(Generally referred to as the "Fourteen Part Message.") 
(Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. V, No. 129, Dec. 13, 1941) 
On November 26 the Secretary of State handed to the Japanese  
representatives a document which stated the principles governing  
the policies of the Government of the United States toward the  
situation in the Far East and setting out suggestions for a  
comprehensive peaceful settlement covering the entire Pacific  
At 1 p.m. December 7 the Japanese Ambassador asked for an  
appointment for the Japanese representatives to see the  
Secretary of State.  The appointment was made for 1:45 p.m.  The  
Japanese representatives arrived at the office of the Secretary  
of State at 2:05 p.m.  They were received by the Secretary at  
2:20 p.m.  The Japanese Ambassador handed to the Secretary of  
State what was understood to be a reply to the document handed  
to him the Secretary of State on November 26. 
Secretary Hull carefully read the statement presented by the  
Japanese representatives and immediately turned to the Japanese  
Ambassador and with the greatest indignation said: 
"I must say that in all my conversations with you [the Japanese  
Ambassador] during the last nine months I have never uttered one  
word of untruth.  This is borne out absolutely by the record.   
In all my 50 years of public service I have never seen a  
document that was more crowded with infamous falsehoods and  
distortions - infamous falsehoods and distortions on a scale so  
huge that I never imagined until today that any Government on  
this planet was capable of uttering them." 
The text of the document handed by the Japanese Ambassador to  
the Secretary of State at 2:20 p.m., December 7, 1941, reads as  
"1. The government of Japan, prompted by a genuine desire to  
come to an amicable understanding with the Government of the  
United States in order that the two countries by their joint  
efforts may secure the peace of the Pacific Area and thereby  
contribute toward the realization of world peace, has continued  
negotiations with the utmost sincerity since April last with the  
Government of the United States regarding the adjustment and  
advancement of Japanese-American relations and the stabilization  
of the Pacific Area. 
"The Japanese Government has the honor to state frankly its  
views concerning the claims the American Government has  
persistently maintained as well as the measure the United States  
and Great Britain have taken toward Japan during these eight  
"2.  It is the immutable policy of the Japanese Government to  
insure the stability of East Asia and to promote world peace and  
thereby to enable all nations to find each its proper place in  
the world. 
"Ever since China Affair broke out owing to the failure on the  
part of China to comprehend Japan's true intentions, the  
Japanese Government has striven for the restoration of peace and  
it has consistently exerted its best efforts to prevent the  
extension of war-like disturbances.  It was also to that end  
that in September last year Japan concluded the Tripartite Pace  
with Germany and Italy. 
"However, both the United States and Great Britain have resorted  
to every possible measure to assist the Chungking regime so as  
to obstruct the establishment of a general peace between Japan  
and China, interfering with Japan's constructive endeavours  
toward the stabilization of East Asia.  Exerting pressure on the  
Netherlands East Indies, or menacing French Indo-China, they  
have attempted to frustrate Japan's aspiration to the ideal of  
common prosperity in cooperation with these regimes.   
Furthermore, when Japan in accordance with its protocol with  
France took measures of joint defense of French Indo-China, both  
American and British Governments, willfully misinterpreting it  
as a threat to their own possessions, and inducing the  
Netherlands Government to follow suit, they enforced the assets  
freezing order, thus severing economic relations with Japan.   
While manifesting thus an obviously hostile attitude, these  
countries have strengthened their military preparations  
perfecting an encirclement of Japan, and have brought about a  
situation which endangers the very existence of the Empire. 
"Nevertheless, to facilitate a speedy settlement, the Premier of  
Japan proposed, in August last, to meet the President of the  
United States for a discussion of important problems between the  
two countries covering the entire Pacific area.  However, the  
American Government, while accepting in principle the Japanese  
proposal, insisted that the meeting should take place after an  
agreement of view had been reached on fundamental and essential  
"3.  Subsequently, on September 25th the Japanese Government  
submitted a proposal based on the formula proposed by the  
American Government, taking fully into consideration past  
American claims and also incorporating Japanese views.  Repeated  
discussions proved of no avail in producing readily an agreement  
of view.  The present cabinet, therefore, submitted a revised  
proposal, moderating still further the Japanese claims regarding  
the principal points of difficulty in the negotiation and  
endeavoured strenuously to reach a settlement.  But the American  
Government, adhering steadfastly to its original assertions,  
failed to display in the slightest degree a spirit of  
conciliation.  The negotiation made no progress. 
"Therefore, the Japanese Government, with a view to doing its  
utmost for averting a crisis in Japanese-American relations,  
submitted on November 20th still another proposal in order to  
arrive at an equitable solution of the more essential and urgent  
questions which, simplifying its previous proposal, stipulated  
the following points: 
"(1)  The Government of Japan and the United States undertake  
not to dispatch armed forces into any of the regions, excepting  
French Indo-China, in the Southeastern Asia and the Southern  
Pacific area. 
