitude of the American Cabinet made it hard to give definite assurance." [117]

This same Cabinet member assured the Japanese Ambassador that the President was resisting a demand for convoying goods to England because of his concern for Japanese-American relations. Though President Roosevelt was scheduled to mention convoys in a foreign policy speech on May 14, 1941, he intended to modify the details of the speech, if Japanese-American negotiations were started by that time. The Cabinet member pointed out that if official negotiations were not undertaken soon, the Japanese-American conversations would end in absolute failure. [118]

 

28. Mr. Matsuoka Submits Proposals (May 9, 1941)

 

In reply to many telegrams from Ambassador Nomura emphasizing the necessity for speed on the part of Tokyo in discussing and analyzing the proposals he had sent to Japan for approval, Mr. Matsuoka finally answered that it was impossible for Tokyo to act as hastily as the Ambassador desired because of various circumstances. This but confirmed the reply Mr. Matsuoka had telephoned to Ambassador Nomura on the previous day." [119] Finally, Mr. Matsuoka sent his long expected reply on May 9, 1941. [120]

Expressing his desire to better American-Japanese relations by having the United States discontinue its policy of aiding Chiang Kai-Shek and by having President Roosevelt urge peace between China and Japan, the Foreign Minister said that the United States in its efforts to aid England was forcing Germany to war. Pledging with the United States to stop this movement, since Japan would be constrained as a consequence to live up to its Tripartite agreement, Mr. Matsuoka pointed out that his only reason for sending the oral statement to President Roosevelt and Secretary Hull was to keep them more fully informed of his views, and to bring about peace.

The Foreign Minister complained that his newspaper statement concerning the advisability of President Roosevelt's visiting Japan had been twisted out of its context so as to sound much different from its intended meaning. [121] The resentment of the United States over this minor incident was an indication to Mr. Matsuoka of America's antagonism toward Japan. Furthermore, the Foreign Minister stated that he was experiencing no domestic difficulties because of his support of Germany. [122]

 

[116] I, 92-94.

[117] I, 95.

[118] I, 96, 97.

[119] I, 98.

[120] I, 99.

[121] N.Y. Times, May 5, 8:2, 5, 7.

[122] I, 99.

 

Page 27

 

The Japanese Ambassador, promising his Foreign Minister that he would eliminate all the misunderstandings complained of by Mr. Matsuoka, then asked that further instructions be sent immediately so that his conversations with Secretary Hull could proceed. [123] Reassuring Mr. Matsuoka that peace with the United States would not be disadvantageous to Germany and Italy, but would be the first step in bringing about peace in Europe, Ambassador Nomura pointed out that a bettering of Japanese-American relations would be profitable to every nation.

At long last, Mr. Matsuoka sent an official reply to the preliminary proposal which had been drawn up by private American and Japanese individuals in collaboration with Ambassador Nomura. [124] First, Japan recognized that both countries were independent nations, and agreed that both would adopt the policy of equality for all nations. All necessary cooperation was to be shown in preventing the spread of war in Europe and bringing peace to the world as soon as possible. The United States was to recognize the principles which were the basis of an agreement with the Nanking government, and it was also to advise Chiang Kai-Shek to trust in the "Good Neighbor" policy of the Japanese. Since it was accepted that future Japanese expansion into the Southwest Pacific would be peaceful, good trade relations were to be restored as soon as an agreement was reached, and the United States would cooperate in helping Japan acquire strategic materials. Both Japan and the United States were to guard the permanent neutrality of the Philippines, and no discrimination was to be shown against immigration into the United States. [125]

The reply of Mr. Matsuoka arrived just in time, for Ambassador Nomura had been greatly worried lest the opportunity for settling Japanese-American difficulties be lost. His last request for an immediate reply must have been on its way to Tokyo when the message of the Foreign Minister arrived. [126]

 

29. Hull-Nomura Conversation (May 11, 1941)

 

(a) Secretary Hull's Report [127]

 

The Japanese Ambassador called at Mr. Hull's hotel on May 11, 1941 to say that he had been instructed to give certain documents to the Secretary. He had another document which was also to be delivered, but since it had not been correctly translated he would withhold it until the next day. Secretary Hull emphasized that he was accepting the documents in a purely unofficial way to ascertain what might possibly serve as a basis for the beginning of negotiations. Thus, both countries could truthfully refute rumors of negotiations by saying that no negotiations had been begun. The Japanese Ambassador was in entire agreement with this suggestion.

Having learned from Ambassador Nomura that Foreign Minister Matsuoka would be in charge of the negotiations in Tokyo, though the Japanese Army and Navy officials and Prince Konoye would participate, Mr. Hull remarked that Mr. Matsuoka was a politician who recently had made many unfriendly remarks about the United States, and whose ideas seemed to be diametrically opposed to the fundamental principles expressed in Ambassador Nomura's preliminary proposal. In view of this, Secretary Hull expected to have much diffi-

 

[123] I, 101.

[124] I, 100, 102-107

[125] Ibid.; See I, 41 for a comparison of the original text of the document presented by Admiral Nomura to Mr. Hull on April 9, 1941 with the Japanese text transmitted to Tokyo by dispatch on April 17, 1941 (See I, 46), and the English text sent on April 30, 1941 (See I, 41).

[126] I, 108.

[127] Memorandum by the Secretary of State", May 11, 1941, S.D., II, 415-418.

 

Page 28

 

culty in persuading his own associates to trust Mr. Matsuoka. Ambassador Nomura said nothing concerning this, but Mr. Hull felt that he was in perfect agreement with his views on Mr. Matsuoka.

To Ambassador Nomura's claim that Japan was desirous of keeping war out of the Pacific, Mr. Hull replied that since many Americans believed that Japan desired aid in getting out of a disastrous situation in China, such an impression, if not guarded against, would be an obstacle to further negotiations. Ambassador Nomura stated that he did not know much about the plans of the Japanese government to remove its troops from China, but he felt that the problem could be worked out to the satisfaction of both sides. Commenting that the China affair would be a very important point in their discussions, Secretary Hull asked the Japanese Ambassador what method his government would employ in giving assurances that neither force nor threat of force would be used in the Southwest Pacific. Ambassador Nomura merely replied that his government did not intend to employ force in that area.

In a general discussion of the "New Order in Greater East Asia", Secretary Hull asked Ambassador Nomura why Japan used this trouble-making slogan to cover a policy of conquest by force, when Japan could get all the benefits she wanted from a "Good Neighbor" policy in Asia. Predicting that Hitlerism would prove to be a scourge to all the world as well as to Europe, and that in the future Japan would suffer just as much as other countries which had trusted Hitler's promises, Secretary Hull repeated some of his previous remarks concerning the damaging effects to world civilization of a war between Japan and the United States. It would require the efforts of all civilized nations to restore the world after the destruction of Hitlerism, and since the United States was determined that Hitler would not get control of the seas, whatever the cost, it would not delay its resistance until it was too late. Many countries of Europe had suffered by reason of their unfounded trust in Hitler. American resistance would in no way be an offensive act since it was necessary as self defense against an aggressor. [128]

 

(b) Ambassador Nomura's Report [129]

 

Ambassador Nomura's secret report of this meeting tactfully said nothing of Mr. Hull's remarks concerning Foreign Minister Matsuoka, but stressed both Secretary Hull's and his own desire for secrecy in regard to the conversations in progress.

Tokyo, warning Ambassador Nomura against discussing the "understanding" even with members of his own staff, informed him that rumors of the affair had reached Japan's financial circles from New York. News concerning the conversations had also reached Germany. [130] Ambassador Nomura quoted Mr. Hull as saying that the Japanese Army and Navy and Premier Konoye would participate in the negotiations, whereas Mr. Hull in his memorandum stated that Ambassador Nomura had mentioned this. [131]

Ambassador Nomura told Secretary Hull that the Japanese would evacuate all troops from China with the exception of those stationed in North China and Inner Mongolia, who were there only to suppress Communism. They would not be used by Japan in a southward movement since his country intended to penetrate the South Pacific commercially rather than by force. Mr. Hull's statement, warning that the United States would be forced to forestall Hitler's approach, had disturbed Ambassador Nomura, and he announced to Tokyo his intention of trying to check this American argument. Believing that the United States

 

[128] Ibid.,

[129] I, 109.

[130] I, 110.

[131] I, 109.

 

Page 29

 

was not anxious to go to war with Japan or Germany, and in view of Mr. Matsuoka's reply, he felt much encouraged as to the eventual success of the conversations. [131-A]

This meeting ended the preliminary phase of the informal conversations between Secretary Hull and Ambassador Nomura. On the next day, May 12, the Japanese Ambassador was to present a formal document from his government, outlining a proposal for a general settlement of the problems disturbing the peaceful relations of the United States and Japan. The conversations ensuing as a result of this proposal will be treated in Chapter II.

Meanwhile, the United States State Department had received much intelligence from the cryptanalytical agencies of the United States concerning Japanese diplomatic activity throughout the rest of the world. Since this material was of great assistance in estimating the future trend of Japanese military expansion, particularly in relation to the Axis and Russia, it will be dealt with in Part B in each of the succeeding chapters.

 

B—JAPANESE DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD

 

Some of the more important of the hundreds of Japanese diplomatic messages which were intercepted and deciphered during 1941 have been selected for Part B of each Chapter to enable the reader to visualize the scope and significance of the information made available to the State Department by cryptanalytic organizations of the United States. An attempt has been made in Part B to demonstrate the general attitudes of the nations which, friendly or unfriendly, were associated with Japan.

Though a policy of selection was necessary in view of the tremendous amount of material available, and many interesting minutiae were omitted for the sake of brevity and clarity, e.g., the financial details of the Japanese-Dutch negotiations, etc., nothing was consciously omitted from Part A which in any way pertained to the Hull-Nomura conversations, especially anything referring to the last few days before the catastrophe of Pearl Harbor.

 

JAPANESE-AMERICAN RELATIONS

 

30. Expansion of Japanese Espionage in North and South America

 

Though Ambassador Nomura was ostensibly on a mission of peace, Tokyo, concomitantly with the Ambassador's appointment, made plans for intensified propaganda and intelligence activities in the United States. As early as December 10, 1940, the cooperation of Japanese bank officials in America was sought by Tokyo, [132] and American authorities knew that a widespread Japanese espionage organization was operating in the United States for at least a year before the war. [133]

The Japanese decided at the end of 1940 that in the past they had paid too much attention to cultural enlightenment in the United States at the expense of political propaganda. Plans were now made to shift their attention from cultural to political interests, with the hope that the new approach would receive as favorable a reception as had their cultural activities of former days. Special attention was to be paid to the operations of the American Communist party, to the Chinese in America, and to the economic and social activities of Soviet Russia in the United States, Central and South America. [134]

 

[131-A] I, 111.

[132] I, 112.

[133] I, 113, 114.

[134] I, 115.

 

Page 30

 

Japanese espionage agents were also directed to ascertain the relations between the United States and South and Central American countries. Heretofore, Japan had ignored Latin American countries, but Tokyo was informed that, in view of current world conditions, it would be most advantageous to change its policy. [135] Japanese merchants were to be asked for assistance in the new movement. [136]

Some of the responsibilities of the new intelligence organization were as follows:

 

1. Establish an intelligence organ in the Embassy which will maintain liaison with private and semi-official organs....

2. The focal point of our investigations shall be the determination of the total strength of the United States.

Our investigations shall be divided into three general classifications: political, economic, and military, and definite course of action shall be mapped out.

3. Make a survey of all persons or organizations which either openly or secretly oppose participation in the war.

4. Make investigations of all anti-Semitism, communism, movements of Negroes, and labor movements.

5. Utilization of U.S. citizens of foreign extraction (other than Japanese), aliens (other than Japanese), communists, Negroes, labor union members, and anti-Semites, in carrying out the investigations described in the preceding paragraph would undoubtedly bear the best results...

6. Utilization of our "Second Generations" and our resident nationals (in view of the fact that if there is any  slip in this phase, our people in the U.S. will be subjected to considerable persecution, and the utmost caution must be exercised).

7. In the event of U.S. participation in the war, our intelligence set-up will be moved to Mexico, making that country the nerve center of our intelligence net. Therefore, will you bear this in mind and in anticipation of such an eventuality, set up facilities for a U.S.-Mexico international intelligence route. The net which will cover Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru will also be centered in Mexico.

8. We shall cooperate with the German and Italian intelligence organs in the U.S. This phase has been discussed with the Germans and Italians in Tokyo, and it has been approved.... [137]

 

Mexico was a fruitful field of intelligence for Japanese agents, though communication difficulties between Mexico and Tokyo aroused Japanese suspicions that the American companies handling these messages were garbling the texts to discover the decipherment key. [138] The details of a military agreement between the United States and Mexico on November 14, 1940 were transmitted to Japan. [139]

The increased interest of the Japanese in South and Central America evidently arose from their suspicion that war was approaching. New sources for information concerning the United States would have to be ready when wartime restrictions cut off their contacts in the United States.

Tokyo requested its representatives in various South American countries to estimate the future action of the country to which they were accredited, in case the United States entered the war. Inquiry was also made as to the nationality of the owners of communication facilities in each of these countries. [140]

According to the Japanese, Chile, dependent on the United States, would be a non-belligerent in case the United States went to war. Its communication facilities were owned by Transradio, a German company. [141] Bogota had two telegraph companies, the All-America, an American company, and Marconi, and English company, and the Japanese Ambassador thought that Colombia would remain neutral in case of war. [142]

 

[135] I, 116.

[136] I, 117.

[137] I, 118-120.

[138] I, 121.

[139] I, 123.

[140] I, 122.

[141] I, 124.

[142] I, 125.

 

Page 31

 

Argentina's Transradio Company was seventy-five per cent controlled by Argentina, with the remaining twenty-five per cent divided among the Marconi Wireless of England, the R.C.A. of the United States, Radio France, Telefunken of Germany and Italo Radio. Japanese representatives reported that the Transradio Company had been extremely reliable in handling all of their messages. [143]

Tokyo was informed that it was doubtful whether Peru would remain neutral in the event of war, and since the All America Cable Company of the United States and the West Coast of America Telegraph Company, dominated by British capital, had a telegraphic monopoly it would be difficult to maintain direct telegraphic communication from Peru to Japan. Mail was handled by the Marconi Company and when the Germans had protested against interference with their correspondence, the government of Peru had given them little satisfaction. In future emergencies, Japanese agents in Peru decided to make use of the radio in Argentina which was expected to remain neutral. [144]

In Mexico there were two companies; the first was Mexican Radio owned by the government, which would carry on communications with Japan as long as Mexico maintained neutrality. However, the Japanese believed that American pressure was influencing this company for Japanese diplomatic messages were being delayed. The second organization was the Mexican Telegraphic Company, which had sixty percent of its capital invested in Western Union, with some of the remaining capital invested in All American Cables. In case of war, this company would no longer send messages to Japan. [145]

The Japanese desired closer contacts with German and Italian agents, as well as with Japanese residents, who were to be cautioned not to create any suspicion in the minds of United States authorities regarding their espionage activities. [146] The day after Ambassador Nomura made his official entrance into the diplomatic scene at Washington, Tokyo issued new instructions concerning the gathering of intelligence in Canada and the United States. Details of this plan, as indicated below, demonstrate that the Japanese were preparing for the worst.

The information we particularly desire with regard to intelligence involving U.S. and Canada, are the following:

1. Strengthening or supplementing of military preparation on the Pacific Coast and the Hawaii area; amount and type of stores and supplies; alterations to airports (also carefully note the clipper traffic).

2. Ship and plane movements (particularly of the large bombers and sea planes).

3. Whether or not merchant vessels are being requisitioned by the government (also note any deviations from regular schedules), and whether any remodeling is being done to them.

4. Calling up of army and navy personnel, their training, (outlook on maneuvers) and movements.

5. Words and acts of minor army and navy personnel.

6. Outlook of drafting men from the viewpoint of race. Particularly, whether Negroes are being drafted, and if so, under what conditions.

7. Personnel being graduated and enrolled in the army and navy and aviation service schools.

8. Whether or not any troops are being dispatched to the South Pacific by transports; if there are such instances, give description.

9. Outlook of the developments in the expansion of arms and the production setup; the capacity of airplane production, increase in the ranks of labor.

10. General outlooks on Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, with particular stress on items involving plane movements and shipment of military supplies to those localities.

11. Outlook on U.S. defense set-up.

12. Contacts (including plane connections) with Central and South America and the South Pacific area. Also outlook on shipment of military supplies to those areas. [147]

 

[143] I, 126.

[144] I, 127.

[146] I, 128

[148] I, 129, 130.

[147] I, 131.

 

Page 32

 

Further instructions concerning certain aspects of the plan mentioned above were sent to Japanese agents in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver and Honolulu. San Francisco was to pay special attention to paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 12 of the plan outlined above; Los Angeles was to devote attention to paragraphs 1, 2, 8, 9 and 11; New York to paragraphs 4, 6, 7, and 9; Vancouver to paragraph 10; and Honolulu to paragraphs 1 and 2. [148]

Not only were the Japanese expanding the activities of their espionage agents in North and South America, but they were also extremely concerned over the success of Allied military counter espionage. [149] Simultaneously with the increase of Japanese military and naval observers in the United States, American military observers in the Pacific were undergoing closer supervision. [150] Furthermore, severe measures were taken to restrict foreign visitors from entering Japan. No visitor, except those traveling under diplomatic passports, could reach Japan without first informing the Japanese authorities of his complete personal history and political leanings. [151]

 

31. Japanese Interest in American Plans

 

Japan was still not certain in February 1941 whether or not the United States had decided to enter the war to help England. According to one dispatch, Japan was convinced that the United States would go to the aid of England and Europe; [152] another dispatch from Berlin stated that the United States had definitely decided not to enter into joint negotiations with either Great Britain or the Netherlands against Japan as long as Japan made no move against the Philippine Islands. Tokyo urged all its diplomatic representatives to cooperate closely with Japanese intelligence agents in discovering what the ultimate decision might be. [153]

 

32. Coordination of Japanese Intelligence in the United States

 

Ambassador Nomura was instructed on March 17, 1941 to put Secretary Terazaki in charge of coordinating Japanese intelligence and propaganda activities in both North and South America. Every facility was to be granted for the efficient completion of his work. [154]

Mr. Terazaki made a special request to have Mr. Fukumoto, director of the New York branch of the Nichi Nichi newspaper, come to Washington for propaganda purposes instead of returning to Japan. [155] Another agent was sent to Germany, England, and Italy since Tokyo was interested in ascertaining the internal conditions of these countries. [156]

In addition to these activities, Tokyo took great pains to arrange special news broadcasts to Japanese in Washington and other important cities throughout the world; it was very anxious to assist its propaganda agents in the dissemination of news with a pro-Japanese slant. [157] Japanese diplomats in Washington obtained most of their news, which they later transmitted to Latin America, through contacts with individual American newsmen rather than through the official news agencies. [158] The chief responsibility of the Japanese propaganda office in New York was to assure widespread dissemination of Japanese governmental news and the speeches of Japanese officials. [159]

 

[148] I, 132-136.

[149] I, 137.

[150] I, 138, 139.

[151] I, 140.

[152] I, 141.

[153] I, 142.

[154] I, 143.

[155] I, 144.

[156] I, 145.

[157] I, 146-155.

[158] I, 1 6.

[159] I, 157

 

Page 33

 

To assure greater coordination and more complete security for the transmission of intelligence, Japan ordered the inauguration of a courier system between North and South America.

 

33. Japanese Interest in American Labor Unions

 

Ambassador Nomura received a request from Tokyo on April 1 to investigate the labor union in the United States as a possible obstacle to American unity in the event of war. Inquiry was to be made concerning the attitude of the C.I.O., the A.F. of L., the Communist Party, the Socialistic parties, and last but not least, into German and Italian fifth column activities. All this was in conformity with the recent expansion of the Japanese intelligence gathering organization in North and South America. [160]

 

34. Japanese Census in the United States

 

Ambassador Nomura's request on April 17 for a secret fund of $50,000 to use in adjusting the difficult diplomatic situation presumably caused his superiors to inquire concerning the intelligence organization recently established in North America. [162]

Tokyo also desired to know the number of first and second generation Japanese in the United States, and asked for detailed information concerning those who had dual citizenship and were dependent. [163] This information was supplied by several Japanese centers in the United States. [164]

 

35. Reports of Japanese Intelligence Agents in America

 

Information concerning the loss of British shipping was transmitted to Japan at the beginning of May. According to this estimate, Britain would have less than sixteen million tons of naval vessels at the end of the year, which would be the absolute minimum enabling her to continue fighting. Thus, the Japanese believed that unless the United States entered the war, England would be in great straits.

They thought also that as a result of British losses in the Balkans and North Africa, financial powers in England were more favorable to a negotiated peace, in which Germany, recognized by Britain as a leader of eastern and central Europe, would withdraw from all conquered Europe except Alsace-Lorraine and Luxembourg. Germany would regain all her lost colonies, Egypt would be established as an independent nation, Syria would become a German protectorate, Malta and Tunis would be given to Italy, Gibraltar to Spain, and the eastern half of Morocco and Dakar would go to Germany. Both Britain and Germany would jointly supervise the Suez Canal, the naval strength of both nations would be reduced, and trade and economic relations between both nations would be begun. [165]

Another report stated that there was strong opposition in the Senate to convoys. Some Senators believed that in view of the serious situation in Europe, the United States should change the situation in the Pacific by adjusting Japanese-American relations. [166] Despite this friendly gesture, Japanese agents were attempting to establish contacts in many fields of American industry and commerce. Great attention was paid to labor disputes and racial conflicts since they thought that all forces disrupting American unity would be productive sources of intelligence. [167]

 

[160] I, 158-161.

[161] I, 162, 163.

[162] I, 164-166.

[163] I, 167.

[164] I, 168-171.

[165] I, 172.

[166] I, 173.

[167] I, 174, 175.

 

Page 34

 

36. Japanese Security Precautions

 

Late in December 1940, Foreign Minister Matsuoka sent a warning concerning the safekeeping of high security codes to Japanese offices throughout Canada and the United States. No longer were codes to be retained in offices unless a night watch was kept. All codes were to be brought either to official Japanese residences in various cities, or to the Japanese Embassy in Washington, if no official residence was available. Though Tokyo recognized that this would impede speedy communications, its desire for security was so great that it ordered all secret messages to be handled through the Embassy because sufficient precautions for guarding the codes could not be guaranteed in certain cities. [168]

In conformity with these directions, Japanese diplomatic representatives in Chicago sent their codes to Washington, [169] and those at Vancouver and Ottawa moved their telegraphic equipment from offices to their official residences. [170] Precautions were being taken also in Central and South America. [171] Tokyo, planning to send a code machine to Mexico City, took elaborate pains to guarantee the safe custody of this machine from Japan to its destination. [172] A special safe was shipped to Washington for the security of Japanese code machines and code books, and Ambassador Nomura submitted a list to Tokyo of the very few persons in his Embassy who were allowed to handle the governmental code. [173] These strict precautions were partially due to leakage of secret information in the Japanese office at Panama. [174]

A report that American diplomatic pouches had been opened by Japanese investigators was vigorously denied by Tokyo authorities, who pointed out that Japanese mail companies had no authorization to examine the hand baggage of passengers. Since Japan was very much concerned about the safety of its own pouches, it pointed out that the opening of diplomatic pouches would be contrary to international practice. Tokyo instructed its diplomats to ascertain whether or not the United States was according Japanese couriers the same diplomatic privileges which other foreign couriers received. [175]

 

37. Decline of Japanese Commerce in the United States

 

At the same time that the Japanese were strengthening their intelligence organization, their commercial activities in the United States were deteriorating. Fears concerning the eventual freezing of Japanese assets had affected all Japanese commercial interests in the United States. [176] A newspaper story, pointing to the evacuation of many Japanese employees from America and to the imminence of a renewed German drive in Europe as implications of a war with Japan, did nothing to ease the difficult situation which Ambassador Nomura and Secretary Hull were discussing. [177]

 

[168] I, 176.

[169] I, 177, 178.

[170] I, 179, 180.

[171] I, 181, 182.

[172] I, 183, 182.

[173] I, 184, 185.

[174] I, 188.

[175] I, 189.

[176] Chinese and Japanese assets were eventually frozen by Executive Order 8832, signed by President Roosevelt, July 26, 1941; I, 186, 187.

[177] I, 190-192.

 

Page 35

 

Mexico's seizure of Axis ships, [178] the Mexican-American air agreement, [179] and the refusal of Bolivia to supply Japan with tungsten indicated to the Japanese that the United States was exerting its economic influence against Japan in Latin America. [180]

Tokyo was concerned about the indictment of many Japanese residents in Honolulu on the charge of conspiring to violate the Federal law which required the captains of all shipping boats over five tons to be United States citizens. The presidents of three Japanese fishing companies had been among those indicted. It was charged that a conspiracy had been involved when first generation Japanese forged bills of sale to make second generation Japanese the nominal owners of American fishing craft. Twenty-six defendants eventually pleaded guilty, but in the case of some others, the indictment was dropped because of insufficient grounds. By this time the Japanese were convinced that the indictment had not been drawn to eliminate the Japanese fishing industry. [181]

Japanese negotiations with an American oil company were also carefully scrutinized by United States officials. [182]

 

38. Japanese-American Relations Abroad

 

An interesting discussion held at Moscow between the Japanese and American Ambassadors to Russia was reported to Ambassador Nomura in Washington. [183] Mr. Steinhardt told his Japanese colleague, Ambassador Tatekawa, that it would be disadvantageous for Japan to conclude a political treaty with the hostile Soviet Union. According to the Japanese Ambassador, Washington-Moscow negotiations had come to a halt, and Mr. Steinhardt had not been able to see Commissar Molotov for three weeks. To a warning from the American Ambassador that a southward push by Japan would bring the United States into war, Ambassador Tatekawa replied that America must not impose petroleum embargoes on Japan and must refrain from sending troops into the South Seas. The American Ambassador stated that the United States would not embargo Japan's oil supplies, nor did he think that the United States would fight if Great Britain were attacked by Germany. As a result of this conversation, the Japanese Ambassador was convinced that America was beginning an attempt to wean Japan away from Russia. [184]

Tokyo evidently heeded this last warning for it sent instructions to its diplomatic representatives throughout the world to investigate the views of American diplomats as to the trend of Japanese-American relations. Statements by several American officials, which indicated that the United States was about to take a milder attitude towards Japan, were believed by Tokyo to be efforts to separate the Axis nations and to encourage the pro-English and pro-American elements in Japan. [185] Several replies were made as a result of discreet inquiries; Ambassador Osima in Berlin reported that there seemed to be no trace of any uniform American State Department instructions ordering American diplomats to alienate Japan from Germany, or to influence pro-English and pro-American elements in Japan. [186]

On the other hand, despite his efforts to ensure solidarity with the Axis, Foreign Minister Matsuoka was deeply disturbed, or at least pretended to be so, because Japan's relations with

 

[178] I, 193.

[179] I, 194.

[180] I, 195.

[181] I, 196-198.

[182] I, 199.

[183] I, 220.

[184] Ibid.

[185] I, 223.

[186] I, 224, 225.

 

Page 36

 

England and America had been jeopardized by the publication of sensational newspaper stories announcing that Japan was determined to move southward in the Pacific at the same time that Germany began her spring drive in Europe. Matsuoka hastened to assure his ambassadors in London and in Washington that Japan had no intention of going to war against Great Britain or the United States. In an effort to mollify public opinion in Japan he had instructed all Japanese journalists to exercise restraint on stories concerning the international situation. Claiming that both the United States and England had been receiving erroneous reports regarding Japanese intentions, he informed Ambassador Nomura that the British press had tried to win American opinion to the support of British interests in the Far East. [187]

Another significant discussion between Japanese and American representatives in the Far East took place in the Netherlands East Indies. The Japanese representative stated that his countrymen were beginning to suspect the United States of applying pressure on the Dutch to ruin economic relations between Japan and the Netherlands East Indies. The American Consul denied this emphatically, pointing out that the United States had made no further efforts to purchase quinine after it was told by the Dutch that previous orders of Japan and other nations would first have to be filled. [188]

Japanese Ambassador Suma reported a conversation at Vichy with American Ambassador Leahy, who indicated his pleasure at the appointment of Ambassador Nomura to Washington. Though believing that Japanese-United States relations would not deteriorate further, Ambassador Leahy considered the entrance of the United States into war with Germany as being merely a matter of time. According to him, there was little possibility of Germany's invading England because of the war in the Balkans and Africa, plus the fact that Germany was placing one hundred and fifty divisions on its Eastern Frontier. [189]

Many reports from Japanese throughout Europe confirmed Ambassador Leahy's statement that the United States was determined to send naval aid to England. From these same European sources Japan learned that although, from Germany's viewpoint, Turkey was leaning more and more towards the Axis, [190] Russia was exerting equally strong pressure to exclude German influence from that area. [191]

Despite the seemingly friendly feelings manifested by the American and Japanese diplomats mentioned above, Japanese representatives in South America suspected that British and American spies were active in Latin-American shipping companies which were handling Japanese affairs. Orders were issued from Tokyo, therefore, for Japanese concerns to use other than English and American shipping companies where possible. [192]

 

JAPANESE-CHINESE RELATIONS

 

39. Japanese Intelligence Reports on China

 

According to Japanese sources, Chinese authorities at Chungking were attempting to attract the attention of the American people to the Chinese Nationalist party in an effort to offset the propaganda of the Chinese Communists, and to forestall any Japanese progress in the United States that Ambassador Nomura's pro-American diplomacy might achieve. [193]

 

[187] I, 226.

[188] I, 227.

[189] I, 228.

[190] I, 229.

[191] I, 230.

[192] I, 231, 232.

[193] I, 200

 

Page 37

 

However, in April 1941, the Japanese learned that Chiang Kai-Shek was determined to compromise with the Communists until his difficulties with Japan could be eliminated. [194]

Japan was very anxious to learn the amount of materiel which was to be sent by the United States to the Far East. It was aware that American authorities differed as to the feasibility of supplying both war theaters at the same time, and for that reason, according to the Japanese, President Roosevelt had sent Lauchlin Currie to investigate conditions in China to permit the formation of a definite American policy for future supplies. [195]

Tokyo obtained a secret Chinese report which indicated that the future attitude of the United States toward Japan would not be governed by political activity in Chungking, but would be determined solely by the future moves of the Japanese. [196] It was evident from this leak that the Japanese were either acquiring important Chinese documents through espionage, or that they were deciphering Chinese dispatches. Though the former was more probable since the Japanese were quite adept in acquiring secret documents, as was evidenced by their success in the Netherlands East Indies, [197] Japanese success in cryptanalysts was very possible. Furthermore, Japanese counter-intelligence agents reported the name and activities of a Chungking agent who was operating for British and American authorities. [198] Information concerning the erection of a 100-kilowatt radio station at Singapore as well as details concerning its frequency, was requested by Japan. [199]

Ambassador Nomura was now informed that Chungking was about to propose an American-Chinese Anti-Axis Treaty, though at the same time Chiang Kai-Shek was reported as being very dissatisfied with the lack of concrete assistance from the United States. [200] The journey of Captain James Roosevelt to Chungking aroused considerable Japanese interest, though his trip at this time was considered to be only a goodwill visit, without military significance. [201]

War rumors were rife and every bit of evidence that indicated a sudden approach of a crisis was transmitted to Tokyo. The American Methodist Church was undecided as to the advisability of evacuating its missionaries from Japan although some of its most influential members were in favor of this movement. [202] Two missionaries in Chosen had received jail sentences of ten months, and American missionary authorities requested that they be permitted to leave the country if they desired, rather than undergo the prison sentence. [203]

The Japanese use of Chinese residents to ascertain the defense plans of the Philippines was another indication of the critical state of diplomatic affairs between Japan and the United States. [204] The evacuation of United States troops from lower China to Manila was investigated, and the prospective closing of the Panama Canal to all nations save Pan-American countries was suspected. [205] A well-informed ambassador of a neutral country was reported on May 6 as saying that the United States would enter the war within two months. [206]

 

[194] I, 201.

[195] I, 202.

[196] I, 203.

[197] I, 204.

[198] I, 205.

[199] I, 206.

[200] I, 207, 208.

[201] I, 209, 210.

[202] I, 211.

[203] I, 212.

[204] I, 213, 214.

[205] I, 215-217.

[206] I, 218.

 

Page 38

 

Despite the talk of war, Japanese diplomats in China learned from outside sources that their Foreign Office had instructed Ambassador Nomura to confer with the President concerning the speedy settlement of the China incident. [207]

 

40. Tokyo's Suppression of Japanese Pro-Ally Sentiments

 

Ambassador Nomura in his discussion with President Roosevelt and Secretary Hull had insisted on the strength of the moderate elements in Japan, who were opposed to the domination of militarists, and who were pro-Allied as opposed to those desirous of closer ties with the Axis nations. There was no doubt in the minds of American observers that such a statement was true in part, but the question of how great was the strength of the moderate elements remained unanswered. In view of the uncertain domestic situation in Japan, the recalling of Count Soejima to Tokyo after he had expressed some pro-American and pro-British sentiments in the Netherlands East Indies indicated that Japanese authorities were determined on a unified pro-Axis policy and would not permit any publicity on divergent views. Since Count Soejima had been publicized as pro-Ally, the squelching of his ideas and influence was not an encouraging sign. [208]

 

JAPANESE-AXIS RELATIONS

 

41. Anti-Comintern Pact and the Tripartite Pact

 

It will be remembered that as far back as 1936, the Japanese began official collaboration with the Axis powers with the signing of the Anti-Comintern Pact. Fortunately, U.S. Communication Intelligence was able at that time to furnish United States authorities with the text of a secret clause which promised strict cooperation in case of an attack "regardless of circumstances". [209]

Five years later, in 1941, this Anti-Comintern Pact was strengthened by another agreement. Its importance was great in view of the very strained relations existing between Japan and the United States. [210] Furthermore, a Tripartite Pact had been signed by Germany, Italy, and Japan in September 1940, which cemented more firmly the ties already existing in that it recognized the right of each power to establish a "New Order" in designated areas. The three powers also agreed to help each other, if and when attacked by a power not involved at that time in the European War, or in the Sino-Japanese conflict. [211]

In view of the contents of the preceding treaties, and the cooperation of all three nations, [212] it was obvious that Japanese-United States relations could scarcely avoid being disturbed. Even if both countries had been most anxious to bring about a rapprochement, neither was unaware of the difficulties created by Japan's allegiance to the Axis. [213] Incidentally, though Japan was very closely allied to Germany, it was interested in its partner's relations with the French and the trends of French politics. [214]

 

[207] I, 219.

[208] I, 233, 234.

[209] I, 235.

[210] I, 236.

[211] I, 237.

[212] I, 238, 239.

[213] I, 240.

[214] I, 241.

 

Page 39

 

42. Japanese-German Discussions

 

A discussion between the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin and Foreign Minister Ribbentrop on February 25, 1941 concerning Japanese-German relations was occasioned by rumors circulating throughout the diplomatic world concerning Japan's breaking away from the Axis. Ambassador Osima assured the German Foreign Minister that Japan was determined to maintain the Tripartite Pact as the basis for all of its foreign relations. The German Foreign Minister was quite pleased and expressed the hope that Japan would never doubt Germany's sincerity. [215]

As for the European war, Herr Ribbentrop stated that all invasion bases necessary for the campaign against England were under German occupation. Ample manpower and vast stores of supplies were available, and after submarine and aerial warfare had been accelerated, Germany would crush England. The Italian campaign in Greece had not been approved by Germany, and because of insufficient preparations, the results had been unsatisfactory. Italian troops were brave but their officers were not of the best quality. Although Germany would aid the Italians with her air force, the principal target would be England as a main base of enemy action. [216]

England was being assisted by the United States, but the supplies amounted to only one-third of England's needs. According to the German Minister, the only persons in the United States who wished to enter the war were Roosevelt, some Jews, and a group of financiers. Germany, trying to prevent the United States from becoming an armed belligerent, believed that the most effective way of doing this was to show that it was prepared to fight whenever the United States threatened to do so. Current German-Soviet relations were neither good nor bad, although Russia was not too pleased that the situation in the Balkans had already been settled in favor of Germany. However, Germany was prepared to fight Russia any time, even though the economic relations between the two countries were very satisfactory.

England had worked to align Bulgaria and Turkey against Germany, but Germany had this by having Bulgaria and Turkey sign a non-aggression pact with assured Turkish neutrality, even if Germany occupied Bulgaria. Bulgaria was going to sign the Tripartite Pact at some opportune moment, and if Turkey attempted to interfere in any way, it would be brushed aside. It was hoped that an agreement with Yugoslavia would force Greece to support Germany without the necessity of waging a war to do so, but if Greece permitted British forces to land on its shore, Germany would use her army to drive them out.

Although Foreign Minister Ribbentrop was cognizant of Spain's weakened internal condition, he believed that Germany should force Spain to join the Axis and attack Gibraltar. German planes had bombed the Suez Canal, and in the future, no Allied traffic would be able to pass through. [217]

 

43. Japanese-German Economic Cooperation

 

Meanwhile, Japan and Germany were cooperating in the economic field. [218] Japan had decided to stop the purchase of German planes and to obtain the manufacturing rights for them so as to expand its own airplane manufacturing facilities. It was also interested in buying all German ships in Japanese waters, even though they were deemed by Germany to be militarily essential. [219] In imitation of the Axis, Japan instituted repressive economic measures against the Jews in Asia. [220]

 

[215] I, 242.

[216] Ibid.

[217] I, 243.

[218] I, 244.

[219] I, 245 246.

[220] I, 247.

 

Page 40

 

The shortage of rubber in Germany, and Japan's newly won predominance in this field made for closer economic ties between the two Axis nations, though the pressing need of both countries for great amounts of rubber was also a potential source of friction. To offset German competition in Japanese controlled areas, a central rubber bureau was established by Tokyo to control the import of rubber into Japan and export to Germany. The latter was exerting economic and political pressure on Japan to obtain a more abundant supply. When Tokyo reported that the raw rubber stock in Japan on April 5, 1941 was not more than one month's supply, and since rubber shipments from French Indo-China and Malay had been greatly reduced, it was decided that only Japanese firms belonging to the newly established Japanese rubber dealers' association could export from Thailand, French Indo-China and the Netherlands East Indies. Henceforth, Germany would have to make all requests for rubber through the Foreign Office. [221]

 

44. Mr. Matsuoka Visits Germany, Italy and Russia—Rumors of the Visit

 

Rumors concerning a prospective European visit of Foreign Minister Matsuoka for conferences with Axis representatives were disturbing Japanese-American relations, and so, on February 26, Ambassador Grew called upon Mr. Matsuoka to inquire as to his intentions in this regard. The Foreign Minister replied that he had not yet come to a definite decision. [222]

 

45. Japanese Suspicion of Code Decipherment

 

Though Ambassador Nomura was perhaps truly convinced at first that Mr. Matsuoka would not visit Europe to strengthen the Tripartite Pact, information in the hands of United States authorities proved conclusively that the visit would take place. As a matter of fact, the knowledge that news of Mr. Matsuoka's trip had leaked out was a matter of grave concern to the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin. Tokyo now assured Ambassador Osima that there was no need to worry about the security of their diplomatic messages. [223]

The Japanese were buying American radio equipment for interception of foreign broadcasts, and the intercept station at Shanghai was discontinued after Tokyo had acquired powerful new receiving sets. [224]

Ambassador Osima also suspecting his German and Italian colleagues of deciphering Japanese codes, asked that all Japanese messages be paraphrased before their contents were revealed to German and Italian diplomats. [225] Despite this demonstration of caution, Ambassador Osima had to be restrained by Foreign Minister Matsuoka from using a machine code for routine affairs. [226]

The Japanese evidently suspected that Allied espionage was prevalent in Belgium for it forbade its diplomatic representatives from using code messages in that country. [227] Readers, familiar with the activities of Captain Landau of the British Secret Service during the last world war, will understand the reluctance of the Japanese to use code in Belgium. From 1914 to 1918 Belgium was a great message collection center for espionage agents of both Germany and England.

 

[221] I, 248-250.

[222] I, 251.

[223] I, 252, 253.

[224] I, 254-256.

[225] I, 257, 258.

[226] I, 259, 260.

[227] I, 261, 262.

 

Page 41

 

46. Pessimism of Ambassador Nomura

 

On March 10, Ambassador Nomura sent very pessimistic reports to Tokyo concerning relations between the Axis and the United States. Mentioning that Anglo-American relations were becoming stronger than ever, and warning that the United States would fight on England's side if she were invaded, he stated that Foreign Minister Matsuoka's prospective trip to Europe was a very disturbing factor which might contribute to the spread of war to the Far East. Ambassador Nomura suggested, therefore, that Mr. Matsuoka return from Europe to Japan via the United States so as to allay any bad impressions occasioned in America by his trip to Berlin and Rome. [228]

In view of the foregoing, it is interesting to know that a dispatch from Tokyo on March 3, 1941 disclosed not only that Foreign Minister Matsuoka was going to visit Europe, but also gave instructions in the use of special codes by means of which communications could be delivered to him even while traveling on a train. [229] It should be said in favor of Japanese diplomats whose blind trust in the security of their codes seems to reflect on their astuteness, that diplomats of every nation, including our own, have always been impressed by the mysteries of codes and ciphers which in many instances are of comparatively little difficulty for expert cryptanalysts.

Ambassador Nomura's pessimism could not have been relieved when Secretary of the Navy Knox was reported by Japanese diplomatic representatives in New Orleans as having expressed the opinion that the United States would become involved in the war within two or three months. [230] Tokyo's recognition of the critical international situation was demonstrated by Mr. Matsuoka's orders to his diplomatic representatives all over the world to dispose of secret documents in case of a future emergency. Since the burning of diplomatic documents and the transfer of funds from one country to another are always last steps before the entrance of a nation into war, such actions on the part of the Japanese demonstrated the critical state of affairs. [231]

Tokyo's request for the details of air defense measures adopted by the important cities in all the nations of Europe indicated the concern of Japanese authorities regarding their own nation. Desiring to learn the air defense methods used by each country, they asked for the daily routines of official and civilian defense organizations, the methods substituted when important communication facilities were damaged, information concerning warning systems and intelligence communications, and what was done for electric power and light supply in case of an emergency.

 

47. Purpose of Mr. Matsuoka's Visit

 

American public opinion was very much aroused by the news that Foreign Minister Matsuoka was to visit Rome and Berlin. In the course of one of their conversations, Secretary Hull had expressed his concern about this matter to Ambassador Nomura, who had replied that he did not think the trip would be made. However, it was certain by this time that Mr. Matsuoka was determined to go to Berlin, thence to Rome, afterwards returning to Berlin for two or three days before proceeding to Moscow.

Mr. Matsuoka's secret program in Berlin disclosed that he would confer with practically every important German authority during his short stay. [233] It appeared that Mr. Matsuoka's

 

[228] I, 263.

[229] I, 264.

[230] I, 265.

[231] I, 266, 267.

[232] I, 268.

[233] I, 269, 270.

 

Page 42

 

trip to Berlin and Rome was designed primarily to strengthen the Tripartite Pact, for the Japanese were very much disturbed over the rumor that he was to act as a mediator in the European war. Their concern presumably arose from the fact that their alleged interest in mediation would not be consistent with their announced policy of military aid in case either one of the other Axis partners desired assistance. [234]

Meanwhile, to celebrate the coming occasion of Mr. Matsuoka's arrival in Berlin, and to demonstrate the appeal of the Tripartite Pact to other European nations, Berlin reported that Yugoslavia would align itself with the signatories of the Tripartite Pact. [235] Ambassador Osima met Chancellor Hitler in Vienna on March 25 to witness Yugoslavia's signing of this agreement, [236] and he was informed then that the Chancellor was prepared for an intimate exchange of opinions with the Japanese Foreign Minister in regards to future Japanese-German cooperation. [237]

Mr. Matsuoka's stay in Moscow was expected to last for only two days unless there seemed to be a possibility of having the Russians accept certain proposals. [238] Though the Japanese Foreign Minister felt that his personal conferences with Messrs. Molotov and Stalin would dispel the deep-seated suspicion and doubt entertained by the Kremlin concerning Japanese intentions, [239] both Ambassador Tatekawa at Moscow and Ambassador Osima at Berlin attempted to discourage their superior from doing anything without previously consulting German statesmen. Furthermore, they were certain that a discussion with Stalin and Molotov would do no good and might cause considerable harm. [240]

 

48. Mr. Matsuoka Declines to Visit the United States

 

Private American and Japanese individuals were making every effort to improve the Far Eastern situation, and so tentative plans were made by them to have Foreign Minister Matsuoka return to Japan via the United States to alleviate the shock to American public opinion which had been occasioned by his trip to Berlin and Rome. Ambassador Nomura encouraged the Foreign Minister to accept the invitation, since he felt that President Roosevelt would welcome such a visit. [241] However, several days later, Mr. Matsuoka expressing his regrets that the invitation had arrived after he had departed from Germany, replied that he could not now act upon the suggestion. [242]

 

49. Mr. Matsuoka Arrives in Rome and Berlin

 

Mr. Matsuoka's trip to the Axis capitals was a great source of concern to American officials for little could be expected from the Hull-Nomura conferences, if the Japanese were determined ultimately to go to war. At Rome, Mr. Matsuoka informed the King of Italy that Japan was in complete sympathy with Italy's war aims, [243] and after an interview with Mussolini and Ciano, in which Mussolini claimed that the United States was carrying out a policy of deliberately provoking war, he came away with the impression that strong ties existed between Germany and Italy. [244] Outlining the plans that Japan had made for achieving peace in China,

 

[234] I, 271.

[235] I, 272, 273.

[236] I, 274, 275.

[237] I, 276.

[238] I, 277.

[239] I, 278.

[240] I, 279.

[241] I, 280.

[242] I, 281.

[243] I, 282.

[244] I, 283.

 

Page 43

 

Mr. Matsuoka informed Mussolini that he might ask for a recognition of the Nanking government within the near future. Mussolini replied that he would grant this permission at any time the Japanese government desired. [245]

Mr. Matsuoka also interviewed the Pope and the Vatican Secretary of State, both of whom, according to the Japanese Foreign Minister, were utterly detached and free from any favoritism regarding the European war despite earlier reports from Japanese representatives that the Pope would express the Vatican's feeling of satisfaction toward the Japanese government, particularly in regard to its Anti-Comintern policy. [246] At a later date, President Roosevelt's remarks to the Papal Delegate in Washington concerning Mr. Matsuoka's visit to the Pope were reported to the Japanese Ambassadors in Rome and Washington. According to this dispatch, President Roosevelt had expressed great doubts concerning Japan's desire to maintain peace in the Pacific, and he was also uncertain about the chances for a satisfactory settlement between Japan and the United States. [247] According to the Japanese Ambassador at Rome, Mr. Tittman, the Commercial Attaché of the American Embassy in Rome, had been accredited to the Vatican because the Pope intended to mediate between Japan and the United States in settling East Asiatic and Chinese problems. [248] Both President Roosevelt and the British government supported the request of Chiang Kai-Shek that his personal envoy be received at the Vatican. [249]

Mr. Matsuoka left Rome on April 3, [250] and in Berlin on April 4 met Chancellor Hitler, who agreed to give Japan the benefit of any special knowledge gained through German experience in the war and all information regarding new inventions. [251] A meeting on April 5 with Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop brought about an agreement to call a joint conference of Japanese and German economic and military experts. [252]

The Japanese Foreign Minister departed from Berlin with the feeling that the Yugoslavian-Greek situation would be solved in the near future, but not by peaceful means, since Japan had been requested to give diplomatic support to the German and Italian move against Yugoslavia. [253] Details of the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece were soon forthcoming, and an analysis of the diplomatic situation created by this attack was sent to Tokyo. [254]

Axis journalistic relations were generally very cordial for in response to a request from Tokyo for information as to the handling of press reports and the treatment accorded foreign correspondents in Italy, the Japanese Ambassador reported that though censorship existed, foreign correspondents received the same privileges as diplomats in regards to special transportation, conveniences, and reductions in rates, as well as exemption from income tax payments. [255]

 

50. Mr. Matsuoka Meets U.S. Ambassador Steinhardt

 

The tour of Foreign Minister Matsuoka brought him ultimately, on April 7, to Moscow where he was about to achieve a diplomatic victory by signing a neutrality pact with Russia. While

 

[245] I, 284.

[246] I, 285-288.

[247] I, 289.

[248] I, 290.

[249] I, 291.

[250] I, 292.

[251] I, 293.

[252] I, 294.

[253] I, 295.

