THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

APPENDIX II

 

PART A-HULL‑NOMURA CONVERSATIONS

(May 12, 1941‑ August 6, 1941)

 

No. 1

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 12, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 295.

 

Part 1 of 6.

 

The Government 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 un-fortunate consequences.

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. Both Governments, therefore, desire 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 compromise 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.

 

Trans. 5‑14‑41

 

No. 2

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 12, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 295.

 

Part 2 of 6.

 

Both Governments presume to anticipate that they could achieve harmonious relations if certain situations and attitudes were clarified or improved; to with:

 

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

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

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

4. Commerce between both nations.

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

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

 

Accordingly, we have come to the following natural understanding.

 

 

A-1

 

1. 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 jointly acknowledge each other as equally sovereign states and contiguous Pacific powers.

 

Trans. 5‑14‑41

 

No. 3

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 12, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 295.

 

Part 3 of 6.

 

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 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 interest 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; they further admit their responsibilities to oppose the oppression or exploitation of backward nations.

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

 

Trans. 5‑14‑41

 

No. 4

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 12, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 295.

 

Part 4 of 6.

 

2. The attitude of both Governments toward the European war.

 

The Government of the United States and Japan make it their common aim to bring about the world peace; they shall therefore jointly endeavor not only to prevent further extension of the European war but also speedily to restore peace in Europe.

The Government of Japan maintains that its alliance with the Axis powers was, and is, defensive and designed to prevent the nations which are not at present directly affected by the European war from engaging in it.

The Government of Japan maintains that its obligations of military assistance under the Tripartite Pact between Japan, Germany and Italy will be applied in accordance with the stipulation of Article 3 of the said pact.

The Government of the United States maintain that its attitude toward the European war is, and will continue to be, directed by no such aggressive measures as to assist any one nation against another.

 

A-2

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

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.

 

Trans. 5‑14‑41

 

No. 5

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 12, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 295.

 

Part 5 of 6.

 

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

 

The Governments of the United States, acknowledging the three principles as enunciated in the Konoye statement and the principles as enunciated in the Konoye statement [a] and the principles set forth on the basis of the said three principles in the treaty with the Nanking Government as well as in the joint declaration of Japan, Manchukuo and China and relying upon the policy of the Japanese Government to establish a relationship of neighborly friendship with China, shall forthwith request the CHIANG KAI‑SHEK regime to negotiate peace with Japan.

4. Commerce between both nations.

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 as are, 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 commerce and navigation between the United States and Japan.

 


[a] The repetition in the text actually occurred.

 

Trans. 5‑14‑41

 

No. 6

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 12, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 295.

 

Part 6 of 6.

 

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

 

As Japanese activities in the Southwestern Pacific area shall be carried out by peaceful means, American cooperation shall be given in the production and procurement of natural resources (such as oil, rubber, tin, nickel) which Japan needs.

 

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

 

a. The Governments of the United States and Japan jointly guarantee the independence of the Philippine Islands on the condition that the Philippine Islands shall maintain a status of permanent neutrality. The Japanese subjects shall not be subject to any discriminatory treatment.

b. Japanese immigration to the United States shall receive amicable consideration‑on a basis of equality with other nationals and freedom from discrimination.

 

A-3

 

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.

Trans. 5‑14‑41

 

No. 7

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 12, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 294.

 

Re your # 214 [a].

 

The English text, complete, my # 295 [b] (six parts), is not in Government Code. Therefore, please exercise great care.

 


[a] Matsuoka suggests revision of the text.

[b] Text of proposal.

 

 Trans. 5‑14‑41

 

No. 8

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 13, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 219.

 

(In 3 parts‑complete).

 

Strictly secret. Separate message.

 

"The governments of Japan and the United States accept joint responsibility for the negotiation and conclusion of a general agreement concerning 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 between our peoples should be prevented from recurrence and arrested in their unforeseen and unfortunate consequences.

"It is our earnest hope that, by a joint effort, the two nations will establish a just peace in the Pacific, and by the rapid consummation of an amicable understanding, 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 would be deliberated at a later conference and appropriately confirmed by our respective governments.

"We presume to anticipate that our governments could ‑‑‑‑ relations if certain situations and attitudes were clarified or improved; to wit

 

A-4

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

"l. The concepts of Japan and the United States 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. Commerce between both nations.

"5. Economic activity of both nations in the Southwestern Pacific area.

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

"Finally we have come to the following mutual understanding:

 

"1. The Concepts of Japan and the United States respecting International Relations and Character of Nations.

 

The governments of Japan and the United States 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 between our peoples.

Both governments are firmly determined that their respective traditional concepts on the character of nations and 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.

 

"2. The Attitudes of Both Governments toward the European War.

 

It being the common aim of both governments to establish world peace, they will join forces with a view to preventing the extension of the European War and restoring peace speedily.

The government of Japan maintains that the purpose of the Tripartite Pact was, and is, defensive and designed to prevent the participation of nations in the European War not at present involved in it.

The government of Japan declares that there is no question that the obligation of military assistance under the Tripartite Pact comes into force in the case stipulated in Article 3 of the said Pact.

The government of the United States declares that so far as its attitude toward the European War is concerned it does not and will not resort to aggressive measures 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.

 

"3. The Relations of both Nations toward the China Affair.

 

In appreciation of the three principles set forth in the Konoye Statement and the treaty concluded with the Nanking government upon the basis of the said Statement and the joint declaration of Japan, Manchukuo and China and also in reliance upon Japan's policy of friendship and good neighbour toward China, the government of the United States will immediately request the Chiang Kai‑Shek regime to negotiate peace with Japan.

 

"4. Commerce between both Nations.

 

When official approbation to the present understanding has been given by both governments, Japan and the United States shall assure each other to supply mutually such commodities as are, 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 Japan and the United States. If a new commercial treaty is desired by both governments, it could be elaborated as soon as possible and concluded in accordance with usual procedure.

 

A-5

 

"5. Economic Activity of both Nations in the Southwestern Pacific area.

 

Noting that Japanese expansion in the direction of the southwestern Pacific is declared to be of peaceful nature, American cooperation and support shall be given in the production and procurement of natural resources (such as oil, rubber, tin, nickel) which Japan needs.

 

"6. The Policies of Both Nations affecting Political Stabilization in the Pacific.

 

(a) The governments of Japan and the United States jointly guarantee the independence of the Philippine Islands provided that the latter observes perpetual neutrality and accords to the Japanese subjects a treatment equal to the Commonwealth citizens.

(b) Japanese immigration to the United States shall receive amicable consideration on a basis of equality with other nationals and freedom from discrimination.

 

ADDENDUM

 

The present understanding shall be kept as a confidential memorandum between the governments of Japan and the United States. The scope, character and timing of the announcement of this understanding will be agreed upon by both governments."

 

Trans. 5‑14‑41

 

No. 9

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 13, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 218.

 

In writing up separate message # 219 [a] (English text) we have made use of the text in your message # 256 [b] as much as possible. However, it was necessary to revise certain parts, in order to conform more closely to the Japanese text (our revised proposal). When presenting the above ( # 219) to the Secretary of State please eliminate these portions ‑‑‑‑‑.

 


[a] See II, 8.

[b] Not available.

 

Trans. 5‑14‑41

 

No. 10

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 9, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 206.

 

(3 parts‑complete) (Secret outside the department).

 

Regarding my message # 204.

 

Main reason for the revision and other points to be noted:

(1) Clause 2 of the "Understanding Agreement" #2 was revised, despite the fact that no further provision should be required in view of the obvious nature of Japan's partnership in the Tripartite Pact, because we felt that our position in relation to the aforesaid pact should be made clear before adopting a provision of this nature.

(2) Each clause in "Understanding Agreement" # 3 was struck out, because, to seek a U.S.-Japanese understanding on the basis of such itemized provisions appears too much as though these questions were dictated by the United States.

 

A-6

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

The clause relative to migration of our nationals to China was eliminated because it may give a mistaken impression to our countrymen who from the beginning resented emigration to the United States, that the U.S. is directing even our immigration in China.

Although it might be said that there should be no objections to this so long as it is kept secret, matters such as this have a way of leaking out occasionally, therefore we should be prepared for such an event.

We wish to obtain the United States' assurance, in a separate secret clause, to the effect that she will stop aiding Chiang Kai‑Shek in the event that Chiang accepts our peace suggestion. However, if for any reason this is unacceptable to the United States, we are willing to have merely the responsible parties adhere to this provision.

(3) "A" and "C" of # 4 was eliminated because we consider it more realistic to wait and see the effect of the "Understanding Agreement" on the strained U.S.‑Japanese relations before taking up this matter.

"B" should be considered as a separate item of understanding and a great deal of thought should be given to determining the time, method and intentions regarding its fulfillment.

Please bear in mind that we must consider the effect of such matters as these on our allies.

(4) # 2 and # 5 (Revised proposal # 4) was eliminated on the same ground, as "A" and "C" of # 4.

(5) "A" of # 7 (Revised Proposal # 6). At present Japan has given assurance regarding the Philippines, however, we cannot commit ourselves to assume the responsibilities implied in this clause.

The phrase "and the southwest Pacific" in "C" of # 7 was eliminated for the reason that., when necessary, we will carry on negotiations in these parts independently of others.

(6) We have eliminated the entire reference to the hope of holding U.S.‑Japanese conversations. In its stead we wish to make an arrangement whereby desires of both sides will be expressed by exchange of notes, to hold a conference between the President and the Premier or their respective representatives when it is deemed necessary, after the present proposal has been in effect.

(7) Please take note that the draft for the establishment of the present proposal will be drawn up by us and sent to you.

 

Trans. 5‑12‑41

 

No. 11

 

FROM: Tokyo (Japanese Foreign Minister)                                         May 10, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 206.

 

ADDENDUM

 

Insert the addendum incorporated in this wire as paragraph 5 immediately following paragraph 4. Please move paragraph 5 down in its proper order.

(5 and 6) (Revised draft of paragraph 5).

The reason the statement "there shall be no recourse to armed force" has been deleted is that in the Imperial peace plans, Premier KONOYE and this Minister have frequently found it necessary in the past to use armed force. The Imperial Government's most ardent wish is that the Southwestern Pacific question, as it applies to our expansion, be peacefully concluded; but, in the light of the current international situation rampant with unprecedented confusion, no one can say what changes will have to be brought about. In the future developments of the international situation, the Imperial Japanese Government, should it ever be provoked beyond

 

A-7

 

endurance will not be able to avoid exercising military force and that she give a guarantee not to do so would be very difficult. However, regardless of the future developments of this situation, it is very clear that Japan alone could not determine such a course. I believe that on this point now is the time clarification should be made rather than to wait until difficulties have arisen.

 

Trans. 5‑13‑41

 

No. 12

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 12, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 297.

 

Separate wire.

 

The three principles of Prince KONOYE as referred to in this paragraph are:

 

1. Neighborly friendship.

2. Joint defense against communism.

3. Economic cooperation‑by which Japan does not intend to exercise economic monopoly in China nor to demand of China a limitation in the interest of Third Powers.

 

The following are implied in the aforesaid principles:

 

1. Mutual respect of sovereignty and territories.

2. Mutual respect for the inherent characteristics of each nation cooperating as good neighbors and forming a Far Eastern nucleus contributing to world peace.

3. Withdrawal of Japanese troops from Chinese territory in accordance with an agreement to be concluded between Japan and China.

4. No annexation, no indemnities.

5. Independence of Manchukuo.

 

Trans. 5‑16‑41

 

No. 13

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 12, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 296.

 

Re your # 205 [a].

 

When I talked with Secretary of State HULL on the 12th he demanded a formal explanation of the three basic principles outlined in Premier KONOYE's statement contained in the third paragraph (on the relationships of the two governments to the China incident), as well as the Premier's statement regarding the proclamation of the treaty base upon these three principles. But there being the matter of instructions from you, I made presentation of the explanation of my plan as outlined in my # 297. I wonder, though, whether it might of be a better plan to explain to him that there is virtually no difference between this and the various provisions of paragraph 3 of the original proposals made in my # 256 [b] (having to do with organized immigration). Therefore, I would like to make formal explanation in any case along a line which we feel to be most advantageous to us. Please wire me any comments that you have on this subject.

 


[a] Containing Matsuoka's revisions to the test of the proposal.

[b] Not available.

 

Trans. 5‑16‑41

 

A-8

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 14

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             May 13, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 299.

 

I met with Secretary Hull last night (the 12th) and I submitted my explanations and the revised proposal contained in your message # 214 [a].

He glanced through the papers. Then, while looking at the paragraphs regarding our south-ward expansion and the China Affair‑on which the most importance is placed by Japan‑he implied that there was nothing further to be guaranteed in the case of the former and made inquiries concerning the realistic values of the latter. This is as I reported to you in my earlier message # 296 [b].

I told the Secretary that Japan had absolutely no aggressive ambitions in the southern area. However, it is natural, I explained, to avoid tying the hands of one's own country, and that country only, in the event of unexpected misfortune in the future. For example, I said, in the event that the United States puts a powerful navy in the Pacific, Japan does not want to be placed in such a position which would prevent her from doing anything about it.

 

Translator's note: Following paragraph garbled, contains guesswork.

 

The Secretary replied that there would be no reason for the United States herself to do some-thing which she can have Japan do for her. As a matter of fact, the United States would prefer to have some other country do it for her, if said other country can do it to the same extent.

With regard to the matter of security, the Secretary said that every precaution was being taken to protect the secret, and that there was absolutely no danger of any leakage.

 


[a] See II, 17.

[b] II, 13.

 

Trans. 5‑15‑41

 

No. 15

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 13, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 216.

 

Please transmit separate message # 217 [a] to the Secretary of State without delay.

 


[a] Not available.

 

A-9

 

No. 16

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 13, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 213.

 

Regarding my # 206 [a].

 

Please have it understood that the attitude of the United States government towards the European war, as stated in the provision "The Attitude of both countries towards the European war" in Clause 2 of the "Understanding Agreement" represents merely the declaration of attitude on the part of the United States government and is not to be taken to imply Japan's approval of present acts and attitude of that government towards the European war.

 


[a] See II, 10.

 

Trans. 5‑13‑41

 

No. 17

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 13, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 214.

 

In presenting the revisions contained in my message # 205 [a] I assume that it was necessary to reword some of the parts of the English text in your # 256 [b]. While I feel certain that you have already made appropriate rephrasing for instance, of Clause 6 where it relates to economic activities of both countries in the southwest Pacific, I feel that the following might be acceptable, "having in view that the Japanese expansion in the direction of the southwestern Pacific is declared to be of peaceful nature".

I am suggesting the above because of the importance of this point. (The original text's "without resorting to arms", etc., alone is unacceptable. If I think of any other changes which should be made I will let you know.

In view of the importance of this negotiation please call on the Secretary of State this evening (?) and obtain his decision regarding it (?).

 


[a] Not available.

[b] Not available.

 

Trans. 5‑13‑41

 

No. 18

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 13, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 215.

 

 Re my # 214 [a].

 

In matters as important as this, it is necessary to include the original Japanese text as well. Will you please, therefore, give the United States a copy of the Japanese version of the text revised by us immediately.

 

A-10

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

We are at present drawing up the English version of the above text and we will probably cable it to you sometime on this, the 13th. Upon its receipt, will you please deliver it to the Secretary of State.

 


[a] See II, No. 17.

Trans. 5‑13‑41

 

No. 19

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 13, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   Unnumbered.

 

Your "very urgent" dispatch of the 13th (May), cannot be decoded after the 15th letter. Please verify and repeat.

 

Trans. 5‑14‑41

 

No. 22

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             May 15, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           Unnumbered.

 

Special.

 

Your message [a] of the 15th cannot be read. Please verify and reply.

 


[a] See II, 27.

 

Trans. 5‑19‑41

 

No. 23

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 13, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 221.

 

Regarding your message # 302 [a].

 

Please add on to Clause 4 of my message # 205, [b] which relates to "commerce between two nations", the following paragraph which was accidentally left out in enciphering the message:

"If a new commercial treaty is desired by both governments, it could be elaborated as soon as possible and concluded in accordance with usual procedure."

 


[a] Not available.

[b] Not available.

 

Trans. 5‑14‑41

 

A-11

 

No. 24

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 13, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 222.

 

In the fourth par graph, which relates to trade between the two countries, of our revised proposal, contained in my message # 205 [a], will you please correct the words reading "(at ? subsequent to ?) the Japanese‑U. S. conference" to read "(as soon as possible?)".

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 5‑14‑41

 

No. 25

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             May 13, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 302.

 

Re your # 222 [a]. In the 4th paragraph of our revised proposal, contained in your message # 205 [b], the paragraph headed "Trade between the two countries" ends with the phrase "shall consider ways and means". There is no such phrase as "at the Japan‑U. S. conference".

Please check and advise immediately.

 


[a] Not available.

[b] Not available.

 

Trans. 5‑15‑41

 

No. 26

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             May 13, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 305.

 

Personal to the Minister.

 

All of us are overwhelmed with gratitude at your giving us your support in the matters pertaining to the "Understanding" pact.

As you are aware, only the President, Secretary of State, and the Postmaster‑General are concerned in this "Understanding" pact on the U.S. side. Not even the other Cabinet officials nor officials of the State Department are being consulted in this matter.

In view of this fact, I feel hesitant to handle this matter in a too business like manner as yet. Moreover, I have already handed over the rough draft of the proposal to the U.S. aide and have made all of the general explanations.

If we continue to submit minor revisions from time to time, I am afraid that the United States may get the impression that we have entered into this business without being too well prepared. This, naturally, reflects upon my integrity and may give rise to doubts in the other parties concerned as to my sincerity. This could lead the negotiations into a failure.

It is, therefore, my fondest hope that you will limit all further instructions and cautions to me. Please allow me to exercise my discretion on all the minor details.

 

Trans. 5‑16‑41

 

A-12

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 27

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 15, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 228.

 

(Badly garbled)

 

Re your extra (message).

 

This understanding is "bind both governments in honor and in act". (Please note that this is to be carried in the English (text?).)

 

Trans. 5‑19‑41

 

No. 28

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 15, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 229.

 

Re your # 305 [a].

 

I took careful note of the various items you set forth.

Please change the words "entente cordiale" in paragraph I of your message # 295 [b] , to "amicable understanding". Please use the wording as used by me (in my message # 219 [c]) with regard to part 2, paragraph 4, of your message # 295 [b] (the proposal concerning the prevention of the entrance into the war by those countries which are not already in it).

I presume that the corrections I asked for in my message # 221 [d] have already been made.

Since your English text and my English text are identical in so far as the gist is concerned, I see no reason for making a special effort to revise them at this time. However, whenever the opportunity arises while discussing the matter, please revise to approximate my text. (The words "at a conference", as used at the end of paragraph 1 of your # 295 [b], should be changed to a simple "later" at the first opportunity. Also change that part of paragraph 5 of your message # 295 [b], concerning the Konoye principles, etc.,

 

(Translator's note: garbled from here to end, guesswork used) so as to place emphasis on the said principle and that all alliances and agreements will have to be based thereon.

 

Please give these points your consideration.

 


[a] See II, 26.

[b] See II, 1.

[c] Not available.

[d]  See III, 23.

 

Trans. 5‑16‑41

 

A-13

 

No. 29

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 13, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 217.

 

Separate telegram.

 

Strictly confidential.

 

I feel it hardly necessary but in order to leave no room whatever for any misapprehension, I wish to put the following on record at this juncture. It must have been clear from what I have often stated publicly or otherwise that my decision to follow the Pour Parler between Your Excellency and Ambassador Nomura and open the present negotiation was based on the promises that the United States would not enter the European War and that the United States government agree to advise Chiang Kai‑shek to enter into a direct negotiation with Japan with a view to bring about peace between Japan and China at the earliest possible date. Of course, it must have been plain from the start that on no other promises would or could Japan possibly come to any understanding of the sort held in view in the present negotiation.

 

Trans. 5‑14‑41

 

No. 30

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             May 13, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 304.

 

Re your # 217 [a].

 

The talks (as Secretary Hull has said, we are still in the stage of "off‑the‑record private talkings" and have in no way entered into official negotiations as yet. As you are well aware we are conducting the talks along the general lines set forth in the "Understanding" agreement.) are being carried on with the two points you mentioned in your message, i.e., prevention of the U.S. entrance into the war, and the matter of urging Chiang to make peace, as the focal points. I, myself, have constantly kept these points in mind in all the efforts I have been making.

During the night of the 11th, I submitted our revised proposal and am, at present, awaiting their reply. At a time like this, I fear that if we submitted such writings (setting forth our two focal points) it would make further talks exceedingly difficult, and may even interfere with the establishment of the "Understanding" pact.

For this reason, I did not hand the papers over. I shall, at an opportune moment during our talks bring up the subjects of prevention of U.S. entrance into the war and immediate U.S. recommendation for (Japan‑China) peace.

I shall appreciate your giving approval to my procedure.

 


[a] See II, 29.

 

Trans. 5‑16‑41

 

A-14

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 31

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             May 15, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 310.

 

 (In 3 parts‑Complete.) (Part 1 of 3.)

 

 Last night (the 14th) I called on Secretary Hull and explained to him‑in accordance with your message‑that all of the items listed in the section on the China Affair in the first draft were to be included with the exception of the matter pertaining to emigration.

 In reply to this, the Secretary implied that there was a need to have some sort of a preliminary understanding with China and with England.

 Following this, we discussed the various phases of the matter at hand. This was done in a conversational tone throughout, and at no time did we assume what could be termed an argumentative attitude.

 First of all, the subject of American security was brought up. I stated that there wasn't another country which was so fortunately situated as was the United States from the viewpoint of safety of the nation. There is practically no possibility of an invasion from foreign countries, I said. For this reason it was exceedingly difficult to see from the Japanese viewpoint, I continued, why there was so much sentiment in the U.S. favoring U.S. entrance into the war.

 In reply to this, the Secretary asked me if I had read the speech he made at the meeting of the members of the American Society of International Law on the 24th of April. He followed this up with the explanation that he was one who placed much importance in South America. Should Hitler succeed in completely subjugating Europe, and should he extend his grasping hands in the direction of South America, there is a grave danger that several of those countries would be immediately conquered.

 Of course, he continued, he realized that before he could do that, he would have to have the control of the seas. But, he added, such an eventuality could be possible if an English Quisling develops at the time that Germany succeeds in conquering England. Such a Quisling could conceivably hand over the British navy to the Germans, the Secretary said, keeping a very straight face while so saying.

 I, therefore, countered by saying that I had understood that the British had promised not to turn their navy over to the Germans under any circumstances. Furthermore, I said, wasn't the Secretary just dreaming up possibilities.

The Secretary replied: "No, No. France, though promising many times that she would not turn over her fleet to Germany ‑‑‑‑‑.

(End Part 1.)

 

Trans. 5‑17‑41

 

No. 32

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             May 15, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 310.

 

 (In 3 parts‑complete.) (Part 2 of 3.)

 

 In spite of these French promises, Darlan and Laval are apparently about to transfer the French fleet to Germany. Taking into consideration the possible materialization of such a move, the United States has no alternative than to aid the Churchill government. This step would not be taken merely for the protection of democracy as a whole. It is, as a matter of fact,

 

A-15

 

imperative for the United States to do so to protect the United States, the Secretary of State said.

(I take this opportunity to report that Colonel Iwakuro [a] making various indirect approaches in attempting to have the United States abandon its convoy project.)

Apparently it is Japan's policy to prevent the United States from aiding Britain. Minister Matsuoka, it is said, (Secretary Hull continued), even went so far as to threaten war in his conversations with Ambassador Grew. Not even Ambassador Grew has been advised of the conversations being carried on here, he said.

The Secretary seemed to be of the opinion that though there would be considerable difficulty in the attempt to invade England, he did not believe that the possibility could be discounted.

I asked him if Hess' flight to Scotland had any implication of peace overtures. The Secretary replied that he had been made aware of absolutely no such motives. He added that though he knew of nothing definite with regard to Hess' trip to England, he looked upon it as an indication that a portion of the German government was crumbling.

 


[a] Aide to the Military Attaché in Washington.

 

Trans. 5‑19‑41

 

No. 33

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             May 15, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 310.

 

(In 3 parts‑Complete.) (Part 3 of 3.)

 

I, therefore, pointed out that should the U.S. Fleet come into the Pacific, Japan's hands would be tied against protecting herself because of the terms of the "Understanding Agreement". You made reference to this possibility in your conversations with Ambassador Grew as I also did on one previous occasion.

However, due probably to the medicine's having reacted on the patient too vigorously, he apparently was not thoroughly convinced regarding the possibility of an armed southward expansion. I, therefore, told him that Japan absolutely would not take the soldiers, upon being relieved of their task in China upon the conclusion of the China Incident, and use them for a southward expansion program, thereby breaking her promise (to the United States).

However, I apparently did not thoroughly convince him, for he said that Hitler, for example, has been signing treaties only to break them ever since 1933. The Munich agreement was one of these, he said. Napoleon was likewise an untrustworthy treaty signer, for he too merely signed them to break them immediately.

The way I look at it, the thing for us to do now is to strive to have the Secretary become thoroughly convinced of the Japanese government's sincere intentions. Now that we have submitted our proposal, we should sit back calmly and watch the next moves from the United States.

I firmly believe that we should enter into this Understanding while the United States is interested in the proposition and before any outside interference enters into it. Towards this end, I am making every possible effort. All the persons concerned in this matter are of the same opinion.

 

Trans. 5‑17‑41

 

A-16

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 34

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 15, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 230.

 

In 2 parts‑complete.

 

Re your message # 304 [a].

 

The other signatories of the Tripartite Pact, Germany and Italy, are affected by the proposed Understanding Pact between Japan and the United States. Furthermore, it affects their domestic policies as well as ours.

Therefore, I had the Chief of the Europe and Axis Section explain the proposal to the Ambassadors from those two countries. The explanations touched only upon generalities, and no details were divulged. He carefully pointed out that this proposal was originated by the United States and went into some detail of how this came about. They were also told that the United States was handling this matter with the utmost secrecy and that only the President, Secretary of State, and two or three of their colleagues were even aware of its existence. This being the case, the Ambassadors were cautioned to divulge this information to Dictator Hitler, Foreign Minister Ribbentrop, Premier Mussolini, and Foreign Minister Ciano. They were further requested to exercise every precaution against its leaking out.

At the same time, it seemed unwise from various viewpoints to keep our Ambassadors in Germany and Italy uniformed concerning this matter, as there is a possibility of misunderstandings arising from such ignorance in the future. Moreover, I even had an inquiry from our Ambassador in Germany about this on the 10th, I dispatched a cable worded in the same manner of my message # 231 [b]. (The serial number of this cable to Germany was my message to Germany #396 [c].) The above are the circumstances and because of our relations with Germany and Italy ‑‑‑‑‑ (Many groups missed here).

For these reasons, I believe that there is a necessity for us to put our request that the United States stay out of war, and also that the United States promote peace between China and Japan, in a written form.

I am aware of the great importance of this matter, and appreciate your standpoint. However, will you please make arrangements in accordance with my message # 217 [d].

 


[a] See II 30.

[b] Not available.

[c] Not available.

[d] See II, 29.

 

Trans. 5‑16‑41

 

No. 35

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 17, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 234.

 

Re your # 310 [a].

 

Of course, there is no way for me to know what was in the report received by the government of the United States from Ambassador Grew. However, it is a fact that I had neither the intention or a cause to threaten or intimidate the Ambassador. I merely replied to his questions in a conversational tone.

 

A-17

 

The Ambassador is one who easily becomes excited. Moreover, as you are well aware, he is quite hard of hearing. Therefore, there is a possibility that he misunderstood my words.

Should an opportunity present itself, please explain this matter to the Secretary of State.

 


[a] See II, 31‑33.

 

Trans. 5‑23‑41

 

No. 36

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 16, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 314.

 

This morning's New York Herald Tribune carried an article written by NEWMAN from Tokyo with a headline "Japan Asks United States to Mediate Sino‑Japanese Conflict", a summary of which I am sending in my # 315 [a]. This being not in accordance with our past policy, please see to it that special measures are taken to prohibit articles of this type being reprinted in Japan.

 


[a] See III, 37.

 

Trans. 5‑20‑41

 

No. 37

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 16, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 315.

 

The New York Herald Tribune of the 16th quoted a telephone conversation with NEWMAN of the 16th which, though it was unofficial, quoted a responsible source as having disclosed the authoritative information that, in order to sound out American opinion, a Japanese‑American understanding proposal had been presented to American authorities here. It continued in the following line:

The United States was to lend its assistance between Tokyo and Chungking toward the settlement of the Sino‑Japanese Incident.

The United States recognized Japanese position of leadership in China.

Japan guarantees not to use military force in the South Seas.

The United States recognizes Japan's rights in the South Seas of carrying on enterprises and economic endeavors (including loans).

Japan will revise her declaration to the effect that she would not deal with CHIANG KAI-SHEK.

Japan guarantees to revise her declaration that she will not brook the interference of third powers in the China Incident.

Japan will clarify her intentions with regard to her place in the Far East.

Japan guarantees not to take hostile measures against the United States dictated by the Axis Alliance.

Furthermore, NEWMAN added that though there were strong expectations of a settlement being brought about of the China Incident through Japan‑American negotiations, in

 

A-18

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

view of Ambassador FONDA's [a] return to Japan and the strong local military and naval authorities support of the WANG CHING WEI Regime, he thought that an understanding between Japan and the United States would be made impossible.

Relayed to New York.

 


[a] Ambassador to Japanese Puppet Government in Nanking.

 

Trans. 5‑20‑41

 

No. 38

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 17, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 235.

 

Re your # 314 [a].

 

Although they do not cover all of the points contained, it is true to a considerable degree. The leak seems to come from (New York) Japanese circles to local financial circles. These have given rise to numerous rumors.

We are doing everything to check these leaks and would appreciate your doing likewise.

 


[a] See II, 36.

 

Trans. 5‑17‑41

 

No. 39

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 21, 1941

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)                                                                    # 330.

 

(In 2 parts‑complete.)

 

Part 1. I am advised that ‑‑‑‑‑ requested a statement from (Your Excellency?) with regard to Hull's plans for the post war economic set‑up.

The policy outlined by the Secretary deviates considerably from the economic policy which the United States has actually pursued heretofore. There have, no doubt, been various reactions to the Hull statement of policy in Japan. Many opinions were expressed here.

I called on the Secretary of State last night, the 20th (Tuesday). He said at that time that after the Understanding Agreement was entered into, there would be a need to explain matters to business circles, so that trade between the two countries could be promoted. Japan must consider the development of the Far Eastern economic bloc and at the same time must constantly be striving for economic development of various areas. There is, therefore, absolutely no reason why we should express any disapproval to the policy outlined by the Secretary. On the contrary I am of the opinion that it should be supported.

Part 2. Immediately following the Hess incident, peace talks have cropped up in Paris and in Vichy. In this country, too, there is a minority such as the Anti‑war involvement advocates, the Hearst newspapers, Senator Wheeler, and others, who support a peace movement.

 

A-19

 

When your good friend ‑‑‑‑‑ also said that he knew of nothing definite, he was aware that there was some peace talk in the air. Permit me to express my humble opinion that this is a very critical time.

The Secretary of State also said that if, upon the establishment of the "Understanding", the first step in the direction of a permanent peace on the Pacific is built, then much will have been done in behalf of general peace.

 

Trans. 5‑23‑41

 

No. 40

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             May 19, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 320.

 

At present, while on the one hand we are trying to feel out the other party's intentions through undercover channels, I am continuing my conversations with Secretary Hull. The nucleus of the entire matter is British aid by the United States, our relations to our treaty partners, the China Incident, and Japanese southward expansion. You are already aware of this through my earlier reports.

There are as yet considerable differences of opinion between us, so there is no room for too much optimism. In the meantime, I am working in close cooperation with the military and naval (attachés ?), in order to carry out the spirit of your instructions to the maximum degree.

 

Trans. 5‑21‑41

 

No. 41

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 24,1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 250.

 

Part 2 of 3 [a].

 

‑‑‑‑‑ the fact that ‑‑‑‑‑ made a ‑‑‑‑‑ that ‑‑‑‑‑ presented to the Emperor ‑‑‑‑‑ would probably agree. Although this was the strictest of secrets, I believe that in the meantime you must have learned it. For this reason, although the intelligence has every indication of being correct, I can hardly bring myself to believe it readily. What went awry, or through what circumstances all this happened, is beyond my powers to surmise. But howsoever all this may be, there are indications that Secretary HULL got the aforementioned impression also from conversations with Your Honor. Will you, therefore, at the earliest possible opportunity, clear Secretary HULL's mind of this misconception. You, yourself, Ambassador NOMURA, know that all through my life up to the present day I have been a zealous advocate of amity between Japan and the United States. You never could have had any doubt about that. In a wire which I recently sent HOWARD [b], I expressed great grief over the tragedy rife in the world today. I said that some method ought to be devised to stop this horrible war which threatens to lead our civilization downward into chaos, and that something ought to be done to stop the havoc of this conflict.

(Rest of message missing.)

 


[a] Parts 1 and 3 not available.

[b] Roy Howard, President of Scripps‑Howard Co.

 

Trans. 5‑29‑41

 

A-20

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 42

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           No number.

 

I have respectfully perused your message. It is absolutely baseless. My! My! To say the least I was surprised. When the President and the Secretary of State have questioned me with regard to Japan's procedure in establishing diplomatic policy, I have told them that Japan's diplomacy was in the hands of the Foreign Minister. However, when important questions having great bearing on diplomatic policy which are within the scope of Army and Naval Ministers arise, those ministers, as a matter of course, participate in these deliberations. Then, too, it naturally follows that the Premier wields enormous influence. I have told them, too, that as far as Japan's officialdom is concerned, they function in an advisory capacity to the Foreign Minister; also, that Dr. MATSUNAMI and other men of incomparable ability function in a similar capacity (the Secretary of State occupies a position which is virtually the same). When I told the President this, he said that in the United States practically the same procedure was followed. The Secretary of State's position does not differ in the slightest degree.

Further, when the Secretary of State asked me the same question, I replied in the same manner, and these replies are just as I have told you in each of my wires.

Now, should I have voiced erroneous statements which in themselves are incredible, then by that fact alone I deserve punishment. Had I, as a military man, made any such statement, after it be proven, I believe that I should not be permitted to continue my existence. I am convinced that I have absolutely made no such statement. And as far as the Secretary of State is concerned, I do not believe by any stretch of the imagination that he labors under any misunderstanding. However, as you have requested in your wire, I shall outdo myself in extending my best efforts.

Regardless of the impressions imparted by newspaper dispatches from Japan, I am quite cognizant of Your Excellency's fundamental feelings with regard to the Japan‑American questions, and do not entertain a single doubt with regard to it. I have even told the Secretary of State as much one or two times.

 

Trans. 5‑27‑41

 

No. 43

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 26, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   No number.

 

It is clear that what happened is as you guessed in your message of the 24th. I am very much relieved, but there is no doubt whatever that the American officials entertain the misimpressions mentioned in my previous message, so please be sure to clear the matter up for them.

Either some Japanese or an American caused all this and created this impression in the minds of the American officials. Will you please try to find out exactly what happened and take the proper measures.

 

Trans. 5‑29‑41

 

A-21

 

No. 44

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 28, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 345.

 

The newspapers are playing up the fact that the other day our army is said to have seized some goods destined for CHIANG KAI SHEK, said to belong to Americans. It is widely held that this is in connection with RAEDER's recent statement, and that the Axis countries are going to exert pressure in unison, and Secretary HULL, himself, in a press interview, brought up this question. Therefore, for my information, please let me know the facts and what steps you anticipate taking.

 

Trans. 5‑29‑41

 

No. 45

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 29, 1941

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)                                                                    # 354.

 

Regarding the President's speech:

 

1. The tone of the speech, insofar as Japan was concerned, was very mild. There was not a single direct reference to Japan by name, and even that part concerning China was touched upon very lightly. These are points in the speech which are worthy of noting.

Apparently there was considerable difference of opinion on these points among the leaders of the Congress who were quietly advised of the contents of the speech before its delivery over the radio. Their replies to questions by newspaper men have given rise to numerous rumors. The Chief Executive's office is letting it be known that it was done "designedly". Before the speech was broadcast, the Secretary of State, through a certain foreigner, reported that special attention was paid with regard to U.S. relations with Japan, in drafting this radio speech.

From all these indications, I come to the conclusion that the President wished to avoid exciting this Ambassador unduly and was anxious to have the Japanese‑U. S. negotiations continued.

2. As I pointed out in my message # 350 [a] the United States is bent on self defense. This was made clear in the President's speech and his words were very flexible (insofar as the methods of carrying out this defense are concerned).

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 6‑2‑41

 

No. 46

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             May 29, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 356.

 

(In 3 parts‑complete)

 

Subsequently, I met and talked with Secretary of State Hull on the 16th (Friday), 20th (Tuesday), 21st (Wednesday), and the 27th (Tuesday). However, we have not as yet reached any concrete agreement.

 

A-22

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

The Secretary said:

(1) That he would like to have the people in general come to recognize the meaning of maintenance of peace on the Pacific. As long as there is a shadow of a doubt in the people's minds, the plans cannot be successfully carried out. (He, on one occasion, expressed himself in favor of maintaining the status quo on the Pacific, including the southwest Pacific area. At that time, I advised him that that would be unacceptable to us. It is our hope that we are to take the (leadership ?) in the economic development of the southwestern area with U.S. cooperation and support. The Americans, on the other hand, wish to put this in a bilateral form, placing both countries on an even basis and give each country equal opportunities.)

The Secretary again asked me about Article 3 of the Tripartite Pact. I replied that I was sure that even if I made inquiries on this point to (Tokyo ?), (Tokyo ?) would only reply that Article 3 has no (hidden implications ?). I added that I was sure that there would be no need for any clarification of the meaning contained therein. Apparently the Secretary's colleagues, referring to various dispatches from (Tokyo ?), make numerous inquiries of the Secretary.

(2) With regard to China, the Secretary apparently does not want to put Chiang Kai‑shek in a tight spot. In this he is receiving the support of his colleagues. The Secretary further insists that before the United States will assume the role of mediator, we must list the peace terms. Moreover, it would be impossible, from the U.S. government's standpoint, to make any reference to Japan's agreement with the Wang government or to the Tripartite (Japan, Manchukuo, China (Wang) ??) Declaration. (Translator's note: Following sentence slightly garbled; contains guesswork). Outside of these points, there are indications that the United States is willing to make considerable concessions.

The Secretary seemed to be of the opinion that to cooperate in anti‑communism and ‑‑‑‑- were inconsistent and made several inquiries concerning them. I replied that the general aims of ‑‑‑‑‑ could clearly be seen in the agreement signed with the Wang government. Such matters as anti‑communism and garrisoning of troops would be taken up in the direct negotiations between China and Japan that would take place later.

 

Translator's note: One sentence here garbled, impossible to read.

 

What we desire is to have some mediator such as Dunn and Denby in the Sino‑Japanese War and Theodore Roosevelt in the Russo‑Japanese War. We must in this war carry on a direct negotiation with Chiang. Chiang at present is in a difficult spot and is depending entirely on the United States for necessary aid. I told the Secretary that in my opinion it would be of interest to China should the United States suggest mediation to Chiang.

 

Translator's note: Next paragraph badly garbled, can only guess at contents.

 

The Secretary said that he did not want to use the term "communism" because of U.S. relations with the U.S.S.R. and China. Instead, he would prefer some such expression as "subversive", adding that an instrument such as the one being discussed now could not be kept a secret for long. He further told me that the United States government has no secret agreement with any other country.

Since receiving your instructions, I have met with the Secretary seven times already and on each occasion, we discussed matters, off the record and informally, for from one to two hours. However, we seem to be repeating the same things over and over, and are unable to get anywhere. Last night I asked if he had any other suggestions, and he said that he did have two or three minor ones and added that he expects to have it done in two or three days. (Apparently the United States is taking into consideration the effect that this "understanding" agreement will have upon the other Cabinet members and bureau officials.)

 

A-23

 

I, therefore, said that after all, the real motive of this "understanding" agreement is to change the war psychology which exists in both countries, to one of peace. There is a danger that while we are dickering about the use of a certain word, some untoward incident will break out sending all of our efforts up in smoke. The Secretary seemed to be in agreement with me in this respect.

It is natural that the United States should take Japan into serious consideration in any of her political or militaristic moves. That she is doing so, may be seen by the way the President handled the situation in his speech night before last.

 

Trans. 6‑4‑41

 

No. 47

 

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 31, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 262.

 

Translator's note: message badly garbled.

Re your # 356 [a].

 

You apparently are comparing Japan with some of the small countries which were born as a result of the war. It is true that Japan asked Minister Dunn to mediate in the Sino‑Japanese War and that Theodore Roosevelt's good offices were requested in the Russo‑Japanese War. However, Japan's position in the world today is very different from that of the earlier times mentioned above.

I wonder if it is wise to even compare Japan today with Japan of those days in discussing the issues with the United States. The only thing that this Minister would have the United States do with regard to mediating in the China affair, would be for her to tell Chiang Kai-shek: "Negotiate with Japan. If you refuse, we shall stop all aid to you."

I am sure that you are well aware of my intentions in this matter through my previous messages. However, because of the brevity of cables, you may have missed the point. Will you carefully bear it in mind in the future.

 


[a] See II, 46.

    Trans. 6‑4‑41

 

No. 48

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 30, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 257.

 

(Very urgent)

 

Secret outside the Department.

 

A Domei wire of the 26th, quoting statements made in the Times and Herald Tribune of that day, referred to the declarations of Senator GEORGE and others in the Senate to the effect that the reason Japan was not referred to in the Fireside Chat was that Japan's ardent backing of the Tri‑Partite Alliance was perceptibly cooling and the tendency in Japan to anticipate her southern penetration by means of military force was definitely waning. Now,

 

A-24

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

as you know, the Imperial Government's and this Minister's policies have been minutely enumerated to Your Excellency. This dispatch has not been publicized here as there can be no guarantee that this sort of news would not cause dissension within the country. Therefore, as soon as you have immediately made an investigation as to how this got out, should they not ‑‑‑‑‑, please arrange to file a "demand" for ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑.

 

Trans. 6‑2‑41

 

No. 49

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 31, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 260.

 

Re my # 257 [a].

 

Probably through the channels mentioned in my message # 235 [b], there are many persons in various circles in this country who seem to have proof (though they are vague) that a Japanese‑American negotiation is underway. They have given rise to numerous and varied unfounded rumors which has led to the need of taking some measures domestically. It was under these conditions that the incident involving (HETATUGU? Henning ?‑(garbled)) arose.

I, therefore, issued a statement for publication, a copy of which is being cabled to you as my separate cable # 261 [c].

Please do everything in your power to prevent the recurrence of such an incident on the U.S. side.

 


[a] See II, 48.

[b] See II, 38.

[c] Not available.

 

Trans. 6‑2‑41

 

No. 50

 

New York Times

June 6, 1941

(Page 1, Column 4)

 

JAPAN ASKING U.S. FOR NO‑WAR PACT

 

SHE URGES ACCORD LIKE THAT BETWEEN TOKYO AND MOSCOW

 

WASHINGTON COLD TO IDEA

By Hallett Abend

 

Washington, June 5.

 

For nearly 2 months Japan has been attempting to induce the U.S. Government to conclude with her a neutrality and non‑aggressive pact similar to that recently concluded between Tokyo and Moscow. So far the reactions of the State Department have been unenthusiastic and at present there appears little likelihood that Japanese hopes will be fulfilled.

The Japanese overtures have been made through Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura, Tokyo Ambassador here. The continuing talks between Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Admiral

 

A-25

 

Nomura have been entirely informal and off the record, so that if the preliminaries which Japan hoped would result in formal negotiations, break down entirely, neither side will officially have to bear the blame for failure.

Although it is learned that the first approach was made by the Japanese ambassador, the Japanese Embassy does not acknowledge this. Spokesmen there say vaguely that the informal talks seem to have sprung from a mutual desire to find some means of preventing a heightening of the concededly dangerous tension between Japan and the U.S.

To the chagrin and disappointment of the Japanese Government the response of the State Department to the overtures has been‑in what the Japanese term "an excessively formal and stilted manner", that the value of the kind of treaty proposed would be extremely dubious for two reasons:

1. The responsibility of the leaders of the Japanese Government is subject to grave doubt and their ability to carry out agreements questionable.

Time after time since the outbreak of the "China incident" almost 4 years ago, Japanese leaders individually, and the Japanese government officially have reiterated promises to respect the Open Door in China and to assure "equal opportunity for all" but these promises have never been kept.

This sensational Japanese attempt to effect a formal rapprochement with the U.S. has aroused the liveliest speculation in the small circle here that is aware of Tokyo's proposals. Of particular interest is the bearing that such a pact, were it ever concluded, would have upon Japanese formal adherence to the European Axis agreement between Germany and Italy.

The Axis pact entered into by Japan late in September 1940 binds her to go to the assistance of Germany or Italy if either is attacked by any three powers not engaged in hostilities with the Axis at the date of signing. Seemingly this pact would bind Japan to make war upon the U.S. if this country became involved in hostilities with Germany or Italy.

But Japan, it has been long conjectured here, has sought a loophole of escape from the obligation, and she thinks she has found it in the word "attacked". If, for instance, Germany were to shell or bomb a U.S. patrol ship in the Atlantic and if war were to result, Japan might legalistically plead that she would not have to fight this country since Germany would have "attacked" the U.S.

The Moscow‑Tokyo Accord signed in Moscow on April 13 of this year or about the time Admiral Nomura first approached Secretary Hull for a neutrality and non‑aggressive agreement‑consisted of only four articles and a "frontier declaration".

The third article specifies that the life of the agreement shall be for 5 years, renewable automatically for 5 years more if neither party denounces the agreement one year before the expiration date. The fourth article provides for immediate ratification and the frontier declaration relates to the "inviolability and integrity" of Manchukuo and the Mongolian People's Republic.

It is Articles I and II that Japan would like to duplicate in a treaty with the U.S. These read as follows:

 

Article I‑Both contracting parties undertake to maintain peaceful and friendly relations between them and mutually respect the territorial integrity and inviolability of the other contracting party.

 

Article II‑Should one of the contracting parties become the object of hostilities on the part of one or several third powers, the other contracting party will observe neutrality throughout the duration of the conflict.

 

Proposals of this kind from Tokyo where Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka continues to proclaim that loyalty commitments to Germany and Italy is the "immutable basis" of Japan's foreign policy comes as a great surprise here. In view of some observers they mean

 

A-26

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

either that Mr. Matsuoka and the Cabinet of Prince Fumimaro Konoye are ready to scuttle the Axis agreement, or that Japan is trying to lull the U.S. into a false sense of security by concluding a pact that she does not mean to live up to.

Translated into working world politics in view of the present international situation, the agreement that Admiral Nomura is seeking to negotiate would bind Japan not to attack the U.S. if this country should become involved in war with Germany and Italy. The obligation would be absolute and would not hinge on any interpretation of the words "attacked" or "attacker".

Conversely, if the U.S. were to sign such a pact with Japan this country would be honor bound not to fight Japan if she became involved in a war with Britain or the Netherlands. In practical terminology this would leave Japan free to attack Singapore or to seize the Netherlands East Indies without fear of U.S. intervention either to protect those areas or to protect this country's own vital sources of supply for rubber and tin for which it looks almost exclusively to Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies.

As a problem in practical diplomacy the Japanese move for a treaty with this country raises several grave questions:

First, if the move is sincere, is the U.S. Government entitled to consider Foreign Minister Matsuoka's statements as a bluff to frighten this country into negotiations at the same time that he deceives Reichfuehrer Hitler and Premier Mussolini.

Secondly, if the move is insincere, is it perhaps an effort to lull the U.S. into a sense of security under which it might transfer a greater part of its fleet from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

Thirdly, if the Japanese advances for an undertaking are made with the foreknowledge of Berlin and Rome what kind of new betrayal are the Axis powers planning as a group.