"(2) Both Governments shall cooperate with the view to securing  
the acquisition in the Netherlands East Indies of those goods  
and commodities of which the two countries are in need. 
"(3) Both Governments mutually undertake to restore commercial  
relations to those prevailing prior to the freezing of assets. 
"The Government of the United States shall supply Japan the  
required quantity of oil. 
"(4) The Government of the United States undertakes not to  
resort to measures and actions prejudicial to the endeavours for  
the restoration of general peace between Japan and China. 
"(5) The Japanese Government undertakes to withdraw troops now  
stationed in French Indo-China upon either the restoration of  
peace between Japan and China or establishment of an equitable  
peace in the Pacific Area; and it is prepared to remove the  
Japanese troops in the southern part of French Indo-China to the  
northern part upon the conclusion of the present agreement. 
"As regards China, the Japanese Government, while expressing its  
readiness to accept the offer of the President of the United  
States to act as 'introducer' of peace between Japan and China  
as was previously suggested, asked for an undertaking on the  
part of the United States to do nothing prejudicial to the  
restoration of Sino-Japanese peace when the two parties have  
commenced direct negotiations. 
"The American Government not only rejected the above-mentioned  
new proposal, but made known its intention to continue its aid  
to Chiang Kai-shek; and in spite of its suggestion mentioned  
above, withdrew the offer of the President to act as so-called  
'introducer' of peace between Japan and China, pleading that  
time was not yet ripe for it.  Finally on November 26th, in an  
attitude to impose upon the Japanese Government those principles  
it has persistently maintained, the American Government made a  
proposal totally ignoring Japanese claims, which is a source of  
profound regret to the Japanese Government. 
"4. From the beginning of the present negotiation the Japanese  
Government has always maintained an attitude of fairness and  
moderation, and did its best to reach a settlement, for which it  
made all possible concessions often in spite of great  
difficulties.  As for the China question which constitutes an  
important subject of the negotiation, the Japanese Government  
showed a most conciliatory attitude.  As for the principle of  
non-discrimination in international commerce, advocated by the  
American Government, the Japanese Government expressed its  
desire to see the said principle applied throughout the world,  
and declared that along with the actual practice of this  
principle in the world, the Japanese Government would endeavour  
to apply the same in the Pacific area including China, and made  
it clear that Japan had no intention of excluding from China  
economic activities of third powers pursued on an equitable  
basis.  Furthermore, as regards the question of withdrawing  
troops from French Indo-China, the Japanese Government even  
volunteered, as mentioned above, to carry out an immediate  
evacuation of troops from Southern French Indo-China as a  
measure of easing the situation. 
"It is presumed that the spirit of conciliation exhibited to the  
utmost degree by the Japanese Government in all these matters is  
fully appreciated by the American Government. 
"On the other hand, the American Government, always holding fast  
to theories in disregard of realities, and refusing to yield an  
inch on its impractical principles, cause undue delay in the  
negotiation.  It is difficult to understand this attitude of the  
American Government and the Japanese Government desires to call  
the attention of the American Government especially to the  
following points: 
"1. The American Government advocates in the name of world peace  
those principles favorable to it and urges upon the Japanese  
Government the acceptance thereof.  The peace of the world may  
be brought about only by discovering a mutually acceptable  
formula through recognition of the reality of the situation and  
mutual appreciation of one another's position.  An attitude such  
as ignores realities and impose (sic) one's selfish views upon  
others will scarcely serve the purpose of facilitating the  
consummation of negotiations. 
"Of the various principles put forward by the American  
Government as a basis of the Japanese-American Agreement, there  
are some which the Japanese Government is ready to accept in  
principle, but in view of the world's actual condition it seems  
only a utopian ideal on the part of the American Government to  
attempt to force their immediate adoption. 
"Again, the proposal to conclude a multilateral non-aggression  
pact between Japan, United States, Great Britain, China, the  
Soviet Union, the Netherlands and Thailand, which is patterned  
after the old concept of collective security, is far removed  
from the realities of East Asia. 
"2. The American proposal contained a stipulation which states -  
'Both Governments will agree that no agreement, which either has  
concluded with any third power or powers, shall be interpreted  
by it in such a way as to conflict with the fundamental purpose  
of this agreement, the establishment and preservation of peace  
throughout the Pacific area.'  It is presumed that the above  
provision has been proposed with a view to restrain Japan from  
fulfilling its obligations under the Tripartite Pact when the  
United States participates in the war in Europe, and, as such,  
it cannot be accepted by the Japanese Government. 