[254] I, 296.

[255] I, 297, 298.

 

Page 44

 

there, he was invited to attend an unofficial luncheon given by United States Ambassador Lawrence Steinhardt on April 8. On a previous occasion Mr. Matsuoka had been extremely frank with the Ambassador concerning relations between America and Japan, and had expressed his view that President Roosevelt should tell Chiang Kai-Shek to either make peace with Japan, or else suffer the loss of further American assistance. [256] Mr. Matsuoka now reiterated his previous remarks, promising that if the President complied with his request to stop encouraging Chiang Kai-Shek, all war talk would disappear in Japan.

The American Ambassador promised to communicate this request to Washington, and then asked equally frank questions concerning Japan's commitments to Berlin. Mr. Matsuoka pointed out that the Axis pact was designed to limit the scope of the war by preventing the participation of the United States. However, if the United States went to war despite Germany's and Japan's desire for peace, there would be no backing down by either Axis nation. Yet Germany would not declare war on the United States, unless it were attacked. [257] In view of the worried manner of the American Ambassador, who asked Mr. Matsuoka to get in touch with the President of the United States, the Foreign Minister was convinced that Mr. Roosevelt was going to take some measures against him. [258]

 

51. Mr. Matsuoka Reassures the Axis Nations

 

Rumors in Berlin and Rome that Foreign Minister Matsuoka would visit the United States were transmitted to Tokyo. Inquiries from the Japanese Ambassadors in the Axis capitals concerning the truth of this rumor indicated that the German and Italian authorities were rather concerned about the situation, although they had expressed no official opinion concerning it. [259] An emphatic denial of any such intention was transmitted to German and Italian authorities by Mr. Matsuoka, who cited his newspaper conferences in which he had expressed his desire to have President Roosevelt and Secretary Hull visit Japan. [250]

An inquiry from the Japanese Ambassador at Berlin concerning the Hull-Nomura conversations elicited a response from Mr. Matsuoka which outlined his views concerning the desirability of Japan's strict allegiance to the Tripartite Pact. Mr. Matsuoka also stated that he had declined Roy Howard's invitation to visit the United States. Reporting his very frank talk with Ambassador Steinhardt concerning Japan's intentions in the Far East, the Foreign Minister disclosed that he had requested President Roosevelt to advise Chiang Kai-Shek to come to peace with Japan.

Ambassador Osima was informed that one draft of a possible treaty had already been worked out by the United States and Ambassador Nomura, and at the present time, Tokyo was cautiously considering it. Reminding Ambassador Osima of the urgent necessity for secrecy, the Foreign Minister warned him to say he knew nothing about the matter, if inquiries were made concerning it. Mr. Matsuoka assured Ambassador Osima that Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop was fully aware of the details of the situation and was also well acquainted with the personal views of Mr. Matsuoka, who was determined that any understanding between Japan and the United States would not affect the Tripartite Pact in the

 

[256] I, 299.

[257] I, 300.

[258] I, 301.

[259] I, 302.

[260] I, 303.

[261] I, 304, 304-A.

 

Page 45

 

52. Attempts of Japanese Moderate Elements to Keep Japan Out of the War

 

The Japanese Ambassador in London was attempting to exert a restraining influence on Tokyo's policy at this time. Raising several questions concerning the military situation which stressed that Germany might not be able to conquer Great Britain in 1941, and that American aid, tremendously expanded by the transformation of all industrial centers to war purposes, could not be stopped by German attacks, he also warned that the combined naval power of the United States and Great Britain would be able to defeat Japan. In addition, he expressed doubts as to whether Italy was a stony or weak link in the alliance with Germany. [262]

According to Ambassador Shigemitsu's views, Japan should not enter the war until both England and the United States had exhausted their naval strength, though full assistance should be given to its allies, Germany and Italy, until Japan had actually entered the war. [263] Despite his attempts to persuade Mr. Matsuoka to refrain from entering the war prematurely, the Japanese Ambassador did not miss the opportunity to inform Mr. Churchill that both England and the United States were impeding the cause of peace in Asia by assisting the Chungking government and by exerting economic pressure on Japan. [264]

 

53. Foreign Minister Matsuoka Congratulates Hitler

 

It was evident that the efforts of moderate Japanese elements to restrain the military extremists would have little effect on the course of Japanese policies when Mr. Matsuoka sent a special message of congratulations to Chancellor Hitler, after the German leader had made a fierce attack on President Roosevelt in his speech of May 4. Mr. Matsuoka, taking pains to point out how different were the attitudes of Chancellor Hitler and President Roosevelt in their most recent speeches, told Berlin that he had informed the President of Japan's real intentions so as to avoid the possibility of war. [265] This, and other dispatches passing from Tokyo to Berlin and Rome proved without a doubt that Mr. Matsuoka strongly supported Axis attempts to restrict America's aid to England. Thus, the American State Department was kept fully aware of the real feelings of Japanese authorities, which were much at odds with the seemingly sincere statements of Ambassador Nomura. [266]

 

JAPANESE-RUSSIAN RELATIONS

 

54. Secret Japanese-Russian Trade Agreements

 

Japan's position in Asia could be either strengthened or weakened by its relations with Soviet Russia. It was important, therefore, for the United States to know the plans of these two countries. Consequently, the discovery of the secret terms of a trade agreement between Moscow and Tokyo in March 1941, was of great value in estimating the future actions of Russia towards Japan. [267]

After the signing of the Japanese-Russian neutrality pact (see Section No. 55 immediately following) there were more trade agreements between these two countries. Such secret details as the amount of freight allowed to pass between Japan and Russia, legal questions of jurisdiction in certain areas, and arrangements for the interchange of rubber and oil were made available to the American State Department at this time. [268]

 

[262] I, 305.

[263] I, 306, 307.

[264] I, 303.

[265] I, 309, 310.

[266] I, 311.

[267] I, 312-318.

[268] I, 319-322.

 

Page 46

 

55. The Japanese-Russian Neutrality Pact (April 13, 1941)

 

After Mr. Matsuoka had reached Moscow, he held several conferences with Commissar Molotov and one with Commissar Stalin concerning Japanese-Soviet relations. [269] Both countries agreed to sign a neutrality pact which would relieve Japan of considerable pressure from the north, and which would permit it to concentrate on Pacific and southern problems for Japan expected England, America, and Australia to make a statement in the near future concerning their policy in the Pacific. [270]

Midway in January 1941 and again in March, the Russian Ambassador in Washington had been informed confidentially by Sumner Welles of Germany's plans to attack his country. [271] The transmission of this intelligence to Moscow must have caused some discussion of future strategy which undoubtedly revealed the advantages to Russia of fighting on only one front. Thus, the Japanese were able to achieve an unexpected victory—the neutrality pact.

It will be recalled that Mr. Matsuoka had been advised to cut his stay short in Moscow because the Japanese Ambassadors at Berlin and Moscow felt that Russia would not deal with him. The sudden change of heart of the Soviet authorities can probably be ascribed to the warnings they had received of the coming German attack. Undoubtedly the Russians possessed their own intelligence sources, but it may be said that the information obtained from the United States was at least a contributory factor in influencing the Russian decision. [272]

The Japanese-Russian treaty comprised two parts:

(a) A neutrality pact in which both nations guaranteed the preservation of peaceful and free relations with each other, and promised not to violate each other's territory even though the other nation became involved in war.

(b) A declaration in which both the Outer Mongolian Republic and Manchukuo were to come within this pact. [273] In addition to the treaty, established for five years, both the Japanese and Russians agreed to the formation of a commission which would draw up commercial agreements and settle border disturbances, [274] since incidents involving Japanese and Russian soldiers were a frequent occurrence on the Japanese-Russian border, especially in Manchukuo. [275] An exchange of intelligence was also planned by the two countries, and Japanese attaches were sent into Central Europe for this purpose. [276]

 

56. Japan Reassures the Axis

 

Mr. Matsuoka hastened to assure his Axis partners that no mention had been made of the Tripartite Alliance during the Japanese-Russian discussions, since both countries knew that the neutrality pact would not affect Japanese relations with Germany and Italy in the slightest. [277] Despite these assurances many pointed questions were being asked of the Japanese by the military leaders of Germany and Italy, because recent relations between Russia and Germany had not been satisfactory. Japanese diplomats were instructed to inform their Axis colleagues that the neutrality pact had been established to win Russian cooperation with the Axis nations, but it was evident that many doubts remained in the minds of German and Italian militarists. [278]

 

[269] I, 323.

[270] I, 324

[271] Forrest Davis and Ernest K. Lindley—How War Came, N.Y., 1942, p. 175, p. 241.

[272] I, 325-330.

[273] I, 331-333.

[274] I, 334.

[275] I, 335.

[276] I, 336, 337.

[277] I, 338.

[278] I, 339.

 

Page 47

 

47. World Reaction to Neutrality Pact

 

Foreign Minister Matsuoka had instructed his Ambassadors to ascertain public opinion throughout the world concerning his trip to Berlin and Rome. [279] The people of England, [280] the United States, [281] and the Netherlands East Indies [282] had been greatly shocked, and reports from China indicated that Chiang Kai-Shek also had been considerably disturbed. [288] The signing of the Japanese-Russian neutrality pact intensified the doubts of many concerning Japan's peaceful intentions in the South Pacific. [284]

Despite the attempt of the Japanese Ambassador in London to assure the British that all of Mr. Matsuoka's efforts in past weeks had been to bring about peace, official British opinion at the moment seemed to view the neutrality pact as an effort by the Russians to encourage the southward expansion of the Japanese. There was great fear in England that a secret understanding existed between Japan, Russia, and Germany which would affect both Europe and Asia at the expense of the British. [285]

According to a Japanese dispatch, the Pope considered the neutrality pact as evidence of Japan's desire to bring about peace with Chiang Kai-Shek. Consequently, it was reported that the Papal Delegate to the United States had been instructed to ask President Roosevelt's assistance in restricting the war as much as possible for the sake of peace. [286] It is interesting to note that Foreign Minister Matsuoka said at a gathering of the Japanese Privy Council that one of the chief objectives of the neutrality pact had been the settlement of the China incident, looking toward a general peace. [287]

Ambassador Nomura conversed with the Soviet Ambassador in Washington, who seemed to be very pleased with the recent diplomatic achievement of Mr. Matsuoka. The Japanese Foreign Minister was delighted himself and wired his thanks to Commissars Stalin and Molotov. [288] The Soviet Ambassador remarked, however, that American public opinion had received a great shock. [289] Japanese diplomats were convinced that Russia was scheming to involve Japan in war with the United States; some also stated that Stalin had used the Germans to wage war against Great Britain; [290] and others believed that Russia was about to join the ranks of the Axis nations or at least to give them tacit support. [291] They felt that Chungking, forced by the logic of events to come to peace with Japan, would modify its attitude towards Chinese communists considerably. [292] On the other hand, some Japanese and Chinese believed that Britain and America were plotting to continue the Chinese-Japanese war as long as possible so that they  could obtain some advantage for themselves. [293]

 

58. German Reaction to Neutrality Pact

 

According to the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin, the German reaction to this Japanese-Russian neutrality pact had been one of cold hostility at first, because of the difficulties exist

 

[279] I, 292.

[280] I, 340, 341.

[281] I, 340, 342, 343.

[282] I, 344.

[283] I, 345.

[284] I, 346.

[285] I, 341.

[286] I, 347.

[287] I, 348, 349.

[288] I, 350.

[289] I, 351.

[290] I, 352.

[291] I, 353.

[292] I, 354.

[293] I, 355.

 

Page 48

 

ing between Germany and Russia. However, when Britain and America reacted unfavorably toward this pact, the Germans began to realize that the strengthening of Japan would help Germany in the Far East. [294]

 

59. Russian Espionage in Manchukuo

 

It will be recalled that Secretary Hull and Ambassador Nomura had touched upon the question of recognition of Manchukuo in one of their conversations. The ratification of the Japanese-Russian neutrality treaty on April 25 occasioned a discussion among Japanese diplomats as to the future activity of Russian agents in Manchukuo. [295] Some of the complexities of the political situation in this area were well illustrated by the information contained in the Japanese reports. [296]

 

60. Stalin Assumes New Powers in May 1941

 

The Japanese were determined to solve all current problems involving Russia so as to be completely prepared for war with the United States. [297] Commissar Stalin's assumption of the Presidency of the Council of People's Commissars and Molotov's appointment as People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, early in May 1941, aroused a great deal of curiosity in Tokyo as to the future plans of Russia. Japanese representatives in Berlin and Moscow were ordered to ascertain the circumstances surrounding these new happenings, and to report on the anticipated effects thereof as quickly as possible. [298]

The Japanese Ambassador at Moscow interpreted this new move as a decision by Stalin to assume full leadership in Russia's internal affairs, giving Molotov full direction of foreign policy so as to have a scapegoat ready for sacrifice in case German-Soviet relations deteriorated. [299] Tokyo was also interested in the opinions of prominent German leaders concerning this new move, [300] since the Japanese were convinced that Germany was about to attack Russia, although they did not know the exact time. [301] Although Ambassador Osima in Berlin thought that Stalin had taken over the three branches of the government—political, military and internal—so that he could make some great concession to Germany, he reported that in any event, Russia was at an important turning point in its foreign policy. [302]

 

61. Germany Plans to Attack Russia

 

Several reports in April 1941 from the Japanese Ambassador to Berlin, summarizing the views of Japanese diplomats in Europe concerning the inter-national situation, indicated that Germany had made all preparations for attacking Russia. Listing the reasons for his belief that Germany would advance against Russia, and estimating the influence of this new move on Japanese policies, Ambassador Osima reported that Germany would not expect Japan to attack Russia simultaneously. However, Germany probably would desire Japan to keep its forces intact in Northern Manchukuo to prevent the transfer of Russian soldiers from the East to the West front. [303]

 

[294] I, 356.

[295] I, 357.

[296] I, 358, 359.

[297] I, 360.

[298] I, 361.

[299] I, 362.

[300] I, 363.

[301] I, 364.

[302] I, 365.

[303] I, 366-368.

 

Page 49

 

Though there was no need to parallel every act of Germany, Ambassador Osima urged that Japan, seizing Singapore first, attack in the Far East. [304] Requesting Mr. Matsuoka to adopt his plan as Japan's national policy and to carry it out as quickly as possible, Ambassador Osima declared that the Germans were confident of being able to fight on both the eastern and western fronts simultaneously without weakening their air power for the attack on Great Britain. [305] Germany's decision to attack Russia rested in the hands of one man, Chancellor Hitler, but from all indications it was certain that Hitler would move towards the East. [306]

According to Ambassador Osima, Germany did not intend to lose her foothold in Finland, which was displeasing to the Russians. [307] Russia had asked Germany to recognize Russia's special rights in Bulgaria in return for guaranteeing Germany's rights in Finland. Furthermore, when both Bulgaria and Yugoslavia joined the Tripartite Pact, Russia had been very disturbed since she desired to control the Balkans. [308]

In view of this trend of Japanese thought as expressed by Ambassador Osima, it was evident that Mr. Hull and Ambassador Nomura would be faced with a very difficult task in trying to effect a peaceful settlement of Far Eastern affairs.

The Japanese Ambassadors in Rome and Berlin, in noting recent developments of the European war, thought that German-Italian relations were growing more cooperative as Italy gained confidence in Germany. This was confirmed a little later when Premier Mussolini, in an interview with both Japanese Ambassadors, stated that perfect harmony existed between Germany and Italy, and that the war was going in their favor. [309]

Though Ambassadors Horikiri and Osima felt that the United States would not enter into war officially, they believed that President Roosevelt's plans to aid Britain would not change and that, therefore, America would act as though she were in the war. Both Germany and Italy expected a long struggle as a result of America's aid to Britain. Germany was about to speed up operations in the Mediterranean and to demand passage through Turkey, and having taken over various islands in the Mediterranean, it would deny Northwest Africa to the Allies as a base, and would persuade Spain to permit passage of troops to Morocco. Germany did not intend to carry out landing operations against the British at this time because of its delicate relations with Russia. [310]

Though it is perhaps true that Germany did not invade England in 1941 because of the growing crisis with Russia on the eastern front, a conversation between Admiral Raeder and the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin disclosed another reason which may have been predominant. Germany realized that by comparison with the German fleet of i914-1918 its Navy of 1941 was of inferior quality. Admiral Raeder, possibly the greatest naval authority in Germany, conceded also that his country lacked the means with which to carry out landing operations against England. Thus once again had England been saved by the presence of its superior fleet. This explanation of Admiral Raeder may be the answer to the question many military analysts have long been asking—Why did not Hitler first invade England before attacking Russia? [311]

Returning to Germany's plans for the Balkans and the Mediterranean, as announced by the Japanese Ambassadors in Rome and Berlin, Turkey was to be allowed to assist in partitioning Greece in return for granting permission to German troops to pass through its territory. A part

 

[304] I, 369

[305] I, 370.

[306] I, 367, 368.

[307] I, 371, 372.

[308] I, 373.

[309] I, 374.

[310] I, 375.

[311] I, 376.

 

Page 50

 

of Eastern Macedonia and two islands in the Aegean Sea were also to be acquired by Turkey. Though Russia was attempting to mollify Germany, the latter nation would complete preparations for war on the Eastern Front during May, at which time the decision to attack would be made by Chancellor Hitler. Ambassador Osima, differing from his colleague in Italy, was convinced that America would enter the war, especially because Germany would launch severe submarine attacks when the United States began its convoy system. [312]

Tokyo was informed by an agent in Vienna that Germany would take over the Ukraine and Caucasus as soon as the harvest was ready, which meant that Germany's war with Russia would begin in June 1941. [313] Further indications of a critical situation were that Russia had made no plans for further trade collaboration with Germany, [314] and German authorities were rather sensitive about articles in Japanese newspapers which touched upon German-Russian relations. [315] All of this pointed to a very grave crisis in Europe.

 

JAPANESE-BRITISH RELATIONS

 

62. England's Concern Over Japanese Policies

 

England was as much concerned as the United States over the militaristic policies of Japan in Asia. The Japanese Foreign Minister, apprised of this feeling, made an effort to dispel some of the suspicions aroused in England by sending a special message to the Japanese Ambassador in London. [316]

The intensified efforts of the Japanese to acquire intelligence in regard to the plans of the United States to aid England took on greater significance in the light of happenings in Japan itself. Japan had won virtual political and economic control in several parts of Asia with the signing of the Thai-Indo China armistice. [317] An extraordinarily large war budget covering the period from April 1941 to January 1942 had been approved by the Japanese Diet, [318] and many measures giving the Japanese government wide emergency powers were passed. [319]

According to Mr. Matsuoka the primary purpose of the Tripartite Pact was to limit the sphere of the European war by keeping those powers not engaged in current hostilities from entering the war, and by effecting peace as quickly as possible. Insisting that his principal concern was with world peace, and stressing his hope that the China affair would be brought to a sudden end, he denied all aspirations to control the destinies of other people, and affirmed that it was Japan's policy to inaugurate an era of peace in Greater East Asia. If the American government could be persuaded to restrict its activities in the western hemisphere, all difficulties could be easily eliminated. Mr. Matsuoka appealed to the British to aid him in persuading the United States to ignore untoward happenings in Asia. [320]

Complaining that the unwarranted suspicions of Japan's activities in London and Washington were probably due to misinformation and mistranslations emanating from the British Embassy in Tokyo and other sources, Mr. Matsuoka pointed out that the Japanese people

 

[312] I, 377.

[313] I, 378.

[314] I, 379.

[315] I, 380.

[316] I, 381.

[317] N.Y. Times, Feb. 2, 1941, 1:2.

[318] Ibid., Feb. 7, 1941, 5:6.

[319] Ibid., Feb. 17, 1941, 3:1.

[320] I, 381.

 

Page 51

 

were becoming increasingly concerned with the warlike movements of the British and American governments in the South Pacific. [321] However, the Foreign Minister spoke of the great need of eliminating current difficulties so that world peace could avert the downfall of modern civilization.

The following passage is of interest because Prime Minister Churchill was to answer it in the negative, whereupon Mr. Matsuoka disclaimed any intention of having Japan act as a mediator between the belligerent nations of Europe:

 

Lastly, the Minister for Foreign Affairs would like to make it clear that Japan, deeply concerned as she is prepared to act as a mediator or to take whatever action calculated to revive normal conditions, not only in greater East Asia but anywhere the world over. The Minister for Foreign Affairs trusts that his Britannic Majesty's Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs will not hesitate to share the conviction that upon the shoulders of the leading powers rest the great and grave responsibility of restoring peace and saving modern civilization from an impending collapse. Such responsibility can only be fulfilled by a wise and courageous statesmanship willing to display an accommodating and generous position listening to other's claims and contentions. It is hardly necessary to add that whatever Japan may do she will always be actuated by the consciousness of responsibility which she owes to humanity. [322]

 

63. Mr. Churchill's Exchange with Mr. Matsuoka

 

A reply by Prime Minister Churchill was now sent to Mr. Matsuoka. Full assurance was given by the British Prime Minister that neither the United States nor Great Britain was preparing to attack Japan, and that all preparations made in the Far East were based solely on reasons of self-defense. British impressions concerning Japan had not been gathered from ambassadorial reports alone, but the course of events in the Far East and the speeches of Mr. Matsuoka himself had influenced London. [323]

With the help of the United States, Great Britain would become so strong within the next year that it would surpass the countries which had devoted most of their resources to war needs. [324] The British were determined to extirpate the Nazi regime from Europe, seeking no advantage for themselves except the satisfaction of having rid the earth of tyranny and of having restored freedom to many enslaved nations of Europe. Mr. Churchill also rejected the hints of Mr. Matsuoka concerning his readiness to act as mediator between Germany and England, stating that there would be no compromise or parley in coming to a decision which would affect the whole future of humanity. [325]

Foreign Minister Matsuoka promptly answered that he had no desire to act as mediator between Germany and England, but that the Tripartite Pact had been entered into by Japan as a peace pact in the sense that it was designed to prevent a third power from entering either the European or Chinese-Japanese wars. Though expressing the hope that America and Japan would not become involved in a struggle on opposite sides, he remarked that Japan was determined to remain absolutely loyal to the Axis under the Tripartite Pact. [326]

 

64. British Views of the Far East Situation

 

Some of the dark shadows of approaching war were lifted by a report of the Japanese Ambassador to London that a recent conciliatory speech of Australian Premier Menzies had been given as a gesture of friendship from Great Britain to Japan. [327] Furthermore, Admiral Nomura in Washington conversed with the British Ambassador, who told him that neither

 

[321] I, 382, 383.

[322] I, 381.

[323] I, 384, 385.

[324] I, 386.

[325] I, 387.

[326] I, 388.

[327] I, 389.

 

Page 52

 

the United States or England desired war in the Pacific, but that in case of difficulty the United States would back up England. According to the British Ambassador's interpretation of recent newspaper stories, the situation in the Far East was somewhat better than it had been, although it was still dangerous. [328]

 

65. British Counter Intelligence Against the Japanese [329]

 

The British were exercising censorship of foreign messages at various points in their worldwide communication net. Code messages passing from Havana to Bombay were seized by the British censor in India; [330] a Japanese steamship was stopped by an armed British vessel in the Gulf of Persia, and all mail was removed for inspection; [331] all mail carried on vessels touching at Hongkong was examined by the British authorities, which caused the Japanese to route vessels carrying important mail away from this port. [332]

 

JAPANESE-DUTCH RELATIONS

 

66. Japanese Threats Against the Netherlands East Indies

 

Rumors of approaching war between America and Japan were affecting all Japanese relations in the South Pacific, especially in the Netherlands East Indies where strenuous efforts were being made to keep out Japanese fishermen. [333] A conversation between a Japanese diplomat and an official of the Netherlands East Indies demonstrated some interesting views on both sides regarding the relative strength of the Japanese and the United States navies.

 

HOFSTRAATEN: "No, you are badly mistaken there. I am satisfied from what I have heard from American naval officers that they could sink the Japanese navy within six weeks."

ISIZAWA: "On the contrary, I have been told by Japanese navy men that in the event of an attack our ships could sink the entire American fleet within two weeks." [334]

 

Japan seemed to be ready to take severe measures against the Netherlands East Indies, if the occasion arose. [335] Unfortunately, the Japanese had succeeded in getting access to secret documents and messages sent from the Netherlands Ministry in Bangkok to Dutch authorities. A request was sent to Tokyo for a Dutch language translator who could take advantage of this situation, [336] but very shortly thereafter, a secret investigation by the Netherlands government disclosed that a native employee, who possessed keys for all the safes, had been in contact with the Japanese Military Attaché. Since the Japanese had learned of this investigation from a telegram of the British Attaché in Bangkok, it may be presumed that Japan was able to decipher some of the British codes. [337]

Though documentary evidence is not available at the present writing, it is possible that the contents of the original message disclosing this leak in the Netherlands Indies government was revealed to proper authorities at Bangkok by United States officials so that proper measures could be taken to prevent damaging revelations.

 

[328] I, 390.

[329] I, 391.

[330] I, 392.

[331] I, 393.

[332] I, 394.

[333] I, 398.

[334] I, 395.

[335] Ibid.

[336] I, 396.

[337] I, 397.

 

Page 53

 

67. Dutch Counter Intelligence Against the Japanese

 

As early as January 10, 1941, the Japanese in the Netherlands East Indies were complaining to Tokyo that the Dutch authorities were intensifying their surveillance of Japanese nationals. For this reason, secret documents concerning Japanese plans for arousing the natives and Chinese residents against Dutch authorities were burned to avert their discovery. [338]

The Dutch authorities were exercising very close censorship over the mail of all foreign residents, and Tokyo was warned to send all secret correspondence by official couriers. [339] Since Japanese diplomats in the Netherlands East Indies were engaged in intelligence work, [340] they urged that only civilian couriers be used instead of military men, so as to avoid all misunderstandings with Dutch Authorities. This plea was occasioned by the fact that many Japanese entering Netherlands East Indies as diplomatic couriers were military men in disguise, who were easily spotted by Dutch counter espionage authorities. [341]

 

68. Japanese-Dutch East Indies Negotiations

 

Repercussions from Mr. Matsuoka's visit to Berlin and Rome were felt even in the Netherlands East Indies, where Japanese representatives claimed that the refusal of the Dutch to grant them trade advantages was influenced by the British and American governments. The Netherlands government insisted, however, that its decision was based on its own policy of not sending anything to Japan which could then be forwarded to Germany. All Japanese efforts to persuade the Dutch that their goods would not be reshipped to Europe seemed to be unavailing. This was especially true after the visit of Mr. Matsuoka to the Axis capitol. [342]

Japanese diplomatic dispatches from Batavia were quite frank in their appraisal of this situation. Not disguising the fact that all verbal arguments had been of little avail and that, therefore, a new approach would have to be made if their proposal was to be realized, Japanese agents reported that Mr. Matsuoka's trip to Berlin had blocked their negotiations to buy more essential products from the Netherlands East Indies. [343]

Agreeing that the Dutch had no intention of blockading Japan, but were determined to see to it that no supplies of military value would reach Germany from the Netherlands East Indies, Japanese negotiators informed Tokyo that the situation was approaching a crisis. There seemed to be little doubt that the Japanese were planning to seize the Indies eventually, but negotiations were being carried on to ensure a constant stream of supplies until a favorable opportunity arose for military conquest of this area. [344]

 

JAPANESE-THAI RELATIONS

 

The Japanese were exerting constant pressure on Thailand to assure themselves of closer economic relations with this country. According to the Japanese, the British were ready to invade Thailand at any time that Japanese-Thaiese cooperation became too great. [345] Japan was somewhat disturbed when Thailand resumed diplomatic relations with Russia, and

 

[338] I, 399.

[339] I, 400-402.

[340] I, 403, 404.

[341] I, 405, 406.

[342] I, 407-410.

[343] Ibid.

[344] I, 411, 412.

[345] I, 413.

 

Page 54

 

Tokyo did not hesitate to inform its diplomats that Japanese-Thailand relations should tend toward promoting Thailand's reliance on Japan. [346] Propaganda broadcasts were transmitted to this area from Tokyo, [347] and though Japan desired a radio beacon for military purposes, Japanese diplomats explained to the Thaiese that it was needed for the safety of the Thailand-Japan Air Service. [348]

In mid-April Japan's pressure on Thailand became intensified. The Thaiese were informed that Japan expected them to accept her offers of assistance; there could be no mistaking Japanese intentions for this area. [349]

The remaining chapters of this study, with their appendices, will appear in subsequent volumes which will be published in the near future for the information of higher authorities who need to know.

 

[346] I, 414.

[347] I, 415.

[348] I, 416.

[349] I, 417.

 

Page A-1

 

APPENDIX I

 

Preliminary Phase

(February 14, 1941- May 12, 1941)

PART A—THE HULL-NOMURA CONVERSATIONS

 

 

No. 1

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

February 15, 1941

 

# 85.

 

On the 14th at noon I presented President Roosevelt with my credentials and at the same time with Former Ambassador HORINOUCHI's release from office. In my separate numbers 86 [a] and 87 [b] I describe my own formal statements at the presentation ceremony together with the President's formal responses.

Secretary HULL sat with us during the ceremony and the President assumed a very attentive attitude. We talked of a number of things, in the course of which he referred to the situation in the United States, speaking as follows:

"At present Japanese-American relations are following a gradually worsening path. Incidents in China have mounted to over a hundred and troubles between Japan and the United States are inciting American public opinion. Furthermore, the newspapers of both countries are printing at random inciting articles. This is a matter to be worried about. Secretary HULL and I are endeavoring to quiet public opinion but you will remember the case of the sinking of the Maine long ago and only four years ago happened the Panay incident. I am awfully worried because I fear that through some untoward incident the worst may happen. Japan is gradually penetrating further and further south toward the Hainan Island, the Spratley Islands, French Indo-China and Thai. Now you know that in consideration of the 3-power pact Japan is not free to act independently. I fear that Germany and Italy are going to bring force to bear on you."

In response I said: "Well, it is my intention to do my utmost to prevent a rupture in Japanese-American relations. My personal opinion is that Japan and the United States ought not quarrel with each other but rather when the time comes let both countries have the grave mission of bringing about world peace."

The President replied: "I strongly agree with you and will do my best to improve relations between Japan and the United States, and whenever necessary at any time I will be glad to have interviews with you."

 

[a] Plain text.

[b] Not available.

 

Trans. 2-19-41

 

Page A-2

 

No. 2

FROM: Washington (Morishima)

TO: Tokyo

January 13, 1941

 

# 21. (Your special message # 2.) [a]

 

I see by the papers that WAKASUGI, formerly Consul General in New York, is to accompany Ambassador NOMURA as an adviser and is coming to Washington. No doubt you have been considering what official status he is to be given in his capacity as an adviser. I might say, however, that if he is to be called merely a special official, it would be impossible for him to ask for diplomatic privileges in the United States and, furthermore, he would experience inconvenience in his more important activity and in contacting members of the Congress and the press, to say nothing of the State Department officials. Consequently, he would not be able to accomplish the mission for which he is to be especially sent. I wonder how it would be if the precedent set by Minister NISHI, when he was made a Special Ambassador to Soviet Russia, is followed and WAKASUGI, by special consideration, could be given the combined status of Minister and Counselor. I might also mention, for your reference in this connection, that among the diplomats here, especially in the case of those from Italy, -----, Mexico, Brazil, and Great Britain, there are in each office two Commercial Attaches, in addition to the Ambassador, and one of these two Attaches is given the status of Minister.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 1-15-41

 

No. 3

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

17 February 1941

 

# 93.

 

(We are unable to decipher your message # 67a from the 18th letter on. Please retransmit.)

Regarding Wakasugi's rating, besides the situation explained in my message # 216, Great Britain has given one of her Counselors a Minister's ranking, and also shortly she will add one more Minister. (Minister to Canada is to be transferred to Canberra as High Commissioner.)

It has also been reported that U.S. will promote her Counselor at London to a Minister, and the Legal Adviser to the newly appointed Ambassador, KOHEN (Cohen?) will also be given the Minister's ranking.

In view of the above and in consideration of the performance of his duties in relation to the State Department and the diplomatic corps in general, please decide on Wakasugi's diplomatic rank and reply as soon as possible.

 

[a] Re appointment of Col. Iwakuro as Aide to Military Attaché at Washington.

 

[b] Re status of Wakasugi.

 

Trans. 3-5-41

 

Page A-3

 

No. 4

 

FROM: Washington (Japanese Ambassador)

TO: London

February 14, 1941

 

# 6. Message from Tokyo # 68. (Part 1 of 3)

 

In my recent discussions in the Diet this Foreign Minister in order to persuade the United States to reflect have frankly expressed our attitude and determination and endeavor to make it clear that our national strength is not exhausted. Now when you take office, will you please begin with the President and inform both the officials and people of the United States of the following points. Please endeavor to impress them upon your listeners:

1. It is my mission to rescue our civilization from chaos and to bring peace and prosperity to the Pacific in which both Japan and America are interested. In the accomplishment of this task our two countries ought to cooperate and pull together. Since the new year, compromises between our two countries have been less in evidence. Unfortunately the American officials and people refuse to understand our real intention; or else they mistakenly deem that our aims are at odds with their own welfare. This is a very grave and dangerous hallucination. We have an uncheckable determination to oppose any country whose design it is to thwart us. Now, I hear that the Americans think that among our people there are those who secretly despise the Tri-Partite Treaty. (Of course, all countries have their dissenters.) The Americans hope that, through the prolongation of the China trouble, we will be shorn of our national strength and that if they take a strong attitude toward us they can break the solidarity of our people and bring us to our knees. At least, I hear there are such Americans, and if it is true, this sort of mistake may bring about most regrettable results.

2. It is true that our national strength is to be a certain extent exhausted; however, it is not as much so as American propaganda would indicate. Further, it is the character of our people to resent pressure from the outside and to combat it savagely. By adding to our troubles, losses and our setbacks in war, the Americans should know that they are only consolidating the morale of our folk. Now, I have seen many Americans who have traveled among us Japanese and, judging from them, if the United States was in the same predicament, the same thing would result. The Americans ought to know what result will come from following this sort of policy. On the other hand, our people must not forget that by departing from reason and acting emotionally, making compromises with people who meet them half way with sympathy and kindness, they often get further than in any other way. Now, perhaps those who are the leaders in the United States may be this sort of people.

 

Trans. 2-17-41

 

No. 4A

 

FROM: Washington (Japanese Ambassador)

TO: London

February 14, 1941

 

# 6. Message from Tokyo # 68. (Part 2 of 3) [a]

 

3. Do you know that in all Japan there is not one man who actually wants to fight the United States? Unfortunately, however, if trouble of any sort arises between Japan and the United States, the Soviet is sure to work directly upon the American people and try to instigate them to war. America has never started a war willfully on her own.

 

Page A-4

 

4. What does the United States have to gain by fighting Japan? In all the United States, I will wager there is not one who desires to defeat Japan and see the race of Yamato shattered but, on the other hand, if there be a man who thinks of that even in his wildest dreams, let him know once and for all that this cannot be done. Now let's suppose for a moment that they did defeat us and forced upon us another Versailles Treaty. It would not take us any thirty years to throw off that yoke. No, our deliverance would come swiftly. Behold the resurgence of the German Reich! Japan has a government such as no country on this earth possesses. By the eternal glory of our emperor, the King of Heaven, we have overcome every vicissitude through which we have passed in years gone by. If we were to go down now, swifter than that of Germany would be our restoration and like lightening would come our vengeance and in this there is no element of doubt. The imperial family is the fountainhead from whence issues the uniform stream of our national existence. We have a peerless nation, totally and completely incomprehensible to all outsiders. In sum, if Japan and the United States, who have always been friends, now break, it will be a tragedy for both and the civilization of the world will be cast into chaos. Under these circumstances I can tell you one thing; the United States ought to ------ absolutely must ----- think this matter through.

 

[a] DoD comment: Part 2, above, of Mr. Matsuoka's message was not available to the original historian. Through recent research, the message has been located. Such instances will occur throughout this history from time to time; suffix "A" will so indicate.

 

Trans. 2-17-41

 

No. 5

 

FROM: Washington (Japanese Ambassador)

TO: London

 

February 14, 1941

 

# 6. Message from Tokyo # 68. (Part 3 of 3).

 

5. If Japan and the United States fight, Soviet Russia is sure to move; and suppose that Japan is completely defeated as the United States hopes that she will be, then Soviet Russia will grab the whole of China and Bolshevize her, and on the wave of her success, she will Bolshevize the greater part of Asia. I wonder if the United States presages such an eventuality? If, in one chance out of a million, Japan should go under, a fearful situation would prevail in the Far East.

6. The foreign policy of Imperial Japan is based on a logic unique in the world. Its utmost concern is the security of world peace and prosperity. She had not, in the least, any intention of attacking the United States. Therefore, that the United States is intensely working towards the building up of her defenses is a phenomenon beyond our comprehension. Japan and the United States should never oppose each other, but cooperate. Recent words and actions of political leaders in the United States have been extremely provocative, and it would seem that their object is to build a defense sufficiently powerful to enable the United States to act as a police official for the whole world. Such a thing is indeed not only regrettable for the sake of peace in the Pacific, but also unbecoming of the United States. Instead of interfering often with the right to livelihood enjoyed by the other powers, the United States, I believe, should awaken to the responsibilities that are hers by right and that she has towards world peace, and in the spirit of mutual concession, should devote all her energy to the solution of the impending crisis and to the promotion of the well-being of humanity.

Relay to London.

 

Trans. 2-17-41

 

Page A-5

 

No. 6

 

The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State.

 

(Paraphrase)

3

TOKYO, Jan 27, 1941—6 p.m.

(Received January 27—6:38 a.m.)

 

(125)

 

A member of the Embassy was told by my ----- colleague that from many quarters, including a Japanese one, he had heard that a surprise mass attack on Pearl Harbor was planned by the Japanese military forces, in case of "trouble" between Japan and the United States; that the attack would involve the use of all the Japanese military facilities. My colleague said that he was prompted to pass this on because it had come to him from many sources, although the plan seemed fantastic.

 

Grew

 

711.94/1935: Telegram

(S.D. II, P. 133)

 

No. 7

 

FROM: Honolulu (Okuda)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin) [a]

 

February 15, 1941

 

# 027.

 

Chief of Office Routing.

 

To Chief of Fifth Branch, Section 3 of the General Staff and Captain Ogawa:

WOTUTO requested on the 14th that the information noted below be forwarded to you. I find  it difficult to relay the information contained in paragraph 1, but I do so anyway.

 1. Indications seem to be that the U.S. has decided to declare war on Japan within the next three weeks.

2. Definite advice will be available twenty-four hours in advance of such a declaration by the U.S.

3. The U.S. plans to cut Japanese trade lanes to South America.

 

[a] To foreign ministry.

 

Trans. 2-18-41

 

 

Page A-6

 

No. 8

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

February 19, 1941

 

# 095

 

At the time of my assuming my post the newspapers of this country manifested a spirit of welcoming me personally as one who has a large number of friends in this country and as being well acquainted with conditions here, but they are all agreed in saying that as far as the future of Japanese-American relations is concerned there is nothing to do but wait for future developments. The newspapers have also reported the President's press conference of the 11th (see my special intelligence report) and activities of the Japanese Navy in the French Indo China area; taking the attitude that Japanese-American relations still permit of no optimism.

To cite some of the more noteworthy newspapers articles, the New York Herald Tribune of the 12th pointed out the great significance of the statement by President Roosevelt on the day of Ambassador Nomura's assumption of his post, to the effect that there will be no change in the established policy of assistance to Britain, even though the U.S. should become involved in war in the Far East; and asserted that even though Ambassador Nomura will likely begin conversations with the U.S. government officials looking to Japanese-American negotiations, unless the Japanese are prepared to make greater concessions than they are generally anticipated now, there is very little hope of any success. It also set forth that the Ambassador personally is friendly to the U.S., that during his office as Foreign Minister he had worked for the renewal of the trade treaty, and that he will likely renew his efforts for the conclusion of a treaty.

The Evening Star on the 12th related how the German and Italian diplomatic representatives in Washington turned out to welcome the Ambassador at the station on his arrival, suggesting that Germany and Italy expect the new Ambassador to bring about some joint diplomatic moves with the German-Italian Axis in Washington. It was asserted that local diplomatic circles will be watching with interest to see what conciliatory moves will be made by Ambassador Nomura in trying to enlist American good-will for the improvement of Japanese-American relations. It was further stated that when it comes to the actual problems, expressions of intentions and personal relationships, mean nothing, but that friendship of the U.S. for Japan will depend upon Japan's actions in the Far East and South Pacific, and that the new Ambassador knows well what the conditions are for bringing about closer relations between Japan and America.

 

Trans. 2-26-41

 

No. 9

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

February 19, 1941

 

# 96.

 

Although it has been but a few days since I assumed my post, I wish to report my general observations.

(1) There are definite indications of American-British solidarity and identity of feelings Germany in the present war. Although no tangible proof can be given, the general sentiment in America against Germany appears to be as strong as, if not stronger, than it was during the world war.

 

Page A-7

 

(2) Since the Tripartite Treaty, there is a definite feeling among the people here that Japan is their real enemy, and also that, coinciding with the German spring offensive, Japan will embark on her southward advance and that Japan is using the Thailand-French Indo-China situation as an excuse to prepare herself for an attack on Singapore.

(3) There is much talk of America's backing England, Australia, New Zealand, and Dutch Indies against Japan's southward advance.

(4) In the event of American-British joint naval action, many capital ships will be needed in the Pacific and many smaller ships in the Atlantic. Therefore, if the situation demands it, British capital ships will take over the Pacific area and American destroyers will take over the Atlantic area. On the basis of this argument, there are some who believe that in exchange for the aid of latest type British capital ships, America will furnish destroyers to assist England. This is a very important question, deserving our utmost consideration.

(5) Some are bold enough to say that, in a year or two, the American fleet at Hawaii will make a westward advance, claiming that Japan's southward advance is part of her national plan and for that reason America cannot maintain a neutral attitude. Should Britain fall, the Americans will add whatever remains of the British fleet to her own fleet to attack Japan.

Please communicate the contents of this message to the War Minister and the Navy Minister.

 

Trans. 2-21-41

 

No. 10

 

February 20, 1941

 

Japan Must Expand Nomura Says

 

Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura, new Japanese Ambassador, said yesterday that his country must expand southward, that he hopes the expansion can be by peaceful economic means but that he cannot promise Japan will not use force to carry out the program.

Describing Japan as a nation bent only on preserving the peace, the Ambassador declared that war can be avoided between the United States and Japan unless the initiative comes from the American side.

"Japan will expand to the south peacefully and economically," he said in Japanese to an interpreter at his first press conference since arriving in Washington February 11.

 

Doesn't Expect War With U.S.

 

Under the present economic bloc system Japan can no longer get goods from far places. Naturally she has to get them nearby.

"I cannot say with absolute definiteness whether Japan will have to resort to force to secure these necessities," he added.

He did not expect war with the United States, he said, unless this country makes the first move.

Six feet in height and a veteran of more than three decades in his country's navy, the Ambassador took great delight in his rejoinders to questions fired by a group of forty reporters.

Though he has a good command of the English language, Nomura spoke through an interpreter, yesterday, apparently to give himself more time to prepare careful answers to all questions.

 

Page A-8

 

The picture he painted of Japan's activities and of her "new order" for Asia was one of a peaceful nation intent on removing trade barriers.

 

Atmosphere Not so Good

 

Persistently reporters attempted to get him to express some of Japan's objections to recent American and British military movements in the Far East, to admit a danger of war with the United States, to voice Japan's objections to fortification of the far Pacific Island of Guam and to disclose the degree of cooperation existing between Japan and Germany.

None of these attempts was successful.

Whenever a barbed question was asked the Ambassador and his interpreter would laugh uproariously, slap thighs and prepare an answer.

The closest that Nomura came to saying that Japanese-American relations were something less than rosy was a statement at the start, that he found the "atmosphere in Washington not quite so good as I expected when I was in Japan. I thought it would not be so bad".

"Do you believe there is danger of war between the United States and Japan," Nomura was asked.

"Personally I believe that there should not be war, and there will not be war," he replied. "But of course that is my personal opinion."

"Can there be any commercial equality in Asia in view of Japan's program?" was the next question.

"I believe that eventually, when peace and normal conditions are restored in China, it will be quite possible to restore normal policies and guarantees to United States commerce," Nomura said.

"Of course at present there are military controls. Without these controls it would be impossible to carry out our operations. It is inevitable that there will be certain cases of impairing third-power interests. But this is merely temporary."

 

Queried on Guam

 

Asked if Japan objected to strengthening by the United States of Guam and Samoa, voted yesterday by the house, Nomura replied:

"Of course from the Japanese side we don't like to see an air or naval base so near our territory, especially a base of a great power like the United States."

"But we cannot interfere."

Asking if he had any objection to British reinforcements arriving at Singapore, the Japanese envoy replied similarly: "Singapore doesn't concern us. It is a British base."

Asked whether he had brought with him any concrete suggestions for improving relations, Nomura replied that "I can not answer that."

"Do you think Japan will have to expand her territory some more in order to establish this new order?" the Ambassador was asked.

"No," he replied—in English.

Regarding current activities in Indo-China and Thailand he said,

"Indo-China and Thailand have special reference to the China war. The main object of Japan there is the economic, or exchange of goods." He explained that his country is interested chiefly in making sure that no war supplies get into China from Indo-China or Thailand."

Nomura was asked, "Will Japan extend her relations with the Axis?"

"There is a treaty and Japan will stick to it," he said.

If the United States goes to war against Germany would Japan declare war on the United States?" was the next stickler.

 

Page A-9

 

"I don't think the United States will declare war against Germany, so the situation you refer to will not arise." Nomura answered.

"Does the treaty obligate Japan to go to war against the United States if the United States goes to war against Germany?" the envoy was asked.

"That is a question of treaty interpretation; I will refrain from going into it," he said cautiously.

Then he volunteered the following:

"When Japan entered upon the Axis treaty it was her intention to preserve the peace. Her motives were entirely peaceful. We wanted to avoid war with the United States."

Asked for a comment on a statement by Undersecretary of State Welles, Tuesday, that Japan should express her intention in deeds not words the Japanese Ambassador said:

"That remark by Mr. Welles may mean some criticism against Japanese or some other country. Japan sincerely tries to carry out her words."

The press conference broke up when a reporter asked whether he believed "the Roosevelt Administration is trying to get the United States into a war."

"I'll ask you," said Admiral Nomura, laughing heartily.

Nomura was characterized recently by President Roosevelt as an old friend.

 

(Washington Post)—(20 February 1941: Columns 1 & 2)

 

No. 11

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

February 27, 1941

 

# 100.

 

On the 27th the German Ambassador called on me and said that according to a telegram from the German Ambassador in Washington, you said, in response to a question put to you at the press conference regarding Japan's stand in the event of German-American war, that "it involved the question of the application of the Tripartite Agreement."

As the German Ambassador wishes to verify the above phrase let me know the facts relative to it.

 

Trans. 3-3-41

 

No. 12

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

February 28, 1941

 

# 122. Re your # 100. [a]

 

At a press interview on February 19th, they cornered me with queries as to whether Japan would join the war in case the United States does. I explained, "That is a matter of the Tripartite Pact, and I do not wish to discuss it. Originally this Pact was concluded with peaceful intentions toward the United States."

 

Page A-10

 

For your information I am sending you the clipping (Washington Post) by separate wire (# 123). [b]

 

[a] The German Amb. in Tokyo desires verification of your statement in Washington re the question of application of the Tripartite Agreement being involved in the event of a U.S.-German war.)

[b] See No. 13.

 

Trans. 3-4-41

 

No. 13

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

March 2, 1941

 

# 123.

 

"If the United States goes to war against Germany, would Japan declare war on the United States," was the next stickler. "I don't think the United States will declare war against Germany, so the situation you refer to will not arise," NOMURA answered. "Does the treaty obligate Japan to go to war against the United States if the United States goes to war against Germany," the Envoy was asked. "That is a question—I will refrain from going into it," he said cautiously. Then he volunteered the following: "When Japan entered upon the Axis Treaty it was her intention to preserve the peace. Her motives were entirely peaceful. We wanted to avoid war with the United States."

 

Note: This is request message. It was referred to in No. 14 (Tokyo to Washington # 107) in which Matsuoka warns Nomura to be extremely careful in his replies to such questions and to keep pace with the Foreign Office.

 

Trans. 3-11-41

 

No. 14

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington

March 4, 1941

 

# 107.

 

Re your # 123 [a].

