Page 9

Chapter II


1. INTRODUCTION: Confusion of Thinking, Organization, Conflict of  
Opinions and Diversity of Views; Nation Not Geared to War.

2. PUBLIC OPINION: Psychological Conditions and Their Effect; Army 
Dependent on Public Opinion and State of Public Mind and Its Readiness 
for War; American Public Reluctant to Consider a War; Japan Ready for 

3. U.S. POLICY: (1922-1939) Study of Long-Term Treatment of Japan 
Important; the Mandated Islands and Exclusion of the United States and 
Fortification of the Islands by Japan; the Navy's Efforts to Get Into 
the Islands and Its Relationship to the State Department; Diplomatic 
Status of Consular Agents of Japan in Hawaii and Their Spying 
Activities; Strong National Policy for the Protection of American Rights 
Lacking Effect Upon the Army and Navy; the Effect of This Policy on the 
Japanese Oriental Trading Mind.

4. U.S. POLICY: (1939-1941) Avoidance of a Conflict with Japan 1939-1941 
by Avoiding Open Breach; Necessity for Delay to Prepare for War; 
Negotiations Based Upon Lack of Incidents.

Sanctions by Direct Embargoes; Coincident Forming of Public Opinion 
Against Japan; Japanese Making No Concessions and Proceeding with 
Aggressions; Threatening Hostile Action; Lack of Public Understanding of 
Importance of Hawaii; War and Navy Departments Making

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Great Effort to Prepare for War with Grave Deficiencies; Diversion of 
Resources to Assist England and France Retarding Our Own Rearming; 
Coordination of Action by the Government Through Conference in War 
Council, Etc.; Lack of Appreciation of Where Japan Would Attack and 
Miscalculation of Time of Attack; Japanese Full Understanding of Our 

Attempt to Negotiate and Apply Economic Sanctions Put Government in 
Difficult Contrary Positions; Conflicting Elements of Policy 
Communicated to Field Commanders to Both Prepare for War and Not 
Precipitate an Incident Causing War; Public Opinion in 1941 More 
Belligerent Than the Preparations for War Justified Complicating 
Government Position.

7. ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST JAPAN: The Economic Effect on Japan of 
Progressive Sanctions Considered in Detail; the Rising Tempo of Economic 
Disaster to Japan and the Decreasing Success of Negotiations; Inevitable 
Showdown Between Japanese Economic Strangulation and Military Action 
Approaching; the Impasse Reached on November 26, 1941; the State 
Department Passes Responsibility for the Nation to the War and Navy 

8. THE HAWAIIAN POPULATION PROBLEM: Sabotage Complex; the Japanese 
Population Conditions Analyzed in Hawaii; the Rising Dominance 
Economically and Politically of the Japanese Group; Sabotage of War 
Action Possible by the Hawaiian Japanese Group; the Difficulty of Alerts 
Without Disturbing the Civilian Japanese Population To An Overt Act; 
Effect of Japanese Atmosphere in Hawaii and Government Policy Against 
Overt Acts Upon the Responsible Commanders in Hawaii; the Local 
Opposition of Commercial Interests to

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Putting Japanese Under Control; Official Reluctance to Put Local 
Japanese Population under Civilian Surveillance; Free Japanese 
Propaganda and Intelligence Operations in Hawaii.

9. HAWAIIAN PRESS: Constant Reiteration of Progressively Increasing 
Difficulties with Japan and Threats of War Accentuated the State of Mind 
of Local Commanders as to Difficulties with Local Population.

10. SUMMARY: Preparatory Period Immense Effect Upon State of Mind of 
Public Officials and Commanders; Our Complacency Our Weakness; Our 
National Pride and Vanity Our Weakness; the Result was Lack of Action, 
Coordination, Cooperation, Teamwork, and War Spirit; United States Was 
Unprepared Mentally, Physically, or as an Organization for War.

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1. Introduction:  The purpose of this explanation of the background of 
public and private events as they existed in 1940 and 1941 is this.  
There existed during this critical period much confusion of thinking and 
of organization, of conflict of opinion and diversity of views.  The 
nation was not geared to war, either mentally or as an organization.  It 
was a period of conflicting plans and purposes.  The winds of public 
opinion were blowing in all directions; isolationists and nationalists 
were struggling for predominance; public opinion was both against war 
and clamoring for reprisal against Japan; we were negotiating for peace 
with Japan, and simultaneously applying economic sanctions that led only 
to war;  we were arming our forces for war and at the same time giving 
away much of such armament.  The Administration, State, War and Navy 
Departments in their policies, plans and operations were likewise being 
pushed here and there by the ebb and flow of war events, public 
reactions, diplomatic negotiations and newspaper attacks.

The War Department by its actions and its organization was still on a 
peacetime basis; neither its management nor its general staff had 
perfected its organization for war or for the conduct of a large 
enterprise.  The whole machinery of government was geared to a different 
purpose and tempo than war.  Valiant and brilliant men were struggling 
to bring order out of chaos, rather as individuals or as small groups, 
attempting simultaneously both to establish policies and to accomplish 
practical things.  As a result a few men, without organization in the 
true sense, were attempting to conduct large enterprises, take multiple 
actions, and give directions that should have been

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the result of carefully directed commands, instead of action taken by 
conference.  We were preparing for a war by the conference method.  We 
were directing such preparations by the conference methods; we were even 
writing vital messages by the conference method, and arriving at their 
contents by compromise instead of by command; that was the product of 
the time and conditions due to the transition from peace to war in a 

Such was the confusion of men and events, largely unorganized for 
appropriate action and helpless before a strong course of events, that 
ran away with the situation and prematurely plunged us into war.

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2. Public Opinion.  The disaster of Pearl Harbor and the 
responsibilities and courses of action taken by those connected 
therewith can better be understood when the background of public opinion 
and the state of the public mind are likewise understood.  Psychological 
conditions has a material effect upon the events that took place.  A 
brief review of the then state of mind of officials and the public;  and 
the facts known to the public and to the government; and our national 
policy are all necessary in order to view the picture in its proper 

Our Army, like other armies of democracies, in its policies and its 
actions to a degree was dependent upon and was influenced by public 
opinion and the state of the public mind.  Successful war is waged 
through a state of mind and a state of public readiness for war.  A 
recognition of this fact is necessary to the understanding of the 
background of public opinion and the state of our desire to make war, 
which undoubtedly had its influence on the War Department and the 
responsible commanders in Hawaii.  A brief resume of that situation will 
lead to an understanding of what influenced the taking of certain 
actions, or the failures to take action, on the part of the Washington 
departments concerned and the higher commanders in the field.

For a long period of time prior to the war the public was reluctant even 
to consider a war. [1]  There was a distinct


[1]  The close vote of Congress on recalling the National Guard from 
active service and on a proposal to abandon Lend-Lease clearly reflect 
public opinion of that day and time in 1941.

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lack of a war mind in the United States.  Isolationist organizations and 
propaganda groups against war were powerful and vital factors affecting 
any war action capable of being taken by our responsible leadership.  So 
influential were these campaigns that they raised grave doubts in minds 
of such leadership as to whether they would be supported by the people 
in the necessary actions for our defense by requisite moves against 
Japan.  Public opinion in the early stages had to be allowed to develop; 
in the later stages it ran ahead of preparation for war.  There was 
little war spirit either amongst the general public or in the armed 
forces, due to this conflicting public opinion having its influence. [1]  
The events hereinafter recited must be measured against this important 
psychological factor.