Finally, if the advances are sincere would it mean that the Japanese Navy, doubtful of the outcome of a war with this country, has finally persuaded the firebrands of the Japanese Army that conditions necessitate a policy of appeasement toward the U.S.

The reaction of Berlin and Rome to the revelation of the Japanese‑attempt to reach a neutrality accord with the U.S. will be watched with keenest interest here as will Mr. Matsuoka's explanation to the Japanese Army and public of the reversal of his "immutable" policies of loyalty to the Axis agreement. The Japanese Army, it is reported, is now convinced, that Germany will be triumphantly victorious over Britain, while the Japanese Navy is said to be troubled by waivering and doubts.

When Mr. Matsuoka concluded his Moscow negotiations in April, he exultantly declared that he had no doubt that the new neutrality pact with the Soviet Union "laid a foundation for the solution of all outstanding Soviet‑Japanese problems" and would be followed soon by a new trade treaty, a new fishery accordance and the settlement of other troublesome questions.

It is believed here that probably Mr. Matsuoka has had hopes that if he could obtain a neutrality treaty with the U.S. such a pact might. be followed by a new trade treaty, for the abrogation of the old trade agreement by this country in the summer of 1939 was a terrific blow at Japan's economic and financial stability. Disappointment of these bright hopes it is believed would be another staggering blow.

 

A-27

 

No. 51

 

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             (Nomura) June 6, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                             # 368.

 

On the 6th the New York Times, in an article by ABEND [a], states that Japan has been considering a neutrality pact with the United States similar to the one she has contracted with the Soviet, and that I am conferring thereon with Secretary HULL.

Therefore, I have advised the Government of the United States to do the proper thing about this.

 


[a] ABEND, in an article in the New York Times, states Japan is considering a neutrality pact with the U.S. The U.S. Government has been requested to do the right thing about this.

 

Trans. 6‑10‑41

 

No. 52

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             (Nomura) June 6, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 371.

 

Strictly secret.

 

With regard to ABEND's article in the New York Times on the 6th, I called A.P., U.P., Tribune [a] Domei and Asahi correspondents together and categorically denied that there was any truth in this article. This is for your information alone.

Furthermore, this morning, the 6th, the President in his press conference in answer to questions on this matter said that he knew nothing about it. And continuing he said, "Though the Ambassador and the Secretary of State occasionally have interviews, these conversations concern ordinary matters and have no connection with this matter."

 


[a] Ambassador Nomura calls a conference of A.P., U.P., Tribune, Domei and Asahi to deny the truth of ABEND's statement in the N.Y. Times to the effect that Japs are considering a neutrality pact with the U.S. The President stated at his press conference on the 6th that he knew nothing about it.

 

Trans. 6‑10‑41

 

No. 53

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             (Nomura) June 8, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 375.

 

 (Part 1 of 4)

 

 I have perused your message.

 

At the risk of a certain amount of repetition, I am reporting for you the substance of subsequent developments:

Since I presented our final draft, I have held conversations several times a week. Finally, an American plan was offered me unofficially in which two or three questions concerning the China incident were left pending. I thought that if this were left up to a drafting committee of

 

A-28

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

both countries, it would be a good thing from the point of view of convenience in phrasing the clauses, so after getting their approval, on the 4th it was discussed in a joint committee. But, to my surprise, this was seized upon by various quarters in this country for demagogical and estranging propaganda. Every letter and every phrase was the object of suspicion and speculation, so this only goes to show how delicate international relations are today. So Saturday afternoon I went to see Secretary HULL and talked with him for an hour and a half.

 

Trans. 6‑10‑41

 

No. 54

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             (Nomura) June 8, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 375.

 

(Part 2 of 4)

 

He has always insisted on the following:

1. The maintenance of peace in the Pacific is the basis of this understanding and it is not desired that this point be glossed over in such a manner as to deceive anyone. As soon as it is put into effect, suitable negotiations can take place with industrial circles to provide for Japanese and American financial and economic cooperation. On two or three occasions he has told me this.

2. In considering the Pacific question, the matter of Japan's and the United States' own relations with the European war, and their relations to the Japanese‑Chinese incident have to be considered. The United States is worried about the Chinese question and wishes to improve Japanese‑American relations, American‑Chinese relations and Japanese‑Chinese relations. Consequently, the United States does not, by any means, wish to do anything that will cause the Chinese to harbor ill‑feelings toward them. That is what he always says.

During the course of our conversation I said, "Well, then, for the sake of peace in the Pacific and for the sake of rehabilitation of the human race, could not the President, himself, go ahead and advise China to make peace?" He replied, "Well, don't you think that depends, after all, on whether or not we can see eye to eye on this agreement?"

 

Trans. 6‑10‑41

 

No. 55

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             (Nomura) June 8, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 375.

 

(Part 3 of 4)

 

In speeches and in newspaper articles, a number of times, he has repeated in effect the following statement with respect to the European war:

"HITLER is planning to conquer the world, and if England goes under, the Atlantic will be under his domination, South America will be his supply base for raw materials and the Western Hemisphere will become an armed camp. It does not make sense to wait until he invades our sphere before we take action. America does not want to repeat the mistake made by so many other nations." (I know just how much danger there is of the United States entering the war. Along the lines you have pointed out, I have done my best to reason with the Americans and to correct some misapprehensions which you think they have. But after all, it

 

A-29

 

is now not a question of correcting their way of thinking. Our future diplomatic relations with the United States will center around the question of whether or not we are able to keep them out of this war.) Furthermore, the time has not yet come to harp on peace. Many peace rumors have been afloat lately with the return of WINANT, but the President has squelched all, as you know.

 

Trans. 6‑10‑41

 

No. 56

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             (Nomura) June 8, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 375.

 

(Part 4 of 4)

 

He (the Secretary) said that the United States regards the principle of commercial nondiscrimination as important in the Pacific, and that the United States practices this principle toward the American States, if Japan is willing also to use this principle, the United States intends to do nothing to hinder the progress of Japan. He said that if we will not accept these promises, he has no interest in either of the proposals.

Well, I feel that it will be very difficult to get anywhere by outright dealings and feel the need of conducting some other sort of activities which might be more direct. Well, I and my associates are certainly not optimistic, but on the other hand, we are not pessimistic. We will do our very best to carry out your instructions. Unless something unforeseen happens within the next ten days, I think that the points now pending will so crystallize that I will be able to let you know something more or less definite. I do not doubt his zeal in the matter at all. I call on him two or three times a week. We confer until late at night and when I leave he always says, "Come back to see me anytime you wish."

It is evident that the President and the Secretary now view things identically, so I have asked him to let me know just exactly what the attitude of both is.

 

Trans. 6‑10‑41

 

No. 57

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 7, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 277.

 

Regarding your # 356 [a].

 

The United States' reply seems to be unreasonably delayed. Isn't quicker action possible? If not, how long do they expect it will take? Please let me know by telegram. We do not intend to rush them, so please take care not to convey the wrong impression.

 


[a] See II, 46.

 

Trans. 6‑11‑41

 

A-30

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 58

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 9, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                     # 281.

 

Re your # 375 [a].

 

Please telegram the entire text of the so-called "Unofficial American Proposal" which you received on May 31st (?).

 


[a] See II, 53.

 

Trans. 6‑11‑41

 

No. 59

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 377.

 

Re your # 281 [a].

 

This consists of the American proposal, the Annex and the Explanation for the proposal, each designated as "Unofficial, Exploratory and without Commitment". I am sending you the entire text (as follows).

(1) The American proposal‑ # 378 [b].

(2) That portion of the Annex intended as a statement by Japan‑ # 379 [c].

(3) That portion of the Annex intended as a statement by the United States‑ # 380 [d].

Excerpts from Hull's speech of the 24th relating to the "attitude of both countries towards the European war"‑ # 381 [d] .

 (4) Explanation‑#382 [d] .

 


[a] See II, 58.

[b] See Il, 60.

[c] See II, 66.

[d] Not Available.

 

Trans. 6‑11‑41

 

No. 60

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 378.

 

(Part 1 of 6)

 

 Extra Secret.

 

 Strictly confidential.

 

Unofficial, exploratory and without commitment.

 

The governments of the United States and of Japan accept joint responsibility for the initiation and conclusion of a general agreement of understanding as expressed in a joint declaration.

 

A-31

 

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 between their countries should be prevented from recurrence and corrected in their unforeseen and unfortunate consequences.

It is our present hope that, by a cooperative effort, the United States and Japan may contribute effectively toward establishment and preservation of peace in the Pacific area; and, by the rapid consummation of an amicable understanding, 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. Both Governments, therefore desire that adequate instrumentalities should be developed for the realization of a general understanding which would bind, meanwhile, both Governments in honor and in act.

It is the belief of the two Governments that such an understanding should comprise only the pivotal issues of urgency and not the accessory concerns which could be deliberated at a conference.

 

Trans. 6‑11‑41

 

No. 61

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 378.

 

(Part 2 of 6)

 

Both governments presume to anticipate that they 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. Action toward a peaceful settlement between China and Japan.

4. Commerce between both nations.

5. Economic activity of both nations in the Pacific area.

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

7. Neutralization of the Philippine Islands.

Accordingly, the government of the United States and the government of Japan have come to the following mutual understanding and declaration of policy:

 

Trans. 6‑13‑41

 

No. 62

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 378.

 

(Part 3 of 6)

 

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

Both governments affirm that their national policies are directed toward the foundation of a lasting peace and the inauguration of a new era of reciprocal confidence and cooperation among our peoples.

 

A-32

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

Both governments declare that it is their traditional, and present, conception 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; they further admit their responsibilities to oppose the oppression or exploitation of other nations.

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.

 

Trans. 6‑13‑41

 

No. 63

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 378.

 

(Part 4 of 6)

 

Extra Secret.

 

2. The attitudes of both governments toward the European war.

The government of Japan maintains that the purpose of the Tripartite Pact was, and is, defensive and is designed to prevent the participation of nations in the European war not at present involved in it. Obviously, the provisions of the Pact do not apply to involvement through acts of self‑defense.

The government of the United States maintains that its attitude toward the European hostilities is and will continue to be determined solely and exclusively by considerations of protection and self‑defense: its national security and the defense thereof.

 

3. Action toward a peaceful settlement between China and Japan.

The Japanese government having communicated to the government of the United States the general terms within the framework of which the Japanese government will propose the negotiation of a peaceful settlement with the Chinese government, which terms are declared by the Japanese government to be in harmony with the Konoye principles regarding neighborly friendship and mutual respect of sovereignty and territories and with the practical application of those principles, the President of the United States will suggest to the government of China that the government of China and the government of Japan enter into a negotiation which is mutually advantageous and acceptable for a termination of hostilities and resumption of peaceful relations.

 

Trans. 6‑12‑41

 

A-33

 

No. 64

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                             # 378.

 

(Part 5 of 6)

 

Note: The foregoing draft of section 3 is subject to further discussion of the question of cooperative defense against communistic activities, including the stationing of Japanese troops in Chinese territory.

 

4. Commerce between both nations.

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

 

Trans. 6‑13‑41

 

No. 65

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 378.

 

(Part 6 of 6)

 

5. Economic activity of both nations in the Pacific area.

On the basis of mutual pledges hereby given that Japanese activity and American activity in the Pacific area shall be carried on by peaceful means and in conformity with the principle of non‑discrimination in international commercial relations, the Japanese government and the government of the United States agree to cooperate each with the other toward obtaining nondiscriminatory access by Japan and the United States to commercial supplies of natural resources (such as oil, rubber, tin, nickel) which each country needs for the safeguarding and development of its own economy.

 

6. The policies of both nations affecting peace in the Pacific area.

‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ (several lines garbled ‑‑‑‑‑ that it is their fundamental purpose, through cooperative effort, to contribute to the maintenance and the preservation of peace in the Pacific area; and that neither has territorial designs on the ‑‑‑‑‑ in the area mentioned.

 

7. Neutralization of the Philippine Islands.

The government of Japan declares its willingness to enter at such time as the government of the United States may desire into negotiation with the government of the United States with a view to the conclusion of a treaty for the neutralization of the Philippine Islands, when Philippine independence shall have been achieved.

 

Trans. 6‑13‑41

 

A-34

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 66

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 379.

 

Extra Secret.

 

Annex and Supplement on the part of the Japanese Government.

 

3. Action toward a peaceful settlement between China and Japan.

The basic terms as referred to in the above section are as follow:

1. Neighborly friendship.

2. (Cooperative defense against malicious communistic activities‑including the stationing of Japanese troops in Chinese territory.) Subject to further discussion.

3. Economic cooperation‑by which China and Japan will proceed on the basis of nondiscrimination in international commercial relations.

4. Mutual respect of sovereignty and territories.

5. Mutual respect for the inherent characteristics of each nation cooperating as good neighbors and forming a Far Eastern nucleus contributing to world peace.

6. Wit ‑‑‑‑‑.

 

(Message incomplete)

 

Trans. 6‑11‑41

 

No. 67

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 380.

 

(In 3 parts‑complete)

 

Extra secret.

 

(Part 1)

 

Annex and supplement on the part of the United States.

 

1. The attitudes of both governments toward the European war.

The position of the government of the United States toward the military movement of conquest inaugurated by Mr. Hitler is set forth in a public address made by the Secretary of State on April 14, 1941. Some extracts which are directly in point and which are basic in relation to the entire situation are as follows:

 

(Part 2)

 

The foregoing statements make it clear that the attitude of the government of the United States is one of resolve to take measures of self‑defense in resistance to a movement, which, as has been made unequivocally clear by the acts and utterances of Hitler, is directed to world conquest by force from which no country and no area are excepted. This attitude is based upon a most fundamental consideration‑that of the inalienable right of self‑defense. The only other attitude this government could assume would be the suicidal attitude of some fifteen countries in Europe which also were told, as our country is being told, that they would not be molested [a]; but if they should undertake to resist beyond their own boundaries they would be charged with being aggressors and with having assumed the offensive.

 

A-35

 

A similar course by this nation from the standpoint of effective defense against the Hitler movement of world conquest would be absurd, futile and suicidal from the standpoint of reasonable precaution for its safety.

 

(Part 3)

 

In the light of existing situation, Hitler is the one person who can promptly remove the necessity for efforts at effective self‑defense by this country and other countries similarly situated, whereupon for any other nation to request that the United States desist from any such resistance would in its actual effect range the country making such request on the side of Hitler and his movement of aggression by force. Hitler is therefore the person who should be addressed in support of peace, rather than those whom he is attacking for the purpose of bringing about their complete subjugation without color of law, or of right, or of humanity.

"Yes, it makes a difference who wins‑the difference whether we stand with our backs to the wall with the other four continents against us and the high seas lost, alone defending the last free territories on earth‑or whether we keep our place in an orderly world." [a]

 


[a] In a later message, Washington to Tokyo, Gogai, dated June 9th, See II, 68, the following corrections were made: "In the middle of Part 2, 'molested, but if' should be corrected to read 'molested but that if".

'Also, will you please add the following to the end of the same message:'

'Annex and supplement on the part of the government of the United States.'

'4. Commerce between both nations.'

'It is understood that during the present international emergency Japan and the United States shall each permit export to the other of commodities in amounts up to the figures of usual or pre‑war trade, except, in the case of each, commodities which it needs for its own purposes of security and self‑defense.' "

 

Trans. 6‑13‑41

 

No. 68

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           No number.

 

Gogai

 

Re my # 380 [a], part 2:

 

In the middle, "molested, but if" should be corrected to read "molested but that if". Also will you please add the following to the end of the same message:

"Annex and supplement on the part of the United States.

"4. Commerce between both nations.

"It is understood that during the present international emergency Japan and the United States shall each permit export to the other of commodities in amounts up to the figures of usual pre‑war trade, except, in the case of each, commodities which it needs for its own purposes of security and self‑defense."

 


[a] See II, 67.

 

Trans. 6‑13‑41

 

A-36

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 69

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 382.

 

(In 5 parts‑complete)

 

Extra secret.

 

(Part 1)

 

STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

May 31, 1941

NONOFFICIAL, EXPLORATORY AND WITHOUT COMMITMENT ORAL

EXPLANATIONS OR SUGGESTED AMENDMENTS TO THE JAPANESE

DRAFT

Introductory statement.

 

A few minor changes have been made in phraseology with a view to clarifying the meaning.

In the list of points enumerated on page two of the Japanese draft, the title of Section 3 has been altered to conform more accurately to the subject matter; the word "southwestern" has been omitted from point numbered five and, in view of the new subject matter under point six (for explanation see INFRA), part of the subject matter under point six incorporated in an additional Section, the title of which is therefore listed, and part of the subject matter in Section 6 of the Japanese draft has been omitted (for explanation see INFRA).

 

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

The first paragraph has been omitted in as much as the statement of the fact is as ‑‑‑ (remainder of Part 1 missing).

 

(Part 2)

 

2. The attitude of both governments towards the European war.

The first paragraph of the Japanese draft has been omitted in order to avoid any implication of inconsistency with statements made by the President to the effect that the present is not an opportune time for the American government to endeavor to bring about peace in Europe.

To the second paragraph of the Japanese draft a new sentence has been added to emphasize the aspect of self‑defense.

The third paragraph has been omitted inasmuch as the text of the Tripartite Pact has been published and no purpose would appear to be served by express reference to any of its provisions.

The fourth paragraph of the Japanese draft has been revised to emphasize the protective and self‑defense character of the attitude of the United States toward the European hostilities.

A statement in the annex and supplement on the part of the government of the United States contains an elaboration of this government's viewpoint toward the military movement of conquest inaugurated by Chancellor Hitler.

 

(Part 3)

 

3. Action toward a peaceful settlement between China and Japan.

As already stated, the title has been altered to describe more accurately the contents.

The statement in the Japanese draft has been rewritten to keep the underlying purport and at the same time to avert raising questions which do not seem fundamental to the basic

 

A-37

 

subject and which are controversial in character and might present serious difficulties from the point of view of the United States.

The statement in the Japanese annex and supplement in regard to this section has also been revised in a few particulars in conformity with the considerations mentioned in the preceding paragraph. In addition, point numbered three in regard to economic cooperation has been rephrased so as to make it clear that China and Japan intend to follow in their economic relations, the principle to which it is understood the Japanese government and the Chinese government have long subscribed and which principle forms the foundation of the commercial policy of the United States. As it is assumed that the term "troops" in point numbered six is meant to include all armed forces, the language of this point has been slightly rephrased to avoid possible ambiguity.

As already stated, the question relating to communistic activities, including the stationing of Japanese troops in Chinese territory, is subject to further discussion.

 

(Part 4)

 

4. Commerce between both nations.

A statement is included in the annex and supplement on the part of the United States clarifying the point that as a temporary measure during the present international emergency it is understood that each country may restrict export of commodities which it needs for its own purposes of security and self‑defense.

 

5. Economic activity of both nations in the Pacific area.

The language of this section has been rephrased to make the provisions thereof applicable equally to the United States and to Japan.

 

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

This section has been revised to make it consist of a clear‑cut statement of the fundamental purpose of the understanding. The thought in mind is to give emphasis to this purpose so that the document may speak for itself on this all‑important subject.

The statement of fundamental purpose has been assigned a section by itself in order that it may gain added emphasis.

The statement in the Japanese draft in regard to the Philippine Islands has been dealt with in a new section bearing number 7.

The statement in regard to Japanese immigration has been omitted in view of the established position of the United States that the question of immigration is a domestic matter. For that reason, to attempt to include a statement on this subject would stand in the way of the underlying purposes of the agreement.

 

(Part 5)

 

7. Neutralization of the Philippine Islands.

The phraseology of this section has been altered so as to bring it into conformity with the language of the Tydings-McDuffie Act, approved March 24, 1934.

 

ADDENDUM.

 

In view of the traditional policy of the United States and various practical considerations in the United States, important difficulties would be presented should the government of the United States endeavor to keep secret the understanding under reference together with its annexes. This government could probably arrange to keep the understanding secret for a period of a few weeks, during which time it believes that the two governments should work out procedures covering the scope, character and timing of the announcement of the understanding and of at least the definitive substance thereof.

 

Trans. 6‑13‑41

 

A-38

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 70

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                             # 384.

 

(Part 1 of 3)

 

There were many points unacceptable to me in the proposal of the United States which I am transmitting to you this date (message #377 [a]). At the same time, this proposal being unofficial, the American side expressed its desire to go over the objectionable parts with me before submitting it to Japan. However, I am asking for a preliminary draft which will approximate as much as possible the final proposal, which I intend to submit to you for your consideration.

 


[a] See II, 59.

 

Trans. 6‑11‑41

 

No. 71

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 384.

 

(Part 2 of 3)

 

1. Among the main points relating to the European War:

a. Eliminating the phrases regarding the right of self‑preservation.

b. Eliminating Secretary Hull's speech in the Annex.

2. Regarding the China Incident:

a. In accordance with your telegraphic instructions, the suggestion to China to be made by the President;

b. The working out of a mutually satisfactory phraseology regarding the desire for peace.

3. In place of a statement regarding justice and non‑discrimination, the inclusion of a clause regarding peace in the Pacific.

 

Trans. 6‑12‑41

 

No. 72

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 384.

 

(Part 3 of 3)

 

In addition to the foregoing, the inclusion of stipulations relating to the prevention of the spread of the European war, to efforts for future world peace, and peace in the Pacific.

Also, in an Annex, stipulations that Japan and the United States mutually .recognize Japan's national aspirations in the Far East, including the southwestern Pacific and those of America in the Western Hemisphere; and that Japan plans no military bases in the Western Hemisphere and the United States none in the Far East.

 

A-39

 

Your telegraphic instructions are requested regarding the admission of manufactured goods.

The mediation proposal be acted upon in three days. Secretary Hull has been indisposed since the night before last, and an end should be put to the too numerous delays.

 

Trans. 6‑12‑41

 

No. 73

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                             # 385.

 

The contents of the American proposal and the present condition of negotiations are as reported in my # 377 [a] and # 384 [b], but in the American proposal there are many points which still require further deliberation and for this reason they are reluctant to report to Japan. However, I expect that the report will be sent in a few days. In the meantime please accept the preliminary proposal for your study.

 


[a] See II, 59.

[b] See II, 70, 71, 72.

 

Trans. 6‑11‑41

 

No. 74

 

FROM: Tokyo  (Japanese Foreign Minister)                                        June 10, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 286.

 

To Counselor IGUCHI from Secretary TERAZAKI.

Officials, as well as outsiders returning to Japan from Washington, report that harmony is lacking among the members in the Embassy there. I have been sensing this for quite a while and lately it seems that the sneers are gradually getting more and more unbearable. I have also heard that Ambassador NOMURA called the members of his staff together and begged them to keep peace. I have just received a report that Consul General MIURA felt terribly ashamed for an outsider like Ambassador NOMURA to find matters in such a regrettable state. Now, when the world situation is in such a critical state, will you, as the Counselor, advise all the staff to please conduct themselves in a more seemly fashion.

 

Trans. 6‑11‑41

 

No. 75

 

FROM: Tokyo  (Japanese Foreign Minister)                                        June 10, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 284.

 

Strictly Secret.

 

To Counselor IGUCHI from Secretary TERAZAKI.

 

In the telegrams concerning the adjustment of Japanese‑American relations such as secret message # 377 [a] on the 9th, there are some sentences which do not seem to make good sense

 

A-40

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

and I am at a loss at times to know just what is being said. It is not that I insist on your troubling yourself with a perfect job of drafting, but please wire me back just why it is that clearer messages cannot be sent.

 


[a] See II, 59.

 

Trans. 6‑11‑41

 

No. 76

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 13, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 396.

 

Re your # 284 [a].

 

Hereafter, we will try to correct our shortcomings.

 


[a] See II, 75.

 

Trans. 6‑17‑4

 

No. 77

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 11, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 392.

 

To Bureau Chief Terasaki from Iguti.

 

Many of the messages connected with this subject have been drafted by the Ambassador himself and although before they are sent they are submitted to Colonel Iwakuro, the Naval and Military Attaches and to me and other officials for consideration, we have been sending them whenever possible as nearly as originally drafted as possible in order to convey better the feelings of the Ambassador who has discussed the matter with the Secretary of State.

 

The tone of your message # 285 [a] is very disconcerting in view of our Ambassador's supreme effort to promote adjustment of American‑Japanese relations. Therefore, I trust that you will take a more sympathetic view of the matter.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 6‑17‑4

 

A-41

 

No. 78

 

FROM: Washington  (Nomura)                                                            June 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 424.

 

(Part 1 of 2) [a]

 

Re my # 384 [b].

 

1. As I said in my caption message, I have repeatedly negotiated with them on their former proposals for an understanding, on the basis of your instructions. On the 15th I talked with the Secretary while he was sick in bed. (Since the 8th he has been up and about, and I understand that he is soon going to Hot Springs.) The Secretary said: "According to our reports, in Japan there are influential people who do not wish an understanding between Japan and the United States, so I don't suppose that, after all, Japan considers the composure of the relations of our two countries as so important." "Could you not, he hopefully asked, "at your discretion, once more report all the details to the Imperial Government and find out whether the Imperial Government is really in favor of composing relations between our two countries or not?" I replied: "Well, such concessions as the American Government has made are really not worth our consideration. I must repeat that I am negotiating entirely within the limits of the instructions of my Home Government. So long as you do not give us a concrete and fair proposal, there is no sense in requesting instructions, at least on the basis of what you have offered us so far." Since then I continued with my negotiations and on the 22nd(?) the Secretary handed me the Oral Statement in my # 426 [c]  preliminary to making the proposal in my # 425 [d].

The latest American proposal which contains the following excuse, "unofficial, exploratory and without commitment", is far from being in accord with your instructions and I must say that I am myself thoroughly dissatisfied but still, in view of the preceding facts, I am sending it to you for what it may be worth. In connection with this American talk of self-defense and peace terms relative to the Chinese Incident (commercial non‑discrimination), they stated that they would like for us to inscribe in official letters and documents our accord with what they have insisted on all along. However, the Imperial Government could not by any means recognize some of these terms, so last night, the 23rd,(?) I sought an interview with the Secretary and told him frankly that I could not submit this to my Government.

 


[a] Part 2 of 2 follows, (See II, 79).

[b] See II, 70, 71, 72 in which Nomura tells Tokyo that he has requested a preliminary draft, which will approximate as much as possible the final proposal, which he intends to submit to Tokyo for their consideration.

[c] See II, 87, 88, 89.

[d] See II, 90.

 

Trans. 6‑27‑41

 

No. 79

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             June 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 424.

 

(Part 2 of 2)

 

2. I have told you in several messages that there are three important discrepancies in the demands of both sides:

 

A-42

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

(1) When it comes to the European war, Anglo‑American self‑defense rights, and the Tripartite Pact, they will not yield to anything we advocate.

(2) When it comes to the question of our stationing of troops for protection against Communists, they strangely enough declare that they cannot interfere with Chinese‑Japanese peace terms, but in the same breath show considerable ire, declaring that this interferes with the sovereignty of a third power.

(3) Secretary HULL's pet principle is that of commercial non‑discrimination. He repeats that the Pan‑American policy of the United States consists in this. He often says that if we applied the principle of non‑discrimination to China and all the Pacific, we would have nothing to lose and it would, as a matter of fact, be to our material interests.

These have all been very hard points but they took the attitude that if they were absolutely certain that Japan actually and earnestly desired to compose relations between the two countries, there was room for negotiations. However, when we talk peace with CHIANG KAI-SHEK, points two and three will be among the peace terms and we do not believe that the United States would support us on those points. The United States, furthermore, strongly insists that it is against her principles to counsel CHIANG KAI-SHEK to accept our demands on these matters.

3. We were exempted from the order freezing foreign assets; the affair involving naval officers has been settled amicably; and the Secretary of State, while in bed, interviewed me three times. These things and others lead me to think that the President, his immediate associates, and the Secretary of State have not cooled any in their zeal to adjust the relations of our two countries but, judging from reports coming from the American Embassy in Tokyo and from financial quarters in New York, I think that some American officials of the United States are by some means endeavoring to cast suspicions on the sincerity of the Japanese Government. There are, indeed, many indications that this is true.

4. Thus, though it can be seen that there are discrepancies between the views of our two countries, I would not say that there is no room for negotiations. There are various reasons why I think it would be to our advantage not to break off negotiations; however, if our high officials in Tokyo think that the time has come to stop these talks, let them remember that the United States Government will freeze our credit, strengthen the embargo, and by every other sort of oppressive measure crowd us more than ever. If they decide to rupture these negotiations, let them begin immediately to take every possible measure to prepare for the worst.

 

Translator's Note: Messages dictated by Ambassador NOMURA are extremely poorly phrased and difficult to translate.

 

Trans. 6‑27‑41

 

No. 80

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 10, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 388.

 

Strictly Secret

 

Of the three secretaries in this embassy, as you know, one is worked to death on a special assignment and has no time at all to devote to general work here. One or the other of the other two is always sick or something, so I find it absolutely impossible to do things right with just one secretary. True, I do have three or four aides, but they are either totally inexperienced, just having graduated from school, or up to their necks in telegraphic work. None of them can take

 

A-43

 

the place of secretaries. I feel this shortage most keenly now that this country is gradually turning toward war, because I have to send these men here and there both within and without the country on various missions and have very much work to do in connection with our business in South and Central America. You can well imagine my difficulty. I know that our whole department is short of men, for that matter, but I feel constrained to request that you send to me two third class secretaries immediately. If you do not have any suitable men in Tokyo at the moment whom you could send, we here would prefer Secretary AOKI now at Vichy, because he knows general embassy work as well as commercial and economic conditions in Central and South America, or Business Official TAKAGI, who is now touring South and Central America along with Minister YAMAGATA. We would like you also to have Consul INAGAKI, now in San Francisco, sent here. We will be very grateful if you will accommodate us in this matter.

 

Trans. 6‑13‑41

 

No. 81

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 10, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 285.

 

(Part 1 of 3)

 

Re your # 375° [a].

 

Needless to say, I am glad that you have without the loss of time submitted to our Government a proposal, even though it be unofficial, on such an important matter as this. Furthermore, this matter, in view of our relations with Germany and Italy which are the axis of our diplomacy and in view of world events, is very important. I also think that you fully realize how delicate it is. A thing of this nature is first and foremost a matter to be handled primarily by the Government. It is certainly lacking in propriety for you and the Secretary of State to get together and submit the proposal to a drafting committee of both countries. As for the points which the committee is to consider (superfluous or non‑essential phrases are quite beside the point), only after the Imperial Government and the Government of the United States have reached an understanding between themselves, and after instructions have been received from this Foreign Minister, is re‑action to take place. That is the formula. You tell me that there were some important points on which both committees disagreed. But in any case, the time has not yet come to submit the matter to such a committee. Any matters presented to a committee under the present circumstances should be distinctly understood as without commitment but it would already seem that you have made some commitments which will be difficult to explain away.

 


[a] Ambassador NOMURA informs Foreign Minister MATSUOKA that he and Secretary HULL have submitted a proposal for the adjustment of Japanese‑American relations to a joint drafting committee which disagreed on important points.

 

Trans. 6‑10‑41

 

A-44

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 82

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 10, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                     # 285.

 

(Part 2 of 3)

 

As soon as I have received the full text of the unofficial American proposal, we will discuss it in Government circles, and until you get some further instructions from me, please stop these committee talks. Of course, I know that you will have to do so in a friendly and inoffensive manner, but I will leave that up to your tact.

I do, as you know, and have always considered good relations between Japan and the United States as important. However, no matter how urgent this adjustment might seem, it is not so important as the Axis Pact, and no bad effect must be brought to bear on that Pact. Therefore, our first and foremost objective is to maintain the integrity of the Japanese, German, Italian Alliance and to do everything we can to keep the United States from entering the war, or at least to prevent her from taking any more direct anti‑Axis measures than she has up to the present day. I feel that our dauntless attitude has already achieved much in this direction. When you left Tokyo I told you this by word of mouth and you agreed with me, but unfortunately there are many outsiders who seem to think that even though the United States fights, we Japanese will not necessarily do so.

 

Trans. 6‑10‑41

 

No. 83

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 10, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 285.

 

(Part 3 of 3)

 

As a matter of fact, the impression is imparted that the Japanese‑American negotiations are centering around that very impression. The President of the United States and the Secretary of State are scheming to include in this proposal for an understanding the basis for giving to the American people and to the world at large such a false impression. From the point of view of our intention to cooperate with the three powers, we must therefore be ever on the alert. I think that I have informed you on this matter through my various instructions. When we come to take this matter up, this is one point which we must carefully consider, and on which we must allow no error to be made. Summing all this up, if the United States fights Germany, no matter what sort of agreement exists, after all it will inevitably have to be broken. That is clearer than the light of day. The important thing today is for us to maintain a relentless attitude. Even though it is beyond our power to make the United States feel friendly toward Germany, we must keep her from making an outright attack. Compared with this, any advice that the United States might give CHIANG KAI SHEK to make peace with us is of secondary importance. I think we all know that by now.

I will wire you more later.

 

Trans. 6‑10‑41

 

A-45

 

No. 84

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 13, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                     # 289.

 

Regarding your # 384 [a].

 

Since reading your telegram I feel that I understand better the development of the discussions between you and the other party. If the "committee" is the type of which you speak, we may authorize the instruction to ‑‑‑‑‑.

We are now studying the unofficial American proposal (your # 378 [b]) which you received from the Secretary of State on April (?) 10th. Please bear in mind that our opinion regarding it will be sent to you.

Although the proposal in question may be of the sort you mention, it nevertheless is useful to this Minister when making translation of notes to be exchanged and for this reason it should have been telegraphed to him without delay.

Please bear in mind in the future that a proposal of this nature is also very important in finding out just how the President's and the Secretary of State's, minds work, which is useful to our government's deliberation on this matter.

 


[a] See II, 70, 71, 72.

[b] See II, 60‑65.

 

Trans. 6‑17‑41

 

No. 85

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             June 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 401.

 

On the ‑‑‑‑‑ I called on the Assistant Secretary, WELLES (HULL is at present ill) and requested that the TACHIBANA incident be dealt with from the standpoint of the general political trend. WELLES agreed to do so.

 

Trans. 6‑30‑41

 

No. 86

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             June 17, 1941

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)                                                                    # 405.

 

It goes without saying that Japanese‑American relations being very delicate, we must be ever on the alert.

There are a number of influential persons who are advocating placing a general embargo on oil. However, due to diplomatic reasons, both the Secretary of State and the State Department are exercising restraint. They are also said to have advised the press to maintain a calm attitude regarding questions affecting Japanese‑American relations.

 

Trans. 6‑19‑41

 

A-46

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 87

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             June 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 426.

 

 (Part 1 of 3)

 

 Strictly secret outside the Department.

 

(To be handled in Government Code)

 

ORAL STATEMENT‑June 21, 1941.

 

Oral Statement.

 

The Secretary of State appreciates the earnest efforts which have been made by the Japanese Ambassador and his associates to bring about a better understanding between our two countries and to establish peace in the Pacific area. The Secretary of State appreciates also the frankness which has characterized their attitude throughout the conversations which have been held. This Government is no less desirous than the Japanese Ambassador to bring about better relations between our two countries and a situation of peace in the Pacific area, and in that spirit the Secretary of State has given careful study to every aspect of the Japanese proposal.

  The Secretary of State has no reason to doubt that many Japanese leaders share the views of the Japanese Ambassador and his associates as indicated above and would support action toward achieving those high objectives. Unfortunately, accumulating evidence reaches this Government from sources all over the world, including reports from sources which over many years have demonstrated sincere good will toward Japan, that some Japanese leaders in influential official positions are definitely committed to a course which calls for support of Nazi Germany and its policies of conquest and that the only kind of understanding with the United States which they would endorse is one that would envisage Japan's fighting on the side of HITLER should the United States become involved in the European hostilities through carrying out its present policy of self‑defense.

 

Trans. 6‑26‑41

 

No. 88

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             June 24, 1941

 TO: Tokyo                                                                                          # 426.

 

(Part 2 of 3)

 

Strictly secret outside the Department.

 

The tenor of recent public statements gratuitously made by spokesman of the Japanese Government emphasizing Japan's commitments and intentions under the Tripartite Alliance exemplify an attitude which cannot be ignored. So long as such leaders maintain this attitude in their official positions and apparently seek to influence public opinion in Japan in the direction indicated, it is not illusory to expect that adoption of a proposal such as the one under consideration offers a basis for achieving substantial results along the desired lines?

Another source of misgiving in the Japanese proposal relates to the desire of the Japanese Government to include in its terms for a peaceful settlement to be offered to the Chinese

 

A-47

 

Government a provision which would permit the stationing of Japanese troops in certain areas in Inner Mongolia and North China as a measure of cooperation with China in resisting Communistic activities.

 

Trans. 6‑26‑41

 

No. 89

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             June 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 426.

 

(Part 3 of 3)

 

(Strictly secret outside the Department)

 

While this government has given careful thought to the considerations which have prompted the Japanese government to make such a proposal, and while this government does not desire to enter into the merits of such a proposal, it feels that the liberal policies to which the United States is committed, as explained on numerous occasions to the Japanese Ambassador and his associates, would not permit this government to associate itself with any course which appears to be inconsistent with these policies. Furthermore, although in matters affecting only this country, there might be some latitude of decision as to the qualifying of rights, the matter under discussion affects the sovereign rights of a third country, and accordingly it is felt that this government must be most scrupulous in dealing with such a matter.

The Secretary of State has therefore reluctantly come to the conclusion that this government must await some clearer indication than has yet been given that the Japanese government as a whole desires to pursue a course of peace such as constitute the objectives of the proposed understanding. This government sincerely hopes that the Japanese government will manifest such an attitude.

 

Note: In order to bring the current discussions up to date as far as the American attitude is concerned, there is being handed the Japanese Ambassador separately a revision, bearing the date of June 21, of the document marked "Unofficial, exploratory and without commitment", which was handed the Japanese Ambassador on May 31.

 

Trans. 7‑7‑41

 

No. 90

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 425.

 

(In 2 parts‑complete)

 

(Secret outside department).

 

(Chief of Office routing).

 

Re my # 424 [a].

 

The U.S. text of the 21st consists of the following changes made in the text of May 31st. An annex is being sent separately in # 427 [b].

 

A-48

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

Add at the end of Paragraph 1 of the Preamble: "For the resumption of traditional friendly relations".

Change "present" to "earnest" in the first part of Paragraph 3 and insert next to "understanding" the three words "encourage world peace".

Insert "deliberated" next to "later" in Clause 5.

In Clause 1 (national rights) at the end of Paragraph 1 change "among" to "between". In Paragraph 2 insert "living under the ideal of universal concord through justice and equity" next to "one household". At the end of the same paragraph change "nations" to "peoples".

In Clause 2 (European war), in Paragraph 1, substitute "to contribute to the prevention of an unprovoked extension of the European War" for the phrase between "to present" and "self defense".

In the May 31st text eliminate the entire phrase beginning with "obviously".

No revisions made in Paragraph 2.

In this Clause, the following paragraph, "There is appended a suggested draft of an exchange of letters as a substitute for the annex and supplement on the part of the government of the United States on this subject which constituted a part of the draft of May 31, 1941", has been added as Note; please refer to my # 424 [a] regarding this.

Clause 3 (China affair), no revisions, but note "The foregoing draft of section 3 is subject to further discussion of the question of cooperative defense against communistic activities, including the stationing of Japanese troops in Chinese territory, and the question of economic cooperation between China and Japan. With regard to suggestion that the language of Section 3 be changed, it is believed that consideration of any suggested change can most advantageously be given after all the points in the annex relating to this section have been satisfactorily worked out, when the section and its annex can be viewed as a whole," has been added.

Clause 4 (trade relations), no revision.

Clause 5 (economic activities in the Pacific), no revision.

The beginning of the paragraph dealing with political activities in the Pacific has been changed to "both governments".

Clause 7, no revision.

 


[a] Amb. Nomura wires Tokyo that in an interview with Secy. Hull he made the statement that there seem to be influential people in Japan who do not desire an understanding with the U.S., so, after all, does Japan consider the composure of relations between the two countries so important. Nomura replies that such concession as the U.S. has so far offered are not worthy of consideration.

[b] See II, 91.

 

Trans. 7‑1‑41

 

No. 91

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             June 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 427.

 

(Part 1 of 2) Separate wire.

 

To be handled in Government code.

 

Strictly secret outside the Department.

 

A-49

 

 

Annex and supplement on the part of the Japanese Government.

2 (or 3?). Action toward a peaceful settlement between China and Japan.

The basic terms as referred to in the above section are as follows:

 

1. Neighborly friendship.

2. Cooperative defense against injurious Communistic activities‑including the stationing of Japanese troops in Chinese territory. Subject to further discussion.

3. Economic cooperation. Subject to agreement on an exchange of letters in regard to the application to this point of the principle of non‑discrimination in international commercial relations.

4. Mutual respect of sovereignty and territories.

5. Mutual respect for the inherent characteristics of each nation cooperating as good neighbors and forming an East Asian nucleus contributing to world peace.

6. Withdrawal of Japanese armed forces from Chinese territory as promptly as possible and in accordance with an agreement to be concluded between Japan and China.

7. No annexation.

8. No indemnities.

9. Amicable negotiations in regard to Manchukuo.

 

Trans. 6‑26‑41

 

No. 92

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             June 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 427.

 

(Part 2 of 2) Separate wire.

 

To be handled in Government Code.

 

Strictly Secret outside the Department.

 

Annex and supplements on the part of the Government of the United States.

 

4. Commerce between both nations.

It is understood that during the present international emergency Japan and the United States each shall permit export to the other of commodities in amounts up to the figures of usual or pre‑war trade, except, in the case of each, commodities which it needs for its own purposes of security and self‑defense. These limitations are mentioned to clarify the obligations of each Government. They are not intended as restrictions against either Government; and, it is understood, both Governments will apply such regulations in the spirit dominating relations with friendly nations.

 

Trans. 6‑26‑41

 

A-50

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 94

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 25, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 309.

 

 Secret outside the Department.

 

 Regarding paragraph 1 of your message # 425 [a].

 

It is not clear to us just how the phrase "encourage world peace" in (1) is to be fitted in. Please send the revised text.

 


[a] Changes to be made in the U.S. text of the "understanding agreement."

 

Trans. 7‑3‑41

 

No. 95

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 25, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 439.

 

Re your # 309 [a].

 

Secret.

 

Before the third paragraph of the text reading as follows: "It is our earnest hope that, by a cooperative effort, that the United States and Japan may contribute effectively toward the establishment and preservation of peace in the Pacific area and by the rapid consummation of an amicable understanding, encourage world peace and arrest, if not dispel the tragic confusion that now threatens to engulf civilization", please insert a comma after "if not dispel".

 


[a] "It is not clear to us just how the phrase "encourage world peace" in (1) is to be fitted in. Please send the revised text."

 

Trans. 7‑3‑41

 

No. 96

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 26, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 312.

 

Secret outside the Department.

 

Concerning part 2 of your # 427 [a] in your last sentence, repeat immediately all the words following, "it is understood."

 


[a] See II, 91 which gives the annex and supplement on the part of the Japanese and United States Governments to the Oral Statement.

 

Trans. 7‑1‑41

 

A-51

 

No. 97

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             June 26, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 443.

 

Re your # 312 [a], as follows:

 

It is understood that both governments will apply such regulations in the spirit dominating relations with friendly nations.

 


[a] See II, 96.

 

Trans. 6‑30‑41

 

No. 98

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             June 25, 1941

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)                                                                    No number.

 

For the information of the Foreign Minister.

 

Believing that the question of reestablishing better Japanese‑American relations is one of the important phases of our national policy today, since my assumption of this post, I have devoted all my time, putting aside all personal considerations, to its promotion. However, some time past Your Excellency saw fit to question my motive and I trust that it was made clear at that time that any suspicion regarding my motive was unjustified. However, since then I have been quietly making inquiries to locate the source of such suspicion.

On the other hand, in the "Oral Statement" which was handed me together with the U.S. proposals, there are many indications that the United States government doubts the good faith of our government. Thinking that there might be some complicated reasons behind this attitude I made inquiries and obtained from various reliable sources the following facts, in general, regarding the true status of the American proposals.

As I have already reported the proposal for American‑Japanese understanding was, originally, being handled only by the President and a few heads of the government secretly. Subsequently, it became necessary to disclose some phase of it to other members of the Cabinet and certain officials of the State Department. It appears that two or three members of the Cabinet (probably Morgenthau, Ickes, and Jackson) are not in favor of Japanese-American understanding and some of the State Department officials oppose it as a matter of course. Adhering to their traditional views they are trying to attach ulterior meaning to the proposal. These officials also resent the fact that the negotiations were being carried on over their heads.

It is also clear that both in America and Japan there are those who do not view with sympathy the idea of closer relationship between America and Japan. And these groups are submitting unfavorable reports to their respective Ambassadors, or Foreign Offices, with intent to wreck this plan. They are also working through the New York financial circles to influence unfavorably a certain member of the Cabinet (presumably Morganthau), and it appears that Secretary Hull is at times confused by these reports submitted to him by his colleagues and subordinates.

On several occasions I have been asked by the Secretary whether it is not true that certain influential groups in Japan are opposed to the American‑Japanese understanding. (It goes

 

A-52

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

without saying that each time I have strongly denied this allegation.) In this manner, those who wish to see our plans wrecked are using all sorts of means to give the unfortunate impression that my views do not represent the true views of the Japanese government.

Although it is to be regretted that I have not always been able to carry out your instructions fully, Your Excellency may be assured that I will not do anything that transcends the limits of Your Excellency's instructions. I trust that my clear record of the past, our friendship extending to more than 26 years, and the circumstances of my appointment to the present post, are sufficient evidence of my good faith. And I have no doubt that Your Excellency will accept them as such.

I submit the above for Your Excellency's information.

 

Trans. 6‑30‑41

 

No. 99

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 29, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 452.

 

  (In 2 parts‑complete)

 

I am awaiting your instructions regarding my message # 313 [a], but as I assume that the  German‑Soviet war, which broke out since my message in question was dispatched, is causing you a great deal of anxiety, I submit herewith my humble opinion.

  The United States does not desire a two‑front war, and it goes without saying that for this reason she desires peace in the Pacific. However, as you already know, she is feverishly preparing to meet any eventuality. Although the United States is trying to assure greater freedom of action regards the European war, through the proposed American‑Japanese "understanding", actually it is unlikely that she will join the war for some time to come, and there is some possibility that after the proposals for the Japanese‑American "understanding" have been adopted, we can restrain America's war attitude through diplomatic manipulations. The United States is watching Japan's action very closely since the declaration of the German-Soviet war and the opinion here is that although Japan's position is improved in the Far East by lessening of the Soviet pressure, Japan will not be able to conduct a large scale operation in Siberia so long as the China Affair remains unsettled. Also, that her southward advance, checked by the consorted air and submarine defense efforts of the Netherlands Indies, Britain, and the United States, and increasing determination of these countries to protect these areas, are driving Japan to an attitude of watchful waiting rather than to risk a large scale war involving herself with Britain and Australia.

It has already been reported to you that the United States intends to give aid to Russia, but I doubt very much whether she is prepared to effectuate her intention.

  Now then, if the United States government loses interest in the proposed Japanese‑American "understanding", it may be said that all efforts towards better American‑Japanese relations have come to a standstill. This means decisive economic action leading to our southward expansion which, in turn, is replete with danger of collision with Netherlands (?). In the event of the above, not only will it be difficult to maintain trade relations with the Americas and the British Empire, but it will mean eventual severing of diplomatic ties with these countries.

  It is my belief that our adherence to the Tripartite Pact should in no way affect the preservation of peace in the Pacific by virtue of the American‑Japanese "understanding" agreement.

 

A-53

 

For reasons given above, I feel that broadly speaking, this "understanding" agreement will prove advantageous to Japan and as I am of the opinion that the three proposals supplementing my message can be made acceptable in some way, I await your instructions.

I wish to emphasize the importance of proving to the United States government that the Japanese government is truly interested in the proposed Japanese‑American "understanding".