 

Though Your Excellency is sufficiently aware of the necessity of being extremely cautious in your replies to questions as to whether Japan will enter the conflict in the event the United States attacks Germany, I am gradually clarifying this in the affirmative at the Plenary Budget Sessions of the Lower House. As far as your manner of answering questions is concerned, henceforth, when questions are put to you on successive occasions, please keep pace with me. Please transmit your wire and this one to Germany.

 

[a] No. 13.

 

Trans. 3-8-41

 

Page A-11

 

No. 15

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

March 8, 1941

 

# 136.

 

(Part 1 of 2) Strictly Secret.

 

To be handled in Government Code.

 

Today, the 8th, at HULL's residence, we had a secret conversation all by ourselves lasting for more than two hours.

The Secretary explained to me his economic policy and said that the economics of extreme nationalism was bound to invite war and that he had at one time concluded a treaty especially with Canada even against preferentialism practiced within the British Empire. From this point on we entered into the main stream of our discussion. I said:

"The President had once pointed out that Japanese-American relations were in a state of deterioration. Suppose that the worse came to worst; this worst state of affairs would recur every ten or twenty years and nothing would be so unfortunate as that to both countries."

The Secretary agreed with me in this view, and so I proceeded, saying:

"We need, at this time, to maintain in a cool-headed manner our promises to each other and reduce to the minimum anything that is provocative." He again concurred in this.

I then warned him by emphatically pointing out how the embargo arouses antagonism. However, he did not make any satisfactory reply.

Then the Secretary stated:

"The great aspiration on the part of HITLER for military conquest is as insatiable as were those of NAPOLEON and ALEXANDER. It appears that Japan approves of such conquest and that what she professes as the New Order in the Far East is in fact merely the conquest of the Great Far East by force of arms."

Then our conversation shifted to the subject of China, French Indo-China and Thailand. I said, "What Japan is seeking in China are three things, namely; as may be clearly seen from Japan's treaty with that government, a good neighbor (of course if a third power attempts to establish military bases in China, Japan would object to it as a threat to her); economic cooperation (Japan places great importance on such products as iron and coal. She has no intention of interfering with any third power in the matter of ordinary commerce); and an anti-Communist agreement (the Communist Party is succeeding in the northwestern part of China), and Japan is trying to get these on the basis of equality. So long as the army is in China, it has for its object victory. War, as it is fought today, is an economic war as well; and so it is inevitable that the economic state in the occupied territories assumes the form of economic planning and control."

The Secretary did not very strongly object to this view, and merely stated "The question of the 250 protests could well be settled without touching upon this question."

 

Trans. 3-13-41

 

Page A-12

 

No. 16

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

March 8, 1941

 

# 136.

 

(Part 2 of 2)

 

Strictly secret. To be handled in Government code.

 

 

I said to him: "Heretofore French Indo-China has followed the policy of seclusion too closely. It is necessary for Japan to get her to open her doors in order that Japan may cope with the present tendency of dividing the world into economic spheres. As to Thailand, we would like to have her also become a good neighbor of ours. I suppose you already know that we have a treaty of friendship with her. I don't know personally whether naval forces were used or not in the recent mediation. They may have been used in demonstrating our power so as to hasten a successful conclusion of the mediation."

To this, he did not say a word in reply.

Then the Secretary said: "How about the advance towards Singapore and into the Dutch East Indies?", which he thought was the most important point of our conversation and, quoting the arguments presented by politicians, he seemed to express fear over the possibility of Japan's planning a more aggressive military conquest in the Greater Far East.

I explained, "There was no danger of Japan advancing towards Singapore and the Dutch East Indies by means of force unless circumstances make it unavoidable. What Japan wants from the Dutch East Indies is of an economic nature."

As regards 'unless circumstances make it unavoidable,' since it was previously stated that if the United States stiffens the embargo, those who advocate that we should acquire oil wells would get the upper hand regardless of the question of whether we must acquire oil from some other place, I asked him what he thought of this. The Secretary seemed to think that Japan would be forced rather by the Tripartite Alliance than by the embargo. (Regarding this point, the President also expressed a similar view at the time of our first meeting).

Furthermore, the Secretary appeared to be greatly concerned over the alleged visit which you are to make to the European countries.

At any rate, today's conversation was only a beginning. He said that he would discuss such questions only with an Ambassador and "off the record" whether the discussion is official or private; and added that although the President is in complete agreement with his views, he would be glad to arrange for my interview with the President. He went so far as to show me the back-door entrance to the White House so that I could avoid the newspaper men.

We agreed to consider today's conversation as having taken place with neither party taking the initiative. Since I expect to have similar conversations in the future, will you please be especially careful not to let this matter leak out to the officials on the outside.

 

Trans. 3-13-41

 

No. 17

 

FROM: Washington

TO: Tokyo

March 9, 1941

 

# 134.

 

On the 5th, Wakasugi met and talked with Roy Howard. The outline of what Howard had to say is given below, for whatever interest it may have:

1. Howard said that his travel schedule had made it impossible for him to have accepted the kind invitation of the Foreign Minister. He also said that he felt the necessity of rushing

 

Page A-13

 

home to the U.S. to aid his friend Wilkie in his campaign for the Presidency which at that time seemed to be going against him.

However, Howard said, he is considering making another visit to the Far East as soon as the British Aid Bill, which is at present being discussed in Congress, is decided upon.

2. Howard, on his last trip, flew from Rangoon to Chungking and thence to Hongkong. While in Chungking he called on Chiang Kai-Shek and other key men. Chiang's spirits were so high that he appeared even younger than he did when Howard saw him on the previous trip. His, as well as the others', spirit to fight on against Japan is as ever on the increase.

Howard said that he asked Chiang Kai-Shek if he had any intention of accepting Japanese demands of setting up a patrol area between North China and the Soviet Union to guard against Communism; to suppress anti-Japanese sentiment in China; to cooperate in the economic development of China, and through these acts to settle Sino-Japanese differences.

Chiang's reply, Howard said, could not be quoted here but the gist of it was that now that Japan had set up the Nanking government and installed Wang Ching-wei therein, there was no hope of any amicable settlement.

3. With regard to the query as to the possibility of settling the Sino-Japanese incident through the mediation of the President of the United States, Howard said that if Japan guaranteed non-aggression against China, there was, in his opinion, a possibility. (The same opinion was expressed by President Stewart of Yenching University in Peking when Wakasugi saw him there recently.)

4. Howard said that he knew the Foreign Minister well. "Matsuoka", he said, "has a realistic view of politics. He knows that win or lose the battle, an American-Japanese war would end in nothing but losses for both countries and absolutely no gains. This conviction on the part of Matsuoka is one guarantee of peace between the two countries."

He added confidentially that he has described the man Matsuoka as a realist to the President.

5. Howard said that the most difficult problem in the relations between the U.S. and Japan is America's ignorance of the truth behind Japan's avowed goal of establishing a New Order in East Asia.

Americans, as a rule, are under the impression that-----(garbled). Through this, Japan, disregarding all foreign interests and intentions in the Far East, will attempt to do what she pleases to suit herself through force of arms.

Since the signing of the Tripartite Pact, this impression is growing stronger all the time, for Germany has used this very same system in Europe.

It is true that the U.S. has used force against her neighbors in the past, Howard said, giving as instances Nicaragua, Mexico, and Cuba. However, since then, the U.S. has been trying to right these wrongs and to offer cooperative assistance.

At present, the U.S. policy is to settle all differences with foreign countries by treaty terms and through international law. In this way, she is hoping to bring about order throughout the world.

In view of this, the U.S. cannot tolerate the setting up of a new order program fashioned to suit Japan and Japan only, for, if allowed, it would break down the U.S.'s policy from its very foundation.

The country is unified in the belief that two policies cannot exist in this world.

To ease this fundamental difference between the two countries, Howard suggests that the fact that Japan's real intentions are peaceful and involve only economic factors, be explained by someone like the Foreign Minister. He adds that in his opinion, it would be well to repeat at every opportunity that Japan does not have any political or militaristic ambitions; that Japan is not embarked upon any domination program.

 

Page A-14

 

6. Japan is not grasping the most important points to publicize in her propaganda work. It is useless for Japan to spend so much time trying to explain the China Incident.

Americans are very ignorant of foreign affairs, he said. This can be seen by the fact that they are under the impression that a totalitarian state like China is a Democracy. Americans with Communistic leanings even claimed the Soviet Union to be a democracy until the German-Soviet Union anti-aggression pact was signed.

Japan should publicize the fact that in actuality, Japan is similar to a democracy and that there is no reason for the U.S. to look upon her as an enemy.

Mailed to all consuls general in U.S. and Canada, (plus Honolulu).

 

Trans. 3-11-41

 

No. 18

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

March 8, 1941

 

# 135.

 

To be handled in Government Code.

 

(Secret outside the Department).

 

I had an opportunity to talk with many well-known persons and newspaper men in New York. Viewing the developments taking place in the two countries, giving aid to Britain has virtually become a national policy with nationwide support. The influence of the Isolationists is steadily declining and although no one advocates the sending of troops to Europe, pending the passage of the bill to aid Great Britain, preparations are progressing for shipment of arms and materials to Britain in increasing numbers. Eventually, many say, that American warships will be used to convoy these shipments. Although at present there is no likelihood of Congress declaring war, it is certain that the President as a Commander-in-Chief has the power to dispatch warships to any part of the world.

The United States believes that if Great Britain succeeds in withstanding the German spring offensive, the war would become a drawn out affair in view of the fact that submarine warfare is not intended to be decisive but one of gradual exhaustion, and, therefore, the prospect of a victory would increase. Although the United States realizes that in comparison with the position Germany held during the first World War, it is at present much stronger, the people do not discuss this subject. As to Japanese-American relations, they believe they have reached a stalemate and since the United States does not wish inwardly to face crises on two fronts simultaneously, the China question has somewhat receded from the focus of interest. Due to the fact that peaceful settlement has been reached recently in French Indo-China, the people of the United States did not make a great ado over this question; however, as regards the question of French Indo-China versus Thai, they regard this question as a policy on the part of Japan to acquire bases for further southward advance, and so, if troops are moved further in the direction of Singapore and the Dutch East Indies, they will begin to consider the situation as very serious for both the United States and Great Britain. Consequently, in such an event the United States would launch a thorough-going embargo against Japan and then, although the United States would not move her principal naval forces westward, she might cut off our sea routes and thus institute what may be called a long distance blockade. They see that there is a chance of such a strategy developing into a long-drawn-out and extensive guerrilla war on the sea.

As to the Axis Powers, they regard Italy as having already fallen under German pressure and for this reason they do not consider her an important factor. In other words, Germany comes

 

Page A-15

 

first; Japan, second. For this reason, Japan should face the situation in a cool-headed manner and avoid, as far as possible, expressing views that may be provocative. Inasmuch as there is the possibility of the present war becoming a long-drawn-out affair, Japan should make ready for any unforeseen eventuality ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- I believe that there is little prospect of improvements being achieved by means of temporary makeshifts and that there is no other way but for Japan to adopt a bold counter-policy.

Please transmit this message to the Premier and to the Navy and War Ministers.

 

Trans. 3-11-41

 

No. 19

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

February 25, 1941

 

# 112.

 

The following are the impressions I got as the result of meeting with various foreign representatives. I forward it to you for whatever value it may be.

1. With Japanese-U. S. relations in a critical condition, it is natural that the newspapers are full of speculations as to the possibility of war between the two countries. Inquiries of me on this point are frequent, as may be imagined. I have replied to all questions concerning the "southward expansion" program along the lines contained in your instructions.

2. I met the British Ambassador on this the 25th. He spoke very softly and his general attitude was very calm and collected.

He said that even though Japan had decided to sit at the same table as Germany and Italy, England had no actual differences with Japan. He brought up the subject of our so-called "southward expansion", but when I explained the matter to him, indicated satisfaction and comprehension. He continued by saying that England's war spirit was high and that with the aid of the United States, victory was a certainty. Today, Italy as a threat to Egypt is a thing of the past.

He added that he hoped that Japan would not misjudge the general outlook.

I said that it seemed inevitable that a war which involved both naval and continental warfare would be a long drawn out affair. "Was England making preparations for a long drawn out War?" I asked.

He replied that it may be said today that the air force holds the key to victory or defeat. England is gradually strengthening her air power. Great Britain once said that the war would last for three years. It is just at the half way mark at present, he said.

3. The representative of the Soviet Union told me that the U.S.S.R. would probably remain neutral for an indefinite period.

4. The Italian representative said that Germany and Italy would not welcome a long term war. The United States, on the other hand, has the ability to withstand a war lasting several years, if they are determined to do so. Moreover, the U.S. is gradually moving in the direction of entering the war, he said.

 

Trans. 2-26-41

 

Page A-16

 

No. 20

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

14 March 1941

 

# 145.

 

As it had been reported that the President would soon be taking a vacation trip, I had arrangements made by the Secretary of State and had a secret interview with him for an hour and a half this afternoon. (The Secretary of State was present taking notes.) The conversation ranged over a number of topics, and I told him that if further positive assistance is given China, and the "embargo" against Japan is made more rigid, this would cause uneasiness among our people, and that there ought to be some way of doing something to improve relations between the two countries. To this the President replied that the most serious obstacle is the Tripartite Alliance, that this had been a surprise to the American people; who feel that likely there will be greater developments than are to be seen in the wording of the published text of the same, and that in view of Foreign Minister Matsuoka's visit to Europe it is feared that there might be a further drive southward in concerted action with Germany's offensive. I replied that this would not necessarily follow, that our foreign policy is determined not by the Foreign Minister alone, but by all the Cabinet members. Being a person who is reluctant to give assent ----- I did not expect that he would say anything ----- .

The Secretary was pleased over the day's interview and urged that Japan take the "initiative" in bringing about a better situation. (Just before this the President did say that there would likely be some way out.). Inasmuch as they had again inquired regarding the matter of a southward push, I replied that I thought there was no danger of this. The President also added that one great problem after the war will be the regulation armaments. He said that personally he is very fond of the Navy, (his private room is decorated with nothing but pictures of battleships), but that as we well know there are many difficulties involved in carrying on a war with the Pacific Ocean intervening, and that it would not be a wise thing to burden the people with the heavy costs of an armament race between Japan and the U.S.; also that the appearance of motion pictures of Matsuoka and Hitler would have a disquieting effect upon the people. I agreed that this is quite possible ----- (last 3 lines garbled).

(On request of Tokyo's # 122, the last three lines were retransmitted in # 149 (See I, 21) from Washington.)

 

Trans. 3-19-41

 

No. 21

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

17 March 1941

 

# 149.

 

Regarding your # 122 [a], the portion of the message requested retransmission is as follows: "I agreed that the was quite possible and we finished our talk in good spirits. Details will be sent later. Please keep this matter secret for future occasion."

 

[a] "Send last part of your # 145," (Nomura's talk with Roosevelt, 14 March.)

 

Trans. 8-11-41

 

Page A-17

 

No. 22

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

15 March 1941

 

# 146.

 

(In 4 parts, complete).

 

The particulars of my interview with the President on the 14th were as follows:

I began by saying that I would address him with the frankness of a seaman, and that he would please pardon if I appeared impolite. He remarked laughingly that my English would do. Further prefacing my remarks with the statement that while Japan does not wish to fight America, if the present attitudes of the two countries are persisted in, a crisis in the Pacific must be reached, I came to the question of the difficulties involved in carrying on a frontal war with America, and told him that in the event of a Japan-American war, a war in the Pacific would not be an easy thing for the United States either, that even if the U.S. should win, the result of such a war would be the loss of peace and order in the Far East, that Soviet influence would become prevalent in the Far East, bringing about a recurrence of the difficulties of the monarchial days. Manchukuo would likely come under this influence, with the danger of China and even the entire Far East becoming Sovietized. The U.S. would have nothing to gain thereby. On the other hand in meeting Great Britain's continental blockade in the Atlantic, Germany's use of submarines and airplanes to attack Great Britain's shipping in a counter-blockade would become increasingly violent, with bombings even of non-military establishments, and also greater activity in the way of British counter-attacks. This war cannot be terminated by (such means) but will become a long drawn out war of exhaustion. The former great war affords proof that a long drawn out war brings serious reactions socially to both the victors and the vanquished alike, if not indeed social revolution. (The President gave assent to this point.) At such a time as this both the governments of Japan and the U.S. bear a grave responsibility for cooperating in maintaining the peace of the Pacific, and for preventing the spread of hostilities.

Coming next to the question of Japan's policy on the continent, I stated that it was Japan's policy to reach a local settlement of the dispute between Japan and China and to prevent its spread, but that one reason for its having become as extensive and long drawn out as it has, is the absolute anti-Japanese attitude of the Nationalist Government. Inasmuch as I had explained to the Secretary of State, the other day, what it is that Japan asks of China, I would omit a repetition of this, only to say that the treaty made with the Wang government gives evidence of the spirit of good neighborliness, friendship, and equality with which we are cooperating in economic matters and in an effort to resist Communism.

 

(Part 2)

 

There seem to be various misunderstandings in regard to the new order in East Asia, and I myself do not know of any clear definition as to what it is, however, it does mean that Japan is to be able to secure the commodities essential to her existence while preserving friendly relations with the adjacent neighbor nations, and the "bloc" economics and the economic pressure of the powers have given impetus to this program. To go more into detail, we desire to have the economic and trade doors open to our nearby neighboring nations, and we are planning for cooperative prosperity, but we are making no demands for territory. It is the same thing as the Pan Americanism or good neighbor policy of your country, but due to the fact that we are not as clever as your country in carrying it out we frequently invite misunderstandings.

The President and the Secretary looked at each other and laughed; I told them that I believed that even these matters were not such as could not be settled without recourse to 

 

Page A-18

 

war, but that if at this time further positive assistance is given China and if the "embargo" is made more rigid, the relations between the two nations would be still further aggravated, however I still believed that some way can be found for an amicable solution.

To this the President replied as follows:

(1) My grandfather traveled and traded in all parts of China ----- entered a certain harbor of Haiti (?) on a Japanese merchant ship ----- sold a lot of goods at 10¢ and 15¢ apiece to the Negroes, also entered Santiago, Cuba, and sold all the stock that had accumulated. ----- saw that Japan was well able to compete with other countries on a basis of equality.

 

(Part 3)

 

----- in regard to Mexico, for example, we would be able to overcome her by force, but this would result in more harm than good. Some senators have advocated the acquisition of the islands in the Caribbean, (this, he said, is no national secret), but he said that Great Britain paid out $20,000,000 for two million Negroes, and that there is no need of taking these over. He said that he could not believe that Japan could continue long to govern China with her civilization of several millenniums, even though she might do so for a time.

Hitler's success -—--- (the Secretary ----- agreed ----- repeating "world conquest -----. Iraq ----- make Africa a colonial territory -----. After Germany's victory in the war, and the new order in East Asia, the U.S. will stand ----- and there she can never consent to this. Furthermore when Mussolini with Hitler's ----- Germany victory, a friend of which Japan must beware.

(2) China has an old civilization and by means of the radio her language is becoming unified, and she is about to emerge from the period of ruling military cliques into national unity. Until rather recently Russia was made up of nomadic peoples, a large part of them illiterate. Her civilization is behind the times and she is ruled by one man, Stalin, and is not in a position to profit -----. According to the report of an attaché who was with the 8th Route Army, the program of the 8th Route Army is not Communistic but "educational", but he may be somewhat mistaken.

I then told him something of the way the Communist influence has permeated the northwestern areas of China, and that the Japan-China emergency must not be allowed to continue on indefinitely. -----.

 

(Part 4)

 

(3) The Tripartite Alliance stirred up the American people tremendously. As long as such a treaty exists there is danger that ----- developments ----- result in southern advance in concert with Germany.

I therefore explained to him that this treaty has been forced upon us by the oppressive acts of the U.S. and that its object was "preventative" and not "offensive" and that it is therefore to be called a peaceful treaty, but he said it remains to be seen what the results of the Foreign Minister's visit to Europe will be. However, there may still be some way of bringing about a change for better in the situation.

(4) The policy of the government is to break Germany and to help Britain to win, and therefore exports even to the Soviet, of cotton, and machine tools, for instance, if they enter Germany from Russia will increase Germany's power to continue the war. This has given rise to embarrassing problems between us and Russia. Further explanation was then made regarding the "embargo" against Japan.

(5) Now and then persons calling themselves representatives of the Japanese government come over, but the U.S. government cannot deal with them. However, if it is necessary, it is always ready to talk freely with the Ambassador, as we have today, through the President, or the Secretary of State.

 

Page A-19

 

At any rate the conversation was pleasant throughout and they were concerned over the situation in the Far East. The Secretary finally thanked me, and made the statement reported in the latter part of my previous message.

Please be careful that this, as well as the former (previous) message [a] by no means be allowed to leak out.

 

[a] (See I, 20 & 21).

 

Trans. 3-18-41

 

No. 23

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

20 March 1941

 

# 157.

 

My observations concerning the present activities of the United States are as follows:

On the 19th the Lower House approved the $7,000,000,000 "Aid for Britain" Budget by a vote of 337 to 55 and without amendments. In addition to this they had previously approved a $3,500,000,000 Defense Budget. The President recently made a stirring address. Now the belligerent spirit of the people is being stirred up so that they are beginning more and more to support the dictatorial powers of the President. Well, when it comes to actually assisting Great Britain, ships are what is most needed and at present Great Britain's month losses, through sinking, amount to 500,000 tons. The argument has been put forward that in the United States' ship building program, it is better to construct more small craft than warships. In any case it is very difficult to speedily increase ship building capacity. Nevertheless, it is being said that by next year twice as many craft will be produced as this year. When it comes to delivering ships to Great Britain, there is a growing feeling here that, if necessary, they should be convoyed by American warships. By and large, it appears that the officials are making a great many military preparations. I do not think that the Congress will ever declare war, but for that matter the United States is actually already in the war. Influential American officials say that Germany may have a temporary success, and even though she succeeds in landing troops in Great Britain, long term occupation of those islands will be impossible. They hold that even though Great Britain is invaded, the war will not end but rather that, in that case, it will be a long, long struggle, ending no one knows when.

Relayed to London and Berlin.

 

Trans. 3-22-41

 

No. 24

 

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

20 March 1941

 

# 160.

 

The activities of the United States in connection with the convoy system exercised by the American Navy are as follows:

1. Now that the "Aid to Britain" Law has passed, America finds that she cannot immediately transfer the craft which constitute the most urgent need. The United States knows that she cannot exercise her aid to Britain unless the threat on the high seas is eliminated. Therefore, some sort of convoy system carried on by the Navy is deemed essential. It has been reported recently that German submarines are in the waters near this country and consequently popular opinion is gradually coming to recognize this necessity. The Committee to Defend

 

Page A-20

 

America by Aiding the Allies, which seems to reflect the opinions of the Government and which was formed last year before destroyers were transferred to Britain, recently passed a resolution to the effect that if convoys are needed, they shall be afforded. The Navy, too, recognized this necessity, and the President, himself, is said to have ordered the Navy to draw up a definite plan.

2. Since it is feared that through convoying ships the United States may precipitate its entry into the war, substitute proposals have been advanced; namely—

a. That American warships to transferred to England and that they do the convoying.

b. That the cruising limits under the Neutrality law be extended and that the convoy limits of British craft be curtailed.

3. Concerning convoys, there is a prohibition stipulation in the "Aid to Britain" Law. However, constitutionally speaking, this has no effect in limiting the President's powers as Commander-in-Chief. From a constitutional point of view, therefore, it is very doubtful if this clause has any meaning. Furthermore, the President is said to be considering abolishing from the Neutrality Law the provision (the cash and carry principle) prohibiting American merchantmen from stopping in belligerent zones.

Relayed to London, Berlin, and New York.

 

Trans. 3-22-41

 

No. 25

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

21 March 1941

 

# 162.

 

Relayed to London and Berlin.

 

It is estimated that not only the Democratic Representatives but also two thirds of the Republicans will vote approval of the policy of the administration, when the vote is taken in the House on the 7 billion dollar budget for carrying out the so-called Aid-to-Britain bill.

Some of the leaders of the Republican party who formerly were opposed to aiding Britain are now among those who will vote for the appropriation. Public opinion in the U.S. is rallying to the support of the President's aid for Britain.

 

Trans. 3-25-41

 

No. 26

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Berlin

24 March 1941

 

# 5.

 

Strictly Secret.

 

To be handled in Government code.

 

Please transmit the following message concerning the present state of affairs in the United States to Foreign Minister MATSUOKA:

By virtue of the expansion of her own national defense and her assistance to Great Britain, the United States had de facto already entered the war. It will take a considerable length of time before the United States' full power is behind her program of assistance to Britain and the big question of the moment is sea shipping. The number of ships recently sunk has mounted to a high figure and it is impossible to fully make up for them. Consequently, the officials of the United States are most anxious about this situation. The Congress is not likely,

 

Page A-21

 

at least at this stage, to declare war, but I would say that there is a possibility that American warships may presently begin to convoy. I am, however, following every detail of this situation because I know that convoying materials to England is going to have a tremendous effect upon the American people. The trend now is to concentrate the main strength of the American Navy in the Atlantic and, in coordination with Great Britain, to protect British territory in the Pacific Ocean. Furthermore, the minds of the officials of the United States appear also to be made up to protect the Netherlands Indies. The United States is in  addition following the policy of assisting China as much as possible so long as she restrains Japan and of preventing Japan's advance to the south. Notwithstanding all this, at least while the Atlantic is the primary focus of interest, the United States certainly desires at least a temporary peace in the Pacific. There can be no mistake on this point.  For all the cheering and crying that American assistance will bring victory to England, those responsible are beyond any question trembling within themselves. Apparently there are also officials, who might be said to have the power of life and death, who on the surface loudly proclaim that a land invasion of Great Britain is next to impossible, and that the chances of its success are remote, and that Great Britain is sure to win, but who underneath the surface are pessimistic. Now, things have come to  the point where people who speak of peace are anathematized by the title of defeatist and they are dwindling in numbers. It will take two years for assistance to England to reach its peak; that is to say, in June, year after next, and thereafter the plans are to have it continue at that rate for three years.

 

Trans. 3-27-41

 

No. 27

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Berlin and London

25 March 1941

 

# 047.

 

(Circular).

 

Action Tokyo as # 171.

 

Re my # 170 [a] and # 168 [a].

 

Even though this appropriation is passed, it is recognized that it will take time for it to get into operation so that the U.S. will be able to do anything toward replenishing the shipping lost by Great Britain. Of the merchant ships (5,000,000 tons) to be built with the shipbuilding funds provided in this appropriation ($629,000,000) together with those to be completed that are now under construction (3,500,000 tons), at the most only about 1,000,000 tons could be completed during the current year, and this would not be easy for the U.S. -----. It is thought that this is the reason why it is not advisable for the U.S. Navy to engage in convoy duty.

 

[a] See I, 27A.

 

Trans. 3-27-41

 

Page A-22

 

No. 27A

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

March 22, 1941

 

# 168.

 

1. Because of the shortage of bottoms, the President, the Secretary of the Navy and Naval Affairs Committee of Congress have on successive occasions stated that American commercial ships will be transferred to England. I have news which seems to indicate that the Naval Affairs Committee of Congress on the 21st made a statement supporting the transfer of some ships (five is said to be the number). This matter is being held over until the arrival of the British Envoy SALTE and until the people see how critical the situation is. This is to forewarn you.

2. On the occasion of a discussion for an additional naval budget in Congress on the 21st, a proposal prohibiting the use of already existing funds in the conveying of goods sent in the Aid to British Program was overwhelmingly voted down. The above is for your information.

Relayed to London and Berlin. Have relayed information to New York.

 

Trans. 3-26-41

 

No. 28

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

22 March 1941

 

# 167.

 

At the present time there are two bills before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House which call for strong economic restrictions against Japan. These two plans are as I give them below. This is but another example of the sort of bills they have been passing against us all along. Though I do not believe that they are of immediate concern, I give them for your information.

1. One bill (already presented in the House in Washington) calls for an embargo against the export of military goods to Japan, against transportation of such equipment on American ships, restrictions against American products being shipped on Japanese ships, and the prevention of activities by American people of companies that would aid Japan.

2. I am sending the details, by mail, of a resolution requesting the President to institute strong economic restrictions against Japan because of the occupation of Chinese territory by Japanese forces.

Have relayed information to New York.

 

Trans. 3-26-41

 

No. 29

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: London, Berlin and Rome

2 April 1941

 

# 66.

 

(Circular). Message to Tokyo # 207.

 

I. To the protests of Berlin and Rome over the confiscation of their ships, the American government will take a bristlingly hostile attitude, and returning them is the last thing that the United States would consider. I cannot consider otherwise than that. Washington's relations with those two governments will follow an ever-narrowing route.

II. The German and Italian ships will be handled in a manner more or less different from those of Denmark. (The charge of sabotage is a mere fabrication.) To the extent that general

 

Page A-23

 

principles and United States law will permit, these vessels will in all probability be somehow used to assist Great Britain, nor is there likely to be any objection.

III. It appears that the authorities of this country are conferring with the several American states on the question of the confiscation of vessels.

Relayed to London, Berlin and Rome. Have relayed information to New York.

 

Trans. 4-4-41

 

No. 30

 

FROM: Washington (Jap. Amb.)

TO: London, Berlin and Rome

2 April 1941

 

# 65.

 

(Circular). Message to Tokyo as # 206. Secret.

 

Aroused more and more by the course of the military situation, the Government of the United States is taking advantage of the National Defense legislation (and of course the Aid-to-Britain law) in order to strengthen her attitude of suppressing the Axis powers. An example of this can be found in the confiscation of ships, and in all probability Washington is going to take successive vigorous measures along the line of convoying, etc. But when it comes to the question of economics, although I regard it as inevitable that they will take the same course and extend the export quota system, nevertheless that is a matter they are considering very deeply. Gradually by degrees they are whipping up the spirit of the people upon whose approval they wish to base their actions. I do not think they can easily be deterred, and their talk of "short of war" is gradually turning to "economic warfare". We must be ever on the alert because of this trend.

Relayed to England, Germany, and Italy.

 

Trans. 4-4-41

 

No. 31

 

FROM: Rome

TO: Washington

10 April 1941

 

No number.

 

Message to Tokyo # 205.

 

In connection with the question of American seizures of Italian ships, Director PRUNAS [a] told ANDO [b] confidentially: "At the present time the Italian Government is protesting this act as being contrary to International Law but it seems that the American Government is again disregarding International Law and scheming to confiscate them. We are making a very profound study of retaliatory steps to be taken in such an event. Rest assured that should we put these into operation they will be blanket retaliatory measures. Furthermore, in the case that they do confiscate them, it will take at least six months of repair to put them in usable shape because the interiors of these Italian ships were severely damaged by their crews.

"Though Mexico, Venezuela and Costa Rica in Central and South America have already taken steps similar to the United States; Brazil, Argentina and Chile will not take such measures.

 

Page A-24

 

On this last point he is understood to have been very optimistic.

Relayed to Washington, London and Berlin. Relay to London.

 

[a] Director General of the Transoceania Bureau of the Italian Foreign Office.

[b] Secretary in the Japanese Embassy in Rome.

 

Trans. 4-12-41

 

No. 32

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Rome

4 April 1941

 

# 2.

 

(Message to Tokyo as # 218, April 4th).

 

Re my # 207 [a].

 

On the 4th the Italian Commercial Attaché told IGUCHI [b] confidentially that in all probability the Italian Government would demand the recall of the American Naval Attaché in Rome because of the American demand for the recall of the Italian Naval Attaché in Washington. Furthermore, if the American authorities decide to confiscate Italian ships in the United States, (at the present time the American flag has been taken down and again they are flying the Italian flag), in revenge the Italian Government is considering the confiscation of a part of American owned property in Italy (this is said to be something more than $150,000,000).

Relayed to Rome. Have relayed information to New York.

 

[a] See I, 29 in which Washington reports on the confiscation of German and Italian ships.

[b] Japanese Embassy Counselor in Washington.

 

Trans. Not dated

 

No. 33

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

11 April 1941

 

# 225.

 

(Abstract)

 

The passage of the lend-lease bill has made America optimistic about the war in Europe and Africa. However, the situation in the Balkans and the English failure in Africa, threatening as it does Alexandria and the Suez and Dakaar, have stirred up feeling in America. The sinking in one day of 400,000 tons of shipping as was done on March 23rd, has alarmed public opinion, for England and America together cannot turn out more than 2,000,000 tons a year.

 

Trans. 4-18-41

 

No. 34

 

FROM: New York (Morishima)

TO: Tokyo

12 April 1941

 

# 147.

 

President ROOSEVELT has been issuing orders one after another with special bearing on the sanctioning of the navigation of American ships on the high seas arranging preparations for the defense of Greenland; and generally everyone throughout the country has welcomed this

 

Page A-25

 

as an approved measure of assistance toward England, even such persons as Colonel Lindbergh himself. They are endorsing the leasing of Greenland as an appropriate step in America's National Defense program. On the other hand, in view of Germany's preeminent success in the Balkans, and the ever present threat to British maritime communications, further effective measures are being demanded, particularly in both the Christian Science Monitor and the Tribune editorials of the 12th.

1. Greenland will become a base for naval convoys.

2. It is a fact that munitions will be transported to the Suez in American ships.

3. The United States is considering going so far as to transfer to England the recently stolen German and Italian ships.

4. Colonel Donovan at a Foreign Policy discussion meeting held in Chicago on the 11th, in supporting the convoy question, proposed the occupation of Dakar [a], or the acquisition of usable harbors in Ireland as a result of British-American pressure and he went on to say that if necessary the United States should unhesitatingly enter the war. These comments are creating quite a stir.

This is for your information. Please transmit this to all competent ambassadors in Europe.

 

[a] French West Africa.

 

Trans. 4-18-41

 

No. 35

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

4 April 1941

# 214.

 

Re my # 212 [a] and # 213 [a].

 

In connection with the export quota system, as you know, in response to our numerous strong protests, for a year now the United States has taken the unwarranted attitude that it is unreasonable for foreign countries to keep prating about things which are necessary to the United States' defense program. (See my # 1679 [b] of last year.) Well, the United States does not attempt to conceal the fact that her objective is to bring pressure to bear and to restrain Japan. This is specifically why they are carrying out the measures which trouble us. So long as they take this attitude, it is futile for me to negotiate with the State Department on the question of obtaining the present licenses. No matter how much I negotiate on both of these matters, I will get nowhere. An official in charge at the Export Control Office very cynically remarked to Lawyer SIEBOLD; "Why, for us to use our good offices to get licenses for Japan would, after all, be giving a big boost to a technical enemy, wouldn't it?" From that, I think you can see how just about every one of the American officials feels.

 

[a] Available in code under study.

[b] MORISHIMA reports on the reasons for the limitations placed on exports.

 

Trans. 4-8-41

 

Page A-26

 

No. 36

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

15 April 1941

 

# 228.

 

(In 2 parts, complete).

 

Received from New York as # 048 to me.

Relayed to Tokyo as New York # 148 of 15 April.

 

New York—Tokyo # 065 [a]

Re my Washington—Tokyo # 164 [b]

 

I. The president of the YU Company [c] is confined to his home by sickness. According to my telegram # 65 [a] Yamaoka and the lawyer for "YU" have been holding conversations. Inasmuch as he has not yet applied for a permit, in order to expedite matters, I went with Yamaoka, on the 12th to call on the vice president. (The chief engineer and the lawyer were also present at this interview.)

The "YU" Company's opinions relative to the four points presented to them by Yamaoka are as follows:

(a) Concerning the "non-selective polymerization process, including catalytic hydrogen and tri-potassium phosphate process," the "tri-potassium phosphate process" cannot yet be manufactured by them, since it does not belong to them. It is a patent of the Shell Development Corporation and therefore the "YU" Company cannot apply for a permit.

(b) As to the "catalytic cracking process, including hydrogen transfer as a part thereof", there is no objection to applying for a permit for it, however, the "hydrogen transfer" ----- there is danger that the State Department may consider that it comes within the export embargo on aviation gasoline.

(c) As to the "catalytic desulpharization process":

(1) The "YU" Company is still studying it in the laboratory and it is not yet a "commercial process" and hence the problem of an export permit belongs to the future and need not be considered at this time.

(2) Inasmuch as the scope is rather broad and there is danger that it might be dealt with as aviation gasoline and thus come under the embargo, it would be better to deal with "crude, or other charging stock". (The original draft was presented as it was. After the attitude of the State Department has been ascertained it is to be considered again).

(3) The transfer of the "Phillips Desulpharization Process" to a third party is also forbidden.

(d) Materials such as a catalyst, etc., as requested in the 1938 and 1928 contracts, including the foregoing process". Even if a request for a comprehensive permit for the "materials" mentioned in the above were made by the "YU" Company it would be impossible to have it granted. Therefore there is no objection to requesting a permit for the "catalysts" only mentioned above ----- in case of ----- it will become an actual problem.

II. The "YU" Company's opinion is as (1) and is a reasonable one I think. Now, then there is a possibility of obtaining an export permit, we should immediately put in a request for a permit for only those things for which there is a reasonable expectation of having a request granted. And therefore in harmony with their opinion we have made application for a permit -----. Please convey the "YU" Company's views to Saneyoshi [d] and if he has any opinions, the talk may continue ----- having informed Saneyoshi please have another conference.

III. Further in regard to "materials" the Ambassador's telegram # 214 (?) [e] to Your Excellency ----- is necessary to get in touch with the State Department ----- other than "catalysts" ----- to delay needlessly the negotiations regarding materials ----- there is no other way than to request negotiations through the Embassy..

 

Page A-27

 

IV. For any further negotiations with the "YU" Company it will be necessary to have Saneyoshi (of the Japan Gasoline Company) come to America.

 

[a] See I.

[b] See I, 199.

[c] Universal Oil Products Co. of Chicago (?).

[d] Masao Saneyoshi, an official of the Japanese Gasoline Co.

[e] See I, 35. Ambassador Nomura reports that it is useless for him to continue negotiations with the U.S. in matters pertaining to licenses and protests over the export quota system, as the U.S. is not attempting to conceal the fact that her objective is to bring pressure to bear and restrain Japan.

 

Trans. 4-22-41

 

No. 37

 

FROM: Shanghai

TO: Nanking

16 April 1941

 

# 111.

 

(Part 1 of 2).

 

Message to Tokyo as # 617.

 

Re my # 616 [a].

 

On the 15th I sent a member of my staff to the American Consulate General and he said to Chief Consul STANTON: "Our Army, through its espionage agencies, has procured an unimpeachable report that the gasoline in question was purchased by the Chungking Commercial Section. After loading, the responsibility for the shipment rests on Chungking. Furthermore, we know that Chungking has not even got any war insurance. For over a year now we have suspected such shipments as being destined for the enemy and have been on the lookout. Naturally we feel strongly impelled to seize them." STANTON retorted: "Well, I will not even pretend to deny that this gasoline was about to be shipped to Chungking. I will not quibble. The customs have produced the necessary documents and this is a bona fide export. Any interference on the part of you Japanese is illegal." My staff member pointed out: "The Military does not raise the point as to whether or not this is to be included in the embargo which has recently been brought into force. The whole thing is this: the gasoline is for the use of our enemy, the Chungking Government, and we are going to confiscate it." STANTON retorted: "As to whether or not this is enemy produce, the burden of proof is on the Japanese. Furthermore, suppose it is destined for Chungking. Until it is turned over to them, it belongs to Texas. You say it is 'tekisan' (enemy produce): I say it is 'Texan' (evidently having heard the Japanese use the word 'tekisan', STANTON makes a pun using the word 'tekisan' for 'Texan'.) Now, say that you Japanese set aside the regulations of the customs and seize this gasoline on the mere charge that it is bound for the Central Army, the American concerns have not heard of any regulations permitting such deeds being publicly announced. If you start to seize American goods on the basis of unannounced regulations, it will be just too bad for you. By what logic could you possibly call such an act proper and reasonable?" My staff member answered: "Well, we got it straight from our espionage agencies and they will furnish definite proof. Pretty soon you'll understand why this proof cannot be denied."

 

[a] See I, 39.

 

Trans. 4-18-41

 

No. 38

 

FROM: Shanghai

TO: Nanking

16 April 1941

 

# 111.

 

Message to Tokyo as # 617.

 

Part 2 of 2.

 

"Don't think that just by calling our plans to seize this gasoline improper and unreasonable you can move us in our determination to confiscate it." STANTON replied "Well, Texas, through this incident, is going to incur a great loss. I will immediately protest to Japan by note and will demand reparations. What is more, I will wire the facts to both Washington and Tokyo." My man countered by saying "The diplomatic officials know that there is a good basis for our argument. They also know that Texas will incur no loss. A mere protest from the United States won't do any good. If you simply report the details of this to Tokyo, all that will ensue is a big argument and you will wind up where you are right now. I mean the United States will have no recourse in settling this matter but to withdraw its complaint immediately." My man started to walk out, but STANTON sat down and said "You may say if you will that Texas will incur no damage, but until this gasoline is bought up, Texas will suffer a sizeable loss." He was rather nasty, and in conclusion my man stated "Well I wasn't thinking about it being bought up. You know I am not authorized to go deeply into these things. However, I may safely say that Japanese officials are of the unanimous opinion that the American concerns shall not undergo any losses. Since this gasoline is for the enemy, we can't compromise. But, if it is true that Texas actually will suffer, it might be possible to get in touch with Hongkong and have them consider this point. In any case, I will communicate this to the Consul General in Shanghai."

 

Trans. 4-18-41

 

No. 39

 

FROM: Shanghai

TO: Nanking

16 April 1941

 

# 110.

 

Message to Tokyo as # 616.

 

Re your # 294 [a].

 

1. In connection with our schemes to procure petroleum mentioned in 2 of your telegram, I sought the advice of the purchasing agents and the Chief of the Constabulary. They replied that this gasoline must, at any cost, be prevented from reaching the hands of the Chungking officials, and that the thing to do is to seize it immediately.

2. As to whether or not this gasoline seems under the export embargo regulation of the customs, upon investigation I find that the export permit was obtained before this regulation went into effect on April 7th, and that the transaction is foolproof.

3. After finding out these things, on the 14th I called the military and naval officials to my residence and announced the contents of your telegram. As a result of our conversation, we agreed as follows:

If we follow the plan suggested in 3 of your message in handling this matter, from the very beginning it will smell of corruption, and if we merely say that we suspect that it is for the aid of CHIANG KAI-SHEK, we would make ourselves vulnerable to a come-back on the part of the United States. No.! We must have an air-tight case. Therefore, as we all agreed, the best

 

Page A-29

 

thing to do is to negotiate by insinuations, claiming that we have a witness (some imaginary person) whom we will not name.

Relayed to Nanking.

 

[a] Tokyo wires Nanking and Shanghai concerning a report that the U.S. is about to exercise a comprehensive Petroleum embargo against Japan.

 

Trans. (Not dated)

 

No. 40

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Nanking

12 April 1941

 

# 118.

 

Message to Shanghai as # 294.

 

Re your # 575 [a].

 

1. We have received a report that the United States is about to exercise a comprehensive petroleum embargo against Japan in the near future. Soon we are going to have Ambassador NOMURA inform the American Government that if they carry out this measure, our Empire cannot but act with determination. We are going to have Ambassador NOMURA advise them not to embargo petroleum. Therefore, although we do not like to hold up the gasoline in question, if you get any definite proof that the Chungking Commerce Section has purchased it, go ahead and seize it.

2. So far I have received no report from you on the schemes mentioned in my # 153 [b] for purchasing petroleum. (Please report on this immediately.) These negotiations are going on and if it is seen that success is imminent and that this seizure will damage the negotiations, you may release the gasoline. I will leave this up to your judgment, which should be guided by developments in your city.

3. If you cannot find the actual proof mentioned in the preceding paragraph 1, take suitable steps to prevent the exports mentioned in your # 539a. If we cannot get the results we desire, we will come forth with an out and out charge that the goods are suspected of being sent to assist CHIANG KAI-SHEK and summarily seize them.

 

[a] Not available.

[b] Available; Not translated.

 

Tans. 4-14-41

 

No. 41

 

Proposal Presented to the Department of State Through the Medium of Private American and Japanese Individuals on April 9, 1941. [a]

 

The Governments of the United States and of Japan accept joint responsibility for the initiation and conclusion of a general agreement disposing the resumption of our traditional friendly relations.

Without reference to specific causes of recent estrangement, it is the sincere desire of both Governments that the incidents which led to the deterioration of amicable sentiment among our peoples should be prevented from recurrence and corrected in their unforeseen and unfortunate consequences.

 

Page A-30

 

It is our present hope that, by a joint effort, our nations may establish a just peace in the Pacific; and by the rapid consummation of an entente cordiale, arrest, if not dispel, the tragic confusion that now threatens to engulf civilization.

For such decisive action, protracted negotiations would seem ill-suited and weakening. We, therefore, suggest that adequate instrumentalities should be developed for the realization of a general agreement which would bind, meanwhile, both governments in honor and in act.

It is our belief that such an understanding should comprise only the pivotal issues of urgency and not the accessory concerns which could be deliberated at a Conference and appropriately confirmed by our respective Governments.

We presume to anticipate that our Governments could achieve harmonious relations if certain situations and attitudes were clarified or improved; to wit:

1. The concepts of the United States and of Japan respecting international relations and the character of nations.

2. The attitudes of both Governments toward the European War.

3. The relations of both nations toward the China affair.

4. Naval, aerial and mercantile marine relations in the Pacific.

5. Commerce between both nations and their financial cooperation.

6. Economic activity of both nations in the Southwestern Pacific area.

7. The policies of both nations affecting political stabilization in the Pacific.

Accordingly, we have come to the following mutual understanding subject, of course, to modifications by the United States Government and subject to the official and final decision of the Government of Japan.

 

I. The concepts of the United States and of Japan respecting international relations and the character of nations.

 

The Governments of the United States and of Japan might jointly acknowledge each other as equally sovereign states and contiguous Pacific powers.

Both Governments assert the unanimity of their national policies as directed toward the foundation of a lasting peace and the inauguration of a new era of respectful confidence and cooperation among our peoples.

Both Governments might declare that it is their traditional, and present, concept and conviction that nations and races compose, as members of a family, one household; each equally enjoying rights and admitting responsibilities with a mutuality of interests regulated by peaceful processes and directed to the pursuit of their moral and physical welfare, which they are bound to defend for themselves as they are bound not to destroy for others.

Both Governments are firmly determined that their respective traditional concepts on the character of nations and the underlying moral principles of social order and national life will continue to be preserved and never transformed by foreign ideas or ideologies contrary to those moral principles and concepts.

 

II. The attitudes of both Governments toward the European War.

 

The Government of Japan maintains that the purpose of its Axis Alliance was, and is, defensive and designed to prevent the extension of military grouping among nations not directly affected by the European War.

The Government of the United States maintains that its attitude toward the European War is, and will continue to be, determined by no aggressive alliance aimed to assist any one nation against another. The United States maintains that it is pledged to the hate of war, and accordingly, its attitude toward the European War is, and will continue to be, determined solely and exclusively by considerations of the protective defense of its own national welfare and security.

 

Page A-31

 

III. China affairs.

 

The President of the United States, if the following terms are approved by His Excellency and guaranteed by the Government of Japan, might request the Chiang-Kai-Shek regime to negotiate peace with Japan.

a. Independence of China

b. Withdrawal of Japanese troops from Chinese territory, in accordance with an agreement to be reached between Japan and China

c. No acquisition of Chinese territory

d. No imposition of indemnities

e. Resumption of the "Open Door"; the interpretation and application of which shall be agreed upon at some future, convenient time between the United States and Japan

f. Coalescence of the Governments of Chiang-Kai-Chek [sic] and of Wang-Ching-Wei

g. No large-scale or concentrated immigration of Japanese into Chinese territory

h. Recognition of Manchukuo

With the acceptance by the Chiang-Kai-Chek regime of the aforementioned Presidential request, the Japanese Government shall commence direct peace negotiations with the newly coalesced Chinese Government, or constituent elements thereof.

The Government of Japan shall submit to the Chinese concrete terms of peace, within the limits of aforesaid general terms and along the line of neighborly friendship, joint defense against communistic activities and economic cooperation.

[Should the Chiang-Kai-Chek regime reject the request of President Roosevelt, the United States Government shall discontinue assistance to the Chinese] [b]

 

IV. Naval, aerial and mercantile marine relations in the Pacific.

 

a. As both the Americans and the Japanese are desirous of maintaining the peace in the Pacific, they shall not resort to such disposition of their naval forces and aerial forces as to menace each other. Detailed, concrete agreement thereof shall be left for determination at the Proposed joint Conference.

b. At the conclusion of the projected Conference, each nation might dispatch a courtesy naval squadron to visit the country of the other and signalize the new era of Peace in the Pacific.

c. With the first ray of hope for the settlement of China affairs, the Japanese Government will agree, if desired, to use their good offices to release for contract by Americans certain percentage of their total tonnage of merchant vessels, chiefly for the Pacific service, so soon as they can be released from their present commitments. The amount of such tonnage shall be determined at the Conference.

