Part I. Diplomatic background of the Pearl Harbor attack .......... 1
Japanese record of deceit and aggression ........................ 1
Fundamental differences between American and Japanese policies .. 4
Steps taken by the United States to meet the threat of Axis
Initial United States-Japanese negotiations: 1941 ................ 13
Japanese proposal of May 12 ...................................... 14
Japanese reaction to German invasion of Russia ................... 15
Temporary cessation of negotiations .............................. 16
Freezing of assets ............................................... 18
Resumption of negotiations and proposed meeting of President
Roosevelt and Premier Konoye ................................... 19
Japanese proposals of September 6 and 27 ......................... 26
Advent of the Tojo Cabinet ....................................... 28
Arrival of Saburo Kurusu ......................................... 30
Negotiations versus deadlines .................................... 32
Japanese ultimatum of November 20 and the modus vivendi .......... 32
United States memorandum of November 26 .......................... 38
Fraudulent nature of Japanese diplomacy-November 28 to
December 7 ..................................................... 42
Diplomatic and military liaison in Washington .................... 43
Conclusions ...................................................... 47
DIPLOMATIC BACKGROUND OF THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 1
JAPANESE RECORD OF DECEIT AND AGGRESSION
For several months prior to December 7, 1941, the Governments of the
United States and Japan had been engaged in conversations with a view to
settlement of fundamental differences existing in the Far East. To
appreciate the realistic basis upon which the Government of the United
States participated in the negotiations it is necessary to consider
briefly the course of modern Japanese history in order to gauge her
diplomatic and military purposes. These purposes become apparent through
an outline review of Japanese aggression: 
Upon the conclusion of a successful war against China in 1895 Japan
annexed Formosa and indicated her purpose, not then realized, of
establishing herself in China.
Following the Russo-Japanese War, Japan in 1905 effected a foothold in
Manchuria through acquisition of a lease of the Kwantung territory and
ownership of the South Manchuria Railway, at the same time acquiring
In 1910, after many years of encroachment, Japan annexed Korea. (In 1904
she had guaranteed Korea's independence and territorial integrity.)
In the midst of the First World War Japan in 1915 took advantage of the
situation to present to China her notorious Twenty-one Demands.
In 1918 Japan entered into an inter-Allied plan whereby not exceeding
some 7,000 troops of any one power were to be sent to Siberia to guard
military stores which might subsequently be needed by Russian forces, to
assist in organizing Russian self-defense, and to aid in evacuating
Czechoslovakian forces in Siberia. Seizing upon this opportunity the
Japanese conceived the idea of annexing eastern Siberia, in which she
was unsuccessful, and sent more than 70,000 troops.
Japan participated in the Washington Conference of 1921-22 and became a
party to the agreements concluded. One of these agreements was the Nine
Power Treaty which was designed to provide for China full opportunity to
develop and maintain a stable government. Japan pledged herself to the
principles and policies of self-restraint toward China which was the
cornerstone of the Nine Power Treaty. Japan agreed to respect the
sovereignty, independence, and territorial and administrative integrity
of China, and agreed to use her influence to establish the principle of
equal opportunity in that country. Following the advent of the Cabinet
of General Tanaka in 1927 Japan adopted a positive policy toward China
and manifested an increasing disposition to interfere in Chinese
internal affairs. In 1931 Japan invaded Manchuria, subsequently
establishing the puppet regime of Manchukuo. (This action was a flagrant
violation of her agreements
SEE APPENDIX D FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF THE DIPLOMATIC CONVERSATIONS
BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND JAPAN FROM THE ATLANTIC CONFERENCE THROUGH
 See committee record, pp. 1076-1085. Committee record references
throughout this report are to page numbers of the official transcript of
testimony, which are represented in the printed Hearings of the
Committee by italic numerals enclosed in brackets.
2 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
at the Washington Conference and was in complete disregard of her
obligations under the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 for the renunciation
of war as an instrument of national policy.)  The Japanese delegate
to the League of Nations had stated on November 91, 1931: " We want no
more territory." The end of 1932 saw Japanese occupying the whole of
Manchuria. Later they moved southward and westward occupying vast areas
of China. When the League of Nations adopted the report of the Lytton
Commission appointed by the League to investigate the Manchurian
situation, Japan walked out of the Assembly on February 24, 1933. On
March 27 of the same year Japan gave notice of her intention to withdraw
from the League. 
On February 21,1934 the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs dispatched
a note to the American Secretary of State expressing the conviction that
no question existed between the United States and Japan "that is
fundamentally incapable of amicable solution".  Yet on April 17, 1934
a spokesman of the Japanese Foreign Office issued the "hands off China"
statement making clear a purpose to compel China to follow the dictates
of Japan and to permit only such relations with China by other countries
as the Japanese Government saw fit.
In a formal declaration Japan on December 29,1934 announced her purpose
to withdraw at the end of 1936 from the Naval Limitation Treaty signed
at Washington on February 6, 1922.  Thereafter she prepared her
armaments with a view to launching the invasion of China.
Conversations between Japan and Nazi Germany culminated in the Anti-
Comintern Pact of November 25, 1936, to which Italy adhered in 1937. The
pact marked the genesis of the "Axis." Thus the parallel courses of
aggression being followed by these countries blended in an expression of
their common designs in foreign policy. 
Seizing upon the negligible Marco Polo Bridge incident between Japanese
and Chinese forces near Peiping, Japan in July of 1937 began wholesale
invasion of China. The lawless acts of the Japanese military in carrying
forward the invasion was a disgusting and degrading episode of rape,
theft, and murder. In the outrages attending the occupation of Nanking
on December 13, 1937, the Japanese military wrote a particularly ignoble
pages in history. Yet on July 27, 1937, the Japanese Premier, Prince
Konoye, stated, "In sending troops to North China, of course, the
Government has no other purpose, as was explained in its recent
statement, than to preserve the peace of East Asia." Again on October
28, 1937, the Japanese Foreign Office said: "Japan never looks upon the
Chinese people as an enemy." As observed by Secretary Hull: "Japan
showed its friendly feeling for China by bombing Chinese civilian
populations, by burning Chinese cities, by making millions of Chinese
homeless and destitute, by mistreating and killing civilians, and by
acts of horror and cruelty."
 Peace and War, United States Foreign Policy. 1931-41 (State
Department publication), p. 4. committee exhibit No. 28.
 Id., at p. 7.
 Id., at p. 18.
 Id., at p. 12.
 Id., at p. 41.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 3
On December 12, 1937, Japanese aircraft bombed and sank the U. S. S.
Panay in the Yangtze River. 