 


[a] DoD comment: Should be message number 424 (II, 98). Ambassador Nomura wires Tokyo that in an interview with Secy. Hull, he made the statement that there seems to be influential people in Japan who do not desire an understanding with the U.S., so, after all, does Japan consider the composure of relations between the two countries so important. Nomura replies that such concession as the U.S. has so far offered are not worthy of consideration.

 

Trans. 7‑10‑41

 

No. 100

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 30, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 1367.

 

(Circular)

 

As present conditions indicate a critical period, it is necessary to bring to the attention of all of the administrative personnel the regulations concerning fiscal matters. Furthermore, the previous conditions have already been ‑‑‑‑‑, it is hoped.

1. All of the (confidential ?) reports and intelligence reports are to be dispatched as soon as possible. In case of withdrawal, the reports in the process of preparation are expected to be sent out.

2. The documents having relation to the (confidential ?) reports and intelligence reports should already be destroyed by fire.

3. Before withdrawing, the notice should be given as provided in leases for the disposal of the rented property. You are to consult either this office or the nearest diplomatic post concerning the remaining amounts to be paid and other obligations which must be carried out.

4. Japanese Government‑owned properties shall be placed in the custody of the proper administrative representatives.

5. The furnishings are to be sent (to Japan), or if it is not practical to store them, they are to be sold in such a manner as not to give the appearance of closing the establishment.

6. The local personnel of the offices, in case of withdrawal, shall be discharged. Those of third countries shall be paid in the amount which has heretofore been the rule. Payments shall be made to Japanese corresponding to the lowest amount of freight charges necessary for their return. Enemy members of the personnel shall receive no payment whatsoever.

7. Although inevitably a certain amount of public funds designated for miscellaneous expenditures will be lost ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ -----, and (differentiation?) of private and official documents will be ‑‑‑‑‑.

 

Trans. 7‑9‑41

 

A-54

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 101

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 1, 1941

TO: Moscow                                                                                        # 041.

 

(Washington Circular # 143.)

 

Retransmission. # 445 to the Minister.

 

Acting Secretary of State Welles explained America's attitude toward the German‑Soviet war in his press conference on June 23rd. He said that America is equally opposed to a Communistic dictatorship or a Nazi dictatorship, but the problem at present is the destruction of Hitlerism throughout the world and to that end aid to Russia had been ordered. The following day the President declared in his press conference that as far as possible America would aid Russia but that as yet Russia had made no request for aid and therefore he did not know what materials Russia stood in need of and inasmuch as aid to Britain would receive preferential treatment, he did not know to what extent aid to Russia would be possible. As one step in the aid to Russia program, Russia was exempted from the order of the Secretary of the Treasury of the June 14th freezing of all funds of European countries here, and thus the $400,000,000 that Russia has in America was made available for the purchase of American materials. On the 25th, the President announced that the Neutrality Act would not be invoked in the present conflict. (The excuse given for not applying the Neutrality Act in the present German‑Soviet war is that this act is not necessary for the preservation of American lives and the public peace.) The question of whether the Lend‑Lease Act would be applied to Russia or not is being given study. For the present all efforts are being concentrated on aid to Britain in the hope that she will be able to deliver a knock‑out blow to Germany.

America at this time is paying particular attention to Japan's attitude. There are, no doubt, arguments for a northern advance or for a southern advance. For the present the situation is being kept under observation.

That Japan will exercise a restraining influence as to whether America enters a state of war or not goes without saying. At any rate, public opinion is becoming more settled and decisive action only awaits the completion of preparations. This may be only a matter of a few months. I have heard persons of influence discuss the inevitability of war. Preparations are all in terms of along war. Plans are being laid for two years or more in the future. Not a few influential persons are saying that the European war will result in anarchy and bankruptcy and plunge Europe into a state of chaos paralleling the Dark Ages.

 

Trans. 7‑9‑41

 

No. 102

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 457.

 

The New York Times and other papers on the 26th published the views of Premier KONOYE as expressed to U.P. reporters. The Postmaster General ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ ----‑, so it seems that he, too, was perturbed.

Yesterday in his press conference the President made it clear that he hoped the United States could keep out of the war. I think that the President and the Postmaster General

 

A-55

 

conferred and decided, as an indirect reply to Prince KONOYE, to allay Japan's worries concerning any possible conflicts between a Japanese‑American understanding and the Axis pact.

 

Trans. 7‑7‑41

 

No. 103

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 2, 1941

TO: Berlin                                                                                            # 1390.

 

Circular. (Part 1 of 2) (National Secret.)

 

At the conference held in the presence of the Emperor on July 2nd "The Principal Points in the Imperial Policy for Coping with the Changing Situation" were decided. This Policy consists of the following two parts. The first part "The Policy" and the second part "The Principal Points" (I am wiring merely the gist of the matter.) Inasmuch as this has to do with national defense secrets, keep the information only to yourself. Please also transmit the content to both the Naval and Military Attachés, together with this precaution.

 

The Policy.

 

1. Imperial Japan shall adhere to the policy of contributing to world peace by establishing the Great East Asia Sphere of Co‑prosperity, regardless of how the world situation may change.

2. The Imperial Government shall continue its endeavor to dispose of the China incident, and shall take measures with a view to advancing southward in order to establish firmly a basis for her self‑existence and self‑protection.

 

Trans. 8‑8‑41

 

No. 104

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   July 2, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 1390.

 

(Circular)

 

(Part 2 of 2.)

 

The Principal Points.

 

For the purpose of bringing the CHIANG Regime to submission, increasing pressure shall be added from various points in the south, and by means of both propaganda and fighting plans for the taking over of concessions shall be carried out. Diplomatic negotiations shall be continued, and various other plans shall be speeded with regard to the vital points in the south. Concomitantly, preparations for southward advance shall be reenforced and the policy already decided upon with reference to French Indo‑China and Thailand shall be executed. As regards the Russo‑German war, although the spirit of the Three‑Power Axis shall be maintained, every preparation shall be made at the present and the situation shall be dealt with in our own way. In the meantime, diplomatic negotiations shall be carried on with extreme care. Although every means available shall be resorted to in order to prevent the United States

 

A-56

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

from joining the war, if need be, Japan shall act in accordance with the Three‑Power Pact and shall decide when and how force will be employed.

Addresses to which this message is sent: U.S., Germany and Soviet Russia. From Germany transmit to Italy.

 

Note: The system used in this message is considered to be of the highest type of secret classification.

 

Trans. 8‑8‑41

 

No. 105

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 3, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 463.

 

(Part 1 of 2.)

 

At this time when the changes in international situation, brought on by the declaration of the German‑Soviet war, has placed Japan in an extremely delicate position, her stand against Russia, whether it be by use of force or by collaboration with Germany, will tend to worsen the relations between Japan and the United States and may drive the United States that much closer to war.

However, if Japan took an independent action against Russia, on the pretext that the dislocation of political situation arising out of the German‑Russian war, necessitates her stand in order to preserve peace in the Far East and to fulfill her obligation towards China, it might help somewhat in alleviating this trend. I wonder how it would be, in the event that we decide on a definite stand against Russia, if we were to hasten the consummation of the proposed Japanese‑American understanding so that this traditional question of self‑preservation will become a question common to both Japan and America.

 

Trans. 7‑9‑41

 

No. 106

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 3, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 463.

 

(Part 2 of 2.) [a]

 

Now that Germany and the Soviet are at war, if we are definitely determined to make a military stroke southward, there is absolutely no way to adjust our relations with the United States.

My studied judgment concerning the status of Japanese‑American relations being thus, I consider it of the greatest urgency that whatever policy the Imperial Government takes, we must play our hand immediately with the United States; therefore, I await your advice. I have received your Circulars # 1366 [b], # 1367 [c], and your # 321 [d] and we know full well that they imply a serious decision on the part of the Japanese Empire. We are all tense and on our

 

A-57

 

toes, and doing our best to get everything in readiness for whatever may happen, so let your mind be at rest so far as that is concerned.

 


[a] Part 1 of 2.

[b] MATSUOKA directs that every precaution be taken in readiness for any emergency that might arise in order to assure the safety of documents contained in the official buildings.

[c] See II, 100.

[d] Not available.

 

Trans. 7‑9‑41

 

No. 107

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 6, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 470.

 

(Part 2 of 3) [a] Very urgent.

 

I said: "Yes, I glanced over that newspaper. I have not received any reports on this, but your country is assisting CHIANG, giving him economic help, sending him airplanes and munitions, and lending him pilots. Under these circumstances it is absolutely necessary for Japan to take measures to offset such acts. This has been going on already for a long time. Some time ago your fleet cruised to Australia. You have placed attachés everywhere. It is reported that you have conferred with the military officials of the Netherlands and British Indies and the military preparations in those areas have increased. In addition, you are strengthening the defenses in the Aleutians and it is even reported that you are going to work out a reciprocal assistance agreement with Soviet Russia. I could go on enumerating such things and they are all military steps aimed at Japan. Furthermore, there is a report that you are going to extend the embargo to oil. As this tendency progresses it becomes more and more difficult to maintain peace. That is why I am trying so hard to establish an understanding between Japan and the United States."

 


[a] Parts 1 and 3 of 3 not available.

 

Trans. 7‑8‑41

 

No. 108

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 7, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 476.

 

(In 3 parts‑complete.)

 

 Tokyo to Berlin as Circular # 1471 on 9 July.

 

Note: Italic words in the following translation were omitted from Washington's message when it was circularized by Tokyo.

 

1. About one month ago we learned from Source "A" that America was already putting into practice the convoy system but the information was not complete enough to warrant a

 

A-58

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

report on it. Recently, this report has been indorsed indirectly from Source "B" and we have the following to report:

The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator George, said recently that although the Lend‑Lease Act had been passed with the understanding that there would be no convoys or at least that convoys would not be instituted without the consent of the Senate, the President has been "misleading" us. Immediately following this Senator George on the 28th of last month, made his first speech attacking the government since his assumption of the Chairmanship of the Foreign Relations Committee. Since that time the attitude of his Committee toward the President has stiffened.

In answer to this opposition, President Roosevelt gave expression to his resolute determination through Knox's speech in Boston on the 30th of last month, in which Knox said that the American Navy should take action in the Atlantic immediately. (As heretofore, Roosevelt will leave it up to men like Stimson and Knox to impose his definite decision on an indecisive Congress.)

In the above‑mentioned speech, because of the opposition of public opinion, a desire for a Senate investigation to determine whether or not convoys were being used was expressed. In his press conference on July 2, Knox denied the existence of convoys. But as a matter of fact, the government is employing convoys.

Roosevelt's attitude toward the Orient and Europe in general is summed up in the fact, that we have verified, that last fall the President instructed influential members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to seize upon one of the incidents that were occurring between the U.S. and Japan and use it as a pretext for war. However, the members of the Committee opposed this attitude and the President dropped the matter. However, since January of this year, the President has entirely changed his attitude and is now earnestly desiring an adjustment of U.S. ‑Japanese relations.

The President's attitude toward Germany has also undergone revision. At first he had hoped through aid to Britain to be able to lead Britain to victory without entering the war, but Germany's astonishing victories in the Balkans and Crete have caused him to change his policy and as yet he has not formulated a new policy and due to the problem of regulation of relations with Japan his fireside chat was postponed two weeks.

On the one hand Roosevelt's aid to Russia which he declared upon the outbreak of the Russo‑German hostilities got off to a bad start. The American First Committee, which claims 10,000,000 members made a direct frontal attack on the government, and this was not the only obstacle placed in the path of his desire for war. (Roosevelt's calling Lindberg a "copperhead" turned out to be a great failure.) In addition to the American First Committee, the following religious organizations also adopted resolutions opposed to war: Methodists, 8,000,000; Baptists, 7,000,000; Presbyterians, 7,000,000; Congregationalists, 2,500,000; Disciples, 1,500,000. In considering the attitude that should be adopted toward Germany and Japan it was necessary to take into account the above arguments for peace.

Since there was not a background of united public opinion Roosevelt was perplexed as to how to dispose of his dagger. Influential Senators were divided in opinions and the government is at present in a dilemma. Roosevelt will decide his policy in the next two or three weeks. He desires to advance toward some definite action and finds it very difficult to support the present ambiguity. (This is similar to Japan's position.) The thing that concerns America most at the present time is Japan. One way of breaking the present dilemma is regarding the Japanese-American understanding. Even though Roosevelt's and Hull's fervor may not change they still doubt Japan's sincerity. If Japan expands toward the south (even though the army isn't prepared) America will use the navy which is prepared to open war on Japan and thus popular

 

A-59

 

opinion will be unified. (America does not wish to fight on two fronts but in view of the German-Soviet war she can neglect the Atlantic) and thus the present dilemma would turn out as America desires.

 

Trans. 7‑15‑41

 

No. 109

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 1, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 455.

 

(Foreign Office Secret.)

 

Although we are unable to definitely ascertain it, a certain person who is very prominent in political circles in this area, told a person connected to this office that Germany has dispatched an agent in secrecy to the United States to discuss peace. Our informant says that this German is at present in touch with persons in U.S. governmental circles. It is said that the gist of the peace proposal is that Germany will leave the British Empire untouched.

I forward the above information to you just as I heard it and for whatever value it may have to you.

 

Trans. 7‑5‑41

 

No. 110

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 7, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 477.

 

Recently there has been a great deal of rumor concerning American intervention for German-British peace negotiations, according to information obtained from financial circles. A German secret emissary, SUTAARUFERUTO, (said to be an American‑born German), entered the United States by way of Mexico sometime ago bringing with him a letter from the heads of the German government, with the intention of making overtures for German-British peace. But because the general atmosphere in the United States at that time not being favorable and also because of the harshness of the peace terms he returned to Germany without broaching the subject.

However, he reentered the United States just about the time of the Hess incident and since then he has been working secretly to accomplish his mission.

Through the efforts of the ‑‑‑‑‑ [a] he became acquainted with Secretary Hull's friend ‑‑‑‑‑ [a] who in turn introduced him to Hull. Since then, he is said to be carrying on secret meetings with the Secretary of State and is continuing his efforts with somewhat modified peace terms.

I had a certain influential person in Washington (name kept secret) ascertain the above, and he confirmed the circumstances of the negotiations. However, it is believed that although neither the President nor those who are close to him are considering any move in this direction, there are a number of persons in his Cabinet who are in favor of it.

I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the above information but I submit to you for whatever it may be worth.

 


[a] DoD Comment: Names withheld.

 

Trans. 7‑11‑41

 

A-60

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR  

 

No. 111  

 

FROM:  Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                  July 8, 1941

TO:  Washington                                                                                  # 345

 

Strictly Secret.

 

1. I am very much interested in reports like you mentioned in your # 455°, so please continue to keep me advised on this matter.

2. As I understand it, as a matter of form the Oral Statement will not be an integral part of this proposal for an understanding and that, as a matter of fact, this question has been settled according to my # 329 [a]. However, so that I may be sure, wire me back your views.

 


[a] See II, 109, in which NOMURA tells of rumors that Germany has dispatched an agent in secrecy to the United States to discuss peace.  The gist of the peace proposal is that  Germany will leave the British Empire untouched.

 

Trans. 7-10-41

 

No. 112

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 506.

 

(Part 1 of 5)

 

Secret Outside the Department.

 

To be handled in Government Code.

 

Re the matter of my # 477 [a] .

 

The points learned since last I wrote you are as follows:

 

1. Early in February of this Year ‑---- [b], accompanied by ----- [b], and ----- [b], had an interview with the Secretary of State in his apartment in the Carlton Hotel here in Washington.

 


[a] See II, 110 in which NOMURA tells Tokyo of the rumor concerning American intervention for German-British peace negotiations and of a German secret emissary entering the United with the intention of making overtures for a German-British peace.

[b] DoD Comment: Names withheld.

 

Trans. 7‑10-41

 

No. 113

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 506.

 

(Part 2 of 5)

 

2. On that occasion, according to what ----- [a] tells me, he being an American of German extraction, from 1920 to 1939, resided in Berlin as the representative of a certain American financial interest (since then I have ascertained underwritten the Japan Electric Company through the  New York Organization of ----- [a]) while there he became very

A-61

 

intimate with HITLER, GOEBBELS, and GOERING. Especially the fact that during the early days of the Nazi movement he gave them financial assistance gives evidence to his considerable faith in the current leaders of Germany. (Incidentally, the ‑‑‑‑‑ [a] has underwritten this man's entire family because it was through his efforts that the ‑‑‑‑‑ [a] rights and properties in Germany were saved from encroachment.) However, during the latter part of last year this man returned to the United States by way of Mexico and on that occasion the leaders of the Nazi Party made him an offer of a European peace plan. Furthermore, in order to certify this man's position, HITLER and GOEBBELS gave him a written document and this he offered to Secretary HULL for his perusal. According to the peace proposals this man carried, HITLER is of a mind to open peace negotiations with Great Britain at any time. In order to do this, he hopes for the good offices of the United States. The preservation of the integrity of the British Empire is naturally one of the essential points of that peace proposal. France, Belgium and Holland are guaranteed their existence. Poland and Czechoslovakia alone are to be eliminated. The fates of Norway and Denmark are not to be touched upon in the discussions.

 


[a] DoD Comment: Names withheld.

 

Trans. 7‑18‑41

 

No. 114

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 506.

 

(Part 3 of 5)

 

(Secret outside the Department. To be handled in Government code.)

 

3. Though Secretary of State HULL looked at these representations, he entertained some doubt of their authenticity, but on the 15th of February this year, the first meeting of this group was held in the State Department. ‑‑‑‑‑ [a] making up one group; the Secretary of State, the head of the European Division, other competent heads of departments, as well as two members of the Intelligence Section, making up the State Department group, participated in these conversations. At the opening of this meeting, ‑‑‑‑‑ [a] presented HITLER and GOEBBELS' letter and at the same time, in order to substantiate his authority, he requested that telephone communication be made possible for him from the State Department to the Nazi authorities by international telephone. On the afternoon of that day in the presence of the State Department officials, telephone connections were made with GOEBBELS, and this man's position was satisfactorily substantiated.

4. Until the 10th of April last (during the interim this man lived in New York), conversations were carried on on four occasions. On the basis of propositions made by this man in those conversations, the State Department gave him a diplomatic passport on April 11. Accompanied by one member of the State Department staff, this man boarded a clipper for Berlin by way of Lisbon. After having conferred with the Nazi officialdom, he returned to the United States under an assumed name on board he same clipper May 27. At the present time, negotiations are continuing, and he has already talked with the President.

 


[a] DoD Comment: Names withheld.

 

Trans. (No date in text. LWJ)

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 115

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 506.

 

(Part 4 of 5)

 

5. When he went to Germany, he was charged with negotiating the sale of German ships to the United States, as well as with the peace proposals. As a result, a purchase arrangement had been worked out before the President's order expropriating these ships was issued. The procedure for the transfer of the purchase price to German funds abroad evolved.

6. At the time the aforementioned representative of the State Department and HESS, GOERING, and GOEBBELS with the heads of the Army conferred together, HESS stressed that the group of German leaders were persistent in their desire for peace. In order to bring this about, if necessary, it was hinted that the retirement of HITLER would be effected with the mitigation of the Jewish problem.

7. Besides ‑‑‑‑‑ [a], a secret German Army representative is now negotiating in Washington. I understand that the State Department is now in a perplexed state, and that there are great discrepancies of opinion.

 


[a] DoD Comment: Names withheld.

 

Trans. 7‑18‑41

 

No. 116

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 506.

 

(Part 5 of 5)

 

8. The Germans, in order to guarantee their supply of internal foodstuffs and petroleum, made demands upon Russia. They expected America to assist in this, but it is clear that they could not be obtained. The United States and Great Britain were of the opinion that the massing of troops on the border was a form of bluff. It can be said that they were in error on this point. At the same time the Germans figured that any help to Russia from England or the United States was beyond possibility. Influential persons in the Government are now asking if a miscalculation was not made.

9. It has lately begun to become evident in this connection that one of the reasons for the standstill of American‑Japanese negotiations toward improvement of relations is that the Americans mistakenly harbored the idea hat there was a connection between the German peace movement and the Japanese negotiations.

 

Trans. 7‑18‑41

 

A-63

 

No. 117

 

FROM: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)                                                        July 8, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   No number.

 

Secret within the office.

 

In the Oral Statement referred to in your message # 326 [a], the words "his associates" are used. Please find out in a casual manner just exactly what is meant by these words and wire me back.

 


[a] See II, 87, 88, and 89‑text of Oral Statement dated June 21, 1941.

 

Trans. 7‑9‑41

 

No. 118

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 9, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 345.

 

(Secret outside Department)

 

Regarding your # 424 [a].

 

As the text of the United States government's communication regarding the question of the "Right of Self‑defense" and peace conditions relative to China Affair, which you have been asked not to transmit to this office, may be very useful in sounding out the American point of view, therefore, please send the text upon receipt of same.

 


[a] Amb. Nomura wires Tokyo that in an interview with Secy. Hull, he made the statement that there seems to be influential people in Japan who do not desire an understanding with the U.S., so, after all, does Japan consider the composure of relations between the two countries so important. Nomura replies that such concession as the U.S. has so far offered are not worthy of consideration.

 

Trans. 7‑10‑41

 

No. 119

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)                                                                    # 489.

 

(In 2 parts‑complete)

 

(Chief of Office Routing.)

 

(Very secret)

 

The Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador:

In Section 2 of the joint declaration which was entered into today on behalf of our two governments, statements are made with regard to the attitude of the two governments toward the European war. During the informal conversations which resulted in the conclusion of this joint declaration I explained to you on a number of occasions the attitude and policy of the

 

A-64

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

government of the United States toward the hostilities in Europe and pointed out that this attitude and policy were based on the inalienable right of self-defense. I called special attention to address which -----.

 

(Part 2)

The Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State:

I have received your letter of June.

I wish to state that my government is fully aware of the attitude of the government of the United States toward the hostilities in Europe as explained to me by you during our recent conversations and as set forth in your address of April 24. I did not fail to report to my government the policy of the government of the United States as is therein explained to me, and I may assure you that my government understands and appreciates the attitude and position of the government of the United States with regard to the European war .

I wish also to assure you that the government of Japan, with regard to the measures which the government of the United States may be forced to adopt in defense of its own security, is not under any commitment requiring Japan to take any action contrary to or destructive of the fundamental objective of the present agreement.

The government of Japan, fully cognizant of its responsibilities freely assumed by the conclusion of this agreement, is determined to take no action inimical to the establishment and preservation of peace in the Pacific Area.

 

Trans. 7-11-41

 

No. 120

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 10, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 490.

 

Strictly secret outside the Department.

 

(To be handled in Government Code.)

 

1. Does the term "economic cooperation" between Japan and China contemplate the granting by the Government of China to the Japanese Government or its nationals of any preferential or monopolistic rights which would discriminate in favor of the Japanese Government and Japanese nationals as compared with the Government and nationals of the United States and of other third countries? Is it contemplated that upon the inauguration of negotiations for a peaceful settlement between Japan and China the special Japanese companies, such as the North China Development Company and the Central China Promotion Company and their subsidiaries, will be divested, insofar as Japanese official support may be involved, of any monopolistic or other preferential rights that they may exercise in fact or that may inure to them by virtue of present circumstances in areas of China under Japanese military occupation?

2. With regard to existing restrictions upon freedom of trade and travel by nationals of third countries in Chinese territory under Japanese military occupation, could the Japanese Government indicate approximately what restrictions will be removed immediately upon the entering into by the Government at Chungking of negotiations with the Government of Japan and what restrictions will be removed at later dates, with an indication in each case insofar as possible of the approximate time within which removal of restrictions would be affected?

3. Is it the intention of the Japanese Government that the Chinese Government shall exercise full and complete control of matters relating to trade, currency and exchange? Is it

 

A-65

 

the  intention of the Japanese Government to withdraw and redeem the Japanese military notes which are being circulated in China and the notes of  Japanese-sponsored regimes in China?  Can the Japanese Government indicate how soon after the inauguration of the contemplated negotiations arrangements to the above ends can in its opinion be carried out?

 

No. 121

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 8, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #478.

 

(Part 1 of 3)

 

Re my #424 [a] and your #329 (?) [b].

 

Well, since I asked you for instructions already considerable time has passed and still I get no decision. In their Oral Statement they make it clear that they entertain misgivings concerning our real intentions. The instructions in your caption message clarify the intentions of our Government and did something to mitigate this, but did not succeed in dispelling their suspicions. We are delaying a reply and, thinking of this in connection with certain other circumstances, they consider that this mistrust is justified. Gradually they are losing hope of ever seeing an improvement in Japanese-American relations. Gradually they are beginning to believe there is no chance of these negotiations ever amounting to anything. A certain Cabinet member confidentially told a man connected with our Embassy that unless we immediately resume our conferences, it will be too bad and that he is worried because the situation is taking a turn unfavorable to the parleys.

 


[a] Ambassador NOMURA discusses the attitude of the United States towards the proposal and the three important discrepancies in the demands of both sides.

[b] Not available.

Trans. 7-9-41

 

No. 122

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 8, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #478.

 

(Part 2 of 3)

 

I am sorry that in my negotiations, I have been unable to drive home your instructions, but since hostilities broke out between Germany and the Soviet the tendency is to closely scrutinize the moves that Japan makes or seems about to make.  Some say that Japan will now try to realize the hopes she has entertained for many years of expanding northward and that she will not put much stress on the Japanese-Soviet treaty.  Others say that she will now continue to move southward and that this coincides with the desire of Germany.  There are even some who say that it does not matter which or what Japan does, and that the thought of her disturbing the peace of the Pacific or broadening the theater of war is merely an illusion because, after all, she is worn out and has no international credit.  The Secretary of State has talked

 

A-66

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

with me altogether seventeen times because he regards the Japanese-American question as very grave. Every time we have talked on this subject he has repeated this fact twice. Those working on the flank have ceaselessly contacted Cabinet members with whom they are intimate. The President also is just as much concerned, so I have heard.

 

Trans. 7-9-41

 

No. 123

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 8, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 478.

 

(Part 3 of 3)

 

By and large, Navy quarters also take the same view. This, I think, would be only natural because of the political situation here as well as this country's defense program. I must say that I cannot believe, if we stick to our present adamant attitude, that they will finally give in. Everything I read in the newspapers and magazines leads me to believe that the Government of the United States would not show a softer demeanor. I rather think that there is a great danger that they will break off the negotiations at the first opportunity. The main thorny points in the pending proposal are the right of self-defense, the stationing of troops, and the principle of non-discrimination in commerce, and I am completely at my wits' end, but still I feel an urgent impulse not to break off contact with them. If you want to send me another definite proposal, I will present it to them, but cannot you possibly reach some decision on their proposals which I have already sent you? I am sorry to keep troubling you with this matter.

 

Trans. 7-9-41

 

No. 124

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 10, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #350.

 

At present there are some things under discussion concerning Japanese-American matters for which I cannot depend too much on telegrams; and as there are certain reports I want to get first-hand from Consul General WAKASUGI, please send him home immediately.

 

Trans. 7-11-41

 

No. 125

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 10, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #495.

 

Re your # 350 [a].

 

Immediately following the opening of the war between Soviet Russia and Germany, I noticed that the United States was eager to adjust Japanese-American relations before it was too late. Information received since then seems to indicate that she is very suspicious of Japan's attitude. If we negotiate quickly, it may be said that the possibility of a settlement

 

A-67

 

is not entirely hopeless. However, under the present circumstances there is no time for you to recall a man, get from him the facts of the situation, and then appoint him to carryon the negotiations. There is no reason to believe that an understanding could be arrived at by doing so. It is my opinion that circumstances which would necessitate severance of diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States are much more imminent than we think they are and so my remaining here would avail nothing. Since I believe that I should personally report to you the facts and, also, that my leaving would have no serious effect on the United States, I would like to have you permit my returning to Japan and making a report.

 


[a] See II, 124 in which Tokyo requests Washington that Consul General WAKASUGI be recalled to report first hand.

 

Trans. 7-11-41

 

No. 126

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 11, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #356.

 

Regarding your # 495 [a].

 

As U.S.-Japanese relations become more critical, it becomes increasingly necessary for you to stick to your post to represent Japan.. It goes without saying that you should remain there and do everything in your power to improve conditions.

I realize, of course, that there could be nothing better than to hear you report on the situation in person. However, because of the above consideration, I ordered Minister Wakasugi home immediately in place of yourself.

Even if we do not refer to our Emperor's wishes, your return home at this time cannot be countenanced from the standpoint of public opinion. Even assuming that a successful conclusion of a U.S.-Japanese understanding seems hopeless, I am convinced that you should remain at your post to the last and attempt to figure out ways and means of making the best of the situation. (If I were to express myself bluntly on this point, I would say that it would be of more importance for you to do so, if circumstances do not allow any optimism.)

For these reasons, this Minister cannot grant your request to return home at this time.

 


[a] Jap Amb. Nomura wires Tokyo requesting that he be allowed to return to Tokyo instead of Minister Wakasugi, stating his reasons therefore. See II, 125.

 

Trans. 7-14-41

 

No. 127

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           No number.

 

Re # 356 [a].

 

I am extremely sorry and I wish to apologize for having caused you displeasure on account of my lack of experience, though, in obedience to your instructions, my intention was to remain here and do my utmost until the present critical situation reached a stage of

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

possible solution. Quite contrary to my original intention, it seems that my successive telegrams have had much to do with the decline of our country's honor in the eyes of the people within and without the country. I will, in the future, be especially cautious and endeavor to avoid errors even in small matters. However, in view of the fact that the bringing up I have had was in a society in which I was allowed to use my own judgment more or less freely even in matters which I have been ordered to carry out, and so to exercise my judgment has become my second nature, I cannot be sure of not troubling you again and thereby doing harm to my country. Therefore, no matter from what angle I regard the question, I cannot help but keenly feel that I should resign as soon as possible for the good of the country. In view of the political situation, I earnestly hope that you will not hesitate in transferring my duties to ----- person whom you have selected as being more in accordance with your desire. I fully realize that I am not the right man. I am, in fact, no more than a temporary stop-gap. As I have assured you previously, I have no intention whatsoever of bringing any degree of disaster to this position before my return to Japan. I most earnestly hope that you would consider this point carefully.

The matter that was discussed recently and for the transmission of which the return of WAKASUGI [b] became a question, was an off-the-record discussion of a private nature, and since it had chiefly to do with political matters, I personally assumed the responsibility. However, it was not a matter of such importance that it requires reporting personally in part, that is, in addition to what has already been communicated to you by telegram. As I have already wired you, I cannot help but advise you against recalling WAKASUGI and settling the matter discussed after you have heard the details from him. WAKASUGI was sent here to assist me in the performance of my duties. He wishes to remain here so long as I am at this post. Will you, therefore, reconsider the matter? However, if you insist on his returning to Japan, I have no more to say in regard to this question. In that case, I would like to have you wire me your decision.

 


[a] See II, 126, MATSUOKA, replying to NOMURA's wire requesting that he be allowed to return to Tokyo instead of WAKASUGI, says it is absolutely necessary that NOMURA stick to his post.

[b] Consul General, Japanese Embassy in Washington. Chief Advisor to Ambassador NOMURA.

 

Trans. 7-16-41

 

No. 128

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 479.

 

Re my # 426 [a].

 

The word "associates", I have been given to understand refers to all persons who have conferred with them upon orders from myself, that is, WAKASUGI, OKUMURA, MATSUDAIRA, IWAKURO, and IKADA.

 


[a] Text of Oral Statement dated June 21, 1941. See II, 87-89.

 

Trans. 7-10-41

 

A-69

 

No. 129

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 11, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #355.

 

(In 5 parts-complete.) Strictly confidential.

 

Re your # 479 [a].

 

It should be needless to say that they are on your "staff" and are not your associates. The only exception to this rule is when the Foreign Minister names a person to a specific commission. Hence, unless Colonel Iwakuro is specifically named to some post by this Minister, he is in no position whatsoever to be considered an associate.

With regard to IKAWA, I am sure that you will recall that I sent you a cable in considerable detail before I embarked on my tour of Europe, that he is in no way connected with the Premier or with any other member of the Cabinet. He was brought up in the Finance Ministry, and, as you will find out if you make inquiries of persons in that Ministry, he is held in low esteem by them.

You must be aware of the fact that a person of that sort should not in any way, either directly or indirectly, be connected with a matter of such vast importance as the one in hand.

It is obvious from the text of the oral statement that the United States is of the opinion that these men are your associates. This is a point which this Minister considers exceedingly regrettable, and I request that you take immediate steps to correct this misconception.

 

(Part 2)

Moreover, the "oral statement" implies that as long as there are questionable persons in the Konoye Cabinet, the "Understanding Pact" cannot be put into effect, even presupposing that such an instrument is signed. In other words, as it must have become apparent to you upon reading over the "oral statement" once, the wording of that statement is tantamount to demanding that we reorganize the personnel of our Cabinet.

Under these circumstances, it should be plain to see that not only the government of Japan, but those persons representing it, have the perfect right to reject the "oral statement". However, keeping in mind the condition of U.S.-Japanese relations as well as the general outlook on the world, I, for one, made a decision to suffer in silence.

I, of course, assume that you, realizing the importance and gravity of the contents of the "oral statement" insisted upon fully discussing the various points. You no doubt pointed out that you were requesting the detailed explanation on the grounds that the instrument has had only a very few, if any, comparable parallels in the history of the world.

For your reference, I bring out the following points, with the request that you explain them fully to the other side in order to correct whatever misconceptions they may harbor:

 

(Part 3)

1. You will recall that Premier Konoye was interviewed by newspaper men on a train subsequent to the signing of the Tripartite Pact. You will also remember that the greater part of that interview was falsely reported by the press, as was made clear at the time.

2. The greater part of the interview published, which I allegedly gave to an American magazine writer, was also false. The magazine writer even broke his promise to submit a copy of the interview before it was dispatched. Moreover, he even went so far as to release the information to the United Press without obtaining any permission to do so.

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

The gist of what I actually said at that time was that Japan has every intention of being loyal to the terms of the Tripartite Pact. I added, however, that should the United States go to war, forcing a clash between Japan and the United States, there would be, without a doubt, a horrible effect on all mankind. For this reason, I explained, every effort should be made to prevent its being brought about.

As I reported to you at the time, that was as far as I went in my interview. If all of the statements that I have made to Parliament and to all other persons and groups are read carefully and in a calm atmosphere, it will be found that I have never once gone beyond the limit described above.

While on this topic, although it does not have a direct bearing on the subject at hand, I wish to say that the published report of Menken's interview with Premier Konoye, the effects of which you recently reported, was false, almost in its entirety. Menken brought along a letter of introduction from a certain prominent American, and requested that he be permitted to take pictures of the Premier. The Premier gave his permission and while they were being taken, Menken and the Premier conversed (while standing) for a matter of possibly two or three minutes. Menken wrote up a story and released it to the United Press; (probably sold it to them).

This is another example of exceedingly unethical and damaging acts. Even if it is true that it had little or no effect in the United States, the very unfavorable reaction in Germany and Italy is one which cannot be lightly discounted. The Premier feels very strongly about this case of libel and is determined to act with more caution in the future.

In view of my past experience, I have adopted a policy of refusing to grant any interviews except to persons whose characters are guaranteed by the United States Ambassador and for whose acts and words the U.S. Embassy agrees to be held responsible.

I mention this for your information.

 

(Part 4)

3. The explanations made by Chief of the Information Section Ishii who is frequently termed "the spokesman for Japan", to the Approval Committee did not go beyond the bounds described above.

If the United States expects Japan to double-cross her Axis partners or even wishes Japan to assume a lukewarm attitude towards them on the basis of any of these public statements, the United States is being unreasonable, and is in for a disappointment. I am convinced that if the United States were in the same position as we, she would assume the same, or possibly even stronger, attitude.

4. If it is generally believed that there is a split within the Japanese cabinet, the so-called "lying reports" must be responsible for the misconception. As you will have no difficulty in guessing, these reports are probably based on rumors started by those who have not been able to make the grade into the Cabinet.

When confronted with a matter as important as the one at hand, any country's government would thoroughly discuss it from all possible angles. That is all that we are doing, and any report of dissatisfaction within the Cabinet is coming from without.

 

(Part 5)

It is true that the United States and British Ambassadors in Tokyo have a tendency to seize upon these rumors and place considerable weight on them when reporting on them to their home governments. It may be that the President and the Secretary of State have an entirely misrepresented picture of Japan because too much credence has been given to idle rumor.

 

A-71

 

Since this is an exceedingly grave matter we are discussing, please make every effort to correct such erroneous opinions, if indeed they exist, for as long as they exist, we cannot hope to ever reach a successful agreement.

There is absolutely no truth in the rumor that Premier Konoye and I do not see eye to eye on matters. (These rumors have died down in Japan of late.) The truth is that the Premier and I are in complete agreement where improvement of U.S.-Japanese relations is concerned. In other words, we both are anxious to bring about an "Understanding Pact" between Japan and the United States as I have made clear to you right from the beginning. The War and Navy Ministries, also, are in complete accord in this matter as are all of the other Ministers.

Since this is an exceedingly important point, please explain it to the President and the Secretary of State so that they can make no mistake about it.

 


[a] See II, 128.

 

Trans. 7-12-41

 

No. 130

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 11, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #357.

 

From Chief of American Bureau, Terasaki, to Counselor Iguti:

 

Message # 355 [a] from Tokyo to Washington contained the Minister's immediate reactions upon receiving the "oral statement". Please bear that in mind.

With regard to message # 356 [b], please be advised of the fact that the official Japanese attitude concerning the U. S. proposal will be cabled to you very shortly.

 


[a] Matsuoka wires Nomura that the U.S. "oral statement" implies a misconception on the part of that country as to Japan's motives and attitude toward the "understanding pact". In a four-page message, he clarifies various points in this connection. See II, 129.

[b] See II, 126.

 

Trans. 7-14-41

 

No. 131

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #508.

 

Part 1 of 8.

 

Re your # 356 [a].

 

1. I agree with you upon the importance of their Oral Statement, but I do not think we could go so far as to say that they were trying to bring about a revision of our Cabinet. I think that all they were trying to do was to find out how sincere we were in our apparent desire to improve Japanese-American relations. What Your Excellency complains about was naturally the result of a one-sided misunderstanding on their part. All too often did the American Embassy in Tokyo send in malevolent reports and all too often did your so-called friends, who wished

 

A-72

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

to thwart these negotiations, engage in damaging activities (take the words of the Americans as they stand). Another trouble was that Germany (who originated the broadcast containing rumors of Your Excellency's resignation) and China engaged in every sort of activity possible to thwart us. There are many indications that this is the case. All along I have repeated to them two or three times what you have told me in your instructions. Each time they were persuaded but ere long they received reports from financial circles which upset everything I said and suspicions were again aroused.

 


[a] See II, 126 in which Matsuoka, replying to Nomura's request that he be allowed to return to Tokyo instead of Wakasugi, says it is absolutely necessary that Nomura stick to his post.

 

Trans. 7-17-41

 

No. 132

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 508.

 

Part 2 of 8.

 

2. I believed and never once doubted that it was at this stage the serious policy of the Imperial Government to improve Japanese-American relations. But, since then Oh, how often have I met with opposition! How often have I lost faith in my subordinates! But, in spite of that and enduring it all, to this day I have held to my post and while enduring every sort of bitterness I have stuck to my ideal; that is because I have had faith in what I conceived to be the primary policy of our Government. As I reflect upon the general atmosphere in this country when I took office, I can see how relations between our two countries were following an ever roughening road. I thought that perhaps I could make our two countries each understand the position of the other; but, alas, I can see that that was only an airy story told in a dream.

 

Trans. 7-17-41

 

No. 133

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #508.

 

Part 3 of 8.

 

In order to begin negotiations under the conditions I have described above and seeing how much dissatisfaction there was over the content of the negotiations (it is clear that there is a limit to dissatisfaction), naturally I had to make ready. So, I came to entertain the view that it would be hopeless to deal with the Secretary of State alone and thus try to bring about the desired results. (On this point the Postmaster General, PURATO [a], and other well-known men of my acquaintance agreed with me.) When I began the unofficial negotiations which I am now conducting, members of the Embassy and the Military and Naval Attachés were consulted by me and we decided to use underhanded means to feel our way here in Washington and to hurry along the unofficial negotiations. (As you requested I have reported to you on this matter.) Since then, under my direction, the negotiations have been progressing and I have been having reported to me the details of how the underhanded schemes are working

 

A-73

 

out. Thus, I have been trying to coordinate the work of the people concerned. I can assure you, however, that in this connection I have overlooked nothing and nothing has gone amiss.

 


[a] Kana spelling, probably PRATT.

 

Trans. 7-17-41

 

No. 134

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 508.

 

Part 4 of 8.

 

Furthermore, it is perfectly evident that in making our proposals, as well as in countering theirs, especially in all important matters, I personally conferred with the Postmaster General. I naturally expect that you are aware of this, also, in the light of the fact that I have negotiated with the Chief [a] as many as seventeen times. Then, there is the fact that I have assisted the negotiations in no small way by conferring again with the Postmaster General. In the meantime, as it became clear from your telegram that Germany had sent a secret agent and also that T. V. SOONG and other Chinese agents had been sent and had been actively negotiating in secret, I became increasingly certain that, resorting to under-cover methods in carrying on these negotiations, I had chosen the right method. Naturally, I came to appreciate your wisdom in having used MATSUMOTO and NISHI in this connection. For this reason, I was secretly expecting that I would be given your approval.

 


[a] Probably HULL.

 

Trans. 7-17-41

 

No. 135

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #508.

 

Part 5 of 8.

 

The word "associates" which appears in the Oral Statement they gave us was used also in the Oral Statement which I handed to them in accordance with instructions (?). The word simply means HULL's cooperators, namely, such persons as HAMILTON, BALLANTINE, and the Postmaster General, and it should be taken in a very light sense, for in both cases it is not a word having a strictly limited legal sense, so I would like to have the word understood simply as meaning cooperators. There is absolutely no such misunderstanding on their part as to believe that Colonel IWAKURO and IKAWA and others were authorized by our Government to represent us. Because of the fact that the Postmaster General is truly desirous of seeing these negotiations brought to a successful end, he is naturally one through which we could carryon our undercover campaign. Whenever any matter is brought up, the responsibility of which is clearly defined, he always says, "Go and ask HULL about it." Please, therefore,

 

A-74

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR  

 

understand that both of these men have a clear-cut conception as to how far they may exercise their respective authorities.

 

Trans. 7-17-41

 

No. 136

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #508.

 

Part 6 of 8.

 

Before Colonel IWAKURO came here as my assistant, I requested the Army and Navy to send a competent man. I suppose that an understanding was reached between the Foreign and Military officials as to his duties. Thank you for your caution concerning IKAWA. For a time, since the last of last month, there was a misunderstanding between him and the members of our Embassy concerning the handling of intelligences and telegrams. However, since the beginning of this month, under the supervision of IWAKURO, he has been acting as an interpreter and in his contacts with American agents of the inner circle he has been quite zealous and has achieved a great deal. He is continuing his work along these lines. I can assure you that all rumors concerning the undependability of this man are false.

 

Trans. 7-17-41

 

No. 137

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 508.

 

Part 7 of 8.

 

The foregoing is the explanation of how the word "associates" has been used in connection with our undercover activity. Personally, I saw nothing wrong with the word and was very much grieved to find unexpectedly that in using it I acted against your wishes. The most pressing question before them is whether Japan at this critical moment should adjust her relations with the United States or give up all attempts in this direction for she must at this moment choose either one of these two alternatives. Moreover, if the matter is decided too hastily, the situation is so pressing that a good opportunity might be lost forever. I, therefore, do not wish to waste time at this critical moment bickering over the question of procedure. Besides, for compatriots to be arguing over details and to be casting suspicion on one another in the face of a serious crisis threatening the country would cause the enthusiasm and courage of those who are sincerely working in this matter to wilt, and would interfere with the progress of the negotiations. Since I feel this very keenly, I do not wish to go further into a discussion of details.

 

Trans. 7-17-41

 

A-75

 

No. 138

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #508.

 

Part 8 of 8.

 

If, in the negotiations and measures which naturally come within the sphere of my responsibility, you have any faults to find, after negotiations are broken off, since you have not yet seen fit to order me back to Japan, I am determined to exercise my own judgment as to how the final details are disposed of. On these points, at least, I hope that you will trust me for a while. This request is not based upon any willful or dogmatic determination to have my own way in carrying out the high policies of our government, nor is it that I am unwilling to listen to good advice. As I have told you in many telegrams, I have not dealt in any secret talks in the negotiations. On all the proposals I presented them, beforehand I always conferred with the members of the Embassy staff and with the Military and Naval Attachés and got their assistance. I want you please to bear these points in mind.

 

Trans. 7-17-41

 

No. 139

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #507.

 

While Secretary HULL is away recuperating from an illness at a summer resort where the air is better than here in Washington, on the 13th I sent him my good wishes for a quick recovery. On the 14th HAMILTON came to see me on the Secretary's behalf. He said that Mr. HULL thanked me for my solicitude and continued that if there was anything on my mind, whatever it might be, to let him know. I replied: "Well, Premier Konoye and Foreign Minister Matsuoka both equally hope that relations between Japan and the United States can be harmoniously settled. The Ministers of the Army and Navy and other Cabinet members are all agreed on this. Among them there is no difference of opinion. Irresponsible high officials have spread rumors and perhaps officials in the American Embassy in Tokyo have sent in reports which have done harm." HAMILTON then said: "While HULL considers peace desirable between Japan and the United States, he also hopes that Japan will not make war upon other countries." I retorted: "Well, when it comes to that, aren't there rumors that the United States is also getting military bases in other countries?"

For your information.

 

Trans. 7-18-41

 

No. 140

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #364.

 

(Part 1 of 4)

 

I have not yet received a reply but in any case, whether they intend this Oral Statement which you have sent me to be a part of the proposal for an understanding or not, it is a detestable document beyond any doubt. For one country to tell another totally independent power

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

how its Government should be organized and criticize important elements in that Government and to suggest that this person or that person be eliminated, is unheard of. Under these circumstances, even if we would conclude this understanding, its result would be nil. I might say that it would be a mere phantasm. In the last paragraph just before the note there is something abominable written. They ask that we change the set-up of our Government and its attitude. Such a thing belongs to the realm of the fantastic. If my memory serves me rightly, during the summer of 1905, in connection with the Tangiers Incident, the German Kaiser asked the French to banish THEOPHILE DELCASSE, but France did not listen, of course, and the incident was never settled harmoniously. A country can only tell its dependencies and protectorates such things as that. If you will carefully scrutinize this Oral statement, you can well see that so far as the present government of Japan is concerned, it is enough to cause a rupture in the negotiations.

 

Trans. 7-15-41

 

No. 141

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #364.

 

(Part 2 of 4)

 

I, the Foreign Minister, have confidence in the majesty of the Empire of Japan and its basis as an independent nation and I have worried night and day, thinking of every angle in this case because I have hoped to settle the matter pleasantly and without harshness, but this Oral Statement is something which strikes me to the very heart and which I cannot bear . Note the following:

1. This Oral Statement: You, Sir, and your so-called fellow travelers have an attitude which is entirely at variance with the attitude of our present Government and the horrible thing about it is that you have willingly allowed the United States to mold your opinions. Saddest of all, here in Japan you have a few adherents. For the representative of a country to directly oppose the Government he represents is almost unforgivable and I know of no precedent for it in our history. For a representative of a given country to allow foreign leaders to influence him and for him, in turn, to try to influence his Government belongs not only to the realm of the preposterous, but also to that of base rudeness.

2. This Oral Statement! Had I been a proud man on my dignity, when I received this Oral Statement on 8th, Sir, I would have flashed back to you my resentment, but the reason why I have waited until now is that I did not wish to cause hard feelings and wished to avoid offending the Americans in the least. Hopeless as it seemed, I still wished to see something achieved in these negotiations, but when this Oral Statement came, you may be sure that we examined it from every angle. I do not doubt that you have been put out through waiting so long for instructions, but we, too, have had our worries over the matter here.

 

Trans. 7-15-41

 

A-77

 

No. 142

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 364.