 

V. Commerce between both nations and their financial cooperation.

 

When official approbation to the present understanding has been given by both Governments, the United States and Japan shall assure each other to mutually supply such commodities are as respectively available or required by either of them. Both governments further consent to take necessary steps to the resumption of normal trade relations as formerly established under the Treaty of Navigation and Commerce between the United States and Japan. If a new commercial treaty is desired by both Governments, it could be elaborated at the proposed conference and concluded in accordance with usual procedure.

For the advancement of economic cooperation between both nations, it is suggested that the United States extend to Japan a gold credit in amounts sufficient to [foster trade and industrial] [c] development directed to the betterment of Far Eastern economic conditions and to the sustained economic cooperation of the Governments of the United States and of Japan.

 

Page A-32

 

VI. Economic activity of both nations in the Southwestern Pacific area.

 

On the pledged basis of guarantee that Japanese activities in the Southwestern Pacific area shall be carried on by peaceful means, without resorting to arms, American cooperation and support shall be given in the production and procurement of natural resources (such as oil, rubber, tin, nickel) which Japan needs.

 

VII. The policies of both nations affecting political stabilization in the Pacific.

 

a. The Governments of the United States and of Japan will not acquiesce in the future transfer of territories or the relegation of existing States within the Far East and in the Southwestern Pacific area to any European Power.

b. The governments of the United States and of Japan jointly guarantee the independence of the Philippine Islands and will consider means to come to their assistance in the event of unprovoked aggression by any third Power.

c. [The Government of Japan requests the friendly and diplomatic assistance of the Government of the United States for the removal of Hongkong and Singapore as doorways to further political encroachment by the British in the Far East.] [d]

d. Japanese Immigration to the United States and to the Southwestern Pacific area shall receive amicable consideration—on a basis of equality with other nationals and freedom from discrimination.

 

Conference.

 

a. It is suggested that a Conference between Delegates of the United States and of Japan be held at Honolulu and that this Conference be opened for the United States by President Roosevelt and for Japan by Prince Konoye. The delegates could number less than five each, exclusive of experts, clerks, etc.

b. There shall be no foreign observers at the Conference.

c. This Conference could be held soon as possible (May 1941) after the present understanding has been reached.

d. The agenda of the Conference would not include a reconsideration of the present understanding but would direct its efforts to the specification of the prearranged agenda and drafting of instruments to effectuate the understanding. The precise agenda could be determined upon by mutual agreement between both governments.

 

Addendum.

 

The present understanding shall be kept as a confidential memorandum between the Governments of the United States and of Japan.

The scope, character and timing of the announcement of this understanding will be agreed upon by both Governments.

 

[a] The English text with a few omissions was sent to Tokyo by Admiral Nomura on April 30, 1941, though the Japanese text of this same proposal had already been sent on April 17, 1941 (See I, 47). Clauses of the original text which were omitted in the dispatch of April 30th to Tokyo. (I, 41) have been marked by brackets.

[b] Omitted in dispatch to Tokyo.

[c] Omitted in dispatch to Tokyo.

[d] Omitted in dispatch to Tokyo.

 

Trans. 5-1-41/5-3-41

 

Page A-33

 

No. 42

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

14 April 1941

(Urgent)

 

# 227.

 

Strictly secret. To be handled in Government code.

 

 

This morning of the 14th I had an interview with Secretary of State Hull at his private residence. I said that not only should the Governments of our two nations agree to maintain peace in the Pacific Ocean, but the time has now come when both should take a larger view and without delay. The Secretary expressed accord, and I continued, "We being presumably viewed as an enemy, the American fleet is cruising in the Southern Pacific and naval instructors are being sent here and there, and in Manila a conference is being held between England, the United States and the Netherlands. Viewed from the standpoint of military experts, this is a most unfortunate trend and is certainly a step in the direction of war. The responsible military officials of Japan cannot overlook such things as this. The war fever of both countries is rising. In the United States the thirst for blood is gradually increasing. In the Atlantic convoying is about to be exercised. This, I tell you, is an inflammatory situation. It looks to me as though a declaration of war is imminent. Japan cannot but feel the gravest concern. Now, Sir, don't you think there might be a little change?" To my first statement he offered no particular comment. However, with the second he expressed accord. Next, Secretary HULL questioned me about the military policy of Japan and I explained that, "For example, a year or so ago Prince KONOYE made a statement to the effect that Japan is ready to make peace with China on the basis of equality with no indemnity and no annexation. There were some opponents at the time but the people agreed and they are still of this mind. The Japanese are united in one firm mind under the Emperor." Then I went on to explain to him something of our form of Government and international ideals. He seemed pleased and to understand, and said, "We are much alike." We went on to converse more or less about mutual economic problems, the stabilization of the Pacific, etc., and he promised me that at his very first opportunity he and I were going to have a conference. I think that before long he is going to inform me as to the date.

By the way, I explained the new treaty between Tokyo and Moscow and concluded by stating that the pacification of the Pacific would be the first step in the eventual winding up of hostilities in Europe, with which Secretary HULL expressed agreement.

 

Trans. 4-15-41

 

No. 43

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

14 April 1941

(Very urgent)

 

# 229.

 

Secret. To be handled in Government Code.

 

The effect upon our country of the conclusion of the Japanese-Soviet neutrality agreement is something for which sufficient gratitude cannot be expressed to you and I know full well the extent to which our Government and people appreciate your efforts. Japanese-American relations being extremely delicate at this time, it would be well to carefully heed the handling this pact is accorded in newspaper articles and editorials. As I told you in my # 227 [a], I made my explanations to Secretary HULL early in the morning of the 14th. As a direct result of these

 

Page A-34

 

conversations, Secretary HULL's opinions and phraseology on the occasion of the newspaper correspondents' interview of that day were not only extremely moderate, (please refer to my special report) but it seemed to me that he was probably doing his utmost to calm public opinion all over the country. And in this connection we, too, must see to it that our own papers do not play up this agreement as though it were directed against the United States. I believe that it would be wise not to arouse American public opinion. Therefore, on this point please send me your comments. That is all for the present.

 

[a] See I. 42.

 

Trans. 4-15-41

 

No. 44.

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

15 April 1941

 

# 230.

 

In 2 parts, complete.

 

Secret within the Department.

 

Concerning my Nos. 136 [a], 146 [b], and 227 [c].

 

In view of the present Japanese-American relations it is natural that we form a policy keeping these various points in mind.

1. The Tripartite Pact is exhibiting great power and this is giving America a great shock. America is having to consider at last the grave possibility of war with Japan and naturally America does not wish to be fighting on two fronts.

2. The Japanese southward movement will of course progress in accordance with the progress of Italy and Germany, and that it will not stop with a peaceful economic penetration is being recognized. That as a result of the Japanese-Soviet neutrality pact, Japan will at last be free to use force in this area is being realized by America. The British Empire will unite with the Dutch to form counter measures.

3. While these conditions obtain it is absolutely imperative that America exercise her naval strength in the Pacific and as a result the Atlantic will be left at a serious disadvantage.

4. It is necessary also to consider the point that the Foreign Minister (Matsuoka) explained to Ambassador Steinhardt, namely that America by extending aid to China is impeding Japan's southern progress because Japan is forced to restrain China and thus would be handicapped in case of a war with America.

5. America desired the friendship of Russia more than that of Japan and had hoped to line her up with the democracies and thus have her sever relations with Germany and at the same time act as a restraint to Japan. However, this pact has given a set-back to those hopes.

6. The British Empire and various American republics and the Netherlands Indies are bringing economic pressure against Japan, thus, little by little, various American republics are assuming with the United States a strong attitude.

7. American national strength began to manifest itself and by next year would have been a thing to be reckoned with for America is preparing for a long war.

8. The rate of shipping loss in the Atlantic is the thing that will decide the fate of the war. America is worried over these losses and is preparing convoys and is on the verge of actually convoying vessels.

9. Having considered the situation brought to view in paragraphs one to eight, it becomes apparent that at this time Japan should endeavor to cooperate with America for peace. However, the two following paragraphs are also important.

 

Page A-35

 

10. If Japan enters the war the Japanese fleet will have to contend single-handed with the combined fleets of Britain and America, and so regardless of whether Germany and Italy obtain supremacy on the continent and regardless of the outcome of the Atlantic war, there will be no change in the fact that as a result of the neutrality pact signed with the Soviet, Japan will have to shoulder a grant responsibility.

11. When America actually begins to convoy and thus declare herself in the war, we will be faced with a graver problem and thus it behooves us at this present time to try and seek some solution whereby we may maintain peace with America. In view of the war existing today we should endeavor through cooperation with America to maintain peace in the Pacific, to take the first step towards establishing world peace.

 

[a] Nomura's report of an interview with Secy. Hull on March 8th.

[b] Nomura's report of an interview with Pres. Roosevelt on March 14th.

[c] Nomura's report of an interview with Secy. Hull on April 14th.

 

Trans. 4-18-41

 

No. 45

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

17 April 1941

 

# 233.

 

Secret outside of Department.

 

Today (the 16th) I had an interview with the Secretary of State (Hull) at his residence. He asked that I obtain authorization from my government to proceed with negotiations on the basis of the separate telegram # 234 [a]. (I have been sounding out, by devious means, the U.S. government's motive behind this proposal which is referred to as something like "a proposal for an understanding between the two countries". As it was definitely ascertained that Secretary Hull is in favor of this proposal on the whole, I helped in the writing of the gist of this proposal and had it translated.) He then stated, "If the Japanese government should turn down this proposal after you and I have embarked on conversations regarding it, it would put the United States in a difficult situation. Therefore please do as I have suggested".

Regarding this matter, we officials together with military and navy attaches and Colonel Iwakuro have given much study, with a full cooperation from the entire staff, and with thorough examination of domestic and foreign conditions, we have been working towards the realization of this proposal. However, although this proposal does not touch upon every phase of Japanese-American relations, and there are no doubt points in the details of the proposal which require revision, our opinion is that this proposal, when realized,—

1. Will not in any way conflict with the Imperial edict relative to the Tripartite Pact. (On the contrary there is every assurance that this proposal will meet with His Majesty's approval. ?)

2. It will not conflict with our loyalty to the Tripartite Pact.

3. It will be a step towards realizing our government's sincere aim to maintain peace in the Pacific.

4. It will serve as a basis for Japanese-American agreement when peace resides in Europe again.

Finally, with the understanding that whatever adjustments necessary may be later amended by conference, I earnestly request that we be authorized to proceed with the negotiations.

 

[a] See I, 46.

 

Trans. 4-10-41

 

Page A-36

 

No. 46

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

17 April 1941

 

# 234.

 

In 5 parts, complete.

 

"The Proposal for an Understanding between the Two Countries."

It is proposed that representatives of the Japanese government and that of the United States conduct negotiations aimed at recovering the traditional friendly relations between the two countries. For the purpose of making this pact binding, both of the governments involved shall be held mutually responsible to uphold the terms contained therein.

The governments of the two countries shall carefully analyze the existing conditions in order to determine the causes for the unfavorable relations of recent months. Furthermore, the recurrence of the various incidents which led from friendliness between the two peoples to bad relations, shall be prevented.

It is fervently desired that through such means all further development of the ever increasing bad blood will cease.

Through mutual cooperation it is hoped that a lasting peace can be established in the Pacific. It is further hoped that through such clear understanding the chaos towards which we are headed, and which threatens to destroy all civilization, will be avoided. Even if that is too much to hope for, it is hoped that at least the further development of the chaotic conditions will be checked. This is what is sincerely desired by the governments of both nations.

In order to obtain concrete results along the above-mentioned lines, it is not believed that a long conference is appropriate at this time as time is of prime importance.

For the purpose of establishing a very wide understanding, this plan, which relies upon each restricting itself on moral principles, has been evolved.

The conference will consider only the matters of extreme importance. All questions which may be agreed upon by the two governments subsequently will be deferred until a subsequent opportunity arrives.

If the two governments are able to clarify or correct the points enumerated below, it is believed that the entire matter of relations between the two countries can be put back on a favorable basis.

1. The international and domestic aspirations of both Japan and the United States.

2. The attitude of each with regard to the war in Europe.

3. The relationship that each government has with the China Incident.

4. Naval and air strength of each in the Pacific as well as its merchant marine.

5. Cooperation between the two with regard to trade and credit.

6. Economic activities of each in the southwest Pacific area.

7. Policy of each country with regard to politically stabilizing the Pacific.

 

(Part 2)

 

With the above points in mind, we have drawn up the proposal which is given below. will be presented to the U.S. government for their approval or revision, which it will be presented to the Japanese government for a final and official decision.

 

1. The international and domestic aspirations of both Japan and the United States.

Japan and the United States are independent nations of equal standing. Each recognizes the other to be a power on the Pacific. Both countries desire the establishment of a permanent peace. It is further recognized that both want to bring about a new era in which relations will be based on mutual reliance and cooperation. It is herewith made clear that the policies of the two countries in this regard are identical.

 

 

Page A-37

 

Both countries recognize the fact that all countries and all races are to live under the principle of the HAKKO ITIU under which all have equal rights. Profits of each will be evenly distributed among all through peaceful means.

Both recognize the need of mutual cooperation in both spiritual and materialistic matters, that each is obliged to protect the other, not destroy it. These are definite and traditional policies of both governments.

Both governments shall mutually respect the traditions of the other on which the nation is built. They shall firmly hold the right to maintain an orderly society as well as the basic moral principles on which life depends. Each is absolutely determined to prevent the entrance of any foreign doctrines which conflict with these domestic principles.

 

2. Attitude of each country with regard to the war in Europe.

The motive behind Japan's alliance with the Axis was simply a defense measure. It is aimed at preventing those countries which are not at present involved in the war from becoming involved. This fact is herewith made clear.

However, Japan has no intentions of trying to get out of her obligations under the terms of her treaties. On the other hand, Japan's armed forces will move only if and when some country which is not at war at present launches a vigorous military campaign against the Axis powers.

 

(Part 3)

 

The United States attitude with regard to the European War:

It is herewith made clear that the United States has not at present and has no intention of entering into an alliance with some foreign country which would force her to take an aggressor's attitude by aiding one of the combatants while attacking the other.

The United States government states that it stands firmly against wars. Its only interest with regard to the present European war is to protect the well being and safety of her own country. All her moves will be determined by only those considerations.

 

3. The relationship that each has to the China Incident.

President of the United States shall make certain requests, as noted below. If these requests are granted by the government of Japan, then the President of the United States will recommend peace to the Chiang regime.

(a) Chinese independence.

(b) Evacuation of Japanese troops from China, in accordance with the terms of a peace treaty which will be entered into between Japan and China.

(c) (Non-?) unification of Chinese territories.

(d) (Non-?) payment of reparations.

(e) Resumption of the Open Door Policy. As to the exact definition of that policy, United States and Japan will confer at some opportune time in the future.

(f) The joining together of the Chiang government and the Wang government.

(g) Voluntary restriction of large number and organized emigration of Japanese to China.

(h) Recognition of Manchukuo.

 

If the Chiang government accepts the U.S. President's recommendation, the Japanese government will commence peace negotiations with the then unified Chinese government, or with the elements which have been responsible for the establishment of a new government. These peace negotiations will be conducted directly between the two nations.

The Japanese government will, within the scope outlined above, enter into agreements with China with regard to re-establishment of friendly relations, cooperation in defending each other, and economic coalition.

 

Page A-38

 

The peace proposals including the above-mentioned points shall be submitted directly to the Chinese.

 

(Part 4)

 

4. Re air and naval strength and navigation on the Pacific.

(a) The United States and Japan, both desiring to maintain peace in the Pacific, shall refrain from maintaining in the Pacific naval and air forces of such strength as to constitute a menace to either one of the countries concerned. Specific steps toward this end shall be taken up at the Japanese-American conference.

(b) Upon the successful conclusion of the Japanese-American conference, the fleets of their respective countries shall exchange courtesy calls to signify the advent of peace in the Pacific.

(c) Upon the settlement of the Japanese-Chinese incident, the Japanese government shall promote in accordance with the wish of and agreement with the U.S. government the recommissioning in the Pacific waters of as many as possible of those vessels which are now in commission. However, the tonnage and other details shall be decided on at the Japanese-American conference.

 

5. Commercial and financial cooperation between the two countries.

(a) After the acceptance of the present proposal by both governments, if goods being exported by either one of the countries is required by the other, the first shall guarantee to supply the second with such goods.

(b) Suitable steps shall be taken to revive the same commercial relations existing between the two countries before the abrogation of the Japanese-American Treaty of Commerce. Furthermore, if both countries desire to conclude a new commercial agreement this shall be taken up at the American-Japanese conference and the agreement concluded in the usual manner.

In order to promote economic cooperation between the two countries, the United States will agree to extend gold credit to Japan so that she may develop commercial and industrial enterprises which will rebound to economic stability in East Asia and also help to realize Japanese-American economic cooperation.

 

6. Economic activities of the two countries in the southwest Pacific.

(a) Japan guarantees to carry out her expansion in the southwest Pacific, not by force of arms, but by peaceful means. However, the United States shall cooperate and assist Japan in obtaining materials she needs in this area, such as rubber, oil, tin, nickel, etc.

 

7. The policies of the two countries regarding political stability in the Pacific.

(a) Japan and America will not sanction the division or annexation of territory in East Asia and the Pacific by European powers in the future.

(b) America and Japan will mutually guarantee the independence of the Philippines, and will discuss means to aid the Philippines whenever she is attacked by a third power.

(c) No discriminations shall be shown against Japanese immigrants in the United States and in the southwest Pacific area and they shall enjoy the same privileges as those enjoyed by immigrants of any other friendly nation.

 

(Part 5)

 

Japanese-American conference:

(a) Conference between the Japanese delegates and the American delegates shall take place in Honolulu. The conference shall be opened by President Roosevelt representing the United States and by Premier Konoe  [sic] representing Japan. Delegates shall be limited to five members each, not including experts and secretaries.

 

Page A-39

 

(b) No observers of a third power or powers shall be permitted to attend this conference.

(c) The conference shall begin, as soon as possible, after the acceptance of the present proposal but shall be limited to discussing specific subjects agreed to by the governments of both countries dealing with prearranged agenda and the text of the present proposal.

 

Supplementary provision.

The application of the present proposal shall remain for the time being the secret of the governments of the two countries concerned and its publication shall be settled between the two governments.

 

End

 

Trans. 4-19-41

 

No. 47

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

17 April 1941

 

# 239.

 

Part 1 of 3. See I, No. 48, 49.

Part 1 of 3. Secret outside of the department.

 

Re the latter part of my # 235 [a].

 

Explanations of the proposed agreement article by article, as follows.

 

(1) International and national ideologies that are held in common by both Japan and America.

The object of this article is, that inasmuch as the Americans are afraid that Japan is becoming "totalitarian" and take the position that if Japan becomes "totalitarianized" there can be no further negotiations between Japan and America, we would make it plain to them that the ideologies held by Japan are neither "totalitarianism", nor "communism" not yet "democracy", but that they are based upon distinctive traditions that have come down to us from 3000 years back, and that we are not being influenced by any foreign ideologies that are contrary to these. The reason for inserting this article is that they strongly held out for this as being the idea of their highest leaders. Secretary Hull also strongly emphasized this point to me; and looking upon this as a good opportunity for elucidating the Imperial policy, we decided to leave it in after some changes.

 

(2) The attitudes of the two countries toward the European war.

This clause has to do with the matter in which we have incurred the most suspicion in these parts, because of the Tripartite agreement, and its objectives are:

(a) To make it clear on the one hand that this understanding now under consideration will make no change in the treaty obligations of the Empire incident to the Tripartite agreement, and

(b) To do our utmost to restrain the United States from entering the European war, thus living up to the spirit of Article 3 of the Tripartite agreement, while at the same time,

(c) Avoiding a break between Japan and the United States, and thus accomplishing the purpose of the conclusion of the Tripartite agreement.

 

(3) The relations of the two countries to the China Incident.

At first the American thought that the China Incident might be brought to a conclusion by having the U.S. President undertake "arbitration" proceedings, or "mediation," but on the other hand as it seemed that the Wang regime would absolutely repudiate this, we explained the various reasons why the Imperial government would find it utterly impossible to accept this. Then with the idea of preventing even the semblance of interference from America in the

 

Page A-40

 

China Incident, the article was put in in this way, with the idea that the President would merely offer his "bons offices" for mediation, and that the negotiations would be carried on directly between Japan and China, and that the Chungking regime would be the ones with whom negotiations would be taken up. Also, as the main essentials in the peace terms, the so-called Konoe three basic principles would be recognized, namely, good neighbor friendly relations, cooperative defense against communism, and economic cooperation. In regard to the withdrawal of troops, it was made clear that the troops would be withdrawn on the basis of a treaty to be concluded between Japan and China, that would avoid any stipulations that would be inconsistent with the treaty dealing with basic relations between Japan and China, and its accompanying documents.

As regards the Open Door Policy, the insertion of stipulations concerning special positions in North China and Mongolia, was intended, but, in view of the delicate problem concerning the island of Hainan, this was left out, and the solution of questions pertaining to the interpretation of-the basic principles of the open door and their application was left for future consideration. In regard to immigration they also had their positions to state, but practically speaking there was no objection so this was included. Then again, it was evident that not to include Manchuria in China's territory, would make the recognition of Manchukuo a condition -----.

 

(continued in part two) No. 48.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 4-24-41

 

No. 48

 

The following is the best version the translator can produce, considering the extremely garbled condition of the Japanese text, of what appears to be either an outline of or a comment on a proposal for settlement of all pending problems between Japan and the United States, including the conclusion of the Sino-Japanese incident.

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

April 17, 1941

 

# 239.

 

Part 2 of 3.

 

Secret outside the department.

 

I do not believe that the aforementioned terms concerning guarantees to the United States which they have proposed contravene the Konoe three basic principles of ----- nor do I believe that they conflict with the treaty concluded last year between Japan and Canada on this matter. Furthermore, I do not consider that they hinder cooperation and assistance between Japan, Manchukuo and China.

But, in case the CHIANG regime does not accept the advice of the President of the United States, I feel that although the United States will bring pressure to bear on Chungking, they will be very loath to put a threat in writing.

 

(4) Matters relating to naval strength and aerial strength, as well as shipping in the Pacific Ocean.

a. So far the United States has taken the attitude that in order to secure the peace of the Pacific area it was necessary to have a fleet there. Therefore, in case we settle the matter on the basis of this proposal, we may have trouble with the Military of our two respective countries.

 

Page A-41

 

b. When it comes to shipping, the United States is suffering for want of ships. Therefore, this proposal is a logical solution. We, ourselves, are suffering for want of ships. This had produced the impetus for the United States to advise peace between Japan and China.

 

(5) Commercial and Financial Cooperation between the two countries.

This clause is to be drawn up visualizing the United States using her reserve stocks in reconstruction work in our own country and East Asia, and the establishment of purchasing funds, along with credit.

 

Trans. 4-19-41

 

No. 49

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

17 April 1941

 

# 239.

 

Part 3 of 3.

 

Secret outside the department.

 

VI. The activities of our two countries in the Southwestern Pacific.

Since there is the danger that an advance southward militarily by our Empire would lead to war between the United States and Japan, it is held that our progress in that direction must be conducted by peaceful means without resorting to the sword. It has been made clear to me that if we do thus, the United States will support our economic penetration thither. I must emphasize that this promise is the one and only basis of the present proposal for an understanding.

 

VII. The policy of the two nations concerning the political stabilization of the Pacific.

Through this clause the countries of Europe will suffer some reverses but our Empire will have all to gain and nothing to lose.

(Message incomplete)

 

Trans. 4-19-41

 

No. 50

 

FROM: Tokyo (Konoe)

TO: Washington

April 18, 1941

 

# 170.

 

To be handled in government code.

 

With reference to the matter discussed in your # 233 [a], hereafter we must keep it most secret. First encipher it in government code and then run it through the machine.

 

[a] Nomura reports conference with Secretary of State Hull on April 16th.

 

Trans. 4-22-41

 

Page A-42

 

No. 51

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

17 April 1941

 

# 237.

 

The Secretary of State is exceedingly careful and on his guard against letting anything leak out as to his own opinions, but in the course of our conversation on the 16th, such thoughts as the following were brought out:

(1) The U.S.S.R. are recognized as following a policy of not becoming involved in war themselves, but getting other nations to fighting, and it would seem that the Japan-Soviet agreement too is being taken in the same way.

(2) It seems that he is of the same opinion as Foreign Minister Matsuoka, that a war between Japan and the U.S. would mean the extension of the scope of the European war, and ultimately the destruction of civilization. (However, it is a fact that there is a good deal of contention in the world that Japan must now be disposed of, and there is quite a bit of this feeling among the naval officers as well.)

(3) Even though Hitler's conquests by force may for the time being be successful, the time will come when the people of the nations will revolt, and even though the continent should be brought into subjection, he would be unable to bring the seas under his power.

(4) While the United States at present is making its great objective the repletion of its national defenses, and effective assistance to Britain, the U.S. government is at work formulating policies for the reconstruction of the world after war, (including also its domestic policies).

 

Trans. 4-20-41

 

No. 52

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

23 April 1941

 

# 176.

 

Secret outside the Department.

 

On the 23rd the Tokyo Nichi Nichi carried a special Washington dispatch dated the 21st, which seems to indicate that they are aware of the matter referred to in your message # 237 [a].

Domei also sent news, dispatched on the same day, which points suspiciously that they too have gotten wind of this matter.

Under these circumstances it will be very difficult to keep this confidential matter from leaking out, therefore please take strict care not to allow this information to leak out to any Japanese, particularly to Japanese correspondents. (We are taking the same precaution in Tokyo.)

 

[a] Amb. Nomura reports to Tokyo the implied opinions of Secretary Hull, as brought out in their conversation of 16 April.

 

Trans. 4-23-41

 

Page A-43

 

No. 53

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

23 April 1941

 

# 247.

 

Secret outside.

 

Regarding your # 176 [a].

 

Those concerned at this office are exercising extreme care to prevent leakage and on the American side only three persons, namely the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Communications (TEISINGHOKA) and the Secretary of the Navy, know about this matter and they are taking particular care in keeping this information from the press and I feel that they will continue to do so.

However, may I be so bold as to suggest that you, at your end, will prevent by your discretion the publication of this matter.

Please wire me the special Domei dispatch in question for our information.

 

[a] (See 1, 52) Tokyo wires Amb. Nomura that Nichi-Nichi and Domei have published reports indicating that they are aware of the contents of his message reporting the implied opinions of Secy. Hull in their conversation of 16 April.

 

Trans. 4-24-41

 

No. 54

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

19 April 1941

 

# 171.

 

Re your # 234 [a].

 

Upon the return of Foreign Minister Matsuoka which is expected in two or three days, we shall be able to definitely establish our stand in this matter. In the meantime we would like to be advised on the following points.

1. Under the terms of this proposal, our southward move would be halted. This would mean that England's back door would be made safe, and the United States would be able to withdraw from the Pacific. The United States could then concentrate all of her efforts on aiding Britain.

Will there not be considerable opposition to this on the grounds that it does not conform with the spirit of the Tripartite Pact.

2. What would happen to United States-Japanese relations if, because of our friendship for Germany, we make quite a number of revisions in the text of the proposal, or if because some action was taken, the instrument became void?

3. From the standpoint of friendship for Germany, would it not be possible to attempt a United States-Japanese joint mediation in the war before deciding upon this pact. What are the possibilities of that?

No doubt the waves of the Pacific will be calmed temporarily if this agreement is entered into. It is clear, however, that should Germany and Italy win the war, Japan would be placed in a very unfavorable position.

Even if, on the other hand, Britain and the United States win, is there not a danger that the two will get together and, disregarding this pact, put the pressure on us in the same manner as they did subsequent to the last war?

5. Although the United States claims that her attitude towards the European war will be determined solely by measures to best defend her own safety, are there not indications that

 

Page A-44

 

the United States will enter the war, disregarding the pact, to prevent the downfall of the British Empire.

6. What concrete measures does the United States have in mind when they claim that they will give us strong support in exchange for their getting the necessary materials from the southwestern Pacific area? What will the United States actually do in the event that any of our demands in the above area are turned down by those countries?

The United States will supposedly support us in the matter of emigrants to the above-mentioned area. How does the United States intend to help us in areas which are not under her jurisdiction?

is the exact area of the southwestern Pacific as it is used here? Is Australia included in it?

(Translator's note: Paragraph 7 badly garbled, contains much guess work).

Revised version of Paragraph 7

7. The United States and Japan could divide up the holdings of various European countries in the Far East and in the southwest Pacific area without the consent of those nations involved. Will the United States be prepared to do so? Does the United States have any intention of supporting Japan's peaceful penetration of this area?

7. Japan and the United States are to refuse to recognize any dividing or annexing in the Far East or in the southwest Pacific region by any European power. Recognition of any such changes can be made only by Japan and the United States.

Is the United States prepared to accept those conditions?

Also does the United States intend to approve of Japan's intention to promote peaceful penetrations?

 

[a] See No. I, 46.

 

Trans. 4-19-41

 

No. 55

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

April 20, 1941

 

# 244.

 

Re your # 171 [a] of the 19th.

 

My opinions:

No. 1. You ask if there not be considerable criticism on the grounds that this proposal contravenes the spirit of the Tripartite Pact. Many people in Japan may so conceive it and we might be justified in assuming that the American Government officials also hope through this means to concentrate on assistance to Great Britain. However, my views on your question are specifically as follows:

a. Even though this proposal is accepted, our Empire's duty, based upon Clause 3 of the Tripartite Pact, will not be lessened. In fact, the danger of a war between Japan and the United States as a result of the Axis Alliance will be diminished. Therefore, England could not be considered as thereby securing complete backing by the United States. With the exception of a certain relatively small amount of armaments necessary for warfare in the Atlantic, the United States cannot quickly withdraw her hand from the Pacific. Similarly, although we have concluded a neutrality agreement with the Soviet, we cannot withdraw our forces from Manchukuo.

 

[a] See I, 64, in which Tokyo asks to be advised on certain points re the Hull proposal.

 

Trans. 4-23-41

 

Page A-45

 

No. 56

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

April 20, 1941

 

# 244.

 

Part 2 of 5.

 

b. By this proposal, the danger of a war between Japan and the United States resulting from the activities of either country will be reduced and by the same token the danger of a conflict between the United States and Germany will be lessened. On the other hand, granted that after the establishment of this understanding the United States will give more assistance to Great Britain, our Empire will be able thereby all the better to restrain the United States from participating in the European War. This coincides with our duty to support Germany in her desire to have no trouble with the United States and strengthen the spirit of the Tripartite Treaty.

c. If this proposal is accepted, our Empire's right to speak in the international situation will be greater than ever and, through the exercise of that right, who knows what advantages may ultimately accrue to us.

No. 2. In case this proposal comes to naught, I can see no alternative to relations between Japan and the United States following an ever worsening path.

 

Trans. 4-23-41

 

No. 57

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

April 26, 1941

 

# 244.

 

Part 3 of 5.

 

No. 3. Concerning the possibility you mention in your third question, I have directly sounded out the opinion of certain high American officials and now when relations are so strained between Berlin and Washington, I can see little chance of each mediation; but if we go ahead and conclude this agreement, later on such a possibility is all the more likely to come.

No. 4. The anxiety you express in this question indicates that you are thinking only of the present, when relations between Japan and the United States are so strained. Through an agreement like this, we can settle the Chinese trouble very quickly, open the gates for the passage of raw materials and, having so improved our position through the exercise of this agreement, we would certainly be in a very much better position to cope with the situation after the war. In fact, I consider the acceptance of this proposal as the best means of meeting the postwar situation.

 

Trans. 4-23-41

 

No. 58

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

20 April 1941

 

# 244.

 

Part 4 of 5.

 

No. 5. There is a strong feeling in the United States now to shun the European War and to provide for the stability and security of the United States itself. This is to be made plain in the proposal. According to the draft, the United States will assist England by measures short

 

Page A-46

 

of war and will not make a declaration of war directly against Germany. However, if the United States disregards this understanding and should fight, it is clear that we are free to act independently on the basis of the Tripartite Alliance.

No. 6. In exchange for their getting the necessary materials from the southwestern Pacific, the United States promises us cooperation and support. However, I should prefer to leave the details to future negotiations. In connection with the aforementioned question, the United States' right to speak in various British possessions and in the Netherlands Indies is increasing. Therefore, their good offices will be most effective beyond any question. By the southwestern Pacific, I do not believe that Australia is meant.

 

Trans. 4-23-41

 

No. 59

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

April 20, 1941

 

# 244.

 

Part 5 of 5.

 

No. 7. I do not believe that the United States has any desire to take over any of the islands of the southwestern Pacific; but there is a possibility of her using them under some such guise as cooperative exploitation. Furthermore, I do not believe that in the years to follow the United States will interfere with our peaceful penetration into this area.

Summing all this up, just as in the case of the Tokyo-Moscow Neutrality Treaty, the present proposal is the logical complement to the Axis Alliance which is the keynote of our national policy and I wish to point out that I do not believe that the effectiveness of Clause 3 of the Tripartite Treaty, which is the basis of the Axis Alliance, will be measurably impaired thereby. In my own opinion, if the United States is left to drift along as she now is, ultimate American participation in the European War and an additional struggle between Japan and the United States is certain to ensue. Prevention now will be better than cure later on. I feel that the acceptance of this proposal will coincide to the best general interests of the Axis.

After you have conferred upon this message with the War and Navy, please reply.

 

Trans. 4-23-41

 

No. 60

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

23 April 1941

 

# 249.

 

(Revised translation.)

 

This evening I was invited to the private residence of an influential member of the Cabinet who has had some connections with the item mentioned in my # 244 [a], and I was asked by him as to the approximate date when ----- would arrive from Japan. To which I replied that I was expecting ---—- to arrive in two or (three?) -----.

The Cabinet member then, prefacing his remark with the explanation that it was entirely unofficial, stated that he would like to say with the kindest of intentions that "though Hull is slow in making up his mind, when once he has made it up it is not easy for him to change his attitude. ----- and that unless there are some fundamental changes in the general principles

 

Page A-47

 

set forth and ----- Hull's attitude toward the (higher officials ?), these conversations will end in a rupture.

(Secret outside the Department.)

 

[a] (See I, 59-59.) In reply to a request from Tokyo, Ambassador Nomura expresses his opinion in regard to several points of the Hull proposal.

 

Trans. 4-28-41

 

No. 61

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

25 April 1941

 

# 183.

 

Regarding your # 249 [a].

 

From Vice Minister to Wakasugi:

 

As the Foreign Minister has just returned and needs a rest, it will take at least two weeks before instructions will be issued.

 

[a] See I, 60.

 

Trans. 4-28-41

 

No. 62

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

26 April 1941

 

# 253.

 

Part 1 of 2.

 

From the standpoint of the Imperial Government's diplomatic policy, it is truly a marvelous thing that through your efforts our relations with Moscow have been adjusted because this has been an unsettled problem for many years. I also think that what you have done will have an excellent effect upon our diplomatic relations with the United States. After such a long trip and such arduous labors, I know how tired you must be. However, I would like to receive a reply immediately concerning the matter mentioned in my # 233 [a]. I am very anxious about this because I know how intimately you and I discussed this matter before I came to Washington. Subsequently, on two occasions, Your Honor discussed this matter with Ambassador STEINHARDT in Moscow. I am sure that you must have discussed your attitude with the Government and compared it with the intentions of our officials.

Now, if we keep postponing any action on this matter, it is going to be very difficult for both sides to maintain secrecy. I already suspect that there may be people in the American Cabinet, besides the three men who have so far been involved, who entertain considerable suspicions about what is going on. I also fancy that various policies opposing what I am trying to do may be developing in our country. The course of the European war is arousing the United States very much now and if we are too late in the establishment of this understanding, naturally it will lose its coercive effect. I dare say that already they are becoming a little dubious about the advisability of taking such a step. I fear that if we wait any longer disastrous results will ensue. So let us finish the deal forthwith.

 

[a] See I, 45.

 

Trans. 4-29-41

 

Page A-48

 

No. 63

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

April 26, 1941

 

# 253.

 

Part 2 of 2.

 

I do not doubt but what you are greatly worried about the effect of such an agreement upon nations friendly to us, but I do not feel that any anxiety will be justified. Since I got my instructions at all, fourteen days have passed. Now when a man is all heated up to wait two weeks without hearing anything is almost more than he can stand. So please consider my position in this matter.

When I presented my credentials to the President, I told him that it was my intention to endeavor to improve relations between Japan and the United States. I fear that by now the Government of this country is beginning to doubt whether there was anything in what I said. If so, they must suspect that I am not voicing the intentions of the Imperial Government. Time and again when I have had opportunities for conferences with the Secretary of State, I believed that what I have to say coincides in general with the opinions of my Government. Will you not please consider my prestige with the Government of the United States?

 

Trans. 4-29-41

 

No. 64

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington

April 30, 1941

 

# 187.

 

Re your # 234 [a].

 

Please send the English text by wire.

 

[a] See I, 46.

 

Trans. 5-1-41

 

No. 65

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

April 30, 1941

 

# 255.

 

Re your 187 [a].

 

I am sending you the English text in my # 256 [b] (urgent in eight parts). I have not super-enciphered this, so please handle very carefully.

 

[a] See I, 64.

[b] See I, 41.

 

Trans. 5-2-41

 

Page A-49

 

No. 66

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

3 May 1941

 

# 262.

 

When I met the Secretary of State on the 2nd, I told him that, in view of the tense relations existing between the two nations, we would like to have very careful consideration given to the question of embargoes, and as for the matter of expansion toward the Philippines, this would excite our people, inasmuch as these islands geographically are close neighbors to us.

He seemed to take an understanding attitude toward the latter item, but he said that with every energy being exerted in national defense, trade controls are inevitable, and, going as far as to point out our discriminatory measures in China, he gave no indications of readily complying. He also evinced firm determination in saying that if Hitler's mailed fist should come to extend over the seven seas, the world would be turned back into the dark ages of 300 years ago, and that such a drift must be resisted, though it takes any number of years. Citing Germany's difficulties in handling Poland, where she has all she can do to preserve peace and order with a large force of 700,000 troops, he intimated that we would have a similar problem with the occupied areas of China. Suspecting that this is the general impression of late, I explained that the Chungking government is becoming very much weakened, that the morale of their army is deteriorating, that with a shortage of ammunition they are losing their fighting spirit, and that whereas in the past the Imperial forces could meet them in the ratio of one to ten, at present they can meet them with one to twenty.

 

Trans. 5-6-41

 

No. 67

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

3 May 1941

 

# 191.

 

In three parts, complete.

 

Separate telegram to my # 190 [a].

 

Strictly confidential.

 

Oral statement of the Foreign Minister of Japan:

 

"Upon my arrival in Tokyo in the afternoon of April 22, 1941, I was apprised at once of the contents of the project of an agreement between Japan and America which was cabled by our Ambassador Admiral Nomura a few days prior to my return. I should have taken the matter up immediately, but I could not divide my attention to any question other than reporting on my recent journey to Europe and taking steps to complete the procedures necessary to putting into effect the pact of neutrality concluded at Moscow between Japan and the U.S.S.R. After disposing of them, I have been obliged to remain inactive for a few days due to an indisposition. As a matter of fact, I have only been able to resume work today. The project necessarily claims very careful and thorough consideration and it will take some days yet before I can express my opinion more or less definitely on the various and multitudinous points contained in the project, some of which are of a far-reaching character. I need hardly assure Your Excellency that I shall do my best to reach a speedy decision, as the nature of the project obviously calls for as early a disposition as possible.

"Having enjoyed the privilege of an acquaintanceship with the President since he was the Assistant Secretary of the Navy and having also had the pleasure of meeting Your Excellency

 

Page A-50

 

at Washington some eight years ago, I feel that I would not be considered as making entirely useless and obtrusive remarks if I took the advantage of this opportunity frankly to bring to the knowledge of Your Excellency and, through Your Excellency, of the President, some of the things I observed during my recent trip to Europe. The German and Italian leaders are determined never to have peace by negotiation, they demand capitulation. They seem to regard that the war is as good as won even at the present stage, with the expulsion of British soldiers from the Balkans, there is not one British soldier left on the European continent from Norway to the Balkans and the Soviet Russia maintains her neutrality supplying them even with what they need. To support this view, they further point out the vast difference between the conditions which prevailed in the European continent and elsewhere at the end of the first twenty months in the last Great War and those now prevailing in Europe and elsewhere after the lapse of the same twenty months since the commencement of the present war. I may add also, for what it may be worth, that these leaders feel that the American entry into the war will not materially affect the final issue, although they are ready to admit that in that event, the war is likely to become protracted. Whatever views Your Excellency or the President may hold, it is, I trust, always worthwhile and interesting to know what other parties are thinking.

"Of course, I reserve my own opinion on this point, but I must confess that my sole and primary concern is, as Your Excellency must know by my utterances on several occasions, that the American intervention is fraught with a grave danger of prolonging the war to the untold misery and suffering of Humanity, entailing, who knows, in its wake, and eventual downfall of modern civilization. In that eventuality, there would be no more question of Democracy or Totalitarianism on earth. Even at this moment, I shudder at the mere thought of such a dire possibility. The key to prevent or to hasten such a possibility to be translated into probability is largely held in the hands of the President of the United States. This has been my view ever since the outbreak of the European War. I need hardly add that Japan cannot and will not do anything that might in the least degree adversely affect the position of Germany and Italy to whom Japan is in honour bound as an ally under the Tri-Partite Pact. Such a caution on Japan's part, I trust, will be readily appreciated by Your Excellency."

 

[a] See I, 68.

 

Trans. 5-4-41

 

No. 68

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

3 May 1941

 

# 190.

 

In two parts, complete.

 

(To be handled in Chief of Mission Code.)

 

I have read your successive messages, and I understand fully your difficult position and your anxiety in view of Japanese-American relations, as seen from our side, and especially in view of America's present relations to the European war. However, from our standpoint, in considering Japanese-American relations and the European war situation it is necessary for us to give careful study to the effect that such an agreement would have upon the Japan-Germany-Italy alliance, upon Japanese-Soviet relations that have become very delicate since the conclusion of the Japanese-Soviet neutrality pact, and upon China, and especially to the effect it would have upon the Greater East Asia program, as well as upon the South Seas area. Therefore, it is only natural that some days should elapse before a definite opinion could be formulated. I am sure you will have no difficulty understanding this point.

 

PAGE A-51

 

(Since my return to Tokyo I have been laid up several days with my chronic ailment, bronchial catarrh, and today is the first day I have been able to come to the office.)

However, as it may have been improper to let so much time elapse without making some acknowledgment, I would like to have you hand Secretary Hull the separate message in English, as a non-committal reply. At the same time you might suggest to the Secretary as your own idea that, following the precedent of the neutrality pact, which I concluded with the U.S.S.R., the non-aggression item be eliminated and also it would be well to include articles that would ensure the permanent neutrality of the Philippine Islands, and assure nondescriminatory treatment of Japanese subjects in those Islands.

Could you not lightly say to the said Secretary:

"How would it be to enter into a simple and clear-cut Japan-U. S. neutrality agreement? Of course, it goes without saying that an exception will have to be made if it becomes necessary for us to act in order to fulfill our obligations under the Tri-partite Pact."

You could make the above statement as if it was something that just happened to occur to you and in that way size up the situation with regard to whether or not there is a possibility of actually entering into such an agreement.

Judging from U.S. traditions, it can be foreseen that the United States will not readily favor an instrument like a neutrality pact. (Such a pact involves the necessity of a troublesome ratification by the Senate.) On the other hand, I cannot believe that there is absolutely no hope for success.

Moreover, to definitely ascertain that there is absolutely no hope for establishing a neutrality pact, would be of much value to us in our negotiations for the "Understanding" pact.

In the event that a neutrality pact is entered into, what seems to be the possibility of having an "understanding" agreement also, which would include secret clauses to be applied in time of war?

In other words, what I propose is to first of all enter into an agreement which can be published and which would be considered as a sort of a diplomatic blitzkrieg.

Please propose this to the other party as your own thought, and advise me of the result.

 

Trans. 5-4-41

 

No. 69

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Nomura)

7 May 1941

 

# 197.

 

Regarding my # 190 [a].

 

We must map out a program of the second phase. This depends on the attitude of the United States.

Since time is of paramount importance, please advise us immediately of Secretary Hull's reply. [b]

 

[a] See I, 68 of 3 May 1941, in which Matsuoka finally replies to Nomura's series of messages, and gives instructions for handing Secretary Hull an "Oral Statement", while attempting to sound out the possibility of a "Neutrality Pact".

[b] See I, 81 (Wash-Tok # 273 of 7 May) for Nomura's report on the reply.

 

Trans. 9-5-41

 

Page A-52

 

No. 70

 

FROM: Tokyo (Japanese Foreign Minister)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

5 May 1941

 

# 192.

 

According to a fairly reliable source of information it appears almost certain that the United government is reading your code messages.

Please let me know whether you have any suspicion of the above.

 

Trans. 5-5-41

 

No. 71

 

FROM: Berlin (Oshima)

TO: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

3 May 1941

 

# 482.

 

STAAMAA called on me this day (evening?) and stating that this request was to be kept strictly secret, he said that Germany maintains a fairly reliable intelligence organization abroad (or-"in the U.S."?), and according to information obtained from the above-mentioned organization it is quite (or-"fairly"?) reliably established that the U.S. government is reading Ambassador Nomura's code messages, and then asked that drastic steps should be taken regarding this matter.

There are at least two circumstances substantiating the above (suspicion). One circumstance is that Germany is reading our code messages -----. Regarding this, during my previous residency here, they were known to have a large scale cryptanalytic organization-

(unfinished-last two-thirds not available)

 

Trans. 6-5-41

 

No. 72

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Berlin (Oshima)

5 May 1941

 

# 370.

 

Please express our appreciation to STAAMAA for the information in question and ask him if it is not possible to give us the authority for the statement that it has been fairly reliably established that the U.S. government is reading our code messages, so that we might take appropriate action. Reply requested.

 

Trans. 6-5-41

 

PAGE A-53

 

No. 73

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

5 May 1941

 

# 267.

 

Most Guarded Secrecy.

 

Foreign Office Secret.

 

Re your # 192 [a].

 

For our part, the most stringent precautions are taken by all custodians of codes and ciphers, as well as of other documents.

On this particular matter I have nothing in mind, but pending investigation please wire back any concrete instances or details which may turn up.

 

[a] See I, 70.

 

Trans. 5-6-41

 

No. 74

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Nomura)

7 May 1941

 

# 198.

 

Regarding your # 267 [a].

 

This matter was told very confidentially to Ambassador Oshima [b] by the Germans as having been reported to them by a fairly ("rather" or "pretty") reliable intelligence medium; but to our inquiry they are said to have refused to divulge the basis on which they deemed it to be practically certain.

 

[a] See I, 73 Nomura requests further details of the basis for the report that his code msgs are being read by the U.S. government.

[b] General Oshima, the Japanese Ambassador to Berlin.

 

Trans. 7-5-41

 

No. 75

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

May 20, 1941

 

# 327.

 

INTELLIGENCE:

 

Though I do not know which ones, I have discovered that the United States is reading some of our codes.

As for how I got the intelligence, I will inform you by courier or another safe way.

 

Trans. 5-21-41

 

Page A-54

 

No. 76

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington, Bangkok, Rome

7 May 1941

 

# 1015.

 

Circular.

 

Immediately upon receipt of this message, use 1941 regulations for A and B code machines until further notice.

 

Trans. 5-7-41

 

No. 77

 

FROM: Tokyo (Japanese Foreign Minister)

TO: Washington

May 8, 1941

 

No Number.

 

From Vice Chief OHASI to Minister Wakasugi.

 

I want you to leave the custody of the government code in the hands of IGUCHI. No matter how long the communications are or how hurriedly the code must be used, there should be no occasion to call upon the services of telegraphic clerks. Please impress upon all of your secretaries that this is a special regulation.

In view of the importance of the details of our recent exchange of wires, please (burn?) them immediately.

 

Trans. 5-9-41

 

No. 78

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

May 6, 1941

 

No Number.