(A proposal made by the Japanese Prime Minister, Baron Hiranuma, on May
18, 1939 to the Secretary of State, contained the thesis that world
peace could only be obtained through assuring to nations their "proper
places in the world". It was suggested subsequently that Hiranuma was
prepared to sound out Germany and Italy with regard to the holding of a
conference if the President were prepared at the same time to sound out
Great Britain and France on the settling of European problems. [7a] The
proposal was received by the American Government with interest. The
suggestion was made that Japan could assist in attaining the objective
of world peace by settling the "armed conflict and consequent political
disturbances in the Far East today." This suggestion reminded the
Japanese Government of "the methods of Japan in relations with China",
which perturbed American opinion. In consequence, the proposal of
Hiranuma withered with the Japanese refusal to settle her "incident"
with China, and to indicate her good faith in proposing a search for
On April 15, 1940, the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs stated that
the "Japanese Government cannot but be deeply concerned over any
development * * * that may affect the status quo of the Netherlands East
Indies." But following the occupation of the Netherlands by Germany,
Japan sent a commercial commission to the Indies asking far-reaching
concessions, the effect of which, if acceded to, would have made the
Indies a virtual Japanese colony. In August and September of 1940 with
German assistance Japan extorted from Vichy France an agreement whereby
Japanese forces moved into northern Indochina.
On September 27, 1940, Japan entered into the Tripartite Pact along with
Germany and Italy-an alliance pointed directly at the United States. 
As stated by Secretary Hull: "It was designed to discourage the United
States from taking adequate measures of self-defense until both Japan
and Germany had completed their program of conquest in Asia and Europe,
when they could turn on the United States then standing alone."
Commenting on the Tripartite Pact, Premier Konoye was quoted in the
press of October 1940, as having said:
"If the United States refuses to understand the real intentions of
Japan, Germany, and Italy and continues persistently its challenging
attitude and acts * * * those powers will be forced to go to war. Japan
is now endeavoring to adjust Russo-Japanese political and economic
relations and will make every effort to reduce friction between Japan
and Russia. Japan is now engaged in diplomatic maneuvers to induce
Russia, Britain, and the United States to suspend their operations in
assisting the Chiang regime."
On July 30, 1941 Japanese aircraft bombed the U. S. S. Tutuila at
Chungking and struck within 400 yards of the American Embassy at that
place. On the following day Japan assured the Government of the United
States that her military would discontinue bombing the city area of
Chungking. Yet only 11 days later on August 11 the American Embassy
reported that during
 Id., at pp. 52 53.
[7a] Committee exhibit No. 177.
 The pact provided that Germany Italy and Japan would assist one
another with all political, economic, and military means when one of the
powers was attacked *by a power not then involved in the European war or
in the Chinese-Japanese conflict*. Peace and War p. 84.
[NOTE: Italics in the original text have been marked with asterisks in
the plain text version. LWJ]
4 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
the preceding 4 days Chungking had been delivered unusually heavy and
prolonged Japanese air raids. Repeatedly Japan gave assurances that
American lives and property in China would be respected. Despite her
pledges ever increasing numbers of cases were reported of bombing of
American property with consequent loss or endangering of American lives.
Secretary Hull summarized the picture in the following words: "Time and
again the Japanese gave assurances that American treaty rights in China
would be respected. Unnumbered measures infringing those rights were put
into effect in Japanese occupied areas. Trade monopolies were set up,
discriminatory taxes were imposed, American properties were occupied,
and so on. In addition, American nationals were assaulted, arbitrarily
detained, and subjected to indignities."
FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AMERICAN AND JAPANESE POLICIES
The bold aggression launched by Japan in 1931 in complete violation and
disregard of treaty obligations stands in irreconcilable conflict with
the policy  voiced by the President-elect, Mr. Roosevelt, on January
"I am * * * wholly willing to make it clear that American foreign
policies must uphold the sanctity of international treaties. That is the
cornerstone on which all relations between nations must rest."
In his inaugural address on March 4, 1933, President Roosevelt dedicated
the Nation to the policy of the good neighbor:
"* * * the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does
so, respects the rights of others-the neighbors who respects his
obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a
world of neighbors."
From that time forward, despite repeated efforts and discussions on the
part of the Government of the United States to incline the Government of
Japan to a peaceful policy in the Orient, she proceeded in July of 1937
to invade China. In consequence of this policy of aggression by the
Empire of Japan, the Secretary of State made public a statement of
fundamental principles of international policy with a view to rallying
all countries to the support of peaceful processes. The Secretary said
on July 16, 1937: 
"I have been receiving from many sources inquiries and suggestions
arising out of disturbed situations in various parts of the world.
"Unquestionably there are in a number of regions tensions and strains
which on their face involve only countries that are near neighbors but
which in ultimate analysis are of inevitable concern to the whole world.
Any situation in which armed hostilities are in progress or are
threatened is a situation wherein rights and interests of all nations
either are or may be seriously affected. There can be no serious
hostilities anywhere in the world which will not one way or another
affect interests or rights or obligations of this country. I therefore
feel warranted in making-in fact, I feel it a duty to make-a statement
of this Government's position in regard to international problems and
situations with respect to which this country feels deep concern.
"This country constantly and consistently advocates maintenance of
peace. We advocate national and international self-restraint. We
advocate abstinence by all nations from use of force in pursuit of
policy and from interference in the internal affairs of other nations.
We advocate adjustment of problems in international relations by
processes of peaceful negotiation and agreement. We advo-
 Committee record, pp. 1084-1094.
 Foreign Relations of the United States, Japan: 1931-41. (State
Department publication), vol. 1, pp. 325-326. Committee exhibit No. 29.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 5
cate faithful observance of international agreements. Upholding the
principle of the sanctity of treaties, we believe in modification of
provisions of treaties, when need therefor arises, by orderly processes
carried out in a spirit of mutual helpfulness and accommodation. We
believe in respect by all nations for the rights of others and
performance by all nations of established obligations. We stand for
revitalizing and strengthening of international law. We advocate steps
toward promotion of economic security and stability the world over. We
advocate lowering or removing of excessive barriers in international
trade. We seek effective equality of commercial opportunity and we urge
upon all nations application of the principle of equality of treatment.
We believe in limitation and reduction of armament. Realizing the
necessity for maintaining armed forces adequate for national security,
we are prepared to reduce or to increase our own armed forces in
proportion to reductions or increases made by other countries. We avoid
entering into alliances or entangling commitments but we believe in
cooperative effort by peaceful and practicable means in support of the
principles hereinbefore stated."
The principles announced in the statement of July 16, 1937, were given
express application to the Chinese situation in a statement of the
Secretary of State on August 23, 1937: 
"The situation in Shanghai is in many ways unique. Shanghai is a great
cosmopolitan center, with a population of over three million, a port
which has been developed by the nationals of many countries, at which
there have prevailed mutually advantageous contacts of all types and
varieties between and among the Chinese and people of almost all other
countries of the world. At Shanghai there exists a multiplicity of
rights and interests which are of inevitable concern to many countries,
including the United States.