At the same time, Japan was pursuing an opposite policy of preparation.  
It had been at war for several years in China; both its people and 
government were psychologically and physically geared to war and were 
implemented with a polished plan of action and equipment to do the job.  
It was animated by cunning, hatred and patriotism in a land where life 
is cheap; and nurtured in an atmosphere of insane nationalism


[1] Rear Admiral McMorris testified as to the weak status of our fleet 
with respect to the strong Japanese task force that attacked Pearl 
Harbor, and what would have happened if our fleet had gone out into deep 
blue water to fight:  "a fight would have occurred in which our losses 
might have been even greater than actually occurred, *** our own losses 
would have been extremely heavy and might well have included the loss of 
both our carriers."  (R. 2878)

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and oriental intrigue.  Japan was a nation united for the single purpose 
of world conquest based on more than a thousand years of conflict.

As Ambassador Grew testified, from the time of his arrival in Japan in 
1932, he constantly developed the theme of the grave necessity for 
adequate preparation militantly to implement our diplomatic policy, 
because of Japan's readiness for war.  As he said to Mr. Stimson, then 
Secretary  of State, in the latter part of 1932:

"The Japanese Army has been built for war, it feels prepared for war, 
and it wants war."

And he continued:

"At that time I said it would be criminally 'short-sighted', I think not 
to recognize this fact and be prepared for anything that might develop 
in the Far East.  Those warnings were, as I say, continued in my 
telegrams and dispatches throughout the ten years of my service there, 
right up to the end."  (R. 4201)

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3. U.S. Policy, (1922-1939).  The events leading up to the Pearl Harbor 
disaster can only be understood when we examine our national policy as 
administered by the State Department.  That policy must be examined back 
a number of years to see the long-term treatment of Japan which had its 
bearing on the Pearl Harbor disaster.

An early step in a direction considered adverse to the interests of the 
United States was our failure to have a showdown with Japan on its 
fortifications of the mandated islands.

The Mandate for the German possessions in the Pacific Ocean lying north 
of the Equator under date of December 17, 1902, the Convention for the 
Control of Trade and Arms and Ammunition between the Allied Powers under 
date of September 10, 1919, and the Mandates between the United States 
and Japan regarding the former German Islands in the Pacific Ocean north 
of the Equator and particularly the island of Yap under date of February 
11, 1922, have the following in common:

a. "Full power of administration and legislation over the Mandated 
territory, including control of public works and services, the 
importation of arms, etc. In short it was 'government in trust'."
b. "No military or naval bases shall be established or fortifications 
erected in the territory."
c. "The Mandatory...allow all missionaries, nationals of any state 
member of the League of Nations, to enter into, travel and reside in the

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territory for the purpose of prosecuting their calling."
d. "Any dispute between Japan and the other nations signing the 
Mandates, whether it be the first two Mandates mentioned, or the one 
direct with the United States, are to be settled by a negotiation of 
'The Permanent Court of International Justice'."
e. "Vested property rights in the Mandated Islands shall be respected 
and in no way impaired."
f. "The existing treaties between the United States and Japan shall be 
applicable to the Mandated Islands."
g. "The United States and its nationals shall have free access to the 
island of Yap on a footing of entire equality with Japan or any other 
nations and their respective nationals and all that relates to the 
landing and operation of the existing Yap-Guam cable, or over any cable 
which may be hereafter laid or operated by the United States or its 
nationals connecting with the island of Yap."
h. There are many other provisions of the same effect of entire freedom 
of action with respect 

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to Yap. [1]

Had the United States successfully insisted upon Japan living up to 
those treaty stipulations, the entire naval and military structure in 
the key Pacific Islands erected by the Japanese might have been 
impossible.  Japan, without authority of international law and in 
violation of the treaties and mandates above referred to, for nearly 
twenty years successfully and completely excluded other nationals from 
the mandated territories, and during this time built up army, navy and 
air installations of tremendous strategical value.


[1] The Secretary of State, Mr. Hull, advised this Board: "Japan was 
given under a League of Nations mandate full power to administer the 
Mandated Islands as an integral part of Japan and to apply Japanese laws 
in the islands.  The United States had expressly agreed in a treaty with 
Japan of February 11, 1922, to administration by Japan of the islands 
pursuant to the League mandate.  Among the Japanese laws the operation 
of which was extended to include the Mandated Islands was that which 
stipulated that all ports and harbors shall be closed to foreign vessels 
except those that were specifically open to foreign trade.  The opened 
ports in the Mandated Islands were Saipan, Palau, Angaur, Truk, Ponape, 
and Jaluit.

"Article II (3) of the Treaty with Japan of February 11, 1922, regarding 
the Mandated Islands provided that: 'Existing treaties between the 
United States and Japan shall be applicable to the mandated islands.'  
Article IV of the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation concluded between 
the United States and Japan on February 21, 1991, contained the 
following provisions: 'The citizens or subjects of each of the 
Contracting Parties, equally with the citizens or subjects of the most 
favored nation, shall have liberty freely to come with their ships and 
cargoes to all places, ports and rivers in the territories of the other 
which are or may be opened to foreign commerce, subject always to the 
laws of the country to which they thus come.'

"By an exchange of notes which took place concurrently with the signing 
of the treaty with Japan of February 11, 1922, regarding the Mandated 
Islands, Japan assured the United States that 'the usual comity will be 
extended to nationals and vessels of the United States in visiting the 
harbors and waters of those islands'.  The term 'usual comity' in its 
application to visits by the nationals and vessels of other countries 
means the courtesy which is normally accorded by a country to the 
nationals and vessels of other countries."

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As a consequence of the foregoing, Japan gained the enormous advantage 
of a string of naval and air and army bases across our lifeline to the 
Philippines and rendered futile and impotent any fortification of our 
own islands, such as Guam, Midway, Christmas, Palmyra, etc.  It also 
placed the dagger's point at the heart of the Hawaiian Islands because 
such a base as Jaluit in the mandated islands was a thousand miles 
closer to Hawaii than to the homeland of Japan.

Our policy through the successive years appears to have been based upon 
a combination of fear of the Japanese and of an obsession not to give 
offense to the Japanese; a policy which because of their temperamental 
characteristics, proved to be one of weakness rather than of strength; 
it was also a policy of endeavoring to treat the Japanese on the basis 
that they were civilized and that their word could be trusted and at the 
same time one which treated them as if they were uncivilized and could 
not be trusted, and consequently we excluded them from the United 

We entered the year of 1941 with two purposes in mind: first, to avoid 
war and settle our troubles by negotiation, treaties, and contracts; 
and, while negotiating, we applied exactly the opposite remedy of 
economic sanctions.

Efforts to visit the Mandate Islands, presumably to glean information, 
were said to have been made and were unsuccessful. (R. Miles, 101-107; 
Pye 1064-1065; Bloch, 1503, 1527-1529; DeLaney 1702-1703; Kimmel, 1807-
1808; Layton, 3054-3055).  The State Department explanation concerning 
these efforts is set forth below.  The net result was, however, that we 
did not get into these Islands;  the Japanese fortified the Islands and 

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consequence the United States suffered.  The Secretary of State, Mr. 
Hull, presented his Department's views as fellows:

"The matter of visits to the Mandated Islands by American nationals or 
private American vessels, just as visits in general by American 
nationals and American private vessels to ports and places elsewhere in 
the world, did not call for a procedure involving requests through 
diplomatic channels by this Government to the Japanese Government and 
would not therefore have come within the cognizance of the Department of 
State, except in cases where, because of a refusal of the Japanese 
Government to permit such visits, this Government had taken diplomatic 
action at the instance of the American parties at interest.  No record 
has been found in the Department's files of any application having been 
made by the Department to the Japanese Government for permission for 
American nationals or American private vessels to visit the Mandated 
Islands during the year 1940-1941, the year concerning which you made 
inquiry.  According to the information made available to the Department 
in 1940, an officer attached to the office of the Naval Attache in Tokyo 
inquired in August 1939 at the ticket office of the Nippon Yusen Kaisha 
Steamship company with regard to possibilities of making reservations 
for passages were filled for a period of three months.  His subsequent 
efforts to obtain passage were frustrated by dilatory tactics on the 
part of the Japanese.  No request for diplomatic assistance was made in 
that instance.