 

I have Counselor IGUCHI take care of the custody of the government code. Though a secretary usually handles it, when the communication is a long one or when we are in a hurry, I have on occasion asked telegraphic clerk HORIUCHI and assistant telegraphic clerks HORI and KAJIWARA to handle it.

 

Trans. 5-7-41

 

No. 79

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

9 May 1941

 

No Number.

 

To the Vice Minister [a], from Wakasugi. [b]

 

I respectfully acknowledge receipt of your telegram [c].

Because of various duties at this office it requires a long time for a secretary alone to handle long messages and the increased volume of traffic in connection with this matter [d].

(My message # 272 [e] required 6 men working for 6 hours.)

With the opening of negotiations, the volume of telegraphic traffic is bound to increase tremendously. As time is at a premium in handling these communications, you can well ap-

 

Page A-55

 

preciate the inadvisability of having only the secretary handle this work. Furthermore, it goes without saying that the increased traffic will interfere greatly with other duties of this office.

However, fortunately, our communication clerks have been constantly reminded of the necessity of maintaining security, and they have faithfully adhered to this policy in their work.

Although I appreciate the intent of your telegram [c] from the standpoint of security, I nevertheless request your authorization to enlist the aid of Horiuchi, Hori, and Kazuwara to handle communication duties under strict supervision.

Also please authorize me to have Kawabata of Chicago come here temporarily to assist us in our communication work. (Bring all codes and do his work in this office.)

 

[a] Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ohashi.

[b] Japanese Minister to Washington, under Ambassador Nomura.

[c] See I, 77, unnumbered, dated 8 May in which Tokyo issues Washington special regulations for custody of the Chief of Mission private code.

[d] Japanese-American negotiations, being conducted in great secrecy.

[e] Not available.

 

Trans. 12-5-41

 

No. 80

 

FROM: Washington

TO: Tokyo

May 13, 1941

 

No Number.

 

To Acting Vice Minister Yamamoto from Wakasugi.

 

I have no doubt that you are giving consideration to the matter of having additional telegraphic secretaries and telegraphic clerks. If, however, matters are allowed to go on the way they are, there is danger that we will have some sick people on our hands.

Will you please, therefore, give consideration to the contents of the last paragraph of my message [a] sent on the 9th, in which I asked for Kawasata to come to help us out. If this cannot be arranged could you have one or two persons having fair ability sent to us from one of our offices in this vicinity?

 

[a] See I, 103-107.

 

Trans. 5-16-41

 

No. 81

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

7 May 1941

 

# 273.

 

2 parts-complete

 

Regarding your # 191 [a].

 

I called on the Secretary of State during the morning of the 7th with regard to the "oral statement" and the neutrality pact.

The Secretary told me that he was fully aware of the sincere efforts I was making to correct and improve the relations between the two countries, and the neutrality pact.

He went on to say that the time at which the United States must act, and act speedily, was practically at hand, and it was necessary to move before it was too late. Hitlerism cannot be

 

Page A-56

 

permitted to reach all of the seven seas. The United States, with defense as the main objective, shall protect her rights and interests (every country has an equal right to do this, he added) and will resist Hitlerism to the end, even if this takes ten or twenty years. He repeated that this was necessary from the viewpoint of defense.

"All of my colleagues," he said, "urge me to act quickly." They warned him not to hesitate, or procrastinate and that immediate action is needed if he does not want to be too late.

He strongly advocated the commencement of U.S.-Japanese negotiations. I have never before heard him use so enthusiastic a tone or language as on this occasion.

 

(Part 2)

 

Regarding the Neutrality Pact, (I also referred to the possibility of he and I exchanging notes containing the gist of the "understanding pact", in the event that the neutrality pact was an impossibility) the Secretary apparently is of the attitude that it would be entirely useless for him to discuss this matter with me, if I have not been given any instructions from my government. Apparently, he has no intention of touching on this phase. (He said that he had turned this matter over to his advisors for their consideration. They unofficially state that something may be done about a neutrality pact after an "understanding" agreement is entered into. At present, however, from the viewpoint of domestic politics, it would be impossible to enter into anything resembling a neutrality pact. Moreover, since practically all of the problems between the U.S. and Japan are contained in the "understanding" agreement, they feel that its consideration should be the immediate task, the Secretary said.)

The Secretary said also that he could see some points in the "understanding" agreement which should be revised to make it applicable to the signatory nations.

If I were to express my opinion, I would say that in view of the present critical world conditions, and more particularly, in view of the present attitude of the United States, this is no longer the time for propaganda, bluffing, and feeling out each other. Looking at the whole situation from our country, I firmly believe that now is the time to give way to great statesmanship. Now is the time, I feel, for us to make a determined effort to regain good relations between the two countries.

During the conversations, he said that he knows Hitler equally as well as Mr. Matsuoka does. Then he added, "I may be wrong".

In view of the fact that this matter has been kept a deep secret heretofore, and because we have been holding conferences at various times under promises of their being "off the record", I have not handed the Oral Statement over. Please be aware of this.

Because of the various circumstances outlined above, will you please arrange to commence negotiations along the lines of the "understanding" agreement immediately.

 

[a] See I, 67-Text of note to be handed to Secretary Hull.

 

Trans. 5-7-41

 

PAGE A-57

 

No. 82

 

FROM: Tokyo (Japanese Foreign Minister)

TO: Washington

May 8, 1941

 

# 200.

 

Urgent.

 

Your message # 273 [a] was communicated to me by telephone twice today, once in the morning and in the afternoon. I made a reply by telephone. On that occasion I stated that it was my intention to make publication within four or five days at the very latest. Furthermore, on the basis of this Minister's oral statement, as I would like to submit it for the President's perusal, please make presentation of it immediately to Secretary of State HULL requesting him to, in turn, hand it over to the President.

 

[a] See I, 81. Nomura reports conversation with Secretary Hull during the morning of the 7th with regard to the "oral statement" and the neutrality pact.

 

Trans. 5-9-41

 

No. 84

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

7 May 1941

 

# 277.

 

Part 1 of 8.

 

Foreign Office secret.

 

Supplementary to my message # 273 [a].

 

1. Recently, especially since the passage of the National Defense Act, the real political and economic powers in the United States have practically entirely been placed in the hands of President Roosevelt. The trend towards a dictatorship is constantly becoming more and more evident and unmistakable.

Practically all of the more influential newspapers and other organs of communication are being manipulated and guided by Roosevelt. In other words, the so-called "public opinion" is an instrument which is being cleverly manufactured by the President. As evidence of this, it is apparent that neither the politicians nor the commentators and the critics of such organizations as the "America First" cannot soften or change the so-called "public opinion" manufactured by Roosevelt.

Supplementing this, all persons who protest or oppose the Rooseveltian policies, are being given a figurative death sentence by being branded traitors or spies. In other words, I am of the opinion that the freedom of expression of one's thoughts is rapidly becoming non-existent.

 

[a] See I, 81.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

Page A-58

 

No. 85

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

7 May 1941

 

# 277.

 

Part 2 of 8.

 

The persons who were formerly considered the brains of the Roosevelt administration have gradually been removed until of late the only ones who remain close to the President are Hopkins, Walker (for 20 years this man has supported Roosevelt and was business manager of Roosevelt's third term campaign, and is now Postmaster General), and Hull. Even these men, although they are quite influential in having the power to make suggestions, apparently do not have the final say. The decisions in practically all of the more important matters are being made by none other than the President himself.

It is now a certainty that when I made my recent proposals to the United States that only the Secretary of the Navy, besides the above mentioned three persons, was present at the conference with the President to discuss it. It is fairly definite that Stimson as well as the other Cabinet officials and the State Department officers were all left out of the conference. Hull, it is reported, announced to the Undersecretary of State and to the other higher-ups in his department, that matters pertaining to United States-Japanese relations were things that would be decided by the extreme head of the government.

While on this subject, I might mention that Roy Howard, who has been utilized by this Embassy in the past, and with whom you are on friendly terms, is at present a member of the "outs" as far as the President is concerned, since the journalist not only opposed him in the third term campaign but also opposed the National Defense Act when it was being discussed.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

No. 36

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

7 May 1941

 

# 277.

 

Part 3 of 8.

 

The great majority of the American people, including the President, look upon this war as a battle between totalitarianism and democracy.

In general the people are convinced of the following points:

That totalitarianism is an enemy of humanitarianism since it refuses to recognize the liberty of an individual;

That though aggressions may, temporarily, seem successful, in the long run they are all doomed to failure and they give Caesar and Napoleon as examples;

That they must aid England which is a self-claimed democracy, to the bitter end;

That there is a possibility that the German-British war will develop into a German-U. S. war.

The American people are so convinced of the above points that it would be an impossibility for anyone, regardless of the amount of effort he may make, to change them. This condition is true today, and will be true in the future. It has come to such a point as to almost automatically brand one a traitor who, with the best intentions, offers even a word of warning.

Most Americans believe by wishful thinking, that this European war will develop into a long term affair and that if, during this time, the U.S. goes into aiding Britain on a large scale,

 

PAGE A-58

 

the German side (including Italy) will certainly be crushed. There are, among the American people, those such as Lindbergh who oppose the popular belief that Germany will certainly be crushed. However, I am of the opinion that only a small minority support these men.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

No. 87

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

7 May 1941

 

# 277.

 

Part 4 of 8.

 

The United States feels that she must prevent Germany's beating England decisively, (but how this is to be done is still a mystery.) (Translator's note: slightly garbled here). Under present conditions, however, it is highly doubtful that the United States will take the initiative to mediate and thus bring about peace between England and Germany.

The United States is exceedingly interested in completing her national defense program and hence is unable to increase her material aid to Europe. While on the one hand she is determined to complete her vast armament program, she is strengthening her recently effectuated patrol system and probably in the near future the United States will put a convoy system into operation.

However, the United States must make up its mind to enter the war before it can launch a convoy program. Hence, it naturally follows that the United States will take a big stride towards entrance into the war when she establishes a convoy system.

Those advocating the United States' entrance into the war in this country have suddenly gathered much backing as reports of the poor showing of the British in the Balkans and the Near East become known. This is a condition which demands our undivided attention, I believe.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

No. 88

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

7 May 1941

 

# 277.

 

Part 5 of 8.

 

In view of this very delicate situation that the United States finds herself in, it would be exceedingly disadvantageous to her if she must stand against both Japan and Germany at one and the same time.

In a situation like this, it can be seen why the United States would consider patching up her relations with Japan, which is, from the U.S. viewpoint, the lesser of the two dangers. The fact that the United States is desirous of beginning negotiations along the lines of the so-called "understanding agreement", at a time such as this, would seem to endorse the various reports and observations herein listed.

However, it would be erroneous to conclude that by so doing the United States was giving in to Japan. According to secret information I have been able to obtain, the United States' plans, should she have to engage both Japan and Germany are as follows: She intends to bide her time in the Pacific area, concentrating on defense, until her vast navy and air force is com-

 

Page A-60

 

pleted several years hence. With those at her command she will launch a death struggle with Japan, it is said.

With regard to the U.S. attitude toward Japan, it is as unpopular as ever. In this respect, Japan runs third only to Germany and Italy, with whom the United States people are constantly reminded, Japan is allied.

However, on the occasion of presentation of my credentials when I arrived here to assume my post, the President said to me, informally, that he was a friend of Japan. Moreover, the President and few of the persons very close to him, realize that the Japanese national traits differ from those of Germany and Italy, and also that Japan is not an aggressive nation in the sense that Germany and Italy are. The same persons started to believe, too, that it would be to the interest of the United States to bring about closer relations between the United States and Japan, (please carefully note, however, that they do not consider this an absolute necessity).

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

No. 89

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

7 May 1941

 

# 277.

 

Part 6 of 8.

 

3. Because of the conditions outlined above, unless some action is taken right now with regard to U.S.-Japanese relations, the desire on the part of the President and others to bring about closer relations may cool off. Moreover, the United States may adopt a policy of applying vigorous economic pressure on Japan. For the sake of preserving her national life, Japan may then be forced to make armed overtures in the direction of the south, which, of course, is accompanied by the danger of a total war between Japan and the United States.

Assuming that recovery of U.S.-Japanese relations is a possibility, I was confronted with the problem of when would be the most opportune time to do so. I find that there are three possible times in which this may occur:

(a) At a time when the trend of the European war is not clearly defined.

(b) At a time when it is clear that Germany is the victor.

(c) At a time when the belligerents have lost interest in the war upon its having become a stalemate.

In the case of (a) the important thing is that both countries (Translator's note: Japan and the U.S. is no doubt implied) stand on equal terms. Of course, it may be argued that if we wait until such a time that Germany's victory cannot be questioned, there would be no chance of our standing in an unfavorable position. However, from the standpoint of Japan, it would be to her best interest to have the China Incident settled before the conclusion of the European war. If this is done, we would have freedom of action to meet the post war conditions. This would be of great help to us in promoting our national powers and we would be able to wield considerable influence in the international scene.

Although plan (b) is an exceedingly desirable one from the general viewpoint, if we have to sit in on the international scene carrying the heavy load which is the China Incident, we would be considerably handicapped. Moreover, we would not be free to promote our national powers in a manner in which we would wish. Hence, there is the danger that Japanese demands will be restrained by third powers. Finally, at this time, it is impossible for any person to say as to when the time will come when German victory will become a certainty.

 

Trans. 5-13-41

 

PAGE A-61

 

No. 90

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

7 May 1941

 

# 277.

 

Part 7 of 8.

 

(d) in that (though this possibility is a small one) there is a good chance that the United States will have entered the war by then and that the opportunity for revising U.S.-Japanese relations will have been lost forever.

After looking at the matter from these various angles, I have come to the conclusion that plan (a) is the best and the sooner that it is carried out the more advantageous it would be to us.

Next, the matter of the contents of the proposal to correct U.S.-Japanese relations was tackled. In doing so, first consideration was given to attainment of the goal of the Tripartite Pact and to the prevention of a U.S.-Japanese war. In doing so, it was discovered that it was first necessary to clarify our relationship with Germany; the United States' relationship with England; the problems surrounding the China Incident and the Southward program; the problems surrounding the policy of economic squeezing, etc. These matters, it became evident, would all have to be considered as inter-related problems.

With the atmosphere between the U.S. and Japan the way it is at present, there is exceedingly little hope of success of anything like a trade agreement which would touch merely one phase of the whole. At the same time, one must feel pessimistic as to the success of any settlement which is based upon philosophical or idealistic beliefs, such as, for example, our New Order in East Asia program or the plan to bring about peace and quiet throughout the world through a "New Order" program. Should we bring up any of these things, it would tend only to have our sincerity suspected.

As a matter of fact, in the process of drawing up this "understanding agreement" we strongly urged that the "New Order" be given recognition and that a proposal be made to mediate in the Great War. It is now absolutely certain that they cannot be made to accept either of these.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

No. 91

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

7 May 1941

 

# 277.

 

Part 8 of 8.

 

It is natural and inevitable that the U.S. will make much use of such fundamental doctrines as the "non-recognition of territorial alterations as the result of aggression", "disapproval of warlike acts", etc. There is a great danger that such phrases will spell the doom of the attempts to revive U.S.-Japanese relations.

(In connection with the "understanding" agreement the United States has already advocated the following points:

1. Absolutely guaranteeing the territorial integrity not only of each other but also of every other state in the world, and to respect the rights of those countries.

2. To support the fundamental policy of non-intervention in domestic issues of the said countries.

3. Adherence to the basic principle of equal opportunity-including commercial-to all.

 

Page A-61

 

4. Non-alteration of the status quo in the Pacific except where changes were brought about by peaceful means.

Fearing, however, that these would give rise to lengthy discussions as to basic principles, they were held down.)

In other words, we have mutually agreed to limit the expressing of our innermost feelings concerning our views on the world, and will express even these only when it is absolutely necessary.

It is true that it would be exceedingly difficult to wipe away at one stroke the various complicated problems which have been accumulating over a period of many years. However, I firmly believe that should we once start out in the direction of an "understanding", the various complications would gradually become untangled until the point is reached where a true friendship will be born.

I further believe that should we make the present talks an actuality, we may be able to restrain the U.S. with regard to the present war, and may even be able to change her attitude entirely.

In the meantime, however, I am of the belief that we should concentrate our efforts to bringing about the agreement.

In the hopes that we will meet with success in our undertakings, I have written this report at great length.

 

The end.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

No. 92

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

8 May 1941

 

# 279.

 

Secret outside the department.

 

Without a single question of doubt it is becoming clear that the situation here in this country is taking an ever stiffening trend, especially in view of the attitude expressed by the Secretary of State yesterday morning and the speeches of the Secretaries of War and Navy and WILKE.

I believe that this may be but the reaction to our delays with regard to the "understanding proposal" or maybe they are beginning to fear possible failure or again it may be the course of action decided upon by the Cabinet which met today. If that be the case, all our efforts to date will come to naught. These are the authoritative intelligences that have come to me.

As for myself, I believe that the time is ripe for bringing about an understanding.

 

Translator's Note: The last paragraph of the text was not clear, but in the light of the context and the ungarbled portions, it is felt that this is reasonably accurate.

 

Trans. 5-9-41

 

Page A-63

 

No. 93

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

May 8, 1941

 

# 280.

 

To the Chief of the Telegraphic Bureau from WAKASUGI.

 

The situation in the United States is momentarily becoming more pressing and as the number of urgent messages from Japan is great and call for immediate decision, do not waste a moment's time. Please arrange to have this submitted to His Excellency for his perusal.

 

Trans. 5-9-41

 

No. 94

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

May 8, 1941

 

# 282.

 

Secret outside the department.

 

As I have told you in my successive communications, the situation in this country is momentarily becoming more pressing. Though I do not know whether or not you intend on the one hand to start negotiations along the lines of our "understanding proposal", should you decide to commence negotiations they should be undertaken without the slightest delay. Therefore, please wire your instructions (details could follow in a later message) at the very latest by the 9th (Japanese or American time?).

 

Trans.  5-9-41

 

No. 95

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

May 10, 1941

 

# 290.

 

The certain influential Cabinet member told me confidentially as follows:

"Though arguments for actuating the convoy system within American Government circles is extremely strong; the President, considering Japan-American relations, seems to have been able to control it to date. In view of the increasing clamor of those demanding convoys, in day before yesterday's, the 8th, Cabinet meeting the President too seemed to be on the verge of following the trend. In his foreign policy speech on the 14th of this month, he is scheduled to refer to it. However, should Japan-American negotiations be started by that date, he plans to change even the details of that speech. In the event that negotiations are not undertaken, Japan-American conversations will end in absolute failure."

 

Trans.  5-14-41

 

Page A-64

 

No. 96

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

May 8, 1941

 

# 281.

 

Part 1 of 2 [a].

 

In the ever tightening situation in the United States, as you noted in your wire, yesterday the 7th, urgent questions were put to me. Since the next few days here will bear close watching, I began making preparatory plans for ameliorating the situation through a certain influential Cabinet member upon whom I called late last night. This afternoon I contacted the said influential Cabinet member and the purport of our private conversations is as follows:

1. "On the morning of the 8th when I talked with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State made the following confidential statements to me:

a. 'I am fully appreciative of Ambassador NOMURA's efforts and persistence for the maintenance of peace in view of current developments in the situation and in this I have not changed the slightest. Please transmit this to His Excellency.'

b. 'The key to an early settlement of this matter lies only in the hand of the Foreign Minister. I am well aware that as much as the Ambassador would like to do, this is a question which he cannot settle to his own liking.'

c. 'To date we have made some progress in spite of some changes and revisions, but as for continuing talks so soon after the Ambassador's instructions have been received from his home Government with regard to the oral statement and, at this late date, to be forced to make additional changes, makes us wonder what Japan's true intention can be.'

d. 'Whether it is incorrect communication of rumor that the Foreign Minister suggested in his speech that the President should come to Japan himself to learn the true situation, etc., I do not know; but this cannot be regarded but as the bait by means of which the Cabinet's anti-Japanese opinions have stiffened (it seemed as though he were referring to STIMSON and KNOX).'

e. 'Judging from such intelligences as are available to us, we cannot help but feel that possibly the Foreign Minister stands in rather an embarrassing position as far as the German authorities are concerned.' ".

 

[a] See I, 97.

 

Trans.  5-10-41

 

No. 97

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

May 8, 1941

 

# 281.

 

Part 2 of 2 [a].

 

2. The certain Cabinet member asked HULL: "In spite of the outcome of today's urgently called secret Cabinet meeting, how would it be to give them a little more time for study?" HULL replied: "Should there be any hope of some kind of an answer during the interval that, too, would become but one proposal; but because of the attitude which exists in the Cabinet on this question, it would be hard for me to give any assurances at this time."

3. When I asked him with regard to the subject under discussion in today's extraordinary and secret Cabinet meeting, the certain Cabinet member merely replied that it would be only possible to imagine what it was in the light of his press conference (but I interpret this to

 

Page A-64

 

be a hint that the subject under discussion was the convoy question). However, it would seem that during the coming week the President will make some kind of declaration; but when I asked whether or not he would include in his declaration his considerations of this draft, he merely glowered at me fixedly.

 

[a] Part 1, See I, 96.

 

Trans.  5-10-41

 

No. 98

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Nomura)

9 May 1941

 

# 201.

 

Regarding your # 277 [a], 279 [b], 281 [c], 282 [d].

 

I fully appreciate the situation that you are confronted with. I am also aware of the reasons that you are in such a rush. Moreover, it goes without saying that I feel very much the same way as you do about this matter.

As I said in our telephone conversation yesterday [e], we have other things to take into careful consideration, such as our relations with our allies, relations between Japan and the Soviet Union, the general situation in the Far East, as well as various domestic conditions. For these reasons it is impossible for us at this end to act with the speed which you desire. I feel confident that you can appreciate this fact.

As I said over the telephone yesterday [e], I would like to come to some decision during today, the 9th. With this in mind, I am doing everything possible. However, there is a certain reason why this decision may be (one?) day delayed.

Please bear this in mind.

 

[a] See I, 84-91.

[b] See I, 92, dated 8 May. Nomura emphatically reports that the speeches of Knox, Stimson, and Wilkie indicate a trend which will make action impossible unless taken at once.

[c] See I, 96, 97.

[d] See I, 94, dated 8 May, in which Nomura tells Matsuoka instructions must be sent by the 9th, as situation is pressing.

[e] Ambassador Nomura called Foreign Minister Matsuoka on the Trans-Pacific telephone on 8 May 1941 from 0110 to 0116 (zone plus 5 time), (1510 to 1516, zone minus nine time) (Tokyo), 8 May.

 

Trans. 5-9-41

 

No. 99

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Nomura)

9 May 1941

 

# 202.

 

4 parts, complete.

 

(Part 1)

 

Regarding my # 201 [a].

 

If you believe that it is necessary, please advise the Secretary of State confidentially along the following lines in addition to that I have previously given you:

 

Page A-66

 

1. It is this Minister's greatest desire to see United States-Japanese relations relieved of their present strain. I am most anxious to see the United States discontinue its policy of aiding Chiang Kai-Shek, and also to have the United States urge peace between China and Japan.

That there is no doubt as to this Minister's sincerity with regards to the above, should be clearly seen upon taking into consideration my (recent actions?).

2. In its over-anxiousness to aid England, the United States is forcing Germany to assume that in actuality the United States is more interested in attacking Germany.

Please point out to the United States that the continuance of this policy on their part will force us to take enemy-like actions against the United States. This Minister desires, above everything else, to prevent animosity. I plead to the United States-nay, the (entire world?)-that the United States withhold any move which will force us to become her enemy.

I am convinced that the President and the Secretary of State are well aware of the above-my most cherished hopes-because they are acquainted with the things I have done.

 

(Part 2)

 

3. Should matters progress without being checked, Japan will be forced to live up to her obligations under the Japan-Germany-Italy Tripartite Pact. It has already been made clear that Japan has every intention of living up to her promises.

4. An "Understanding" agreement, in spite of all the bolstering that it could be given, would disappear like pricked bubbles, if matters are allowed to develop to the extent mentioned above.

Both parties must make an effort to control matters now. It is because this Minister does not want to see any further unfavorable development, that he clearly stated Japan's standpoint [c] before any negotiations were begun.

5. The "Oral Statement" [c] which I sent to you earlier, should have been sent to you as soon as I returned, on 22 April [b]. However, I had to give other matters, including the Japan-Soviet Union neutrality pact, my attention, and on top of that I became ill with my usual sickness.

As a habit of mine, I like to handle these matters myself and do not leave them for my subordinates to handle.

 

(Part 3)

 

In other words, I merely jotted down the things I saw, and heard, and the things that impressed me most deeply while on my visit to Europe. I did this at the first opportunity I had upon returning to my desk after recovering from my illness, and had absolutely no ulterior motive in doing so.

I picked out those parts of the notes which I thought would be of interest to the President and the Secretary of State. Had I known that they had first hand knowledge, I would have realized that my statements were superfluous.

It was only my interest in promoting world peace that motivated me to dispatch the "Oral Statement"; there was absolutely no other reason for doing so. The other parties may think that I was being unnecessarily meddlesome. However, there is such a proverb as, "You can't know too much." (?) and I thought that the impressions I got, and the first hand observations I made may have been of some value as reference material.

6. As you are aware, there were certain quarters in the United States which desired me to visit the U.S. Moreover, rumors of such a trip were reported in the press. This aroused considerable suspicion in our country, as well as in Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union. Therefore, I definitely denied harboring such intentions when I was questioned by newspapermen. However, there was a newspaperman who further said that there were those who thought that there was a need for me to go to the United States in order to become better acquainted with it. I thought that I was fairly well acquainted with the United States and saw no reason for going there for that purpose.

 

PAGE A-67

 

(Part 4)

 

Then he asked, how would it be to have the President and the Secretary of State come to visit Japan so that they may become better acquainted with conditions in Japan:

To this, I replied that probably it would be undiplomatic to urge the President and Secretary of State, who no doubt are exceedingly busy, to come for a visit at this time. However, I added, if they would consider it, it would be very nice.

You should realize that there was no reason for me to bring up such a subject at the time. Moreover, you should have no doubt, after reading the reports, that the facts had been twisted.

 

Translator's note: this sentence somewhat illegible; translation only approximate.

 

The mere fact, however, that the United States takes an exceedingly antagonistic attitude, even over such a minor incident as that, would seem to prove that the United States is out to give a twist to everything. Of course, it is natural that there should be some minor arguments. However, it is equally natural that we become highly on edge when they quibble about every little thing. (You need not go out of your way to bring the contents of this paragraph to the Secretary's attention. However, if the conversation runs along a line wherein you could conveniently insert it, it may be used to advantage.)

7. The rumors that I, as Minister, am experiencing considerable difficulty because of having taken a stand on the side of Germany are entirely without basis of truth. I have in no way suffered from taking the stand that I have.

 

[a] See I, 98.

[b] The date Matsuoka arrived in Tokyo from his European trip.

[c] See I, 67(Tok-Wash # 191 of 3 May) for text of this "Oral Statement".

 

Trans. 5-9-41

 

No. 100

 

FROM: Washington

TO: Tokyo

9 May 1941

 

# 285.

 

I can appreciate your feeling of anxiety concerning the effect upon the Tripartite Alliance, which an adjustment of relations between Japan and the United States might have, but from the standpoint of the larger aspects of the situation I believe such adjustment would not in the least be to the disadvantage of Germany and Italy. Recently in talking to the President I told him of the influence Japan and the United States could wield in cooperating together for world peace. (The Secretary of State was present at the time.)

It was with the same idea that I told Mr. Hull that peace in the Pacific would be the first step toward later peace in Europe. At another time when I expressed the same thought to a certain Cabinet member, he replied that he would place his "hopes" on this (he is a Catholic believer), and this idea might well become the occasion for endeavors that would lead to a bettering of Japanese-American relations, which I think would also be profitable from the standpoint of the Tripartite Alliance.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

Page A-68

 

No. 101

 

FROM: Washington

TO: Tokyo

9 May 1941

 

The items in your # 202 [a] are all well understood from the facts that you have already reported. Since yesterday morning, the 8th, I have been trying in every way, mainly along the lines of your message, to clear up their misunderstandings, and have endeavored to push along our conversations on these same lines. Therefore, I wish you would consider past happenings as having been settled for the present, and make your attitude clear so that we can go ahead with these conversations.

 

[a] See I, 99.

 

Trans.  5-12-41

 

No. 102

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

9 May 1941

 

# 204.

 

Re my # 201 [a].

 

Our opinion regarding the revision is given in separate telegram # 205 [b] and our reasons for the revision are given in separate telegram # 206 [c]. Please begin negotiations at once for the above-mentioned revision.

 

[a] See I, 98.

[b] See I, 103-107.

[c] Not used.

 

Trans.  5-12-41

 

No. 103

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

9 May 1941

 

# 205.

 

Part 3 of 7, Parts 1 and 2 missing.

 

... (continued from Part 2) ... alluding to the important questions that have made this understanding difficult, both countries should be convinced as to which problems could suitably and profitably be made the subjects of discussion in the conference, and those which it would not be profitable to consider would not be included. We recognize that the relations between the two governments could be improved in a marked way if the situation as to the following point could be made clear, or improved.

(1) The international and national concepts held by the two countries, Japan and America.

(2) The attitude of both governments to the European war.

(3) The relations of both governments to the China incident. (The above are the same as in your # 234 [a].)

(4) Trade between the two countries.

 

[a] See I, 46.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

Page A-69

 

No. 104

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

9 May 1941

 

# 205.

 

Part 4 of 7, Parts 1 and 2 missing.

 

(5) Economic activities of both countries in the Southwestern Pacific areas.

(6) The policies of both governments in regard to the political stability of the Pacific.

With the aforementioned articles we take up consideration of these points:

(1) International and national concepts held by Japan and the United States:

We recognize that both Japan and the United States are independent nations on a mutually equal footing. If both governments desire the establishment of lasting peace, and a new era based upon the confidence and cooperation of both countries in their mutual relations, they will make it clear that both countries are agreed in their national ----- and both governments will adopt the policy of equality for all nations and all races.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

No. 105

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

9 May 1941

 

# 205.

 

Part 5 of 7, (Parts 1 and 2 missing).

 

Both governments will preserve respectively the national concepts based upon their distinctive traditions, and those moral principles which are the basis for social and national life, and will resist with firm determination any foreign ideas which are contrary to the same.

(2) The attitudes of both governments toward the European war:

With a view to bringing about world peace the governments of Japan and the United States will cooperate in trying to prevent the spread of the war in Europe, and to bring about the restoration of peace as soon as possible.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

No. 106

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

9 May 1941

 

# 205.

 

Part 6 of 7, (Parts 1 and 2 missing). [a]

 

(3) The relations of both countries to the China incident.

The United States government will recognize the three principles enunciated by Premier Konoye, the treaty based upon the same that has been concluded with the Nanking government, and the principles brought out in the joint statement made by Japan, Manchukuo, and China; and, trusting in the good neighbor policy of the Japanese government, will advise the Chiang regime to make peace.

(4) Trade between the two countries.

When this understanding shall have been reached and duly agreed upon by the governments of both countries, each shall give assurance to the other to supply each with goods desired by the other, respectively, whenever it is possible to do so. At the same time, ways

 

Page A-70

 

and means will be considered by each to bring back the trading conditions which formerly existed while the Japan-U. S. Commercial Treaty was in effect.

(5) Economic Activities of both countries in the southwest Pacific area.

Since it is stipulated and agreed upon that Japanese expansion into the southwestern Pacific is to be a peaceful one, the United States will cooperate with Japan in the development and/or securing by Japanese of materials such as petroleum, rubber, tin, nickel, etc., from this area.

 

[c] Revised translation of message sent on 5-12-41.

 

Trans. 5-14-41

 

No. 107

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

9 May 1941

 

# 205.

 

Part 7 of 7, (Parts 1 and 2 missing).

 

(6) Policies of both countries in regard to the political stability of the Pacific:

(a) The governments of Japan and the United States shall cause the Philippine Islands to maintain permanent neutrality, and shall jointly guarantee the independence of the islands on condition that no discrimination be made against Japanese subjects.

(b) The United States will give friendly consideration to Japanese immigrants, making no discrimination between them and the subjects of other nations.

The articles of this understanding shall be communicated by secret memoranda between the two governments, and they shall be made public to the extent, in the manner, and at the time, agreed upon by the two governments.

 

Trans.  5-12-41

 

No. 108

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

May 10, 1941

 

# 289.

 

I have heard confidentially a statement to the effect that a decision will be reached within one or two days. Secretary of State HULL, I understand, is waiting impatiently for an answer (I have it confidentially that he will wait until late the night of today, the 10th). As it will be impossible to delay any longer than that, I wonder whether any further extension of the time will make the ultimate moment come too late? Should we fail to take this opportunity, I understand that it is their opinion that these conversations will result in failure. I greatly fear that this most favorable opportunity for adjusting the diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States may slip through our hands and I am greatly worried.

Whether or not we open negotiations along the lines of my # 273 [a], though you have in successive messages outlined your decisions, in view of the critical nature of the situation, please let me have the best plan under the present conditions.

 

[a] See I, 81. Nomura reports conversation with Secretary Hull during the morning of the 7th with regard to the "oral statement" and the neutrality pact.

 

Trans. 5-14-41

 

Page A-71

 

No. 109

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

May 12, 1941

 

# 292.

 

Part 1 of 2. [a]

 

Yesterday, the 11th, at 10:00 p.m. (noon on the 12th Japan time), when I talked with the Secretary of State he said:

"As we are now conducting talks and negotiations, I have been exercising a great deal of secrecy in regard to them and have absolutely made no reference to them in my press conferences. Knowing Your Excellency's discreetness and astuteness you likewise, I am sure, are carefully guarding its secrecy." With this statement he received my memorandum.

I replied: "I am well aware of this. My one mission is the question of diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States. Aside from that I have no other purpose."

The Secretary said: "I, too have been on the point of retiring from public life but in view of the threat of war I have remained in office. Neither one of us are diplomats in the professional sense." And later he said; "When I asked you not to transmit this to Japan, it was because its disclosure would have a great effect upon the domestic tranquility of the United States." Then again he told me very confidentially that a great deal of time would be required in order to rest equanimity. Again he went on to say: "In view of the way in which the Japanese Government handles diplomatic questions, though they come under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Minister, War and Navy Ministers too are able to bring great pressure to bear. In addition to which, the Premier exerts much control."

 

[a] See I, 111, for Part 2.

 

Trans. 5-14-41

 

No. 110

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

11 May 1941

 

# 209.

 

Strictly secret.

 

It goes without saying that this matter should be handled in absolute secrecy and we have been exercising extreme caution in this regard. It is absolutely forbidden to discuss this matter with the members of your office staff except those directly concerned, not to mention the Financial Attaché in New York (?). Rumor of this matter has reached our financial circles from New York and a certain amount of information has reached Germany from America. Therefore, please be increasingly careful regarding maintaining secrecy.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

Page A-72

 

No. 111

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

May 12, 1941

 

# 292.

 

Part 2 of 2. [a]

 

When I told him the reasons for our revisions, in view of the fact that he questioned me with regard to the evacuation of China, I told him that we plan to evacuate all in accordance with our commitments with the exception of those troops stationed in North China and Inner Mongolia who are there to suppress Communism. The Secretary of State then asked: "Should the China incident be concluded, will not Japan with these troops carry out her Southward movement?" I replied: "Our true intent is peaceful Southward penetration."

The Secretary of State said: "For us to wait until Hitlerism has penetrated to our borders before attempting to block it, would be disastrous. Therefore, it is necessary that we forestall it so that it will not approach us." (Since this is an argument which we must guard against, I intend to develop plans to check it.)

In our conversations we said that should the European war become a long one, the whole of our materialistic civilization will be destroyed. Our peoples will not be able to escape exhaustion and the only real victor will be Bolshevism. In referring to the extension of the war in the Pacific, we agreed that the war psychology of both countries would have to be diverted into more peaceful channels. It is clear that the United States does not desire an imbroglio with Japan and, at the same time, she is not at all anxious to become embroiled in a conflict with HITLER.

Our conversation lasted for forty minutes, and, promising to meet again, we parted.

I am most humbly indebted to Your Excellency for your untiring efforts. I am just now beginning to see a slight ray of hope and I am taking heart.

 

[a] See I, 109, for Part 1 reporting Nomura's talk with Secretary of State Hull on the 11th.

 

Trans. 5-16-41

 

 

PAGE A-73

 

B-JAPANESE DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD

 

No. 112

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

December 10, 1940

 

# 591.

 

With the appointment of Ambassador Nomura we wish to formulate a definite plan for our propaganda and information gathering work by seeking cooperation of Japanese bank and business officials in the U.S.

(Abstract-some values missing.)

 

Trans.  1-25-41

 

No. 113

 

FROM: New York (Iguchi)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

December 17, 1940

 

# 763.

 

(2 parts-completed.)

 

Re your msg. to Wash. # 591 [a].

 

As propaganda and enlightenment organs here, we have the Japan Institute, the Tourist Bureau, and the silk office of the Ministry of Commerce and Communication. Other groups whose importance we cannot ignore for collecting information are the financial adviser, the Army and Navy Inspection Offices, Representatives of Domei, ASAHI, NITINITI, AND YOMIURI, the Bank of Japan, the Specie Bank, Mitsui, Mitsubishi, N.Y.K., O.S.K., the Manchurian R.R. and OKURA Co.

In order to obtain the fullest cooperation from the above it is well to establish an information committee centering around the press attaché.

 

[a] See I, No. 112.

 

Trans.  1-9-41

 

No. 114

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

February 5, 1941

 

# 056.

 

In connection with New York to Tokyo message # 763, [b] the business men (including Sumitomo's representatives) and representatives of newspapers were invited to call there. One of my men discussed the following points with them:

(1) To have the various representatives of business firms engage in collecting intelligence material.

(2) To have all such representatives abroad (in the United States) cable their opinions and manipulations in so far as they are related to politics, through diplomatic channels so as to maintain secrecy.

We were able to obtain their agreement to cooperate with us in this respect, so please proceed with this program.

 

Page A-74

 

We have the perfect understanding and agreement of the Army and Navy in this connection. They promise to give us whatever aid they can.

 

[a] See I, 112. "With the appointment of Ambassador Nomura we wish to formulate a definite plan for our propaganda and information gathering work by seeking cooperation of Japanese bank and business officials in the U.S."

[b] Refers to above message and lists 18 Japanese organs in New York as potential sources of information.

 

Trans. 2-11-41

 

No. 115

 

FROM: New York (Iguchi)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

December 11, 1940

 

# 762.

 

(3 parts-complete).

 

(Secret)

 

1. In view of the fact that our Embassy's propaganda effort in the U.S. has been chiefly confined to cultural enlightenment in the past, which by the very nature of the thing evoked little or no objection, we have been considering a plan since last year to strengthen our political propaganda methods. However, due to the increased vigilance and control exercised over foreign propaganda in general and over the 5th column activities in particular, since the outbreak of the European war, we cannot hope for too great a success in this field of propaganda. Nevertheless, the effect of the recently-signed tri-partite agreement will impose a greater necessity for just such propaganda efforts if the present Japanese-American relations are to be maintained. It is imperative, therefore, that we reconsider our efforts with a view to seeking more effective propaganda methods. While I realize that your office has been giving much thought to this question, I wish to submit herewith my views on this matter.

While cultural propaganda and enlightenment, no doubt, contribute much toward the promotion of amicable relations between Japan and America, the cost is prohibitive. Therefore, I suggest that, wherever possible, this type of propaganda be discontinued.

Political propaganda will meet with a great deal of obstacles which will cast some doubts on its successful outcome. However, we should strive to deal with fundamental problems in order to thwart the counter-propaganda in this country, which is based on the assumption that all foreign propaganda seek to divide the American people.

The set-up of the press attaché should be concentrated on the task of assembling information and of widening the intelligence net and its personnel. Especial effort should be made to establish personal contacts with the members of the press and persons influential in American politics and business. The intelligence net should be so organized as to be able to function, even if there should be a severance of diplomatic and commercial relations between Japan and the U.S.

2. In addition to the present work of investigating the activities of the American Communist party and of the Chinese by our Embassy, we should constantly keep watch over American politics and the economic and social activities of Soviet Russia in the United States, particularly as they affect Central and South Americas. For this task it is necessary not only to hire Americans, but also to have competent researchers sent from Japan.

3. Although the Tourist Bureau and the Trade Promotion Bureau have been carrying on propaganda in the past, we should consider the inconsistency of having the Tourist Bureau giving out travel information when, today, no American tourists are permitted to travel in Japan.

 

Trans.  1-23-41

 

Page A-75

 

No. 116

 

FROM: Mexico (Miura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

January 28, 1941

 

# 037.

 

(In 2 parts-complete.)

 

(Strictly confidential)

 

1. In view of the present world conditions, particularly where U.S. activities are concerned, close contact should be maintained not only from the various offices in Central and South America to Tokyo and Washington, but among themselves as well. Through such means, all officials in the field should strive to use their knowledge and abilities to the fullest extent.

2. Where it is impossible due to lack of personnel or technical abilities, to make sufficient surveys, Washington or Tokyo should keep them informed by relaying the latest information and opinions gathered from the various other sources at regular intervals, say, weekly or biweekly. In this way we should keep our heads up to date.

3. Washington and New York should keep close tab on all activities by the U.S. in that area where they involve the Latin American countries and concern us indirectly. Whatever information picked up by them should be relayed without delay to our various offices in the Latin American countries. If nothing else, copies of all cables sent from New York and Washington to Tokyo concerning this matter should be sent to the offices in Latin America.

4. Tokyo should give sincere consideration to all reports and opinions submitted from Washington and the Latin American countries and, after studying the matter carefully, dispatch whatever instructions are deemed necessary.

5. Heretofore, personnel and financial allotments allowed the Latin American offices were equivalent to those of third and fourth rate countries. The Foreign Office should give this matter their serious consideration, and if necessary dispatch an investigation party. If circumstances seem to warrant it, personnel and allowances should be increased.

 

Trans.  2-5-41

 

No. 117

 

FROM: Buenos Aires (Omori)

TO: Mexico City (Koshi)

February 5, 1941

 

# 014.

 

(Circular)

 

Received from Tokyo as # 018.

 

Tokyo to Lima (?) # 010.

 

Re my (Tokyo ?) message to Santiago (?) # 007 [a].

 

It is desired that projects of this type be carried out in your country too. It is possible to do so, and if it is, is it advisable? Please discuss the matter with the more prominent Japanese merchants in that area and advise.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 2-20-41

 

Page A-76

 

No. 118

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

January 30, 1941

 

# 043.

 

Foreign Office secret.

 

Heretofore, we have placed emphasis on publicity and propaganda work in the United States. In view of the critical situation in the recent relations between the two countries, and for the purpose of being prepared for the worst, we have decided to alter this policy. Taking into consideration the small amount of funds we have at our disposal, we have decided to de-emphasize propaganda for the time being, and instead, to strengthen our intelligence work.

Though we must give the matter of intelligence work our further study-in this connection we are at present conferring with the intelligence bureau-we have mapped out a fundamental program, the outline of which is contained in my supplementary cable No. 44 [a].

Please, therefore, reorganize your intelligence set-up and put this new program into effect as soon as possible.

Cable copies of this message, as "Minister's orders" to Canada, Mexico, (a copy to be relayed from Mexico to Mexicali), San Francisco, (copies from San Francisco to Honolulu, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver), New York, New Orleans, and Chicago.

 

[a] See I, 119.

 

Trans. 2-7-41

 

No. 119

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

January 30, 1941

 

# 44.

 

(In two parts-complete).

 

(Foreign Office secret).

 

(1) Establish an intelligence organ in the Embassy which will maintain liaison with private and semi-official intelligence organs (see my message to Washington # 591 [a] and # 732 [b] from New York to Tokyo, both of last year's series).

With regard to this, we are holding discussions with the various circles involved at the present time.

(2) The focal point of our investigations shall be the determination of the total strength of the U.S. Our investigations shall be divided into three general classifications: political, economic, and military, and definite course of action shall be mapped out.

(3) Make a survey of all persons or organizations which either openly or secretly oppose participation in the war.

(4) Make investigations of all anti-Semitism, communism, movements of Negroes, and labor movements.

(5) Utilization of U.S. citizens of foreign extraction (other than Japanese), aliens (other than Japanese), communists, Negroes, labor union members, and anti-Semites, in carrying out the investigations described in the preceding paragraph would undoubtedly bear the best results.

These men, moreover, should have access to governmental establishments, (laboratories?), governmental organizations of various characters, factories, and transportation facilities.

 

PAGE A-77

 

(6) Utilization of our "Second Generations" and our resident nationals. (In view of the fact that if there is any slip in this phase, our people in the U.S. will be subjected to considerable persecution, and the utmost caution must be exercised).

(7) In the event of U.S. participation in the war, our intelligence set-up will be moved to Mexico, making that country the nerve center of our intelligence net. Therefore, will you bear in mind and in anticipation of such an eventuality, set up facilities for a U.S.-Mexico international intelligence route. This net which will cover Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru will also be centered in Mexico.

(8) We shall cooperate with the German and Italian intelligence organs in the U.S. This phase has been discussed with the Germans and Italians in Tokyo, and it has been approved.

Please get the details from Secretary Terasaki upon his assuming his duties there.

Please send copies to those offices which were on the distribution list of No. 43 [c].

 

[a] See I, 112.

[b] Has no bearing on this subject. # 732 probably an error.

[c] (See No. 4)-See I, 118.

 

Trans. 2-7-41

 

No. 120

 

FROM: New York (Morishima)

TO: Tokyo

February 26, 1941

 

# 60.

 

The situation is very strained and we have to review our Embassy's intelligence and propaganda work. On this subject last year I sent you my # 762 [a]. You in return sent # 43 [b] and # 44 [c] in the form of instructions to Washington. I am endeavoring to strengthen and further revise my work here in New York and in order to achieve liaison and cooperation, I consider it necessary to have Consul FUKUSHIMA, who has been doing this kind of work all along and who knows his business, make a trip to New York before going back to Japan. Therefore, I want you to be sure to approve of this.

Relayed to Los Angeles.

 

[a] New York discusses plan to strengthen the Japanese political propaganda methods in the United States for 1941.

[b]Tokyo directs Washington to reorganize their intelligence set-up and put into effect the new program which will de-emphasize propaganda and strengthen intelligence work. See I, 118.

[c] Outline of major points in connection with setting up of intelligence organization in the United States. See I, 119.

 

Trans. 3-6-41

 

No. 121

 

FROM: Mexico (Miura)

TO: Tokyo

February 14, 1941

 

# 16.

 

Some recent messages have been badly garbled. I suspect that American companies may be purposely garbling the texts.

 

Trans.  2-18-41

 

Page A-78

 

No. 122

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Mexico City (Koshi)

January 31, 1941

 

# 020.

 

So that we may better know how to manage our telegraphic work without interruption in the event that the U.S. becomes involved in the war, will you please advise us of the financial background of the telegraph companies in the country to which you are accredited, with particular notes as to their relations with the Mexican government and the U.S.

Secret.

 

Trans. 2-6-41

 

No. 123

 

FROM: Mexico City (Miura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

January 25, 1941

 

# 031.

 

Action Washington as # 004.

 

(Strictly confidential).

 

In exchange for recognizing the Camacho regime, a number of agreements were entered into between the U.S. and Mexico. These agreements which were mainly of a military nature, were signed on November 14th.

Recently, our military attaché was able to secure a copy of these agreements, under cover of strict secrecy. The copy has been transmitted to Japan in the army code. Please be advised of its contents through the army.

 

Trans.  1-31-41

 

No. 124

 

FROM: Santiago (Kawasaki)

TO: Tokyo

February 4, 1941

 

# 19.

 

Re your message to Mexico # 20 [a].

 

See my # 77 [b] of last year.

 

Transradio is a German company. Because of the European war, this country's dependence upon the United States has increased, and because of the various policies of the United States which have lately become active, relations between the two countries are becoming more intimate. Even the Socialist Party, which was traditionally anti-American, has about-faced. Therefore, I fear that when the United States enters the war, this country will necessarily have to take the position of a non-belligerent.

 

[a] See I, 122.

[b] Not available.

 

Trans. 2-17-41

 

PAGE A-79

 

No. 125

 

FROM: Bogotá (Watanabe)

TO: Tokyo

February 6, 1941

 

# 3.

 

Re your # 20 [a] addressed to our Embassy (?) in Mexico.

 

1. There are two telegraph companies in this country, the All-America (an American Company), and the Marconi (an English company). In case the United States joins the war, we have no way but to make use of the government wireless station in this country. However, the sending apparatus used in this country is sufficient only for communicating to neighboring countries. Messages for distant countries are sent through the neighboring countries, those for Japan being sent via Panama.