"In the present situation, the American Government is engaged in
facilitating in every way possible an orderly and safe removal of
American citizens from areas where there is special danger. Further, it
is the policy of the American Government to afford its nationals
appropriate protection primarily against mobs or other uncontrolled
elements. For that purpose it has for many years maintained small
detachments of armed forces in China, and for that purpose it is sending
the present small reinforcement. These armed forces there have no
mission of aggression. It is their function to be of assistance toward
maintenance of order and security. It has been the desire and the
intention of the American Government to remove these forces when
performance of their function of protection is no longer called for, and
such remains its desire and expectation.
"The issues and problems which are of concern to this Government in the
present situation in the Pacific area go far beyond merely the immediate
question of protection of the nationals and interests of the United
States. The conditions which prevail in that area are intimately
connected with and have a direct and fundamental relationship to the
general principles of policy to which attention was called in the
statement of July 16, which statement has evoked expressions of approval
from more than 50 governments. This Government is firmly of the opinion
that the principles summarized in that statement should effectively
govern international relationships.
"When there unfortunately arises in any part of the world the threat or
the existence of serious hostilities, the matter is of concern to all
nations. Without attempting to pass judgment regarding the merits of the
controversy, we appeal to the parties to refrain from resort to war. We
urge that they settle their differences in accordance with principles
which, in the opinion not alone of our people but of most of the world,
should govern in international relationships. We consider applicable
throughout the world, in the Pacific area as elsewhere, the principles
set forth in the statement of July 16. That statement of principles is
comprehensive and basic. It embraces the principles embodied in many
treaties; including the Washington Conference treaties and the Kellogg-
Briand Pact of Paris.
"From the beginning of the present controversy in the Far East we have
been urging upon both the Chinese and the Japanese Governments the
important of refraining from hostilities and of maintaining peace. We
have been participating constantly in consultation with interested
governments directed toward peaceful adjustment. The Government does not
believe in political alliances or entanglements, nor does it believe in
extreme isolation. It does believe in international cooperation for the
purpose of seeking through pacific methods the achievement of those
objectives set forth in the statement of July 16. In the light of our
 Id., at pp. 355-356.
6 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
defined attitude and policies, and within the range thereof, this
Government is giving most solicitous attention to every phase of the Far
Eastern situation, toward safeguarding the lives and welfare of our
people and making effective the policies-especially the policy of peace-
in which this country believes and to which it is committed."
On October 6, 1937, a release by the Department of State stated among
other things: 
"The Department of State has been informed by the American Minister to
Switzerland of the text of the report adopted by the Advisory Committee
of the League of Nations setting forth the Advisory Committee's
examination of the facts of the present situation in China and the
treaty obligations of Japan. The Minister has further informed the
Department that this report was adopted and approved by the Assembly of
the League of Nations today, October 6.
"Since the beginning of the present controversy in the Far Fast the
Government of the United States has urged upon both the Chinese and the
Japanese Governments that they refrain from hostilities and has offered
to be of assistance in an effort to find some means, acceptable to both
parties to the conflict, of composing by pacific methods the situation
in the Far Fast.
"The Secretary of State, in statements made public on July 16 and August
23 made clear the position of the Government of the United States in
regard to international problems and international relationships
throughout the world and as applied specifically to the hostilities
which are at present unfortunately going on between China and Japan.
Among the principles which in the opinion of the Government of the
United States should govern international relationships, if peace is to
be maintained, are abstinence by all nations from the use of force in
the pursuit of policy and from interference in the internal affairs of
other nations; adjustment of problems in international relations by
process of peaceful negotiation and agreement; respect by all nations
for the rights of others and observance by all nations of established
obligations; and the upholding of the principle of the sanctity of
"On October 6 at Chicago the President elaborated these principles,
emphasizing their importance, and in a discussion of the world situation
pointed out that there can be no stability or peace either within
nations or between nations except under laws and moral standards adhered
to by all, that international anarchy destroys every foundation for
peace; that it jeopardizes either the immediate or the future security
of every nation, large or small; and that it is therefore of vital
interest and concern to the people of the United States that respect for
treaties and international morality be restored.
"In the light of the unfolding developments in the Far East, the
Government of the United States has been forced to the conclusion that
the action of Japan in China is inconsistent with the principles which
should govern the relationships between nations and is contrary to the
provisions of the Nine Power Treaty of February 6, 1922, regarding
principles and policies to be followed in matters concerning China, and
to those of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of August 27, 1928. Thus the
conclusions of this Government with respect to the foregoing are in
general accord with those of the Assembly of the League of Nations."
Pursuant to the provisions of the Nine Power Treaty of 1922, the United
States in November of 1937 with 18 other nations participated in a
conference convened at Brussels with a view to "study peaceable means of
hastening the end of the regrettable conflict which prevails" in the Far
East. The Government of Japan refused repeatedly to participate in the
conference which prevented bringing the conflict in China to an end and
resulted in the conference suspending its work on November 24. 
The President late in 1937, exercising the discretion provided by law,
refrained from applying the provisions of the Neutrality Act to the
conflict between China and Japan. This position was assumed in
recognition of the fact that the arms-embargo provisions of the act
worked to the detriment of China and to the benefit of Japan. 
 Id., at pp. 396-397.
 See statement of Secretary Hull, committee record, pp. 1087, 1088;
also Peace, and War, pp. 51, 52.
 See statement of Secretary Hull, committee record, p. 1088.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 7
On July 26, 1939, the following notification was given the Japanese
Ambassador by the Secretary of State: 
"EXCELLENCY: During recent years the Government of the United States has
been examining the treaties of commerce and navigation in force between
the United States and foreign countries with a view to determining what
changes may need to be made toward better serving the purpose for which
such treaties are concluded. In the course of this survey, the
Government of the United States has come to the conclusion that the
Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between the United States and Japan
which was signed at Washington on February 21, 1911, contains provisions
which need new consideration. Toward preparing the way for such
consideration and with a view to better safeguarding and promoting
American interests as new developments may require, the Government of
the United States, acting in accordance with the procedure prescribed in
Article XVII of the treaty under reference, gives notice hereby of its
desire that this treaty be terminated, and, having thus given notice,
will expect the treaty, together with its accompanying protocol, to
expire six months from this date."
In explaining the foregoing action Secretary Hull testified  that
the Treaty of commerce and Navigation was not affording adequate
protection to American commerce either in Japan or in Japanese-occupied
portions of China, while at the same time the operation of the most-
favored-nation clause of the treaty was a bar to the adoption of
retaliatory measures against Japanese commerce. With the termination of
the treaty on January 26, 1940, the legal impediment to placing
restrictions upon trade with Japan was removed.
In the face of widespread bombings of Chinese civilians by the Japanese,
the Government of the United States placed into effect "moral
embargoes," adopted on the basis of humanitarian considerations.  On
July 1, 1938, the Department of State notified aircraft manufacturers
and exporters that the United States Government was strongly opposed to
the sale of airplanes and aeronautical equipment to countries whose
armed forces were using airplanes for attack on civilian populations. In
1939 the "moral embargo" was extended to materials essential to airplane
manufacture and to facilities for production of high-quality gasoline.