"The procedure followed by this Government in asking permission from the 
Japanese Government for visits by public vessels to Japanese ports or 
ports in Japanese mandated areas was in accord with the procedure 
followed by this Government in requesting permission for visits by its 
public vessels to the port of other countries.

"No record has been found of any requests in 1904 and 1941 by the War or 
Navy Department to this Department that there be taken up with the 
Japanese Government proposals for visits to the Mandated Islands or of 
this Government's having approached the Japanese Government during those 
years in regard to visits to the Mandated Islands.  In previous years 
the Navy Department at various times asked this Department to obtain 
permission for certain United States naval vessels to visit certain 
specified opened and unopened ports in the Mandated Islands.  The 
Department of State promptly made representations to the Japanese 
Government requesting the necessary permission.  With regard to 
applications made prior to 1936 the Japanese Government indicated its 

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to permit American public vessels to visit the opened ports but not the 
unopened ports named in the lists submitted by the Navy Department.  The 
Navy Department, however, canceled the proposed visits to the opened 
ports for which permission to visit had been granted.  In the approaches 
made by this Government in 1936 and 1937, the Japanese Government, on 
grounds of inconvenience, withheld its permission for United States 
public vessels to visit the opened ports as well as the unopened ports 
of the Mandated Islands.

"In view of the fact that the Japanese Government in 1936 refused in 
actual practice to permit visits to the opened ports as well as to the 
unopened ports in the Mandated Islands and in view also of the fact that 
with the termination in 1936 of the Treaty Limiting Naval Armament, 
signed in Washington in 1922, this Government became free to fortify the 
Aleutian Islands, this Government decided to adopt a more restrictive 
policy with regard to the admission of Japanese war or other public 
vessels to the Aleutians and to Alaska.  After 1936 visits by Japanese 
public vessels were permitted only to Dutch Harbor, also known as 
Unalaska, and, on two occasions, to the Pribiloff Islands which the 
Japanese were permitted to visit because of special circumstances 
arising out of the Convention of 1911 for the Preservation and 
Protection of Fur Seals.  Subsequent to 1936 permission was withheld for 
all visits by Japanese public vessels to the territorial waters of the 
western Aleutian Islands."

The Japanese consulate and its consular agents in Hawaii enjoyed 
diplomatic immunity.  This gave them a free rein in their spying 
activities and unrestricted communication by radio and cable with the 
mainland of Japan in reporting upon the movement of our fleet and the 
status of our armed defenses in Hawaii. [1] Neither the Army, the Navy, 
nor the F.B.I. had


[1] Admiral McMorris, head of the War Plans Division of Staff of 
Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet, 1941, said: "I never entertained any 
doubt, any time during 1941, that the Japanese were fully informed of 
all military activities in this area." (R. 2882)

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authority to tap these lines and find out what was going on because of 
our own legal restriction, the Communication Act of 1934. [1]

No better example of the failure to control consular agents and the 
results thereof can be found than the case of the consul general in 
Honolulu.  This man had about 200 consular agents in the Islands.  He 
used the telephone and telegraph for reporting on our defenses and fleet 
movements with impunity.  When he was arrested with his agents on 
December 7th, a large number of his messages were found in the 
wastepaper basket, torn up and partially burned.  As a result of eight 
months' work in piecing a portion of these together, Colonel Fielder, G-
2 under General Short and since that time G-2 in Hawaii, produced a 
number of these reconstructed messages which clearly revealed that 
military information was being gathered and transmitted to Japan.  The 
day before this event took place a radiophone message, that was 
monitored, between a Japanese doctor's house


[1] Memorandum of September 29, 1944, from James Lawrence Fly, Chairman, 
Federal Communications Commission: "The United States was at peace with 
Japan prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the 
Communications Act of 1934, under which the Federal Communications 
Commission was organized and from which it derives its powers, 
prohibited the tapping of wires or other interception of messages 
transmitted between points in the United States, including its 
territories, and a foreign country (Section 605).  Since that 
prohibition upon the Commission had not been in any way superseded, the 
Commission did not intercept any messages over the radio-telegraph, 
cable telegraph or radiotelephone circuits between the United States 
(including Hawaii) and Japan prior to December 7, 1941."

Page 24

in Honolulu and a newspaper in Japan was heard and reported, late on 
December 6, and was given extensive consideration by General Short and 
Colonel Fielder, G-2; but its exact meaning could not be made out.  This 
message is referred to as the Mori message.  (R. 2961)  The next morning 
the Japanese struck.  The evident trend of this message was to report 
upon the state of the naval defenses and the presence of the fleet as 
well as the Army defenses.

This Board believes that Japan's spying activities could have been 
determined, the intentions of the Japanese revealed and much important 
information gathered, which would probably have prevented in large 
measure the Pearl Harbor disaster, had the Army and Navy been permitted, 
with the F.B.I., to tap these lines and find out what was going on.  If 
the consular agents were conducting commercial business no harm would 
have been done; if they were not limiting their activities to consular 
business, we than had a right to know it and to take action accordingly, 
either by an open breach or by preparing ourselves to meet what they 
were doing.

Ambassador Grew has well stated that there are three lines of defense 
for a nation such as ours: the diplomatic line of defense, the Navy, and 
the Army.  However, the diplomatic line -- held by the State Department 
-- ofttimes handicaps and influences the preparation for the Army and 
Navy defense lines.  As an illustration, the policy of compromise 
between economic 

Page 25

sanctions and negotiations [1] in turn influenced War Department action, 
in that Short was told by the War Department, which in turn reflected 
the State Department's warnings, to take defensive measures but in doing 
so he was told not to alarm the population nor to disclose intent. [2] 
There appears to be no evidence of a strong policy of standing up for 
American rights and boldly stepping out and making the Japanese behave 
themselves; and this in the face of the fact that it was well known that 
people of the character of the Japanese and their national attitude of 
mind respect only force and strength and do not respect a policy of good 
intentions nor demands of conduct without means to enforce same.

The Board is impressed with the necessity for a closer, more aggressive 
relationship between the Department of State, the Department of Justice, 
and the War and Navy Departments, in using all of their facilities as a 
coordinated team for the defense of the United States. [3]


[1] The Secretary of State, Mr. Hull, said: "With regard to the lines 
along which this Government's foreign policy with respect to Japan was 
directed in 1941, a detailed record is given in Chapter XIV of *Peace 
and War* (a publication issued by the Department in 1943), and on pages 
325-386 of Volume II of *Foreign Relations of the United States-Japan*, 
[2] The Secretary of State, Mr. Hull, said: "With regard to your request 
for an expression of the Department's views touching upon the influence 
of foreign policy upon military directives, it was not the policy of 
this Government to take provocative action against any country or to 
cause Japan to commit an act of war against the United States."
[3] The State Department counter proposals of the 26th of November, 
which Japan considered as an ultimatum, the day before the Army and 
Navy, Marshall-Stark memorandum could be delivered asking no ultimatum, 
is a case in point.  Mr. Hull said after delivering his ultimatum that 
he washed his hands of the matter and left it to the Army and Navy. (R. 
Stimson, 4051-4053, 4078-4079).