2. Even if the United States joins the war, this country because of its domestic political situation, may be expected to remain neutral. According to what the Spanish Minister here told me, if the present government of this country joins the war, there will be an (uprising ?) in this country.

3. As an experiment, I have sent this message via the aforementioned station and so if you find anything irregular about -----, please reply by wire.

 

[a] See I, 122.

 

Trans.  2-25-41

 

No. 126

 

FROM: Buenos Aires (Omori)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

 

Re your message No. 20 [a] to Mexico.

 

February 6, 1941 # 034.

 

1. The Transradio is the only company in Argentina. Seventy five percent of its capital came from Argentina, while the remaining 25% was divided up among Britain (Marconi Wireless), U.S. (R.C.A.), France (Radio France), Germany (Telefunken), and Italy (Italo Radio). Each of the above named firms put up material or parts amounting to 5% of the total capital. Hence, this company is not connected with the government of this country or with that of the United States.

Foreign telegraph companies here are the Western (British), all America (U.S.), and the ITARUKABURE (Italian).

2. The Transradio is exceedingly reliable. Our Embassy as well as those of Germany and Italy have been making use of its services, and have found nothing to complain about.

 

[a] Requests report on telegraph companies, with particular note as to their relations with U.S. and Mexican governments. See I, 122.

 

Trans. 2-12-41

 

Page A-80

 

No. 127

 

FROM: Lima (Yodokawa)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

February 7, 1941

 

# 021.

 

Regarding your message No. 20 [a] to Mexico.

 

It is still a big question mark as to whether this country could maintain neutrality in the event that the U.S. becomes a belligerent. However, we shall proceed under the assumption that it will remain neutral for a while at least.

(1) Two firms, the All America Cable, (U.S. capital), and the West Coast of America Telegraph (British capital), have a complete monopoly on all telegraphic material. Therefore, we may encounter considerable difficulty in maintaining direct telegraphic communication with Japan.

(2) Mail in this country is handled by the Marconi Company, (British), under contract from the government. In spite of the fact that the German Legation's mail within the country is being interfered with, the government refuses to do anything about it. From this, we may assume that even should the telegraph companies not work in accordance with the rules, we can expect little satisfaction from this government.

(3) We believe that our best bet is to rely upon the radio of Argentina, which will probably remain neutral for some time, to relay our messages.

 

[a] See I, 122.

 

Trans.  2-15-41

 

No. 128

 

FROM: Rio de Janeiro (Ishii)

TO: Caracas (Koshi)

February 17, 1941

 

# 039.

 

(Circular). (In 2 parts-complete).

 

Originated Mexico City as Circular # 15 on 8 February.

 

Action Mexico City to Tokyo as # 57 on 8 February.

 

Concerning your secret telegram # 20 [a].

 

1. There are only two companies in this country which handle foreign telegrams.

No. 1 is the "Mexican Radio". It is government established and is under the Department of Communications. This company handles wireless messages for Japan, Europe, Central America ----- via America.

No. 2 is the "Mexican Telegraphic Company", otherwise known as "Western Union", capitalized at $2,000,000 of which 60% is invested in Western Union and ----- % in All American Cables and ----- . It has a "concession" on foreign communications from this country. Communication with Japan goes by way of Mackay in San Francisco.

In case America enters the war this second company will interrupt service to Japan but as long as this country maintains its neutrality communications can be carried on by use of company No. 1. Viewing present relations with America, it is plain that pressure is being, applied to this country. Messages are delayed and other inconveniences are occurring; hence it is necessary to exercise precautions.

 

Page A-81

 

has been relayed to the U.S., Cuba, Panama, and Brazil. Brazil please broadcast to our offices in South America.

 

[a] In order to avoid interruption to our telegraphic work in the event U.S. enters the war, advise us of the financial background, in relation to U.S. and Mexico, of the telegraph companies in the country to which you are accredited. See I, 122.

 

Trans. 3-20-41

 

No. 129

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Mexico City (Koshi)

February 5, 1941

 

# 239.

 

(Circular) (In 2 parts—complete).

 

In view of the critical times we wish to revise our information policy of our offices in South and Central America, along the following lines:

(1) Investigate the general national strength of the United States.

(2) Investigate the United States policy towards South and Central America.

(3) Investigate the extent of South and Central America's participation in the policy of the United States.

(4) Investigate the extent of competition between Germany, Italy and the United States in South and Central America.

1. Appoint persons to direct these investigations and report their names.

2. Consider plans to use South and Central America for obtaining information regarding the United States in the event that that country is drawn into war, and have an information gathering machinery ready for operation when that situation occurs.

3. Keep a close contact with the German and Italian organs (of information).

4. To organize Japanese residents, including newspaper men and business firms for the purpose of gathering information. Care should be taken not to give cause for suspicion of espionage activities.

5. To formulate a suitable plan for dispatching information obtained under any condition.

Relay to Chile, Peru, Panama, Argentina (?), Venezuela (?), and Brazil and retransmit by code to Santos and Ribeiro Preto.

 

Trans. 2-14-41

 

No. 130

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Rio de Janeiro (Koshi)

February 19, 1941

 

# 033.

 

Re my Circular # 239 [a].

 

So that we may keep abreast of—and be in a better position to counter—recent U.S. manipulations in Central and South America, please advise us of the steps being taken by Germany, Italy, and Spain. We believe that information on the following points with regard to the country (or countries) to which you are accredited will greatly aid us in determining our course of action.

(1) How are the above mentioned three countries handling political, economic, propaganda, and anti-Communism matters?

 

Page A-82

 

(2) Official and public attitude and reaction to the above.

(3) Number of persons on the staff and employed by the offices of the above mentioned three countries.

(4) Has there been an increase in the influx of nationals of those three countries?

(5) All other items which may be of value in determining our policy.

Please send the outline of your findings in so far as the measures taken by Germany are concerned, by cable.

 

[a] Outline of revised policy to be followed by Japanese offices in South and Central America in investigation activities. See I, 129.

 

Trans. 3-6-41

 

No. 131

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

February 15, 1941

 

# 073.

 

(2 parts—complete)

 

Re my # 43 [a].

 

The information we particularly desire with regard to intelligence involving U.S. and Canada, are the following:

1. Strengthening or supplementing of military preparations on the Pacific Coast and the Hawaii area; amount and type of stores and supplies; alterations to air ports (also carefully note the clipper traffic).

2. Ship and plane movements (particularly of the large bombers and sea planes).

3. Whether or not merchant vessels are being requisitioned by the government (also note any deviations from regular schedules), and whether any remodeling is being done to them.

4. Calling up of army and navy personnel, their training, (outlook on maneuvers) and movements.

5. Words and acts of minor army and navy personnel.

6. Outlook of drafting men from the view-point of race. Particularly, whether Negroes are being drafted, and if so, under what conditions.

7. Personnel being graduated and enrolled in the army and navy and aviation service schools.

8. Whether or not any troops are being dispatched to the South Pacific by transports; if there are such instances, give description.

9. Outlook of the developments in the expansion of arms and the production set-up; the capacity of airplane production; increase in the ranks of labor.

10. General outlooks on Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, with particular stress on items involving plane movements and shipment of military supplies to those localities.

11. Outlook on U.S. defense set-ups.

12. Contacts (including plane connections) with Central and South America and the South Pacific area. Also outlook on shipment of military supplies to those areas.

Please forward copies of this message as a "Minister's Instruction" to New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, (Chicago or New Orleans ?) Vancouver, Ottawa, and Honolulu. Also to Mexico City and Panama as reference material.

 

[a] "We have decided to de-emphasize our propaganda work and strengthen out intelligence work in the U.S." See I, 118.

 

Trans. 2-20-41

 

Page A-83

 

No. 132

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: San Francisco (Riyoji)

February 15, 1941

 

# 020.

 

Secret.

 

Re my # 73 to Washington [a].

 

Will your office please pay particular attention to gathering intelligence material which will fall under the classifications outlined in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 12.

 

[a] Outlines details of intelligence information desired. See I, 131.

 

Trans. 2-20-41

 

No. 133

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Los Angeles (Riyoji)

February 15, 1941

 

# 013.

 

Secret.

 

Re my # 73 to Washington.

 

In connection with collecting intelligence material, your office will pay particular attention to contents of paragraphs 1, 2, 8, 9 and 11.

 

Trans. 2-20-41

 

No. 134

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: New York (Riyoji)

February 15, 1941

 

# 018.

 

Re my # 73 to Washington.

 

In gathering intelligence material, your office will pay particular attention to contents of paragraphs 4, 6, 7, and 9.

 

Trans. 2-20-41

 

No. 135

 

FROM: Tokyo (Japanese Foreign Minister)

TO: Vancouver (Japanese Consul)

February 15, 1941

 

# 008.

 

Secret.

 

Re my # 73 to Washington.

 

In gathering intelligence material, your office will lay particular stress on paragraph 10.

 

Trans. 2-20-41

 

Page A-84

 

 

No. 136

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Honolulu (Riyoji)

February 15, 1941

 

# 008.

 

Re my # 73 to Washington.

 

In gathering intelligence material, your office will pay particular attention to paragraphs 1 and 2.

 

Trans. 2-20-41

 

No. 137

 

FROM: Washington (Morishima)

TO: Mexico (Koshi)

February 15, 1941

 

# 003.

 

Re your # 008 [a].

 

Advise by official communication, by air, in the same manner as last year, as to military counter espionage.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 2-15-41

 

No. 138

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

February 13, 1941

 

# 67.

 

Colonel Hideo Iwakuro of the Army will soon take office in the U.S. We have a request from the War Department that he be given the title of Aide to the Military Attaché at your office as a temporary expedient to facilitate his work only in the area concerned. We approve of this. So will you please inform the U.S. Government thereof?

 

Trans. (Not dated)

 

No. 139

 

FROM: Sydney (Japanese Consul)

TO: Washington

February 13, 1941

 

# 4.

 

My message to Tokyo # 79 on the 12th.

 

Re my message # 77 [a].

 

According to a newspaper report allegedly coming from Kanbera [b], these United States Naval observers have been ordered to various countries in both the Pacific and the Atlantic. Their number is a matter of secret but about 25 officers have been dispatched, especially to the Dutch East Indies, and they are under the direct command of the United States Navy Department and form a special observation post. It is said that they will be permitted to use

 

Page A—85

 

special short-wave wireless sets of the British Navy in order to keep in touch with Australia, Singapore and other points.

Relayed to England and the United States.

 

[a] Available, not translated.

[b] Canberra, Australian city.

 

Trans. 2-21-41

 

No. 140

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Rome (Koshi)

February 15, 1941

 

# 300.

 

(Circular).

 

Under present world conditions, we must redouble our counter espionage activities. To conform with this policy we have decided to further restrict foreign visitors to our shores.

Hereafter, therefore, will you make a thorough investigation of all applicants for visas? Those persons who come under the classifications noted below (including persons who have no nationality) should not be given visas until their names, occupations, object of visit, and other reference material is reported by official communications or by request cables. A detailed description of the personal history and political leanings should accompany the applications of those who come under the category of (2) below. (There will be no change in the procedure which has been in effect in the past, where citizens of the U.S.S.R. and refugees are concerned.)

(1) Officials, military men, and others who are traveling on official business. Possessors of diplomatic passports are excepted.

(2) Newspaper correspondents, magazine writers, and persons connected with propaganda organs.

(3) All others about whose purpose of visit, political leanings, and/or connections you have some doubts.

 

Trans. 2-18-41

 

No. 141

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington

February 26, 1941

 

# 96.

 

To Ambassador Kurusu, from Ito (Chief of the Information Section).

 

It appears that the U.S. will go even so far as to take part in war to help England and that she will not agree to any peace settlement with Hitler's Germany.

Please telegraph your candid opinion from San Francisco.

Please remind the Ambassador, Kurusu, of the matter referred to in my message # 2383 of last year [a].

 

[a] Directs caution in interviews with reporters. Not used.

 

Trans. 2-28-41

 

Page A-86

 

No. 142

 

FROM: Berlin (Osima)

TO: Tokyo

February 27, 1941

 

# 194.

 

Re my # 193 [a].

 

I met and talked with Stahmer on the 27th. He told me that according to a report submitted to the government by the German Ambassador in the U.S., the U.S. has definitely decided not to enter into joint military action with either Great Britain or the Netherlands against Japan as long as Japan makes no move against the Philippine Islands. This information, he said, came from a very reliable source. (To date this source has never been mistaken), he added.

He also advised me that this information will be relayed to us in Tokyo by Ambassador Ott, but in the meantime, be advised by this.

Stahmer expressed the hope for close cooperation in the matter of exchanging intelligence. Please, therefore, forward all information which may be of value.

 

[a] Not used.

 

Trans. 3-7-41

 

No. 143

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

March 17, 1941

 

# 126.

 

Regarding my # 43 [a].

 

(1) Please put Secretary Terazaki [b] in full charge of directing information and propaganda in the United States.

(2) Please have him maintain close contact with all our offices for the purpose of coordinating information gathered through these channels.

Also please have him convene or visit officials concerned whenever he deems it necessary.

(3) Please allow him to travel to South and Central America, whenever he feels it necessary to contact our information officials in these countries.

(4) Bearing in mind that sufficient funds have been provided to give him a reasonable amount of freedom of action in pursuing his work, please offer him every assistance at your disposal.

 

[a] We have decided to de-emphasize our propaganda work and strengthen our intelligence work in the U.S. See I, 118.

[b] See I, 119. Outline of major points of investigation in connection with setting up of intelligence operations in the U.S.

[c] Cooperation of Jap bank and business officials in U.S. will be sought in connection with propaganda and intelligence work in U.S. See I, 112.

[d] Terazaki was formerly a secretary at the Legation in Peking; was ordered to Washington on 20 December, 1940.

 

Trans. 3-18-41

 

Page A-87

 

No. 144

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

April 9, 1941

 

# 221.

 

Terasaki and Wakasugi are rather inclined to want Fukumoto, director of the New York branch of the Nichi Nichi newspaper, to serve in Washington. However, in view of the fact that he has already been ordered home, would you please get in touch with Director Takaishi and Publisher Okomura and see if they can persuade him to postpone his return for a time and come to Washington, for he has been brought up in America and knows their customs, etc.?

 

Trans. 4-18-41

 

No. 145

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

March 20, 1941

 

# 161.

 

Secret—To the Intelligence Bureau.

 

It is difficult for us to get information concerning conditions in England and Germany. As the contact of Mr. OBATA [a], attached to this office, with the Americans have ended, it is desired to send him immediately to Germany and Italy (and if it would not take too much time, also to England if convenient) and have him return. Your permission for this is requested. It will be necessary for him to take a plane or mail boat. Please answer immediately regarding this matter.

 

[a] Visiting U.S., Mexico and Canada on a four-month' trip as temporary assistant to Admiral NOMURA and also for the purpose of supervising any propaganda and enlightenment activities.

 

Trans. 6-20-41

 

No. 146

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Geneva

March 3, 1941

 

# 14.

 

Regarding your message # 10 [a].

 

For the purpose of making necessary adjustments at this end, please listen in on Domei's general news broadcasts and reply reception results. (Japan time: 4:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 0 a.m.)

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 3-5-41

 

Page A-88

 

No. 147

 

FROM: Sao Paulo (Naruse)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

March 3, 1941

 

# 011

 

Request that the following be passed on to the Nippon Broadcasting Association:

The change in frequencies has brought excellent reception for listeners here.

 

Trans. 3-5-41

 

No. 148

 

FROM: Rome

TO: Tokyo

March 4, 1941 (?)

 

# 116.

 

Sensitivity for JCF and FCO very feeble. Please change wave length.

 

Trans. 3-5-41

 

No. 149

 

FROM: Vichy (Harada)

TO: Tokyo

March 12, 1941

 

# 142.

 

Sensitivity weak. Static terrible. Reception impossible. Please change wave length.

 

Trans. 3-17-41

 

No. 150

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

April 1, 1941

 

# 193.

 

For the past several days, we have encountered considerable difficulty in hearing the general intelligence broadcasts, due to static. The interference finally increased to such a point as to make reception an impossibility today.

Please, therefore, give consideration to changing the existing wave length.

 

Trans. 4-4-41

 

No. 151

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington (Koshi)

April 11, 1941

 

# 165.

 

Regarding your # 193 [a].

 

For the purpose of making necessary adjustments in wave lengths, please let us know the reception conditions of, and desired wave lengths for, the Domei general broadcasts at 9 p.m. (Japan time) over JUO (9,430 kc) and at 1, 1:30 and 2 p.m. over JUP.

 

[a] Jap. Amb. Nomura reports inability to hear general intelligence broadcasts due to static and suggests a change of wave length. See I, 150.

 

Trans. 4-18-41

 

Page A-89

 

No. 152

 

FROM: Tokyo (Konoe)

TO: Singapore (Riyoji)

April 21, 1941

 

# 106

 

Regarding your # 157 [a].

 

(Japan time) and frequencies for broadcasts in English or French as follows:

(Time and Stations)

A.M.  7:40 JUP

      8:30 JUP

     10:30 JUP

     11:00 JUP

P.M.  2:40 JUP

      4:30 JUP

      8:00 JUP

      8:30 JAUZ

      9:00 JUO

A.M.  0:00 JUP

      1:30 JUO

Broadcasts in Japanese with Romaji transliteration:

(Time and Stations)

A.M.  9:30 JAP

     11:00 JAP

P.M.  0:00 JAP

      0:30 JAP

      3:00 JAP

      4:30 JAP

      5:00 JAP

      6:00 JAP

      7:30 JAP

      9:00 JAP

Frequencies:

JAP   —11,980 kc

JUP   —13,065 kc

JAUZ  —73,275 kc

JUO    —9,430 kc

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 4-29-41

 

No. 153

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

April 21, 1941

 

# 245

 

Re your # 165 [a].

 

The reception condition of Domei's general broadcast over JUO and JUP is as follows:

Sensitivity extremely weak and reception impossible due to interference. General information listened to at this office, JUP, 13065 "A" at 4:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. (local time) suffers

 

Page A-90

 

from greater frequency instability than heretofore and reception is possible on the average of only three days out of a week. However, due to feeble sensitivity reception is very difficult. On the other hand we find both the sensitivity and frequency stability excellent for Domei's general broadcast, JAU, 27327.5 "A" at 4 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Therefore, please change to this frequency.

Receiving sets used are ACR, Philco, 1937, type 116, and 1940 Hammerland super pro.

 

[a] Requests information regarding Domei General broadcasts in order to make adjustments in wave lengths. See I, 151.

 

Trans. 4-22-41

 

No. 154

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

April 28, 1941

 

# 184.

 

Re your # 245 [a].

 

Since we plan to use for broadcasts to you Station JAU-2 in our current broadcast system, would like to have you send me reports on these broadcasts. Please wire me details of records compiled from 10:00 a.m. your time of receptions of all wave lengths.

 

[a] Washington tells Tokyo reception conditions of Domei's general broadcast over JUO and JUP are very poor. See I, 153.

 

Trans. 5-8-41

 

No. 155

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

May 6, 1941

 

# 270.

 

Re your # 184 [a].

 

JAW-2, which carries general Allied broadcasts picked up here at 7:00 a.m., has a very weak signal and it is very difficult to hear because it is frequently disturbed by sudden static. General news broadcasts for Europe picked up here beginning at 8:30 a.m. are inclined to have a very good signal on Station JAP. In spite of considerable static, over a five-day period, it could be heard relatively well.

However, in the past, looking at it from our local records, there is some question as to the enduring quality of the steady signal on that frequency. At times there is interference brought about by violent static and at times the signal is weak. Also, periodically reception is impossible.

Since the changing of the broadcast time to this office from the one at 4:30 currently in operation and ----- ----- ----- is considered to be appropriate, we hope that you will change JAU-2's wave length to 11980 kilocycles.

 

[a] See I, 154.

 

Trans. (Not dated)

 

Page A-91

 

No. 156

 

FROM: Washington (Morishima)

TO: Mexico City (Koshi)

January 27, 1941

 

# 002.

 

Re your # 004 [a].

 

Because of the expense involved, we do not subscribe to the A.P. and U.P. services at the Embassy. We try to keep abreast of the news by maintaining contact with individual newsmen. Upon receiving news of interest to your office through this channel, we relay it to you.

Unfortunately, there are no means by which we could have these newsmen send the news directly to your office.

 

[a] Re transmitting copy of U.S.-Mexican military agreements, secretly obtained by Military Attaché, to Tokyo in army code. "# 004" above, probably an error. See I, 123.

 

Trans. 2-8-41

 

No. 157

 

FROM: New York (Iguchi)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

January 23, 1941

 

# 020.

 

1. Because the Foreign Minister's speech in Parliament took place on the same day as the President's inauguration, only the Tribune (see my special plain language message # 18) and the Philadelphia Inquirer made any editorial comments on it. All the papers did print gists of the speech, as carried by the A.P. and U.P.'s Tokyo dispatches.

2. The official cable as well as the Domei's cable containing the entire text of the speech were delayed in being delivered. They did not arrive in time to make the deadline for the morning editions of the 21st. In spite of our efforts, therefore, no paper in this area carried the entire text.

We did, however, manage to get the whole text on A.P.'s regular service wires to Central and South America.

3. From the standpoint of speed and economy, please put such releases as these on the A.P.'s wires, instead of relying upon official cables. We shall see to it that they are relayed from here to Central and South America.

 

Trans. 1-29-41

 

No. 158

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Mexico

February 12, 1941

 

# 29.

 

Secret.

 

Re Circular # 336 [a].

 

Please handle this matter according to your proposal.

Beginning this fiscal year we are going to put the courier system into effect in South America. When we start this policy please make the best possible use of it and be sure to send by courier all documents requiring a high degree of security.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 2-21-41

 

Page A-92

 

No. 159

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Mexico

February 20, 1941

 

# 37.

 

Re your # 35 [a]. Strictly Secret.

 

1. Recently I have been thinking of establishing a courier system and, in order that closer contacts may be maintained, am now in the course of preparation for the better transmission of information between Japan and Central and South America, also between the various offices in the field so that they may be mutually informed of what is going on. Furthermore, in order to keep in touch with New York and Washington for the time being until ----- you will ----- make trips.

2. We are continuing to consider increasing your staff. Please transmit to Washington, Rio and Buenos Aires and send in code to other Central and South American Ministers.

 

[a] Recommends establishing closer contact between offices in Central and South America, Washington, and Tokyo, and requests an increase in personnel and allowances to Latin American offices. See I, 116.

 

Trans. 3-8-41

 

No. 160

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

March 11, 1941

 

# 139.

 

Re your Circular # 602 [a].

 

Vice Consul Mori will be appointed the first courier in the U.S. We believe that he should make direct trips between Washington and San Francisco without stopping anywhere en route, except when the nature of the items he is conveying necessitates his doing so. The nearer of these two terminals will then relay the items to other destinations.

Under this set-up, delivery could be made much more speedily. Moreover, from the standpoint of unity of action, we believe this to be a much more efficient system.

As we must notify the State Department, please advise if you do or do not approve this plan. (If it is necessary to give further instructions to Vice Consul Mori, we shall answer for him.)

Please advise to whom this message (the one referred to in the preamble ?) was addressed.

 

[a] Not used.

 

Trans. 3-15-41

 

No. 161

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: (See list in test)

April 11, 1941

 

# 819.

 

(Circular) (In 2 parts—complete).

 

Chancellor Fukuda and Yamasaki are to go to South and North America as couriers, leaving Japan April 10th on the Yawata Maru. Schedule:

Honolulu           18th

San Francisco      24th

Los Angeles        26th

 

Page A-93

 

Leave by airplane 29th for Mexico

Guatemala          30th

Panama         May  1st

Cristobal           4th

Guayaquil           7th

Lima               12th

Arica              13th

Santiago           17th

Buenos Aires       19th

Rio de Janeiro     23rd

Belem              26th

Port of Spain      27th

Baranquilla        28th

Cristobal          29th

Panama             30th

Guatemala          31st

Mexico        June  2nd

 

Los Angeles, then return. However, Fukuda will go on to New York via Washington on business.

This message addressed to Honolulu, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Belem Para.

 

Trans. 4-18-41

 

No. 162

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

April 1, 1941

 

# 154.

 

(2 parts—complete).

 

Secret.

 

It has been reported that recently strikes have broken out in (Chicago ?) After you have made a very thorough investigation, please wire me your findings along the following lines:

1. The political motivating forces behind these strikes and their expected development.

2. The extent to which these strikes interfere with national defense organization.

3. The relation between C.I.O's anti-ROOSEVELT policies since the elections last year and the current strikes.

4. To what extent is the LEWIS-MURRAY faction using their criticism of the (Cabinet ?) and President ROOSEVELT's foreign policy?

5. Recent A.F. of L. attitude.

6. The attitude of the Communist Party to these strikes.

7. In the event of a breakdown of strike mediation, what are the anticipated Government measures and what is the C.I.O's attitude toward this? In the event of war we think that the Labor Unions will become a major political factor in hindering unity in the United States. In the future arrange to get in touch with the leaders of labor unions, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, and other anti-ROOSEVELT movements. At the same time, I would like to have you study the possibility of using such a person as (IKU ?) O OYAMA [a].

Furthermore, with regard to German and Italian Fifth Column activities, I gave you instructions in my # 546 [b] of mid-November last year, but at this time particularly I would like to have you give the subject your careful attention.

 

Page A-94

 

On the authorization of the Foreign Minister, please transmit this message to all of our officials in the United States with the exception of -----. Please communicate the foregoing to Canada, ----- and Mexico for their information.

 

[a] A self-exiled Japanese Socialist now in residence at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

[b] Investigations requested on (1) activities of German and Italian Americans in present election; (2) attitude of Communist Party toward election; (3) extent of Fifth Column activities by German and Italian Americans in case of America's entry into the war.

 

Trans. 9-9-41

 

No. 163

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

April 2, 1941

 

# 204.

 

In connection with the United States labor unions, a report released by a member of HILLMAN's staff in the Office of Production Management, gives a recapitulation on activities of labor unions in National Defense industries in this country from September 8, 1939 to March 31, 1941 as follows:

1. There have been a total of 73 strikes.

2. Forty-six of these strikes have been instigated by organizations affiliated with the C.I.O.

3. Twenty-one by organizations affiliated with the A.F. of L.

4. And six by organizations not affiliated with either the C.I.O. or A.F. of L.

5. 145,000 laborers have participated in the strikes.

6. In order to conduct these strikes, assuming that a laborer is out of work six days, 1,209,577 man days will have been lost (these figures are based on only the information at hand).

Relayed to all Consuls in the United States. Have forwarded by mail in code form to Ottawa, Vancouver and Mexico.

 

Trans. 4-7-41

 

No. 164

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

April 17, 1941

 

# 238.

 

In view of the times, please arrange to send $50,000, credited to secret fund account, so that we may have immediate access to the money whenever it is required in connection with our work of adjusting U.S.-Japanese relations.

 

Trans. 4-20-41

 

Page A-95

 

No. 165

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

April 24, 1941

 

# 180.

 

I would like to be informed of the intelligence organization in your office and of its recent activity relative to my # 43 [a], # 44 [b], and # 73. Please transmit this request as coming from the Foreign Office, from Washington to Mexico City (?) and from that city to Mexicali.

 

[a] Regarding the de-emphasizing of propaganda in the United States and the strengthening of intelligence work.

[b] Regarding the establishment of an intelligence organ in the Embassy which will maintain liaison with intelligence organs from New York to Tokyo; also, the removal of the intelligence set-up to Mexico should the United States become involved in the war.

 

Trans. 8-18-41

 

No. 166

 

FROM: Vancouver (Kawasaki)

TO: Tokyo

April 28, 1941

 

# 45.

 

Re # 180 addressed by the Minister to the Ambassador in Washington [a].

 

This office is at present employing a spy (an Irishman with Communist Party affiliations) and is having him collect information of this nature. We intend to send this man in the near future to Prince Rupert [b] and Yukon, inasmuch as progress of the United States-Canada joint defense plans and the question of air connection with Alaska deserve our attention.

 

[a] See I, 165.

[b] Seaport, W. Brit. Columbia, Canada.

 

Trans. 8-18-41

 

No. 167

 

FROM: Tokyo (Konoe)

TO: San Francisco

April 19, 1941

 

# 40.

 

Please wire immediately of the information you have based on the figures in your office taken at the time of the census in October of last year on the following points:

1. Number of first generation and second generation Japanese (listing male and female separately).

2. List second generation Japanese maintaining only one nationality, and those having dual citizenship.

3. List also those who are dependent and those who are independent.

Forward by mail in code form to Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle. Relay information from New York to Chicago and New Orleans.

 

Trans. 4-25-41

 

Page A-96

 

No. 168

 

FROM: New York (Morishima)

TO: Tokyo

April 22, 1941

 

# 162.

 

Re your message to San Francisco # 40 [a].

 

1. First generation Japanese males 1406. Females 482. Second generation Japanese males 388. Females 372.

2. Those Maintaining But One Nationality.

   170 maintain Japanese nationality.

   341 maintain citizenship of the United States.

   Those maintaining dual citizenship 253.

3. 1595 are independent financially.

   1057 are dependent.

 

[a] See I, 167.

 

Trans. 4-25-41

 

No. 169

 

FROM: Portland (Fujishima)

TO: Tokyo

April 22, 1941

 

# 8.

 

Re your message to San Francisco # 40 [a].

 

1. First generation males 2558. Females 1792.

Second generation males 1825. Females 1542.

2. Second generation Japanese maintaining only one citizenship 1853; those maintaining dual citizenship 1514.

3. 2106 are independent (of these 280 are second generation Japanese). 5611 are dependent upon others (of these 3908 are second generation Japanese).

 

[a] See I, 167.

 

Trans. 4-25-41

 

No. 170

 

FROM: Vancouver (Kawasaki, Japanese Consul)

TO: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)

April 23, 1941

 

# 044.

 

Re your telegram # 40 to San Francisco [a].

 

First generation Japanese males  .................................  5,148

First generation Japanese females ................................  2,901

Second generation Japanese males  ................................  6,293

Second generation Japanese females  ..............................  5,673

Second generation holding only one citizenship (approximately) ...  1,698

Dual citizenship ................................................. 11,966

 

Page A-97

 

Workers independent ..............................................  6,786

Dependents ....................................................... 12,339

 

[a] See I, 167. Tokyo requests information regarding first and second generation Japanese residents.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

No. 171

 

FROM: Chicago (Omori)

TO: Tokyo

April 30, 1941

 

# 12.

 

Regarding the census of Japanese citizens, the following figures have been ascertained:

 

1. First generation men ............................................  336

   First generation women...........................................  100

   Second generation men............................................  177

   Second generation women..........................................  384

2. Those of one nationality ........................................  337

   Those claiming dual nationality..................................  239

3. Those in independent business ...................................  552

   Those not working independently..................................  5

Total Japanese residents ...........................................  977

 

The large part of these figures was taken from the annual Japanese occupational report. A large number was also taken from the 1936 Japanese census, the yearly status report and the record of the movement of Japanese nationals. There are other not included in this report, but a separate report concerning the (Japanese) population will be forthcoming in the near future.

 

Trans. 5-8-41

 

No. 172

 

FROM: New York

TO: Tokyo

May 1, 1941

 

# 179.

 

(In 3 parts—complete).

 

(Secret).

 

Intelligence received from Sumaito. (See my message # 142 [a].)

 

1. Gist of confidential statements made by Counselor Childs of the British Embassy in the United States;

At the outbreak of this war, British merchant shipping, including neutral and allied ships, amounted to about 20,000,000 tons. Of this, 8,000,000 tons had been lost as of the end of April. During the fastest three months, British shipping losses amounted to an average of over 50,000 tons per month.

If losses continue at this rate, not even the maximum output of British and U.S. ship yards could make up the deficit and by the end of this year, Britain will have less than 16,000,000 tons of merchant vessels which is the absolute minimum to enable her to continue fighting.

Unless, therefore, the United States, even at the risk of becoming actively involved in the war, does not aid England with her merchant shipping and navy, it is exceeding difficult for Britain to see a quick way out.

 

Page A-98

 

2. Very confidential reports obtained from prominent Englishmen in (London ?) by ----- [b], political writer for the Washington Times-Herald and by Alexich, former Austrian Minister to the Netherlands:

As a result of the British defeats in the Balkans and North Africa, the advocates of negotiating for peace have gained considerable ground in London. This group has as its nucleus the men of finances.

It is reported that BEUNIGEN, Van Vlissigen, and Am -----, prominent in Dutch financial circles, came to England several days ago on a secret mission for Germany. It is further rumored that they are feeling out British financial circles with regard to the following German peace terms:

(a) Germany will withdraw from all of conquered Europe except Alsace Lorraine and Luxembourg and will recognize the existence of the various countries . . . (Translator's note: this paragraph garbled, considerable guess work used).

(b) Britain will recognize Germany as the leader of Eastern and Central Europe.

(c) Besides the return of all German colonies lost as a result of the last war, Britain will approve the following points: Establishment of (Egypt?) as an absolutely independent nation. Governing of ----- jointly by Germany and Britain; making Syria a German protectorate; turning over Malta and Tunis to Italy; return of Gibraltar to Spain, turning over of the western half of Morocco and Dakar to Germany.

(d) British-German joint supervision of the Suez Canal.

(e) Reduction of British and German naval strength; trade and economic cooperation.

(f) The (Far Eastern ? Pacific ?) situation will be discussed later by representative of Britain, Germany and Japan.

 

[a] Not Available, dated 11 April.

[b] DoD Comment: Name withheld.

 

Trans. 5-13-41

 

No. 173

 

FROM: New York

TO: Tokyo

May 6, 1941

 

# 184.

 

According to a letter from Senator ----- to our man ----- [a]:

1. The President is very much troubled because the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee GEORGE is strongly opposed to convoys. It is said that for this reason the President is thinking of driving GEORGE from this position one way or another.

2. In the Senate there is a strong opinion held by some to the effect that in view of the serious situation in Europe, the United States Government should change the situation in the Pacific by adjusting Japanese-American relations. Some who are well versed in political affairs, I understand, are even saying that the United States should take the initiative in this matter.

Have forwarded by mail in code form to Washington.

 

[a] DoD Comment: Names withheld.

 

Trans. 8-9-41

 

No. 174

 

FROM: Los Angeles (Nakauchi)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

May 9, 1941

 

# 067.

 

(In 2 parts—complete).

 

Strictly Secret.

 

Re your message # 180 to Washington. [a]

 

We are doing everything in our power to establish outside contacts in connection with our efforts to gather intelligence material. In this regard, we have decided to make use of white persons and Negroes, through Japanese persons whom we can't trust completely. (It not only would be very difficult to hire U.S. (military ?) experts for this work at the present time, but the expenses would be exceedingly high.) We shall, furthermore, maintain close connections with the Japanese Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and the newspapers.

With regard to airplane manufacturing plants and other military establishments in other parts, we plan to establish very close relations with various organizations and in strict secrecy have them keep these military establishments under close surveillance. Through such means, we hope to be able to obtain accurate and detailed intelligence reports. We have already established contacts with absolutely reliable Japanese in the San Pedro and San Diego area, who will keep a close watch on all shipments of airplanes and other war materials, and report the amounts and destinations of such shipments. The same steps have been taken with regard to traffic across the U.S.-Mexico border.

We shall maintain connection with our second generations who are at present in the (U.S.) Army, to keep us informed of various developments in the Army. We also have connections with our second generations working in airplane plants for intelligence purposes.

With regard to the Navy, we are cooperating with our Naval Attaché's office, and are submitting reports as accurately and as speedily as possible.

We are having Nakazawa investigate and summarize information gathered through first hand and newspaper reports, with regard to military movements, labor disputes, communistic activities and other similar matters. With regard to anti-Jewish movements, we are having investigations made by both prominent Americans and Japanese who are connected with the movie industry which is centered in this area. We have already established connections with very influential Negroes to keep us informed with regard to the Negro movement.

 

[a] See I, 165. It is routed as Foreign Minister's instructions to: Ottawa, Mexico, San Francisco, New York, New Orleans. San Francisco to relay to Honolulu, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver.

 

Trans. 5-19-41

 

No. 175

 

FROM: Seattle (Sato)

TO: Tokyo

May 11, 1941

 

# 45.

 

(3 parts—complete).

 

Re your # 180 to Washington.

 

1. Political Contacts.

We are collecting intelligences revolving around political questions, and also the question of American participation in the war which has to do with the whole country and this local area. ----- ----- -----.

 

Page A-100

 

2. Economic Contacts.

We are using foreign company employees, as well as employees in our own companies here, for the collection of intelligences having to do with economics along the lines of the construction of ships, the number of airplanes produced and their various types, the production of copper, zinc and aluminum, the yield of tin for cans, and lumber. We are now exerting our best efforts toward the acquisition of such intelligences through competent Americans. From an American, whom we contacted recently, we have received a private report on machinists of German origin who are Communists and members of the labor organizations in the Bremerton Naval Yard and Boeing airplane factory. Second generation Japanese ----- ----- -----.

3. Military Contacts.

We are securing intelligences concerning the concentration of warships within the Bremerton Naval Yard, information with regard to mercantile shipping and airplane manufacturer, movements of military forces, as well as that which concerns troop maneuvers.

With this as a basis, men are sent out into the field who will contact Lt. Comdr. OKADA, and such intelligences will be wired to you in accordance with past practice. KANEKO is in charge of this. Recently we have on two occasions made investigations on the spot of various military establishments and concentration points in various areas. For the future we have made arrangements to collect intelligences from second generation Japanese draftees on matters dealing with the troops, as well as troop speech and behavior. ----- ----- -----.

4. Contacts With Labor Unions.

The local labor unions A.F. of L. and C.I.O. have considerable influence. The (Socialist ?) Party maintains an office here (its political sphere of influence extends over twelve zones.) The C.I.O., especially, has been very active here. We have had a first generation Japanese, who is a member of the labor movement and a committee chairman, contact the organizer, and we have received a report, though it is but a resume, on the use of American members of the (Socialist ?) Party. -—--- OKAMARU is in charge of this.

5. In order to contact Americans of foreign extraction and foreigners, in addition to third parties, for the collection of intelligences with regard to anti-participation organizations and the anti-Jewish movement, we are making use of a second generation Japanese lawyer.

This intelligence -—-- ----- -----.

 

Trans. 6-9-41

 

No. 176

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

December 26, 1940

 

# 603.

 

(Secret)

 

Please forward the following message, as this minister's instruction, to Canada, San Francisco, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, as # 2707.

Considering the time, extreme caution should be exercised to guard secrets. Many of our offices in the United States do not have night-watch, and as in these times no safes are absolutely fool-proof, it is extremely dangerous to keep high-security codes in such offices. Therefore, offices, except those which have night-watches, or are housed in independent official residences, should place their safes which are used for keeping codes and filed messages in official residences, and handle all communications there.

If the above is impossible, the offices in question should not have in their possession high-security codes, but should dispatch persons to our Embassy in the United States, whenever transmission of secret messages are necessary, to be handled through the Embassy.

 

Page A-101

 

However, please let me know the possibility of moving the communication room at your office, and also whatever opinion you have on this matter.

 

Trans. 1-11-41

 

No. 177

 

FROM: Chicago (Omori)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

January 9, 1941

 

# 001.

 

(Secret)

 

Re your circular # 2707 of last year [a].

 

The work done in the official residence about which I reported in my plain communication # 91 of ----- 9th, was limited to only a few alterations to an ordinary apartment dwelling.

Therefore, even if we were to move the telegraph room to these quarters, we do not believe that it would offer sufficient security, if we take into consideration the location of the building and its architectural designs.

Hence, as a temporary measure, that is, until we are able to move to a more appropriate location, there seems to be no way out except to send the codes which are to be used for messages requiring a high degree of security, to the Embassy in Washington for safe keeping.

 

[a] See I, 176.

 

Trans. 1-13-41

 

No. 178

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Chicago (Riyoji)

February 7, 1941

 

# 002.

 

(Secret)

 

If it is impossible to remove the code safe and transfer the telegraphic duties to the official residence, there is no way out (in view of the fact that certain circumstances require giving the codes added protection) except for your office to discontinue secret communication. You will have to rely on the nearest office to handle your secret communications.

 

Trans. 2-14-41

 

No. 179

 

FROM: Vancouver (Japanese Consul Nakauchi)

TO: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)

January 9, 1941

 

# 004.

 

Re your message # 603 [a] to Washington:

 

We shall begin to carry on our telegraphic duties in the official residence quarters from the 10th.

 

[a] See I, 176.

 

Trans. 1-13-41

 

Page A-102

 

No. 180

 

FROM: Ottawa (Yoshizawa, Japanese Minister)

TO: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)

January 10, 1941

 

# 007.

 

Re your circular # 2707 of last year [a].

 

We have already transferred the code books to the official residence. Heretofore, we have been keeping only the messages filled in in transposition forms at the office. However, in accordance with your instructions, we have moved them to the residence, too.

 

[a] See I, 176.

 

Trans. 1-23-41

 

No. 181

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Lima (Koshi)

February 13, 1941

 

# 015.

 

As it is impossible to secure a Japanese (safe), buy a German made one and change to combination and use it.

 

Trans. 2-26-41

 

No. 182

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Mexico

April 2, 1941

 

# 64

 

Noma's sailing date has been changed from that reported in my message No. 54 [a]. He will sail from Yokohama on the N.Y.K. liner, Ginyo Maru, on 20 April. He will disembark at Manzanillo. (The vessel is not going to stop at Acapulco, it is reported.)

Among the luggage he is taking with him are four wooden boxes and two suitcases containing material and parts for the machine (total weight about 200 kilograms). He also has one bag containing secret documents.

Will you please arrange to have these articles pass through the customs without inspection?

There is probably no other way than to take the train to proceed from Manzanillo. Have a sleeper compartment reserved for him, so that he may carry this baggage into it. He will also take the (book boxes ?) (book cases ?) into the compartment with him.

For the purpose of assisting him in transporting these things as well as to arrange to have them pass through the customs without inspection, will you please dispatch a staff member to meet the ship at Manzanillo?

If the said vessel changes its schedule and a stop at Acapulco is to be made, make arrangements with Noma by radio; (He will be accompanied by his wife and one infant on board); and get things prepared for his landing and passage through customs at that port.

 

[a] Noma is scheduled to leave for his post (in Mexico) on 10 April.

 

Trans. 5-2-41

 

Page A-103

 

No. 183

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Mexico City (Koshi)

February 25, 1941

 

# 040.

 

Re my # 026 [a].

 

There are two ways by which we could send the code machine to your office: (1) We would ship it to Los Angeles or San Francisco, in which case you would have a man there to take charge of it. (2) We could send Nomao, special foreign office courier, to your city. Which is more convenient to you from the standpoint of shipping facilities and passage through customs? Wire reply.

We presented the bill of lading for the safe on the 22nd.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 3-3-41

 

No. 184

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington

May 6, 1941

 

# 1013.

 

Circular.

 

At as early a date as possible, I would like to ship you a special sized safe in order to maintain the custody of our code machines and code books (this safe will be one meter and ninety centimeters tall, one meter twenty centimeters wide and have a depth of one meter and will weigh 1300 kilos); but I would like to have you wire me immediately the place you plan to install this safe, whether or not it will be difficult to bring in and where we should have it unloaded.

Furthermore, as this safe will be a special one, it will be necessary for its construction, etc., to be kept very secret. Therefore, should you have any comments to make with regard to the method of transportation so as to insure absolute security, please wire them to me.

As this Minister's instructions, please transmit the gist of this wire to New York.

 

Trans. 5-7-41

 

No. 185

 

FROM: Washington

TO: Tokyo

May 6, 1941

 

No Number.

 

Ambassador Nomura informs Tokyo that Counselor Iguchi has custody of the government code; and that in cases of long communications, Clerks Horiuchi, Hori, and Kajiwara have been requested to assist.

 

Trans. 4-15-41

 

Page A-104

 

No. 186

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Bangkok

February 12, 1941

 

# 64.

 

Re my # 52 [a].

 

Will you please wire me back the amount of money the Thaiese Government has in the United States, as well as the amount of gold and silver?

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 2-21-41

 

No. 187

 

FROM: Vichy (Harada)

TO: Tokyo

April 4, 1941

 

No number.

 

Marseilles to Tokyo as # 10.

 

As you know, there is a danger that American money will be frozen. Therefore, when you wire remittance to this office, please do so in Swiss money.

 

Trans. 4-9-41

 

No. 188

 

FROM: Panama (Nagamine)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

March 11, 1941

 

# 019.

 

(In 2 parts—complete).

 

Re your # 004 [a]. There can be no doubt at all that the (leakage of secrets) is Matsumoto's doings. The code books, etc., were locked up in his -----. I tried somehow to get him to own up to it, but he seemed to be obsessed by some kind of a ----- notion, and all I could get out of him was an obstinate avowal over and over that he would take the entire responsibility of his doings. I really didn't know what to do, so in regard to the matter of ----- I called all those concerned and placing the papers before them, strictly questioned them, but they all claimed they knew nothing about it. ----- papers "confirm" it.

The only reason I can give for Matsumoto's trying to smear me with the blame for leakage of secrets is that it is his way of getting even with me for my not letting him in on secret matters. (This obsession of his became most aggravated because I have not taken him in on ----- and let him know of —---. I have strictly forbidden his reading of official mail and dispatches). -----. I can swear by Heaven that my record is clean.

 

[a] Highly secret information which has leaked out indicates a laxity of communication security in your office. Investigate immediately.

 

Trans. 5-8-41

 

Page A-105

 

No. 189

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington

February 4, 1941

 

# 52.

 

Message to Manila # 26.

 

Re your # 12 [a].

 

When I inquired of the Communications and Finance Ministries, I learned that it is absolutely untrue that we have demanded opening of diplomatic mail pouches belonging to the American couriers thus far. Furthermore, our air transport companies have no authorization to examine the hand baggage of passengers and have absolutely never laid their hands on them. Therefore, as you know, in view of the tendency for South Seas bound couriers to use clipper services more and more, to demand the opening of those pouches containing diplomatic documents and papers would be contrary to established International practice. They would like to have you tell them that this sort of practice will not happen in the future. Furthermore, I would like to have you confidentially ascertain whether or not they are actually according us the same kind of treatment as they would accord foreign couriers, as they say they are.

Relayed to Washington.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 2-8-41

 

No. 190

 

FROM: New York (Iguchi)

TO: Tokyo

February 8, 1941

 

# 39.

 

(Part 1 of 2).

 

Accompanying the worsening of Japanese-American relations, our commercial activities are in stagnation and the outlook is unpropitious. Furthermore, since then we have lived in fear of a freezing order and so far this year our banking concerns here have been planning to evacuate their personnel or drastically reduce them. Already the Nihon Kogyo (heavy industries) and the Kanebo (Kanegafuchi Boseki Kabushiki Kaisha, textile company) have decided to shut up shop. (The Manchurian Railway has also decided to close its doors because it cannot remit any more foreign money after February), and has reduced the number of its employees. Thus, its dissolution is probably not far off. It appears that our various local banking agencies will cut their staffs to about half. At present, Mitsui, Mitsubishi and the Specie Bank are preparing to evacuate the families of employees of these three concerns and a New York special dispatch to the Asahi links this with Germany's imminent spring drive and plays it up sensationally. The UP, etc., also carried this rumor.

 

Trans. 2-12-41

 

Page A-106

 

No. 191

 

FROM: New York (Iguchi)

TO: Tokyo

February 8, 1941

 

# 39.

 

(Part 2 of 2 [a]).

 

This coincides with Ambassador NOMURA's arrival in the United States and has attracted considerable attention. When our commercial concerns have submitted questions to me concerning this evacuation question I have told them that they will have to either drastically reduce their activities or evacuate in order to economize and for other business reasons. However, I advised them that they will have to consider the position of Japanese residents as a whole and that I wish them to carry out my advice in a very quiet and unnoticed manner. I am sending a direct warning concerning this Asahi message and have advised Domei to make corrections.

None of the Japanese here, however, appear to have been much swayed by this report.

Relayed to Washington, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

 

[a] See I, 190. Jap Con-Gen. at New York reports that because of worsening of Jap-U. S. relations and fear of U.S. freezing foreign funds, various Jap banking and industrial firms are closing up and evacuating their employees.

 

Trans. 2-13-41

 

No. 192

 

FROM: San Francisco (Kawasagi)

TO: Washington

February 10, 1941

 

# 14.

 

Message from Tokyo as # 19.

 

Strictly Secret.