 Following passage of the act of July 2, 1941, restrictions were
imposed in the interests of national defense on an ever-increasing
number of exports of strategic materials. These measures had the
additional purpose of deterring and expressing the opposition of the
United States to Japanese aggression. 
On April 15, 1940, when questioned by newspapermen concerning Japan's
position with regard to possible involvement of the Netherlands in the
European war and its repercussion in the Netherlands East Indies, the
Japanese Foreign Minister replied: 20
"With the South Seas regions, especially the Netherlands East Indies,
Japan is economically bound by an intimate relationship of mutuality in
ministering to one another's needs. Similarly, other countries of East
Asia maintain close economic relations with these regions. That is to
say, Japan, these countries and these regions together are contributing
to the prosperity of East Asia through mutual aid and interdependence.
"Should hostilities in Europe be extended to the Netherlands and produce
repercussions, as you say, in the Netherlands East Indies, it would not
only interfere with the maintenance and furtherance of the above-
mentioned relations of economic interdependence and of coexistence and
co-prosperity, but would also give rise to an undesirable situation from
the standpoint of the peace and stability of East Asia. In view of these
considerations, the Japanese Government cannot
 Foreign Relations. Vol. II, p. 189; also committee record. p. 1088.
 Committee record, p. 1088.
 Peace and War, p. 89
 See statement of Secretary Hull, Committee Record, pp. 1088,1089.
 Foreign Relations, vol. II, p. 281.
8 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
but be deeply concerned over any development accompanying an aggravation
of the war in Europe that may affect the status quo of the Netherlands
Referring to the foregoing statement the Secretary of State made the
following comments on April 17, 1940: 21
"I have noted with interest the statement by the Japanese Minister for
Foreign Affairs expressing concern on the part of the Japanese
Government for the maintenance of the status quo of the Netherlands
"Any change in the status of the Netherlands Indies would directly
affect the interests of many countries.
"The Netherlands Indies are very important in the international
relationships of the whole Pacific Ocean. The islands themselves extend
for a distance of approximately 3,200 miles east and west astride of the
Equator, from the Indian Ocean on the west far into the Pacific Ocean on
the east. They are also an important factor in the commerce of the whole
world They produce considerable portions of the word's supplies of
important essential commodities such as rubber, tin, quinine, copra, et
cetera. Many countries, including the United States, depend
substantially upon them for some of these commodities.
"Intervention in the domestic affairs of the Netherlands Indies or any
alteration of their status quo by other than peaceful processes would be
prejudicial to the cause of stability, peace, and security not only in
the region of the Netherlands Indies but in the entire Pacific area.
"This conclusion, based on a doctrine which has universal application
and for which the United States unequivocally stands, is embodied in
notes exchanged on November 30, 1908, between the United States and
Japan in which each of the two Governments stated that its policy was
directed to the maintenance of the existing status quo in the region of
the Pacific Ocean. It is reaffirmed in the notes which the United
States, the British Empire, France and Japan-as parties to the treaty
signed at Washington on December 13, 1921, relating to their insular
possessions and their insular dominions in the region of the Pacific
Ocean-sent to the Netherlands Government on February 4, 1922, in which
each of those Governments declared that "it is firmly resolved to
respect the rights of the Netherlands in relation to their insular
possessions in the region of the Pacific Ocean."
"All peaceful nations have during recent years been earnestly urging
that policies of force be abandoned and that peace be maintained on the
basis of fundamental principles, among which are respect by every nation
for the rights of other nations and nonintervention in their domestic
affairs, the according of equality of fair and just treatment, and the
faithful observance of treaty pledges, with modification thereof, when
needful, by orderly processes.
"It is the constant hope of the Government of the United States-as it is
no doubt that of all peacefully inclined governments-that the attitudes
and policies of all governments will be based upon these principles and
that these principles will be applied not only in every part of the
Pacific area, but also in every part of the world."
The situation existing during 1940 was summarized by Secretary Hull in
his testimony before the committee: 
"Throughout this period the united States increasingly followed a policy
of extending all feasible assistance and encouragement to China. This
took several different forms, including diplomatic actions in protest of
Japan's aggression against China and of Japan's violation of American
rights. Loans and credits aggregating some $200,000,000 were extended in
order to bolster China's economic structure and to facilitate the
acquisition by China of supplies. And later lend-lease and other
military supplies were sent to be used in China's resistance against
"During the winter of 1940 and the spring of 1941 I had clearly in mind,
and I was explaining to Members of Congress and other Americans with
whom I came in contact, that it was apparent that the Japanese military
leaders were starting on a mission of conquest of the entire Pacific
area west of a few hundred miles of Hawaii and extending to the South
Seas and to India. The Japanese were out with force in collaboration
with Hitler to establish a new world order, and they thought they had
the power to compel all peaceful nations to come in under that new order
in the half of the world they had arrogated to themselves.
 Id., at p. 282.
 Committee Record, pp. 1089-92.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 9
"I was saying to those Americans that beginning in 1933 I had commenced
a systematic and consistently earnest effort to work out our relations
with Japan. I had been trying to see whether it was humanly possible to
find any new way to approach the Japanese and prevail on them to abandon
this movement of conquest. We had been urging the Japanese to consider
their own future from the standpoint of political, economic, and social
aspects. The people of China were living on a very low standard. Japan,
if it should conquer China, would keep China bled white and would not
have the capital to aid in restoring purchasing power and social
welfare. It meant everything for the development of that half of the
world's population to use the capital of all nations, such as the United
States and other countries, in helping China, for example, to develop
internal improvements and increase its purchasing power. We had reminded
the Japanese of our traditional friendship and our mutually profitable
"During these years we had kept before the Japanese all these doctrines
and principles in the most tactful and earnest manner possible, and at
all times we had been careful not to make threats. I said that I had
always felt that if a government makes a threat it ought to be ready to
back it up. We had been forthright but we had been as tactful as
"I was pointing out in these conversations that if we had not, by
previously modifying our neutrality Act, been in a position to send
military aid to Great Britain in the early summer of 1940 there might
well have been a different story. Our aid assisted Britain to hold back
the invaders for 7 months, while we had that 7 months in which to arm,
and everybody knew that no country ever needed time in which to arm more
than we did in the face of the world situation."
In his address to Congress on January 6, 1941, President Roosevelt
declared  that "at no previous time has American security been as
seriously threatened from without as it is today." He observed that the
pattern of democratic life had been blotted out in an appalling number
of independent nations with the aggressors still on the march
threatening other nations, great and small. The national policy of the
Government of the United States was outlined by the President as
committed to an all-inclusive national defense, to full support of
resolute peoples everywhere who were resisting aggression and thereby
were keeping war away from our hemisphere, and to the proposition that
principles of morality and considerations for our own security would
"never permit us to acquiesce in a peace dictated by aggressors. "
In a statement on January 15, 1941, in support of the Lend-Lease Act
before the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the House of Representatives,
Secretary Hull said: 
"It has been clear throughout that Japan has been actuated from the
start by broad and ambitious plans for establishing herself in a
dominant position in the entire region of the Eastern Pacific. Her
leaders have openly declared their determination to achieve and maintain
that position by force of arms and thus to make themselves master of an
area containing almost one-half of the entire population of the world.