 

(Part 3 of 4)

 

3. Do you not know that, if the Imperial Government had presented an Oral Statement like this to the American Government, their indignation would have been unimaginable.

4. In my opinion, although it is possible that Japanese-American relations may be adjusted at some time in the remote future, for this sort of hideous document to stand like a shadow between our two nations, would bode neither of us ever any good.

5. For the American Government to even hint that so long as the present Government is not changed in its constituency probably an understanding cannot be established, is inconceivable. The present Cabinet is not by any means ready to consider this proposal seriously. I do not think that the Secretary of State thought quite that far, but, depending upon whether he is sincere and upon how sincere he is, the Imperial Government is disposed to draw up a proposal which we hope will bring a solution to the problem.

 

Trans. 7-15-41

 

No. 143

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #364.

 

(Part 4 of 4)

 

Proceeding from this point of view, if the United States will not rescind the Oral Statement, the Japanese Government cannot proceed to consider a plan for an understanding. I feel sure that the American Government would not like to break off with us. I want you please to go to the American officials and tell them that this Oral Statement is extremely hateful to us. Explain to them the position of the Imperial Government and see if you cannot show them what we are trying to have them understand. Most of all, without any delay, be sure to send the Oral Statement back to them with our veto. Tell them that the reason why we waited so long in doing this was because we felt a little delicacy and did not wish to hurt their feelings, and hoped that the matter could be settled without any wrangling.

Well, I am thinking this matter over seriously indeed and in a day or two I will send you a revised proposal of ours, accompanied by a list of whys and wherefores. Will you please explain this to the Secretary of State.

 

Trans. 7-15-41

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 144

 

FROM: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)                                                        July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 365.

 

(Part 1 of 6)

 

Secret outside the Department. Re your # 424 [a].

 

Though their proposals along many important points are extremely divergent from our own, in view of the great importance of Japan-American relationships, we have plumbed the depths in endeavoring to bring about some sort of conciliatory proposals. Making repeated profound studies, we have at long last finally drawn up a series of proposals which have been discussed in secret conclave lasting several days. Through these we have hit finally upon a solution which is in keeping with the plans of the Imperial Japanese Army. This is incorporated in my # 366 [b]. These proposals reflect the maximum limit to which we can comply with the purport of the American proposals. In spite of the fact that the phraseology and gist of the preface, clauses 1, 4 and 6 differ greatly from our proposals, we have decided to adopt them as they stand. However, the other clauses in their proposals, not being in accord with the Empire's fundamental national policy are impossible to accept as they stand, much as I regret it. We have, however, gone to great pains in order to make our revised proposals in detail and in form as closely similar to theirs as is possible. After your Excellency has given those points due consideration, I would like to have you do your very utmost to bring about their acceptance of these proposals. The reasons underlying our revisions are as follows.

 


[a] Ambassador NOMURA wires Tokyo that in an interview with Secretary HULL he made the statement that there seem to be influential people in Japan who do not desire an understanding with the U.S., so, after all, does Japan consider the composure of relations between the two countries so important. Nomura replies that such concessions as the U.S. has so far offered are not worthy of consideration. Nomura also discusses the three important discrepancies in the demands of both sides.

[b] Japan's revisions of the original text.

 

Trans. 7-16-41

 

No. 145

 

FROM: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)                                                        July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #365.

 

(Part 2 of 6)

 

2. The attitude of the two countries with regard to the European war.

(a) They will object doubtless in principle to the gist of clause 1 of our original proposals; i.e., that we, together with the United States, would do our utmost to bring about international peace by an early restoration of peace in Europe. We feel that it is absolutely essential that the spirit and object of our activities shall be for the restoration of such a peace, and through from considerations of internal politics this clause should by all means remain in the final text, after considering all possible conciliation to their views, it is felt that the words, "At a fitting opportunity in the future," be inserted in the phrase, "assist in the bringing about of a settlement of the European war". Thus, we will make it easier for them to accept it.

 

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(b) With regard to clause 2 of our original proposals, as long as we do not abrogate the Tripartite Alliance between Japan, Germany, and Italy, we must insist upon its remaining in the proposals. Further, clause 3, as the United States pointed out, since the agreement has already been publicly announced, it is necessary that this be retained, and there should be no objection to this. It isn't that the Tripartite Alliance is at variance with Japan-American understanding and that this should be made absolutely clear is a major issue in the stand of the Japanese Government. Though I believe that they will permit clauses 2 and 3 to remain in the text, after giving due consideration to the position of the United States, in the light of the temper of their proposals, we will take the first part of clause 2 of those proposals intact and place it in the preface of our revised proposals. Thus, the substance of clause 3 of our first proposal will be incorporated in that clause. We, therefore, can let clause 3 go.

 

Trans. 7-16-41

 

No. 146

 

FROM: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)                                                        July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #365.

 

(Part 3 of 6)

 

(c) Reviving the fourth clause of our original proposals, that clause being so dependent on (a) and (b), we shall make it the third clause of our revised proposals. In the past, this clause has found its place in the American proposals. With regard to this, since it is tantamount to demanding the revision of the phrase, "that we will not take an aggressive stand," though they may continue to oppose this revised proposal to the bitter end, I do not think that they will. I want you to take steps so that in the minutes of these negotiations, it will be noted that we have again and again, as on this occasion, assumed the position of not approving the unfriendly steps taken by the United States in the past against Germany and Italy.

3. The steps for the bringing about of peace between Japan and China. In referring to these articles and clauses which are of the essence of the Imperial Government's policies toward China, as well as for the establishment of the new order in East Asia, they have consumed much of our attention. It is hard for us to accept the American proposals which would drastically revise the gist of our original proposals. The American proposals reject the tenor of our statements in our original proposals with regard to the fundamental agreement between Japan and China and the tenor of the joint declaration by Japan, Manchukuo, and China. In view of the fact that in the statement, "Peace negotiations shall be carried out with the Chinese Government" (It is clear that they mean the CHIANG regime), they demand that we nullify our achievements thus far, as well as our policy of regarding the Chungking Government as merely a regional regime. On the other hand, though it is thought that much confusion would be brought about by leaving out such important matters as joint anti-Communistic endeavors, the independence of Far Eastern countries, (?) and other things which make for the survival of the people of the Far East and the safety of our Empire, we have deleted phrases and clauses from our original proposals with little consideration. Thus, we have, by incorporating limited revisions of their proposals, tried to bring about a conciliatory settlement.

 

Trans. 7 -18-41

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 147

 

FROM: Tokyo (Japanese Foreign Minister)                                         July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #365.

 

(Part 4 of 6)

 

Thus, the statement in the revised proposal "regulations and terms already put into effect on the basis of this principle" means comprehensively, an agreement between Japan, and a joint declaration on the part of Japan, Manchukuo and China. But since we saw that if we made this too obvious we could not get their approval, we decided to put it into less conspicuous phraseology.

Furthermore, in our revised proposal we are avoiding using the title "Chungking (?) Government," which the Americans did not like in our first proposal. You know how we, on the other hand, detest the phrase "Government of China;" so that is why we have chosen to use such a simple and vague expression as "the CHIANG regime." We hope that this will be agreeable to both sides. Finally, in our first proposal, we merely wished to inform the United States that we earnestly desired peace negotiations with China. We merely asked them to intervene with CHIANG KAI-SHEK. That did not mean that we wished to conclude an agreement with the United States concerning peace with China. The Chinese Incident cannot and must not be decided through the intervention of any third country .That has been, is, and will always, be our irrevocable policy. Thus, the "annex" to the American proposal must all be eliminated.

I want you to be sure to get a promise from the United States that if CHIANG will not listen to their warning, they will stop assisting him in any way.

 

Trans. 7-16-41

 

No. 148

 

FROM: Tokyo (Japanese Foreign Minister)                                         July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #365.

 

(Part 5 of 6)

 

4. Commerce between both countries. In the revised proposal we accept this clause bodily from the American proposal. Our own first proposal will be entirely forgotten. However, if we let that "annex" stand, our commercial dealings with the United States might fall back into the same state they were before the incident. We need, for our National Defense and for the development of our industries, military goods and other important commodities from the United States, and if the "annex" stood, these could not be obtained and they might lay further embargoes and limitations against us. This would stand as a great obstacle in the way of an improvement in the commercial relations between our two countries. That is why we eliminated it.

5. Economic activities of the two countries in the Pacific area. We have changed the Pacific Area which they mention in their proposal to "Southwestern Pacific" (in the preface we made the same change), thus restoring our first proposal. That is because the area where we feel the need of cooperation is specifically the Southwestern Pacific. That is the area where we need to cooperate as I say, but that does not mean that we desire or need any pact concerning this matter. Therefore, the American proposal is totally and abso-

 

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lutely at variance with our own. Thus, we will insist upon our first proposal. However, your message # 234 [a] reveals some changes which the United States already seems willing to make, so I do not suppose that they will object very much.

 


[a] The text of the Proposal for an Understanding between the United States and Japan dated (April 17, 1941).

 

Trans. 7-16-41

 

No. 149

 

FROM: Tokyo (Japanese Foreign Minister)                                         July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #365.

 

(Part 6 of 6)

 

6. The policy of both countries relative to the political stability of the Pacific Area. We have revised our first proposal concerning the Philippines, mentioned in clauses 1 and 2 of the 6th article of the American proposal. The question of Philippine independence is a question concerning the United States alone. We are not in a position to interfere in this matter, but yet that area comes under our East Asia Area of Co-prosperity. Therefore, they must guarantee the independence of these Islands and friendly treatment to Japanese residents. It is our mission to see that the various races of East Asia prosper and receive good treatment. Therefore, we wish assurance from the United States on these points. As I said, while we do appreciate the position of the United States, if this understanding is to be concluded, it is only natural that the United States must also consider our point of view. As for clause 3 concerning the immigration question, we have restored our proposal. That is because we cannot disregard the welfare of our own country in order to adjust our relations with the United States. We consider the position of the United States and know that such matters as this have to be submitted to Parliaments. Therefore, we have changed the expression "will give indiscriminatory treatment" to "the American Government will endeavor to give indiscriminatory treatment."

 

ADDENDUM

 

We have restored our first proposal. However, we do not think that any explanation is necessary.

 

Trans. 7-16-41

 

No. 150

 

FROM: Tokyo (Japanese Foreign Minister)                                         July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #366.

 

(Part 1 of 3)

 

(To be kept secret within the Department).

 

1. Above "Tiaheiyo Chiiki" (Pacific Area) in the 5th article listed in the beginning of the American proposal, we will add the two words "nansei" (Southwestern) and clause 7 of the American proposal will not be an independent section, but it will rather be made (b) of clause 6. (See clause 6 of the basic proposal.)

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

2. Clause 2. The attitude of the Governments of the two nations concerning the European war.

 

(a) We will make a number of revisions in the first clause of the first Japanese proposal and restore it as the first clause. It reads "The Governments of Japan and the United States will have as their joint objective the bringing about of world peace and when a suitable opportunity comes to prevent the expansion of the European war, both countries will work together for the restoration of an immediate peace."

(b) We will revise the second clause of the first Japanese proposal and leave it as the second clause. We will eliminate the first clause of the American Proposal. Thus: The Government of Japan maintains that the purpose of the Tripartite Agreement was and is defensive and designed to prevent the participation of nations in the European war not at present involved in it, but if unfortunately the European war expands, the Japanese Government will carry out its treaty obligations and, with solely the safety and welfare of the nation in mind, decide upon her attitude.

 

Trans. 7-16-41

 

No. 151

 

FROM: Tokyo (Japanese Foreign Minister)                                         July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #366.

 

(Part 2 of 3)

 

(c) We eliminate clause 3 of our revised proposal.

(d) We restore clause 4 of our revised proposal and eliminate clause 2 of the American proposal.

(e) We eliminate the note at the end of the American proposal.

 

3. Article 3. Steps for the restoration of peace between Japan and China.

We will revise this and eliminate the statement under Article 3 and also "The Japanese Government wishes to point out clearly that the basic principles relative to the settlement of the China incident do not conflict either with the principles revealed in Premier KONOYE's statement or with agreements and other measures which Japan has already effected. The President of the United States will request that the CHIANG KAI SHEK Regime, in order to bring about an amicable settlement to the war and peaceful relations, begin negotiations with the Japanese Government," and -----.

 

4. Clause 5. The economic activity of the two nations in the Pacific Area.

This will be revised as follows: "Inasmuch as it has been clearly indicated that economic activity of the United States and of Japan in the southwest Pacific should be carried on by a peaceful means and in accordance with the principle of non-discriminatory treatment in international trade, the Japanese Government and the United States Government shall cooperate in the production and acquirement of natural resources in that area which the two nations desire (such, for example, as petroleum, rubber, tin, and nickel).

 

Trans. 7-16-41

 

A-83

 

No. 152

 

FROM: Tokyo (Japanese Foreign Minister)                                         July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #366.

 

(Part 3 of 3)

 

5. Article 6. The policy of both countries with reference to the political stability of the Pacific Area.

 

(1) We will make the American revised proposal the first clause as it stands, and place (a) at the heading.

(2) Concerning the Philippines, we will revive our first proposal and place (b) at the heading.

(3) Third clause ((c) The Government of the United States will consider the Japanese immigrants in the United States in a friendly manner, and endeavor to grant them the same non-discriminatory treatment as other nations). This stipulation may be made a separate agreement.)

 

Article 6. ADDENDUM.

The last sentence in the last paragraph of the addendum to our first proposal (i.e., The scope for the application of this agreement, ----- and the period of validity will be agreed upon by the governments of both nations) will be appended to the revised proposal.

 

Trans. 7-16-41

 

No. 153

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 16, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   No number.

 

To Counselor IGUCHI from Chief of American Division of Foreign Ministry, TERASAKI.

 

Foreign Minister MATSUOKA, who understood the American Oral Statement to mean that the United States is demanding that we revise our present cabinet, wrote my # 364 [a] as well as # 365 [b]  with his own hand. How about asking Ambassador Nomura to wire him back this explanation immediately: "There are many rumors at present to the effect that the Secretary of State and the other officials did not mean the Oral Statement to be taken in such a way as that. Its object was only to dispel opposition to an adjustment of Japanese-American relations within the United States. The Oral Statement was designed purely and simply to route opposition. It had no other meaning."

Let this matter be between you and me because I have taken it upon myself to wire you this.

 


[a] II, 140-143.

[b] II, 144-149

 

Trans. (Not dated)

 

No. 154

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 16, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 520.

 

On the evening of the 15th, both HAMILTON and BALLANTINE called on me. Saying that they had come in compliance with the desire of the Secretary of State who is now convalescing,

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

they stated: "We are now having a series of conferences to discuss questions centering on maintenance of peace in the Pacific. However, we are in receipt recently of information to the effect that Japan is going to acquire naval and air bases in French Indo-China. We would like to know the truth of all this." I replied: "I, too, know nothing about this question except what I have read in newspapers. By assistance being given by both Britain and the United States to Chungking; by the cooperation effected between the United States and Soviet Russia, Japan is gradually being encircled. Under such circumstances it is not at all surprising to me that such rumors are current at this time. When you realize that the United States has actually occupied Iceland and when it is rumored that she is about to put her hand on Dakar and the Azores, it would not seem strange at all if Japan should do what she is reported to be planning. However, I will give you a reply after I have asked my Government about it." They next asked: "Has Japan, in addition to the Alliance Agreement, a special understanding with Germany and Italy whereby she will fight against the United States in case the latter enters the war?" To this I replied: I don't think there is such an agreement, but in such an event, the duties specified in the third clause of the Alliance Agreement will come into effect and as to what these duties really are, I don't see that there is any need of asking Tokyo about them; they are included in the agreement. I once told Secretary HULL that the Japanese Government will not be able to tell whether what the United States will do in the future will be entirely in the nature of self-defense, and, so, would have to consider each move individually. The United States is, from the standpoint of national defense, the safest of all countries and has little danger of being invaded by another country. Having a special relation with Canada; with Mexico in a position similar to Manchukuo; and with the countries north, as well as south of Panama coming under her influence, the question of safety from the viewpoint of national defense is not such that can/be discussed in comparison with that of Japan."

I then repeated what I had once discussed with Secretary HULL, whereupon they spoke of ----- of Secretary HULL.

 

Trans. 7-18-41

 

No. 155

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 16, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #377.

 

Re my # 365 [a].

 

It has been confidentially decided that the present cabinet must go; therefore, before it is dissolved, I desire that you dispose of the matter of the Oral Statement and put this question to an end without a second's delay. Please carry out my instructions.

 


[a] See II, 144-149, inclusive.

 

Trans. 7-16-41

 

A-85

 

No. 156

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 18, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #529.

 

(Strictly Secret).

 

To the Vice-Minister from WAKASUGI, concerning the Japanese-American conversations here in Washington. In glancing through your various messages, I can see that the home office entertains certain misconceptions concerning the nature of these talks. The worry you seem to entertain over the associates on the drafting committee and the oral statement seems to be based upon these misconceptions. So that things may proceed better in the future, I mention the following for your information. These are the facts, so please make them known to the Foreign Minister also. When we began these parleys, in view of the internal situation here, we saw that we could not make progress or get the desired effects by official diplomatic negotiations. Therefore, we took what might be called the "nimble road" and enlisted the cooperation of influential Americans in undercover activities, at the same time having Ambassador NOMURA carry on a number of entirely unofficial talks with Secretary HULL. These talks were entirely off the record, and opinions were freely exchanged. We were agreed that as soon as we found ourselves on common ground to turn these conversations into official negotiations. We thought that if no unanimity could be attained, it would be as though these talks had never existed. Secretary HULL, himself, said that these exchanges of opinion were not negotiations. As for the scene where they took place, the State Department was avoided and, as you know from various messages from here, the meetings took place in Secretary HULL 's apartment. What I say is further clarified by the fact that at the head of all the proposals advanced by both sides, the words "Unofficial, Explanatory, and without Commitment" were clearly written. You gentlemen seem to have made the mistake of thinking that these written memoranda constituted what is tantamount to official negotiations. In Part 2, paragraph 4 of your # 365 [a], you say "Please have this written down in the minutes of the negotiations." This shows that you did not understand. It seems that you also misinterpreted the explanatory statement contained in my # 528 [b]. In order to sound out the outlook, in addition to members of your staff, we did use under-cover agents. If we view this from the standpoint of normal diplomatic procedure, this may have been a questionable activity, but as I told you earlier in this message, in view of circumstances we were forced to take the "nimble road." I must say, however, that in view of the way things have turned out, no advantage has accrued to us. I would further say that in view of the present Chinese situation, we could not hope to get anywhere.

Well, that is how it is. Dissatisfied as you may be over certain phases of what has taken place, though I am sorry, we did the best we could, and it is too late now to retrace our steps, so please give us due consideration.

 


[a] See II, 144-149 incl., in which MATSUOKA gives the reasons underlying Japanese revisions of the American proposal.

[b] Not available.

 

Trans. 7-22-41

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 157

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 19, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 540.

 

(In 5 parts-complete.)

 

(Foreign Office Secret.)

 

1. I assume, of course, that there is no change of policy in the new Cabinet in so far as its desire is to improve Japanese-U. S. relations on a fair basis. I would, however, appreciate your giving your attention once again to my messages pertaining to this matter as well as the points listed below. In that light, I would appreciate your giving the matter your consideration and instructions.

2. I have given my undivided attention to the matter contained in your message # 366 [a]. Through discussions and thought we have given this problem it is now clear to see that there is a wide gap between the viewpoints of the two countries. In view of this fact, we doubt that the proposal referred to above will lead to an understanding.

Bearing that in mind, will you please advise me of your opinion on the following points.

(a) The matter pertaining to the attitudes of the two countries concerning the war in Europe.

(1) Joint mediation to bring about the return of peace in Europe:

They claim that the President does not wish to say at this time that the two countries wish to mediate in the European war to bring about peace. For this reason, he opposes the insertion of this into the "understanding" as an expression of the attitude of the two countries.

After discussing the matter with them several times, we finally came to an agreement to delete that part (paragraph 3) and insert in its place the words: "Encourage world peace". With this compromise, that point was settled for the time being.

I do not believe that it would be wise to bring up the matter again for I feel that we would encounter considerable difficulty in gaining our point. (It is quite possible that this point could be left out entirely without impairing the main objective of improving Japanese-U. S. relations.)

(2) The rights of self defense:

They wish to make the wording of the paragraph on self defense as elastic as possible so that it may be applied on anyone of various possible developments in the war in Europe. It is apparently their intention to utilize this paragraph to prevent us from fulfilling our treaty obligations.

We cannot, of course, permit the possibility of leaving room for such an interpretation of self defense. They insist that the term "aggressive military action" is too ambiguous. We, on the other hand, have been insisting that the simple expression "self defense" was insufficient, for in this day and age an all out war may be launched in the name of self defense. The Understanding Agreement cannot contain expressions which can be given such interpretations, we have been claiming.

On the other hand, neither the United States nor Japan wants restrictions placed on its maneuverability in behalf of a real defensive action, because of the Understanding Pact. I believe that it would be to our country's interest to compromise on some wording which would prevent aggressive action but at the same time would in no way hinder action in behalf of self defense. It is clear, of course, that the interpretation given by the United States to date is entirely unacceptable to us.

 

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(b) Matters pertaining to the China Incident.

 

Translator's note: from here to Paragraph 3 badly garbled.

 

With regard to this point, they as may be seen clearly by their proposal, they insist that unless we come to an agreement with regard to the contents of the "annex" it would be just wasting time to discuss the contents of the actual proposal. It is clear that they will refuse to accept our suggestion that the annex simply be deleted and that we plunge into discussions on the actual formula of the proposed agreement.

They take the position that as long as they are asked to advise China to negotiate a peace, they (the United States) should be advised of the basis on which a peace settlement is to be made.

I do not believe that we will be able to continue the discussions if we insist upon deleting the annex. Furthermore, if we do begin discussion on the contents of the annex, I expect to be asked some difficult questions with regard to the stationing of anti-Communist troops and the nondiscrimination among business firms. I expect this to be particularly true of the former question and would appreciate being advised of the government's attitude once again.

3. You are aware, of course, difficulties are to be expected during the discussions on our deleting the annex to the paragraph on trade between the two countries; giving our nationals the same treatment in the Philippines as the Filipinos, as was demanded in our proposal in the paragraph pertaining to the maintenance of peace in the Pacific; and the matter pertaining to our U.S. emigration.

It is my opinion that we could find a way to agree on the matter pertaining to self defense. At the same time, the matter pertaining to our garrisoning troops to combat communism, which is an essential point to us since it is one of our basic principles, is going to be a harder problem. The crux of the situation is to find just the wording in both instances, to make them acceptable to both parties concerned. I feel that those are going to be the most difficult points to agree upon.

If we are able to make a peaceful penetration of French Indo-China, I do not believe that it will cause undue excitement here. If, on the other hand, we have to resort to military force, these negotiations will undoubtedly come to an end.

Secretary Hull is expected back on about next Sunday. I plan to visit Admiral Pratt's home in Maine, at his invitation. I, therefore, would appreciate your advising me of your opinions on the matters contained in this message, during next week.

 


[a] List of deletions, additions, and revisions in the Jap & U.S. proposals for an Understanding Pact, to which the Jap Foreign Office has agreed.

 

Trans. 7-22-41

 

No. 158

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 21, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 545.

 

At the request of Acting Secretary of State Welles, Wakasugi called on him on the 21st. (The Ambassador is expected back in Washington tomorrow morning.) Welles said that he has been giving careful study to recent world conditions. He had asked Wakasugi to come to his

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

office, he said, so that he could express the opinions reached by Secretary Hull and himself, in the light of recent world developments, regarding the unofficial discussions which have been taking place for the past several months between the Ambassador and Secretary Hull.

After thus prefacing his remarks, the Undersecretary said that the real objectives, set up by the Ambassador, Wakasugi, et al., of the Japanese-U. S. conversations, were identical to those towards which the Secretary was striving.

According to information received from various sources in various areas, he continued, there are definite indications that Japan is planning to take some steps very shortly which would upset the peaceful status of certain areas. If these reports are based on fact, he said, there would be a conflict between Japanese acts and the gist of the Ambassador's intentions expressed during the conversations.

Recently when the Ambassador met with him, Welles said, Japan's position was discussed. In the course of those conversations, the Ambassador claimed that Britain, the United States and other nations were applying the pressure on Japan, and described this as an "encirclement" of Japan. This expression is identical to that employed earlier by Germany, he pointed out.

As a matter of fact, the Undersecretary continued, the above was clearly a misunderstanding on the part of Japan, because the United States has no such intentions as those Japan apparently feels. It is because the United States wishes to maintain peace between the two countries that she has been continuing the talks.

He went on by saying that the advices received were to the effect that Japan would take the southern portion of French Indo-China by force within the next few days. Such an act would definitely be in violation with the spirit of the Japanese-U. S. conversations which are being conducted in behalf of maintaining peace in the Pacific.

That is the American viewpoint, he said, but he would appreciate being advised of the Japanese viewpoint.

Wakasugi, therefore, replied that he was well aware of the fact that the Ambassador and the Secretary were conducting negotiations aimed at improving U.S.-Japanese relations, and that he, himself, prays that they will succeed. By "a reliable source of information", Wakasugi asked, did the Undersecretary mean the U.S. Embassy in Japan? To this, avoiding a clear answer, Welles merely replied that the report was an accurate one.

Wakasugi then said that he would relay the information contained in the report referred to to the Ambassador. In the meantime, he said, he would like to make an inquiry, as one emanating purely from himself and one which in no way should be considered an official one. Assuming, Wakasugi said, that Japan is planning to make a move in the manner described by the Undersecretary in some direction, what effect would that have on the U.S.-Japanese discussions which were being conducted?

Welles replied that such an act on the part of Japan would be in direct conflict with the spirit of the discussions. So saying, he implied that further discussion would be in vain. On the other hand, he continued, he had been led to understand that the new Foreign Minister of Japan was a close friend of Ambassador Nomura. Moreover, in view of the fact that very little time had elapsed since the new Cabinet was installed, probably it had not decided upon any definite policy as yet. In view of this fact the United States would patiently await developments before taking any steps to halt the discussions.

Wakasugi told Welles that he would report this conversation to the Ambassador in detail, and withdrew.

 

Trans. 7-25-41

 

A-89

 

No. 159

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 23, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 555.

 

(In 2 parts-complete.)

 

Since Wakasugi had called on the Acting Secretary of State, as reported in my message #545 [a], I called on Welles myself this afternoon. I explained to him that our southern occupation was absolutely essential from the standpoint of national security and economic safety. I further pointed out the impossibility of Japan to pursue a "do nothing" policy in the face of the embargoes being clamped down against her by various countries, for such a policy would lead to national suicide.

After carefully explaining the above situation, I said that according to press reports the French Indo-China affair was apparently being carried out peacefully with the full approval of the Vichy government. I added that in view of those circumstances, it was my hope that the government of the United States would restrain itself from jumping to hasty conclusions, and instead would watch the trend of further developments for a little while yet.

I told him that I feared considerable repercussions among the general public, if measures such as an export embargo on oil is put into effect at a time such as this.

The new Cabinet in Japan, I advise the Undersecretary, is as anxious to bring the U.S.-Japanese "Understanding Pact" to a successful conclusion, as was the previous cabinet.

To the above, the Undersecretary replied that he would not reiterate his statements to Wakasugi. He could not, he said, reconcile the Japanese policy with regard to French Indo-China with the basic principles of the plans being discussed by Secretary Hull and myself. Neither Great Britain nor the United States had any intention of attacking French Indo-China, he said. The consensus here is, he said, that Vichy's submission came as a result of pressure from Hitler and that Japan intends to use French Indo-China as a base from which to make further southward moves.

The U.S. Government, he continued, has not for the past many years made any hasty conclusions. Her actions are governed by Japan's policies.

Although he did not mention what steps the United States is planning to take in the future, he did say, as I was about to depart, that Secretary Hull was expected back at his desk very shortly and that he would no doubt welcome an opportunity to discuss matters with me.

In reply to my inquiry, the Undersecretary said that traffic through the Canal has been indefinitely suspended while it is undergoing repairs. He asserted that no particular nation was suffering discriminatory action.

(Time at present: 2130.)

 


[a] Acting Secretary Welles, in a requested interview with Japanese Minister Wakasugi, states that the reported aggressive move by Japan toward F. I-C. would violate the basis of proposed understanding with Japan. Requests Japanese statement of intentions. Wakasugi asks for source of Welles information and is told that "it is accurate".

 

Trans. 7-29-41

 

A-90

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 160

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 23, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #396.

 

(Foreign Office Secret.)

 

Re my # 368 [a].

 

As the result of our negotiations with the Vichy government, we were able to come to an understanding on the 24th, with regard to jointly defending French Indo-China. Under these terms, we are to peacefully occupy the southern part of French Indo-China on or about 28 or 29 July. (These dates are for your information only .)

Please, therefore, advise the government of the United States along the lines contained in my message referred to in the heading and that you have been informed by this Minister that in spite of this occupation,

(1) The territorial sovereignty of French Indo-China will be respected by Japan;

(2) There will be no interference in the domestic administration of French Indo-China;

(3) There has been no letup in interest on the part of Japan in the discussions concerning U.S.-Japanese understanding being conducted unofficially between the Secretary of State and yourself. Rather, it is because we desire it so highly, that we make this report.

Please make these points clear to the government of the United States.

 


[a] Tokyo informs Washington of the contemplated negotiations with France for establishment of Jap naval and air bases in F .I-C.

 

Trans. 7-24-41

 

No. 161

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 23, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #397.

 

Regarding your message # 545 [a].

 

1. You were correct in assuming that I have not as yet determined upon a definite policy because of the fact that I have not been in office very long.

As was pointed out in my message # 368 [b], our occupation of French Indo-China was unavoidable. This step had been decided upon by the Cabinet even before I assumed office. It is to be carried out peacefully for the purpose of jointly defending French Indo-China. It is my intention to continue to make an effort to decrease the friction between Japan and .Britain-U. S.

Should the U.S., however, take steps at this time which would unduly excite Japan (such as closing of for all practical purposes and the freezing of assets), an exceedingly critical situation may be created. Please advise the United States of this fact, and attempt to bring about an improvement in the situation.

 

A-91

 

2. Please carefully reread messages Nos. 368 [b] and 396 [c], and make an effort to improve the situation.

3. With regard to your message # 536 ----- (last 13 groups garbled) .

 


[a] Wakasugi reports conversation with Under-secretary Welles.

[b] Tokyo informs Washington of the contemplated negotiations with France for establishment of Jap naval and air bases in French Indo-China.

[c] See II, 160.

 

Trans. 7-25-41

 

No. 162

 

FROM: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)                                                        July 24, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #401.

 

(Secret outside the Department.)

 

Re my #396 [a].

 

The Imperial Government will issue the statement contained in the separate telegram #402 [b] at noon of the 26th, Tokyo time (10:00 P.M. of the 26th your time). A statement will be given to the United States Ambassador in Tokyo at 9:00 A.M. on the same day, so will you confidentially transmit the statement to the United States Government at 6:00 P .M. on the 25th.

 


[a] See II, 160.

[b] Tokyo wires Washington the increasingly intimate relations between Vichy and Tokyo, see II, 164.

 

Trans. 7-28-41

 

No. 163

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 24, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #403.

 

Re my # 68 [a]

 

Representations were made to the Vichy Government on July 14, and again on July 20. The French accepted all of the Japanese demands on July 21, with final arranging of details and the signing of the agreement at Hanoi on July 23. The public announcement will be made on July 26, noon (Japanese time). You will be advised of the contents of the agreement by special message # 404 [b].

This message has also been separately sent to England.

 


[a] In which Tokyo informs Washington that within the next few days, commercial negotiations between Japan and the Vichy Government will begin.

[b] II, 165.

 

Trans. 7-28-41

 

A-92

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 164

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 24, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #402.

 

Secret Outside the Department.

 

Statement of the Imperial Government:

 

Beginning with the conversations which began between Foreign Minister MATSUOKA and Ambassador HENRI last August, several agreements have been reached between Japan and France whereby recently Franco-Japanese relations have quickly become more intimate. Now, once again concerning the joint defense of French Indo-China, the Governments of the two nations have agreed on a friendly policy.

The Imperial Government is determined to maintain the various understandings existing between Tokyo and Vichy. The responsibility of the Imperial Government, based upon its solemn promise to support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of France, will be maintained and hereafter we will endeavor to increase a relationship of amity between our two countries and thus strive to achieve joint prosperity for both.

 

Trans. 7-25-41

 

No. 165

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 24, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #404.

 

Separate Message.

 

(Part 1 of 2)

 

1. On the 14th Ambassador KATO interviewed Foreign Minister DARLAN and presented to him the demands of the Imperial Government concerning joint protection of French Indo-China and military cooperation, saying that we would like to have the French reply by the 19th. Then on the 15th Ambassador KATO interviewed PETAIN and transmitted to him a message from Premier KONOYE, making the same request. Again, on the 16th, he interviewed DARLAN and requested an immediate reply from Vichy.

2. On the 19th, at the request of DARLAN, Ambassador KATO had another meeting with him. At that time the French reply was that this demand on the part of Japan, because of its very nature, required contact and consultation with Germany, with whom France has an armistice agreement and that unless this took place France herself was not in a position to make any decision. DARLAN replied that within a few days he would be in a position to submit a definite answer.

3. Regarding this as a design to hold us off on the pretext of France's armistice agreement with Germany and Italy, on the 20th we had Ambassador KATO return to DARLAN and demand that he accept our proposals in toto. After this conversation he held another talk with BUNOIR-MESSIEN and, as a result, discovered that France was inclined to accept the demands of Japan. On the 21st at noon DARLAN submitted an official reply.

4. In this official reply it was stated: (1) The French Government cannot but submit to the demands of the Japanese Government.

 

A-93

 

(2) The French Government guarantees joint defense of French Indo-China on the basis of cooperation with the Japanese Government; however, she will not participate in aggressive war.

(3) As soon as informed of the locales wherein Japanese troops will be stationed, France will evacuate them.

(4) The Japanese Government will make public a declaration that she will respect the territorial integrity of Indo-China and French sovereignty over the Indo-Chinese Federation, and will make this statement at the earliest possible moment.

 

Trans. 7-25-41

 

No. 166

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 24, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #404.

 

(Part 2 of 2)

 

5. When he submitted this reply, DARLAN stated: "The reason why we used the words, 'cannot but submit to the demands of the Japanese Government,' is this: We are now resisting the British forces in Syria and, if it appeared that Japan was taking advantage of this situation to grab French Indo-China, criticism both at home and abroad would be heaped upon our heads and we merely wished to avoid this. Another important point is this: Japan must not demand the retirement of French Indo-Chinese troops now in French Indo-China, nor confiscate the material the French troops are now using, nor must she demand their complete withdrawal. If at present it were ordered that French troops withdraw from the areas where they are now stationed, they would be infuriated and, as a result, unfortunate incidents would probably ensue. This point must be given special consideration."

6. Regarding this as an acceptance in toto, Ambassador KATO handed the Foreign Minister a memorandum which he had prepared and stated that he would like to send in news to Tokyo that France had accepted our proposition and that he would like to have this accord written down in black and white in an official document. Thereupon he also handed DARLAN a protocol proposal and the suggested text for a public announcement. This correspondence was finished on the 22nd, but before that, on the 21st at noon, the text of the French reply was affixed and we accepted the following incidental terms and desires of the French:

(1) Support on the part of the Japanese Government for supplementary defensive measures of the French Indo-China troops.

(2) Continued use of the existent military facilities by the French Indo-Chinese forces.

(3) A statement as early as possible from the Imperial Government to the effect that the territorial integrity of French Indo-China and French sovereignty will be respected.

(4) The term concerning the temporary evacuation of French Indo-Chinese troops shall be eliminated.

We affixed these four terms and began detailed negotiations in French Indo-China. As a result, an agreement was signed in Hanoi on the 23rd in the presence of Rear Admiral (?) SUMITA and Governor General DE COUX.

(Our army is scheduled to move in on the 28th and 29th. This is for your information only.)

 

Trans. 7-25-41

 

A-94

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 167

 

FROM: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)                                                        July 24, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #405.

 

(Secret outside the Department)

 

Re your # 5504.

 

As I have reported to you in my # 368 [b], the steps we have taken in regard to French Indo-China were not taken with the intention, as the United States Government alleges, to occupy that country; it was really a matter of necessity for the fact of peace in the Pacific. Is it not clear that we are endeavoring to maintain peace in that area from the peaceful attitude our government took in the face of the fact that the negotiations with French Indo-China, long drawn-out affair that it was, had ended unsatisfactorily and as a result caused public opinion to be excited considerably? To say, as the Americans are saying, that we had informed the Axis powers that the Japanese-American negotiations were only a side-talk which was the last until Japan completed her southward advance is indeed far from the fact (my #329 [a]). This is all the more true in regards to the allegation that Japan was intending to wreck these negotiations. This is carrying falsehood to the limit. Although those who want to profit by falsehood make the insinuation that the recent political change in Japan was due to United States pressure (the Oral Statement is implied), the Japanese Government has become, as it were, one body and as such is eagerly wishing that the Japanese-American negotiations would be continued. On the basis of my past telegram and ----- telegram, I gave the time in my # 401 [c] as 6:00 P .M. of the 25th, but I would like to have you explain at once to the United States Government our real intention in regard to the French Indo-China question as well as the purport of my # 406 [d].

 


[a] Not available.

[b] Tokyo wires Washington the reasons for and intentions of her demands on Vichy.

[c] See II, 160.

[d] See II, 168.

 

Trans. 7-25-41

 

No. 168

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 24, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #406.

 

Secret outside the Department.

 

Re my # 397 [a].

 

That the leaders of the United States Government will at this time display a high degree of statesmanship is what I am secretly hoping for the sake of maintaining peace in the Pacific. The Japanese Government would do likewise and would like to reciprocate. However, according to information received by us lately, especially according to newspaper reports, there is the possibility of the United States freezing Japanese funds or of instituting a general embargo on petroleum, thus strongly stimulating public opinion in Japan. Should this plan of freezing Japanese funds be put into effect, it would have an adverse effect on many aspects of our domestic life and might compel us to resort to diverse retaliatory measures. This would lead to a

 

A-95

 

breakdown of Japanese-American economic relations and we cannot be certain that it would not in turn hasten the development of the worst situation. Will you please get in touch with Finance Official NISHIYAMA and, in accordance with the contents of the caption telegram, request the United States Government to favorably treat this question.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7-25-41

 

No. 169

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 25, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   #408.

 

(Separate cable)

 

Financial Ministry message # 34.

 

Because relations between the United States and Japan have become exceedingly critical recently, the Foreign Minister instructed Ambassador Nomura, last night, to request the government of the United States to act with the utmost caution where any application of pressure, such as freezing of assets, against Japan is involved. Will you please be advised of the various points listed below and, after establishing close connection with the Ambassador, take appropriate steps.

Recently, when the assets of Germany and Italy were frozen, Japan was excepted from this ruling. Although, in view of the present trade conditions between the two countries, there was absolutely nothing extraordinary in this attitude of the United States, still we wish to express our appreciation because we feel that the government of the United States acted in an exceedingly courteous manner .

Once again, however, rumors of freezing of Japanese assets have flared up of late. We are of course in the dark as to whether there is any basis of fact in these rumors. If by any chance, these rumors are found to be well based, we shall be forced, though reluctantly, to take retaliatory measures. These will include the non-payment of principal and interest on debts in the United States as well as to freeze all of the American property in Japan. (Refer to Financial Ministry Message # 334.) This will, of course, lead to exceedingly unfavorable economic conditions between the two countries, and, depending on subsequent developments, may lead to complete collapse of Japanese-U. S. economic relations. If the trend in that direction continues, it is hard to even imagine what the ultimate outcome will be.

In view of the possibilities of exceedingly grave consequences of effectuating this move, will you please urge the leaders of the Treasury Department, which will be responsible for any such move, to give this matter their deep consideration. We pray that through cooperative action we shall be able to prevent Japanese-U. S. relations from becoming any worse.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7-26-41

 

A-96

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 170

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #565.

 

(Part 1 of 2)

 

Feeling the urgency of the situation on the occasion of a luncheon alone with the Chief of the Operations Section, I asked him to procure for me a conference with the President. Today at 5:00 P .M. I had a secret meeting with President ROOSEVELT. In conformity with your several instructions, I explained that because of economic considerations and the necessity of stabilizing the situation in that area, the measures we took were absolutely necessary. I pointed out that our intentions are to respect territorial integrity and sovereignty and said that the present cabinet also is eager for a Japanese-American understanding. Finally, I urged him for the sake of maintaining peace in the Pacific, to exercise a high order of statesmanship. The President replied, "Already the people have been strongly insisting that an embargo on oil should be put into effect against Japan, but in spite of this, I urged them to keep calm, saying that it was necessary in order to keep peace in the Pacific, but now I can no longer use this thesis." The President then hinted that an embargo on oil might be imminent.

(This message sent at 8:00 P .M.)

 

Trans. 7-26-41

 

No. 171

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 565.

 

(Part 2 of 2)

 

The President told me the gist of the statement issued by the State Department today, the 24th, and clarified the views of the American Government. Prefacing his statement by declaring that there is a feeling that the time is already late and that he had not already conferred on this matter with the State Department, he continued, "if there is some method whereby French Indo-China can be evacuated and if the various countries can (as heretofore) guarantee its neutrality and if all countries can equitably have free access to materials from French Indo-China, I will spare no effort. I myself am extremely sympathetic with Japan in her need of procuring materials." Well, I got the impression that some economic pressure is going to be exerted immediately. Undersecretary WELLES and the Chief of the Operations Section were invited and sat with us.

 

Trans. 7-26-41

 

No. 172

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 25, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #566.

 

During my conversation with the President yesterday, the following points were brought out:

1. The President said that world subjugation was Hitler's aim. (When I saw the President on 14 March he said the same thing. On that occasion the opinion of the Secretary of State who

 

A-97

 

was also present was sought. The Secretary replied that was indeed the truth of the matter.) After Europe would come Africa, the President said, and after that there would be no stopping him. That being the case, the time may come when Japan would be fighting on the same side as the United States, he said.

In reply to this, I told the President that there is an old Japanese proverb which goes as follows: "If a country likes to fight, it is already on the brink of being destroyed", I added that the sword is purely an instrument with which to prevent damage or destruction.

2. Since the President's tone seemed to imply that our occupation of French Indo-China was done under pressure from Germany, I advised the President that there had been no German pressure, and that Japan had acted entirely on its own accord.

On the surface, the President accepted this explanation. However, as you are aware, the general public in the United States is convinced that Japan in cooperation with Germany, or independently of her, is awaiting the opportunity to move southward and northward.

 

Trans. 7-30-41

 

No. 173

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 27, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 413.

 

Please report on your conversation with the President of the 24th in further detail.

 

Trans. 7-29-41

 

No. 174

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 28, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 589.

 

(Part 1 of 5)

 

Re your # 413 [a].

 

When I talked to President ROOSEVELT, I held in my hand a memorandum which I had prepared in Japanese. I spoke with the President as follows in English, in which OBATA had carefully coached me before my visit.

1. "The reasons why we occupied French Indo-China are: (a) To obtain the foodstuffs of French Indo-China which are necessary to the economic existence of Japan. When we think of the economic measures which the various nations are now taking (waxing of the economic war) and of the new order to come, if we Japanese stood idly by with folded arms, we would be crushed while sitting down.

(b) From the point of view of our own security, if French Indo-China the sphere of influence of some third country, we would be in danger. Therefore, we are preparing jointly to defend it and thereby stabilize our Empire's relations with its homeland.

(c) The occupation of French Indo-China will take place peaceably, and Japan will respect territorial integrity and sovereignty. It is desirable that the United States recognize these facts and take no too extreme attitude.

 


[a] II, 173.

 

Trans. 7-31-41

 

A-98

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR  

 

No. 175

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 28, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 589.

 

(Part 2 of 5)

 

2. The kind of understanding which I have been negotiating with HULL, of course, had the maintenance of peace in the Pacific as its object. During the negotiations I said:

"(1) I am very sorry to note that you doubt the sincerity of our Government but the fact is that the Japanese Government is all the time desiring it and the present cabinet has already on two different occasions issued instructions for this purpose.

"(2) Among the difficult points, as regard to the question of self-defense, we continue to hope that somehow the difficulties involved will be overcome and a compromise arrived at. While it is logical for a country to exercise its legitimate right of defense when it has been unjustifiably reproached, the question as to what constitutes exercise of the right of self-defense, I believe, would naturally have to be decided after a peaceful relation has been restored."

 

Trans. 7-30-41

 

No. 176

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 28, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 589.

 

(Part 3 of 5)

 

"The stationing of troops in a part of China is not of a permanent nature and will be based upon an agreement with the Chinese Government. The question of freedom of commerce is on the road to a spontaneous settlement. In short, in the larger view I think that there is a way to let everything settle itself."

The President replied: "As I have already told you, popular appeal for an oil embargo against Japan was clamorous. The reason why, in spite of this, I toned it down, was that I wished to keep peace in the Pacific." Changing the subject to French Indo-China, he went on: "In Japan's need for procuring materials I have ample sympathy for her, but now I do not know but what the opportunity has already been lost. First, let me say that I have not previously conferred with the State Department on this matter, but if it is possible for troops to be evacuated from French Indo-China, for the several countries to guarantee its neutrality as before, and for the several countries to procure an equitable share of its goods freely-for example, Japan obtaining rice and foodstuffs, and the United States, rubber-1 will spare no efforts."

 

Trans. 7-29-41

 

No. 177

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 28, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 589.

 

(Very urgent)

 

(Part 4 of 5)

 

I went over the principal points which the President brought out and he confirmed them. Then he turned his head toward WELLES as if to see what WELLES had to say, but the latter,

 

A-99

 

maintaining a humble attitude, did not mention a word. It was about this time that the President took out his cigarette case and offered it only to me. (The withdrawal which the President spoke of is strange in one sense and yet not so strange in another sense. His "good neighbor" policy is one in which military power is not used. At one time, after ordering troops to -----, he cancelled the order and did not allow the troops to land. Also, in his policy toward Mexico he has never landed troops at Vera Cruz or mobilized forces on the border, but he managed to bring about a normal condition by reconciliation. This avoidance of using troops and the principle of nondiscriminatory freedom of trade are two points which the President himself spoke of at the time of our second conversation and are what both the President and the Secretary of State strongly advocate.)

 

Trans. 7-30-41

 

No. 178

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 28, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 589.

 

(Very urgent)

 

(Part 5 of 5)

 

The President spoke disapprovingly to the effect that the recent southward advance of Japan was a result of German pressure and that Japan had gone too far in it. So, I explained that it was not so and that Japan acted on her own initiative and independently. To this statement the President replied lightly. I then said: "Previously you said that Japanese-American relations were deteriorating. I have ever since been endeavoring to improve the relations and although my efforts have not yet been rewarded, I have not yet given up hope and intend to carryon to the finish." Whereupon the President said: "HITLER is determined to conquer the world. After Europe he will conquer America and so on, not knowing when to stop. Ten years from now Japan will find an enemy against whom she will fight on the same side with us." I countered this statement, as I have reported to you in my telegram, by saying in effect that from ancient days it has been said that those who take the sword will fall by the sword and Japan is doing nothing of the sort.

 

Trans. 7-30-41

 

No. 179

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 25, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 574.

 

Regarding your # 396 [a] and # 401 [b].

 

I carried out your instructions on the occasion of my interview with the President (The Acting Secretary of State was also present) on the 24th.

On the 25th, I had Wakasugi call on Hamilton and had him hand over a copy of the English text of the statement which is to be published tomorrow by the Imperial Government concerning the Japanese-French accord on the French Indo-China affair. Wakasugi asked that the Secretary be advised of the contents of the statement.

 

A-100

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

Taking this opportunity, Wakasugi pointed out that even after the Japanese occupation, the sovereignty and integrity of French Indo-China would be preserved and that Japan would in no way meddle in the domestic politics of French Indo-China. Wakasugi said that these two points were clearly brought out in the text of the statement.