 

1. Seeing how Japanese-American relations have lately become so strained, pronounced unrest has been noted among Japanese dwelling in the United States. Now, considering the fact that there is a shortage of Japanese ships and considering the position, I think that our agencies in the United States ought to take suitable measures to instruct Japanese societies and organizations of all sorts to put the minds of these second generationers and their native parents at rest, and whether there is a war between the United States and Japan or not, have them stay where they are with as much tranquillity as possible.

2. Of course, we will try to get but a necessarily small number of Japanese citizens registered in Japan as well as their families, but we will have to study the psychology of the vast majority of the Japanese citizens in this country as well as of the second generation and do our best to keep them from getting excited and feeling uneasy. Therefore, I think that we ought to be careful to instruct everyone in responsible positions, as well as Japanese newspaper correspondents to help us in this task.

Relay to Washington, New York and Honolulu as this Minister's instructions. Forwarded by mail in code form to Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. Relay information from New York to Chicago, New Orleans, and Ottawa.

 

Trans. 2-14-41

 

Page A-107

 

No. 193

 

FROM: MEXICO (Miura)

TO: Washington, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires

May 5, 1941

 

No number.

 

Message to Tokyo as # 140, May 4th.

 

Re my # 132 [a].

 

SUMMARY

 

(Not translated due to incomplete solution.)

 

The main points of a talk I had with the Italian Minister on the 4th regarding the seizure of boats by Mexico:

The Minister states that Mexico told him that the seizure was made at the instance of the United States.

The present Administration of Mexico is under the necessity of following the lead of the United States due to the fact that over 80% of Mexico's exports and imports are with the United States. In this connection, should the United States stop the purchase of silver, by this step alone the present Administration of Mexico could not avoid collapse.

 

[a] See I, 194.

 

Trans. 5-23-41

 

No. 194

 

FROM: Mexico City (Miura)

TO: Tokyo

April 2, 1941

 

# 132.

 

On the 1st, an Air agreement between Mexico and the United States was signed in Washington, and on the 2nd the newspapers in this city reported it at great length. This agreement is a reciprocal one based upon the framework of mutual respect for each other's sovereignty. The contents of this agreement are reported to be as follows:

1. The United States planes may cross Mexican territory after notifying the Mexican Government of their intentions.

2. Any American plane may land at any Mexican airport and stop there for 24 hours for refueling and repairs.

3. In case of necessity, Mexico undertakes to defend these airports against any enemy whatsoever.

4. Mexican planes may use American airports under the same conditions and the same guarantees.

Newspapers in this city also report that this agreement will be followed by an agreement on military matters for the purpose of continental defense.

 

Note: This is a request message (from Mexico to Tokyo, Washington, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires) in which MIURA reports his conversation with the Italian Minister regarding the seizure of boats by Mexico.

 

Trans. 5-25-41

 

Page A-108

 

No. 195

 

FROM: Lima (Sakamoto)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

May 3, 1941

 

# 095.

 

(Abstract)

 

 Concerning telegram # 8 to La Paz [a] regarding Japan's request for tungsten:

 

Bolivia is a democracy and feels that since all materials are needed for continental defense, she should share the burden by giving the United States priority.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 5-13-41

 

No. 196

 

FROM: Honolulu (Okuda)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

March 1, 1941

 

# 036.

 

On the 28th, the local Federal Grand Jury indicted 71 persons who owned fishing boats, (the majority of whom were Japanese), under Article 88 on charges of conspiracy. The presidents of three fishing companies operated by Japanese were also indicted.

The U.S. law reads that captains of all fishing boats over 5 tons must be U.S. citizens. It is specifically charged that first generation Japanese have forged bills of sale and made second generation Japanese as nominal owners of these vessels. It is charged that in this transaction conspiracy was involved.

This is a similar incident to that which recently arose in Los Angeles, and developments are being watched with considerable anxiety.

Relayed to Washington.

----- Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle.

 

Trans. 4-12-41

 

No. 197

 

FROM: Tokyo (Konoe)

TO: Honolulu (Riyoji)

April 5, 1941

 

# 019.

 

Re your # 036 [a].

 

Please keep us informed from time to time regarding developments in this matter.

 

[a] Re indictment in Honolulu of 71 fishing boat owners, charged with conspiracy. See I, 196.

 

Trans. 4-12-41

 

Page A-109

 

No. 198

 

FROM: Honolulu (Kite)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

April 5, 1941

 

# 060.

 

Re your # 019 [a].

 

Since then 26 of the defendants have pleaded guilty to the indictment for conspiracy, and the others have either entered a defense or plead guilty, and in the case of the latter the U.S. prosecuting attorney has dropped the indictment. Because of insufficient grounds for the indictment, they are all being examined further, and it is impossible to foresee the outcome of the trial. (As most of the jury members are Americans, the situation cannot but be disadvantageous). However, in view of the procedure thus far, it does not seem that the indictment itself is based upon any political efforts looking toward the extermination of the Japanese fishing industry. Please get the particulars from my ordinary communication # 68 [b] of 7 March, my secret communication # 75 [c] of the same date, and my # 103 [d] of 2 April, and we will keep advised as to further developments.

 

[a] See I, 197. Re your # 036 [e]. Please keep us informed from time to time regarding developments in this matter.

[b] Not available.

[c] Not available.

[d] Not available.

[e] See I, 196. Re indictment of 71 fishing boat owners in Honolulu on charges of conspiracy.

 

Trans. 4-12-41

 

No. 199

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

March 21, 1941

 

# 164.

 

Concerning the agreement between the Japanese gasoline company and the YU company, Morishima upon leaving his post called upon the Assistant Undersecretary Berle and placed in his hands an official document in which was written down the understanding reached between the two.

There should be an application for a permit soon from the YU company, and we wish to request permission speedily.

 

Trans. 4-22-41

 

No. 200

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington

February 20, 1941

 

# 43.

 

Circular. Strictly Secret.

 

The following is information relative to the Chungking authorities propaganda policy regarding the question of the Nationalist Party versus the Communist Party:

I. In view of the fact that reports have been submitted by SOSIBUN [a], KOTEKI [b] and KATUTAIKI [c] to the effect that public opinion in Great Britain and the United States is concerned over the present political situation in China. Furthermore, in view of the fact that many appeals have been sent in from China Aid Societies in London and New York for prevention of civil conflict in China, and also in recognition of the fact that the propaganda work

 

Page A-110

 

on the part of the Nationalist Party had failed to remain one step ahead of that of the Communist Party, CHIANG KAI-SHEK has decided to spend for propaganda purposes in the near future the sum of several -—--- dollars and have YOSOSO [d], as a responsible head direct the elaborate propaganda work which has been planned. It has been decided that this propaganda will be directed chiefly to the United States and the South Seas. The diplomatic organ in Chungking has wired their representatives in the various parts of the United States to carry on this propaganda activity along the following lines:

1. They should explain that there is no intention on the part of the Chungking authorities to (annihilate ?) the Chinese Communist Party.

2. They should correct the misplaced interest Americans have in the Communist Party of China.

3. They should put a damper on the exaggerated propaganda being carried on in the United States by the Chinese Communist Party.

4. They should explain the position of the Nationalist Party and clearly indicate that there is no danger of anti-Japanese resistance being weakened by the Communist question.

5. They should forestall any progress to be made by NOMURA's pro-American diplomacy.

This message addressed to England, United States, Germany, Russia. Relay message from Germany to France and Italy. Relay message from Washington to New York and San Francisco.

 

[a] Sosibun—T.V. SOONG (Minister and banker).

[b] Koteki—Hu Shis (Philosopher, writer).

[c] Katutaiki—Unknown.

[d] Yososo—Yeh Chu-tsang (Member of the Central Executive Yuan).

 

Trans. 2-24-41

 

No. 201

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Hskinking, Canton, Hankow, Shanghai and Peking

April 11, 1941

 

# 822.

 

Circular. Received from Hongkong as # 182 on the 10th.

 

Chungking has an eye on Anglo-American reactions to the border disputes and the Chinese Communists reflect the intent of the Soviet. Lately the trouble between the Communists and the CHIANG Government has apparently quieted but no basic settlement has ever been reached. Note the following:

"PA" [a] reports that Chungking's compromise actually goes not further than the furnishing of arms and ammunition but that there are vague hints of a further political compromise to a certain extent and that a special commission may be set up.

"XYZ" [a] reports that at a luncheon on the 14th of March with SHU ON RAI, CHIANG KAI SHEK declared that he was ready to go ahead with an outright settlement of the border question and compromise with the Communists. On the 16th, SHU presented a concrete proposal and CHIANG replied that he was ready to form a special commission of counselors. On the 16th, the Communists said that they would not object to such a special commission being organized, but they demanded independent existence and the right to judge and determine whether they were getting equal treatment with the KWO MIN TANG (Nationalist Party). Therefore, a quarrel arose and the plan fizzled out.

"Y" reports that on the 8th at a meeting of the Central Yuan KA O KIN presented a definite plan for scattering the Communists (contents undisclosed), and CHO KEI made a fiery

 

Page A-111

 

speech, declaring that the KWO MIN TANG is a weak-kneed organization which allows itself to be outdone by the Communists. Real danger to the KWO MIN TANG is not from Japan; nay, it is from the Communists who are threatening all the Government organs and even the person of CHIANG KAI SHEK himself. Therefore, at any cost, no effort must be spared to disperse these subversionists; otherwise, the KWO MIN TANG will wind up in a fiasco. CHIANG, however, declared: "These border embroglios are mere secondary questions. We can't worry too much over such trivialities. As the international situation improves, they will automatically be settled. Let's wait at least until we get a definite assistance from England and the United States before we clamp down on the Communists." The whole meeting agreed that CHIANG's suggestion had some basis. In the meantime, the Red baiters are silent for the time being and there is a seeming compromise between CHIANG and the Communists.

Relay to Nanking, Peking, Shanghai, Manchukuo and Canton.

 

[a] Japanese secret agents.

 

Trans. 4-14-41

 

No. 202

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington

February 28, 1941

 

# 107.

 

Strictly Secret.

 

Re message # 106 [a] from Hongkong to this Minister.

 

According to intelligences emanating from Hongkong, in the United States at the present time there are two factions. One faction insists that in order to bring about a settlement of the European situation she should primarily aid Great Britain and that the situation in the Far East will then as a natural consequence be brought under control. Another faction insists that with respect to England and China, positive aid must be given to both at the same time.

It would seem on both of these points that ROOSEVELT was having a hard time making up his mind. It was with his own indecision in mind that he sent CURRIE to China. But, on the other hand, ROOSEVELT, too, felt that to investigate Chungking alone would be insufficient inasmuch as he is very cautious since he feels his knowledge of these matters was extremely nebulous. At the same time, CURRIE was dispatched, he had an informal delegation of some fourteen persons make private investigations in Peking, Shanghai and Hankow (in this connection the friend with whom the spy conversed confidentially—probably O SEI TEI [b]-refused to divulge the names of the representatives but it seems that up to 80% were economists). These representatives are carrying on investigations of various situations in the territory occupied by Japanese armed forces. It is confidentially understood that ROOSEVELT plans to open a conference in Washington on March 15th, with the view of mobilizing aid to China, at which the above-mentioned representatives (including CURRIE) are to make their appearance.

 

Note: Cop

 

[a] Not available.

[b] C. T. Wang—One-time foreign minister.

 

Trans. 3-4-41

 

Page A-112

 

No. 203

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Shanghai, Peking, Canton, Hsinking

March 22, 1941

 

# 710.

 

Circular. Message from Hongkong # 153.

 

Re my # 150 [a].

 

According to HO [b], on the 19th, WOO TIEH-CHENG (Member of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang) wired the following to Ho YING-CHIN (Member of the Central Executive Yuan):

The question of the Chinese Communists has now become the sole key to the diplomatic situation. We shall now have to make suitable compromises and accord the Communists better treatment, but it would be a great mistake for anyone to assume that the United States has changed its attitude on account of this. Not only is it the immutable policy of the United States to support resistance against the Japanese, but as CURRIE, himself, often reiterated, the present alert attitude of the United States is not due in any measure to internal politics in Chungking, but is based upon Japanese diplomatic moves. So long as the results of MATSUOKA's visit to Europe are indiscernible and so long as Japan makes no further overt move southward, no change in the attitude of the United States can be expected. That is why YI KAI HOO requested immediate assistance.

Furthermore, according to a reliable report obtained by the Foreign Section, any reports concerning America's interest in border troubles are mere piffle. The Central Government's press organs purposely propagandized this in a large way and even YEN HUI-CHING [c] made the same mistake with respect to the United States. This is something which may upset the Central Government's propaganda policy so I want you please to keep a strict lookout and always do your best to clarify any mistakes that may be made. (Send as per my caption message.)

 

[a] Not available.

[b] Probably Japanese secret agent.

[c]Ambassador to Russia (Chinese) as of Feb. 24, 1941.

 

Trans. 3-28-41

 

No. 204

 

FROM: Bangkok (Futami)

TO: Tokyo

March 22, 1941

 

# 185.

 

Re my # 129 [a].

 

Please heed my urgent request for a secretary with a knowledge of the Netherlandish language.

 

[a] See 1, 396. Bangkok tells Tokyo they have found a way to secure the secret documents and messages sent from Netherlands Ministry in Bangkok and, therefore, would like to have a secretary who understands the Dutch language.

 

Trans. 3-25-41

 

Page A-113

 

No. 205

 

FROM: Shanghai.

TO: Tokyo

May 2, 1941

 

# 735.

 

JK [a] Intelligence Report (April 30th).

 

1. The British Intelligence Section had dispatched DEN HAKU RETSU to continue conversations with TO KEN KO. They are discussing the tactical question of an exchange of intelligences.

2. A Formosan by the name of FHUBKOKU (who has gone under the pseudonym of NAN KO. Prior to the China incident he worked under Vice Consul IWAI in various political schemes.) is at present in the employ of the Chief of the Japanese Section of the Chungking Government Intelligence Bureau. He recently dispatched a Formosan by the name of SO ICHI CRU to Menyi to operate there and at the same time to function as an intelligence organ for British and American authorities there, as well as to facilitate the exchange of intelligence.

Please wire the second paragraph of this message to the competent offices should it be felt advisable by you.

Relayed to Nanking and Hongkong.

 

[a] Japanese secret agent.

 

Trans. 5-6-41

 

No. 206

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Singapore

January 16, 1941

 

# 17.

 

Reports show that a 100 kilowatt wireless station is to be erected there. If this is true, since it is possible to judge with a degree of certainty—especially on the basis of the wave-length to be used—what sort of messages the station will send, will you find out the details and let me know at once?

 

Trans. 1-21-41

 

No. 207

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Nanking, Shanghai and Peking

April 22, 1941

 

# 911.

 

(Circular.) Message to Washington # 175.

 

According to a reliable report, Chungking is having QUO TAI CHI, [a] on passing through Washington, propose to the American Government an American-Chinese anti-Axis peace treaty valid for four years.

Relayed to Nanking, Peking, Shanghai and Hongkong.

 

[a] Chinese Ambassador to Great Britain.

 

 

Trans. 6-21-41

 

Page A-114

 

No. 208

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

April 23, 1941

 

# 930.

 

(Circular). (Abstract).

 

Chiang Kai-shek tells Ambassador Johnson that, in spite of the fact that one month has passed since Currie's visit to China, there is no indication of American aid. Wants concrete aid at once.

 

Trans. 5-8-41

 

No. 209

 

FROM: Honolulu (Kite)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

April 21, 1941

 

# 067.

 

President Roosevelt's oldest son, Captain James Roosevelt arrived here the 20th on the Clipper with Rear Admiral Thomas. They left the 21st for Manila. Neither one would make a statement regarding their destination.

There should be an announcement from Washington regarding this. Perhaps they are going to Chungking.

 

Trans. 5-8-41

 

No. 210

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: China Net

April 27, 1941

 

# 958.

 

(Circular)

 

Received from Hongkong as # 209

 

Chinese papers here reported that Captain Roosevelt, U.S.A., arrived here from Manila on the 26th and after a month's stay he will proceed to Chungking and will spend two or three months interviewing important government officials and make a tour of inspection, before returning to America. His is a strictly good will visit and has no military significance.

 

Trans. 5-2-41

 

No. 211

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

February 20, 1941

 

# 101.

 

On the 20th Dr. ----- [a] gave a confidential report, (we have to consider his position so please keep this absolutely secret), saying that on the 19th the joint board of Foreign Missions met in Washington and discussed the pro's and con's of evacuating missionaries in Japan. There no consensus was reached. The Methodist headquarters, the most influential in the United States, sent in secret instructions to pass a resolution in favor of the evacuation.

 

[a] DoD Comment. Name withheld.

 

Trans. 3-3-41

 

Page A-115

 

No. 212

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

April 23, 1941

 

# 248

 

Please transmit the following to Governor General Minami of Chosen:

 

It is reported that the two missionaries Dr. Lee (?) and Mr. De Camp received sentences of 10 months and have appealed. The mission headquarters in New York say that the two desire to remain in Chosen, regardless of whether the sentence is carried out or not, in harmony with the mission's policy of not evacuating the missionaries. However, they requested that word be sent to the Governor General that if, instead of having the punishment carried out, they should be permitted to leave the country, the mission would leave it to the preference of the individuals concerned.

 

Trans. 5-8-41

 

No. 213

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Hongkong

April 1, 1941

 

# 75.

 

After working out a plan to have some Chinese at your disposal, to mingle directly or indirectly through local contacts (for instance, To, etc.) with Chinese residents in Manila for the purpose of obtaining intelligence regarding the extent of their participation in the defense program (or the Islands), which may be useful to us in our future plans, please take necessary steps, on my responsibility, if the reply [a] to my message # 103 [a] to Manila warrants it.

 

[a] See I, 214.

 

Trans. 5-27-41

 

No. 214

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Manila

April 1, 1941

 

# 103.

 

(Secret.)

 

Regarding your # 129 [a].

 

After referring to this Minister's message to Hongkong # 75 [b], please check up on the extent of participation by the Chinese residents in the Philippines' defense plan and wire same to Hongkong. Also depending on conditions there, please consider extending our activities along the lines of my message # 75 [b].

 

[a]Not available.

[b] See I, 213.

 

Trans. 5-27-41

 

Page A-116

 

No. 215

 

FROM: Peiping

TO: Tokyo

April 21, 1941

 

# 275.

 

Referring to my # 264 [a].

 

A member of the American Embassy staff informed one of our officers that their Embassy guard is to be reduced by fifty men. This report appears to be true.

 

[a] Previous message stated: "We have checked up on rumors of a reported evacuation of U.S. troops from North China to Manila but find that although the band of 30 members will be transferred to Shanghai, reliefs for sentrymen will continue as heretofore."

 

Trans. 5-3-41

 

No. 216

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington

April 24, 1941

 

# 181.

 

According to an intelligence, the American State Department is now considering closing the Panama Canal to all nations save the Pan American countries. This is directed at Japan and France, although they will avoid specifically naming us.

For your information.

 

Trans. 5-20-41

 

No. 217

 

FROM: Rio de Janeiro (Ishii)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

May 7, 1941

 

# 105.

 

(Circular). Action Tokyo as # 141.

 

The newspapers here published on the 7th a Tokyo A.P. dispatch reporting that Tokyo shipping circles were concerned over the San Francisco rumor of the 5th, to the effect that the American government would probably close the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping not later than the 10th.

Relayed to Washington, Buenos Aires.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

No. 218

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

May 6, 1941

 

# 195.

 

According to a wire that has reached this Minister from our Ministry in Spain, the Spanish Foreign Minister in order to contribute to the maintenance of Britain's position in the Mediterranean Sea is said to be setting up a plan for the transportation of arms and munitions for North Africa. Not so very long ago an American official was dispatched to Morocco in order to speed up preparations for joint British and American machinations in the Mediterranean area.

 

Page A-117

 

The British will not take direct action toward Spain for the present but, in the event of American participation in the war, it is said that there will be considerable danger of this. As Spain, as long as the British do not take military action against her, it appears that she would like to continue her neutral status as heretofore.

Furthermore, the Brazilian Ambassador, who is considered to be the best informed of the Madrid diplomatic corps, is understood to have observed that the war will be a long one and that there are indications that the United States will participate in the war within a period of two months.

 This is for your information.

 

Trans. 5-8-41

 

No. 219

 

FROM: Nanking

TO: Tokyo

April 15, 1941

 

# 229.

 

(Secret)

 

1. We hear that the government, with a view to seeking the aid of the President of the United States for a speedy settlement of the Japan-China incident, has recently sent instructions to Ambassador Nomura to confer with the President in regard to terms of peace. Is this true?

2. In connection with Shanghai's # 589 [a] to the Foreign Office, as to this item's having originated in Chungking, I have heard it from other quarters as well. In fact, it is quite generally believed that the real origin of it is KASUMIGASEKI (The Foreign Office).

I wonder just to what extent the activities of Yamazaki, mentioned in the Shanghai reference msg, have the approval of the Foreign Minister.

It seems to me that, for my "guidance" in the performance of my duties, I ought to be advised at least as to the main points in regard to such important steps in the handling of the incident. Therefore, I respectfully make this inquiry, and beg of you to give me some instruction.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 4-21-41

 

No. 220

 

FROM: Moscow (Tatekawa)

TO: Washington

March 4, 1941

 

Message to Tokyo # 264.

 

The American Ambassador (Steinhardt) had told me that he hoped to return to the United States in March and at that time to exchange views with your Excellency, but it seems that he was informed by his home government that his return home could not be permitted at the present time when the European situation is so grave. In several conversations with the American Ambassador he told me certain things, the most important of which I feel it necessary to give here for your information.

1. He has pointed out to me repeatedly that it would be of no advantage at all to Japan to conclude a political treaty with the hostile Soviet Union and that as a result of such action

 

Page A-118

 

I we might be making a sacrifice. He also stated that he did not believe that the Japanese people would feature such a matter and spoke in a manner very antagonistic to the idea. I think that was upon this subject that he wished to talk to your Excellency and this is further substantially proven by what CRAIGIE [a] told you the other day.

2. The American Ambassador expressed a surprising degree of dissatisfaction with his negotiations with the Soviet officials. He said that for three weeks he had been unable to have interview with MOLOTOV [b] and that Washington-Moscow negotiations are not proceeding harmoniously.

3. He said: "If you Japanese are satisfied with French-Indo-China, well and good. The United States will put up with that; but if you go any further south, it will be dangerous. You know, if the United States gets into this war, it is going to be truly a world war and that is some I thing to worry about". I replied: "Well, on your part you must not clamp down a petroleum embargo on us Japanese, and also you must not keep sending soldiers into the South Seas. Our action will depend on what you do in that connection". He replied: "In my opinion, the States is not going to exercise a petroleum embargo against you". I asked: "If Germany succeeds in an invasion of the British Empire, will the United States fight?" He replied: "No, I do not think that even then the United States will fight". I attacked Great Britain's rapacious world policy and said that Italy and Germany's turn had come to take charge of the European continent".

4. He said: "Hitler is sooner or later going to attack the Soviet Union and I think he may do so in the course of the present war. What do you think?" I replied: "Yes, I think that will take place. However, I don't think that the German Army is now sufficiently strong to attempt such a feat. Very probably they will have to wait until after the war is over. As for us Japanese, we have no such intention at the present time."

Now, this possibility is like throwing cold water on the Soviet and there is danger of attempts to divorce the Tri-Partite Alliance from Moscow.

Relay to Manchukuo. Relayed to Germany, Italy, England and United States.

 

[a] British Ambassador to Tokyo.

[b] Soviet Premier and Foreign Minister.

 

Trans. 3-8-41

 

No. 221

 

FROM: Moscow (Tatekawa)

TO: London and Rome

February 10, 1941

 

 Message to Tokyo # 175.

 

The following is the gist of the conversation I had with the American Ambassador:

1. "In so far as I know, United States relations with Japan have been gradually improving during the last sixteen days."

2. "Soviet Russia is pleading with the United States Government for freighters, tin, rubber, etc. As to freighters, we are selling her a few; however, as to machinery, we have not any surplus because our industries are busy manufacturing armaments. The United States herself is suffering from lack of rubber and tin. For these reasons trade negotiations with Soviet Russia  are experiencing a great deal of difficulty."

 

Page A-119

 

3. The American Ambassador has told me that he is returning to his country in March unaccompanied and that on his way back he would like to call on you. I also have been urging him to do so.

Relayed to England, United States, Germany, Italy and Turkey.

 

Trans. 2-15-41

 

No. 222

 

FROM: Rio de Janeiro (Ishii)

TO: Buenos Aires, Mexico, Santiago

February 16, 1941

 

# 35.

 

Circular. Received from Tokyo as Circular # 311 on the 15th.

 

(Part 1 of 2)

 

Secret.

 

Lately American emissaries to foreign countries have been telling our officials that the United States has been showing an inclination to take a milder attitude toward Japan. On the 9th the American Ambassador to Moscow told Ambassador TATEKAWA that during the last two days the American attitude toward Japan has been noticeably improving. A member of our Embassy reported that the United States intends to compromise with Japan now that Ambassador NOMURA is taking office in Washington. Furthermore, the same sort of report comes from -----.

 

Trans. 2-21-41

 

No. 223

 

FROM: Rio de Janeiro (Ishii)

TO: Buenos Aires, Mexico, Santiago

February 16, 1941

 

# 5.

 

(Circular). Received from Tokyo as Circular # 311 on the 15th.

 

(Part 2 of 2)

 

We have a report that a member of the American Consulate General at ----- revealed that if the Chungking Government cannot hope to wage a long war, United States assistance will all be in vain. Therefore, CURRIE [a] has been deputized to survey the situation on the spot.

Now I believe that all these statements are based upon some special stratagem originating among the officials of the State Department designed to divorce Tokyo, Berlin and Rome and to encourage the pro-English and pro-American elements in Japan. Every time you get a chance to contact the American diplomats in your respective cities, will you please question them in a most cautious fashion about this and do your very best to get what information you concerning it. As my instructions please send -----.

Relay message from Brazil to Argentina, Chile and Mexico. Relay message from Germany to Italy. Relay information from Spain to Portugal. Relay message from Manila to Batavia. Have relayed to United States for their reference.

 

[a] President Roosevelt's personal envoy to China.

 

Trans. 2-21-41

 

Page A-120

 

No. 224

 

FROM: Rio de Janeiro (Ishii)

TO: Tokyo

February 20, 1941

 

# 59.

 

Re your Circular # 311 [a].

 

On the occasion of a routine visit to the American Ambassador on the 19th, I questioned him with respect to the Far East question and Japan-American relations. He very frankly made the following statement:

"Recently, while I was in Washington, I heard no conversations about this matter from the State Department, and since I have come here no intelligences have been sent to me. Therefore, I have no way of forming an opinion."

 

[a] See I, 222 & 223. It has been reported that American diplomats at various points have made statements to the effect that U.S. attitude toward Japan is steadily improving. We believe this to be an attempt to divorce the Axis and to encourage pro-U. S. and -English elements in Japan.

 

Trans. 2-21-41

 

No. 225

 

FROM: Berlin (Oshima)

TO: Tokyo

February 20, 1941

 

# 135.

 

(Secret.)

 

Re your Circular # 311 [a].

 

On the 19th KASE [b], on the occasion of a general conversation with the American Commercial Attaché and First Secretary, tactfully brought up the question of Japanese-American relations. Both of these officials said that although relations are very strained, there is no reason to believe that it will lead to war; that probably public opinion on both sides has developed a bit of hysteria; and that since the recent verbal exchanges between Ambassador NOMURA and the President developed along very mellow lines, it is best simply to wait to see what happens. This is all they would say. From what I have heard these are merely individual statements and there has been no change in their attitude from what it has been all along. As far as I know there is no trace of any uniform instructions from the State Department to their representatives to alienate Japan and Germany or to influence pro-English and American elements by strategic means.

 

[a] See I, 222 & 223.

[b] Counselor at Japanese Embassy in Berlin.

 

Trans. 2-21-41

 

Page A-121

 

No. 226

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington

February 18, 1941

 

# 79.

 

Message to London as # 52 (Part 1 of 2).

 

Secret outside the Department.

 

Re my # 51 [a].

 

1. As a result of an investigation made by us, it seems that incendiary reports have been wired in succession to the home country ever since early this month from Tokyo, Singapore (Commander-in-Chief of the China Fleet), French Indo-China, Thailand, Shanghai, and Hongkong, as well as from certain parts of Europe to the effect that Japan, timing her move with Germany's Spring drive, would shortly commence military action towards the south and so the situation in the Far East has become suddenly critical. It seems that England, who now stands in fear of a German invasion, tying up these reports with the conference for mediation at present being held in Tokyo, (Britain seems to think that Japan is demanding an opportunity to advance for the purpose of attacking Singapore), has hastily concluded that Japan, urged on by Germany and Italy, is about to take aggressive action and advance southward. Thus England seems to have been greatly shocked. As a result, she decided to make her last appeal to us for the purpose of warning us, and that is why on the 7th a protest was submitted to you. But, as you already know from my # 46 [b] and # 51 [a], we have no intention of initiating a conflict with Great Britain and the United States. Furthermore, I found by examining the English translations, which Ambassador CRAIGIE [c] brought to me on the 15th, of the replies made by the Prime Minister and by myself in the Diet (referred to in your # 104 [d]) that, because of much mistranslation and misunderstanding, Great Britain from the very beginning had not been receiving accurate reports regarding our real intentions, and so I called Ambassador CRAIGIE's attention to this fact and CRAIGIE has come to understand the situation.

 

[a] See I, 226A.

[b] See I, 226B.

[c] British Ambassador to Tokyo.

[d] Not available.

 

Trans. 2-20-41

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington, D.C.

February 4, 1941

 

# 51.

 

Minister SAKAMOTO, accompanied by his wife and servant and their personal effects, is leaving Yokohama on the 6th and will go to his new post via San Francisco and New York. Relay information to San Francisco and New York.

 

Trans. 2-8-41

 

Page A-122

 

No. 226B

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka) 

TO: Washington, D.C.

February 1, 1941

 

# 46.

 

Re your # 63. [a]

 

In accordance with instructions sent to the Naval Attaché, please make immediate representations to the American authorities. I have conferred with our Naval authorities.

 

[a] See I,

 

Trans. 2-6-41

 

No. 227

 

FROM: Batavia (Isizawa)

TO: Tokyo

March 6, 1941

 

# 185.

 

Strictly secret.

 

On the 4th, I had an intimate conversation with the American Consul FOOTE. I referred to Japanese-American relations and said that it was too bad that our two countries have lately gotten along so badly, but for our part we are going to study ways and means of correcting this situation. I continued, "Between ourselves, it is a very regrettable fact but the Japanese are beginning to suspect that the United States is applying pressure on these islands in order to procure their products and to limit their exports to Japan and is scheming to ruin Japanese-Netherlands India trade. We are beginning to feel that the United States may be endeavoring to have Netherlands India apply economic pressure against us. This suspicion is deepening and if it is true, the only result will be that Japanese-American relations will again grow worse". FOOTE replied, "It is a fact that the United States has been interested in recent commercial negotiations between Tokyo and Batavia, but to say that we have applied pressure to the Netherlands India Government is out of the question. While Plenipotentiary KOBAYASHI [a] and Mr. MUKAI [a] were carrying on negotiations concerning petroleum, I received not a notice thereof nor any instructions from my Government. During the last three or four weeks I have not conferred even once with the Secretary of Economics. Last year, on instructions from Washington I negotiated with the Netherlands India Government for the purchase of a large amount of quinine, but the officials here told me that they had promised a considerable quantity to Japan, British India, as well as European nations, and that therefore they could not fill orders from the United States. I wired my Government that they had turned me down and my Government had nothing to say about it. To say that the United States is influencing Netherlands India is fanciful. They are acting absolutely independently, nor is it the policy of Washington to interfere with this traditional policy of theirs, so let all your suspicions be at rest. I give you my word of honor that what I say is true". I asked, "Do you object if I transmit what you have told me to Tokyo?", and he replied, "I have no objection at all".

I have been very careful in my investigation of possible American schemes here, but so far have been unable to detect any, but nevertheless I am continuing my surveillance.

 

[a] KOBAYASHI originally sent to Batavia as Envoy Extraordinary representative, but soon returned to Japan to be replaced by his assistant in charge of petroleum negotiations, MUKAI, who is affiliated with the Mitsui interests. MUKAI returned to Japan because of his health.

 

Trans. 3-8-41

 

Page A-123

 

No. 228

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: China Net

April 22, 1941

 

Message from Vichy as # 218 on April 18th.

 

From Minister SUMA:

 

On the 17th I had a talk with American Ambassador LEAHY, who said:

1. "Concerning Japanese-U. S. relations, no matter how you Japanese dispose of China, there can hardly any longer be any possibility of war between our two countries. It is a wonderful thing that you Japanese chose a man like Ambassador NOMURA who can contact President ROOSEVELT directly and discuss things so frankly with him".

2. "Concerning a U.S.-German war, well, that is already a question of time. The beginning will be the sinking of either a merchant ship or convoy. Just as in the last world war, the United States will put an end to German submarine warfare, but the war must needs continue I fear for a long time".

3. "Concerning the possibility of Germany invading the English mainland, that possibility is gradually dwindling. That will depend not only on how the war turns out in the Balkans and in Africa, but also judging from the fact that Germany is placing 150 Divisions of soldiers in areas where there is danger of a clash with the Soviet, it is quite clear that Germany can hardly invade England".

This coincides closely with what American Ambassador PHILLIPS in Rome told me confidentially on the 7th. I rather am inclined to think this to be mere United States propaganda, but in any case I am sending it to you for what it may be worth.

Relayed to Washington, Berlin, Rome and Moscow.

 

Trans. 4-24-41

 

No. 229

 

FROM: Berlin

TO: Tokyo

April 21, 1941

 

# 441.

 

(Abstract)

 

During a call on Stahmer, he told me that according to Ambassador Papen, Turkey is tending more and more toward the Axis, and she may join the Tripartite Pact this year.

 

Trans. 4-24-41

 

No. 230

 

FROM: London (Japanese Ambassador)

TO: Washington (Japanese Ambassador)

April 25, 1941

 

No number.

 

Action Tokyo as # 301.

 

Intelligence report (23rd).

 

According to what the informant heard from BIDERU [a].

(1) Every American official in Europe is said to have recently informed his government of the immediate need of some sort of naval aid to Britain and it appears that steps are about to be taken toward realizing this end.

 

Page A-124

 

(2) According to SUTAINHARUTO's [b] report, the U.S.S.R. has warned Turkey to resist Germany's attack, on the threat that the U.S.S.R. herself will walk into Turkey in self defense.

Relayed to Washington.

 

[a] Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the governments of Norway, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium.

[b] Laurence A. Steinhardt, U.S. Ambassador to U.S.S.R.

 

Trans. 4-29-41

 

No. 231

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Rio de Janeiro

March 8, 1941

 

# 41.

 

In view of the fact that there are those whom we suspect of working as intelligence agents for their homelands among the British and American (especially English) firms who are acting as agents for our shipping companies in Latin America, this office, after consultation with the home offices of the related shipping companies, has drawn up the following regulations:

1. We shall use, wherever possible, Japanese companies abroad as agencies.

2. In the event that this is impossible, we shall use foreign companies other than English and American (companies operated by Germans or other nationals) as agencies.

3. In the event that it is essential that we continue to use English and American agencies, we will exercise careful surveillance over their activities, and we have decided that we shall endeavor to use them in gathering intelligences.

With this as a basis, I want you to pay careful attention to their activities wherever located, and should anything to our disadvantage develop, inform me on each occasion of all the circumstances and give me your opinions as to counter-policies that we should carry out in each case.

Please transmit this in code to ----- -----, and transmit this by wire to Santos, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Cuba, ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- should be informed of this by ---- ----- -----.

 

Trans. 3-15-41

 

No. 232

 

FROM: Rio de Janeiro (Ishii)

TO: Buenos Aires (Koshi)

March 9, 1941

 

# 060.

 

(Circular)

 

There is considerable cause to suspect that British and American firms (particularly British) which are agents in the Latin American countries for our various shipping lines are acting as informers for their home governments.

After conferring with our shipping companies concerned, we reached the following decisions:

(1) To utilize, wherever possible, Japanese merchants abroad as agents for these shipping companies.

(2) To obtain the services of agents of nationalities other than British or American (particularly not British) where the services of Japanese are unavailable.

 

Page A-125

 

(3) Where it is impossible to secure the services of other than British or American agents, to appoint a Japanese to the staff or increase the Japanese staff thereof. These persons shall keep an eye on the movements in the office as well as keep their ears open for any information.

----- should any irregularities be discovered, they shall be corrected in the manner best suited to the locality.

Relay this message to -----, Belem and Santos by mail and by wire to Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Panama, -----, Colombia, and Venezuela, as a "Minister's Instruction". Argentina will relay it to Uruguay.

 

Trans. 3-12-41

 

No. 233

 

FROM: Batavia (Ishizawa)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

March 11, 1941

 

# 201.

 

Count Soejima recently arrived here. It seems that he advised Minister Pabst of his plans to take a trip to Formosa, and on that occasion the Minister is said to have urged him to tour the Netherlands East Indies as well. After giving the matter some consideration, the Count decided to tour this area, Singapore, and the Philippine Islands. After making up his mind, he told me that he intended to meet and talk to the Governor of those islands, and others.

As you know, the Count has been an advocate of tying up with Great Britain and the United States. Should, by some chance, the Count express his views to prominent persons in this area, there is a danger that he might leave such persons with the erroneous impression that public opinion in Japan is not unified. This would, in my opinion, have an unfavorable effect.

I, therefore, advised Chief Delegate Yoshizawa of this matter. Yoshizawa then requested the Count to exercise caution in his acts and utterances.

The Count's audience with Governor Tjarda lasted only about ten minutes. Therefore, they could not have discussed any matter very deeply. Either the Chief Delegate, or I, was present at all his meetings with other prominent persons, and therefore all dangerous subjects were avoided.

While traveling in Java, however, he unfortunately expressed opinions which did not coincide without policy to a number of Japanese. I therefore got in touch with Consul General Turumia and advised him that I thought it would be to our best interests if all of the Count's meetings with prominent foreign and Japanese persons be prevented and to arrange for his return to Japan at the earliest possible date.

 

[a] Consul General at Singapore.

 

Trans. 3-14-41

 

Page A-126

 

No. 234

 

FROM: Tokyo (Konoe)

TO: Singapore

March 15, 1941

 

# 73.

 

To be handled in Government Code.

 

Please do your best to arrange to have Count SOEJIMA [a], sojourning in Singapore, leave for home at once. Furthermore, please wire me the name of the ship and the port of disembarkation.

 

[a] Count Soejima planned to tour the area including the Netherlands East Indies, Singapore and Philippine Islands. In a previous message Isizawa requested that he be recalled as he had unfortunately expressed opinions which did not coincide with the Japanese policy.

 

Trans. 3-19-41

 

No. 235

 

FROM: Tokyo (Arita)

TO: Washington

November 14, 1936

 

No number.

 

Utterly and strictly secret.

 

Minister Mushakoji, accredited to Germany, having been vested with the proper authority, has initiated some negotiations with Germany for a Japanese-German pact. There follows the substance of the text which, upon the conclusion of the discussions, will be signed probably near the end of this month. This is for the information of our higher officials.

 

I. An Anti-Comintern Agreement and a Codicil.

Text of the Agreement:

(1) To confer on measures for the exchange of information regarding, and defense against, the Comintern.

(2) To provide for the participation of any third power sharing the same aims; and, as a codicil (so that both powers may effectively cooperate) to provide for measures against persons connected with the Comintern, and the establishment of standing committees.

This Agreement and the Codicil become effective immediately upon signature, upon which we are agreed with Germany.

 

II. A secret appended agreement and its official text, as an agreement appended to the Anti-Comintern Agreement.

(1) If one of the contracting powers is attacked or threatened with an attack, regardless of circumstances, the other must uphold her position and take whatever measures are necessary to uphold her position, and both nations will immediately confer on what measures are to be taken for the common good.

(2) Opposition to the spirit of this agreement and its appendices will be politically resisted by contracting with foreign countries.

In connection with the preceding clause (2), Japan and Germany will exchange the official texts of the pending Japanese-Soviet Agreement, the German-Soviet Rapallo Agreement, and all other agreements involving these countries.

 

III. Both agreements are effective for five years.

This telegram is addressed to our foreign embassies.

 

Trans. 11-12-37

 

Page A-127

 

No. 236

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Berlin

November 11, 1941

 

# 2296.

 

(Circular)

 

The Imperial Japanese Government, the German Government and the Italian Government together with the Hungarian Government, and the Imperial Manchurian Government and the Spanish Government, recognizing that the protocol signed by the above governments is a most effective means of combating the activities of the Communist "International" and believing that the common interest of the above governments are best served by close cooperation between them, do hereby agree to extend the effective period of the said protocol. For this purpose the following stipulations are agreed upon.

 

Article 1.

The agreement in regard to the Communist "International" which was formed on November 25, 1936, and later made into a protocol together with the protocol of November 6, 1937, which was joined by Hungary in February 24, 1939, by Manchuria on February 24, 1939, and by Spain on March 27, 1939, shall be extended for a period of five years beginning November 25, 1941.

 

Article 2.

The agreement regarding the Communist "International" shall be entered into by the three original signatories namely, the Japanese Government, the German Government, and the Italian Government. Other countries desiring to join the agreement shall signify this desire in writing to the German Government and the German Government shall in turn notify the other signatories. Such participation shall become effective from the date that Germany receives the document signifying said desire to join.

 

Article 3.

This protocol shall be drawn up in Japanese, German, and Italian and these three texts shall constitute the official text. This protocol shall become effective from date of signature.

The contracting governments shall have the right to ask for an extension of the protocol above the designated five year period at a suitable time before the said period shall have elapsed.

In witness whereof I do hereby affix my signature having been duly authorized by my government to do so.

The ----- day of November of the 16th year of Showa that is the year 1941 or according to Fascist history the year 20.

Six copies of this protocol will be drawn up in Berlin.

This is my message to Berlin, Hsinking, Nanking. Berlin relay to Rome.

 

Trans. 11-21-41

 

No. 237

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Berlin

September 25, 1940

 

No number.

 

To be sent in official code.

 

Part 1 of 4.

 

Three Power Pact between Japan, Germany and Italy.

The Governments of Japan, Germany and Italy, considering it as the condition precedent of any lasting peace that all nations of the world be given each its own proper place, have decided to stand by and cooperate with one another in regard to their efforts in Greater East Asia and the regions of Europe respectively wherein it is their prime purpose to establish and maintain a new order of things calculated to promote mutual prosperity and welfare of the peoples concerned.

Furthermore it is the desire of the three Governments to extend cooperation to such nations in other spheres of the world as may be inclined to put forth endeavors along lines similar to their own, in order that their intimate aspirations for world peace may thus be realized. Accordingly the Governments of Japan, Germany and Italy have agreed as follows:

 

Part 2 of 4.

 

Article I.

Japan recognizes and respects the leadership of Germany and Italy in the establishment of a new order in Europe.

 

Article II.

Germany and Italy recognize and respect the leadership of Japan in the establishment of a new order in Greater East Asia.

 

Article III.

Japan, Germany and Italy agree to cooperate in their efforts on the aforesaid lines. They further undertake to assist one another with all political, economic and military means when one of the three Contracting Parties is attacked by a power at present not involved in the European War or in the Sino-Japanese Conflict.

 

Part 3 of 4.

 

Article IV.

With a view to implementing the present Pact, Joint Technical Commissions the members of which are to be appointed by the respective Governments of Japan, Germany and Italy will meet without delay.

 

Article V.

Japan, Germany and Italy affirm that the aforesaid terms do not in any way affect the political status which exists at present as between each of the three Contracting Parties and Soviet Russia.

 

Article VI.

The Present Pact shall come into effect immediately upon signature and shall remain in force for ten years from the date of its coming into force.

 

Part 4 of 4.

 

At proper time before the expiration of the said term the High Contracting Parties shall, at the request of any one of them, enter into negotiations for its renewal.

 

Page A-129

 

In faith whereof, the undersigned, duly authorized by their respective Governments, have signed this Pact and have affixed thereto their Seals.

Done in triplicate at _____ , the  _____ day of the month of the  _____ year of Showa, corresponding to the _____ .

 

Trans. 10-28-40

 

No. 233

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Berlin

March 3, 1941

 

# 190.

 

Can not decipher your message # 168 [a]. Please retransmit.

 

[a] Available, not translated. "Germany willing to spend a million marks on enlightenment work regarding Japan in Germany."

 

Trans. 3-10-41

 

No. 239

 

FROM: Rome

TO: Tokyo

January 21, 1941

 

# 42.

 

From YAMAGISI to MIYAMOTO, Chief of the Broadcasting Section of the Cabinet Information Bureau.

Recently, when I was in Germany, I discussed with our Embassy and the German Government the question of exchange broadcasts between Japan and Germany, and found that the German Government was thinking it strange that Japan had not replied regarding the draft for the exchange broadcast agreement which Germany had submitted last summer. This draft seems to contain some suggestions which are not of a very practicable nature, such as the exchange of radio news reporters and artists, and furthermore, it places greater emphasis on speeches than on music. Nevertheless, I think that the Japanese Government should express its opinion on it one way or another. Will you please wire a reply to our Ambassador in Italy? Furthermore, I understand that the German Government is not at all adverse to changing the details in compliance with Japanese wishes, and that the draft merely lists a number of suggestions, regardless of their practicability. Will you also wire me what has been done about exchange of radio broadcasts between Japan and Italy? (My # 1217 [a] sent from Italy last year.)

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 1-27-41

 

Page A-130

 

No. 240

 

FROM: Santiago (Kawasaki)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

February 17, 1941

 

# 033.

 

Re your Circular # 311 [a].

 

Secret.

 

On this the 17th, I called on Secretary (of the Embassy) Lyon (son-in-law of Ambassador Grew) on some business. I took the opportunity to try out the tactics you suggested.

He stated that the German-Italian-Japanese Alliance's effect on Japanese-U. S. relations was fatal. As long as that alliance was in effect, he doubted that any changes could be brought about in United States' policy. This was causing his father-in-law considerable concern, he said.

 

[a] See I, 222, 223.

 

Trans. 2-24-41

 

No. 241

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Vichy (Koshi)

January 7, 1941

 

# 003.

 

Secret.

 

Please advise me of your opinions on French-German relations subsequent to RABAURU's (Laval's) stepping out. Also as to movements in French political circles.

 

Trans. 1-22-41

 

No. 242

 

FROM: Berlin

TO: Washington

February 25, 1941

 

No number.

 

Action Tokyo as # 160.

 

Re my # 157 [a].

 

To start off my talks with Ribbentrop I made the remark that there seemed to be much speculation throughout the world with regard to German-Japanese relations, and particularly about the Tripartite Pact. It is evident that some of these rumors were given birth by British and U.S. propagandists who are bent on trying to tear down the alliance.

We fear, I said, because of these false informations, that Germany may harbor some misunderstandings.

The truth of the matter is, I continued, that Japan has been absolutely faithful to the Pact. The government and people stand as one in the determination to carry on with our national policy, in which the Tripartite Pact forms the basis of our foreign relations.

 

PAGE A-131

 

Ribbentrop expressed his congratulations on our determination. He went on to say that Germany feels that Germany and Japan are in the same boat. This gives the Fuehrer the greatest confidence, he said.

He expressed the hope that Japan would never doubt Germany's sincerity.

 

[a] See I, 243.

 

Trans. 2-27-41

 

No. 243

 

FROM: Berlin

TO: Washington

February 25, 1941

 

No number.

 

Action Tokyo as # 157. (In 5 parts—complete.)

 

Accepting an invitation by Foreign Minister Ribbentrop, I called on him at FUSSHERU, a suburb of Salzburg. The meeting was held, drawing the minimum of outside attention. Only three persons were present: Foreign Minister Ribbentrop, Stahmer, and myself.

Ribbentrop explained the European war outlook as he saw it, the gist of which follows:

1. All invasion bases from KIBERG, in the extreme north of Norway to BIARRITZ to be used in the campaign against England are under German occupation. Aside from the fact that these bases are manned with ample man power, there are vast underground stores of arms, ammunition, food, and raw materials.

With regard to ammunition, for instance, the supplies are already in such vast quantities that the manufacturing of them has practically ceased. The facilities which formerly manufactured these goods have been turned over toward the production of submarines and aircraft.

Order in the occupied areas is being maintained by a police force which has been organized for this specific purpose, thus avoiding the use of the army for this work. Should, by some change, disorders arise, Germany is confident that she can suppress them immediately because she has such excellent mechanized forces which can be sent to any locality without any loss of time by using the efficient transportation system which has been set up.