As a consequence, they would have arbitrary control of the sea and trade
routes in that region."
As Secretary Hull testified -
"I pointed out that mankind was face to face with an organized,
ruthless, and implacable movement of steadily expanding conquests and
that control of the high seas by law-abiding nations "is the key to the
security of the Western Hemisphere." "
The hope of the United States, therefore, for mediation and conciliation
based on peaceful processes was overshadowed by an uncompromising and
relentless aggressor who had cast her lot with the Axis in the
Tripartite Pact of September 1940 and voiced her slogan of domination by
force in the "Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere."
 See Committee record pp. 1092, 1093.
 Committee record, p, 1093.
10 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
The backdrop of activity by Japan's partners left little doubt as to the
program and methods of the Axis: 
On October 14,1933, Germany withdrew from the Disarmament Conference
coincidentally giving notice of withdrawal from the League of Nations.
On October 3,1935, Italian armed forces invaded Ethiopia.
In violation of the Locarno Pact Hitler proceeded in March of 1936 to
occupy and fortify the demilitarized Rhineland.
On March 11, 1938, German forces entered Austria and 2 days later
proclaimed the union of Germany and Austria.
At Munich on September 29, 1938, Hitler and Mussolini extorted a
settlement by which Germany acquired the Sudetenland.
In violation of pledges given at Munich, Germany invaded Czechoslovakia
on March 14,1939.
With further German aggression, war broke out in Europe on September 1,
1939, which as Secretary Hull stated "weakened the position of all
countries. Including the United States, opposed to Japanese banditry in
the Pacific." He presented the picture in the following terms:
"In the early summer of 1940 France's effective resistance collapsed.
Britain was virtually under siege. Germany's vast and powerful military
machine remained intact.
"Nazi submarines and long-range bombers were taking a heavy toll of
ships and materials in the North Atlantic. Shipping was inadequate. The
countries resisting aggression desperately needed supplies to increase
"It was clear that any aggravation of the situation in the Far East
would have a serious effect on the already dangerous situation in
Europe, while conversely, an easement of the Far Eastern tension would
aid enormously the struggle against the Nazis in Europe."
STEPS TAKEN BY THE UNITED STATES TO MEET THE THREAT OF AXIS AGGRESSION
With each threatened "annexation" or "occupation" of countries bordering
on Germany up to the invasion of Poland, President Roosevelt had made an
appeal for the settlement of differences without recourse to force or
the threat of force; but the United States in line with its traditional
aloofness in European affairs had adopted no positive measures to deter
Hitler's course of aggression. In the face of the inexorable trend of
Axis militarism, however, progressive steps were taken by the Government
of the United States to build our defenses and throw our weight on the
side of France and Great Britain. For purposes of convenient reference
it would be well to review briefly these steps.
Addressing the Congress in extraordinary session on September 21, 1939,
the President recommended that the arms embargo be repealed and that our
citizens and our ships be restricted from dangerous areas in order to
prevent controversies that might involve the United States in war. On
November 4 the arms embargo was repealed, thereby permitting large
shipments of aircraft and other implements of war, much of which had
been ordered by Great Britain and France before the outbreak of war, to
be shipped across the Atlantic for use in combating Nazi aggression.
 See committee record, pp. 1093-1095.
 Peace and War, pp. 69, 70.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 11
In an address on June 10, 1940, at Charlottesville, Va., the President
announced the policy of extending the material resources of the United
States to the opponents of force. He said:
"We will extend to the opponents of force the material resources of this
Nation and, at the same time, we will harness and speed up the use of
those resources in order that we ourselves in the Americas may have
equipment and training equal to the task of any emergency and every
With a view to strengthening the defenses of the Eastern Hemisphere an
agreement was made on September 2, 1940, between the United States and
Great Britain whereby the latter received 50 over-aged destroyers and
the United States acquired the right to lease naval and air bases in
Newfoundland, in British Guiana, and in the islands of Bermuda, the
Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad, and Antigua. Referring to this
agreement, the President stated that the value to the Western Hemisphere
"of these outposts of security is beyond calculation." He considered
them essential to the protection of the Panama Canal, Central America,
the northern portion of South America, the Antilles, Canada, Mexico, and
our eastern and Gulf seaboards. 
On September 16, 1940, the Selective Training and Service Act was
enacted, marking another important step for national defense. The act
included a provision that persons inducted into the land forces should
not be employed beyond the Western Hemisphere except in United States
Territories and possessions. It marked, for the first time in the
history of the United States, the adoption of compulsory military
training of manpower when the Nation was not at war. 
President Roosevelt, in an address of December 29, 1940, observed that
the Nazi masters of Germany had made it clear they intended not only to
dominate all life and thought in their own country but also to enslave
the whole of Europe and to use the resources of Europe to dominate the
rest of the world. He pointed out that although some of our people liked
to believe that wars in Europe and Asia were of no concern to us, it was
a matter of most vital concern that European and Asiatic war makers
should not gain control of the oceans which led to the Western
Hemisphere. He pointed out that if Great Britain went down the Axis
Powers would control the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the
high seas, and would then be in a position to bring enormous military
and naval resources against this hemisphere. Warning of the danger
ahead, the President stated the Government was planning our defense with
the utmost urgency and in it we must "integrate the war needs of Britain
and the other free nations resisting aggression." Referring to the need
for increased production, the President said we must have more ships,
more guns, more planes; we must be the great "arsenal of democracy."
With the signature of the President on March 11, 1941, the lend-lease
bill became law. This bill provided the machinery enabling the United
States to make the most effective use of our resources for our own needs
and for those whom, in our own self-defense, we were determined to aid.
Secretary Hull expressed the belief that this act would make it possible
for us to allocate our resources in ways best
[28} Id., at p. 76.
 Id., at p. 83.
 Id., at p. 84.
 Id., at pp. 86, 87.
12 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
calculated to provide for the security of the United States and of this
On April 10, 1941, the Department of State announced an agreement
regarding Greenland, recognizing that as a result of a European war
there was danger that Greenland might be converted into a point of
aggression against nations of the American Continent. This agreement
accepted the responsibility on behalf of the United States of assisting
Greenland in the maintenance of its existing status, and granted to the
United States the right to locate and construct airplane landing fields
and facilities for the defense of Greenland and this continent. 
In an address on May 27, 1941, the President declared an "unlimited
national emergency," stating that our whole program of aid for the
democracies had been "based on a hard-headed concern for our own
security and for the kind of safe and civilized world in which we wished
to live." He stated that every dollar of material that we sent helped to
keep the dictators away from our own hemisphere and every day they were
held off gave us time in which to build more guns and tanks and planes
and ships. 