Page 26

The Japanese policy was typical of the oriental mind, which is 
predominantly a bargaining mind, asking twice as much as they expect to 
get and then settling on a compromise.  Any show of weakness merely 
strengthens the hand of the bargainer, and any crack in the bargainer's 
front causes him to lose face and bargaining power.  Therefore the 
action of the United States in demilitarizing Guam by removing its guns 
and other equipment and thus attempting to show Japan the peaceful 
intentions of the United States, was undoubtedly considered by Oriental 
Japan as an evidence of weakness and merely served to put our interests 
backward instead of forward.  (R. 3062)

Page 27

4. U.S. Policy (1939-1941).  We had been following the policy 
immediately before the war which broke out between Germany, England, and 
France, of veering away from anything that would precipitate a conflict 
with the Japanese.  In view of the tense international situation, 
particularly after the outbreak of the European War in August 1939, it 
became apparent that it would be necessary for us to redouble our 
efforts to avoid any open friction with the Japanese, both because we 
wished to devote what resources were available to the assistance of 
England and France, with whom we were in deep sympathy; and also, for 
the further purpose, that we were inadequately prepared to meet any 
attack from Japan in the Pacific. [1]


[1] Captain Layton, Fleet Intelligence Officer, gave this very 
significant testimony, when asked if the American Navy, with two of its 
carriers, had discovered the task force that attacked Hawaii and had 
attacked this force at sea, what would have been the outcome:

" Captain Layton:  I think the American forces here would have taken the 
licking of their life, first, because the American people were not 
psychologically prepared for war.
"General Russell: How would the psychology of the American people 
influence a naval engagement off of Oahu?
"Captain Layton: I am referring to the American Navy as a part of the 
American people, and I use this example: During the Japanese attack on 
Pearl Harbor a portion of a squadron of American carrier planes were 
than flying in from a carrier to Ford Island.  They were attacked by 
Japanese fighters, and it is to be observed that these planes were armed 
with machine gun ammunition and machine guns ready to fire, and I can 
find no record of any of these carrier planes firing one single shot at 
any Japanese plane."  (R. 3047)

Page 28

As events became more critical in 1940 and 1941, the necessity of 
following a policy for delay and apparent appeasement of Japan increased 
to one of great national urgency.  We were faced with a dual load of 
unpreparedness for any war and the necessity of sending England and 
France what equipment and supplies that were available.

It was, therefore, natural with this factual situation to bow to the 
necessity of avoiding war by trying to appease Japan.  We found it 
expedient to lean over backwards to avoid an appearance in Hawaii of a 
war-like or belligerent attitude, particularly, in view of and towards 
the large Japanese population of the islands. [1]

Our general national policy and, particularly the War Department policy, 
very naturally conveyed itself to the commanders in residence in Hawaii.  
Their acts were colored and their dispositions tempered by the repeated 
cautions in this direction as we sought for time to prevent an untoward 
incident from precipitating war with Japan before we were ready to meet 
it.  The fact that they were not more fully advised of the progress 
towards a critical international situation in the Pacific must be taken 
into account.

This policy of avoiding any act to offend the Japanese was offset to 
some degree by one at right angles to it, of the application of 
commercial restrictions which tended to strangle her economic life and 
her preparation for war.  For instance, the refusal to sell scrap to 
Japan, the abrogation


[1] 160,000 Japanese were in the Islands, composing about one-third of 
the population.  (R. 2947)

Page 29

of Japanese commercial rights under treaty and the failure to renew that 
treaty with Japan, the oil embargo and similar incidents were at 
variance with this general policy.

The net result was a national policy towards which reflected itself I 
the "Do-Don't" type of instructions that characterized the message from 
the War Department to Hawaiian Commanders up until December 7, 1941.

The policy of our government as practiced by our public officials in 
their attitude toward  Japan was not one of appeasement openly, but it 
was that in effect.  Every effort was being exerted to prevent a rupture 
of relations with Japan, while presenting a show of face by economic 
sanctions to restrain Japanese aggression.  Every effort was made to 
maintain the *status quo* until we were ready.  Time was our most 
precious commodity in 1941.

Page 30

5. Moral Embargoes Versus Japanese Expansion.  No competent 
understanding can be gained of the relationship with Japan unless we 
break down the problem into its essential aspects.  Japanese industry 
had received a succession of serious blows by reason of our successive 
steps of not renewing the commercial treaty with Japan, the cutting off 
of scrap to Japan, the cessation of our trade in silk with Japan, the 
oil embargo, the freezing of credits and assets, and numerous other 
incidents.  On the diplomatic front, strong efforts were being made to 
maintain the *status quo* leading up to the final visit of Japanese 
special Ambassadors to the United States terminating with Pearl Harbor.  
This situation generally trended, however, towards placating and 
appeasing Japan with such firmness as was necessary to keep the 
negotiations going.

During all of this period the government was not supported by a public 
that was war-minded; just the contrary.  Public irritation was 
increasing, but it was still hoping to avoid war.  On the contrary, 
Japan's attitude toward the United States was one of increasing 
hostility.  Its policy was to conduct its aggressions starting in 1935 
against China, as rapidly and as effectively as its resources would 
permit, while maintaining a diplomatic screen and pretense of 
considering the views of the United States.  Being unable to agree with 
them, it had no intention of doing so whatever.

During this period Japan made no concessions.  It was quite apparent 
that she would continue her course until the patience of the United 
States was exhausted; and the United States was forced into a position 
of an open breach -- the time of that breach was stipulated clearly to 
the President 

Page 31

November 27 by General Marshall and Admiral Stark.  The delivery of the 
counter proposals to Japan on November 26 anticipated that time -- war 
came before we were fully prepared.

It was well known that Japan's entry into all wars of the past had been 
characterized by the first overt act of war coming simultaneously with 
the declaration.  The services, both Army and Navy, were well aware of 
this Japanese characteristic.  It was, therefore, to be expected that an 
unexpected attack would be made by Japan as the first indication of a 
breach of relations.  This is well expressed by the Secretary of War, 
Mr. Stimson, who testified:

"General Russell:  Then you were not surprised at the air attack on the 
7th of December:

"Mr. Stimson:  Well, I was not surprised, in one sense, in any attack 
that would be made; but I was watching, with considerably more care, 
because I knew more about it, the attack that was framing up in the 
southwestern Pacific.  And I knew also that there was a concentration in 
the mandated islands -- I know now, because I was shown by General 
Arnold the letter about the telegram, and an order; so that that was an 
additional threat, and that might fall on either Hawaii or Panama." (R. 

Indeed, Ambassador Grew on January 27, 1941, sent the State Department 
the following message:

Tokyo, January 27, 1941 -- 6 p.m.
(Received January 27 -- 6:38 a.m.)

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


Page 32

Japan, well knowing the policy of the United States had been to avoid 
war to the limit of its endurance, took advantage of our situation.  It 
was, therefore, obvious that the United States would have to avoid 
friction with Japanese nationals as that would be a ready excuse for 
Japan to precipitate the issue prematurely.  On the other hand, sabotage 
was to be expected from these Japanese nationals.  A large body of them, 
as in Hawaii, was a potential source of great danger, not only as to 
what they might do, but as the basis of precipitation of an 
international incident with Japan.

The public generally did not understand the importance of Hawaii.  It 
had no appreciation of the danger except as the press became 
increasingly insistent in pointing out the progress of the advance 
towards war and the likelihood that this outpost would be involved in 
the conflict as one of the first line elements of our western defense. 

The War Department was urging officially and privately that every effort 
be made to delay the declaration of war by Japan because of our serious 
state of unpreparedness and because much of our available military 
resources were being utilized to assist the United Nations.  The battle 
of the Atlantic was the predominant factor in the public mind and 
dominated the policy of the War Department, as evidenced by the transfer 
of a considerable part of the Pacific Fleet to the Atlantic.  Therefore, 
the entire consciousness of the War


[1] *Fortune* magazine polled the public in late 1939 and made a report 
in January which showed that 55% of those questioned were in favor of 
defending Hawaii; 25%, not defend, and the balance did not know what 
they wanted.

Page 33

Department was directed towards avoiding any incident that might 
precipitate war with Japan while, at the same time, exerting its efforts 
to prepare for such a war.  The War Department was confronted with a 
grave lack of planes, anti-aircraft guns, and other implements of war 
with which to equip Hawaii with an adequate defense mechanism.  The 
previous delay in implementing our defense had left us, two year after 
war had started in Europe, gravely lacking in our preparations.  The 
strong anti-war group in the Unites States made it unwise for the United 
States to take a stronger action against Japan.