Hence, only a very small part of the actual armed forces have had to be diverted to police the occupied areas.

Awaiting the arrival of spring, the German armed forces will first radically step up her submarine and aerial warfare, after which she will crush England.

Germany has every confidence in her ability to do this.

2. Italy failed to discuss with Germany her campaign against Greece before launching it. Had she done so, Germany would have advised her to abandon such plans. Because of insufficient preparations, the results of the campaign have not been satisfactory.

Because Graziani was a little slow in getting the offense underway, he was beaten to the trigger by the British. This has placed Italy in a disadvantageous position.

There can be no doubt that the Italian troops are brave, but unfortunately the officers are not of the best quality.

In connection with these Italian campaigns, Germany expects to aid with her air force. At the same time, on the principle that the main base of enemy action in this campaign is in England, preparations are being completed for destroying it.

3. It is true that the U.S. is helping England with materials to the best of her ability. However, these supplies amount to just about one third of what England desires and requires.

The only persons in the U.S. who wish to enter the war are Roosevelt, the Jews who surround him, and a group of financiers. The great majority of healthy Americans do not want to fight.

 

Page A-132

 

Germany is making every preparation for the worst eventuality, but at the same time is doing all that she can to prevent the U.S. from becoming an armed belligerent. Germany firmly believes that the most effective way of accomplishing this is to show no weakness but instead to show that Germany is prepared to fight whenever the U.S. threatens to do so.

4. There is nothing good or bad about German-Soviet relations at present. It is true that at the time that Germany announced her intentions to guarantee Rumanian boundaries and since Germany sent troops into Rumania, the Soviet Union has begun to speculate suspiciously as to Germany's motives. Moreover, the indications are that the U.S.S.R. is not too happy about Germany's manipulations with regard to Bulgaria.

However, the situation in the Balkans has already been settled in Germany's favor. Apparently, the Soviet Union has resigned herself to the belief that this is a fait accompli and that the best should be made of it.

For this reason, there is no basis for political differences between the Soviet Union and Germany. However, Germany has completed her preparations to meet the Soviet Union at any time that the latter shows any signs of belligerency.

The German-Soviet economic relations, on the other hand, are very satisfactory. The recently announced Soviet-German Economic Agreement, involves 1,500,000,000 marks worth of trade. (This figure is believed to be an exaggeration, but I relay it as Ribbentrop gave it to me.)

5. At one time there were intelligences to the effect that Bulgaria and Turkey were going to form an alliance aimed against Germany. Moreover, England was unstinting in her efforts to persuade them to strike an anti-German attitude.

It was for this reason that Germany, acting with speed so as to beat England to the draw, had the Bulgaria-Turkey non-aggression pact signed. By this maneuver, Germany is assured of Turkish neutrality even if Germany does occupy Bulgaria. At the same time, this left nothing for the British to work on in Turkey.

Should, by some chance, Turkey decide to stand on the side of Britain, Germany has made preparations to brush Turkey aside.

Bulgaria has definitely decided to join the Tripartite Pact. Germany would like to select the most opportune moment, from the standpoint of political significance, to hold the actual signing ceremonies.

The general conditions in Rumania are as is already known. Although invasion of Greece would present no difficulties, Germany would like to settle the matter bloodlessly if possible.

Toward this end, prominent Yugoslavians were recently invited to confer with Germany. The Yugoslavians were urged to join the Tripartite Pact, or to enter into a separate political agreement with Germany. Germany expects to have a reply from them shortly.

Germany hopes that this and other political developments will force Greece to automatically slide into the German side.

Should, however, Greece in the meantime permit British fighting forces—even if this be no more than a small British company—to land and stay in Greece, Germany will use the mighty forces at her command to force them to retreat.

6. Germany does not look upon the situation in France with much importance.

Spain was recently asked to join the Tripartite Pact. However, because of her economic difficulties, Spain hesitates to do so. Ribbentrop himself says that he is of the opinion that it would be advantageous for Germany to strongly demand that Spain join the pact and for them to immediately launch a campaign against Gibraltar.

On the other hand, he admits that there is a necessity to take into consideration Spain's internally weakened condition.

 

PAGE A-133

 

In either event, Spain will undoubtedly join the Triple Alliance sooner or later.

7. Bombs from German planes have already sunk two merchant ships in the Suez Canal which has probably closed it. Even if England did remove these ships and after repairs to the Canal reopened it, Germany is in a position to bomb it again and again. Germany aims to make ship traffic through it an impossibility.

 

Trans. 2-27-41

 

No. 244

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Berlin

May 11, 1941

 

No number.

 

Special.

 

On the 9th I summoned the German and Italian Ambassadors in Tokyo to a conference at which time we discussed the holding of a general committee of the Japanese, German, and Italian mixed committee, in harmony with the Tripartite Pact and under my chairmanship.

We had a friendly conversation regarding the future course of the committee and we submitted as material to be taken up by the economic conference the Japanese proposal discussed at the Tokyo conference contained in my telegram # 355-B (Otsu ?) [a].

After this meeting we announced the program (formulae). Please relay this with my separate telegram to Italy.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 5-14-41

 

No. 245

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Berlin

April 23, 1941

 

# 349.

 

Regarding your message # 661 [a] of last year.

 

After conferring with interested parties the following policy was formulated: (1) Unconditional cancellation of contract to purchase Condor planes.

(2) Purchase manufacturing rights for these planes.

(3) Obtain technical guidance.

(4) Purchase finished accessories and machinery.

On the basis of the above, our military have been carrying on negotiations with the German Air Ministry and have succeeded in obtaining general acceptance of our plans. Therefore, after obtaining the details from our Military Attaché in Berlin, please continue negotiations on the following basis:

(1) Cancel unconditionally the existing contract.

(2) Price of manufacturing rights to be 1,500,000 marks. (This figure may seem too high but Germany is said to be unwilling to consider less. However, the F. W. Company's [b] official in Tokyo thinks that a reduction of 250,000 marks is quite possible.) This amount will be paid up by July, at which time we will receive old manufacturing drawings and within one year after termination of the present war we will be given drawings showing all improvements made during the war.

 

Page A-134

 

(3) While the German side is asking additional annual payments of 160,000 marks for manufacturing rights, if Japan continues to build these planes after the fourth year subsequent to handing over the new drawings, we wish to avoid this as much as possible.

(4) We wish to arrange to buy special machinery and Condor plane parts freely.

(5) Contract will be entered into between Mitsui Bussan Co. and F. W. Company and it should contain the following four clauses: cancellation of existing contract, transfer of manufacturing rights, training of technicians in the factory, unrestricted right to obtain machinery and finished parts. The technical training should be for six months, beginning not later than October this year and extending through the following March.

 

[a] Not available.

[b] Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau A. G. (?).

 

Trans. 4-25-41

 

No. 246

 

FROM: Berlin

TO: Tokyo

April 26, 1941

 

# 461.

 

Part 1 of 2.

 

Re your # 309 [a] and # 342 [b].

 

MATSUSHIMA [c] called on Bureau Chief WIEHL and filed special representations in accordance with instructions, to the effect that we,

1. As a matter of principle, would like to purchase all of the German ships in Japan;

2. That we would like to buy these ship even though it be said that they are militarily essential. In case they are essential, we will charter them in Germany.

3. If their increasing military importance makes this impossible, so long as they are not essential in the conduct of the war, we would like to be able to charter them.

He replied that he would give us his answer as soon as he had discussed the matter with the competent bureau chiefs, but that at the present time, during the course of his contacts, the one ship (Rickmers, (Rikkumaasu) owned by Odenwald-Hagenstein) would be chartered to Japan on the same terms as in the case of the Italian ships. However, he made the two following stipulations:

1. That Japan would, as prearranged and at as early a date as possible, undertake to transport raw materials bound for Germany, and that she would undertake to transport necessary raw materials for Germany and rubber from Thailand and French Indo-China by dispatching special service vessels similar to the Asaka Maru.

 

[a] In which Tokyo wires Berlin re plans for evacuation of German women from the Netherlands Indies.

[b] In which Tokyo gives Berlin the points agreed to in a conference concerning the purchase of German vessels by Japan.

[c] Minister attending Italo-German-Japanese conference in Berlin.

 

Trans. 4-29-41

 

Page A-135

 

No. 247

 

FROM: Shanghai

TO: Tientsin

April 28, 1941

 

# 14.

 

Re your # 11 [a].

 

In as much as there is a danger that there will be a great influx of Jews into China, we are developing regulations to prohibit it. In order that we can discourage this influx at an early date, we plan to take blanket repressive measures against economic activity of all Jews. Though there is probably no objection to the plan expressed in your message # since I am setting limitations on the daily tourism of Jews (in every case) I hope that you will deny all permit applications of this type.

Furthermore, Army and Naval authorities are in accord with this, but particularly the military officials have requested that the fourth section of troop affairs be notified of our present policy in this respect.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 5-1-41

 

No. 248

 

FROM: Tokyo (Konoe)

TO: Bangkok (Koshi)

April 5, 1941

 

# 171.

 

The Germans are saying that the last few months have seen a marked increase in our rubber purchasing possibilities in Thailand, and that inasmuch as our purchases from April till the close of the present year will amount to about 27,000 tons, we ought to be able to increase the amount we are furnishing to Germany. While this report is not entirely correct, the opinion of the Germans is ----- and therefore I wish you would investigate the actual amount being purchased ----- and advise us at once by return dispatch.

 

Trans. 4-10-41

 

No. 249

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Shanghai

April 5, 1941

 

# 263.

 

Re your # 512 [a].

 

At present the raw rubber stock in this country is not more than one month's supply. At the same time, the shipments of the French Indo China and Malayan rubber, which we had depended on in the past, have been greatly reduced. Nevertheless, not only has the German Embassy here requested us to buy rubber for Germany but German military attaches have also approached our military authorities to do likewise. In the past there have been cases of both the Army and Navy ordering our firms to make rubber purchases for Germany, thus upsetting our rubber purchasing plan. As a result of a conference of parties concerned it was decided to have this office handle exclusively the entire task of purchasing and allocating raw rubber. This plan has been communicated to the German Ambassador and he has expressed his approval.

 

Page A-136

 

In order to put the above plan into effect hereafter all purchasing and exporting of Thailand, French Indo China and the Netherlands Indies raw rubber will be handled only by representatives of Japanese firms and no Japanese vessels will be permitted to take on rubber unless they have been engaged by these firms. Whenever Germany wants to engage Japanese bottoms for transporting rubber she is required to obtain authorization from this office and it is our intention to cooperate in every way to satisfy Germany's wishes in this regard.

In view of the above, please stop shipment of rubber in question, as this transaction was not made by firms authorized by us.

As we are doing this for the specific purpose of aiding Germany in assuring her the supply of rubber, the Chief of Commerce Bureau has explained circumstances to the German Commercial Attaché. Therefore please give the same line of explanation to parties concerned at your end.

Relayed to Nanking.

 

[a] Shipments of rubber purchased by Germany through Jap companies for transshipment to Germany via Amoy and Shanghai have been refused by a Jap shipping company in Bangkok upon orders from Tokyo. How shall I answer the request of the German Commercial Attaché to have this embargo rescinded?

 

Trans. 4-10-41

 

No. 250

 

FROM: Tokyo (Konoe)

TO: Bangkok (Koshi)

April 7, 1941

 

# 172.

 

Request message. From the Japanese Rubber Importers' Association.

 

Your good offices are requested in affecting an organization of the influential rubber dealers in your city along the following general lines, in order to control exports of Thailand rubber to Japan.

It is suggested that the Consul General be adviser to the organization, and the vice president of Mitsui Bussan, which is the most important of the importers in Japan, would like to have the DAIDO Trading Co. nominated as the chairman of the organization. It is further requested that every Japanese firm that has any connection with the business either directly or indirectly be made to take an oath before the Minister to the effect that rubber for Germany is not -----.

 

Rules:

(1) The name of the organization shall be The Japanese Rubber Dealers' Association.

(2) Organization: It shall be composed of all Japanese firms at present engaged in the gathering and selection of crude rubber.

(3) Purpose: It shall be the purpose of this organization to cooperate under the direction of the chairman to make sure of the supplies of crude rubber needed by Japan, and to -----.

(4) Purchases. In making purchases the members will observe the purchase prices specified by the chairman.

(5) Selection (?): Members will make the selection in strict accordance with the KMA NYVMOKUXLPU (?).

(6) Selling: Members will sell to such export brokers as shall be designated by the authorities in Japan.

(7) Shipping: No shipment can be made without a ----- issued by the Consul.

 

Trans. 4-29-41

 

PAGE A-137

 

No. 251

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Moscow

February 26, 1941

 

# 205.

 

My message to Washington # 94.

 

Strictly Secret. (To be handled in Government Code).

 

Re my Circular # 332 [a].

 

 On the 26th Ambassador GREW called upon me and inquired as to the truth of the rumor concerning my trip to Europe. In this connection I spoke to him confidentially as follows: "Last fall when the Tripartite Agreement was signed I conversed by international telephone with the German and Italian Foreign Ministers. At that time both of these Foreign Ministers invited me to visit them. I replied to them that if circumstances would permit, I would like to visit Europe. Though for the sake of courtesy as well I could not have replied otherwise, the fact is that personally I felt like going to Europe if it were possible to do so. But now with the Conference mediating the Thai-French-Indo-China imbroglio going on, and for various other reasons too, there is an uncertain element as to whether this proposed visit can be realized. Therefore, I have not made any definite plans."

Relayed to England, Germany and Italy.

Relayed to Russia.

 

[a] See I, 251A.

 

Trans. 2-28-41

 

No. 251A

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington, Vichy and London

February 18, 1941

 

# 332.

 

Circular # 332.

 

On the basis of conversations which have been going on since the time of the conclusion of the Tri-Partite Treaty last year, I have been organizing a Thai-French-Indo-China Mediation Commission and as soon as I am done I am going to pay a visit to both the German and Italian Governments, taking about a month and a half for the round trip. On my way back I will stop off in Moscow for three or four days. This will presently be announced simultaneously in the three countries and until that time I want it kept absolutely secret. I have advised our Japanese newspapers not to publish anything about it and for the time being it is strictly for Your Honor's (Ambassador) information.

 

Note: Copy sent to G-2, 1:00 p.m., 2-19-41.

 

Trans. 2-19-41

 

Page A-138

 

No. 252

 

FROM: Berlin (Osima)

TO: Tokyo

March 5, 1941

 

# 226.

 

Regarding your message # 107.

 

Germany has adhered strictly to the agreement that your contemplated visit to Italy and Germany be kept absolutely confidential until the date on which the news will be made public simultaneously in all three countries, and in so far as Germany is concerned no more than three persons close to the Foreign Minister knew about your visit. Nevertheless, strangely enough, the news has leaked out through the British and American Embassies in Japan.

In view of this, no doubt the details of your discussion with the British Ambassador will also become known in Germany and Italy in a day or two. This will be very embarrassing to Germany and Italy.

May I be so bold as to suggest that greater care be exercised in guarding secrets in the future.

In view of the above situation there is no need for simultaneous publication of your intended visit. However, please let me know your opinion.

 

Trans. 3-10-41

 

No. 253

 

FROM: Tokyo (Konoe)

TO: Berlin

March 20, 1941

 

# 245.

 

(In 2 parts—complete)

 

Regarding your # 275 [a].

 

Before Foreign Minister Matsuoka left on his trip I mentioned, during my conversation with the ----- Ambassador and other, that Mr. Matsuoka would like to visit Vichy if possible. I feel that we need not worry about our code messages being deciphered.

Regarding your message # 45 to Moscow [b].

As Mr. Matsuoka did not intend to go to Vichy until he had first conferred with Foreign Minister AI [c] I feel that your anxiety on this point is not warranted.

 

[a] Not available.

[b] Not available.

[c] Probably garbled for RI—Ribbentrop.

 

Trans. 3-21-41

 

Page A-139

 

No. 254

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: San Francisco (Riyoji)

January 11, 1941

 

# 004.

 

Please purchase for the use of Section 5 of the investigation bureau of this office 1 short wave receiving set—Hallicrafter Make, Dual Diversity Model DD, and one set of spare tubes; and send by the hand of the purser of the earliest ship sailing.

The price, with discounts, will be about $600. Will send by dispatch as soon as you advise us.

 

Trans. 1-14-41

 

No. 255

 

FROM: San Francisco (Kawasaki)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

February 7, 1941

 

# 020.

 

Re your # 018 [a].

 

The Hallicrafter DD ----- has been discontinued and is no longer manufactured. Therefore I have secured an SX 280 in place of it, and will send in care of the purser of the Kamakura Maru leaving here the 13th.

The National is now on order and I expect to get it in time for the Yawata Maru leaving ----February.

 

[a] See I, 254.

 

Trans. 2-14-41

 

No. 256

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Shanghai

March 3, 1941

 

# 140.

 

As this department has installed various powerful receiving systems, it is no longer necessary for your office to carry on intercept activities. Please return your receiving sets together with all accessories.

 

Trans. 3-5-41

 

No. 257

 

FROM: Berlin

TO: Tokyo

April 14, 1941

 

# 407.

 

Intelligence wires emanating from our offices in the Near East and Egypt to our offices in Germany and Italy should be appropriately paraphrased before transmitting their contents to the German and Italian authorities. This procedure is advisable in order that there be no danger of giving the German and Italian authorities clues in decoding our codes. Therefore, in intelligences of this type emanating from that area, the "I" code and the "SO" code should be discontinued, using only the more efficient "O" code. In communicating other secret matters

 

Page A-140

 

I would like to have you use the "TSU" code and other appropriate codes. Please follow this procedure.

Relayed to Italy and Turkey.

 

Trans. 4-16-41

 

No.  258

 

FROM: Tokyo (Konoe)

TO: Berlin

April 16, 1941

 

# 329.

 

Secret.

 

Re your # 407 [a].

 

We suspect that the several codes I, SO and OITE are being cryptanalyzed by foreign powers and today we have none too many code books to spare. Therefore, when it is necessary to send a message, and at the same time insure its secrecy, please dispatch them by machine or by TSU code. In case revelation of the contents are made to foreign powers, take care to paraphrase them from beginning to end. I want you to use OITE for messages of relatively slight importance.

Relay to Italy and Turkey.

 

[a] See I, 257. Berlin tells Tokyo that intelligence wires emanating from Japanese offices in the Near East and Egypt to offices in Germany and Italy should be appropriately paraphrased before transmitting their contents to the Germans and Italians in order to avoid giving them clues in decoding Japanese codes. Berlin recommends use of certain codes in this connection.

 

Trans. 4-19-41

 

No.  259

 

FROM: Berlin

TO: Tokyo

April 24, 1941

 

# 453.

 

Telegrams concerning visas are increasing and we have been using the HO [a] code for them. For the sake of business efficiency the LA. code should be used but in special cases it is suggested that the machine code be employed. Please wire me your opinion on this.

 

[a] Thought to be the "KO" code—a code used by Japanese diplomatic officials for commercial matters.

[b] A restricted code used by Japanese diplomatic officials.

 

Trans. 5-3-41

 

Page A-141

 

No. 260

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Berlin

April 30, 1941

 

# 362.

 

Re your # 453 [a].

 

You are to use the LA [b] code especially for matters re visas and other matters that are not very secret. The HO [c] code or a machine code should be used for other matters of great secrecy.

 

[a] See 1, 259.

[b] A restricted code used by Japanese diplomatic officials.

[c] Thought to be the "KO" code—a code used by Japanese diplomatic officials for commercial matters.

 

Trans. 5-3-41

 

No. 261

 

FROM: Berlin (Kurusu)

TO: Tokyo

January 19, 1941

 

# 45.

 

From MORIYAMA in Brussels # 3.

 

Since we are not allowed to use code in Belgium I have requested the Embassy in Berlin to hold in safekeeping just as they are the codes attached to your secret communications of 1940.

 

Trans. 1-22-41

 

No.  262

 

FROM: Berlin (Kurusu)

TO: Tokyo

January 19, 1941

 

# 47.

 

I request that I be given permission to have this office transmit under custody the telegraphic codes which are being kept here and which should have been relayed to our Legation in Latvia and to the General Consulate in Anberusu. [a]

Please do not send any more messages to Anberusu [a] in the future.

 

[a] Anvers: Antwerp.

 

Trans. 1-22-41

 

No. 263

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

March 10, 1941

 

No number.

 

Successive reports clearly indicate that the issue between the Axis and England and the United States is becoming ever more drastic. Furthermore, Anglo-American traditional relations are gradually becoming stronger. Today many of our people think that even though Great Britain goes under, the United States will not fight and that Japan can continue to maintain friendly relations with the United States, but that in truth is but an empty dream. If England is invaded we must expect to fight her and the United States. This goes without saying. Momentarily relations between Tokyo and Washington are following an ever more

 

Page A-142

 

tortuous road. I think you will agree that your trip to Europe is giving much anxiety to the United States officials and, depending upon the course of events, it might be a contributing factor to bringing the European war to the Far East. Now, what do you think of returning home via the United States. I have been thinking this over for several days and I think that in this way you might allay considerable anxiety on the part of the United States. Furthermore, you might thus contribute to the prestige of our country. Please wire me your opinions immediately.

 

Trans. 3-12-41

 

No.  264

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Moscow (Koshi)

March 3, 1941

 

# 230.

 

(Abstract)

 

The Foreign Minister will take four codes along with him on his trip to Europe. Therefore, in case of urgency, even while he is on the train, messages may be dispatched to him using any of the codes.

 

Trans. 3-5-41

 

No.  265

 

FROM: New Orleans (Ito)

TO: Tokyo

March 11, 1941

 

# 6.

 

Part 1 of 2 [a].

 

Secretary of the Navy KNOX flew here from Pensacola. While there he inspected the new shipbuilding yards and met naval reserve aviators. In addition, he inspected high-speed torpedo boats recently constructed. When he called on the 8th (or 9th) naval area here, he told the newspaper correspondents that he was going to fly to Puerto Rico on a naval plane. ----- ----- ----- He skeptically expressed the view that this country would become involved in the war within two or three months.

 

[a] Part 2 available, not translated.

 

Trans. 4-26-41

 

No.  266

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Mombasa

March 10, 1941

 

# 584.

 

(Circular).

 

In view of the fact that the present international situation has become very critical, I want you to get the following points well in mind concerning the disposal of secret documents:

1. So that you may dispose of them in the shortest possible time, separate them from the other documents and put them in some special place.

2. There may be some documents which you will need for reference in your daily work and which are very precious. You may leave these in the hands of your security official until such

 

Page A-143

 

time as it may appear urgent to destroy them; however, as for those for which you can see no future use, burn them to ashes immediately.

3. Have this done in strict secrecy under the supervision of your security official. Furthermore, incinerate these documents in such a manner as to prevent the fact leaking out. Be sure to send me an itemized list of all documents destroyed.

4. In case you have to move and transport your secret documents, please be sure this is done under the strict supervision of your security officer.

 

Trans. 3-14-41

 

No. 267

 

FROM: Santiago (Kawasaki)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

March 11, 1941

 

# 051.

 

Re your Circular # 584 [a].

 

The local Japanese merchants have withdrawn the greater part of their funds from America and in view of the fact that Japanese-Chilean relations may take a turn for the worse would it not be well to gradually transfer these funds to some safer place, such as, say, Argentina. Please advise by wire.

 

[a] See I, 266. Circular directing that all secret documents be burned immediately and to prevent the fact from leaking out.

 

Trans. 4-9-41

 

No.  268

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Rome

May 8, 1941

 

# 114.

 

Re your # 227 [a].

 

The wire from the Department of Communications is as follows:

Since I would like to be informed of plans for, and actual operation of counter-measures for air defense, after investigating all facts with regard to air defense conditions in the important cities of Russia, Germany, France, etc., please make a detailed report of appropriate methods inside and outside the country; and then send a special dispatch with regard to daily routines on the following:

1. Official and civilian organizations; in general, a counter policy.

2. The changes that are instituted upon damage to important communication facilities (including radio broadcasting), air bases, navigation route markings in harbors, and the emergency measures instituted.

3. Concentrate on warnings and intelligence communications contacts.

4. Steps with regard to emergency electric power supply and control of light.

5. Please send me any other essential information.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 5-12-41

 

Page A-144

 

No. 269

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Berlin

March 11, 1941

 

# 217.

 

Regarding your # 244 [a].

 

Some changes may be necessary due to conferences, but my schedule is as follows:

Arrive Berlin about the 17th or the 18th, proceed to Rome about the 3rd or the 4th. Return to Berlin two or three days later. Remain in Berlin two or three days and proceed to Moscow.

I wish to avoid traveling by plane as much as possible.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 3-13-41

 

No. 270

 

FROM: Berlin (Osima)

TO: Tokyo

March 26, 1941

 

# 311.

 

Strictly Secret.

 

One portion of Minister MATSUOKA's program is as follows. Please handle this in great secrecy. Inasmuch as we are not making a public announcement of this program all at one time here, please arrange to publish on each day the program for the following day.

 

The 26th.  6:00 P.M. Arrive at Anhalter station, taking up lodging in the          

                     Bellevue Palace. No functions are scheduled on that

                     day.

The 27th. 10:45 A.M. Will be presented with EHREN flowers.

          11:00 A.M. Interview with Foreign Minister VON RIBBENTROP.

           2:00 P.M. Lunch with VON RIBBENTROP.

           4:00 P.M. Interview with Chancellor HITLER.

           8:00 P.M. Banquet given by Foreign Minister VON RIBBENTROP.

The 28th. 11:00 A.M. An interview with Economic Minister FUNK.

           2:00 P.M. Lunch with Chancellor HITLER, followed by an inter-

                     view with German and foreign newspaper corres-

                     pondents.

           7:00 P.M. Meeting with the Japanese Society.

           8:00 P.M. Banquet given by Ambassador OSIMA.

The 29th.            Lunch with GOERING.

           6:00 P.M. Ambassadorial reception.

The 30th.            Sightseeing in Potsdam. Lunch with the Foreign

                     Minister (in the ancient palace).

           4:30 P.M. Leave Berlin for Rome.

 

Trans. 3-29-41

 

Page A-145

 

No.  271

 

FROM: Rome

TO: Moscow

March 18, 1941

No number.

 

Message to Tokyo # 153.

 

It was rumored about in the press club here in Rome that after Minister MATSUOKA's trip to Berlin and Rome, he is going to visit Vichy and London. The supposition was advanced that perhaps he was going to try some mediation in the European war. We shall have to be careful about such things as this.

 

Trans. 3-20-41

 

No.  272

 

FROM: Berlin

TO: Hsinking

March 12, 1941

 

# 45.

 

Concerning German-Yugoslav relations, I have received a confidential report from quarters connected with the Propaganda Department, according to which Yugoslavia will join the Tri-Partite Alliance on the occasion of Foreign Minister Matsuoka's arrival in Berlin.

 

Trans. 3-20-41

 

No. 273

 

FROM: Berlin (Osima)

TO: Tokyo

March 18, 1941

 

# 281.

 

To be handled in Government Code.

 

Today, the 18th, on the occasion of a talk with Foreign Minister RIBBENTROP, he told me that Yugoslavia will sign the Three-Power Treaty by means of a protocol within a few days. (The place is not yet decided.) He requested me to wire my government for authority to sign immediately.

 

Trans. 3-19-41

 

No.  274

 

FROM: Tokyo (Konoe)

TO: Berlin

March 19, 1941

 

# 248.

 

Re your # 281 [a].

 

As I have completed reporting this matter to the Emperor on the 10th, please sign in the usual manner.

 

[a] See I, 273. Yugoslavia is joining Tripartite Pact. I request permission to sign for Japan.

 

Trans. 3-20-41

 

Page A-146

 

No. 275

 

FROM: Tokyo (Konoe)

TO: Moscow

March 20, 1941

 

# 291.

 

To be handled in Government Code.

 

To Minister MATSUOKA.

 

# 248 from this Minister Pro-Tem to the Ambassador in Germany. Re your # 281 [a].

On the 19th of this month I took this petition to the Emperor; therefore, please sign your name in accordance with precedent.

 

[a] See I, 273; in which Berlin informs Tokyo that Yugoslavia will sign the Three-Power Treaty by means of a protocol within a few days.

 

Trans. 3-22-41

 

No.  276

 

FROM: Berlin (Osima)

TO: Tokyo

March 26, 1941

 

# 310.

 

On the 25th in Vienna, after signing the protocol for the participation of Yugoslavia in the Tripartite Agreement, when I talked with Chancellor HITLER, he said he would make an opportunity for an informal and intimate exchange of opinions inasmuch as Foreign Minister MATSUOKA has deliberately made a long trip to Germany in connection with future Japanese-German cooperation.

 

Trans. 3-29-41

 

No.  277

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Berlin

March 14, 1941

 

# 224.

 

Strictly Secret. Message to Moscow # 262.

 

Re your # 279 [a].

 

I expect to stay in Moscow two days and would like to leave at 11:00 p.m. on the 25th; however, if my plans described in my # 260 turn out satisfactorily, I would stay one day longer.

Relayed to Germany.

 

[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 3-13-41

 

Page A-147

 

No.  278

 

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Berlin

March 1 1941

 

# 222.

 

Message to Moscow # 260.

 

On the occasion of my trip to Europe I am very anxious, if possible, to try to get the Russians to accept the Ribbentrop proposal. Now, in order to achieve this, I would like to have interviews with MOLOTOV and STALIN. Through an exchange of views I think it is quite possible that I might dispel the deep-seated suspicion and doubt entertained by the Kremlin. If you agree with me, please negotiate for these interviews and wire back to the Home Office and also to our Minister in Hsinking. This message was sent to Berlin.

 

Trans. 3-13-41

 

No.  279

 

FROM: Moscow (Tatekawa)

TO: Harbin

March 14, 1941

 

# 5.

 

(Separate message to Foreign Minister Matsuoka # 1)

 

Re your # 260 [a].

 

1. I must point out that German-Soviet relations have changed considerably very recently because of the Balkan situation. In our three-way relations with Moscow we must do nothing without previously consulting fully with the German statesmen themselves.

2. In an interview I have had with STALIN I got the impression that even though you conferred with MOLOTOV you have no chance of getting any clearer idea of the prospect for future Japanese-Soviet relations and that you might even damage the situation.

3. Therefore, I think that you had better follow your pre-arranged schedule and make arrangements to leave here at midnight on the 25th. Ambassador OSIMA is of the same opinion.

Relayed to Tokyo.

 

[a] See I, 278.

 

Trans. 3-19-41

 

No. 280

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

April 1, 1941

 

No number.

 

Action Rome as # ?.

 

To Minister Matsuoka:

 

Wakasugi was told by Roy Howard that should the Minister choose to return to Japan by way of the United States, following his visits to Germany and Italy, and if arrangements could be made for him to meet the President and other influential persons, the extremely tense relations which exist between the two countries may be considerably eased.

 

Page A-148

 

All arrangements for the duration of the Minister's stay in the U.S. could be left up to "HA" (Howard ?) who will undoubtedly make the same efforts as those he made when the Minister passed through the U.S. on his return from Geneva in 1933, he said.

Wakasugi was thus urged to send a cable to the Minister to advise him to come to the U.S.

Taking into consideration the Minister's mission on this trip as well as his schedule and various other factors, Wakasugi hesitated to do so.

Last night a special messenger from (Howard's Washington office ?) called on Wakasugi, and said that arrangements for the Minister to meet with the President, as well as for reserving a seat on a plane from (Lisbon ?) have already unofficially been made, and only await the Ministers agreement to come to the U.S.

Wakasugi was thus urged again to dispatch the cable to the Minister.

We realize, of course, that undoubtedly the Minster's schedule has already been definitely decided upon. However, in view of the fact that it is reported that even the Presidential circles would welcome the visit, and moreover, because the above mentioned person is so sincerely eager about it, we would appreciate some reply from the Minister to pass on to him.

According to what the special messenger let drop to Wakasugi, Howard is anxious to go to China and Japan after the Minister meets with the President, as a confidential emissary of the President, to act as mediator between Japan and China. Unofficially, he has already obtained the approval of persons very close to the President, he said.

This message has been sent to Tokyo.

 

Trans. 4-4-41

 

No. 281

 

FROM: Moscow (Tatekawa)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

April 7, 1941

 

# 1.

 

From Matsuoka. Regarding your message to Italy.

 

Please convey the following to HAWAADO [a].

 

The telegram reached me after my departure from Germany and as I am now on my way home I regret very much that I cannot act upon your suggestion. However, please accept my sincere appreciation for your interest in American-Japanese relations and in world peace. Please also convey my good wishes to the President for his good will. This message has also been sent to Tokyo.

 

[a] Roy Howard. See I, 280.

 

Trans. 4-9-41

 

No. 282

 

FROM: Rome

TO: Tokyo

April 1, 1941

 

# 182.

 

(Abstract)

 

 Matsuoka reports on his audience with the King of Italy. The King points out that Japan is indeed very fortunate in being so placed geographically as to escape the horrors of air attacks. Matsuoka said that Japan was unified in its respect for Italian fighting and is completely in

 

Page A-149

 

sympathy with Italy's aims. Matsuoka expresses gratitude for the expression of welcome given him on his arrival. After audience, all members of the party were given decorations.

 

Trans. 4-9-41

 

No. 283

 

FROM: Rome

TO: Tokyo

April 2,1941

 

# 184.

 

From Minister MATSUOKA.

 

On the afternoon of the 1st I had an interview with Foreign Minister CIANO (45 minutes long) which continued into my conversations with Premier MUSSOLINI (lasting 1 hour and 10 minutes). Both men welcomed me from their hearts. The general trend of the war against England was explained in as detailed a manner as possible by CIANO and summarized by MUSSOLINI, as was also the situation in the Mediterranean and North African areas. Some very instructive opinions were exchanged.

In summing up my interview with MUSSOLINI (though we used English, on occasion CIANO interpreted), he recalled our extremely frank and pleasant interview of eight years ago. Though we did not go very deep during the course of the conversations, MUSSOLINI remarked that his close collaboration with HITLER was very strong and that there was not the slightest breach between the two countries. With regard to the future aspect of the war, too, he exhibited an optimistic attitude. And again, MUSSOLINI referred to the attitude of the Soviet, but expressed the opinion that the Soviet would make no move. Furthermore, Germany and Italy were endeavoring to avoid all complications with that country. But putting first things first, at the present time relations with the United States were of the greatest importance. The United States was carrying out a policy of deliberately provoking war. And again, in respect to the Balkan situation, the Yugoslavian crisis will be settled without much ado. The Grecian question, as it relates to the Yugoslavian situation, is of great importance. Discussion was omitted on other points.

Though MUSSOLINI spoke with great feeling, our conversations from start to finish were in good humor. His health seemed to be excellent. Aside from the fact that he is getting older, it would be hard to say that he has changed much with the passage of the years. He revealed a great deal of self-confidence.

Now, Ambassador HORIKIRI sat in these conversations with me.

Relayed to England, Washington, Germany and Russia.

 

Trans. 4-3-41

 

No.  284

 

FROM: Rome

TO: Tokyo

April 2, 1941

 

# 185.

 

From Foreign Minister MATSUOKA.

 

During the talk with MUSSOLINI referred to in my message # 184 [a] I explained to him the Japanese peace plans in China and relations between Japan and the Nanking Government, and said that should there be any change in the situation upon my return to Japan I would let him know the status quo. Further, I said that when I find that the conditions warrant it I

 

Page A-150

 

may ask the several countries to recognize the Nanking Government. MUSSOLINI answered definitely that he is willing to announce the recognition at any time the Japanese Government so desires.

 

[a] See I, 283.

 

Trans. 4-4-41

 

No. 285

 

FROM: Rome (Horikiri)

TO: Tokyo

April 2, 1941

 

# 186.

 

From Foreign Minister MATSUOKA.

 

On the morning of the 2nd for an hour and fifteen minutes I had an interview with the Pope. The Pope took an utterly detached attitude, free of any favoritism regarding the European war, and approached the question from the point of view of a general peace throughout the world. After talking with him on various topics along these lines, I had a conversation with Cardinal MAGLIONI, the Vatican Secretary of State. He also, in a purely objective and detached manner, went on to say that the Pope always prays for peace, and, if the Catholic Church can do anything at all for us in settling our trouble with China, he will be ever so glad to offer his good offices.

 

Trans. 4-3-41

 

No.  286

 

FROM: Rome (Horikiri)

TO: Harbin (Riyohi)

March 13, 1941

 

No number.

 

Action Tokyo as # 146.

 

According to information here the Vatican is expecting a visit from Matsuoka when he passes through here. Inasmuch as this is an historic meeting between the Pope and a statesman, the Pope is awaiting the interview with satisfaction for he feels that it will be the means of contributing to the removal of all barriers to Catholic missionary work in Japan in the future.

 

Trans. 3-19-41

 

No. 287

 

FROM: Rome

TO: Moscow

March 17, 1941

 

No number.

 

Action Tokyo as # 149.

 

According to reports here the Vatican has ordered its representative to convey to Matsuoka the Vatican's feelings of satisfaction toward the Japanese government upon the occasion of his visit to Europe. The Vatican desires the opportunity of expressing to the Japanese Empire the profitable relations that exist between it and Japan and particularly its satisfaction in

 

Page A-151

 

regard to Japan's anti-Comintern policy. It appears as if the Vatican were going to make some such sort of a proposal and I would appreciate a telegram bearing on this immediately.

Relayed to Germany and Russia.

 

Trans. 3-18-41

 

No.  288

 

FROM: Tokyo (Konoe)

TO: Berlin

March 18, 1941

 

# 680.

 

(Circular.) Message to Rome # 79.

 

Strictly Secret.

 

Re your # 149 [a].

 

I have as yet received no such request.

 

[a] See I, 287.

 

Trans. 3-20-41

 

No.  289

 

FROM: Rome

TO: Washington

April 12, 1941

 

No number.

 

Message to Tokyo as # 222 on the 12th.

 

According to a report from the same source as that mentioned in my # 156 [a], the Papal Envoy to the United States had a conversation with President Roosevelt on Foreign Minister MATSUOKA's visit to His Holiness. ROOSEVELT stated: "Well, I have great doubts as to the possibility of Japan's intention to maintain peace in the Pacific and in the South Seas, as well as the possibility of a peaceful settlement of the trouble between Japan and the United States in the Far East. Foreign Minister MATSUOKA's visit to Europe makes it appear that his country is gradually tying in closer and closer with the Axis and is drawing ever nearer participation in the war. I think that Japan is placing the possibility of joining the war as a sort of scarecrow in the way of American assistance to Great Britain and the exercise of America's policy toward the Far East, the Pacific and the South Seas." On this point ROOSEVELT seemed extremely pessimistic. At the time ROOSEVELT also warned that he approved CHIANG KAI SHEK's sending a diplomatic envoy to the Vatican. In this connection I understand also that the Papal Envoy in London wired the Vatican that the British Government hopes that the desires of China will be given due consideration by His Holiness.

Relayed to Washington, London and Berlin. Relay to -----.

 

[a] Tokyo circular to Moscow tells of a conversation between the Italian Ambassador and Commercial Attaché HIDAKA in Shanghai with respect to MATSUOKA's endeavors to make peace with Chungking and likelihood of MATSUOKA bettering relations between Tokyo and Moscow.

 

Trans. 4-15-41

 

Page A-152

 

No. 290

 

FROM: Rome

TO: Washington

April 28, 1941

 

No number.

 

Message to Tokyo # 251.

 

Mr. TITTOMAN, Commercial Attaché of the American Embassy here in Rome, was accredited to the Vatican not long ago and since the 22nd has been conferring with the Pope. According to an intelligence from the Vatican, the Pope intends to mediate between Japan and the United States in the Far Eastern and Pacific trouble in order to eliminate the danger of the war extending into the Pacific. That is why Mr. TITTOMAN was accredited to the Vatican. The report goes on to say that His Holiness has convinced President ROOSEVELT of his sincerity in endeavoring to settle the East Asia and China problems in a peaceful manner. It also seems that TITTOMAN has already carried on tentative conversations on this question with the high prelates of the Church of Rome. I am sending this to you as I heard it. This is all for the moment.

Relayed to Washington.

 

Trans. 5-1-41

 

No.  291

 

FROM: Rome

TO: Moscow

March 25, 1941

 

No number.

 

Action Tokyo as # 168.

 

The following is intelligence received from Vatican circles:

The Apostolic Delegate in Chungking reports that Chiang Kai-Shek is planning to send his personal envoy by air in the near future, to the Vatican. The purpose of this visit is to counter the European visit of Foreign Minister Matsuoka.

The United States is said to have given this proposed visit its complete approval. It is even likely that the U.S. will recommend to the Vatican that it—the Vatican—lend a sympathetic ear to Chiang's emissary.

Since we would like to know how reliable our informant is, we would appreciate your advising us if you have any definite information regarding this matter.

Relayed to Germany and Russia.

 

Trans. 4-3-41

 

No.  292

 

FROM: Rome (Horikiri)

TO: Tokyo

April 3, 1941

 

# 188.

 

From Minister Matsuoka:

 

This Minister and his party will leave Rome on the 3rd for Berlin. Leave Berlin on the 5th for Moscow. Leave Moscow on the 10th for home.

Please make up a resume of reactions of various countries to my European journey and telegraph same to Berlin and Moscow. Nakanishi and Kuboi will remain in Berlin.

 

Trans. 4-9-41

 

Page A-153

 

No. 293

 

FROM: Berlin

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

April 5, 1941

 

# 369.

 

From Foreign Minister Matsuoka:

 

In compliance with Hitler's request, I called on him on the afternoon of the 4th. After reporting to him my talks with Mussolini, Ciano and the Pope, we settled down to some straightforward talks, during which I asked Hitler, in view of the German-Japanese relations, to issue necessary instructions to have conveyed to Japan any special knowledge gained through Germany's experiences in the present war and also all information regarding new inventions. Whereupon, he agreed to do so at once.

Relayed to Italy, Russia, U.S. Russia relay to England.

 

Trans. 4-7-41

 

No.  294

 

FROM: Berlin

TO: Washington

April 5, 1941

 

No number.

 

Action Tokyo as # 378.

 

From Foreign Minister Matsuoka.

 

On the 5th I made a parting call on Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and our conversation extended into my having dinner with him. There was nothing in our conversation that was of sufficient importance to require an immediate communication, except to mention that Mr. Ribbentrop is very enthusiastic about the Mixed Committee of Experts.

When I asked him to bend all his efforts toward bringing about the conference of the economic and military committees, he agreed to do so willingly.

The impression gained from talking with the heads of the German and Italian governments regarding the Yugoslavian-Greek situation is that an early settlement is definite but the possibility of effecting this without open hostilities is very slight.

Relayed to Italy and Russia. Russia relay to England.

 

Trans. 4-8-41

 

No.  295

 

FROM: Tokyo (Konoe)

TO: Moscow (Koshi)

April 7, 1941

 

# 351.

 

Received from Berlin as # 383.

 

To Minister Matsuoka.

 

On the evening of the 7th I called on Foreign Minister Ribbentrop at his request, on which occasion he stated that he was highly pleased with your recent visit to Germany and that he was happy to have had the opportunity to talk over various matters with you. He then explained that what he was about to suggest was strictly his own idea, which he had not yet discussed even with Hitler and spoke as follows:

 

Page A-154

 

"The Yugoslavian coup d'etat which was staged the day after Yugoslavia joined the Tripartite Pact, in complete disregard of the agreement, is an insult not only to Germany but to all other members of the pact. While Germany does not expect Japan's help in European affairs, and while I realize that the legal situation of Japan as regards the pact is somewhat different from that of Germany and Italy, due to the ad referendum provision attached to the signature, it is nevertheless my hope that something might be done in the way of diplomatic reprimand by Japan for Yugoslavia's misbehavior.

"I would certainly talk over this matter with Minister Matsuoka, if he were still in Berlin, but since he has already gone to Moscow, I would like you to get in touch with him and get his opinion before he leaves."

In reply, I told him that Japan has no diplomatic representatives in Yugoslavia and that I doubted whether there is even a Yugoslavian honorary consul in Tokyo, but as I feel that this matter requires consideration I will telegraph Minister Matsuoka at once.

My opinion on this matter is that we should do no more than to publicly announce, through the Foreign Office spokesman, that Japan considers highly improper the recent acts of Yugoslavia and under these circumstances Japan regards the German and Italian move against Yugoslavia as justifiable.

 

Trans. 4-17-41

 

No. 296

 

FROM: Berlin

TO: Tokyo

April 6, 1941

 

# 381.

 

On the 6th I called on Vice Minister WEISAECKER and received from him an explanation of the German military invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece. The details are as follows:

1. The Invasion forces are principally made up of the German armed forces in Bulgaria who have started their southward march from Sophia to Salonika. In order to drive a wedge between Greece and Yugoslavia, one arm has started to move toward Skoplje [a]. Belgrade is, at the present time, being bombed. Furthermore, the Danube river has already crossed on the Rumanian-Yugoslavian border at the Iron Gate.

2. The new Yugoslavian cabinet has become an out-and-out war cabinet, especially in view of the fact that Premier SIMOVITCH announced to the Italian Minister on the 8th that in the event that the armed forces of a certain country moved against Salonika, Yugoslavia would immediately attack Albania. As Yugoslavia's determination to fight was clear, Germany, without loss of time, demonstrated her determination to attack Yugoslavia and Greece simultaneously. Though Yugoslavia had already mobilized, she had as yet not completed her development. Taking advantage of this, Germany commenced firing.

3. Italy will fight beside Germany. Hungary, too, will soon take up the fight. Romania will follow past practice. Bulgaria will not fight at the beginning. Her troops will chiefly be concentrated on the Turkish border. For Bulgaria to fight might arouse Turkey. We do not anticipate any movement by Turkey. In spite of the fact that the Soviet just the other day entered into a non-aggression agreement with Yugoslavia, Germany considers it but a saucy gesture and does not expect her to give any vital assistance. Above all, Germany certainly will not forget that at this critical juncture the Soviet has seen fit to quibble.

 

Page A-155

 

4. Until the German ministers in Yugoslavia and Greece have been returned to Germany in safety, Yugoslavian and Greek ministers are being held in a certain hotel in Southern Germany.

 

[a] City in Yugoslavia.

 

Trans. 4-9-41

 

No. 297

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Moscow (Koshi)

January 7, 1941

 

# 028.

 

(CIRCULAR). Action Moscow to London No. Nr.

 

(Confidential) Please advise of treatment of foreign correspondents in the country to which you are accredited. We wish to know so that we may know better how to reciprocate. Please send an immediate reply by cable, and follow it with details by mail:

1. Change in treatment of correspondents subsequent to the outbreak of the war.

2. Restrictions concerning ----- and -----,

3. Regulations concerning registration and/or identification (differentiation between regular and temporary or emergency correspondents; differentiation between newspaper correspondents and magazine writers).

4. Activities of associations or clubs and their connections with government circles.

5. Special privileges with regard to traveling and going on inspection tours, other courtesies, and special privileges granted in connection with these men's daily activities (crossing of emergency lines; establishing of telephone facilities; obtaining of gasoline in the event that purchases are restricted by ration cards; fuel; food; etc.).

6. Censoring of cables and mails; restrictions on usage of international telephone communications.

 

Trans. 1-28-41

 

No. 298

 

FROM: Rome (Horikiri, Ambasciatore Giappone)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

January 9, 1941

 

# 024.

 

Re your Circular # 28 [a].

 

1. Press reports censored. Must be dispatched in English, French, German, or Italian. No other changes in handling.

2. None.

3. Identification cards issued by Propaganda Ministry only to regular correspondents.

4. There is a foreign correspondent's association. It owns its own building and its members are treated in the same manner as diplomats. The Ministry of Propaganda apparently subsidizes this to a certain extent.

5. Train fare is reduced 70% for correspondents. The identification cards referred to in paragraph 3 bear a stamp of the chief of police on the backs of them, permitting the holder to cross emergency lines. Ration card restrictions are eased insofar as gasoline consumption is con-

 

Page A-156

 

cerned (four cylinder cars are allowed 80 liters per month; six cylinder cars, one hundred liters). Foreign correspondents are exempted from income tax payments.

6. Nothing particular to note other than the points brought out last year. [a]

 

[a] See I, 297.

 

Trans. 1-29-41

 

No. 299

 

FROM: Moscow (Tatekawa)

TO: Washington

(Revised Translation)

April 8, 1941

 

No number.

 

Message to Tokyo as # 422.

 

(Part 1 of 3).

 

Strictly secret.

 

From Foreig