On July 7, 1941, the President announced that in accordance with an
understanding reached with the Prime Minister of Iceland, forces had
arrived in Iceland in order to supplement and eventually to replace the
British forces which had been stationed there to insure the adequate
defense of that country. The President pointed out that the United
States could not permit the occupation by Germany of a strategic outpost
in the Atlantic to be used as air or naval bases for eventual attack
against the Western Hemisphere.  Subsequently there was instituted
an escort to Iceland of United States and Iceland shipping. 
In a joint declaration by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister
Churchill, the principles of the Atlantic Charter were enunciated on
August 14, 1941. 
In a message of August 15, 1941, in which he was joined by Prime
Minister Churchill, the President advised Premier Stalin that the United
States and Great Britain had consulted together as to how best they
could help the Soviet Union; that they were cooperating to provide the
Soviet Union with the very maximum of supplies most urgently needed and
that many shiploads had already left for the Soviet Union and more would
leave in the immediate future. 
On September 11, 1941, as a result of several incidents fully
demonstrating a grave menace to the vital interests of the United
States, the President warned that from that time forward, if German or
Italian vessels of war entered the waters the protection of which was
necessary for American defense, they would do so "at their own peril."
Despite the announcement of the "shooting orders", ships of the United
States and other American Republics continued to be sunk in the Atlantic
Ocean by Nazi submarines. In view of this situation and in view of the
fact that the Neutrality Act of 1939 prohibited the arm-
 Id., at p. 100.
 Id., at pp. 103, 104.
 Id., at p. 111.
 Id., at p. 111.
 See committee record, p. 6111.
 "Peace and War," p. 111.
 Id., at p. 113.
 Id., at pp. 113-115.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 13
ing of United States merchant ships engaged in foreign commerce and
prevented United States merchant ships from carrying cargoes to
belligerent ports, it became increasingly difficult to obtain shipping
for the cartage of lend-lease supplies to Great Britain and other
nations whose defense was considered vital to the defense of the United
States. Accordingly, on October 9, 1941, the President asked Congress to
modify the Neutrality Act. On November 17, 1941, in a joint resolution
of the Congress, sections of the act were repealed permitting United
States vessels to be armed and to carry cargoes to belligerent ports
In contrast with our historic aloofness in European affairs, it was the
traditional policy of the United States, based upon territorial,
commercial, and humanitarian interests, to maintain a concern in the
Pacific. This policy had its inception in the enunciation of the Hay
open-door policy toward China in 1899 which formed the cornerstone of
the Nine-Power Treaty, adopted concurrently with the Washington Naval
Treaty of 1922. 
To implement this policy Japan's course of aggression was countered by a
series of deterrent measures in addition to those relating generally to
the Axis or applying more specifically to the European situation. These
measures included material aid to China, curtailment of trade with
Japan, and basing of the Pacific Fleet at Hawaii.
INITIAL UNITED STATE-JAPANESE NEGOTIATIONS, 1941
Admiral Nomura, the new Japanese Ambassador, was received by the
President on February 14, 1941, at which time reference was made to the
progressive deterioration of relations between Japan and the United
States. President Roosevelt suggested that Ambassador Nomura might
desire to reexamine and frankly discuss with the American Secretary of
State important phases of American-Japanese relations. Secretary Hull
made the following observations concerning the initial conversations
with the Japanese Ambassador: 
"On March 8 (1941) in my first extended conversation with the Japanese
Ambassador I emphasized that the American people had become fully
aroused over the German and Japanese movements to take charge of the
seas and of the other continents for their own arbitrary control and to
profit at the expense of the welfare of all of the victims.
"On March 14 the Japanese Ambassador saw the President and me. The
President agreed with an intimation by the Ambassador that matters
between our two countries could be worked out without a military clash
and emphasized that the first step would be removal of suspicion
regarding Japan's intentions. With the Japanese Foreign Minister
Matsuoka on his way to Berlin, talking loudly, and Japanese naval and
air forces moving gradually toward Thailand, there was naturally serious
concern and suspicion.
"On April 16, I had a further conversation with the Japanese Ambassador.
I pointed out that the one paramount preliminary question about which
our Government was concerned was a definite assurance in advance that
the Japanese Government had the willingness and power to abandon its
present doctrine of conquest by force and to adopt four principles which
our Government regarded as the foundation upon which relations between
nations should rest, as follows:
"(1) Respect for the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of each
and all nations;
"(2) Support of the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs
of other countries;
 Id., at pp. 115-117.
 Id., at p. 168.
 Committee record, pp. 1103, 1104.
14 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
"(3) Support of the principle of equality, including equality of
"(4) Nondisturbance of the status quo in the Pacific except as the
status quo may be altered by peaceful means.
"I told the Japanese Ambassador that our Government was willing to
consider any proposal which the Japanese Government might offer such as
would be consistent with those principles."
JAPANESE PROPOSAL OF MAY 12
The Japanese Ambassador on May 12 presented a proposal for a general
settlement the essence of which was (1) that the United States should
request Chiang Kai-shek to negotiate peace with Japan and, if the
Generalissimo should not accept the advice of the United States, that
the United States should discontinue its assistance to the Chinese
Government; (2) that normal trade relations between Japan and the United
States should be resumed, and (3) that the United States should help
Japan acquire access to facilities for the exploitation of natural
resources (including oil, rubber, tin, and nickel) in the Southwest
Pacific area.  This proposal contained an affirmation of Japan's
adherence to the Tripartite Pact with specific reference to Japan's
obligations thereunder to come to the aid of any of the parties thereto
*if attacked by a power not at that time in the European war or in the
Sino-Japanese conflict, other than the Soviet Union which was expressly
excepted*. In referring to the proposal Secretary Hull said: 
"The peace conditions which Japan proposed to offer China were not
defined in clear-cut terms. Patient exploring, however, disclosed that
they included stipulations disguised in innocuous-sounding formulas
whereby Japan would retain control of various strategic resources,
facilities, and enterprises in China and would acquire the right to
station large bodies of Japanese troops, professedly for "joint defense
against communism," for an indefinite period in extensive key areas of
China proper and inner Mongolia.
"Notwithstanding the narrow and one-sided character of the Japanese
proposals, we took them as a starting point to explore the possibility
of working out a broad-gage settlement, covering the entire Pacific
area, along lines consistent with the principles for which this country
The Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs advised Ambassador Grew on May
14, 1941, that he and Prince Konoye were determined that Japan's
southward advance should be carried out only by peaceful means "*unless
circumstances render this impossible.*" Replying to the inquiry as to
what circumstances he had in mind the Foreign Minister referred to the
concentration of British troops in Malaya and other British measures.
When it was pointed out by Ambassador Grew that such measures were
defensive in character, the Japanese Minister observed that the measures
in question were regarded as provocative by the Japanese public which
might bring pressure on the Government to act. 