Wakasugi then handed Hamilton our revised note concerning the halting of traffic through the Panama Canal.

Then the two men unofficially discussed the Japanese-U. S. relations and exchanged opinions on the possibility of finding ways and means of countering its increasingly unfavorable trend. Hamilton said that there was probably not another person who has worked as hard as Secretary Hull in an effort to maintain friendly relations between the United States and Japan. In spite of the fact that he has been the target of protests from the public as well as from his colleagues in the Cabinet, he has patiently strived toward that end. He did so because both the President and he were convinced that it would be to Japan's interest not to resort to force of arms but instead pursue a policy of peace.

However, even he could not approve Japan's resorting to the force of arms to carry out an expansion program in the Hitlerian manner. As long as Japan does not renounce such a policy, there is no hope for the continuation of the unofficial Japanese-U. S. discussions which were being conducted, Hamilton said.

 


[a] Occupation of Southern F. I. C. will take place 28 or 29 July

[b] Official statement re F. I. C. will be published 26 July.

 

Trans. 7-29-41

 

No. 180

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 25, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 571.

 

Apparently Admiral Pratt had put in a good word for me to the Chief of (Naval) Operations, for even since I assumed this post, I have been shown many courtesies by him. His opinions concerning U. S.-Japanese relations coincide with mine; he once told me that the only result of a war between the two countries would be mutual exhaustion.

Once while conversing with the Admiral (Stark) I happened to mention that it seemed to me that the higher officials in the Navy Department here seemed to be men of excellent character and qualifications.

To this, the Admiral replied that both the Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Director of War Plans were exceedingly able men. The same is true of the Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics. As for the fleets, he continued, both Kimmel and King were recommended by him, and both are of the highest caliber. Although Hart had reached the age of retirement, he had been kept on in active duty because of the critical times, he added.

Please relay this information to the Navy.

 

Trans. 7-29-41

 

A-101

 

No. 181

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 25, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 572.

 

(Official code message.)

 

I would like to have Minister Wakasugi and Colonel Iwakuro return home on the first available sailing for the purpose of reporting on the state of things in this country. The approval of the Minister of War should be secured in the case of Colonel Iwakuro.

We have counseled together over the question of having one person of the Navy return too, but with the shortage of personnel there seems to be no one to send, and therefore we would like to have the Navy receive the reports of the Minister and Colonel Iwakuro.

In this connection we are asking that Obata be left here a little longer.

We have conferred with both the Military and Naval Attachés.

 

Trans. 7-31-41

 

No. 182

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 25, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 567.

 

Foreign Office Secret.

 

We have been having him [a] make some undercover investigations in an attempt to discover what economic moves against Japan are being contemplated by the government of the United States.

 

He reports as follows:

1. A secret conference was held this afternoon by Cabinet members to discuss measures to counter Japan's southward move. The majority of them were of the opinion that the present move on the part of Japan was instigated by Germany. The step was taken as a supplementary measure of the next maneuver in Europe, they believe. There is also a strong belief among them that the continuance of U.S.-Japanese discussions would be useless because it would be meaningless. He says that regardless of what excuses he tries to make for Japan, his hands are tied. It is unfortunate, but that is the situation.

2. Up to now, he states, he has been able to prevail on Secretary Hull and others to keep the government from freezing our assets and from clamping on an oil export embargo. Now, however, he believes that these measures will be adopted. Moreover, there is a good possibility that the "freezing" phase will be put into effect at an unexpectedly early date. Confidentially, however, he is trying to prevail upon the U.S. government to restrain itself until he has had an opportunity to thoroughly discuss the matter with Secretary Hull who is expected to return to Washington this Sunday. (The truth of the matter is that, probably due to the fact that he is a new member of the Cabinet, he was ignorant of the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China last year. Upon being advised of this today, he asked me why we were making such an issue of our latest move. He stated that he has difficulty in trying to reconcile himself to that.)

3. He says that the persons who have really been put "on the spot" by recent developments are Secretary Hull and himself. He says that he recently held quite a long discussion with President Roosevelt who is going to his home in Hyde Park after granting me an interview this evening. On the occasion of that talk the President expressed his hope that some means

 

A-102

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

could be found to make Japan reconsider her policy so as to enable the continuance of peace on the Pacific. My informant, therefore, has not given up in despair as yet, but instead, would continue to put forth his best efforts in an attempt to smooth things over. His main hope is that Japan will respond favorably to these overtures on his part.

4. Germany's attempts to bring about peace through the good offices of the United States is still being continued. Japan is in no way involved in the terms being proposed by Germany. It is interesting to note, he said, that though he and some of his colleagues are against the terms being proposed by Germany, some of those who are against the U.S.-Japanese "understanding" are in favor of the terms being offered by Germany.

 


[a] The third person referred to throughout this message is not identified.

 

Trans. 7-28-41

 

No. 183

 

FROM: Los Angeles (Nakauchi)                                                          July 26, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 132.

 

At 6:00 p .M. on the 25th, the local Yokohama Specie Bank and the Sumitomo Bank branch offices were given a thorough inspection by bank examiners, and all safes were sealed. At 1:00 A.M. on the 26th, a general license was granted the Yokohama Specie Bank. Business was conducted as usual during the examination of the books. Because the Sumitomo Bank deals largely in drafts rather than in deposits, a general license was not granted to that firm.

Trans. 10-6-41

 

No. 184

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 26, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 534.

 

On the 25th when WAKASUGI conferred with HAMILTON, he asked frankly as follows: "As you know from newspaper reports, Japanese ships, fearing seizure by the American authorities are hesitating to enter American ports. Is it the intention of the American Government either to tie up or seize Japanese ships?" HAMILTON replied: "The State Department has nothing to do with this; in fact, it is hard to understand why Japanese ships are afraid to enter American ports; so much so that some people even telephoned the State Department to find out the reason, and so I am not in a position to reply to your question." Then Wakasugi stated: "If the United States Government has no intention of tying up Japanese ships, would not an assurance to that effect be useful in eliminating any such doubt?" To this HAMILTON replied: "I see no necessity for the Government to guarantee to ships whose avoidance of entering American ports is an enigma, whether it would seize those ships or not." Thus our conversation availed nothing. However, I am sending this much for your reference.

I understand that a man acting on behalf of the Secretary of the Treasury stated at a press interview on the 26th that the freezing of funds does not apply to Japanese ships, but that it is not certain whether their departure from ports will not be interfered with in case the

 

A-103

 

emergency regulations issued by the Treasury Department are applied to them. I will report on this subject again after getting more information on the matter from the Government.

 

Trans. 7-30-41

 

No. 185

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 27, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   Circular # 1622.

 

In retaliation for the steps taken by the British and United States by which our assets were frozen, the rules restricting foreign business transactions in Japan which are included in the rules governing foreign exchange, shall be put into effect on the 28th by order of the Finance Ministry. Manchukuo will also take similar steps, while in China proclamations by the Consulates will be made subsequently. As an emergency measure, the above regulations will be announced by the Consulates as a bulletin and will be made effective for all practical purposes. (All transactions involving Britain and America will be placed on a license basis.) At the same time, the Chinese will receive instructions to put similar measures in effect.

With regard to the Customs, all exports to countries which have frozen our assets, shall have to receive licenses in accordance with orders issued by the Financial Bureau. Guidance will be given to settle all complications which accompany the materialization of these regulations.

Ample study has been made so as to make these measures counter whatever measures the opposition should choose to actually take.

This message addressed to London and Washington.

 

Trans. 7-29-41

 

No. 186

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 28, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 597.

 

Re your # 412 [a] and # 418 [a].

 

The ruling promulgated by the Treasury Department for critical limitations might be called a recapitulation of the actuation of the President's orders for the freezing of the assets of Japan, Germany, Italy, and other foreign countries (see my #5794 and my ordinary letter message of June 17 this year, # 312) .2 c. of clause 130 of this ruling under the freezing order includes among the properties of foreign countries whose activities are forbidden, ships, cargoes, bills of lading, etc. The legislation upon which this step taken by the United States is based, as I have pointed out in numerous telegrams, on the following acts. Please refer to them again.

1. The Espionage Act of July 15, 1917 (my # 100 [a]).

2. The law authorizing the commandeering of ships (my Nos. 373 [a] and 374 [a]).

3. The law stipulating the order of priority of commercial shipments for the sake of national defense (my Nos. 344 [a] and 519 [b]).

 


[a] Not available.

[b] (Not given in text. LWJ)

 

Trans. 7-31-41

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 187

 

FROM: Tokyo (Toyoda)                                                                      July 28, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 419.

 

(Secret outside the Department)

 

On the 25th I asked Ambassador GREW to call on me, and I handed him a memorandum giving the purport of what is contained in my # 368 [a] and then explained the principal points therein as follows:

1. It is an undeniable fact that in the areas covered by Burma, Singapore, and centering on French Indo-China, a line of encirclement against Japan is being formed. Naturally, Japan is afraid that French Indo-China will meet the same fate as Syria has met, and Japan's recent action in French Indo-China has for its object nothing other than the joint defense of that country.

2. Judging from the statement which Assistant Secretary of State WELLES made on the 25th at a press conference, he seems to think that the occupation of northern French Indo-China is only a preliminary step looking toward a further southward advance; but this is clearly a misunderstanding of the truth. This step was taken with a view to bringing the China incident to a close. The reason why I had informed the American Government of our steps before they were taken is that the Ambassador and I are on friendly terms.

The Ambassador regarded with a great deal of importance the point, in the memorandum, concerning the fact that Japan has no intention of making southern French Indo-China a base for advancement into the territories adjacent to that country. He said that this was the very point which the United States Government wanted to know about, and now that he has my assurance regarding it, he was extremely happy and would transmit the news at once to his government.

 


[a] In which Tokyo informs Washington of the negotiations to be begun between Tokyo and Vichy for the establishment of naval and air bases in southern Indo-China in the name of mutual defense.

 

Trans. 8-2-41

 

No. 188

 

FROM: Tokyo (Toyoda)                                                                      July 28, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 420.

 

Secret outside the Department. (Part 1 of 2)

 

Re my # 419 [a].

 

On the 26th I again requested Ambassador GREW to come to see me and I talked over this matter with him. The Ambassador read the entire copy of the telegram giving the conversation which had taken place on the 23rd between you and Assistant Secretary WELLES. I spoke frankly to the following effect:

(1) Judging from Mr. WELLES' opinions, he seems to be under the impression that recent action on the part of Japan toward French Indo-China was a result of pressure exerted by Germany; but this is far from the truth. Japan took that action as a result of the conclusion of a treaty in a friendly manner between Japan and France for the purpose of defending

 

A-105

 

 

French Indo-China. In fact, the authorities in French Indo-China themselves were fearing, not being sure that French Indo-China will be able to escape the fate which befell Syria.

(2) Mr. WELLES believes that the recent occupation of French Indo-China by Japan was accomplished with the intention of securing bases from which Japan may advance to other places. This, too, is an entirely mistaken view of the matter. As I have repeatedly pointed out, the recent action of Japan has had no object whatsoever other than the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Therefore, that had resorted to the means which she did, is to me a very regrettable fact.

(3) I am extremely chagrined over the fact that relations between Japan and the United States have reached such a stage in less than two weeks after the formation of the new cabinet. This is entirely due to United States' misunderstanding of the real intention of the Japanese Government.

 


[a] See II, 187.

 

Trans. 7-29-41

 

No. 189

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 28, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 420.

 

(Part 2 of 2)

 

(4) I am afraid that if the United States should adopt further measures which will be provocative to Japan a most unfortunate situation will be brought about between the two countries. The Imperial Government has been by every means endeavoring to quiet the resentment which the people have been harboring against the United States' giving aid to CHIANG and against other actions. Therefore, if the situation is made worse, the Government will find it more difficult than ever to suppress their emotions. Furthermore, among what Assistant Secretary WELLES stated to you were these words of Secretary HULL, "was unable to see that any basis for continuing the talks which Admiral NOMURA and Mr. HULL had been conducting." Do these words signify that the negotiations now being carried on with a view to adjusting Japanese-American relations should be dropped?

The Ambassador avoided giving a definite reply by saying that he was not at all familiar with the conversation on this question. No doubt, in accordance with the instructions sent to you, you have made explanations regarding this question; however, I would like to have you emphasize at every opportunity you may get the fact that Japan's action was one which could not have been avoided in the light of the situation prevailing internally and externally.

 

Trans. 7-30-41

 

No. 190

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 29, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 600.

 

(In 2 parts-complete.)

 

On the 28th, yesterday, I saw WELLES. On that occasion reference was made to the statement that during the past ninety years, peace has been maintained between the United

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

States and Japan without one single break. Unless, however, some way out is found from the policies being pursued by the two countries today, our relations shall become increasingly critical, causing justifiable anxiety. If this dark abyss cannot be circumvented through statesmanship, then, indeed, a great crime on mankind cannot be prevented, I said.

To this WELLES replied that the proposals recently made by the President were sound and that considerable importance should be attached to them. In spite of this, in his conversations with Ambassador GREW, the Foreign Minister implied that he was ignorant of them.

I therefore replied that at that time I reported only the gist of the proposals, but a detailed report was dispatched today.

WELLES expressed the same attitude as the President: That the United States would in no way interfere with the accessibility of American materials to Japan on an equal basis as to other nations on condition that Japan makes no conquests through the use of force. Moreover, no threat to the safety of French Indo-China exists, he said.

If we look at the trend in a detached manner, we find that we are moving alone, heading toward the worst possible eventuality in East Asia, and may come up against Britain, the United States, the Netherlands East Indies, and China, and probably the U.S.S.R. as well.

Our duty to restrain the United States in behalf of Germany ----- (two badly garbled lines) ----- the United States and Germany are avoiding armed conflict. In the meantime, and unconsciously, we are rushing towards a war against Great Britain and the United States; a war in which we would have to stand alone against them.

I beg of you to give careful considerations before you take any steps. It may be true that circumstances may arise which need immediate local attention from the military. Politically, however, I beseech you to take a broad view, consider all of the angles, before making a move. It is my undying hope that you proceed in behalf of the everlasting glory of our country.

 

Trans. 8-1-41

 

No. 191

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 30, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 614.

 

Re my #611 [a].

 

When I expressed to WELLES that we hoped for a certain degree of magnanimity regarding ship loadings, in view of the famous "fair play" and "square deal" policy advocated by the United States, he prefaced his remarks by saying he was pleased to receive a straightforward expression from me and would also give a clear statement of opinion. He said that for the last four years the United States has been long-suffering in the overriding of American interests in China by the Japanese. He added that he, himself, still desired, for the improvement of Japanese-American relations, that there should be an adjustment along the lines of the conversations held between Secretary HULL and myself. This is given for your reference.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 8-4-41

 

A-107

 

No. 192

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 30, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 604.

 

I communicated with the Secretary of State in accordance with your instructions. On the 29th, I received a reply by (note?) saying that in view of the great increase in the number of Japanese living in New York on a diplomatic status, in the future only the ranking Commercial Attaché and Financial Attaché would be placed on the diplomatic list.

In the case of Financial and Commercial Consuls and Secretaries already on the diplomatic list permission to increase the number or to replace them would not be given, in accordance with the policy decided upon in 1939; therefore, although the United States Government has no objection to Assistant Financial Attaché YOSIMURA residing in New York as a Japanese Government official, it is impossible to put him on the diplomatic list.

 

Trans. 8-12-41

 

No. 193

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 30, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 608.

 

On the 30th the Acting Secretary of State requested me to call on him. WELLES handed me the memorandum contained in my # 606 [a] and, with an extremely austere look and prefacing his statement by saying that he spoke in the name of the President, proceeded:

"1. When the Panay incident happened the President got a guarantee that such a thing would not recur, so why did the present incident happen?

"2. Under what sort of orders did the Japanese forces and responsible officials permit such a deed?

"3. The American Embassy in Chungking and the gunboat are on the other side of the city, supposedly in a safe place, so how did this incident come about? Now, I want to get an immediate explanation from the Japanese Government."

To this I answered, "Well, Sir, personally I cannot bring myself at all to believe that an act like this was perpetrated intentionally. I myself am quite familiar with the geography of Chungking. The river there is narrow, to say the least, and novices when they let bombs fall are quite apt to make this sort of mistake. I don't know what we can do in order to do away with such untoward events unless we either stop bombing Chungking or you move the American Embassy and the gunboat. In any case, I want to report this to my Government and then answer you later on."

Thus our conversation ended.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7-31-41

 

A-108

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 194

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 31, 1941

TO: Nanking, Hankow,                                                                        Circular # 1683.

Shanghai, Tientsin, Peking & Hsinking

 

(Message from Washington # 605.)

 

It seems that one of our naval planes damaged an American gunboat, the TUTUILA, at Chungking. On the 30th, the Acting Secretary of State asked me to call on him and told me that it was a very grave incident. He handed me a memorandum contained in my separate message # 606 [a] and asked me to get an explanation from the Japanese Government. I will wire you the details immediately. However, this is a serious matter, and it is necessary to take immediate steps.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 8-2-41

 

No. 195

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 30, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 609.

 

Re my # 608 [a].

 

Today I knew from the hard looks on their faces that they meant business and I could see that if we do not answer to suit them that they are going to take some drastic steps.

During my first conversation with Roosevelt after I took office the President, referring to the Panay incident, said that at the time he cooperated with the Secretary of State and succeeded in restraining popular opinion but that in case such a thing happened a second time, it would probably be quite impossible to again calm the storm. The latest incident brought all this back to me and I can see just how gravely they are regarding it. Think of it! Popular demand for the freezing of Japanese funds was subsiding and now this had to happen. I must tell you it certainly occurred at an inopportune moment.

Things being as they are, need I point out to you gentlemen that in my opinion it is necessary to take without one moment's hesitation some appeasement measures. Please wire me back at the earliest possible moment.

 


[a] Welles summons Nomura and demands explanation of Tutuila bombing immediately, see II, 193.

 

Trans. 8-2-41

 

A-109

 

No. 196

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 30, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 612.

 

Re my 609 [a].

 

I think that the best possible step we could take at the present is to stop bombing Chung king for a while and to publish this without delay.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7-31-41

 

No. 197

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 31, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 429.

 

Before receiving your # 605 [a] I had Vice Minister Yamamoto call on the American Embassy as my representative even though we had had no official word from the American Embassy as yet. I sent word to the effect that if the injury to the Tutuila was an actual fact it was a most unfortunate occurrence. The said Minister had a confidential chat with the American Ambassador who said that as yet he had no instructions from his government but that he thanked the Minister for his visit. Furthermore, the Minister of the Navy sent an official to call on the American Naval Attaché ----- (last 2 lines garbled).

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 8-1-41

 

No. 198

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 31, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 435.

 

Re my # 429 [a].

 

At 2:45 p.m. I requested Ambassador Grew to call on me and at that time I expressed my regrets and the Ambassador presented the official text corresponding to your telegram # 606 [b] (?). I said that I was sure the incident was simply a mistake on the part of the aviator and that without doubt there was something wrong with the "release gear" of the bomber. I told him that I had previously had experience with aircraft and that I could well understand such a thing occurring. However, no matter what the cause may be it is very regrettable that such a thing should have occurred for we have been exercising the greatest caution to prevent the recurrence of such incidents and have issued strict orders concerning them. Not only that but according to my recollection orders have been issued very recently again regarding this. As a military man myself I know that the military men are accustomed to give absolute obedience to instructions. I will do the utmost within my power to see that a recurrence of this does not eventuate, I said.

 


[a] See II, 197.

[b] Not available.

 

Trans. 8-1-41

 

A-110

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 199

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 31, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 434.

 

(Utmost secrecy, Chief of Office routing.)

 

Re your # 612 [a].

 

In regard to your proposal, please tell the President immediately that in view of the general state of relations between Japan and America, bombing of Chungking will be suspended for a time. In view of these relations between Japan and America this step which you suggested would be a very serious one indeed and if it were publicly announced in America it would give an unnecessary shock to one section of public opinion in Japan. This would defeat the very purpose of the step itself. Please call the attention of America to this point particularly.

My # 435 [b] is an answer to the three questions (of Welles) brought up in your # 608 [a].

 


[a] Nomura recommends that as the best possible step Japan could take in the Tutuila matter, Japan stop bombing Chungking for a while, and publish this fact immediately, see II, 196.

[b] See II, 198.

[c] See II, 193. Welles summons Nomura and demands explanations of Tutuila bombing immediately.

 

Trans. 8-1-41

 

No. 200

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 31, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 623.

 

(Strictly Confidential. Chief of Office Routing.)

 

Re your #434 [a].

 

I called on Welles on the afternoon of the 31st and told him that I wished to have the gist of my separate telegram # 624 [b] conveyed to the President.

Welles expressed his gratitude and said that he would make arrangements immediately.

I said further that in case there was anything the President did not understand, I desired an opportunity to explain it to him, and closed the interview.

(Time 8:10 p.m.)

 


[a] Nomura is directed to inform the President that bombing of Chungking will be suspended for a time; requesting that this action not be publicly announced.

[b] See II, 201.

 

Trans. 8-3-41

 

A-111

 

No. 201

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 31, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #624 (or #622),

                                                                                                      (Separate telegram).

 

Strictly confidential. Chief of Office routing.

 

I have come to convey to you personally the regret of my government over the Tutuila incident. I am instructed to inform promptly the President of the U.S. that the Japanese government has decided to suspend for the time being all bombing operations over the city area of Chungking. Let me say that this is a step I myself recommend to be taken in the interest of Japanese-American friendship. And I feel that this decision of my government should be held confidential inasmuch as publication of it would arouse unnecessarily a section of public opinion in Japan ----- defeat the very purpose for which the measure has been adopted.

I am fully convinced that the Tutuila incident was an accident pure and simple. This, I believe, was made entirely clear to Ambassador Grew by our Foreign Minister, Admiral Toyoda, at the time when he offered his government's apologies, and it seems scarcely necessary for me to give detailed explanations. I should like to add that the Japanese Government will be prepared to pay indemnities for any damages to American property upon the completion of the necessary investigations.

 

Trans. 8-6-41

 

No. 202

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 31, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 526.

 

Re my # 623 [a].

 

During the evening of the 31st, Welles announced that the United States has accepted Japan's apology in connection with the Tutuila incident and that the matter was now closed.

 


[a] See II, 200

 

Trans. 8-5-41

 

No. 203

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 28, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 591.

 

(Secret)

 

According to information emanating from ----- office, AP reports from ISTANBUL concerning British-German peace negotiations are not entirely without foundation. However this may be, the President and the Acting Secretary of State have intimated that Mayor LA GUARDIA of New York, former National Defense Head, has let something slip.

 

A-112

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

As a matter of fact, the German Government has recently again added to its personnel and is successfully engaging in undercover work. This is being fervently supported by Americans of German extraction.

 

Trans. 7-31-41

 

No. 204

 

FROM: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)                                                        July 31, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 433.

 

(Part 1 of 4)

 

(Message to Berlin # 708)

 

From time to time you have been sending us your various opinions about what we ought to do to help Germany who desires our assistance now that she is at war with Russia. After a conference with military, at the risk of a certain amount of repetition which may cause you some ennui, I am wiring you the Imperial Government's policy and views. Hereafter, will you please act accordingly.

1. In a cabinet meeting during the forenoon of July 2, the broad outlines of our decision concerning our future policy were drawn. You were informed of it by Circular # 1390 [a]. Ever since then the Government has been and is devoting every effort to bring about the materialization of that policy.

2. The China incident has already extended over a period of four years, and the Imperial Government's general trend, particularly its military trend, has hitherto been to expend the greater part of its energies in an endeavor to bring a conclusion to the incident, and now a new situation faces us from the north and from the south. In order to meet it, there is more reason than ever before for us to arm ourselves to the teeth for all-out war.

 


[a] See II, 103, 104.

 

Trans. 8-4-41

 

No. 205

 

FROM: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)                                                        July 31, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 433.

 

(Part 2 of 4)

 

(Message to Berlin # 708)

 

It seems that Germany also understands this position of ours fairly well. The German Embassy people here in Tokyo are already quite aware of it. And yet I fear that their homeland is not yet as well informed as they are on our position.

3. Commercial and economic relations between Japan and third countries, led by England and the United States, are gradually becoming so horribly strained that we cannot endure it much longer. Consequently, our Empire, to save its very life, must take measures to secure the raw materials of the South Seas. Our Empire must immediately take steps to break asunder this ever-strengthening chain of encirclement which is being woven under the guidance and with the participation of England and the United States, acting like a cunning dragon seemingly

 

A-113

 

asleep. That is why we decided to obtain military bases in French Indo-China and to have our troops occupy that territory.

That step in itself, I dare say, gave England and the United States, not to mention Russia, quite a set-back in the Pacific that ought to help Germany, and now Japanese-American relations are more rapidly than ever treading the evil road. This shows what a blow it has been to the United States.

 

Trans. 8-4-41

 

 

No. 206

 

FROM: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)                                                        July 31, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 433.

 

(Part 3 of 4) (Message to Berlin # 708)

 

Needless to say, the Russo-German war has given us an excellent opportunity to settle the northern question, and it is a fact that we are proceeding with our preparations to take advantage of this occasion. Not only will we have to prepare, however, but we must choose well our chance. In view of the real situation facing our Empire, this should be easily understood. If the Russo-German war proceeds too swiftly, our Empire would inevitably not have time to take any effective symmetrical action.

5. I know that the Germans are somewhat dissatisfied over our negotiations with the United States, but we wished at any cost to prevent the United States from getting into the war, and we wished to settle the Chinese incident. We were working toward those objectives. Let him who will gainsay the fact that as a result we have indelibly impressed upon the United States the profoundness of the determination of the Empire of Japan and restrained her from plunging into the conflict against Germany.

It should be understood that we started these talks at a time which seemed opportune to us, and on the assumption that there was complete trust between Japan and Germany. For that matter, did not Germany start a war with Russia because of her military expediency when it was least desirable on our part? Now we have not only to settle the Chinese incident but have to meet a new challenge in the north as well as in the south, and this is quite inconvenient.

 

Trans. 8-4-41

 

No. 207

 

FROM: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)                                                        July 31, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 433.

 

(Part 4 of 4) (Message to Berlin # 708)

 

We are expending our best efforts to cooperate with Germany. She knows it and ought to understand our action.

6. Well, the formula for cooperation between Tokyo and Berlin, in order to realize the fundamental spirit of the Tripartite Pact, should be for each country to have a certain flexibility in its conduct. What I mean to say is that each should understand that real cooperation does not necessarily mean complete symmetry of action. In other words, we should trust each

 

A-114

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

other and while striving toward one general objective, each use our own discretion within the bounds of good judgment.

Thus, all measures which our Empire shall take will be based upon a determination to bring about the success of the objectives of the Tripartite Pact. That this is a fact is proven by the promulgation of an Imperial rescript. We are ever working toward the realization of those objectives, and now during this dire emergency is certainly no time to engage in any light unpremeditated or over-speedy action.

Please send to Rome. Have sent to Washington.

 

Trans. 8-4-41

 

No. 208.

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     August 2, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 438.

 

Re your # 566 [a]. Secret outside the department.

 

(Part 1 of 3)

 

We are now considering the proposal very carefully, although as you may well imagine, it would require considerable amount of time before the Japanese Government will be able to express its opinion regarding it because of the fact that the political situation at home and abroad is critical and the matter under consideration is of great importance. However, I would like to have you tell the President that we, realizing the seriousness of the present situation, are giving consideration to our reply and tell him so by covering the following points:

1. The method of disposal referred to in my #434 [b] is an unusual one. It goes to show, in part at least, how eager the Japanese Government is to bring about an equitable adjustment of Japanese-American relations. (This method of disposal excludes the area outside of the Chungking city limits and, therefore, does not apply to military establishments, airfields, etc., in the suburbs. Furthermore, it goes without saying that it is a temporary measure.

 


[a] Conversation between NOMURA and ROOSEVELT regarding HITLER's war aims and Japanese-German cooperation, see II, 172.

[b] Informing ROOSEVELT that Chungking bombing will be temporarily suspended in view of Japanese-American relations, see II, 199.

 

Trans. 8-4-41

 

No. 209

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     August 2, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 438.

 

(Part 2 of 3)

 

2. As soon as I received the report of damage having been done to the American gunboat by our bombing, I sent to the American Ambassador the memorandum prepared by the former Vice Minister YAMAMOTO, and immediately upon receiving official wire, I personally met the American Ambassador. I have already wired you this fact. In addition

 

A-115

 

 

to doing these things, I arranged to offer every facility to American newspaper correspondents and at the same time I had the report banned here so as not to unnecessarily excite public opinion. All this was done simply because we wish to deal with Japanese-American relations in as calm an atmosphere as possible.

Furthermore, in order to avoid the recurrence of such unpleasant incidents as the one in question, it is my earnest desire that the United States would free herself from mere legal theories and cooperate with Japan to eliminate by means of friendly conversation those matters which constitute the cause of disputes between the two countries. For example, inasmuch as the removal of Tutuilia to safe waters at this time would have a beneficent effect on future Japanese-American relations, will you suitably inform the American authorities to take this opportunity to do so.

 

Trans. 8-4-41

 

No. 210

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     August 2, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 438.

 

(Part 3 of 3)

 

If we are to avoid disruption of Japanese-American relations, it would be necessary to mutually exercise a high degree of statesmanship. It is in consideration of this fact that we are taking the aforementioned attitude. However, if the Japanese Government is to continue to maintain such a cool-headed attitude and if the public opinion in Japan is to follow the Government more perfectly with a view to improving Japanese-American relations, I believe firmly that it is necessary that the United States Government reciprocate our attitude by refraining strictly from behavior of fault-finding and maintain instead an intelligent and constructive attitude. Will you therefore persuade the President to consider this point carefully. As I have already told you in successive telegrams, it is my intention to have the Japanese-American diplomatic negotiations continue in the future. Will you, therefore, take every opportunity to enlighten the American authorities, along the lines set forth in my telegrams, on the French Indo-China question as well.

 

Trans. 8-4-41

 

No. 211

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             August 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 649.

 

(Strictly Secret)

 

In view of the fact that Japanese-American relations are constantly growing worse with prohibitive limits set on export of oil, today, the 1st, during the forenoon, I secretly called on a member of the cabinet and asked him for the latest news. At the same time I told him the reasons for our having occupied French Indo-China. It appeared that he had already heard of Japan's arguments from IWAKURO. I said, "It seems that it was clearly stated in the Japanese-French agreement regarding French Indo-China that the occupation was made necessary by the present general situation. It is not of a permanent nature. Do you not think

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

it a good plan to conclude an agreement which promises to uphold the integrity of the adjacent countries, waters, colonies, and the Dutch East Indies and to continue the negotiations that have been carried on and thus to facilitate supply of material?" Then he asked the question: "Is not Japan preparing to occupy Siberia?" showing that his interest had not been aroused to any extent. Incidentally, he said "Since Hull was so intensely interested in adjusting Japanese-American relations, he is greatly disappointed. Although he is expected to return on Monday, he is 'very sick'." Then he said, "We are now being ridiculed by our colleagues as having been 'easy men' for having played into the hands of the Japanese, but there will come a time when we will be quite active."

He spoke further, saying, "You are well aware of the fact that the President does not want war."

Now this is the way I look at the matter: The United States is trying to restrain Japan, first of all, by waging an economic war, although the government authorities claim that they are merely taking counter-measures against Japan's policy. But, that the United States is at the same time making military preparations against the possible eventuality of a clash of arms is a fact with which you are already familiar .Furthermore, it seems that in order to attain her object, the United States is endeavoring to get Soviet Russia and China, to say nothing of Great Britain and the Dutch East Indies, to fall in line and cooperate with her . That the Russo-German war is lasting longer than expected has proved to be an advantage to the United States.

However, the aforementioned cabinet member did not speak so optimistically as the President, in a newspaper interview yesterday, is reported to have alleged his confidant HOPKINS to have spoken (sic). The cabinet member believes firmly in the necessity of this war lasting for several years for the reason that due to destruction of her man (sic) and materials, and due to the shortage of oil, Germany would not be able to do anything on a great scale even after the fighting on the Eastern Front has come to an end, and that since the United States will be able in the meantime to rapidly increase her production, the trend will be in favor of her.

 

Trans. 8-7-41

 

No. 212

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             August 2, 1941

TO: Rio, Bogota, Mexico                                                                     # 221.

 

(Circular)

 

(Message to Tokyo # 643)

 

1. The recent petroleum embargo exercised by the United States is attracting attention as the first measure taken to back up the freezing of funds. Its motive has not the slightest connection with the bombing of the Tutuila and is taken to be a warning to Japan against further penetration southwards. It is reported that the United States will not relax this sort of economic pressure until it become clear that Japan is going to put an end to her policy of aggression. All the newspapers print a London report that Japan is continuing to make new demands including military bases in Thai and the press contains comments to the effect that Japan is further increasing her military forces.

 

A-117

 

Simultaneously with the petroleum embargo the Chief of Production and Management stopped the sale of silk to the public at large; consequently, stocking manufacturing throughout the whole of the United States, depending upon whether or not they can use substitute materials, can employ but 20 % of their former workers. Great unemployment will be the result, in fact, it is said that 175,000 people are out of jobs.

2. On the 2nd, the Government of the United States issued a statement to the people that the fact that Japanese aggression in French Indo-China was not stopped constitutes a threat to the security of the United States, whose attitude towards France will be determined hereafter by whether or not Vichy surrenders her territory to the Axis. On the same day, WELLES, the British Ambassador; the Australian Minister; and the South African Minister, (doubtless concerning Dakar) held a conference on measures to be taken in the worst eventualities.

The activities of HARRY HOPKINS in Moscow are receiving notice and these activities are being referred to in connection with Russo-American cooperation in case Japan strikes northwards.

Relayed to -----, Mexico, Panama, Rio. Relay from Rio to -----, Buenos Aires.

 

Trans. 8-15-41

 

No. 213

 

FROM: Los Angeles (Nakauchi)                                                          August 4, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   Circular # 15.

 

(Part 1 of 2)

 

(Message to Tokyo # 142)

 

Re my # 132 [a].

 

a. Since then, the Yokohama Specie Bank and the Sumitomo Bank have continued to be under surveillance by two Treasury Department inspectors each. Incoming and outgoing wires and mail have to have their details "checked" by these inspectors. Insofar as the Yokohama Specie Bank is concerned, though the account books and bank balances are "checked" daily, domestic business is allowed to proceed much as usual.

1. Since the freezing legislation went into effect, all individuals must present affidavits of continued residence since June 17th of last year before they can make first withdrawals from deposits. (There have been occasions when the inspectors have demanded that passports be submitted as evidence.)

2. Though statements are made that these measures are not as a result of the freezing legislation, when withdrawals are in excess of $500., the Treasury Department inspectors make investigations as to what purpose these funds are to be used.

3. When drafts are requested for dispatch to dependents in Japan, actual proof must be submitted that drafts have been sent to these same dependents within the last six months.

The Treasury inspectors see to it that Treasury Department watchmen are sent to both banks to stand guard each night.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 10-6-41

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 214

 

FROM: Los Angeles (Nakauchi)                                                          August 4, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   Circular # 15.

 

(Part 2 of 2)

 

(Message to Tokyo # 142)

 

b. NYK, Mitsui and Mitsubishi branch offices are now making applications for general licenses through their respective branch offices in San Francisco. (Temporary licenses have already been issued. Routine office expenses can be paid;) However, Mitsui and NYK branch offices were visited by Treasury Department inspectors for the three days of August 2 to 4, inclusive, at which time their disbursement account books were thoroughly investigated. Though the Osaka Chosen maintains a branch office, since it is an American agency with an American manager, it has no direct bearing in the present situation. The Asano branch office is making application for a general license.

c. Permanently established Japanese firms, maintaining partners in Japan, and to whom money is sent regularly, because of the freezing legislation, may not be able to send funds accumulated since June 1st to their respective sponsoring organizations in Japan. All of these firms are now making applications for general licenses. However, none of these licenses, as yet, have been issued.

 

Trans. 10-6-41

 

No. 215

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     August 5, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 445.

 

Re your # 621 [a].

 

1. There are no objections to your negotiating regarding the three points you mentioned. The British Ambassador has already made a proposal regarding their foreign diplomatic establishments and consulates in Japan, in harmony with the principle of reciprocity, to the effect that these be exempted from the rules recently put into effect regulating the transactions of foreigners. Also regarding America's foreign diplomatic establishments and consulates, if America does not apply the rule freezing assets to Japanese foreign diplomatic establishments and consulates and their staff members in America and her possessions, then the Japanese government will in turn exempt American diplomatic establishments and consulates and their staff members in Japan (including Manchuria, Taiwan, and Chosen) from the regulations governing transactions by foreigners. There is no objection to your negotiating in harmony with the above.

2. There has been no proposal of any sort from the American Ambassador in Japan regarding the order freezing assets.

3. Please handle this whole matter there.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 8-6-41

 

A-119

 

No. 216

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             August 4, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 646.

 

Yesterday, Sunday, all the newspapers discussed the Japanese-American problem in large headlines, supporting the government's stiff attitude. According to the Gallup Poll, hostility toward Japan is running rather high, but on the other hand, the press does express the opinion that the door has not been entirely closed. I would say that the Americans at present consider their relations with us as surpassing in importance their relations with Germany. As the days pass, I expect the situation to quiet down more or less. However, much will depend upon the course of the European war, and no man could do anything but guess what the future has in store. IWAKURO and WAKASUGI will make their report to you in Tokyo, but do not forget that things change rapidly these days. Now I am in a responsible position. Though I could not offer any excuses, if I made a miscalculation now, there might be regrettable consequences. Furthermore, my astuteness is quite limited. Therefore, as soon as there is a means of transportation available, I would like for you to send me some such Foreign Office expert well versed in all affairs at home and abroad as Ambassador KURUSU to work with me for awhile.

I know nothing at all about the government's high policy which is shrouded in secrecy, so how can you expect me to take any action whatever when my hands are thus tied? Please think this over, and send me a man immediately.

 

Trans. 8-7-41

 

No. 217

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             August 5, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 652.

 

(Parts 1, 2, 3 of 4)

 

(Division of parts not indicated)

 

Strictly confidential.

 

Wakasugi talked with Undersecretary Welles for over one and a half hours on the 4th. They left no stones unturned in their exchanges of frank opinions. The following is the gist of their discussion:

Wakasugi said that on the eve of his departure for home to report to his government, he would like to get a clear idea of the attitude of the U.S. Government. Also, if there was anything that the U.S. Government would like to have relayed to his home government, he would like to be advised of it, Wakasugi said. After that, Wakasugi continued, he would like, (1) to be advised of what the United States wants of Japan in connection with Japanese-U. S. relations; and (2) to exchange opinions on the set-up of the world following the termination of the European war .

Welles replied that both Secretary Hull and he were exceedingly interested in maintaining and promoting friendly relations between the United States and Japan, and the Secretary has told the Ambassador so on many occasions.

Over a long period of time, he continued, peace has been maintained between Japan and the United States. The friendship which has bound the two together over those years is, indeed, a rare phenomenon in the history of international history. The United States is very anxious that some means be found to make possible the continuance of this happy situation. The United States has absolutely no desire to take aggressive or oppressive steps against Japan. At present, however, the U.S. policy towards the conquered countries sometimes clashes with

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

what the United States really wants to do with regard to other countries, which causes some critical situations.

He has had much adoration for Japan since he had a post there 25 years ago, Welles said. He has never experienced as critical times as these, he said. The only remaining hope now is the displaying of extraordinarily brilliant statesmanship, (meaning, not resorting to force of arms).

Wakasugi said that Welles had described the present situation correctly and asked him what sort of statesmanship the United States had in mind. He went on to point out that Europeans and Americans would not or could not comprehend Japanese actions in the Far East. The basis of the differences is that European and American territorial penetrations and applications of economic pressure of recent years conflicted with the ideals for the Far East that Japan-as the mainstay of the Far East-is striving for. The European and American policy described above does not harmonize with the Japanese program of national security which has a direct bearing on Japan's very existence.

To this Welles replied that he well understood Japan's aspirations and that the only point that was objectionable was the resorting to arms to gain these aspirations ----- (one line missing) ----- that which was proposed to the Ambassador was done so from this point of view.

At the request of Wakasugi, he explained that proposal in the following manner: Fundamentally, French Indo-China was occupied by Japan, the Japanese say, (1) to counter the danger of joint action by Great Britain and China (probably including the United States) against Japan; and (2) as a means of being assured access to raw materials.

Now, upon the evacuation of Japanese troops, if Japan, United States, Britain, and China (and possibly the Netherlands) could agree not to threaten French Indo-China's territorial integrity, and set that area up as a strict neutral, Japan's aim No. 1 would be automatically satisfied. Incidentally, as was reported to the Ambassador recently, Thailand is to be included in this area.

With regard to Japan's argument regarding the assurance of accessibility to raw materials, Welles said that he could hardly believe that French Indo-Chinese production would satisfy the demands of Japan. However, if Japan agrees to the terms set up above, the President is prepared to insist to all the nations concerned (including Britain, Netherlands, and China, it is alleged) to grant Japan's desires of putting her on an equal basis.

Welles added that the United States awaits Japan's reply to this proposal with much expectancy.

"By the above explanation," Wakasugi then said in effect, "do you imply that the United States is prepared to conduct negotiations with Japan concerning the Japanese demands, and that the United States is willing to use her good offices to discuss them with the other nations referred to above if Japan does not resort to force of arms?"

Welles replied that that is exactly what he had meant. Wakasugi continued along the following lines: "Under the national policy of 'Western Hemisphere solidarity', the United States has seized control of the Western Hemisphere for her own benefits. However, from all outward appearances, she is unsatisfied with that for it seems as if she is trying to participate in Far Eastern affairs on the pretext of having special interests there, in spite of the fact that the said special interests date no farther back than fifty or sixty years at the most. This makes one think that the United States is trying to seize the police powers of the world."

"There is very little justification for the United States having that power," Wakasugi said. "Why doesn't the United States limit her sphere of influence to the Western Hemisphere? Why can't she leave the Orient to the Orientals?"

Welles admitted that the special privileges of the United States in the Orient (most of which are in China, he said) dates back only fifty or sixty years. "However," he continued, "U.S.

 

A-121

 

actions are not based on those. The United States is prepared to give up those special privileges at any time. The point on which the United States places the most emphasis is her opposition to the use of force of arms. World peace and order cannot possibly be brought about if a power such as Japan is permitted to convert the small countries in her vicinity into her protectorates one by one in the Hitlerean manner." (At this point, Wakasugi interrupted by saying that the occupation of French Indo-China was carried out on a peaceful basis with the full accord of the French Government. Welles retorted that the Vichy Government did not have a free will and that the above mentioned "Full accord" was forcefully foisted upon it) .

"When two countries such as the United States and Japan," Wakasugi then said, "which are surrounded by entirely dissimilar circumstances and which are based on different policies, insist on adhering to their respective arguments and wants, an armed clash between them cannot be avoided. If, however, the prevention of such an eventuality is sincerely desired, the actions of each must be geographically, or by some other means, limited. In the light of that, what is the scope of U.S. demands upon Japan? What are the limits of the wants of the United States herself?"

Welles avoided making a clear reply to these questions. Instead, he said, in effect: "We are in receipt of reports that Japan is preparing a further southward move into Thailand. I greatly fear that conditions will become worse."

"The United States for one," he went on, "is convinced that wealth and good fortune would come Japan's way if only she would pursue and adhere to a strictly peaceful policy."

 

Trans. 8-18-41

 

No. 218

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             August 5, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 652.

 

(Part 4 of 4-Parts 1, 2, and 3 translated 18 August) .

 

With regard to the peace set-up, subsequent to the conclusion of the war, Welles had something to say. The occasion was the dedication of the addition to the (Swedish ?) Legation here, at which time he said in his speech that the basic principle would be the equal accessibility of raw materials by all the countries of the world, and the establishment in one form or another of a league which will include the entire world. (Unlike the present League of Nations, the one under consideration will have arms to enforce order). He enlarged upon that speech now, in his talk with Wakasugi. After strongly promoting the above two points, he went on to say that talk of disarmament would almost certainly be brought up. He pointed out that nothing but disillusion could come of disarmament talks without first settling upon the accessibility of raw materials.

Wakasugi then brought up the subject of the Stimson policy as it was expressed at the time of the Manchurian Incident at which time Stimson said that the United States would not recognize any gains which were made by the use of arms. "Isn't it a fact, though," Wakasugi asked, "that most of the world is what it is today, such as -for a glaring example-the U.S. Policy with regard to the Caribbean, the fruits of armed warfare? You may say that by maintaining this status, you are maintaining a status quo. However, from the eyes of a historian, it is merely a matter of the time element, isn't it?"

Welles replied that he himself could see points which were objectionable in the past of the United States. However, the United States has since been striving to correct those wrongs.

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

Certainly, if history is permitted to repeat itself, forever, no progress could be made in man kind. He went on to point out that one had to change one's policies in accordance with the times.

I shall not go into the other points they discussed.

 

Trans. 8-22-41

 

A-123

 

PART B-JAPANESE INTELLIGENCE IN DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES

 

No. 219

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             May 19, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 319.

 

Re your # 45 [a] and # 180 [b].

 

I have had Terazaki [c] of Intelligence make an official trip to New York for the purpose of keeping in touch with the Consul-General [d] there, and we have come to the following conclusions.

1. We are of the opinion that Roosevelt's dictatorial attitude is becoming more pronounced and the government is leaning toward all-out war. Therefore, we desire that you remit immediately as large an amount as possible so that we may have funds with which to carry on intelligence work in the emergency created by America's entry into the war. For this purpose we assume that Japanese-American relations will continue as at the present.

2. The duties of an intelligence office are becoming increasingly difficult. Because of the existence of the Dies Committee and of the application of the regulations regarding Americans in foreign employ and regarding foreigners resident in America the gathering of accurate secret information is far from easy. This is only one example and there are many other "delicate" problems, so please understand the delay in my answering telegraphic (requests for information) .

3. We wish to make Washington and New York one unit and have a unified policy for it. Therefore we wish to get your approval before Terazaki starts for his post. We wish to have Consul Inagaki come here to serve. We feel that we should have here at least one-third of the personnel that they have in Shanghai for intelligence. Therefore, we are looking for temporary employees, (non-career clerks). Furthermore, we wish to have the officer in charge of intelligence visit New York about the 10th of every month.

4. The title of the officer in charge of intelligence will be that of "press attaché". His duties will be as decided in the business conference on March 4th, Article 61 (1), as follows:

A. Ordinary investigations and,

B. The development of intelligence.

"A" will of course include the investigation and gathering of secret information on the division in American public opinion regarding the rapprochement in Japanese-American relations based on the peace movement. But we wish to preclude such policies as the strategy being employed in the present negotiations.

5. A summary of the present state of the policy is as follows: We are making personal contacts on every hand. However, at this place and in New York we are continuing the existing formal contacts and gathering secret information. In addition, to this, the officer in charge of intelligence has contacts with:

(A) J, and W, who are in close touch with the President and his wife. The President is cultivating power through the "relief workers" and the "W. P. A." and other agencies. In addition to this, since his third term anyone who opposes him becomes the target of his attacks and his dictatorial tendencies are becoming more marked, therefore it is natural that we should pay special attention to those in close touch with him.

One or two items regarding Roosevelt's position: Evidence was brought out in the Senate to the effect that the former Ambassador to England, Kennedy, had not paid his 1932 income tax, but the President maintained silence. According to other secret information, Wilkie had

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

a secret understanding with Roosevelt and attacked him in his public speeches more than was necessary as a Presidential candidate and enjoyed scandalizing public opinion, however, had he by any chance become President he would have become a mere puppet of Roosevelt. Again, told Terazaki that originally he was an isolationist, but that now in view of the opposition he was keeping silent. Six months from now if he said he were an isolationist he would not be able to go about in safety.

(B) W of the State Department. When Terazaki was a student at Brown University he became well acquainted with W.

(C) G of the Senate.