These general policies apparently were the subject of discussion of the 
War Council. [1]  Its policies were reflected


[1] There is some apparent confusion of that testimony in the use of 
this term, and the two bodies to which it refers.  The situation was 
clarified by the testimony of Mr. Stimson, who said:

"The first subject that was listed here is that of the 'War Council'.  
By the 'War Councils' we meant the meetings that were held by the 
Secretary of State, possibly the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the 
Navy, the Chief of Staff, and the Chief of Naval Operations, from time 
to time, to discuss the relations between the Japanese Empire and the 
American Government.


"The name 'War Council' is the name of a statutory body which was 
created in, I think, the National Defense Law of about 1920; but it was 
purely a War Department board.  It did not have any members from the 
Navy or from any other department in it.


"The War Council was in effect and used to meet, usually on Wednesdays, 
in the times that we are taking over, but it consisted solely of myself, 
my assistants, civil assistants, and the Chief of Staff and such other 
officers as I invited in;  and it had nothing to do with the Navy or 
matters outside of this Department.  But we did have two sets of 
meetings -- they can hardly be dignified by the 'organization' -- but 
early, very soon after Mr. Knox and I came into the Government in 1940, 
we decided that we ought to meet regularly, and we ought to meet with 
the Secretary of State; we were approaching important matters; and so we 
went to the Secretary of State and asked him if he had any objection to 
meeting with us once a week.  He agreed cordially, and accordingly we 
began meeting on Tuesday mornings at 9:30 every week, whenever we were 
present in Washington, or able to come, and those series of

Page 34

Footnote [1] - Continued from preceding page.

meetings went on until Mr. Know died; they lasted right through.

"They were perfectly informal and unofficial meetings, but they were 
very regular, and we met once a week regularly; and during the time at 
which you are about to inquire, just before Pearl Harbor, we had extra 
meetings.  In fact, we were in such a meeting on the Sunday morning that 
the Japanese attacked.  The meetings took place in the State Department, 
Mr. Hull's office, and during that time the Secretary of State, the 
Secretary of the Navy, and myself were in constant contact.

"The other set of meetings were meetings called by the President, which 
he usually called with great regularity --  the Secretary of State, the 
Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Staff -- that 
was, of course, General Marshall -- the Chief of Naval Operations, who 
was at that time Admiral Stark; and sometimes, General Arnold.  Well, 
that was also improvised, so to speak; it had no custom before it.  It 
was created in the light of the approaching emergency, and among 
ourselves, as a nickname we called it the 'War Cabinet,' or the 'War 
Council,' or something like that; and evidently Mr. Hull, from what you 
say, used that expression in his White Paper.

"There was no regular day set for the meetings of that body.  They met 
on the call of the President, at his office; and during this time about 
which you particularly ask, the autumn of 1941, they were meeting very 
frequently, also; and, fortunately, I have records.  I have kept records 
during the time that I am here, in which I have set down very briefly, 
and without much reference to good English sometimes, what was taking 
place, including everything that was important, that I deemed to be 
important; in regard to the crisis that was coming along; and including 
these meetings; so that I am in a position where I can give you dates of 
these meetings pretty fully."  (R. 4041-4043) (General Marshall, R. 5-6)

Page 35

in actions of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, as to measures taken for 
defense in the Pacific.  It is necessary to keep these factors in mind 
in reading the messages from the War Department to the Commanding 
General of the Hawaiian Department.  The handling of Japan had been a 
mixture of diverse policies; and this reflected itself in War Department 
messages to Hawaii, which both told Short to prepare for defense and at 
the same time to do nothing in preparing it that might precipitate 
trouble with the local Japanese population or excite the local public.  
As evidence of this was the fact that Short responded to the situation 
by selecting an anti-sabotage alert and the War Department took no 
exception to it.  These two conflicting courses of action were reflected 
in the messages and in the policies of the War Department; they account 
in part for the attitude of mind in Short and others in the Hawaiian 
Department.  Whether justified or not, we consider later.

Then, too, official War Department thought on the subject of Pacific 
defense was almost wholly concentrated as to what might happen to the 
Philippines, the intermediate islands, and Panama.  It was there that 
the main attack, in the first phase, was expected from Japan.  No early 
attack was expected on Hawaii.  As the Chief of Staff testified, it was 
a surprise to him.  (R. 9)

All efforts were being made towards strengthening these outposts.  Such 
modern bombing aircraft as could be made available was being flown to 
the Philippine theater.  Likewise, efforts were being made to strengthen 
the defenses of Midway, Guam, Wake, and other localities judged to 
become the first

Page 36

involved.  The Hawaiian defense was clearly secondary at that time, 
although prior thereto it was considered as our strongest outpost, and 
had first priority on equipment and maintenance.  (R. 14,184)

Planes flown from the mainland as late as December 7, 1941, to Hawaii en 
route to the Philippines were not supplied with ammunition until they 
were ready to depart from Hawaii.  General Arnold explains this was 
because of the necessity of carrying sufficient gas to insure a safe 
arrival.  (R. 168)  This too led to a state of mind, both officially and 
personally, in the responsible officers of the Hawaiian Department, 
that, even if war with Japan was about to start, Japan would not 
initially attack Hawaii.  It was felt that Hawaii was quite well down on 
the list of objectives of Japan, as those parts of American territory 
closer to Japan would be the first to feel the blow and that the 
implementing of other defenses must give way in priority to those though 
to become the first involved.  (R. 2872)

Japan shrewdly calculate and estimated correctly this state of mind.  It 
arrived at this conclusion and acted accordingly, temporarily by-passing 
the Philippines and the intermediate American islands, for a direct 
attack on Hawaii December 7, 1941, just as Ambassador Grew had clearly 
warned in his message of January 27, 1941.  So clearly did Japan 
understand our national psychology that it selected Sunday morning, 
early, as the time for attack, well knowing this to be the best time to 
achieve surprise.  Japan took, as the Chief of Staff of the Hawaiian Air 
Force estimated, a 50 to 1 shot.  Later, it will appear how well that 
venture was

Page 37

prepared and executed, and how well timed as an answer to our counter 
proposals of November 26, which the Japanese considered an ultimatum; 
because it was on and after the delivery of that document against which 
General Marshall and Admiral Stark warned too late, that the task force 
of Japan that attacked Hawaii moved out of its rendezvous at Tankan Bay 
o the 27th or 28th of November to launch the attack against Pearl Harbor 
on December 7, 1941. [1]


[1] The best attainable evidence supports this statement.  (R. 3033)

Page 38

6. Public Demands Action Against Japanese.  Our national policy has been 
to avoid war.  The difficulty with our policy appears to have been its 
conflicting nature, in that in the case of Japan we desired to avoid 
war, to continue in business with Japan, and at the same time to prevent 
Japanese aggression by both negotiation and simultaneously to apply 
economic sanctions against Japan.  As our nation was not prepared for 
war, it left the administration, particularly the State Department, 
without the full support of the public so it could proceed with a firm 
policy toward Japan; and it left the War and Navy Departments without 
sufficient means to implement a more aggressive policy towards Japan.

The result of this conflicting situation made it extremely difficult for 
the State Department to handle negotiations with japan, which well know 
our national policy.  It was difficult both to negotiate for a peaceful 
solution of differences with a nation such as Japan, and at the same 
time impede negotiations by applying economic sanctions such as the 
freezing of assets and credits, the cutting off of the supply of oil and 
scrap, and the termination of a commercial treaty with Japan.

This conflicting element of policy reflected itself in the actions 
directed by the War Department to its field commanders, who were 
required to both take all the necessary precautions to meet war and at 
the same time to take no steps either to excite the civil population or 
to precipitate war by overt acts.  Such a policy was particularly 
difficult to carry out in Hawaii, where there was a very large 
proportion, some thirty percent, of the population of the nationality or

Page 39

Japan.  The danger, therefore, was great in carrying out the War 
Department policy, that in our preparations for war we would precipitate 
an issue with Japanese nationals in the Hawaiian Islands which would be 
an excuse by Japan to open hostilities.