President Roosevelt on May 27, 1941, as has been indicated, proclaimed
the existence of an "unlimited national emergency" and declared in a
radio address on the same day that our whole program of aid for the
democracies had been based on concern for our own security. 
 There were also other provisions, which Japan eventually dropped.
calling for joint guaranty of Philippine independence, for the
consideration of Japanese immigration to the United States on a
nondiscriminatory basis, and for a joint effort by the United States and
Japan to prevent the further extension of the European war and for the
speedy restoration of peace in Europe.
 Committee record, pp. 1104-1106.
 See committee record, pp. 1106, 1107.
 Id., at p. 1107.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 15
Secretary Hull commented as follows with respect to preliminary
conversations with Ambassador Nomura: 
"During the next few weeks there were a number of conversations for the
purpose of clarifying various points and narrowing areas of difference.
We repeatedly set forth our attitude on these points-the necessity of
Japan's making clear its relation to the Axis in case the United States
should be involved in self-defense in the war in Europe; application of
the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of another
country and withdrawal of Japanese troops from Chinese territory;
application of the principle of nondiscrimination in commercial
relations in China and other areas of the Pacific; and assurance of
Japan's peaceful intent in the Pacific. I emphasized that what we were
seeking was a comprehensive agreement which would speak for itself as an
instrument of peace.
"The Japanese pressed for a complete reply to their proposals of May 12.
Accordingly, on June 21, the Ambassador was given our views in the form
of a tentative redraft of their proposals. In that redraft there was
suggested a formula which would make clear that Japan was not committed
to take action against the United States should the latter be drawn by
self-defense into the European war. It was proposed that a further
effort be made to work out a satisfactory solution of the question of
the stationing of Japanese troops in China and of the question of
economic cooperation between China and Japan. There also was eliminated
any suggestion that the United States would discontinue aid to the
Chinese Government. Various other suggested changes were proposed in the
interest of clarification or for the purpose of harmonizing the proposed
settlement with our stated principles."
JAPANESE REACTION TO GERMAN INVASION OF RUSSIA
In violation of the August 23, 1939, nonaggression pact, Germany
attacked the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. The invasion of Russia
removed the restraining influence on the western flank of Japan and the
life-and-death struggle of the Soviet Union for existence was seized
upon by the Government of Japan to realize its dreams of empire in the
In an intercepted message of July 31, 1941, from Tokyo to its Washington
Embassy the reaction of Japan to the war between Germany and Russia was
unequivocally expressed: 
"Needless to say, the Russo-German war has given us an excellent
opportunity to settle the northern question, and it is a fact that we
are proceeding with our preparations to take advantage of this occasion.
The opportunist disposition of Japan was cogently expressed much earlier
in a dispatch of September 12, 1940, from Ambassador Grew to the State
"Whatever may be the intentions of the present Japanese Government,
there can be no doubt that *the army and other elements in the country
see in the present world situation a golden opportunity to carry into
effect their dreams of expansion*; the German victories have gone to
their heads like strong wine; until recently they have believed
implicitly in the defeat of Great Britain; they have argued that the war
will probably (*) in a quick German victory and that it is well to
consolidate Japan's position in greater East Asia while Germany is still
acquiescent and before the eventual hypothetical strengthening of German
naval power might rob Japan of far-flung control in the Far East; they
have discounted effective opposition on the part of the United States
although carefully watching our attitude. *The ability of the saner
heads in and out of the Government to control these elements has been
and is doubtful*. * * *
"Diplomacy may occasionally retard but cannot effectively stem the tide.
Force or the display of force can alone prevent these powers from
attaining their objectives. Japan today is one of the predatory powers;
*she has submerged all moral and ethical sense and has become frankly
and unashamedly opportunist, seeking at every turn to profit by the
weakness of others*. Her policy of southward expansion
 Id., at pp. 1108,1109.
 Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 9.
 Committee exhibit No. 26.
16 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
is a definite threat to American interests in the Pacific. And is a
thrust at the British Empire in the east.
Following an Imperial Conference at Tokyo on July 2 at which "the
fundamental national policy to be taken toward the present situation was
decided" Japan proceeded with military preparations on a vast scale.
From one to two million reservists and conscripts were called to the
colors. Japanese merchant vessels operating in the Atlantic Ocean were
suddenly recalled; restrictions were imposed upon travel in Japan;
strict censorship of mails and communications was effected; and
conditions were generally imposed throughout the Empire presaging a
major military effort. The Japanese press dwelt constantly on the theme
that Japan was being faced with pressure directed against it never
before approached in its history. The United States was charged with
using the Philippine Islands as a "pistol aimed at Japan's heart." The
Japanese press warned that if the United States took further action in
the direction of encircling Japan, Japanese-American relations would
face a final crisis.  This false propaganda was clearly designed to
condition the Japanese public for further military aggression.
In an intercepted dispatch of July 2, 1941, from Tokyo to Berlin for the
confidential information of the Japanese Ambassador and staff, the
policy of Japan was expressed in the following terms: 
"1. Imperial Japan shall adhere to the policy of contributing to world
peace by establishing the Great East Asia Sphere of Co-prosperity,
regardless of how the world situation may change.
"2. The Imperial Government shall continue its endeavor to dispose of
the China Incident, and shall take measures with a view to advancing
southward in order to establish firmly a basis for her self-existence
In a second part of the same message Japan outlined the "principal
points" upon which she proposed to proceed:
"For the purpose of bringing the Chiang Regime to submission, increasing
pressure shall be added from various points in the south, and by means
of both propaganda and fighting plans for the taking over of concessions
shall be carried out. Diplomatic negotiations shall be continued, and
various other plans shall be speeded with regard to the vital points in
the south. *Concomitantly, preparations for southward advance shall be
reinforced and the policy already decided upon with reference to French
Indo-China and Thailand shall be executed*. As regards the Russo-German
war, although the spirit of the Three-Power Axis shall be maintained,
every preparation shall be made at the present and the situation shall
be dealt with in our own way. In the meantime, diplomatic negotiations
shall be carried on with extreme care. Although every means available
shall be resorted to in order to prevent the United States from joining
the war, if need be, *Japan shall act in accordance with the Three-Power
Pact and shall decide when and how force will be employed*."
TEMPORARY CESSATION OF NEGOTIATIONS
During July of 1941 reports were received that a Japanese military
movement into southern Indochina was imminent. The Government of the
United States called to the attention of Japan the incompatibility of
such reports with the conversations then under way looking to an
agreement for peace in the Pacific. Asked concerning the facts of the
situation, the Japanese Ambassador on July 23 explained the Japanese
movement into southern as well as northern Indochina by observing that
Japan feared, first, that vital supplies including rice, foodstuffs, and
raw materials from Indochina might be cut off by
 Foreign Relations, vol. II, pp. 339, 340.