"The American Government, obsessed with its own views and  
opinions, may be said to be scheming for the extension of the  
war.  While it seeks, on the one hand, to secure its rear by  
stabilizing the Pacific Area, it is engaged, on the other hand,  
in aiding Great Britain and preparing to attack, in the name of  
self-defense, Germany and Italy, two Powers that are striving to  
establish a new order in Europe.  Such a policy is totally at  
variance with the many principles upon which the American  
Government proposes to found the stability of the Pacific Area  
through peaceful means. 
"3. Whereas the American Government, under the principles it  
rigidly upholds, objects to settle international issues through  
military pressure, it is exercising in conjunction with Great  
Britain and other nations pressure by economic power.  Recourse  
to such pressure as a means of dealing with international  
relations should be condemned as it is at times more inhumane  
that military pressure. 
"4. It is impossible not to reach the conclusion that the  
American Government desires to maintain and strengthen, in  
coalition with Great Britain and other Powers, its dominant  
position in has hitherto occupied not only in China but in other  
areas of East Asia.  It is a fact of history that the countries  
of East Asia have for the past two hundred years or more have  
been compelled to observe the status quo under the Anglo- 
American policy of imperialistic exploitation and to sacrifice  
themselves to the prosperity of the two nations.  The Japanese  
Government cannot tolerate the perpetuation of such a situation  
since it directly runs counter to Japan's fundamental policy to  
enable all nations to enjoy each its proper place in the world. 
"The stipulation proposed by the American Government relative to  
French Indo-China is a good exemplification of the above- 
mentioned American policy. Thus the six countries, - Japan, the  
United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, China,, and  
Thailand, - excepting France, should undertake among themselves  
to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of French  
Indo-China and equality of treatment in trade and commerce would  
be tantamount to placing that territory under the joint  
guarantee of the Governments of those six countries.  Apart from  
the fact that such a proposal totally ignores the position of  
France, it is unacceptable to the Japanese Government in that  
such an arrangement cannot but be considered as an extension to  
French Indo-China of a system similar to the Nine Power Treaty  
structure which is the chief factor responsible for the present  
predicament of East Asia. 
"5. All the items demanded of Japan by the American Government  
regarding China such as wholesale evacuation of troops or  
unconditional application of the principle of non-discrimination  
in international commerce ignored the actual conditions of  
China, and are calculated to destroy Japan's position as the  
stabilizing factor of East Asia.  The attitude of the American  
Government in demanding Japan not to support militarily,  
politically or economically any regime other than the regime at  
Chungking, disregarding thereby the existence of the Nanking  
Government, shatters the very basis of the present negotiations.  
This demand of the American Government falling, as it does, in  
line with its above-mentioned refusal to cease from aiding the  
Chungking regime, demonstrates clearly the intention of the  
American Government to obstruct the restoration of normal  
relations between Japan and China and the return of peace to  
East Asia. 
"5. (sic)  In brief, the American proposal contains certain  
acceptable items such as those concerning commerce, including  
the conclusion of a trade agreement, mutual removal of the  
freezing restrictions, and stabilization of yen and dollar  
exchange, or the abolition of extra-territorial rights in China.   
On the other hand, however, the proposal in question ignores  
Japan's sacrifices in the four years of the China Affair,  
menaces the Empire's existence itself and disparages its honour  
and prestige.  Therefore, viewed in its entirety, the Japanese  
Government regrets it cannot accept the proposal as a basis of  
"6. The Japanese Government, in its desire for an early  
conclusion of the negotiation, proposed simultaneously with the  
conclusion of the Japanese-American negotiation, agreements to  
be signed with Great Britain and other interested countries.   
The proposal was accepted by the American Government.  However,  
since the American Government has made the proposal of November  
26th as a result of frequent consultation with Great Britain,  
Australia, the Netherlands and Chungking, and presumably by  
catering to the wishes of the Chungking regime in the questions  
of China, it must be concluded that all these countries are at  
one with the United States in ignoring Japan's position. 
"7. Obviously it is the intention of the American Government to  
conspire with Great Britain and other countries to obstruct  
Japan's effort toward the establishment of peace through the  
creation of a new order in East Asia, and especially to preserve  
Anglo-American rights and interest by keeping Japan and China at  
war.  This intention has been revealed clearly during the course  
of the present negotiation. 
"Thus, the earnest hope of the Japanese Government to adjust  
Japanese-American relations and to preserve and promote the  
peace of the Pacific through cooperation with the American  
Government has finally been lost. 
"The Japanese Government regrets to have to notify hereby the  
American Government that in view of the attitude of the American  
Government it cannot but consider that it is impossible to reach  
an agreement through further negotiations. 
"December 7, 1941." 

Page maintained by Larry W. Jewell, lwjewell@omni.cc.purdue.edu. Created: 12/7/96 Updated: 12/7/96