This state of public minds was further inflamed to demand action by the 
Government against Japan, because of the latter's open aggressions in 
1941; but effective action was impossible of fulfillment because of the 
long public policy of only maintaining a very modest army and navy.  
Public opinion can change far faster than a nation can make ready for 
war.  The time element of making preparations for war is so long that it 
always lags behind a sudden change of public views, as in our case with 
Japan.  Our public opinion had changed against Japan faster than 
preparations for war could be made.

This left the Department of State with the most difficult task of 
negotiation without means of enforcing its views by force of arms.  It 
likewise left the War and Navy Departments unable to fully support the 
State Department in its negotiations.  This led to a compromise 
solution, due to this public opinion as expressed by the press, in the 
form of a resort to economic sanctions.

But the difficulty with economic sanctions was that, while it indicated 
a firm policy on the part of the United States, it also so aggravated 
the situation in that it made negotiation difficult of either progress 
or consummation.  At most, our national policy was one of defensive 
character while waiting for the preparations for war to catch up with 
the new state of the public mind that Japan should be made to

Page 40

behave herself and that our government should do something about it.

7. Economic Sanctions Against Japan.  In 1938 and 1939 a series of 
"moral embargoes" or commercial sanctions were applied to Japan by the 
United States.  During those two years there had been brought about a 
cessation of the United States' export to Japan of airplanes, 
aeronautical equipment, and certain other materials.  There also 
resulted a state of decline of export to Japan of strategic materials, 
and as of July 1904, under the Export Control Act, the President had 
curtailed or prohibited the export of basic war materials.. Licenses 
were refused for the export of Japan of aviation gasoline and most types 
of machine tools as of September 1940.

The testimony of Ambassador Grew throws light upon the effect and result 
of embargoes.  He said:

"During the period up to, I think it was, the autumn of 1940, I took the 
position that economic embargoes against Japan -- and embargoes are in 
the nature of sanctions and therefore are always interpreted as 
international insults -- I took the position that we should not put 
embargoes on Japan, until we were prepared to go all the way through 
with whatever might result from those embargoes.  I pointed out that 
when we put embargoes against Japan in effect, our relations with that 
country were bound to go steadily down-hill and it might, and probably 
would, end in war;  and that until we were prepared to go to war with 
Japan.  I felt it would be very short-sighted to get into a situation 
where we might be obliged at a later date to withdraw those embargoes.  
There is nothing so conducive to a lowering of national prestige, 
reputation, and authority as to make threats and then have to recall 
those threats or modify those threats.  We saw that working out in the 
relations between Great Britain and Italy at the time of the Abysinnian 

Page 41

"But, in the autumn of 1940, I telegraphed the Secretary of State that I 
felt that time had then come, since Japan was threatening not only our 
national interests, but, I would say, our vital national interests; I 
felt that the time had come to consider, not whether we must call a halt 
to Japan's expansion, but when.  It seemed to me at that time, whether 
we were fully prepared for war or not, that we must in our own interests 
put those embargoes in effect; and, shortly thereafter, those embargoes 
were put into effect.

"Our relations than started directly on a down-hill course, and they 
ended in war; but at least we were more prepared for war at that time 
than we had been two years earlier."

It was in the fall of 1940 that we cast the die and adopted economic 
sanctions.  And we find it significant that about June 1940 General 
Herron as Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department upon Washington 
orders went into an all-out alert into battle positions with live 
ammunition for six weeks.  (R. 212).

In September the export of iron and steel scrap was prohibited.  The 
effect of the United States policy was to cut off from Japan by the 
winter of 1940-1941 the shipment of many strategic commodities, 
including arms, ammunition, and implements of war, aviation gasoline and 
many other petroleum products, machine tools, scrap iron, pig iron and 
steel manufactures, copper, lead, zinc, aluminum, and a variety of other 
commodities important to a war effort.

Further parallel to this course of action by the United States was the 
decision in August 1941 between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister 
Churchill of Great Britain that the United States and Great Britain 
should take parallel action in warning Japan against new moves of 
aggression, that the United States could continue its conversation with 

Page 42

Japanese government and offer her a reasonable and just alternatives to 
the course upon which that country was embarked.  [1]

As was stated in the White Papers [2] as to economic sanctions, he 
(Grew) said that "considering the temper of the people of Japan it was 
dangerously uncertain to base United States policy on a view that the 
imposition of progressive and rigorous economic measure would probably 
avert war; that it was the view of the Embassy that war would not be 
averted by such a course.  Finally he warned of the possibility of 
Japan's adopting measures with dramatic and dangerous suddenness which 
might make inevitable a war with the United States."

As Ambassador Grew testified in summary:

"However, I can say, in brief compass, that the trend of our relations 
during the period you mention; that is, the year 1940 and 1941; was 
almost steadily down-hill; we, of course, in our embassy in Tokyo, 
leaving nothing undone to arrest that trend; and I think everything was 
done that could possibly have arrested it, in our work in Tokyo.  But, 
we were up against what I would call a 'tidal wave' of military 
extremism in Japan; and I think the results as culminating in Pearl 
Harbor proved that fact."

The testimony of Ambassador Grew as to his actions as reflected in the 
State Department's White Papers and in extracts from his diary indicates 
that he too was acting under what


[1] "Peace and War, United States Foreign Policy 1931-1941," Department 
of State, Washington, p. 129.
[2] "*Foreign Relations of the United States, Japan, 1931-1941* Vol. I 
and Vol. II; and *Peace and War, United States Foreign Policy, 1931-
1941*, Department of State, Washington D.C."

Page 43

apparently was a conflicting policy but with a full recognition of the 
inevitable date of a final trial of strength with Japan.  A review of 
Grew's communications to the State Department in the year 1941 is an 
excellent perspective of the course of the fatal events that led to 
Pearl Harbor.

On January 27, 1941, he communicated by wire with the State Department 
indicating that an attack on Pearl Harbor by all means available to the 
military and naval forces of Japan was being discussed, and he felt that 
it was so serious that it should be reported, even though it was 
fantastic to consider it;  on February 1 he said the outlook was never 
darker for peace; on July 25 the United States froze Japanese assets, 
causing bitter Japanese resentment; on August 18 he reported the 
Japanese protest on U.S. economic pressure; on August 29 the United 
States applied the oil embargo, decided to send oil tankers to Russia 
and a military mission to China; on September 6 Grew reported the 
statement of the Japanese Premier that if the United States continued 
its economic sanctions it would prevent any settlement for six months to 
a year after they terminated, and on September 29 Grew sent an important 
message to Washington that the Japanese could only be brought to a halt 
by a show of force.  He pointed out that any agreement would be a mere 
breathing spell for Japan, that war was likely in any event, and unless 
results were shown in the negotiations, more than had been demonstrated 
to date, the Japanese would conclude the United States was only playing 
for time and would act accordingly.  On September 30 Grew protested at 
the secrecy of our conversations with Japan as practiced by the United 
States without advising with the public,

Page 44

whereas it was common knowledge in Japan.

On October 9 he significantly reported that the frozen-credit policy of 
the United States was driving Japan into national bankruptcy and she 
would be forced to act.  His prediction was correct, because Tojo, the 
only Japanese Premier to stay on the active Army list in that position, 
was made Premier on October 16.  There was an indication of trouble when 
the Premier of Japan was a dominant military figure on the active Army 
list, and on October 25 he reported that the Emperor ordered the Privy 
Council before him and asked them if they intended war.  When they 
refused to answer, he instructed them that there should be no war with 
the United States.  This was the final effort by conservative Japanese 
to avoid war.  The next step would probably be war itself.