When Terazaki was in Brown University he was greatly helped by this G. (D) The relationship of the "America First Committee" to Lindberg and W. Every time Lindberg makes a speech the German newspapers approve and American newspaper reporters in Germany write it up and American newspapers make a big thing of it so that the impression is conveyed that Lindberg is an agent of Germany. Because of this, Lindberg and the Committee are very perplexed and according to W, Lindberg has been cautioned by the German Embassy. Since then he has been in touch with W.

(E) D, an Irish American. D told our intelligence officer that a Jewish American Justice of the Supreme Court, Frankfurter, was packing the key posts of the government with Jewish Americans. But that American antipathy toward Jews is increasing to such an extent that eventually anti-Jewish influence would prevail.

(F) Persons with religious affiliations. ( 1) Catholic. (2) Protestant. (3) Undecided. The Catholics are the ones who are concerned in the present negotiations.

(G) The Brown University Club. This meets regularly once a month and at other times at which times he (Terazaki) is present.

6. Concerning the salary for employing nationals and foreigners. The future is another matter; however, judging from the past unless our general funds are increased it will be impossible to move. We wish to have you cognizant of the actual situation and when the opportune time comes we wish to take decisive action.

7. Looking at the funds for general intelligence, of the $30,000 income, only about $3,900 a year is available for actual development of intelligence and about $1,800 a year for entertainment and receptions. However, in the decision of the committee held on March 4th of this year regarding intelligence business, and the stipulations of the policy regarding propagation of intelligence, it was variously affirmed that of course the utmost effort would be put forth and that we would need no small sum for expenses. According to the present allotment we will need for the present year the sum of $500,000 for the development of intelligence. We respectfully request this.

 


[a] "In view of our decision to de-emphasize propaganda and concentrate on Intelligence, as directed in my dispatch # 44, please make recommendations for ensuing propaganda allotments.

[b] Not available

[c] Especially assigned to U.S. for intelligence and propaganda work.

[d] Morishima; he had long experience in intelligence work in Manchuria and China; Counselor of Embassy, Washington, until March 1941.

 

Trans. 5-21-41

 

A-125

 

No. 220

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   May 16, 1941

TO: Singapore                                                                                      # 120.

 

According to a telegram from our consul in Colombo, a New York Reuters dispatch states that it is reported that the United States has already stationed a fleet in the Indian Ocean. Please pay great attention to the movements of American warships.

 

(Strictly Secret)

 

Trans. 7-23-41

 

No. 221

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 10, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 386.

 

(To San Francisco, Los Angeles, & Seattle, Cir. # 121)

 

Secret.

 

Because of the suppression exercised against our Naval representatives (Language Officers) by the United States authorities in a series of recent incidents, our Navy has, for the time being, stopped stationing these officials by limiting the personnel. Inasmuch as in the light of the relations at present prevailing between Japan and the United States, observation of the movements of the American Navy is one of the most important matters, will you observe the movements of ships and gather other information that may be of interest to our Navy and wire us the required information as it comes to you?

 

Trans. 6-25-41

 

No. 222

 

FROM: Seattle (Sato)                                                                           June 23, 1941

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)                                                                    # 056.

 

(1) Ships at anchor on the 22nd/23rd (?):

(Observations having been made from a distance, ship types could not be determined in most cases.)

1. Port of Bremerton:

1 battleship (Maryland type)

2 aircraft tenders (one ship completed and has letter "E" on its funnel).

2. Port of -----:

1 destroyer

11 coast guard cutters (Ships under repair): 1 destroyer

11 (appear to be) minesweepers 3 coast guard cutters

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

3. Sand Point:

2 newly constructed hangars

4. Boeing:

New construction work on newly built factory building # 2. Expansion work on all factory buildings.

 

Trans. 7-14-41

 

No. 223

 

FROM: San Francisco (Muto)                                                              June 5, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 022.

 

Action Tokyo as # 092. (Abstract)

 

Report to Washington and Tokyo on announcement on the 4th by the Maritime Commission that 28 ships are to be pressed into service for the Army and Navy (7 to Army, 21 to Navy), etc.

 

Trans. 6-19-41

 

No. 224

 

FROM: Hollywood (Los Angeles)                                                       June 2, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 7.

 

(Circular)

 

Message to Tokyo # 83.

 

On the 20th, the Saratoga, and on the 24th, the Chester (?), Louisville, the 12th Destroyer Squadron and Destroyers # 364, 405, 411, 412, and 413 entered San Diego, and all of them left on the 31st.

 

Trans. 6-20-41

 

No. 225

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             June 2, 1941

TO: Panama                                                                                         # 16.

 

Please find out if the aircraft carrier, Lexington, has passed through the canal recently from the Pacific Ocean.

Secret.

Trans. 6-20-41

 

A-127

 

No. 226

 

FROM: Panama (Izawa)                                                                       June 6, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 13.

 

Message to Tokyo # 48.

 

Movements of American warships as I have observed them:

The following ships were observed to move from the Pacific into the Atlantic through the Canal:

1. On May Ist, four destroyers (four funnels, # 100, large size); on June 3rd, a destroyer # 436; on the night of the 4th one light, one heavy cruiser and five destroyers (their type was not ascertained); on the 5th the army transport ship "Republic".

2. The following ships were observed moving from the Atlantic into the Pacific:

On June Ist, a transport ship which appeared to be also a repair ship (two funnels, two masts, extremely high sides and bridge, two turrets, directly behind the foremast there was one ----- -----, one winch amidship and one on the stern. On the afterdeck, there were three scouting planes). On the 5th, three naval special service ships.

Furthermore, at about ----- o'clock on the 30th of May, while sailing along the Central American coast, it seems that the Sagami Maru observed five ships, apparently destroyers, moving off to the north.

3. On the 2nd, two naval special service ships came to anchor off the Balboa piers. These were seen to come from the Atlantic. One of these is discharging anti-aircraft shells. At the same anchorage, an army transport "John R. R. Hanna" is unloading bombs.

Relayed to Washington.

 

Trans. 6-19-41

 

No. 227

 

FROM: Panama (Izawa)                                                                       June 17, 1941

TO: Washington (Koshi)                                                                      # 19.

 

(Part 1 of 2)

 

Action Tokyo as # 62.

 

The Italian Minister showed me many secret charts made by the Canal Zone Administration, showing the locations of equipment, guns and other military establishments in the Canal Zone.

I glanced through them, and found them to be extremely detailed. In considering the process by which these charts were obtained, I feel that it would be absolutely impossible to obtain them in the future. Accordingly, I approached the Italian Minister regarding them. It appears that he has no objections to our making copies of them, provided that this is done in Tokyo, after we have delivered them to the Italian Embassy there. However, as all ports here are being very closely watched, there is no other way of taking these charts out except by plane.

I wonder if it would not be possible to have some Japanese merchant in South America, who is either returning to Japan, or is being transferred to some other country, take these charts out; or to have one of our office-staff deliver them to a designated place? At present, all the places where recent defense operations are being carried out are being marked on these charts. This work is estimated to take about one week to finish.

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

The Italian Minister stated that if (handling) of this in Japan caused too much delay, there is no other way than to take them by plane from ----- to Washington (?). In this case, he stated that he would want to have it (copied ?) at (Washington ?). Please send instructions without fail.

Secret.

 

Note: Translation doubtful. Part 2 of 2 unavailable.

 

Trans. 6-25-41

 

No. 228

 

FROM: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)                                                        June 23, 1941

TO: Mexico (Koshi)                                                                             # 106.

 

Regarding the plans for procuring maps of the Panama Canal and vicinity, please have career attaché, Kihara, make an official trip to Panama. It might be well to have secretary Yoshimizu accompany him.

Have the maps taken out by plane, and then have Sato, the Naval attaché, bring them to Tokyo with him when he returns.

Furthermore, since the Panama Legation, in their report # 62 [a] of 17 June from Panama to me, mentioned the question of a trip, get in touch with them regarding date and time of arrival. (American surveillance will unquestionably be vigilant. There are also some suspicions that they read some of our codes. Therefore, we wish to exercise the utmost caution in accomplishing this mission. Also, any telegrams exchanged between you and Panama should be very short for security, or be in innocuous plain language.)

 


[a] See II, 227.

 

Trans. 6-24-41

 

No. 229

 

FROM: Panama (Izawa)                                                                       June 26, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 67.

 

From Minister YAMAGATA.

 

Re message # 219 from Mexico to the Foreign Minister [a].

 

There is also the matter of Minister MIURA's admonitions. When he inquired as to the method of handling baggage upon arrival in Guatemala he was told that as a general rule only baggage that would be taken into a hotel would have to be examined upon departure. Therefore, each person's hand baggage as well as suitcases containing diplomatic documents, at the present time, cannot be taken out without being opened or going through customs. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----. Our idea is that the Customs authorities should merely place a seal on the suitcases without giving them a thorough examination. Then on departure there would be no need to demand investigations of the contents of these bags and, of course, each person's hand baggage similarly sealed.

Relayed to Mexico.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 10-1-41

 

A-129

 

No. 230

 

FROM: Mexico City                                                                            June 27, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           #230.

 

Re my # 219 [a] and Panama's # 60 [a] to the Foreign Minister .

In the case of Minister Yamagata as well, with the exception of the "sealed" suitcase containing diplomatic documents, they insisted that it was necessary to inspect his baggage as usual. Only, as a matter of fact, at the time of departure, the inspection was not carried out. On the other hand, in my case, in view of the fact that in Guatemala, a country to which I am accredited, rights that ordinarily are recognized by international law were violated by an aviation company with U.S. affiliations, and in view of the fact that this violation was tolerated by the Guatemala government, I think this ought to be made the subject of appropriate steps either in Washington or in Tokyo. It may be that independently of this a protest should be presented to the Guatemala government, with demands for assurance that such a situation will not arise a second time. If the said government, because of pressure from the U.S., should refuse to comply, I think we should give serious consideration to further counter measures.

Please give me your opinions by return dispatch.

Your # 110 [b] was relayed the 24th. ----- This has been relayed to Washington.

 

Note: Above appears to be explanation for delay in taking out SECRET MAPS from Panama by plane.

 


[a] Not available.

[b] See II, 231-Tokyo directs Mexico to transmit a former message to Washington; as it bears a relation to the postponement of instructions pertaining to the procuring and forwarding to Tokyo of charts of the Panama Canal and Canal Zone.

 

Trans. 7-3-41

 

No. 231

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 27, 1941

TO: Mexico                                                                                         # 110.

 

Please transmit your message # 210 [a] to Washington. The substance of that message has a relation to the postponement for awhile of the putting into effect of my message # l06 [b].

 


[a] Not available.

[b] See II, 228. The Jap Foreign Minister wires the Jap Amb. at Mexico City, directing procedure to be followed for procuring maps of the Panama Canal and vicinity, and forwarding to Japan by Naval Attaché Sato. Directs utmost caution in carrying out this mission and in exchange of any telegrams between Mexico City and Panama.

 

Trans. 6-30-41

 

A-130

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 232

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 1, 1941

TO: Mexico                                                                                         # 008.

 

Action Tokyo as # 453.

 

Regarding your #317 [a].

 

On the 20th, I sent Iguti to the office of the chief of the Far Eastern Section to protest the unlawful treatment shown to Minister Miura by the officials of the Pan American Airways and also to request that the company in question be instructed as to the proper method of handling hand luggage of our diplomatic officials and couriers hereafter.

However, since the acts committed concern the procedure of the aviation company alone in its effort to assure the safety of flight and to avoid the air accidents, it is questionable whether we can rightfully make demands on the United States government on the grounds of diplomatic and consular prerogative. (Sometime ago when similar questions came up in the Philippines, I understand that it was decided not to handle this question on the basis of diplomatic and consular prerogatives).

I am inclined to believe that it should be considered more rightly as a question of courtesy. Furthermore, if we are to claim diplomatic prerogative, based on international law, it would be more proper, just as was stated in Minister Miura's telegram, to make representations to the Guatemala government. For this reason, in dealing with the State Department, we avoided bringing up the question of diplomatic prerogative.

 


[a] The violation of our rights by the P.L.E. (P.A.A. ?) Co. is unjust and the continued toleration of this by the U.S. is viewed by Japan as an unfriendly attitude which might affect our future relations. See also II, 230.

 

Trans. 7-3-41

 

No. 233

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 2, 1941

TO: Mexico                                                                                         # 113.

 

Re your # 230 [a].

 

Will you please file a written protest to the Guatemalan Government through its Ambassador in Mexico. I have already issued instructions to have a protest submitted to the State Department of the United States. Please transmit this message to Washington.

 


[a] See II, 230. Mexico asks Tokyo to take steps to protest the violation by an aviation company in Guatemala of rights ordinarily recognized by international law. This message refers to a message pertaining to the procuring and forwarding to Tokyo of charts of the Panama Canal and Canal Zone.

 

Trans. 7-25-41

 

A-131

 

No.  234

 

FROM: Panama (Izawa)                                                                       June 21, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           No number.

 

The Legation is now old and insecure, so we have discovered a suitable furnished house to let with three stories and an extensive garden. The third floor consists of three bedrooms and a wide verandah; the second has a dining room, guest rooms, and porches in various places, while the first floor is chiefly a storeroom and a gymnasium. It is probably capable of accommodating two hundred people at a reception. I believe we can obtain a two year lease at $400 on it beginning July 15th. Since there is a scarcity here of rentable houses and since we have an option on it only until the 25th, please answer immediately, and in the meantime I shall put in an application.

 

Trans. 7-2-41

 

No. 235

 

FROM: Panama (Izawa)                                                                       June 26, 1941

TO: Rio                                                                                                #1.

 

Due to the sudden change in the international situation, our mission here will probably be given up. This is for your information.

Relay to Buenos Aires.

 

Trans. 9-20-41

 

No. 236

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 4, 1941

TO: Panama                                                                                         No number.

 

To Consul-General YAMAGATA.

 

I would like to have you remain in Panama for awhile and work on our flanking policy as a consultant to IZAWA. As to your trip to Chile suggested in my # 474 there is no objection to your visiting that country on your way to your post, and to your giving up your trip to Columbia.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 8-26-41

 

No. 237

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   July 4, 1941

TO: Panama                                                                                         # 49.

 

Please transmit this to Minister YAMAGATA.

 

You are ordered to Chile as of the 4th.

 

Trans. 7-23-41

 

A-132

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 238

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   July 10, 1941

TO: Panama                                                                                         # 51.

 

To Minister YAMAGATA.

 

Your credentials and Minister SHIOZAKI's release will be issued in two or three days. As it will be impossible to deliver them before your arrival, a translation is being sent immediately by telegraph. Please accept this, as its presentation in lieu of credentials has already been discussed with the Chilean Government.

 

Trans. 8-5-41

 

No. 239

 

FROM: Mexico (Miura)                                                                       July 8, 1941

TO: Los Angeles                                                                                  # 10.

 

The Diet party inspecting Central and South America is scheduled to leave Los Angeles on the Panama plane. Please let me know by telegraph if arrangements for seat reservations have been made.

 

Trans. 7-20-41

 

No. 240

 

FROM: Buenos Aires (Usui)                                                                July 10, 1941

TO: Mexico City                                                                                  # 203.

 

To Secretary USUI.

 

As Minister YAMAGATA has been relieved, they are very busy at that office. Therefore, please go to your new post by air. Please acknowledge this by return telegram.

 

Trans. 7-23-41

 

No. 241

 

FROM: Buenos Aires (Tomii)                                                              July 12, 1941

TO: Panama                                                                                         # 3.

 

If Minister YAMAGATA and party are still at Panama, please convey the following to them. If they have already left, please transmit it to their forwarding office.

1. To Minister YAMAGATA. I have received reports that your tour to Central and South America has been given up. Please let me know if this is true, as it has a bearing upon my preparations.

2. To Secretary USUI. If the tour of Central and South America has been given up, please return immediately to your station by air and let me know by telegraph when you will arrive.

 

Trans. 8-5-41

 

A-133

 

No. 242

 

FROM: Panama (Izawa)                                                                       August 4, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 35.

 

(Message to Tokyo # 110)

 

According to intelligence emanating from a close relative of the President, it is understood that in the last cabinet meeting he stated that in the event of American participation he could see no course but for participation on the part of his country in keeping with the terms of agreement. Until such time, however, he continued, the current neutral stand will be maintained and the country will avoid taking discriminating measures against belligerent countries as well.

Relayed to Washington.

 

Trans. 10-11-41

 

No. 243

 

FROM: Havana (Nanjo)                                                                       August 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo

 

(Strictly secret)

 

Between the 16th and the 24th of July, the following American warships were anchored in the naval harbor of Guantanamo:

2 battleships; 4 light cruisers; 4 destroyers; 2 Coast Guard cutters; 2(long range ?) heavy bombing planes.

 

Trans. 10-13-41

 

No. 244

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        June 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 315.

 

Concerning the cargo ship referred to in the last part of my secret letter # 467 [a], we have in the meantime had no reports; however, one of my spies informs me that facts concerning the ship in question are very vague. However, the transport "Washington", after docking here on May 8th, went immediately to the port of Olongapo and disembarked troops of an uncertain number who are ostensibly to keep watch over Subic Bay [b].

The eight destroyers and four submarines anchored here left port on the 2nd.

 


[a] Not available.

[b] In Philippine Islands.

 

Trans. 6-6-41

 

A-134

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No. 245

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        June 7, 1941

TO: Tokyo ( Gaimudaijin)                                                                   # 326 (?).

 

Ships in port on the 7th:

(1) MANILA:

TON

MATTO

BUKKU

8 destroyers

PASU

14 Submarines

BECK

HON

2 target towing ships

2 supply ships

-----

-----

 

Transport Henderson left the 5th, destination uncertain.

(2) CAVITE:

None.

The REI left port, date and destination uncertain.

 

Trans. 6-12-41

 

No. 246

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        June 13, 1941

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)                                                                    # 335.

 

Re my # 326 [a].

 

It has been ascertained that the two supply ships were mine layers.

On the 9th, two more ships of the same class entered port. They were both direct from America.

On the 11th, an oiler, TURITEI, entered port.

 


[a] See II, 245. Lists ships in Manila and Cavite.

 

Trans. 6-17-41

 

No. 247

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 21, 1941

TO: China Net                                                                                     Circular # 1289.

 

Action Manila as # 176.

 

According to a Tokyo Nichi-Nichi dispatch from your place on the 17th, an officer of the American aviation force, a Major KONROO, together with 10 others, arrived there by clipper

 

A-135

 

 

on the 16th, and left the following day for Chungking via Hongkong. Please wire as to the actual circumstances.

 

Trans. 6-24-41

 

No. 248

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   July 1, 1941

TO: Manila (Riyoji)                                                                             # 191.

 

According to a reliable source of information the United States Navy in your territory is desirous of requisitioning half of the American Consulate office space in the Tourist Bureau Building until September Ist, for vigilance and anti-espionage work.

The above may be a part of the plan to establish a special service organ for the British-American-Chinese military liaison chain. Therefore, please verify the above report and watch the conduct of the Navy personnel and reply information.

As the source of this information is strictly secret, please exercise caution in making investigations.

 

Trans. 7-5-41

 

No. 249

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        June 28, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 51.

 

Re my # 343 [a]  to the Minister.

 

At present, not only are there a great many questions pending, but there are also numerous persons who, for the sake of convenience, entered the country as temporary tourists, and whose period of sojourn in the country is about up. Since I think their representations, as indicated in my caption message, are probably not more than a matter of mere formality, I would like to have you bear in mind, in addition to this, the considerations for an immediate settlement of this matter now. Please wire results. I have transmitted this to the Minister .

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. (Not dated)

 

No. 250

 

FROM: Davao                                                                                     July 18, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 86.

 

Secondary intelligence.

 

According to a spy, it seems, in view of the rapid turnover of Americans having charge of stevedores who are being used in customs duty, as well as by us here for observation of American submarines entering port, that investigation and collection of intelligence regarding Japanese vessels and Japanese persons in this area is being carried out by

 

A-136

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

British and American authorities -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----. On the whole, it seems that this is being done through the British Honorary Consul BROWN (Ker Company). This man is understood to pass information along to the M--gda Hongkong continually.

Passed by cipher letter to Manila.

 

Trans. 10-11-41

 

No. 251

 

FROM: Manila                                                                                     July 11, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 399.

 

Re your Circular # 1408 [a].

 

According to a check up at the Immigration Bureau, there were 1013 (some of whom are reentry) Chinese immigrants who arrived during the month of June. This is a tremendous increase over the past monthly average of 250 persons. The greater portion of the above immigrants appear to have been summoned by those already residing here and they do not appear to be contract laborers, referred to in your message. (I am checking up on the sex, age, etc., of these summoned immigrants.)

According to our informer, these immigrants have nothing to do with military construction projects and their migration is thought to be due to our policy in China. However, I will make further investigation.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7-19-41

 

No. 252

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 5, 1941

TO: Manila                                                                                          # 203.

 

Re my message # 160 [a].

 

In view of the changed conditions after that message, please wire your opinion regarding sending Negishi to look into the present tenant farm conditions.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7-14-41

 

No. 253

 

FROM: Manila                                                                                     July 7, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 390.

 

Re your # 203 [a].

 

It is quite true that under present conditions it is exceedingly difficult to conduct cultural propaganda. However, Negishi has many friends among persons in newspaper circles in

 

A-137

 

this area. We would like to have him make contacts with various persons in the area as an individual, and through such contacts engage in gathering intelligence.

(The Japanese people of this area have become very fearful of being looked upon with suspicious eyes by U.S. officials of late. For this reason, they become very evasive and defensive when I or any of my staff try to get in touch with them. You are aware of this state of affairs and of the consequent difficulty we are encountering in collecting intelligence data..)

At the same time, we would like to have Negishi do some solid ground work for the opening of the Cultural Hall which, according to plans, is to take place shortly.

For the above reasons, will you please send him here as previously planned. It is an absolute certainty that upon his arrival in Manila, he will be bombarded with questions concerning the international situation as seen from Japanese standpoint as well as on various domestic issues. Please, therefore, have him well versed on all the answers before he departs from Japan.

 


[a] See II, 252.

 

Trans. 7-14-41

 

No. 254

 

FROM: Manila                                                                                     July 12, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 401.

 

BARYOTTO [a] and JOSE LEIDO have both come to this office requesting financial assistance for the purpose of running in the general election for the districts of Aatwn [a] and Mindoro respectively. In addition, OPUSU [a], whom we are now using in our schemes within the Assembly, too, has come to us asking that we (contribute toward?) the campaign fund of his followers. With regard to the possibilities of their Domination as candidates to the offices held by retiring members of the Assembly, we are continuing our secret investigations in regard to these three men, but since there is also the matter of our replying to their requests, after you have perused this, I would like to have you wire me for my own personal information whether it is possible for us to make those apportionments.

1. The necessary amount of OPUSU's use is 15,000 yen. BARYOTTO and LEIDO together require 25,000 yen, making a grand total of 40,000 yen. This disbursement should be made by the end of July when the Nationalist Party is scheduled to open its Convention here for the purpose of deciding its candidates. Therefore, I would like to have you let me know by then what the possibilities are.

2. With regard to the request made by OPUSU, I would like to have you comply with it from the point of view of increasing his party affiliations and establishing his influence in the Assembly.

3. Now, BARYOTTO, as you know, is an intimate friend of PAREDESU [a] who is the publisher of a Sulu native-language newspaper which we subsidize and which professes Pan-Asiaism (the paper is strongly supported by some of the up-holders of Pan-Asiaism). Though he ran for Governor last year, he failed to be elected. It seems that PAREDESU has privately promised to do his best in order to help him win the election.

LEIDO now holds the office of the Chief of the Income Tax Bureau in the Treasury Department. ARASU [a], former Secretary of the Treasury, and RUNK [a], a former member of the Assembly from the district of Mindoro, strongly support him.

 

A-138

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

Though there is a possibility of these two men being elected, because of the confused situation within the local convention, it is extremely hard to predict whether their chances of winning the election are good or bad. However, both of these men are simple fellows and are said to be men of dependable character .

4. No direct aid has been requested by RAWURERU [a], our legal advisor, who is running as a candidate from BATANGASU [a] (he is the son of RAWURERU, Judge of the Supreme Court); by MAGARONA [a], at present member of the Assembly and Chairman of the Labor Immigration Commission-a man connected with this office; and by BAMENTA [a], now a member of the Assembly. Should events necessitate, I believe we should assist them at this time. We are continuing our private investigation with regard to the above-mentioned BARYOTTO and LEIDO's supporters. Now, should we feel that their chances of nomination as candidates are slim, then I think that it would be appropriate for us to delay aid at such a time. Therefore, please arrange to transfer the sums of money requested above before that time.

 


[a] Kana spelling.

 

Trans. 8-13-41

 

No. 256

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        July 10, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 396.

 

1. The United States ship, American Leader (10,000 ton class) entered port today and unloaded what appeared to be ten some odd coast guns (length about 18 feet), also ten some odd gun platforms of what appeared to be such and twenty some odd light tanks.

2. The Trinity (?) left port yesterday; destination unknown.

 

Trans. (Not dated)

 

No. 257

 

FROM: Manila                                                                                     July 11, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 398.

 

The requisitioned ship, President Taft, arrived in harbor on the 10th, with from 800 to 1000 soldiers on board for the Philippines. All vessels in port put to sea for about three weeks on the 17th, it is rumored. This will be investigated further.

 

Trans. 7-18-41

 

A-139

 

No. 258

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        August 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 474.

 

1. Anchored warships-Dfionomi [a] .

2. There is (are) anchored Danish ship(s) ----- garbled ----- after loading at Webu [a] (Ebu ?) will leave for America. In addition two ships touched port on the 1st and 2nd from Orongabo [a].

3. Harrison and Coolidge entered port on the 31st and Ist respectively.

 


[a] Kana spelling.

 

Trans. 8-5-41

 

No.  259

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        July 25, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 433.

 

The United States is making a concentrated effort to strengthen Philippine defenses. There are at present 460 planes, and about 1300 pilots. Army force numbers 10,000 and an effort is being made to increase this number. The Philippine Army numbers about 130,000 including those on active duty, reserve lists and the gendarmerie. In an emergency, about 100,000 men could be turned over to U.S. officers to command, it is estimated by the bureau concerned.

 

Trans. 8-1-41

 

No.  260

 

FROM: Manila                                                                                     July 31, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 465.

 

There are differences between my telegram # 4?8 (?), paragraph (2), and my report # 75 on the number of Philippine Army aeroplanes to be included in the American Army.

However, the first figures were taken from a newspaper without further verification. At present we are making investigations relative to the number of aeroplanes and aviation officers and men.

 

Trans. 8-14-41

 

A-140

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  261

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        August 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 476.

 

Re your # 245 [a].

 

In observing planes on practice flights, I notice that the color of military and naval planes has not been changed and that they are not camouflaged. However, I have heard that among the naval planes there are those which have been observed to be painted a light green. Though I am making additional secret investigations, that is all for the time being.

Furthermore, in recent times, the number of planes flying above the city has decreased considerably.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 8‑7‑41

 

No.  262

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        August 4, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 480.

 

Intelligence of primary order.

 

1. Two destroyers sailed on the fourth. All the war ships at anchor have sailed. There are, however, several small destroyers in the neighborhood of Corregidor [a]. (This was observed by the crews of the Koden Maru and the Kaischu Maru.)

2. About six‑hundred American soldiers have arrived in Manila on the Coolidge. (This was learned from the crew of the Coolidge.)

 


[a] An island in Cavite Province at the entrance of Manila Bay.

 

Trans. 8‑7‑41

 

No. 263

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        July 15, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 407.

 

On the morning of the 13th, the master electric dynamo was struck by lightning and put out of commission, and electricity is being supplied by an auxiliary system, however, consumption of electricity is to be curtailed in every way, it was announced in the newspapers. Repairs will take about three weeks. This is having a grave effect in the U.S. Navy and military preparations at Cavite.

 

A-141

 

No.  264

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        July 25, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 422.

 

Very Secret. For Official Code Handling.

 

As there is serious likelihood of orders being enforced for freezing of assets and for strict investigation of all funds connected with foreigners, we have decided to keep the larger part of this office's funds in cash, but when this is used up it will be difficult to secure remittances of secret funds for this office, and if the situation becomes serious, there is danger that much trouble may be incurred. Therefore, after conferring with branch manager Yamamoto of the Specie Bank, we have decided to be ready against such time by some such arrangement as described in the last part of his message to the Specie Bank. Please have this in mind and do your best to secure their consent to this. The amount involved, unless some very special emergency should arise, will be as heretofore, and of course we will use it only within the limits of approval received from the Foreign Office and we will take the responsibility of its custody in this office.

 

Trans. 7‑29‑41

 

No.  265

 

FROM: Manila                                                                                     July 26, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 438.

 

(Request Message)

 

From MATSUKAWA to the President of the Tokyo Branch of the ISHIWARA  Produce Company:

Money frozen this morning. For time being stop all remittances. Cannot hope to continue business as before, but can only take necessary measures to preserve existence of firm until things get better. Think it best policy to endeavor to bring about elasticity in quota system. Please get in touch with Home Office and work out counter policy.

 

Trans. 7‑31‑41

 

No. 266

 

FROM: Manila                                                                                     August 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 477.

 

# 55 from this office to the Ambassador in the United States.

 

Re your # 203 [a].

 

The High Commissioner here has advised me that Washington would grant permits and if this is done it will be very fortunate as you well know. With regard to this matter, we would be able to keep Davao advised of details which we have collected.

1. As you know, the secret funds used here are relatively high because of the status of the office. Consequently; in addition to paying monthly allowances to members of the staff we apportion personal entertainment allowances to them as designated in paragraphs of your # 4 [b].

 

A-142

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

These monies, after they have been received at this office, are immediately handed over to the members of the staff. Should you have no objection, we would like to have you arrange so that essential secret funds other than for purposes mentioned above can be utilized by us.

2. Subsidy monies for conferences we would like to apportion as heretofore providing you have no objections. (It is our intention to apportion hospital subsidy funds as well as monies for the use of companies in outlying sections.)

The above mentioned two points doubtless will prove of interest to other offices in the United States. Please send me your reply.

 


[a] See II, 252.

[b] Not available.

 

Trans. (Not dated)

 

No.  267

 

FROM: Manila                                                                                     July 27, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 449.

 

Some of the reactions and measures taken in this area in connection with the French Indo-China affair are described below:

1. For some time past, the people in this area have been convinced that Japan has had her hands full with the China affair. Moreover, it was popularly believed that a difference of opinion arose in Japan itself following the outbreak of the German‑Soviet war. For these reasons it was firmly believed here that Japan would make no southward move which would risk the necessity of a military campaign.

When our final note regarding French Indo‑China was published and when subsequently our forces showed signs of actually moving into French Indo‑China, the people here were caught more or less flat‑footed and there were indications of some confusion.

2. In view of the locale, considerable attention was centered on the attitude the United States would take regarding our move. With the issuance of Welles' statement of the 24th, and the President's speech of the 25th, it was reported that the United States was going to take strong retaliatory actions against Japan.

Particular attention was paid to that part of the President's speech which promised that retaliatory action against Japan would be taken within twenty‑four hours, and also to Welles' statement that developments in French Indo‑China will have important bearings on the fate of the entire Pacific including the Philippine Islands.

As soon as the order freezing our assets was announced, it was predicted here that that was only the first retaliatory step. It was further predicted that under certain circumstances an export embargo will be placed on shipments of oil and other war materials to Japan from the United States. (In his speech, the President stated that the reason no export embargo had been placed on oil shipments to Japan was because he took Japanese reaction over such a step into consideration. Men here refer to this part of the speech and point out that the President put all of it in the past tense, and thus, indirectly the President suggests a different future policy.)

Other probable steps, they claim, are the seizure of Japanese vessels. (This was rumored in the Customs circles); and the closing of Japanese consulates in the United States.

 

A-143

 

3. With regard to the recent agreement with French Indo‑China, it is locally claimed that it was only as the result of application of pressure by Japan that it was agreed upon. Thus, the lack of resistance on the part of France was strongly censured.

There are indications that the local people are considerably confused by various and varying rumors, such as reports to the effect that as a consequence of this agreement, the Japanese have obtained military bases; that Japanese vessels regularly coming to this area have been requisitioned or will cancel this service; that Japan is mobilizing at home on a gigantic scale; that foreigners may no longer travel, etc.

These have given rise to much confusion, wishful thinking, and anxiety, among the people here.

 

Trans. 7‑30‑41

 

No. 268

 

FROM: Honolulu (Kita)                                                                       June 13, 1941

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)                                                                    # 099.

 

Regarding the cable from San Francisco 4 92 to the Foreign Minister, which was interrupted.

 

The President Pierce took on about 900 soldiers and 100 pilots on the 11th and sailed for the Philippines on the 12th.

 

Trans. 6‑19‑41

 

No. 269

 

FROM: Honolulu (Kita)                                                                       June 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 100.

 

On the 11th, (?) two English converted cruisers entered Pearl Harbor and are at present undergoing repairs at the old (?) dry docks.

 

Trans. 6‑30‑41

 

No. 270

 

FROM: Honolulu (Kita)                                                                       June 16, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 101.

 

Re my message # 100 [a].

 

Upon inquiry, I learned that it was not a converted cruiser but was a two‑funnel, 5,000 ton old light cruiser.

This message has been transmitted the same as the caption message.

 


[a] See II, 269.

 

Trans. 6‑21‑41

 

A-144

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  271

 

FROM: Manila                                                                                     July 19, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 417.

 

(Reliability A).

 

1. Four destroyers left port on the 18th. Six submarines (type 140) entered port on the same day.

2. Ships in port on the 19th:

(A) Manila:

 BUKKU

 6 submarines

(B) Cavite:

 REI

(Reliability B).

(C) We have heard that there is a British light cruiser lying at anchor in Cavite (see my # 415 [a]) with two holes in the side. It has put into port to have these repaired.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7‑23‑41

 

A-145

 

PART C‑JAPANESE DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD

 

No.  272

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 15, 1941

TO: Berlin (Koshi)                                                                               # 093.

 

(Circular)

 

Action Tokyo as # 311.

 

Opinion is divided in government circles regarding the problem of convoys and that is the reason that President Roosevelt has maintained silence concerning it. It appears that on the 13th he interviewed King, the Commander of the Atlantic Fleet, and on the 14th, Forrestal, Undersecretary of the Navy recently returned from an investigation tour of Britain, and got their opinions on the matter. However, Roosevelt himself wishes to avoid the danger of warfare in the Atlantic with Germany and therefore hesitates to put convoys into use. He would rather lend part of the destroyer flotilla to Great Britain and let her do her own convoying. However, Secretary Knox in particular and the Navy Department in general are opposed to lending U.S. ships to Britain and thus weakening their own naval strength. For one thing they are thinking of Japanese relationship and if worst comes to worst and England goes down then the United States would have to face Germany with a weakened fleet.

On the 15th the New York Times, under the caption "Let's have a showdown with Germany", after giving the figures of the shipping losses of England for several days, said that if the United States would provide England with 200 long range bombers, they would have the same effect as a "patrol" and would serve to hold the activity of the submarines in check. This summarizes the opinion in U.S. government circles that there is no immediate need of convoying.

For your information.

Relayed to Germany and England.

 

Trans. 5‑20‑41

 

No.  273

 

FROM: Rome                                                                                      May 30, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   No number.

 

Message to Tokyo as # 333.

 

1. The Italian method of handling Roosevelt's speech is as I have told you in my # 330 [a], but the local American correspondents here are warning the Italian people against the tendency of considering this speech as the handwriting on the wall. In addition, it is understood that they are propagandizing the statement that the declaration of an unlimited national emergency is not just another way of saying full mobilization.

2. Furthermore, in view of the fact that Roosevelt in this speech stated that, should the Azores and the Cape Verde islands fall into the hands of Germany, the freedom of the Atlantic and the safety of the United States would be directly threatened, there are many here who say that this is a manifestation of America's aspirations for the occupation of these islands.

Relayed to Washington and Berlin.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 6‑3‑41

 

A-146

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  274

 

FROM: Shanghai                                                                                 May 30, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 882.

 

According to AK, Chungking is disappointed in President ROOSEVELT's fireside chat because it did not refer to Japanese‑American relations. (U.P. reports that on the 29th also referred to this point, stating that this encouraged Japan's ambition and that even when viewed from the standpoint of military strategy the United States could better win absolute victory if she would first settle her war in the Pacific). The chat was especially disappointing because it gave the impression that China's political set‑up was an anti‑Nazi defense line, whereas in fact Chungking wished to preserve the German‑Chinese Cultural Association organized by SHUKAKA [a] as an instrument through which to negotiate with Germany in case Germany wins. Chungking avoided any reference to this organization and had its Foreign Minister WANG issue a mere perfunctory statement (please refer to my # 872 [b]); aside from this, as an oriental nation she has kept silent.

On the other hand the Chinese Communist Party regard that the fireside chat was a blow to those Chinese who have been expecting aid from the United States and that it had a beneficial influence on the investigation now being carried on for the adjustment of Chinese‑Russian relations and consequently for the adjustment of the relation between the Nationalist Party and the Communist Party. The Communist Party also is of the opinion that the United States purposely avoided reference to her attitude towards Japan at this time when she is pressed with the necessity of making that clear and also making her attitude in regard to China‑Japan incident equally clear, and that the United States if following the policy of sounding out the possibility of peace with Chungking on the one hand and on the other hand preparing for cooperations between her and China, at the same time endeavoring to estimate the actual fighting strength of the Chungking regime [c].

On the 28th, SINKA NIPPO [d] expressed the view that the fact that no reference was made to United States‑Japanese relations and no criticism was made of Japan is indicative of the United States' intention of stressing the war in the Atlantic and paying little attention to developments in the Pacific. This paper, furthermore, referred to a Reuter dispatch expressing disapproval of labor strifes in the United States and of suppression of the peoples' rights.

Relayed to Peking, Tientsin, Nanking, Hankow and Hongkong.

 


[a] CHU CHIU‑HUA-Member of the Central Executive Yuan; also formerly the Head of the Educational Department.

[b] Not available.

[c] Sentence as translated (DoD comment).

[d] A Chinese newspaper.

 Trans. 6‑1‑41

 

No.  275

 

FROM: Lisbon                                                                                     June 4, 1941

TO: Washington

 

Message to Tokyo # 93.

 

The fact that in his Fireside Chat, ROOSEVELT referred to the Azores, gave Portugal a severe shock. The Brazilian Ambassador told me that in case England and the United States win the

 

A-147

 

final victory the domineering manner of the United States will be much more difficult to endure than that of Germany and that henceforward the position of the extreme pro‑British and pro‑American wing will weaken and a strong anti‑American sentiment will sweep the country.

From the 28th to the 31st hostile editorials appeared in the newspapers, but since then no comment has appeared. I have received a report to the effect that condemnation of the speech which was to have been published in the Government organ on the 1st has been withheld. I got in touch with the German Embassy to find out what had happened in the meantime and the German Embassy informed me that on the evening of the 31st a special envoy arrived in Lisbon by plane bearing a message from Secretary HULL to the effect that the United States does not now intend to occupy the Azores. The German Embassy said they got that information from two places in their communications net. On the 2nd, an official, second in attendance on the Premier, confidentially told me that within the Government there is a mounting cry for the Premier to make a tour of the Azores and to proclaim sovereignty thereover to the Portuguese and to the outside world.

 

Trans. 6‑14‑41

 

No. 276

 

FROM: Lisbon (Chiba)                                                                        June 20, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 105.

 

(Intelligence report).

 

On the 14th the President's son, Captain ROOSEVELT, stopped here on his return to the United States. The censorship authorities of this country, being anti‑American, the newspapers were not permitted to publish this as front page news. The local government also maintained an indifferent attitude toward him and there is no evidence that he was dined by any of the higher‑ups.

Relayed to Washington and Berlin.

 

Trans. 6‑28‑41

 

No. 277

 

FROM: Lisbon (Chiba)                                                                        June 20, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 103.

 

(Report of Primary Importance).

 

Re message # 63 [a] from our Ambassador in Madrid to Your Excellency.

It has been discovered that a group of anti‑SALAZAR [b] plotters in Mozambique [c] recently proposed to the Portuguese Government that in case England and the United States take over the Azores, they will assist the Portuguese Government in occupying Mozambique. All of those involved will soon be taken to Lisbon under guard.

In the face of this situation, the loyalty of the people of this country has apparently vacillated to a certain extent so that the government news organ published an editorial now when the country is in such dire straits, and warning them against plotting and subversive activities.

 

A-148

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

In any case, it does not appear that the present government is in any great danger.

Relayed to Washington and Madrid.

 


[a] Not available.

[b] Premier of Portugal.

[c] Portuguese colony in S.E. Africa.

 

Trans. 6‑26‑41

 

No.  278

 

FROM: Honolulu (Kita)                                                                       June 6, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 92.

 

(Message to San Francisco # 15).

 

On the night of the 5th, a local broadcast reported that the Tatsuta Maru, which left San Francisco on the 2nd (?) took on one or two Germans of very dubious character. The ship's captain, on the assumption that there would be no British warships in the vicinity of San Francisco, permitted these men to board his ship. This is for your information.

 

Trans. 6‑19‑41

 

No.  279

 

FROM: Honolulu (Kita)                                                                       June 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 095.

 

For the head of the department.

 

A German named Mehner Toklaus, 35 years old, resident here, has reserved a room on the Tatsuta Maru sailing from here on the 10th. He has been an instructor of history at the University of Hawaii for the past four years but has resigned recently. He says that Ambassador Ott is cognizant of his resignation and of his trip to Japan. The matter of his embarkation, etc. should be handled by the ship's authorities ‑‑‑‑- in accordance with telegram # 246 [a]  of last year from your Minister to San Francisco.

 


[a] Not available.

 

 Trans. 6‑30‑41

 

No. 280

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 13, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 395.

 

Bishop Walsh [a] sailed from San Francisco, May 5th, aboard the Tatsuta Maru. He is well known to Matsuoka and is continually working for Japanese‑American diplomatic friendship. He is traveling to the Orient. Please extend every courtesy.

 


[a] James E. Walsh, Superior General, Catholic Foreign Missionary Society in America, headquarters Mary Knoll Mission, N. Y.

 

Trans. 6‑17‑41

 

A-149

 

No.  281

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 7, 1941

TO: Berlin                                                                                            # 487.

 

Regarding your # 635 [a].

 

During your conversation with Hitler and Ribbentrop, the other day, what impression did you get as to the German government's opinion regarding the probable date of the United States' entry into the war? Please reply at once.

 


[a] Ambassador in Berlin reports conversations with Hitler and Ribbentrop on 3 and 4 June. (See Section C, Japanese Axis Relationship.)

[b] See II, 282.

 

Trans. 6‑9‑41

 

No. 282

 

FROM: Berlin                                                                                      June 7, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 655.

 

Ribbentrop believes that so long as member nations of the Tripartite Pact maintain a firm attitude, the United States will hesitate to enter into the war, and the war can be brought to an end in the meantime.

He is convinced of this even in the face of the threatening German‑Russian war, as already reported in Paragraph 1 of my message # 64? [a].

 


[a] Possibility of a Soviet‑German war was reported in Paragraph 1 of Berlin's # 638.

 

Trans. 6‑9‑41

 

No. 283

 

FROM: Vichy (Sato)                                                                            June 16, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 309.

 

Part 2 of 2 [a].

 

3. Without a searching inquiry, it would be difficult for me to say whether or not a German invasion of the British Isles is imminent, but since the beginning of this month the activity of submarines in the Atlantic has been waxing fiercer and fiercer. The North Sea is so beset with mines and the danger of bombing is so great that already any activities on the part of the British fleet in that area are impossible. I believe that Germany is ready to make a considerable sacrifice, and if she can get a foothold in part of England, say on the Thames, the British army could not withstand the onslaught. Great Britain, I think is continuing to repeat her recent series of errors, for I doubt if the United States will enter the war. It appears that she is already taking her maximum measures. It is probably true that she is keeping England going, and the fact that the war still continues is probably due to the United States alone, but even if she does fight, all she can possibly do will be to prolong the war a little longer. I know that there

 

A-150

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

are various reports to the contrary, but I do not believe that when the issue arises the United States will fight.

 


[a] Part one, not available.

 

Trans. 6‑18‑41

 

No.  284

 

FROM: Havana                                                                                    June 16, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 27.

 

To be kept secret within the department. Intelligence of primary importance.

 

A certain person close to the President, and a newspaper correspondent told me that early last month INDALECION PRIETO [a] had a secret conference with President BATISTA and said that if either the United States or Spain enters the war, the United States will cease to recognize the FRANCO regime, and will recognize at once the former Red regime. At that same time, it seems that Cuba likewise will be asked to do the same, and to effect the return of the Spanish ambassador and consuls. This interview was held at the instigation of the American officials. It seems that the United States plans to coerce the Western Hemisphere as a whole to take parallel action.

 


[a] Ex‑Minister of Spain; head of Aid to Spanish Refugees.

 

Trans. 6‑25‑41

 

No.  285

 

FROM: Rome                                                                                      July 21, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 478.

 

Secret Intelligence.

 

According to secret information received from Vatican circles, TITTOMAN, the Papal representative in the United States, [a] on the 16th reported to the Papal authorities, that the United States Government, on the basis of information received from the U.S. Embassy in Japan, is of the opinion that there is increased likelihood of an agreement being reached soon between Japan and the United States, and that when the United States enters the European war, Japan can be prevented from interfering. The said agreement would include a decisive settlement of the Japan‑China incident, providing that if the Chiang regime does not accept the conditions submitted by the United States, American aid will no longer be received. Great Britain would also participate in an adjustment of all problems involving the South Seas, the Pacific Ocean, and the Far East. Japan's desires for a victorious settlement of the incident would be satisfied in a peaceful and advantageous manner, and thus any reason for Japan's interference by force would cease to exist. It seems to have been suggested that if as a last resort the influence of the Vatican is found necessary in this matter, their mediation will be sought.

 


[a] Mr. Tittman was an American representative in Rome.

 

Trans. 8‑7‑41

 

A-151

 

No. 286

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             June 10, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 389.

 

Re your # 279 [a].

 

On the 10th, IGUCHI [b] called on the Far Eastern Section Chief HAMILTON and spoke to him concerning the harsh treatment given to Lt. Commander OKADA by the police. He said that there was a great discrepancy between that and the treatment being accorded United States Naval language officers in Japan; that not only the Japanese Navy especially was displeased over the successive occurrences of incidents related to it, such as the OKADA incident, the TACHIBANA incident and the TAIEI MARU incident, but also that this incident being likely to arouse Japanese public opinion considerably is a bad thing when regarded from the standpoint of Japanese‑American relations. For this reason, he would like to get an explanation of the matter from the State Department and requested that steps be taken to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

I understand that HAMILTON replied to the effect that, since he was not informed on this matter, he would first of all address inquiries to the authorities concerned and then make his reply.

It seems to me that there is ground for suspecting that this incident was made use of by such organizations as the F.B.I. and the Dies Committee for finding a pretext whereby witnesses may be found so that they could interfere with Japanese propaganda policy just as these organizations have done with Germany and Italy. Inasmuch as this is likely to spread to other personnel than that of the Navy, in my opinion it would be well for us to take every precaution.

 


[a] In which the Japanese Government complains of the mistreatment accorded Lt. Commander OKADA, who was arrested for speeding and requests an explanation from the State Department. See II, 287.

[b] Japanese Embassy Counselor in Washington.

 

Trans. 6‑12‑41

 

No. 287

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 9, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 279.

 

Refer to Los Angeles' # 85 to Foreign Minister [a].

 

Regarding the case of Lieutenant Commander Okada, who is charged with speeding. The American government should consider the social status of Japanese naval officers. The extremely unpleasant attitude of the American authorities in this matter, if not discontinued, would result in similarly unpleasant results for American officers in this country, and would create a Japanese‑American quarrel.

The American authorities should make adequate explanations, and promise that similar incidents will not occur in the future. Please request the State Department to consider this matter carefully and request appropriate promises. Telegraph the results of your representations.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 6‑9‑41

 

A-152

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  288

 

FROM: Tokyo (Koshi)                                                                         June 9, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   No number.