Grew warned on October 30 that the situation was fraught with the 
greatest danger.  On November 3 he said that war was not only possible 
but probable and that Japan was preparing for hostilities "with 
dangerous and dramatic suddenness."  It was on that date that Kurusu 
left for Washington, refusing to take a *later* clipper for "technical 
reasons", the significance of which was apparent.

On November 7 Secretary Hull informed the Cabinet "that relations 
between Japan and the United States were 'extremely critical' and that 
there was 'imminent possibility' that Japan might at any time start a 
new military movement of conquest by force." (White Papers, p. 136)

This was followed by warnings of the impending seriousness of the 
situation in speeches made by Secretary of the Navy Knox and Under 
Secretary of State Welles, November 11, 1941.

Page 45

The White Papers continue:

"On November 17 Ambassador Grew cabled from Tokyo that we could expect a 
'sudden Japanese Naval or military attack in regions not then 

Secretary Hull on November 25 and November 28 at meetings of high 
officials of this government.

"stated there was practically no possibility of agreement being achieved 
with Japan; that in his opinion the Japanese were likely to break out at 
any time with new acts of conquest by force;  and that the matter of 
safeguarding our national security was in the hands of the Army and 
Navy.  The Secretary expressed his judgment that any plans for our 
military defense should include an assumption that the Japanese might 
make the element of surprise a central point in their strategy and also 
might attack at various points simultaneously with a view to 
demoralizing efforts of defense and of coordination for the purpose 
thereof."  (White Papers, p. 144)

It does not appear that such a statement was sent by the Army and Navy 
to their field forces.

On November 26 the Secretary of State handed the President's Ten Points 
of Settlement to Ambassadors Nomura and Kurusu.  These proposals were 
verbally rejected by the Japanese Ambassadors at once, but they inquired 
as to any other basis of negotiation or a *modus vivendi*.  The 
following day, at the request of the Japanese Ambassadors, the President 
received them and Secretary of State Hull, at which time the President 
reaffirmed with finality the "Ten Points" were based.  On the same day, 
General Marshall and Admiral Stark wrote a memorandum to the President 
requesting that no ultimatum be delivered to the Japanese as the Army 
and Navy were not ready to precipitate an issue with Japan, and notified 
him of the agreement reached with the British and the

Page 46

Dutch for reciprocal action in the case either one of them was attacked.

The proof indicates that the Marshall-Stark memorandum of the 27th to 
the President did not reach him until after the meeting with the 
Japanese Ambassador on the 27th or possibly on the 28th of November.  
Whether or not the Secretary of State, Mr. Hull, now disclaims that this 
document of the 26th was an ultimatum, Ambassador Grew testifies that 
the Japanese so regarded it. (R. 4208, 4215, 4221, 4222) They so acted 
upon it and Mr. Hull likewise so acted because he so informed the 
Secretary of War, Mr. Stimson, on the morning of November 27.  The 
latter testified, based on his diary of contemporaneous events, thus:

"The first thing in the morning I called up Hull to find out what his 
final decision had been with the Japanese --- whether he had handed them 
the new proposal which we passed on two or three days ago or whether, as 
he suggested yesterday, he had broken the whole matter off.  He told me 
now he had broken the whole matter off.  As he put it, 'I have washed my 
hands of it, and it is now in the hands of you and Knox, the Army and 

"General Russell: Mr. Secretary, I don't like to disturb you, but I have 
become a little confused on dates, about this telephone call.  Was that 
on the 26th of --

"Mr. Stimson:  This was the 27th.

"General Russell:  27th.

"Mr. Stimson:  The day after the 26th.

"General Russell:  Yes, sir.

"Mr. Stimson:  The 26th was the day he told me he was in doubt whether 
he would go on with it.

"General Russell: Yes.

"Mr. Stimson: Or whether he would break it off; and on the morning of 
the 27th, by telephone, he told me that he decided to break it off.

"I then called up the President and talked with him about it."  (R. 

On November 29 Secretary Hull said to the British Ambassador, "The 
matter will now go to the officials of the

Page 47

Army and Navy."  He warned that the Japanese action would probably be "a 
desperate gamble and require the utmost boldness and risk."  His 
predictions were uncanny.  (White Papers, pp. 144-145)  On November 29, 
Ambassador Grew relates that there had just reached Japan news that the 
President had made a proposition to settle Japanese grievances by giving 
her substantially most of what she wanted, [1] and on December 1 Grew 
reported Japan cold to the proposals, a fact Secretary Hull had found on 
the 26th when he handed the President's Ten Points to the Ambassador.  
On the same day, December 1, his diary shows that he had a conversation 
with a Japanese friend apparently high in that government, Grew saying 
"everything was over and that I would soon be leaving Japan."

On December 6 an address of Tojo was read for the Diet different from 
all others heretofore delivered by him, the tone of which clearly 
indicated Japanese intentions.  The following day, on Sunday morning, 
the Pearl Harbor attack occurred.


[1] "Ten Years in Japan" by Ambassador Grew.

Page 48

8.  The Hawaiian Population Problem: Sabotage Complex.  The conditions 
in Hawaii and the state of the public mind in Hawaii were considered 
apparently by the War Department to be primary factors to be taken into 
consideration in the carrying out of the military mission of the defense 
of the islands and defense of the fleet.  As elsewhere indicated in War 
Department communications, this was a fact; and the responsible 
commanders in Hawaii in the Army also gave great weight to the state of 
the Hawaiian situation on the civil side.

It is significant that it had been the national policy of the United 
States to exclude Japanese national from the United States and its 
territories, both for self-protection and to protect American labor 
against cheap foreign labor of the yellow races.  Yet in Hawaii, our 
fleet base and one of our most important defense outposts, we permitted 
the introduction into the population of the islands of Japanese, to the 
extent of 30% of the total population or 160,000. [1]


[1]  There are three classes of Japanese population: (a) old aliens 
known as Issei, about 37,500; (b) Hawaiian-born Japanese who are sent 
back to the mainland of Japan for education known as Kibei, about 2,599; 
and (c) Hawaiian-born Japanese and Hawaiian-educated known as Nisei, 
composing the balance of 160,000.  95% of the Japanese children attend 
the Japanese language schools.  Under Japanese Law no Japanese is 
released from Japanese citizenship until he goes through a formal 
procedure securing his release from that citizenship.  Most Japanese in 
the Islands have not secured such a release and they therefore have dual 
citizenship in the United States and Japan.  Approximately 50,000 
Japanese attended the Shinto temples of which there were 55.  Around 
these temples were centered the teachings of Japanese culture, 
patriotism, and family fealty.  (R. 3919-3920)  See also Chapter I, 
"Gentlemen of Japan" by B. S. Haven, Ziff-Davis Publishing Co.; "Feudal 
Hawaii; Paradise, Ltd." by Stanley High, *Readers Digest*, June 1943, 
pp. 19-23; and "Are the Japs Hopeless?" by George Horne, *Saturday 
Evening Post*, September 9, 1944.

Page 49

Many were Japanese of dual citizenship who, although born in the United 
States, had not yet taken the steps made available by Japan to become 
released from their Japanese citizenship.  These Japanese laborers and 
artisans were comparatively economical in terms of performance, useful 
both in agricultural pursuits and as artisans, were highly prized by the 
great commercial interests in sugar cane, pineapples, shipping, and 
other interests of the Islands; and it was the urgent desire of these 
commercial interests apparently both to enjoy the protection and profit 
from the basing of the fleet in Hawaii and also to have no disturbance 
of such labor or to be led into any situation that would disturb these 
profitable labor relations.

This policy of encouraging the Japanese and permitting them to become 
dominant in the affairs of the Islands has even gone so far as to permit 
the Japanese to become important political factors with membership in 
both the Senate and the House of Hawaii, and to dominate, by way of 
majority, the Island governing councils in some of the islands of the 
Hawaiian Group.  (R. 2941)

Sabotage was a critical consideration by the local Army authorities.  
But up to December 7 there had been not a single instance of sabotage.  
On December 7 a number of illegal radio stations interfered with the 
radio operations of the Army.  No other specific instance of sabotage or 
alien enemy action had been reported either by the War Department of 
Hawaii or by G-2 or the F.B.I. in Hawaii.