 

Regarding Los Angeles to Tokyo # 89 [a].

 

As circumstances referred to in the above message must also be considered, we must exercise a great care in making representation to the United States government regarding this matter. Therefore, when presenting our note (my message # 279) [b] to the State Department, please ascertain all facts concerning this matter and reply result.

 


[a] Not available.

[b] See II, 287.

 

Trans. 6‑9‑41

 

No. 289

 

FROM: Hollywood (Nakauchi)                                                            June 10, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 36.

 

Secret.

 

To the Naval Attaché from TERAI.

 

1. Our lawyer is of the opinion that KONO [a] should be (kept in the country for thirty days ?) in view of the danger that he might give evidence unsatisfactory to TACHIBANA [b]. It would be wise to subsidize him. Furthermore, as KONO has no funds, the lawyer has suggested that the Navy be responsible for paying this man a subsidy of $25,000 and all court costs. In order that the Navy be kept out of the picture, some of KONO's friends should be selected to appear to be supporting him. We are in the process of making these arrangements. Should you have any objection to this manner of procedure, please advise us.

Furthermore, in view of the fact that ‑‑‑‑- is a good friend of the Intelligence Chief and in cahoots with the investigating authorities, it would be wise for the Navy to have little to do with the matter.

2. Though our lawyer would not predict the outcome of this incident, as the hearings will be complicated, at the very earliest it will be tomorrow, the 11th, before counter‑schemes can be developed.

It is going to be necessary for TACHIBANA to have frequent communication with the lawyer; therefore, we believe that it would be ill‑advised for TACHIBANA to go to Washington at the present time.

 


[a] TACHIBANA's chauffeur.

[b] Japanese Naval Language Official who has been held on charges of espionage.

 

Trans. 6‑25‑41

 

A-153

 

No. 290

 

FROM: Hollywood (Nakauchi)                                                            June 18, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 44.

 

Secret.

 

Re wire # 99 [a] to the Minister.

 

At noon on the 18th, the immigration official stated that there was no relationship between this and the incident in which Commander TACHIBANA was subpoenaed. Though he stated that he would make a detailed report of the results of his investigation, he has no objection to the condition that this man has resided in the country (a period of twelve months beginning the month of ‑‑‑‑‑) and has gone to and from Mexico without having secured a visa from the American Consul in Mexico. Though it is felt that in order to establish an excuse for his violation of the immigration law, which should appear to have no direct connection with ‑‑‑‑- incidents, we should make it appear to be of similar nature to the cases of Lieutenant Commander OKADA [a] and Secretary WAKATSUKI.

Relayed to Tokyo.

 


[a] Not available.

[b] Japanese Naval Language Officer.

 

Trans. 6‑25‑41

 

No. 291

 

FROM: Tokyo (Jap Foreign Minister)                                                  June 21, 1941

TO: Washington (Koshi)                                                                      # 307.

 

Regarding my # 294 [a]:

 

Although we have not yet received a reply, please let us know, at once, the facts and the background of this incident.

While it is time that the United States did make a friendly gesture in connection with the TACHIBANA affair, we are constantly watching the restrictions placed on gasoline exports to Japan as a sort of barometer to evaluate the sincerity of the United States toward us.

 


[a] Tokyo requests Washington to wire his opinion regarding the order prohibiting loading of lubricating oil on the Azuma Maru at Philadelphia, and prospects of future supplies of kerosene, etc.

 

Trans. 6‑25‑41

 

No. 292

 

FROM: San Francisco (Muto)                                                              June 21, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 026.

 

Commander Tachibana sailed [a] from here without mishap on the 21st by the Nitta Maru.

 


[a] By request! DoD comment: footnote as in original translation.

 

Trans. 7‑1‑41

 

A-154

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  293

 

FROM: Los Angeles (Nakauchi)                                                          June 17, 1941

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)                                                                    # 098.

 

On the 17th, courier Yamazaki is sailing for Japan on the Nitta Maru with various documents, wherefore, please see to it that he meets no difficulty with the customs inspection.

 

Trans. 6‑19‑41

 

No.  294

 

FROM: San Francisco (Muto)                                                              May 28, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 86.

 

(Part 1 of 2)

 

Strictly Secret.

 

While the Nichi Shin Maru, of the Pacific Whaling Steamship Company, was coming into Port Costa (approximately 20 miles from San Francisco) in order to take on petroleum, under suspicion of carrying contraband drugs the interior of the ship was searched by customs officials about noon on the ‑‑‑‑‑. In order to burn them, should the need arise, Naval "SA" code, secret Naval documents in the custody of the captain, secret wireless telegraphy documents in the custody of the Chief Radio Operator, meteorological codes belonging to the Central Meteorological Bureau, planning board codes, and other secret documents, under pretext of passing inspection were taken away. As soon as I had been informed of this by telephone, I immediately filed a protest with the local customs officials and demanded the return of these documents. They replied that they had decided to return these documents at a later date to the fishing vessel after an investigation had been made into the facts of the case.

 

Trans. 6‑11‑41

 

No.  295

 

FROM: San Francisco (Muto)                                                              May 28, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 86.

 

(Part 2 of 2)

 

I think that it is necessary, in addition to immediately stopping the use of these codes, to take drastic emergency measures to prevent the recurrence of this sort of thing.

Furthermore, according to the report made by the captain who presented himself at this office immediately after the incident had occurred, these documents had been placed for safe‑keeping in the Chief Radio Operator's room because of the great inconvenience of keeping them in the captain's room. While the Chief Operator was alone in the room six customs officials burst in in order to search it. Upon finding these documents, they laid hands on the Chief Operator and by brute force took them from him.

 

Trans. 6‑11‑41

 

A-155

 

No. 296

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     May 31, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 263.

 

Re messages # 86 [a] and # 87 [b] from San Francisco to this office.

 

We understand that our Naval Attaché made a representation to the U.S. Navy Department concerning this matter. Regardless of what the official reasons were, it seems apparent to us that it was done at Britain's request. It was done in the hopes of obtaining some definite proof that Japanese ships on the "black list" prepared by Britain were aiding Germany.

Even if we put aside the legal aspect of the incident, in which such extreme measures were taken with the vague excuse of searching for narcotics, the effect this incident has upon the already critical U.S.‑Japanese relations is very serious. In view of this fact, will you make appropriate representations to the bureau concerned of the State Department?

 


[a] Available, See II, 194 and 195.

[b] Concerns seizure of papers on West Coast by narcotics agents.

 

Trans. 6‑2‑41

(Nos. 297-304 not in text. LWJ)

 

No. 305

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 2, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 325.

 

Re my # 319 [a].

 

On the 20th of June, the Office of the Governor General of CHOSEN submitted a telegram saying that if the State Department or the mission headquarters will arrange to have this missionary removed to his native land, the Governor Generalcy is prepared to settle the matter in the manner described in part 1 of my caption message. Will you immediately go and ask the State Department to have this missionary brought home. Please wire me back the results.

 


[a] In which the Governor General agreed to cancel the prosecution of missionaries alleged to have distributed dangerous literature on condition that they are ordered home.

 

Trans. 7‑5‑41

 

No. 306

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 458.

 

Re your # 325 [a].

 

Will you please wire me back the names of an memoranda concerning the Americans in question?

The State Department says that the appellants are only accused of distributing disturbing printed matter and that this is not enough to warrant our demanding the removal of all fourteen of them.

 


[a] See II, 305.

 

Trans. 7‑5‑41

 

A-156

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  307

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 8, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 472.

 

Re your # 332 [a].

 

None of the names of those concerned are known at the State Department either. Please repeat, giving the full names in English.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7‑10‑41

 

No.  308

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 8, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 344.

 

Re my # 325 [a].

 

We have received the following advice from the office of the Governor General of CHOSEN:

 

The trial of OKADA was finished on July 4th, and the verdict will be passed on the 21st. The United States has put it up to us that, if we expect a lenient decision, an indispensable term will be that the defendant must be taken out of the country. Now, the prayer meeting incident is a parallel case; so, will you please negotiate with the American Government to have the accused likewise evacuated.

In spite of what you said in your # 458 [b], we do not wish the question of the evacuation demanded by the office of the Governor General to be left pending for a long time now that Japanese‑American relations are so strained. Therefore, we think it quite proper that you return to the State Department and inform the officials that we wish them to comply with our request.

 


[a] See II, 305 in which Tokyo requests Washington to ask the State Department to have the missionary brought home.

[b] See II, 306 in which Nomura wires Tokyo that the State Department does not think the accusation of distributing disturbing printed matter is enough to warrant demanding the removal of all 14 of the Americans in question.

 

Trans. 7‑9‑41

 

No. 309

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 8, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 480.

 

 Re your # 344 [a].

 

On the 8th, IGUCHI [b], informed Section Chief HAMILTON of the contents of your instructions, saying that he hoped all of the accused would be evacuated. HAMILTON replied, "The State Department knows that BOTT (?), etc., are charged with distributing pamphlets advocating peace which were distributed in various countries throughout the world. The crime is very slight and the deportation of all people concerned would be a severe punishment. Furthermore, the Church authorities are also undesirous of seeing these people evacuated. In exchange for

 

A-157

 

the friendly manner in which we handled the TACHIBANA incident, don't you think you could drop this matter in some way or other? Now, with respect to DeCAMP and ROWE (?), you are pressing us very hard. If possible, I would like for you to have this matter discussed with the Church officials in Korea." IGUCHI replied: "The Chosen authorities, in view of their policy of a political solution, are combining the two incidents into one and, unless those involved in the prayer meeting incident are also evacuated, it may be difficult to show any leniency to DECAMP and ROWE (?); however, I will report all you say."

Will you please report this to the Governor General and take what measures you deem proper? Please wire me back.

 


[a] See II, 308 in which Tokyo tells the advice received from the Office of the Governor General of Chosen and asks that the State Department be informed that they wish them to comply with Japanese requests for the evacuation of the accused missionaries.

[b] Japanese Embassy Counselor in Washington.

 

Trans. 7‑14‑41

 

No. 310

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 10, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 491.

 

Re my # 480 [a] .

 

On the 9th, Representative HOOPER of the Presbyterian headquarters in New York came to Washington and I had IGUCHI interview him. HOOPER said: "Our branch in Keijo will first decide upon whether or not the missionaries are to be evacuated from Chosen and then seek the concurrence of the main headquarters. Now, if as a result of representations made by the Governor General to our representative in Chosen, HERBERT BLAIR, the latter should request the headquarters to agree to the evacuation of DeCAMP and ROWE (?), we will wire them back our approval immediately." Furthermore, with respect to the prayer meeting incident, HOOPER presented the following plea: "When the accused translated into Korean the English text, they did so in such a manner as to prevent any misunderstanding on the part of Japan. They even first submitted them to the Police. They are endeavoring to cooperate with the Japanese and since Dr. Clark, Miss Covington and Mrs. Moore have already decided to leave Korea, cannot the matter be dropped at that?"

I think that it would be a good idea for us to agree to this as a friendly gesture for the way they have settled the TACHIBANA incident.

 


[a] July 8, 1941; II, 301.

 

Trans. 7‑14‑41

 

A-158

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  311

 

FROM: Tokyo (Foreign Minister)                                                        July 14, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 363.

 

Special.

 

The "prayer‑meeting incident" comes under the Army‑Navy Criminal Law and the Law for the Provisional Control of Disturbing Literature. In connection with this important event, the Procurator's Office has started investigation of 16 of the approximate 30 persons concerned. As a result of the prosecutor's investigation, four, BUTTS, BLAIR, POLLARD and MOORE, are regarded as ringleaders. Others considered to be deeply involved in the incident are BERNHEISELL, HILL, CLARK, DELMARTER, ROSS, COVINGTON, COOK, BERGMAN and CROTHEGS. Magnanimity is shown in the requirement, along lines of fixed policy, that the above‑mentioned 13 persons must withdraw to their home country. The others are being overlooked (disregarded).

The sentence of the two involved in the Oasa affair will be postponed until the 11th. In regard to this withdrawal (return), with the consent of the Executive Committee of the Northern Presbyterian Church in the Eastern district, it was advised that guarantee of withdrawal be given. This will be submitted after the urgently convoked resolution of the committee.

 

Trans. 7‑16‑41

 

No.  312

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 17, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 380.

 

We have settled the incident mentioned in the Director of the Foreign Section Suwa's telegram # 50 to Tokyo by having two members of the legal committee of the American Presbyterian Mission in Chosen, Miller and RAINA give guarantee that RO and DEKINYANPU would be evacuated.

Regarding the prayer meeting incident there has been a request to have the matter "dropped" with the return of three members, however the authorities concerned are doing their best from a legal standpoint to settle the matter as leniently as possible but they desire to have arrangements made with the other party immediately for the return of the 13 persons most seriously involved, (excluding Clark who is returning on account of illness).

Furthermore, Mrs. Moore is a Methodist missionary and is not a member of the Northern Presbyterians. The members at the New York headquarters of the Northern Presbyterians said at first that they would have the English translated into Korean and then before distributing the literature they would send it to the police station. However, there is no evidence of their ever having done so. In spite of the fact that this point concerns the publication we are willing to overlook that point, and merely treat the question as matter of seditious literature. Please convey this to the New York head office.

 

Trans. 7‑18‑41

 

A-159

 

 

No. 313

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 17, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 370.

 

Re my # 362 [a].

 

The government‑general sent word again as noted in my separate telegram # 380 [b]. In reply, I told the government‑general that it was impossible to show any more leniency than had been shown. Please make strong representations to America to make settlement along the lines of my separate telegram and wire the result.

 


[a] Not available.

[b] See II, 312.

 

Trans. 7‑18‑41

 

No. 314

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 19, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 533.

 

Re your # 380 [a].

 

The State Department has taken the position from the first that this matter was not a request from the State Department but rather an appeal to Japan's "goodwill". Moreover, the church headquarters say that conditions are such that it is very difficult to advise the return of the missionaries. The State Department goes a step further and says it cannot interfere in the matter and while it regrets the matter it cannot act as an intermediary in the return of the 13 missionaries. (It requested that it be informed upon the settlement of Matsuo incident). Again, the church representative Hooper was summoned by Iguchi, who made an earnest statement regarding the government‑general's kind intentions. (Indicating your telegram # 380 [b]). Hooper expressed his thanks for the government's kind intentions and at the same time explained that the church, from matters of policy, could not return the missionaries living in Korea in connection with the prayer meeting incident, nor issue orders for their return.

In regard to the RO incident he said that he thought there was no other way to handle it than to confer directly with the local church authorities on the spot. Please arrange to have this done immediately. If this does not result in a solution to the problem I think there is nothing to do but drop the matter of the return of the 13 persons.

Furthermore, inasmuch as the pamphlets concerned in the prayer meeting incident were translated directly from the English to Japanese in Tokyo and then distributed, I do not see how there could be any problem in this connection.

 


[a] The authorities concerned are doing their best to settle the prayer meeting incident as leniently as possible, but they desire that arrangements be made for the return of the 13 persons most seriously involved. July 17, 1941, II, 312.

 

Trans. 7‑24‑41

 

A-160

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  315

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 19, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 386.

 

Re your # 472 [a].

 

The full names of those whose evacuation the Governor General demands, are as follows:

1. Miss Alice Mabel Butts

2. Mr. H. E. Blair

3. Miss H. E. Pollard

4. Mrs. J. Z. Moore (Ruth Benedict)

5. Mrs. C. F. Bernheisel (Helen K.)

6. Mr. H. J. Hill

7. Mr. C. A. Clark

8. Miss J. Delmarten

9. Miss L. Ross

10. Miss H. Covington

11. Mrs. W. T. Cook (Maude H.)

1 12. Miss G. 0. Bergman

13. Mrs. J. Y. Crothers (Ellen Ann McClung)

 


[a] Ambassador requests a repetition of names from Tokyo. July 8, 1941; II, 299.

 

Trans. 7‑21‑41

 

No.  316

 

FROM: Washington (No signature)                                                      June 5, 1941

TO: Tokyo (Oimatu)

 

HUDENANA

 

As Japanese Embassy has already been informed in regard to Kokuyo Maru, should Japanese government wish to establish for Toei Maru the full status of public naval vessel further information with regard to the ships is desired by this government°. If, in the meanwhile, Toei Maru should enter Los Angeles as commercial vessel, no objection is perceived to such visit.

 


[a] U.S. Government.

 

Trans. 6‑16‑41

 

No.  317

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   June 13, 1941

TO: Washington (Koshi)                                                                      # 290.

 

Re my letter # 84 under date of 16 May.

 

We have been advised by the Navy Ministry that the movements of the Iro (commanded by Naval Captain Jyoe Mizuguti) have been changed to arrive Los Angeles, 9 July, and to depart the 14th. Please arrange accordingly.

 

A-161


Also please make the following changes in the schedule pertaining to the same cruise:

Eliminate "Sada 7 July", and under Oudo change "23 August" to "30 August" (Saturday), and under Siriya change " 30 August" to "9 August" (Saturday) respectively.

 

Trans. 6‑20‑41

 

No.  318

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 1, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 329 (?).

 

Translator's note: Several bad breaks in text of latter part of this message. Not too sure of reading.

 

Please convey the following to New York.

(1) Please instruct the various Japanese steamship firms in your city as per the following: We wish all ships to observe strictly the following schedule for passing through Panama:

Tokai Maru            -the 16th

Amagisan Maru     -the 17th

Awajisan Maru      -the 18th

Tozan Maru           -the 19th

Kiyozumi Maru     -the 20th

Kirishima Maru     -the 21st

Norfolk Maru        -the 22nd

Asuka Maru           -the 22nd

(2) To Kawasaki S.S. Co. as follows:

Unload all discharge freight at New York, and tie up at the ore berth at Baltimore. Assuming that it will take three days to unload ore, I think it should be possible to reach Colon on the 21st, but how about it? The generators) will be loaded on the Asuka Maru. Count not the 1000 tons of Boston asbestos be loaded with the New York freight ‑‑‑‑‑.

(3) To the Kokusai S.S. Co. as follows:

Kiyozumi Maru freight will be unloaded at the one port of New York, the instructions from the main office re freight for the return trip are entirely cancelled and she will proceed from New York directly to Panama ‑‑‑‑as soon as possible. If there is any time during unloading operations, there would be no objection to loading some return voyage freight at New York. Rush the loading and unloading at Cristobal as much as possible, whatever the expense may be. The Kirishima Maru ‑‑‑‑- as per instructions from the home office. ‑‑‑‑- please try ‑‑‑‑‑.

(4) To Mitsui Co. as follows:

You will please take such measures as may be necessary to shorten up ‑‑‑‑- as there may be decrease in freight loading on the Awajisan Maru and Amagisan Maru.

(5) To Osaka Shosen Kaisha as follows:

The Tokai Maru and Tozan Maru will proceed as per dispatch from the home office on the 28th.

(6) To Nippon Yusen Kaisha as follows:

Asuka Maru ‑‑‑‑- freight for return trip to New York. ‑‑‑‑- besides machinery loaded at Genoa. ‑‑‑‑- cotton and Boston imitation asbestos in as large quantities as possible, cut out the stop at New Orleans, and go directly to Panama ‑‑‑‑- (garbled out) (incomplete).

 

Trans. 7‑3‑41

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  319

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 3, 1941

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)                                                                    # 460.

 

Separate telegram # 267 from New York to Tokyo.

1. I have seen telegram # 52 from the Japanese steamship company. The Asuka Maru's schedule and tonnage to be discharged are as follows:

Arrive Philadelphia, June 30

Depart Philadelphia, July 2

Discharge 4135 tons of ore. Load nothing.

Arrive New York, 4th

Depart 7th

Discharge 400 tons miscellaneous goods, and, including

New Orleans discharge, 1900 tons of palm oil

Load 500 tons of machinery and 1000 tons of raw cotton and 11 tons of miscellaneous goods

Boston, arrive the 8th

Depart the 12th

Discharge, miscellaneous 199 tons, sugar 2500 tons

Load asbestos, 1000 tons

Cristobal, 20th

Please wire as to whether it will be necessary to go to Los Angeles on business on the return voyage.

2. From the Mitsui shipping department.

Arrangements have been made for loading of the 1589 kilotons of cargo on hand by July 1 on the Awajisan Maru to be completed during July 2 and the boat will sail by the morning of July 3 at the latest, for Los Angeles.

The Amagisan Maru will sail for Tampa from New York on the evening of July 2 and will sail from New Orleans by July 11th.

3. From the Kawasadi Steamship Company:

Since there is no asbestos to load in New York, the unloading of the 550 tons of ‑‑‑‑- will be completed and the unloading of the ore in Baltimore should be completed in 3 days (or on the 3rd). Hence the boat is scheduled to arrive in Colon on 20th.

 

Trans. 7‑7‑41

 

No.  320

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             June 12, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 394.

 

Re letter # 21, dated April 23 and addressed from Manila to me and also telegram # ‑‑‑‑- addressed by you to Manila.

I had IGUCHI [a] negotiate with the State Department along the line set forth in the last part of the previous letter. It seems that they are contemplating according the same treatment to Japanese entering the Philippines as we would accord Filipinos entering Japan as international

 

 

A-163

 

traders; for the State Department has sent us a note inquiring what arrangements we are making in order to accord favorable treatment to Filipinos going to Japan as international traders.

Will you kindly wire me in regard to this matter?

Relay to Manila.

 


[a] Consul in New York.

 

Trans. 6‑14‑41

 

No.  321

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             June 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 396.

 

Re my # 394 [a].

 

On the 13th, when IGUCHI called on the Chief of the Far East Section, he asked the latter if circumstances made it necessary for Japan to inform the United States Government exactly what Japan is doing about this matter. The Section Chief replied that it would be well for the Japanese to include in a note to be submitted by the Embassy, a clause stating, in effect, that the Japanese government shall accord to Filipinos who are international traders the same kind of treatment and privileges in Japan as are accorded Japanese international traders in the Philippines.

I believe that this is an attempt to get from us a written promise in view of the fact that Japanese‑American Trade Agreement is no longer existent.

Relayed to Manila.

 


[a] In which Washington tells Tokyo that the State Department is contemplating according Japanese entering the Philippines the same treatment as the Japanese accord Filipinos entering Japan as international traders. June 12, 1941; II, 312.

 

 Trans. 6‑18‑41

 

No. 322

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        June 16, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 48.

 

Message to Tokyo # 342.

 

Re my  # 340 [a].

 

Based on instructions from Washington, I have been informed that a decision has been reached to discontinue granting permits on scrap iron. Therefore, though we continue our current negotiations, I believe that it will take a considerable time before a settlement is reached. In order to lessen losses incurred by stoppage of ships and lighterage costs, providing I have not received instructions to the contrary by 5:00 P.M. on the 17th, I plan to have part of the ships unloaded and to instruct the Bordeaux Maru to sail for Mashin [b] Rock.

Furthermore, in view of the current shortage of shipping, it is too bad, though it may be national policy, that Japanese vessels be utilized only in the transportation of American

 

A-164

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

essential products. Therefore, in view of America's unfortunate policy of applying the permit system, I think that it would be wise to consider the rerouting of our ships in order to impress upon the American authorities the need of reconsideration.

After you have given this due consideration, please wire me your opinion.

 


[a] Not available.

[b] Kana spelling.

 

Trans. 6‑19‑41

 

No.  323

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   June 18, 1941

TO: Manila                                                                                          # 172.

 

Re your # 342 [a] and # 344 [b].

 

Regarding the above report, the situation is now such that we will have to dispatch the Bordeaux Maru per schedule to take on a cargo of chrome. However, we are now hurriedly conferring with the competent heads as to our attitude with reference to undertaking shipments of materials to the United States. As soon as a decision is reached I will wire you.

 


[a] Manila wires Tokyo that in view of America's unfortunate policy of applying the permit system, it would be wise to consider the rerouting of ships in order to impress upon the American authorities the need of reconsideration. June 16, 1941; II, 322.

[b] Not available.

 

Trans. 6‑20‑41

 

No. 324

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        July 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 380.

 

Re your # 365 [a].

 

When I went to see the President on the 2nd for the purpose of introducing former administrative official KOYAMA, I spoke to him about the report that some Japanese fishermen had run off with fishing boats of Philippine registry and expressed regret over the matter, going on to say that we are doing our best to locate the absconders.

However, I tried to impress him with the fact that the Philippine authorities have been overly severe in their control measures over people like these, and that as a result Japanese fishermen have found it extremely difficult to engage in business at all. I talked along the lines outlined in your caption message and asked him if he did not think that under such conditions their own business would not suffer as well?

The President replied that he would like to have a special conference on the subject a little later on.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7‑9‑41

 

A-165

 

No. 325

 

FROM: Buenos Aires (Tomii)                                                              July 3, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 250.

 

Re your # 108 [a].

 

According to what the captain of the Awajisan Maru told me on the (date), it will be impossible for him to secure permits for his ship to enter the harbor at ‑‑‑‑- (date). Therefore, after he has detoured by way of Cape Horn, he would like authorization to proceed immediately to Japan. Please transmit the foregoing to ‑‑‑‑‑. This ship is to leave this harbor on the morning of the (6th ?).

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 8‑28‑41

 

No. 326

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   July 3, 1941

TO: New York                                                                                     # 115.

 

(Strictly secret outside the department.)

 

(Request message.)

 

After you have duly paraphrased the following, please convey the message to the Export-Import Branch of the Mitsui Company located in your city. This is from the home office of the Mitsui Company.

1. Please advise us from day to day concerning the Awajisan Maru which we would like to have go through the Panama Canal.

2. Should it be impossible to pass through the Panama Canal, we have no objections to her passage around Cape Horn through Magellan Straits. However, in the event passage is made through Magellan Straits, the Ministry of Communications will send instructions to ‑‑‑‑- at ‑‑‑‑‑. Ambassador TOMII in Argentina has already been advised of the possibility.

 

Trans. 9‑8‑41

 

No. 327

 

FROM: Panama (Izawa)                                                                       July 9, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 52.

 

The Army and Navy Canal authorities have prohibited the entrance and exit to and from the Canal during the night from the 5th on, and say that a rigid investigation is being conducted to determine the responsibility.

 

Trans. 7‑26‑41

 

A-166

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  328

 

FROM: New York (Morishima)                                                           July 14, 1941

TO: Washington Circular                                                                     # 40.

 

(Message to Tokyo # 291.)

 

According to reports from Japanese steamship companies, surveillance of Japanese boats by American authorities on the East Coast has lately become more stringent. The following actual examples are given for your information.

1. On the 11th, at Boston, the N.Y.K. boat ASUKA MARU was boarded and searched by a party of about 20 Coast Guardsmen, and on the following day its bottom was inspected by divers.

2. On the 11th, the KAWASAKI boat NORFOLK MARU was scheduled to leave Baltimore but was delayed until the afternoon of the following day because of divers inspecting its bottom. (Meanwhile, the Embassy was negotiating with the authorities.)

3. On the 13th, the YAMASHITA boat YAMATSUKI MARU entered Cristobal and took on fuel. It has been waiting permission to transit the canal since the 13th, which permission has not been received this morning. (This incident is being taken up with authorities in Washington at present.)

 

Trans. 7‑29‑41

 

No.  329

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 19, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 525.

 

The British Embassy in Washington announced that from July 15th, all "transit" going by way of England will require import permits. (In case "transit" had been dispatched to England prior to the 15th, or in the event it had been transported by the same ships, this would not hold.) In the event that no permit is obtained, they will seize the freight.

 

Trans. 7‑30‑41

 

No.  330

 

FROM: Panama (Izawa)                                                                       July 22, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 102.

 

According to various newspaper reports concerning the closing of the Canal to Japanese ships, the Defense Commander, General VAN VOORHIS, made the following statement on the 21st to the United Press: The delay in allowing ships to go through the Canal is a temporary measure due to the emptying of the locks for repairs. During this period many ships will be delayed due to being stopped in the harbor or between the locks. Others, like the Japanese, are changing their course and going around Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope.

 

Trans. 7‑26‑41

 

A-167

 

No.  331

 

FROM: Tokyo (Toyoda)                                                                      July 24, 1941

TO: Panama                                                                                         # 59.

 

From Ministry of Overseas Affairs to special officer SAKATA, in charge of immigrants aboard Buenos Aires Maru; In regard to your future route, follow decision of ship's captain. Also cooperate with FUNAGAWA and do everything in your power to keep the immigrants from becoming excited.

 

Trans. 8‑13‑41

 

No.  332

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        July 26, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 441.

 

The Canges Maru left Davao on July 22nd and has not yet reached Cebu. She is carrying a total of 94 passengers, 6000 bales of hemp and ragee (?) and 20,000 board feet of lumber. At Cebu she is expected to pick up 11 passengers and 3000 bales of hemp and at Manila 84 passengers and 1500 bales of hemp.

The passengers are all Japanese. All of those who expect to leave from Cebu and Manila have their permits but since attached to these permits is the reservation that they may be cancelled there is danger that their ship will not enter port on the pretext that it might be seized.

If your judgment based upon the general situation there is danger of seizure, I wish you would arrange, especially with the naval authorities, so that this ship may sail directly for Japan at all speed, and also send instructions to NAGAO with regard to customs procedure.

 

Trans. 8‑13‑41

 

No. 333

 

FROM: San Francisco (Muto)                                                              July 30, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 126.

 

(Circular) (Message to Tokyo # 143.)

 

This afternoon, the 30th, I was informed that the Tatsuta Maru was to enter port. In keeping with Your Excellency's wire to the Foreign Minister # 593 [a] the local Nippon Yusen office, doubting that even though the Tatsuta should enter port and though WELLES had made a statement that permit to leave port would be granted, in the light of the current situation and the manner in which the American authorities occasionally load and unload vessels, and because the American authorities avoided making any commitment when Ambassador NOMURA called at the State Department the other day (29 ?), not only wired but also telephoned the captain of the vessel to delay entry temporarily. They were in constant contact with ‑‑‑‑‑. Repeatedly they requested a definite reply in this connection from the State Department, but no guarantees were forthcoming with regard to the freight carried by the vessel. This morning at 9:30 A.M., upon instruction from the central authorities (the Chief of the San Francisco Customs Office ?) ‑‑‑‑‑ -‑‑‑- told the Nippon Yusen branch office that when the Tatsuta entered port, though she was not to unload, permit would be issued for her return home. With regard to loading and unloading, he said that he could not guarantee the

 

A-168

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR  

 

 

results but that he would immediately consider such an application. After making telephone contact with ‑‑‑‑- immediately ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑-- the possibility of leaving port ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑--.

Relayed to Washington, New York and ‑‑‑‑‑.

 


[a] In which WELLES assures NOMURA that ships entering port would be allowed to refuel, take on supplies, and leave again.

 

Trans. 8‑7‑41

 

No.  334

 

FROM: New York (Morishima)                                                           July 3, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 272.

 

 (Strictly secret.)

 

Please communicate the following to the home office of the Kokusai Steamship Company. The Kirishima Maru, upon leaving Boston, is scheduled to sail from (New York ?) on the (date); (Baltimore ?) on the (date); and from ‑‑‑‑- on the (date). It is scheduled to load a cargo of 4,000 bales of American cotton goods. The Kiyosumi Maru, having completed loading in ‑‑‑‑‑, has taken on 2,700 bales of American textiles, 100,000 tons of asbestos, and proceeded to New York. She will leave that port on (date) and should leave ‑‑‑‑- no later than (date).

Furthermore, she is scheduled to take on several hundred additional bales of American textiles in the port of ‑‑‑‑‑.

 

Trans. 8‑28‑41

 

No. 335

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   July 3, 1941

TO: New York                                                                                     # 116.

 

 (Strictly Secret.) Request Message.

 

From the head office of the Mitsubishi Company to the branch office manager in your city.

Because of the urgent need for ships here in Japan and the consequent shortage of bottoms, the chances of dispatching ships to the Atlantic coast of North America are very slim. However, there will be no change in the movement of ships to the Pacific coast. Please wire an acknowledgment of this message after you have ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑-- possibilities ‑‑‑‑- transcontinental ‑‑‑‑‑.

 

Trans. 9‑8‑41

 

A-169

 

No.  336

 

FROM: Buenos Aires (Tomii)                                                              July 14, 1941

TO: Caracas                                                                                         # 91.

 

(Circular) (Sent to Rio as Circular # 89 on July 6th.)

 

Message from Tokyo as Circular # 1427 on the 4th.

 

(Part 2 of 2) [a].

 

2. Recently the United States took over German and Italian ships and we are not without fear that similar steps may be taken toward our own vessels. There is much Japanese shipping in American harbors and these vessels should, at as early a date as possible, return to Japan, avoiding the Panama Canal in so far as possible.

3. Recently the Philippine Islands have granted permits for the export of military goods to Japan. Since it is hardly fitting in view of such a pass that Japanese vessels be used for the transportation of military goods between the Philippine Islands and the United States, we have decided to take some of the Japanese vessels off the Philippines‑United States run.

4. For the reasons given above, henceforth, on the basis of my instructions, before their departure, please acquaint the captains of the Japanese vessels now in American harbors of the steps to be taken. Japanese ships on the west coast run will be increased and such American products as are taken on will be loaded at those ports.

This is for your information.

 


[a] Part 1 of 2 not available.

 

Trans. 9‑18‑41

 

No. 337

 

FROM: Rome (Horikiri)                                                                       July 10, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 447.

 

On the 9th, various newspapers here reported ISHII (spokesman) as saying that Japan has decided to withdraw all her commerce ships from the Pacific. Please wire at once if this included all ships plying regularly between North and South America.

 

Trans. 7‑14‑41

 

No. 338

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   July 12, 1941

TO: Rome                                                                                            # 1498.

 

Circular. Secret outside the Department.

 

1. Ships plying between Japan and the Philippines shall continue as at present (1,512 ??).

2. Ships plying between the Philippine Islands and the east coast of North America will be taken off. I do not know but what freight steamers plying between the Philippine Islands and the west coast of North America may make return trips on occasion.

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

3. Ships plying to the east coast of South America shall continue as at present through August. It will become impossible to dispatch ships after the first of September. Of the ships now on the east coast of the South American continent run one part we plan to have operate around the Horn (9).

4. From the first of August ships on the east coast of North America will be completely taken off that route (11).

5. Three ships will be added early in September to the South American west coast run. After that time, two more ships will be placed in that service (9).

6. From August one ship will be added to the North American west coast run.

The figures within the parentheses represent the number of ships now on those runs.

 

Trans. 7‑14‑41

 

No.  339

 

FROM: Buenos Aires                                                                           (Tomii) July 14, 1941

TO: Sao Paulo, Caracas and Lima                                                        # 92.

 

Circular. Message from Tokyo as Circular # 1428.

 

Figures within parentheses represent the number of ships on the respective runs.

1. From (September 1st ?) all ships are to be taken off the run to the North American east coast (11).

2. Navigation will continue as heretofore to the east coast of South America (8). Later on we hope to add additional ships to this run ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑--. A portion of the ships now sailing off the east coast of South America are scheduled to sail homeward by way of the Magellan Straits (8).

3. From September, one sailing will be maintained to the west coast of North America (4).

4. Three ships will be maintained on the run to the west coast of South America after ‑‑‑‑‑. Later on, two additional ships are expected to be in operation (8).

5. Navigation between Japan and the Philippine Islands will continue as heretofore (1‑2).

6. Navigation from the Philippine Islands to the east coast of North America is to be discontinued. We do not know but what we may decide to operate more vessels on the run from the Philippine Islands to the west coast of the United States.

 

Trans. 8‑27‑41

 

No.  340

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 12, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 499.

 

Message from New York # 285.

 

(Part 1 of 2).

 

Please transmit to the Foreign Minister.

 

Re your # 321.

 

Relative to the recent order issued with regard to disposal of merchant ships, the Japanese ship companies here are cooperating with us wholeheartedly and doing everything possible

 

A-171

 

to enable the ships here to pass through the Canal by the date specified in the order. For this purpose they have cancelled contracts for loading the ships (of course, because of this cancellation the consignors will file claim against the shipping company; and due to the fact that this country also suffers from insufficiency of ships, there is a danger of Japanese ships being forbidden to leave the ports when the worse comes to the worst) and unloading the ships during the night, as well as during the day. At the same time, they have been offering to Americans the explanation we had ordered them to offer, and so on this account newspaper reports on this subject have not been sensational (please refer to my # 274 [a]). In the meantime, an instruction was wired to the Naval Attaché in Washington signed by both the Chief of the Office of Naval Operations and the Chief of the Naval General Staff, that "as regards the recent order issued by the Government, there was some slight misunderstanding in the procedure. For this reason, it may have had the effect of being alarming. The real purpose was to ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑-- on account of shortage of ships in the seas near Japan and on account of circumstances which preclude loading on the eastern coast of the United States," etc., and asked that the truth of the matter be broadcast. On the 8th, the Naval Inspector here communicated this message to the Japanese shipping firms. As regards this communication, insofar as the shipping firms are concerned, they said that it was not a question inasmuch as it goes without saying that it is no more than an explanation to be given to Americans and, furthermore, that they have already taken steps in this direction.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7‑14‑41

 

No. 341

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 12, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 499.

 

Message from New York # 285.

 

(Part 2 of 2) [a].

 

B. If there has been an administrative mix‑up, (the united opinion of superiors and subordinates as well as that of the Department of Communications and others has been questioning the insufficiency of connections) in the issuance of strict orders, it is not the intention of those sincerely cooperating to become informed of the superior policies of the Government, but, nevertheless, they are not convinced by the explanations given out to the Americans. (With all the hurry about the Panama Canal and the possibility that it may be closed, they are questioning why only the west coast ports and ports in Central and South America would be safe under such conditions.) In spite of the present orders given out by the Navy, confidence in the Government is weakening and furthermore, doubts are becoming stronger. Continuing along this line, together with keeping secret that each one in his own way is seeking explanation, the control over nationals resident in this country has a displeasing influence. (Although proper business men should be led along as indicated in your successive instructions) in connection with present conditions, there are sufficient connections there in Tokyo so the orders should only come through the Ministry of Foreign Relations. Please make special arrangements.

 


[a] Part 1 of 2, See II, 340.

 

Trans. 7‑17‑41

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  342

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 7, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 367.

 

Received from Manila on 5th.

 

Gogai.

 

Re your Tokyo‑Manila # 195.

 

# 381. According to representations from local shippers here, the Bordeaux Maru (of the Kawasaki Line) and the Kyushu Maru (of the O.S.K. Line) were recently ordered to discharge American‑bound cargoes at Kobe, while the Nojima Maru (N.Y.K.) which was enroute to this port also received instructions to discharge her American‑bound cargo, and proceed homeward at once, and it is said that many of the ships that regularly come here, have cancelled their calls. Influenced, likely by a succession of representations which the Filipinos have been receiving from us, on the 1st, the President and Cabinet members concerned met with Sayre and urged that as far as consistent with the needs of U.S. national defense, steps be taken to avoid untoward results coming to the economic situation in the Philippines through the application of the export license system. (Just prior to this meeting permits had been issued for the exports of 13,800 tons of iron ore). It is planned that from now on the conclusion of contracts for shipping goods to the U.S. will be prohibited or restricted, unless goods are loaded for Japan, and the steamship companies will be directed to determine the allocation of ships to these ports always with a view to shipment of goods to Japan. This will make the operation of the export license system work out for the advantage of Japan, but ‑‑‑‑- if we go as far as to unload cargoes that have already been loaded for America, it will cause the Filipino shippers to hesitate or even to abandon the use from now on of our ships, and it will not only become impossible for us to make use of the Filipinos in the operation of the export license system, but also the U.S. in retaliation may place obstacles in the way of the issuing of permits for export of such goods as are at present permitted or may even go so far as to prohibit the export of iron ore, or resort to the freezing of assets. Accordingly, unless we have resolved upon, and have made thorough preparations for, a show‑down economic warfare with the U.S. there is a danger that we will find ourselves in an unexpected predicament. (In the case of the Nojima Maru, the local U.S. Naval "neutrality officer" says that if the freight is to be reloaded at Kobe, sailing permit cannot be issued, unless there is an export permit.) Therefore, in order that goods already loaded might be allowed to be shipped to the U.S., I wish you would work with the authorities involved, referring to my # 382 [a]. Also for my information, I wish you would advise me by return dispatch as to reasons for deciding upon these measures.

 


[a] See II, 343.

 

Trans. 7‑8‑41

 

A-173

 

No.  343

 

FROM: Manila (Nihro)                                                                        July 5, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           No number.

 

Gogai.

 

(Retransmission of Manila‑Tokyo # 382.)

 

(I) The securing of permits as well as the loading operations have been going along fairly smoothly for some time and we have managed to keep at least three or four vessels in the Philippine territorial waters at all times. However, while Sydney Maru was taking on manganese ore, she was ordered not to leave port, as a reprisal, and the whole matter is again in danger of becoming bogged down.

In accordance with measures referred to at the end of this message (within parenthesis) the departure of Nozima Maru has also been held up, and it will take a considerable time to unload the chrome ore. Therefore, it would be a better plan to substitute another vessel and allow Nozima Maru to proceed to America.

(HA) Sugar and hemp which were to be taken on Aobasan Maru, whose scheduled sailing has been cancelled, have already been paid for by the Mitui Co. However, although we might forego the shipment of hemp, to permit approximately 800,000 pesos worth of sugar to remain in the Philippines will mean that our countrymen will be the losers.

(NI) As the affair in question took place originally simultaneously with the Imperial Conference held on the 2nd, there are all kinds of speculations as to its reason. Therefore, I am making every effort to explain that it is due to the shortage of bottoms and to the extreme reduction of exports of goods to Japan and is not due to sudden change in international situation. However, if this situation persists, there is a great danger of its developing into a desperate economic war (as explained in my # 381) which will bring extreme hardship to people in general.

(HO) I feel that the important thing now is to either accept the principle referred to in my # 369 [a], making it applicable to both the contracting agencies and to all vessels prior to their departure from Japan, or to enter into a general agreement with the United States regarding this matter. I feel that to order the cargo to be unloaded in this instance is carrying matters a bit too far.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7‑15‑41

 

No. 344

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 7, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 336.

 

Action DML (Manila ?) as # 204.

 

Re your (Manila's # 382 [a]):

 

(1) Our handling of this matter is as stated in our (Circular) #1427 [b], and our measures for meeting the shortage of shipping, as well as our means of precaution as regards the U.S. have early been decided upon; therefore, you will please explain to the American and Filipinos along the lines of your # 382 [a], paragraph 2.

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

(2) We have made inquiry of the N.Y.K. in regard to the freight loaded on the Nojima Maru, which has now been requisitioned, and it is reported that there is every prospect that a satisfactory understanding will be reached with the consignors, by assuming the expense of loading and unloading, and therefore, it has been decided that it will be unloaded. Although no understanding has been reached with consignors in the cases of the Bordeaux Maru and Kyushu Maru, the freight is being unloaded just the same. It will likely give rise to complications, but we will do all we can to persuade the firms concerned to ship the freight that is to be reloaded, to the U.S. west coast within the shortest possible time. Therefore, if the Americans and Filipinos have any misgiving on this point you may give assurances as may be necessary.

(3) Besides the above mentioned loadings, there are still some 22,000 tons of Filipino goods for which shipping contracts have been made, and for this there will be nothing to do but to cancel the contracts "by government order" due to changes in ship dispositions as per our # 1428 [c]. However, there are precedents for such cancellations among the nations, and there will likely be no great trouble over it.

Have relayed this together with your reference message to Washington.

 


[a] See II, 343.

[b] See II, 336.

[c] See II, 339.

 

Trans. 7‑8‑41

 

No.  345

 

FROM: Manila                                                                                     July 7, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 387.

 

(Manila to Tokyo # 369, 26 June.)

 

Re your # 202 [a].

 

Please understand that I am retransmitting my message of 26 June as follows:

# 369. Re my # 359 [b].

(1) At present the Philippine Islands have a shortage of bottoms for loading sugar and other products for the United States, and apparently due to the President's having taken it up with them, on the basis of my reference message, Rojas and Vargas divulged the fact to some of the Japanese dealers, on the 25th, that they are greatly concerned over the question of ships, and that they will make an effort to secure an easing up of the restrictions on exports of hemp, etc., to Japan.

(2) The steamship companies have told their local representatives that because of the lack of export to Japan and the likelihood of a reduction in the number of ships allocated, they should either refrain from accepting goods for export to the United States, or at least reserve the right to cancel the shipping in case of changes in the allocation of ships. As the Kokusai and Kawasaki companies do not have Japanese representatives resident here, please arrange for the main offices to send instructions directly to their agents here in regard to accepting shipments.

(3) I think it would be productive of good results to adopt and put into effect the general rule that we will not permit the assigning of ships to this run merely for carrying exports to the United States, unless they also carry a reasonable amount of goods that are now on the

 

A-175

 

restricted list for Japan (besides ‑‑‑‑- high grade hemp and iron ore). Of course, the prospects of securing ore are very meager whatever we do. Then, again, if the efforts of the Filipinos mentioned in (2) should happily bring results, and ‑‑‑‑- permits be given for shipments to America together with shipments for Japan ‑‑‑‑- a link system could be applied in giving permits for loading for both countries. As the Filipinos are now negotiating with the Americans regarding this matter, it is my idea that we content ourselves for the present with working silently in all quarters to bring influence to bear and wait for results.

 


[a] Not available.

[b] Not available.

 

Trans. 7‑16‑41

 

No.  346

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 31, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 616.

 

At 6:00 P.M. on the 30th the State Department notified me to the effect that:

1. In case the cargoes are being sent back, the Japanese boats may have until 2:00 P.M. Saturday, the 2nd, to enter port and will be given a reasonable time to depart.

2. In case the manifest shows American ports as the destination of the cargoes, this should be changed (for example, to Kobe) before reaching port (this is a temporary measure for getting around the customs office regulation that goods manifested for American ports must be unloaded before vessel is given clearance). Also detailed procedure should be worked out with .the customs authorities.

 

Trans. 8‑12‑41

 

No. 347

 

FROM: Tokyo (Toyoda)                                                                      August 2, 1941

TO: Honolulu                                                                                      # 65.

 

Instructions were issued on the 1st by the N.Y.K. for the Tatsuta Maru to stop at Honolulu.

 

Trans. 8‑8‑41

 

No. 348

 

FROM: Tokyo (Toyoda)                                                                      August 2, 1941

TO: San Francisco                                                                               # 99.

 

According to a Domei dispatch, a part of the cargo of the Tatsuta Maru was seized for the owners. Please telegraph in detail as soon as possible the true facts of the matter.

 

Trans. 8‑9‑41

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  349

 

FROM: Tokyo (Toyoda)                                                                      August 2, 1941

TO: Seattle                                                                                           # 24.

 

According to a message received by the N.Y.K. there is danger of the cargo of the Heian Maru being attached by the owners. After conference it was decided to have the entire cargo unloaded at Vancouver. Please telegraph in detail as soon as possible the latest facts of the matter.

 

Trans. 8‑8‑41

 

No.  350

 

FROM: Seattle (Sato)                                                                           August 4, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 82.

 

The Heian Maru left on the 4th direct for Japan. Nothing was taken on except fuel and food for the use of the ship.

Relayed to Washington, all consuls in U.S. (and Honolulu), Ottawa, and Vancouver.

 

Trans. 8‑5‑4

 

No.  351

 

FROM: Hollywood (Nakauchi)                                                            August 4, 1941

TO: Washington, D.C.                                                                         # 58.

 

Since I have already received a wire from the Captain of the special duty ship "Shiriyo" saying they would arrive in port on the 9th, please let me know if the. above‑mentioned ship has yet entered United States territorial waters. Please wire reply.

 

Trans. 8‑12‑41

 

No. 352

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   June 12, 1941

TO: San Francisco                                                                               # 62.

 

Secret outside the Department.

 

Will you have Consul INAGAKI go to ‑‑‑‑- and find out from TOTARO IWASAKI (YOZEN) in strict secrecy and, if necessary, from some American concerned, the ‑‑‑‑- and the present condition of the Silver Shirts Movement. Then wire me information concerning the necessary traveling expense, date of sailing and other expenses in connection with preparations for IWASAKI to come to Japan inasmuch as we would like to use him under our direction in connection with the Silver Shirts Movement if you find that his personality and training (judged not on the basis of his reputation) are suitable for this purpose. What I would like to do, in carrying out our political policy toward the United States, is not to depend on mere pecuniary connections, but also to direct the aforementioned movement in order to establish justice in the United States. Will you, therefore, send me detailed information

 

A-177

 

regarding the world views which form the basis of the movement, the personality and intellectual capacity of those carrying on the movement and, also, such other information that might be of interest to me?

 

Trans. 7‑7‑41

 

No. 353

 

FROM: San Francisco (Muto)                                                              June 28, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 109.

 

(3‑part message complete.)

 

Secret outside the Department.

 

1. This Silver Shirt movement was founded in 1934 as a juridical person under Delaware law. It is anti‑communistic and anti‑Jewish, and has representatives in every state, all led by Chief PELLEY, and at one time had 30 or 40 thousand regular members.

Lecture societies were organized and they distributed their weekly mouthpiece and books and pamphlets written by PELLEY and THORKELSON, who, until last year, was a republican congressman from Montana. Their line of propaganda is as follows:

The administrative and juridical branches of the ROOSEVELT administration are shot through with international Judaism and communism and is coming under the influence of the British royalty, which is under the thumb of these elements. America must be defended from them. America's foreign policy must be to save the human race from the enslaving grasp of the international Jews. As for the Orient, the United States must not interfere. As for Europe, the United States must not interfere. She must look after herself.

The Silver Shirts organization is being investigated by the DIES committee as a 5th column activity (volume 6 of this committee's report) and cannot act openly. Last year, either under legal pressure or of its own accord, it dissolved and began an underground movement. However, its weekly mouthpiece and other publications are being shipped from Indianapolis and distributed all over the country. It seems that this is being accomplished through huge special contributions. (According to the DIES investigation, those contributors alone who have been so far discovered, for a year and a half, beginning in 1937, had contributed $66,000.)

2. Well, I had INAGAKI confer with IWASAKI, who said that on April 20th he had first received an offer from PELLEY, at whose suggestion he sent a letter the last of April to Lt. Col. SUGITA, of the Headquarters of the General Staff (who will tell you all about it) asking if the Japanese government would not help out with the Plans; and that again he had asked JIRO KOGA of the Society of Brethren Overseas to contact the German Ambassador in Tokyo in case Japan could not grant this help.

Since then I understand that PELLEY has asked time and again if we had a reply, but I fear this plan could hardly succeed in America under the present conditions. I think it would be dangerous for us to have anything to do with this. IWASAKI lost faith in the guy because of his past failures but the fellow is a very earnest and studious man. He concentrates on the Jewish problem, and is possessed with Pelleyism. Already he has, it seems, furnished the Chief of Staff with pertinent information, and, remembering the KOJIMA affair in Los Angeles, I think we should make use of him after fully instructing him. I want to give him

 

A-178

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

$500 with which to settle his accounts and enough money to travel second class in Japan for about three months; so please wire back at once.

I am shipping the Silver Shirts printed matter.

 

Trans. 6‑29‑42

 

No.  354

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   June 11, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 287.

 

With reference to propaganda among Negroes as a scheme against the United States, your immediate reply in regard to the following points is requested:

1. Training of Negroes as (fifth columnists ?).

2. The way to utilize them in order to begin the movement ?).

3. The method of contacting the agitators and leaders among the Negroes, as well as both right and left wings. Also, the amount of expenses involved.

The Minister requests that the above message be forwarded to New York, New Orleans, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

 

Trans. 5‑27‑42

 

No.  355

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 4, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 468.

 

(Part 1 of 3.)

 

(Message # 257 from New York to the Foreign Minister.)

 

Re your # 287 [a] to Washington.

 

1. Approximately 25 % of the total population of the United States is Negro. In the north, centering around New York and Chicago, there is a movement to equalize the status of these people. They are being educated along general sociological lines, and gradually their political position is being equalized. In last year's presidential election, one Congressman, two state Senators, 50 members of state Legislatures, and two Justices were elected from among the Negro population. But still the political strength of the Negro organization can be used much to our advantage, so long as the bread and butter of the Negro depend so utterly upon the white man. Taking advantage of their economic unrest, we might use them to slacken the progress of the United States' plans for national defense and economy as well as for sabotage. However, I must point out the following facts: With the exception of a few pioneers, the Negroes are not organized into a strong racial group, conscious of the fact that it consists of an oppressed people. There are certain progressive organizations working toward the equalization of the Negro, such as the Negro Congress, the Negro Alliance (both Leftist), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It is to be noted, however, that the largest Negro organizations are financed by the Jews. I do not see much that we might do aside from cooperating with these organizations in elevating the status of the Negro, from which we could expect very great results. Another thing is that the movement to equalize the Negro was originally fostered ideologically and financially by the Communist Party, and among Negro

 

A-179

 

 

leaders there is a rather large Leftist element. Doubtless, however, many of them are quite compromising for convenience's sake, and instead of trying to start a social revolution are following the single principle of elevating the Negro. Therefore, they could not be called strictly Leftist.

 


 

[a] See II, 354.

 

Trans. 7‑8‑41

 

No. 356

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 4, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 468.

 

(Part 2 of 3.)

 

(Message # 257 from New York to the Foreign Minister.)

 

To be kept secret within the Department.

 

2. Since the close of last year, I have been using a Negro literary critic named ‑‑‑‑‑ [a] and have had him open a news service for Negro newspapers. The Negro press is so poor that it has no news service of its own, and as I have told you in various messages, ‑‑‑‑‑ [a] has been getting relatively good results, and because of the advantage we have in using men like this in our political and subversive activities, the effect of propaganda upon the Negroes is naturally limited.

3. HIKIDA is in most intimate contact with Negro groups and Negro leaders. I am going to have him continue to work along that line and have him foster the organization of Negroes of great ability, thus advancing our own purposes. Concerning the advantage of using Negroes in procuring intelligences, since I have not yet used Negro spies directly, I am unable to judge. However, as an experiment I am now instructing Mr. ‑‑‑‑‑ [a],an official of the New York branch of the National Youth Administration, and a graduate of ‑‑‑‑‑ [a], to be a spy.

 


[a] DOD comment: Names withheld.

Trans. 7‑8‑41

 

No. 357

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 4, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 468.

 

(Part 3 of 3.)

 

(Message n 257 from New York to the Foreign Minister.)

 

To be kept secret within the Department.

 

4. In organizing our schemes among the Negroes, in view of the fact that the organizations practically all have their headquarters in Washington, naturally that city should be our hub. However, in actually carrying out our plots, we would be met with a number of difficulties, so at first we had better center around Mr. HIKIDA's work in New York, while at the same time

 

A-180

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

working assiduously in Washington. After we see what results we get in this manner, we can undertake our job in Chicago. In view of the fact that the United States lacks skilled labor to carry out its defense production plans, naval arsenals and other military establishments are gradually admitting Negroes to technical lines. At present there is a fairly small number of Negroes in the naval arsenals at Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia. In the arsenals at Philadelphia and Brooklyn there are also a few unskilled Negro laborers, so I would say that in the future there will be considerable profit in our getting Negroes to gather military intelligences for us. I am sending this in a suitable mariner to Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Orleans.

 

Trans. 7‑8-41

 

No. 358

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 8, 194

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 475.

 

(Intelligence Report of Secondary Order.)

 

Before attacking the Soviet, Germany secretly carried on some peace talks with Great Britain. From Churchill down they steadfastly refused to harken to the Germans; but now, in case the Soviet is quickly shattered according to Germany's plans, and it appears imminent that Great Britain will be invaded and the foundations of the British Empire shaken, and in case Germany's peace terms are not too severe, peace parlays may ensue. The United States is serving as a check or a brake and there are men in the State Department who favor peace in order to prevent the annihilation of the British Empire. There are also such men in the Cabinet, for example, Secretary of Commerce, JESSE JONES. LINDBERG told a friend of mine that peace talk will bud in July and blossom in the autumn.

 

Trans. 7‑10‑41

 

No. 359

 

FROM: Tokyo (Japanese Foreign Minister)                                         July 10, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 1481

 

(Circular)

 

Message to Berlin # 630. Secret.

 

There have been a good many reports from the United States and other places that Italy and Germany are nonplussed. Although I, myself, (the Foreign Minister), have complete faith in the explanation made by Ribbentrop, please send anything you can about it. It is said that the peace rumor is a machination (activity) of England and the United States. Please find out from Ribbentrop at a convenient opportunity exactly what the German opinion is of the true intent of this activity. Please telegraph the gist. This has been sent to England, America, and the Soviet.

 

Trans. 7‑24‑41

 

A-181

 

No. 360

 

FROM: Chicago (Olmori)                                                                    August 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 25.

 

As you are well aware, it is best to observe the conversion of automobile factories into manufacturing centers of military goods in order to secure an idea as to the extent of United States Government's stepping up all defense plans. The details concerning current contract amounts and items of production that have been assigned to the automobile industry in this area are as follows:

The General Motors Corporation has defense contracts amounting to $275,000,000. These call for the production of trucks, antiaircraft guns, airplane parts and airplane engines.

Ford has contracts amounting to $778,000,000 calling for the production of bombers, airplane engines, armored cars, and trucks.

Chrysler has defense contracts amounting to $375,000,000 for the production of tanks, trucks, anti‑aircraft guns and parts for bombers.

Packard has defense contracts amounting to $245,000,000 which call for the production of aircraft engines and airplane ‑‑‑‑‑.

Relayed to Washington and New York.

 

Trans. 8‑8‑41

 

No. 361

 

FROM: New York (Morishima)                                                           August 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 379.

 

With regard to HOPKINS' mission in the Soviet, though officials in Washington generally give the explanation that he has gone there to confer on aid in the form of supplies to the Soviet, DENNY, diplomatic editorial writer for the Script Howard newspaper, wrote under date of the 31st in a Washington dispatch that since Germany and the Soviet were so deeply involved in war, the Soviet was demanding not only complete material assistance, but also that joint British and American military activities be commenced not only in Germany's rear, but in Norway as well. On the other hand in England and the United States it would seem that there is a desire that, in the event of thorough going activity in the war against Germany and against Japan, that the Soviet offer a guarantee to attack Japan.

Whether or not HOPKINS and STALIN are able to decide upon an agreement cannot be predicted, but it would seem clear that such was HOPKINS' mission there. LAWRENCE DENNIS on the same day in his "Work Letter" said that he had heard that HOPKINS' mission in the Soviet was ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑--. The "Daily Worker", in a front page editorial, reported that HOPKINS' mission was to bring about joint British, American and Russian international cooperation. This is for your information.

Relayed to Washington.

 

Trans. 7‑8‑41

 

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THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  362

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             August 4, 1941

TO: Moscow, Berlin                                                                            # 225.

 

(Circular) (Message to Tokyo # 648)

 

1. I have made a thorough study of the notes exchanged between America and Soviet Russia which extend the validity of the American. Soviet trade agreement of August 6, 1937 up to August 6, 1942.

2. The above‑mentioned notes were exchanged between America and the Soviet at the same time as were those, the gist of which you received in my wire # 649 [a].

The above was announced by the State Department at 8 o'clock on the 4th. (4th., 8:30 A.M.)

Relayed to ‑‑‑‑‑.

 


[a] Regarding American‑Japanese relations with regard to exports and the French‑Indo China question:

 

Trans. 8‑11‑41

 

No.  363

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 20, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 325.

 

I have decided hereafter in the case of intelligences which I consider reliable to start them with the word "Jōkō" (first priority) and in the case of those which are mere hearsay, but sufficiently important to be brought to your attention, with "jōōtsu" (secondary importance).

Please note.

 

Trans. 5‑22‑41

 

No.  364

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   June 4, 1941

TO: Berne, Washington & Mexico                                                       # 1180.

 

(Circular)

 

Hereafter when you have intelligence messages to send us, please consider where you got them from, their substance and degree of reliability. Those which you consider almost certain mark "Jōkō ', primary importance, and those of which the reliability is questionable mark "Jōōtsu", secondary importance.

Trans. 6‑14‑41

 

A-183

 

No. 365

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 8, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 473.

 

Re your Circular # 1367 [a] .

 

I think it would be well to:

 

1. Burn up all the account books in the respective offices except those for the last three or four years.

2. In order to insure against any disruption of financial management of the respective offices, collect all funds to be paid up to the end of the fiscal year and wire the same.

3. After checking up on the fixtures now in possession, without reference to the ledger, prepare a list of the fixtures actually necessary.

4. If a suitable purchaser could be found, sell the official land situated on "N" Street in our city.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7‑9‑41

 

No. 366

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 17, 1941

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)                                                                    Unnumbered.

 

(Washington to Tokyo # 313)

 

(Re your extra.)

 

I redispatch my message as follows:

 

No.  313.

 

Re your Circular message # 584 [a].

 

I am having the person in charge put matters in order. However, the records of this office have been kept in a rather disorderly fashion, and furthermore, the number of items which are handled by this office as a daily routine is fairly high.

For these reasons, it is practically impossible for one man to even attempt to tackle the older documents. We would like to select some one to assist in the work of putting this office in order immediately. (This person would be one who was selected by the San Francisco Consulate‑General.)

Please give the matter of employing this man at one hundred dollars a month and allowing him $180 traveling expenses, your consideration. In view of the critical times, will you reply immediately.

 


[a] "Because of present critical international situation separate at once all secret documents into a special class. Bum all other documents immediately, in strict secrecy, excepting a few that‑may be currently needed."

 

Trans. 5‑20‑41

 

A-184

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  367

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 456.

 

(Secret, to be kept inside department.)

 

I would like your permission to burn certain codes which I have in this office, the use of which is to be stopped and which will in the future be of no use, certain ones rarely used, and certain others of which I have too many. Would you please send me instructions?

 

Trans. 7‑5‑41

 

No.  368

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 16, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 516.

 

(Strictly Secret.)

 

In accordance with your instruction, I have been compiling my records, and the materials which should be returned to the home office I have packed into 22 wooden boxes. These have been loaded on board the Kawasaki Steamship Company steamer NORFOLK MARU which left Baltimore on the 12th. I am mailing you the details and ‑‑‑‑‑.

Furthermore, because this steamer will stop at ports of call in South America, it is understood that it will not reach Yokohama until the end of ‑‑‑‑- month [a]. Should it be thought that in the light of the international situation that is too late a date, please arrange to have this ship not stop at its ports of call in South America but sail directly to Japan.

 


[a] The two letters giving the number of the month are very badly garbled and could not represent any number; however, it is felt that August is definitely the month meant.

 

Trans. 7‑18‑41

 

No.  369

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     July 7, 1941

TO: Washington                                                                                   # 335.

 

As a means of sending our communications from here, if worse comes to worse, we have plans for making use of the intelligence dispatches that are being sent out each night; but as a means of making contact from your end, we have been thinking of the possibility of having a wireless set with an operator of exceptional ability in your office, and at the time of the day that is most favorable for dispatches, sending them in relay via South America and Yaruto [b] in the South Seas. However, I would like to know your opinion as to the feasibility of the plan as regards the following three points.

(1) Could a transmitter of about 100 or 200 watts, or its parts, be assembled in your city under the guise of "amateur" use?

(2) Could this be set up and trial communications carried out as an "amateur" with the relay stations? Then after having it set up secretly in your office, would there be any chance of trying it out, if need be, in a very short trial transmission?

 

A-185

 

(3) It is expected that if the situation takes a turn for the worst, that extreme limitations, if not prohibitions, will be placed upon the use of the radio in general. In such an event is there any likelihood that the above‑mentioned equipment could be used to good advantage?

 


[a] Yaruto, principal island of Jaluit (Bonham) Atoll. (6° 00' N., 169° 35' E.)

 

Trans. 7‑8‑41

 

No. 370

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 23, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 558.

 

Re your # 335 [a].

 

I have conferred with our navy experts in regard to the technical points involved, and as a result our opinions, on the points you asked about, are as follows:

(1) This would be possible.

(2) and (3) While it would likely be possible to send communications as "amateurs", with the highly developed detector equipment in use here, it would be impossible to keep secret the existence and use of such a radio set in the Embassy compound. This would be especially true whenever the situation should become worse, and with interference to be encountered in wave lengths, there would be little hope of our being able to make any efficient use of such means, and looked at from the situation as a whole we think it would be inadvisable to try it.

 


[a] Tokyo questions Washington on the possibility of setting up a wireless set at the Ambassador's office as a precaution against developments leading to limitations to or possible prohibition of, the use of radio. July 7, 1941; II, 361.

 

Trans. 7‑26‑41

 

No. 371

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             May 26, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 337.

 

Re your circular # 1013 [a].

 

Secret outside the Department.

 

In our present telegraphic room we have no space for the equipment, so we shall have to revise and expand it in order to accommodate the equipment. The best place to land this would be in Baltimore. I can send a member of my staff there and I am sure we can get it to Washington without any trouble. As soon as I arrive at an estimate of the expenses for this rebuilding and expansion, I will let you know.

 


[a] Tokyo says it would like to ship a special size safe to maintain custody of code machines and code books, and asks for immediate information as to place of installation, whether or not it will be difficult to bring in, and where it should be unloaded.

 

Trans. 5‑29‑41

 

A-186

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  372

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             May 27, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 339.

 

From New York as follows:

 

Re your Circular to America # 1013 [a].

 

As you wrote in your letter, the present office is too small and unless we rent other quarters there will be no room to install a safe. Also, we wish to get a place rather removed from the present office. Even if, for example, we enforce our night watch as at present, (as you are well aware, the matter of the night watch is illegal and very inconvenient), it is extremely difficult to maintain adequate protection for our secret codes. Furthermore, Hirasawa has informed us that unless we have a separate house it will not be possible to install a code machine. He has also communicated this to the head office. Our lease on the present office expires in September of this year. We wish to move to a place that will be suitable for the telegraphic office also, and there install all the equipment we need. This will also be the best place to install the safe to which you refer.

We have made tentative arrangements for moving to a suitable location in October of this year with rent about the same as here and only await your approval. However, the landlord must have definite word by June 1st, so please wire approval immediately.

In regard to the expenses connected with the move, maintaining a separate office and an apartment will necessitate more employees. This, together with the heating and various other commodities involved, will mean that our operating expenses will be several times what they are at present. Conditions being what they are, I again ask permission to make this move.

 


[a] Matsuoka wires Washington he is sending a safe for maintaining custody of code machines and books. Wants to know where it will be installed and where it shall be unloaded.

 

Trans. 6‑5‑41

 

No.  373

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   June 2, 1941

TO: Rome, Washington, Berlin, Moscow, Berne and Rio                    Circular # 1166.

 

(Urgent)

 

(3 parts‑complete) (Washington Circular # 126)

 

In various countries the science of cryptography and cryptanalysis is being practiced more and more. To tell the truth, no absolute confidence can be placed in the secrecy of a code. We, ourselves, in this office are worrying about drawing up a set of new codes, so we would like for you to give us some suggestions from time to time as to suitable procedures. Please pay the strictest attention always during the transfer and tenure of codes and heed the following points on the maintenance of the security of codes, independent of reliance on safes alone.

1. Needless to say, courier mail is a more secure method of transmitting information than by reliance upon codes, so when there is some secret matter which might arouse a given nation, please send the message by courier mail or some other method equally as safe.

2. I am having an official in charge of this work keep the various offices informed. Each time you get a list, keep one copy of it only and burn the preceding list immediately.

 

A-187

 

3. Hereafter, as a matter of principle, code messages in ‑‑‑‑- are not to be sent anywhere except to this office. As a matter of fact, all other code messages, except those to this office, save in cases of necessity, are to be stopped.

Please see to it that there is no misunderstanding to the effect that after abolishing this sort of dispatches it is not our intention to increase the difficulties of those in charge of telegraphic work through the necessity of safeguarding dispatches, or the sudden complication of our codes, but that I am merely trying to make our dispatches in general more safe and facile.

 

Trans. 6‑10‑41

 

No. 375

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   June 2, 1941

TO: Rome, Vichy, Moscow, Berne, Berlin, Bangkok, Washington,     Circular # 1167.

 Singapore, and Batavia

 

As stated in circular # 1166 [a] from the Foreign Minister, the strictest care is necessary for the protection of the secrecy of codes. Well, our telegraphic staffs are already busy without the aforementioned innovations, and this is but another added burden, so please have them cut down dispatches to the absolute minimum.

 


[a] See II. 373.

 

Trans. 6‑10‑41

 

No. 376

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 3, 1941

TO: Tokyo

 

 Message # 268 from New York to Tokyo.

 

The duties of telegraphic clerk for this office are being handled by Watanabe alone and up to now he has been able to accomplish the work by being very faithful in the discharge of his duties. But in view of the present increase in the number of telegrams which must be handled through this office for the various departments, as for instance the instruction regarding shipping and the more important telegrams concerning commercial firms, banks, and intelligence agents, and the necessity of maintaining secrecy, it will be necessary immediately to have some one sent here temporarily at least from the nearest office. At the same time we wish to request that you give immediate consideration to the matter of increasing the clerical staff here and wire us immediately as to what action you have taken.

We are well aware of the shortage of help that exists all along the line. All of the staff here are doing their best to help out in the telegraphic department. However, the complexity of the telegraphic art of the present day does not lend itself very well to part time work. (Our three clerks here all hold additional posts. One is engaged in correspondence, another in accounting, and the other in commerce.) Due to the pressure of business it is very difficult to handle the telegraphic code. Please give this matter consideration.

 

Trans. 7‑9‑41

 

A-188

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  377

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 554.

 

(Part 1 of 3)

 

# 340 from New York to the Foreign Minister.

 

(Strictly Secret.)

 

Re message # 339 [a] from the United States to the Foreign Minister.

 

Though we are now searching for a separate building, we have not been able to find one, and in the meantime, time is awasting, and there is the matter of instructions received from you on successive occasions with regard to the emergency situation. Under the present situation, in order that we might prepare ourselves for more critical developments, we feel it advisable to make the best use of the facilities at hand. Therefore, for the time being at least, we have given up the proposal of attempting to find a satisfactory building of our own. We would like at this time to effect an expansion of our business office and to acquire the necessary equipment for such an expansion, in addition to which we feel that the equipping of our telegraphic and document rooms as well as a night duty room is of the utmost importance. In order that we may immediately realize these things for the time being we feel we must at least rent additional office space immediately and along the following lines:

1. The business offices of the Consul-Generalcy at the present time are more than overcrowded. We have been forced to use the two old ordinary reception rooms to serve also as document and night rooms. When we are anxious to use the reception room for the entertainment of a caller, we find it most inconvenient to carry on anything like a secret conversation. In order that we may use the reception room as it was originally intended, it is going to be absolutely necessary that we rent another room.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 8‑9‑41

 

No. 378

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 554.

 

(Part 2 of 3. )

 

2. After hours, in order to maintain a watch for the purpose of the preservation of our secrets, we have had a member of the staff on night duty since August of last year. Because there is no suitable room in the office which can be assigned to such a purpose, we have been forced to use a studio couch in the reception room as a bed for this member of the staff. In spite of the fact that this duty works a considerable hardship upon the staff member from the point of view of health, should the situation here become more critical, there would be no recourse for us but to assign two men to this duty, but with the present facilities this is impossible. Now there are building regulations having to do with night duty in the office, but we have come to an understanding with the owners by saying we are working twenty‑four hours per day. How ever, having reached that understanding, it is most inconvenient for the man on duty to have

 

A-189

 

 

to go to the bathroom in his night clothes. Consequently, it is absolutely necessary, if we are going to do a satisfactory job in the operation of this night duty, we will have to rent a room which at least has a minimum of conveniences.

3. The room which we are now using for telegraphic operations is exceedingly small. There is no room for two to be on duty at the same time. Therefore, we would like to have you consider expanding this office so that we may take care of special safes and increase in the personnel (please refer to my # 368 [a]) which we hope to have in the future.

 


[a] In which NOMURA advises Tokyo that the New York Times stated that Japan has been considering a neutrality pact with the United States and that he, NOMURA, had advised the U.S. Government to do the proper thing about the article.

 

Trans. 8‑9‑41

 

No. 379

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 554.

 

(Part 3 of 3)

 

Last summer it was necessary to change the reception room into a document room. This room we are now using for the custody of important documents, the classification of documents, the operation of Japanese type mimeograph machines, and for the collection and disposition of documents. Not only is it impossible to use this room as a reception room, but for purposes of document collection and disposition it is much too cramped. Should you give your permission to the increasing of our staff of Japanese typists by one person, it is a fact that there would be no room for the machine he or she would use. Therefore, at this time, it is of utmost necessity that we increase our floor space to take care of one room to be used for document collection and disposition. With regard to the above, a total increase of appropriation would be required in the amount of $3,700.00, and the equipment fund would require an increase of $1,093.00. (Blue prints and estimates on the cost of equipment we are sending you by air mail.)

Though this increased appropriation seems very high, it can't be helped. On the one hand, in order that we might continue renting the present official residence as it stands, we have finally secured a reduction of $1,000.00 in our annual rental as a result of our determined negotiations with the owners. After you have considered that a deduction of this amount from the increased appropriation requested a balance of $2,700.00 remains to be appropriated, please be so kind as to sanction this increased allotment immediately. Furthermore, in these times it would seem that should the vacant room immediately adjoining this office be rented by an American, it might be most embarrassing from the point of view of the maintenance of our secrets. Therefore, please consider this fact as well as the others mentioned.

 

Trans. 8‑9‑41

 

A-190

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  380

 

FROM: New York (Morishima)                                                           July 30, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 371.

 

Lately our telegraphic duties have been gradually increasing. Telegrams from the Finance Office and other governmental messages as well as request messages from merchants and banks have been piling up. Dispatches which require immediate attention have grown rapidly in number. Therefore, I placed another member of my staff with Mr. WATANABE, who is in charge of such business, and had Secretary KIHARA come to our assistance from ‑‑‑‑and Secretary KAJIHARA come up from Washington. They are pressed in Washington also, and for technical reasons KAJIHARA cannot be spared long, and I shall have to send him back to Washington this week. Our telegraphic section must have help, however, so I have asked Washington to send us an aide from the Embassy. Please order them to choose a man with experience in urgent telegrams and send him up here immediately.

 

Trans. 10‑10‑41

 

No.  381

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 29, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 601.

 

There is a request from the Military and Naval Attachés that due to the situation prevailing at the present time they be permitted to move their office to the Embassy, for a time at least.

I recognize this as a reasonable request and will make the necessary arrangements for room. Please grant the request.

 

Trans. 8‑1‑41

 

No.  382

 

FROM: Washington                                                                             July 29, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 596.

 

From Chicago as follows:

 

Re your Circular # 1366 [a].

 

After consultation with the Embassy it has been decided to entrust the Imperial Portrait to the Embassy.

 


[a] To forestall the possibility of their offices in foreign countries being closed without warning, by the countries involved, Matsuoka issues instructions that precautions shall be taken for the safety of the Emperor's portrait and, at the opportune time, the destruction of codes and official documents.

 

Trans. 8‑1‑41

 

A-191

 

No. 383

 

FROM: Washington (Nomura)                                                             July 30, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 615.

 

Reference your # 3 0.

 

The imperial portraits at New York and Chicago are en route to Washington. Student clerk HASHIZUME will leave by train on the 30th for San Francisco where he will place the portraits on the Asama Maru. Minister WAKASUGI will take over the pictures on board and will return them to the home office.

 

Trans. 8‑2‑41

 

No. 384

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   June 2, 1941

TO: Mexico                                                                                         # 93.

 

We have appropriated 100,000 yen for your intelligence and enlightenment expenses during the current fiscal year, and I am hereby sending you the first installment of 25,000 yen. This money is to be used as follows:

1. If worse comes to worst, we consider Mexico City, along with Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Santiago as most important bases for intelligence concerning the United States. From a geographical standpoint it is most natural that we should endeavor to set up in Mexico City an establishment where we can carry on routine business in the matter of collecting intelligence concerning the United States. This point I stressed particularly in the outline in the first paragraph of my secret ----- # 62 [a] with reference to propaganda activities.

2. Though the funds are in the main to be used in intelligence concerning the United States, what is left should be used in gathering intelligence in Mexico. Bear in mind that in putting this policy into effect our principal aim is to collect every possible bit of intelligence concerning the United States and, with this in view, I want you to contact and work out a cooperative policy with our officials in Los Angeles, Houston, New Orleans and New York. Furthermore, in this connection, Mexicali might well be used.

3. Please also plan to use RAFAEL MUNAS for purposes of interception.

4. Concerning propaganda and enlightenment, in case the United States joins the war, we will endeavor to use our nationals there to our best possible advantage and we will do our very best to use Rightist and Leftist Labor organizations and promote their anti‑American revolutionary influence. Please use your best efforts to achieve this.

Secret outside the Department.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7‑1‑41

 

A-192

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  385

 

FROM: Mexico City (Sato)                                                                  June 14, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 206.

 

I wish to send JOSE LLERGO.

 

This man is thirty years old, youthful and energetic, and is already an influential reporter. His elder brother is the editor of the weekly periodical HOY. Although it seems to me that by and large Mexican newspapers are following the tendency of yielding to pressure from the United States, nevertheless HOY has steadily maintained unbiased editorials. I believe that through this man we can greatly influence the press of this country and that it would be much to our advantage to use him in the future.

I would like to send him by the next plane, so will you please remit his traveling expenses?

 

Trans. 7‑3‑41

 

No.  386

 

FROM: Mexico                                                                                    July 19, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 280.

 

Re my # 206 [a].

 

1. On the 18th, PAPESU came to call on me to bid me farewell. On this occasion, he brought a man by the name of ISAKU DEIYASU (Isaac Diaz ?) (he is also a reporter on the OI (?), and is said to be PAPESU's best friend). Since touring Europe, Diaz also has become very desirous of traveling to Japan. So, seizing upon PAPESU's visit to Japan, he has decided to go there too, at his own expense.

Some time ago, I had members of my staff make investigations into the characters of these men. This was the first time, however, that I met and talked with Diaz, and was happy to find that both men were exceedingly pleasant.

They are both underlings of Maximino Camacho and are well qualified for future utilization by us. I was firmly convinced that it would be to our interest to have both men travel to Japan. I, therefore, told Diaz that because there was no time to advise my home government of his coming, I could not say definitely whether he could be given any financial assistance or not. However, I would do my best for him, I said; and told him to go to Japan on the assumption that he would have to pay his own way, (in part, at least).

Because of these circumstances, I would appreciate your giving consideration to allowing Diaz the same sort of treatment as has been extended to PAPESU.

 


[a] June 14, II, 385. Consul General Sato at Mexico City states his desire to send Jose Llergo, outstanding Mexican news reporter and brother of the Editor of Hoy, weekly periodical. Believes that the Mexican press can be greatly influenced through him.

 

Trans. 7‑23‑41

 

A-193

 

No. 387

 

FROM: Mexico (Miura)                                                                       June 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 222.

 

From Minister YAMAGATA (en route to Peru).

 

1. The question of Obtaining Military Materials.

Both the President and the Minister of Economics kept on running away from me; consequently, I was unable to have them allow me to confer with them. Both the German and Italian Ministers advised me against undertaking negotiations in any way conspicuous. Even if I opened the negotiations by bringing up first of all the question of rayon and proposed either a barter system or compensatory trade, there is very little likelihood of my succeeding by approaching the question through the front door. There is no way but to approach it from the back door. At any rate, it is a question whether I would succeed in this matter, inasmuch as additional pressure is being exerted at present by the United States. Mexican business men in this field expect that sooner or later an embargo or export license system would be put into effect affecting the export to Japan of mercury and other materials. Under these circumstances, I think it is very important for us to make purchases now in as large quantities and in as secret a manner as possible.

2. As regards political trends in this part of the world, I will wire you information after my arrival in Panama since trends in the Caribbean and Central American countries must also be taken into consideration.

 

Trans. 7‑1‑41

 

No. 388

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 20, 1941

TO: Mexico City                                                                                  # 105.

 

Re your # 208 [a].

 

1. In reference to the purchase of exports referred to previously, a high price was offered for 15,000 boxes (bales, crates ?). Following up the idea of your suggestion, 7,500 boxes were finally agreed upon. The price was lowered from $83.00 for 120 denier to $81.00 for 150 denier.

2. In order that outsiders may be kept from getting in on this export purchase, it will be necessary for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to give out a warning within the near future.

3. Please continue endeavoring to obtain a barter of artificial silk for mercury. In addition, try to obtain assurance of general essential materials by offering the Mexicans any sort of stipulations desired, such as offering to make a deposit of guarantee. Also, it is desired to make barter arrangements for necessary industrial materials. Please answer by wire, giving your opinion about this.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 6‑23‑41

 

A-194

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  389

 

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)                                                                   June 12, 1941

TO: Mexico City                                                                                  # 96.

 

To Minister YAMAGATA.

 

In view of the fact that there are at present certain delicate trends in Columbia, on your way to Peru will you please stop for one week at Bogota.

 

Trans. 7‑1‑41

 

No.  390

 

FROM: Bogota (Yanai)                                                                        June 18, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 60.

 

According to your message # 96 [a] to our Minister in Mexico, Minister YAMAGATA [b] is soon to visit me. Both from a geographical and a business point of view, our petroleum interests in Mexico are being curtailed. Consequently, I feel that it is necessary to have official NAGUMO [c], who is stationed in Quito, come here and sit with me while we discuss this matter with Minister YAMAGATA. Therefore, will you please arrange to have NAGUMO come here after visiting Lima? I have discussed this with NAGUMO.

 


[a] See II, 389.

[b] Kiyoshi Yamagata has held important positions in Venezuela, Foreign Office, in Tokyo, and in legations at London, Washington, and Brussels, accompanied by Secretary Takagi.

[c] Consul in Quito, Ecuador.

 

Trans. 6‑25‑41

 

No.  391

 

FROM: Mexico (Miura)                                                                       June 25, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 224.

 

(In 2 parts‑complete.)

 

Relative to getting this office organized on a war time basis, I explained all the circumstances within the office to Minister Yamagata and discussed plans with him thoroughly. As a result we have concluded that the following measure would be most desirable and therefore, we would like to request your cooperation in bringing them about at the earliest possible time:

(1) We (have been expecting ?) the arrival of Secretary Fujii and he seems to have arrived in Spain (?) but we have already received a dispatch from him saying "I have been trying to secure steamer accommodation, but under present conditions there is little prospect. The Foreign Office understands this and therefore, you will please be advised accordingly." Now, with the outbreak of the German‑Soviet hostilities it will be still more difficult for him to come, and therefore, we would request that some other person be appointed and sent forward at once.

(2) As mentioned in my # 134 [a], we have here greatly desired (closer contacts with ?) those connected with trade relations, financial matters and the intelligence work, and if there are

 

A-195

 

difficulties in the way of getting these hooked up together at this time, why not appoint someone now who as the above mentioned first secretary could have general charge over the business in the office, and in addition also have the responsibility of either the trade or the intelligence work. If this could be done, then we could have Secretary Sato look after the other duties. Or in case no suitable person can be found of the First Secretary class, if we could have some young person with experience in either of these lines of work sent out immediately, we could put Sato in general charge of the office work and one of the other lines.

(3) Please appoint as capable a person as possible as Fukushima's relief at once.

(4) Kataoka and Samijima are both competent men, but they have been here many years, and from the standpoint of bringing about a new atmosphere in this office we would like to have them transferred elsewhere and new men appointed in their places. In case it is impossible to have them transferred elsewhere, we would be pleased to have Kataoka appointed to Salvador and Samijima to Mexicali, and have Takashima and Miyazawa from those places, respectively, appointed to duty in this office.

(5) Then, although Kato of Mexicali does have a situation in his family, in view of the needs during this serious emergency, I wish his return home could be deferred a while longer and that he be instructed immediately to take up duties in this office, or else have orders issued for Kato of Argentina, who is said to be returning home soon, report for service here for the time being. In this latter instance, we would have no objections to Kato's being ordered to duty elsewhere.

 


[a] Not available.

 

Trans. 7‑1‑41

 

No. 392

 

FROM: Mexico City                                                                            July 3, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 240.

 

Re my # 224 [a].

 

In view of the times and conditions, we do not believe that it would be to our interest to move Kato of Mexicali. Please, therefore, do not issue orders for him to return to Japan, but instead have him stay where he is for the present, and have Miyazawa come here and assume his post alone.

Will you please also consider ways and means of making use of Kato in the event that (the ?) Mexicali (office ?) is strengthened?

 


[a] See II, 391, Amb. Miura at Mexico City wires Tokyo of his plans, after conference with Minister Yamagata, for organizing the Mexico City office on a war time basis. Suggests several changes of personnel at the office and requests that someone be sent there to substitute for Secy. Fujii who is in Spain and unable to leave because of lack of steamer accommodations.

 

Trans. 7‑7‑41

 

A-196

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  393

 

FROM: Mexico City (Miura)                                                                July 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 236.

 

Re paragraph # 2 of your # 111 [a] .

 

1. KATO, of Mexicali, spoke to the following effect to Emissary YAMAGATA and to the members of this office when he visited this office recently for the purpose of business (I was at that time visiting the other country to which I have been accredited).

He said: "In Mexicali and vicinity American influence is predominant (All officials from the Governor down are puppets of the United States). Although there are many Japanese inhabitants there, since not one of them belongs to the intelligentsia, if intelligence work is to be carried on, it is absolutely necessary that both funds and the personnel be reorganized at the branch."

2. I believe he is right. Although it is difficult to conduct intelligence work, which is liable to be noticeable, in a border city having a population, according to recent figures, of 15,000, I believe the work there would prove useful, provided that the intelligence net in Los Angeles and vicinity is well organized, especially if a situation occurs in which we find it necessary to withdraw our officials now in the United States. Now, if this is so, I believe we should at once establish connection with Los Angeles and make necessary preparations.

 


[a] See II, 398‑Tokyo asks Mexico to reply as soon as possible regarding the plan to contact and work out a cooperative policy with officials in Los Angeles, Houston, New Orleans, and New York in an effort to collect every possible bit of intelligence concerning the United States.

 

Trans. 7‑7‑41

 

No.  394

 

FROM: Mexico City (Miura)                                                                June 27, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 232.

 

Re my # 229 [a].

 

1. With regard to the AP dispatch referred to in the above mentioned message, the Foreign Office issued a statement on the 27th, the gist of which was as follows:

The aims of an agreement of this nature between the governments of these two countries are, as outlined in the statement published on 8 June (refer to my message # 204 [b]) to mutually supply each other with materials needed under the present world conditions. The text of the agreement can, undoubtedly, be made public shortly.

2. We have been continuing to work on the matter contained in paragraph 2 of my message # 208 [c]. Since we have been able to establish connections with Maximino Camacho recently, (we shall be able to make a detailed report shortly), we postponed making the demands contained in your message # 134 [d] for the time being. However, in view of the manner in which the above statement was made, we now believe that it would be well to discuss the matter openly with the Foreign Minister. We are at present making arrangements to do so.

 


[a] Not available.

[b] A negotiation is underway between officials of America and Mexico which proposes to institute an agreement between the two countries to supply each other with needed commodities," etc.

[c] Not available.

[d] Not available. Probably a garbled number.

 

Trans. 7‑7‑41

 

 

A-197

 

No.  395

 

FROM: Mexico City (Miura)                                                                June 24, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 220.

 

We have studied the situation here with reference to the matter of Japanese ships fishing in Mexican waters and are agreed that for the time being there is nothing for us to worry about and that we should merely watch coolly the course of events. A Naval message of the 20th will give you the details.

 

Trans. 6‑30‑41

 

No. 396

 

FROM: Mexico City (Miura)                                                                July 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 238.

 

(Part 1 of 3.)

 

1. On the 2nd, I went to see Foreign Minister PADILLA and stated: "From statements made by the Foreign Office on the 9th, and 27th, of last month, it would appear that the United States and Mexico are considering concluding an agreement concerning the supply of materials necessary for the manufacture of arms. On the 20th and today A.P. reports from Washington that this treaty aims to prevent the shipment of materials anywhere outside the American countries. Would you please tell me the truth about this?" Foreign Minister PADILLA replied: "It is true that we are considering an agreement of this sort, but this is a question concerning only the American powers and has nothing to do with any other countries."

2. Therefore, I stated: "I know that it is quite natural for the several American states to look out for themselves in the matter of necessary materials, but what I would like to know is this; in case you Mexicans have more materials than you need and are able to sell some abroad, will you be prevented from selling them to us Japanese?" The Foreign Minister answered: "As a matter of fact, only today we received from the United States the proposal mentioned in the A.P. wire (See my 239 [a]). The gist of it is that American goods are not to be shipped out of the American states. We are carefully considering the matter at present and have not yet made our minds up."

 


[a] Not available.

 Trans. 7‑8‑41

 

No. 397

 

FROM: Mexico City (Miura)                                                                July 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 238.

 

(Part 2 of 3.)

 

At this point I interposed: "Well, you know how friendly our two countries have been for a long time and the fact that not once has anything unpleasant occurred is something rarely seen in the markets of the world. Even today Japan is selling Mexico some of the materials which she most urgently requires and she is, as you know, one of Mexico's best customers. So,

 

A-198

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

if through an agreement like the one you mentioned Japanese‑Mexican relations are marred, I will be blamed and will find it difficult to understand why you treated me so." The Foreign Minister answered: "Well, to tell the truth, our relations with Japan are causing us the most regret. That is precisely why the Mexican government is hesitating, but, considering the fact that Mexico will have to obtain machinery and other goods which she needs, she finds it necessary to sell her own goods to the United States, and that is the whole point of this agreement; consequently, to say that you Japanese could sell us the machinery and so forth instead of the United States is quite beside the point."

4. To this I responded: "Japan is now progressing in the production of heavy industries goods and is in a position to sell surpluses in the line. Let me enumerate for you the list offered by the Chief of the Commercial Section which Minister YAMAGATA brought along." But the Foreign Minister replied: "All these points are being studied by experts in the competent departments." Mr. PADILLA made a gesture as if to end our conversation.

 

Trans. 7‑8‑41

 

No.  398

 

FROM: Mexico City (Miura)                                                                July 2, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 238.

 

(Part 3 of 3. )

 

5. However, I continued, "There are finally two things which I would like to say to you. First, the goods which we Japanese purchase are not to be transshipped to Germany; and second, I have every reason to believe that the European war will end sooner than expected." The Foreign Minister expressed confidence in my first statement, but concerning the second he asked: "Well, then, if you are so sure it is going to end so quickly, about when do you think that will be?" I said, "Being located here in Mexico, I am not in a position to know the course of world events, but I can assure you that this is the feeling of the Japanese Government." The Foreign Minister was silent for a minute or two; then said, "There is a lot to what you have come and told me today. When I come to consider the treaty I will give full consideration to it."

That last point seems to have been bothering the Mexicans considerably and what I said about it appears to have moved him greatly.

Sent also to Washington. Will Washington please get in touch with New York on this?

 

Trans. 7‑8‑41

 

No.  399

 

FROM: Tokyo                                                                                     June 28, 1941

TO: Mexico City                                                                                  # 111.

 

Re my # 93 [a].

 

1. Please establish communications between the United States and Mexico at once and also report regularly on the progress of our schemes.

2. Please reply as soon as possible on the plan described in the 2nd paragraph of the above message.

 


[a] See II, 384.

 

Trans. 7‑1‑41

 

 

A-199

 

 

 

 

No.  400

 

FROM: Mexico (Miura)                                                                       July 4, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 245.

 

(Part 1 of 4.)

 

1. It is clear that one of the most urgent requirements of the present time is the establishment of an (international ?) route for the communication of intelligences between the United States and Mexico. In my opinion, this route which is to be established should be used by our embassy, the consular offices, and other semi‑official offices in the United States, as well as in espionage net connections with Mexico City.

2. In the case of war, the method under consideration involves the direct linking of all our espionage agents in the United States directly with this city. The various observations and opinions gathered from our espionage net in the United States should, in my opinion, be carried out here. However, judging from the current examples of German and Italian officials, it is clear that the American Government will not permit too much movement of officials from the United States to Central and South America. Therefore, this very day, please order the reduction of these intelligence agents from official status to civilian status at as early a date as possible. Then they can make representations to the Mexican Government as individuals.

 

Trans. 9‑16‑41

 

No. 101

 

FROM: Mexico (Miura)                                                                       July 4, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 245.

 

(Part 2 of 4.)

 

Persons in the border areas should secure passport visas before it becomes too late and begin to perform their duties.

3. In my considered opinion, the persons carrying on the activities of the aforementioned route should make possible the transference and contact between our espionage net in the United States and our officials here in Mexico which can be done most effectively in Mexico. In cooperation, therefore, with army and naval authorities, offices should be established in Laredo, El Paso, Nogales, and Mexicali. Conferences have been going on with army and naval officers in regard to this matter. If this is to be done, much planning will be required with parties in the United States who will be getting in contact with me. With this in mind, on the occasion of a recent trip to the United States, I stopped off in New Orleans and Houston, and from what I learned there in those places, such a thing hadn't been given the slightest consideration.

 

Trans. 9‑16‑41

 

A-200

 

THE "MAGIC" BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

 

No.  402

 

FROM: Mexico (Miura)                                                                       July 4, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 245.

 

(Part 3 of 4. )

 

When I was in Washington, the official in charge of this matter, after establishing Washington and New York areas in the espionage net, made the statement that he would like to wait for a little while before making a tour for contact purposes. Since that time until today, the question stands as it did then. Furthermore, in regard to Los Angeles, when Minister YAMAGATA's party recently passed through there, he was told that they had no acquaintanceship with such things as intelligence nets, and for that reason they had made no special plans. Since then, all of these offices, on the instructions of the home office ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑-- gradually are bringing their plans to a head for ‑‑‑‑- -----. At the present time, as far as civilian agents are concerned it will be impossible to make (it ?) more concrete.

 

Trans. 9‑16‑41

 

No.  403

 

FROM: Mexico (Miura)                                                                       July 4, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 245.

 

(Part 4 of 4.)

 

In reading your message on the intelligence route matter, I have received the impression that ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑-- there is no clear distinction made between the question of this route and the establishment of an intelligence net in this country dealing with the United States (with regard to the details of this latter matter, I will wire my humble opinions separately). However, it is clear that the question of the intelligence route does not imply the establishment of the espionage net in the United States by civilian agents. This is definitely a function of the diplomatic offices in the United States and is absolutely impossible for us here in Mexico City to bring into being. Army and naval officers here feel that the questions are quite apart and separate. In order that we not work at cross purposes, however, I am inquiring for additional information.

 

Trans. 9‑16‑41

 

No. 404

 

FROM: Mexico (Miura)                                                                       July 22, 1941

TO: Tokyo                                                                                           # 286.

 

Re Part 1 of your # 349 [a] to Washington.

 

In my # 236 [b], I told you more about the advantages and disadvantages of using Mexicali. To confer with me on the matters mentioned in my # 278 [c], I had TERAZAKI, ITO, and KATO come back there, and we again looked into the situation. We decided that our previous conclusions were based on peacetime and that in case there is an emergency, Mexicali would probably not be a good place as the basic point for routing because of the following considerations:

 

A-201

 

(1) Mexicali is far away from headquarters, and not only are airplanes the only convenient means of transportation, but also communications are very bad. If something started, we would not even be able to use American planes.

(2) Four days would be necessary for contact by railway.

(3) In Mexicali there is not one single daily newspaper, and we could only rely upon American‑Mexican journals so all the news that came to our ears would be late. Another thing, Lower California is now, to all intents and purposes, under the jurisdiction of Southern California, and in case something began to pop, it would be inevitable that the United States would bring tremendous pressure to bear. To tell the truth, the activities of Japanese citizens in the border cities are even now being subjected to the closest scrutiny, so in time of crisis, Mexicali would be no place for any activities of ours.

I have transmitted this to Washington.

 


[a] See II, 411.

[b] In which KATO of Mexicali says that if intelligence work is to be carried on in Mexicali, it wil