Additionally, the placing of the Army upon alert by War Department order 
to General Herron, by which his troops moved

Page 50

into the field in battle positions with live ammunition in June 1940, 
had no effect upon the civilian population or their anxieties.  
Subsequent frequent alerts and maneuvers which were constantly going on, 
including Short's Alert Number 1 as to sabotage, had had no effect upon 
the civil population.  All activities of the Army in disturbing the 
local populace paled by comparison with the contents of the local 
newspapers and their reports of the war news and the progressively 
increasing threats of Japanese action.  Indeed, approximately a week 
before the attack at Pearl Harbor, a local newspaper in Hawaii carried a 
complete prediction of this attack on the following Sunday.  (Exhibits 

The foregoing statement of fact as to background should be considered in 
connection with the communication of the War Department warnings as to 
sabotage, the action of General Short in placing the Department under 
the Number 1 Alert against sabotage on November 27, and the claimed 
reasons for not taking other defensive measures, because of the 
reluctance to disturb both the civilian population and the alien 
population of Hawaii.

The effect of such an atmosphere upon the policies and actions of the 
responsible commanders and their resulting state of mind is an important 
factor for consideration.  As part of this state of mind, it was 
generally considered that Japan would never dare attack; and certainly, 
in the early stages of a war, she would not dare risk the major portion 
of her carriers for the launching of such an attack.  The probabilities 
were strongly against such a bold and possibly suicidal move by Japan.

Page 51

The state of mind engendered by the sabotage issue and the presence of 
the large Japanese population built up a sabotage consciousness in the 
responsible authorities as a more likely course of Japanese action than 
what was regarded as the more remote military operation of a direct air 
attack.  This background is important to consider in evaluating the 
decisions arrived at by the Army commander and the actions taken by his 

The existence of this state of public opinion had its effect upon the 
evaluation by the Army of the Japanese capabilities.  Likewise, it was 
supplemented by the American attitude that Japan would not dare attack 
the United States in what was regarded as its home territory in the 
Islands, in the presence of the fleet, which was considered an asset and 
not, in reality, a liability.

Senator Hill of the Hawaiian Senate testified (R. 2939-2940) as to the 
protests of local commercial interests to General Emmons when he 
proposed to take action in removing the dangerous Japanese from the 
sugar plantations after the Pearl Harbor attack.  He said the political 
pressure brought to bear by these interests was sufficient to bring 
about a cancellation of this effort of General Emmons.  It was 
significant of the propaganda pressure on the subject of doing nothing 
to offend the Japanese in the Islands and to let them alone so they 
could work for these Island industries and agriculture, which must have 
been imposed heavily on General Short.  The constant application of such 
pressure for a period of nearly a year upon General Short doubtless had 
a material effect upon his mind and upon his anxiety about the Japanese 

Page 52

about which he could do nothing.  This was particularly reflected in his 
refusal to have legal action taken against those who failed to register 
as aliens.  (R. 3255-3256)

It was well known in Honolulu to both the F.B.I. and G-2 of the Army 
that there were certain Japanese activities that were inimical to the 
best interests of the United States in the Hawaiian Islands.  A Japanese 
combines in his Shinto religion, centering about the Shinto temples, 
three things: patriotism, religion, and family fealty.  Those three 
things compose his entire emotional, political, and family life.

The Shinto priests and the large number, 55, of Shinto temples in the 
Islands were the focal point of Japanese propaganda, patriotism, and 
disloyalty to the United States.  This was all well known and could have 
been cured promptly by closing the temples and arresting the priests, as 
was done after December 7.  Then there were the Shinto societies, and 
particularly the Black Dragon society.  The Japanese are well known as 
great organizers and they had countless organizations, many of which 
were potential subversive character.  The Japanese ran their own 
Japanese-language newspapers which promoted the same national spirit. 
They had Japanese-language schools in which they taught Japanese 
customs, family fealty, religion, and patriotism to Japanese children 
one hour each day after their regular education in the American schools. 
Here again our national policy, due to freedom of the press and freedom 
of religion and of education, permitted these people to jeopardize the 
defense of Hawaii.  After December 7 the Japanese newspapers were put 
under strict control and used by the United States for propaganda 
agencies to control the

Page 53

Japanese population, and the Shinto temples were closed.

9. Hawaiian Press.  The state of mind and the state of information in 
the Hawaiian Islands leading up to Pearl Harbor, and particularly before 
it, is not better illustrated than the articles appearing in the 
*Honolulu Advertiser* and the *Honolulu Star-Bulletin*.  A mere 
recitation of these headlines would seem to have been sufficient to have 
warned General Short and his subordinate officers of the critical 
international situation.

The newspaper headlines in question read as follows: "U.S. Waits Japan 
Reply" (29 Nov 41 -- *Honolulu Star-Bulletin*); "Japanese May Strike 
Over Weekend"; "Kurusu Bluntly Warned Nation Ready For Battle" (30 Nov 
41 -- *Honolulu Advertiser*); "Hull, Kurusu In Crucial Meeting Today" (1 
Dec 41 -- *Honolulu Advertiser*); "U.S. Army Alerted in Manila, 
Singapore Mobilizing as War Tension Grows"; "Japan Envoys Resume Talks 
Amid Tension"; "War Fears Grow in Philippines" (1 Dec 41 -- *Honolulu 
Star-Bulletin*); "Japan Called Still Hopeful of Making Peace with U.S."; 
"Japan Gives Two Weeks More to Negotiations" (2 Dec 41 -- *Honolulu 
Advertiser*); "Huge Pincer Attack on U.S. by Japan, France Predicted" (3 
Dec 41 -- *Honolulu Star-Bulletin*); "Japan Spurns U.S. Program" (4 Dec 
41 -- *Honolulu Advertiser*); "Pacific Zero Hour Near; Japan Answers 
U.S. Today" (4 Dec 41 -- *Honolulu Star-Bulletin*); "Singapore on War 
Footing"; "New Peace Effort Urged in Tokyo"; "Civilians Urged to Leave 
Manila" (6 Dec 41 -- *Honolulu Star-Bulletin*); "Japanese Navy Moving 
South"; "Detailed Plans Completed for M-Day Setup" (6 Dec 41 -- 
*Honolulu Advertiser*); "F.D.R. Will Send Message

Page 54

to Emperor on War Crisis" (7 Dec 41 -- *Honolulu Advertiser*). [1] [2]

10. Summary.  We have learned a great deal about psychological warfare 
since this nation went to war.  Looking backwards, it is possible to se 
that the psychological phases of the preparatory period for war leading 
up to the conflict with Japan had an immense effect upon the state of 
mind of our own public, officials and commanders; and upon what they did 
or did not do, prior to December 7.  The deception of Japan and its 
actions based upon that deception in combination with our own failures 
to take precautions against the attack played no small part in the 
disaster of December 7th.

Our complacent nation appeared to be sure, in view of its wealth and 
industrial strength and its prestige and leadership, that no one would 
presume to attack it.

This national pride and vanity and sense of false security, so prevalent 
on the mainland, undoubtedly had its influence in Hawaii.

With the foregoing background it is possible to understand more 
accurately and judge the following story of Pearl Harbor from early 
January 1941 until the attack and shortly thereafter.


[1] Complete excerpts from the newspapers during this period will be 
found in Exhibits 19 and 19a.

[2] The editors of both papers were called and examined as witnesses.  
They testified that these headlines resulted from deductions based on 
current trends in international relations gleaned from news dispatches.  
No other factual data was available to them. (R. 3107-3108, 3169-3170)

Page maintained by Larry W. Jewell, Created: 12/12/96 Updated: 12/12/96