 Committee exhibit No. 1, pp. 1, 2.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 17
de Gaullist French agents and Chinese agitators in southern Indochina
and, second, that Japan believed certain foreign powers were determined
to encircle Japan militarily and for that reason occupation of southern
Indochina was undertaken purely as a precautionary measure. 
The explanation of Ambassador Nomura is in interesting contrast with an
intercepted dispatch of July 14, 1941, from Canton to Tokyo: 
"Subsequent information from the military officials to the Attaches is
"1. The recent general mobilization order expressed the irrevocable
resolution of Japan to put an end to Anglo-American assistance in
thwarting her natural expansion and her indomitable intention to carry
this out, if possible, with the backing of the Axis but, if necessary,
alone. Formalities, such as dining the expeditionary forces and saying
farewell to them, have been dispensed with. That is because we did not
wish to arouse greatly the feelings of the Japanese populace and because
we wished to face this new war with a calm and cool attitude.
"2. The immediate object of our occupation of French Indo-China will be
to achieve our purposes there. Secondly, its purpose is, when the
international situation is suitable, to launch therefrom a rapid attack.
This venture we will carry out in spite of any difficulties which may
arise. We will endeavor to the last to occupy French Indo-China
peacefully but, if resistance is offered, we will crush it by force,
occupy the country and set up martial law. After the occupation of
French Indo-China, next on our schedule is the sending of an ultimatum
to the Netherlands Indies. In the seizing of Singapore the Navy will
play the principal part. As for the Army, in seizing Singapore it will
need only one division and in seizing the Netherlands Indies, only two *
In commenting on the observations made by Ambassador Nomura, Acting
Secretary of State Sumner Wells on July 23, 1941, pointed out that any
agreement which might have been concluded between the French Government
at Vichy and Japan could only have resulted from pressure exerted on
Vichy by Germany; and in that consequence this agreement could only be
looked upon as offering assistance to Germany's policy of world
domination and conquest. He further observed that conclusion of the
agreement under discussion by the Secretary of State and Ambassador
Nomura would bring about a far greater measure of economic security to
Japan than she could secure through occupation of Indochina; that the
policy of the United States was the opposite of an encirclement policy
or of any policy which would be a threat to Japan; that Japan was not
menaced by the policy of Great Britain and if an agreement had been
concluded, Great Britain, the British Dominions, China, and the
Netherlands would have joined the United States and Japan in support of
the underlying principles stood for by the United States. He pointed out
that the United States could only regard the action of Japan as
constituting notice that the Japanese Government intended to pursue a
policy of force and conquest, and, since there was no apparent basis
calling for filling Indochina with Japanese military and other forces as
a measure for defending Japan, the United States must assume that Japan
was taking the last step before proceeding on a policy of expansion and
conquest in the region of the South Seas. Finally, the Acting Secretary
said that in these circumstances the Secretary of State-with whom he had
talked a few minutes before-could not see any basis for pursuing further
the conversations in which the Secretary and the Ambassador had been
On July 24 Mr. Welles made a statement to the press in which he
characterized the Japanese action in Indochina in substantially the
 Foreign Relations, vol. II, p. 340.
 Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 2.
 See Foreign Relations, vol., II, p. 341.
18 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
same terms as in his statement of the previous day to the Japanese
Ambassador. He further pointed out that the actions of Japan endangered
the use of the Pacific by peaceful nations; that these actions tended to
jeopardize the procurement by the United States of essential materials
such as tin and rubber, which were necessary in our defense program; and
that the steps being taken by Japan endangered the safety of other areas
of the Pacific, including the Philippine Islands. 
Also, on July 24, 1941, in the face of a progressive movement by Japan
into southern Indochina, the President proposed to the Japanese
Government that French Indochina be regarded as a "neutralized" country.
This proposal contemplated that Japan would be given the fullest and
freest opportunity of assuring for itself a source of food supplies and
other raw materials which on the basis of Japan's own representations
she was seeking to obtain. The Japanese Government did not accept the
President's proposal. The answer of Japan was characteristically
pragmatic and well described in the following language: 
"Large Japanese forces, however, soon were moved into southern
Indochina. Japan's constant expansion of her military position in the
southwest Pacific had already substantially imperiled the security of
the United States along with that of other powers. By this further
expansion in southern Indochina, Japan virtually completed the
encirclement of the Philippine Islands and placed its armed forces
within striking distance of vital trade routes. *This constituted an
overt act directly menacing the security of the United States and other
powers that were at peace with Japan*. It created a situation in which
the risk of war became so great that the United States and other
countries concerned were confronted no longer with the question of
avoiding such risk but from then on with the problem of preventing a
complete undermining of their security. No sooner were Japanese military
forces moved into southern Indochina than there began to appear evidence
that there was in progress a vigorous under-cover movement of Japanese
infiltration into Thailand. With Japan's armed forces poised for further
attacks the possibility of averting armed conflict lay only in the bare
chance that there might be reached some agreement which would cause
Japan to abandon her policy and procedure of aggression. Under those
circumstances and in the light of those considerations, the Government
of the United States decided at that point, as did certain other
governments especially concerned, that discontinuance of trade with
Japan had become an appropriate, warranted and necessary step-as an open
warning to Japan and as a measure of self-defense."
With the unsuccessful attempt to bring to a halt Japanese aggression in
Indochina no further conversations were held on the subject of an
agreement until August of 1941.
FREEZING OF ASSETS
It was clear that positive action must be taken under the circumstances
for reasons well expressed by Secretary Hull in his testimony: 
"The hostilities between Japan and China had been in progress for four
years. During those years the United States had continued to follow in
its relations with Japan a policy of restraint and patience. It had done
this notwithstanding constant violation by Japanese authorities or
agents of American rights and legitimate interests in China, in
neighboring areas, and even in Japan, and notwithstanding acts and
statements by Japanese officials indicating a policy of widespread
conquest by force and even threatening the United States. The American
Government had sought, while protesting against Japanese acts and while
wielding no rights, to make clear a willingness to work out with Japan
by peaceful processes a basis for continuance of amiable relations with
Japan. It had desired to give the Japanese every opportunity to turn of
their own accord from their program of conquest toward peaceful
 Id., at p. 342.
 Committee record, pp. 1111-1113.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 19
"The President and I, in our effort to bring about the conclusion of an
agreement, had endeavored to present to the Japanese Government a
feasible alternative to Japan's indicated program of conquest. We had
made abundantly clear our willingness to cooperate with Japan in a
program based upon peaceful principles. We had repeatedly indicated that
if such a program were adopted for the Pacific, and if thereafter any
countries or areas within the Pacific were menaced, our Government would
expect to cooperate with other governments in extending assistance to
the region threatened.
"While these discussions were going on in Washington, many responsible
Japanese officials were affirming in Tokyo and elsewhere Japan's
determination to pursue a policy of cooperation with her Axis allies.
Both Mr. Matsuoka and his successor as Minister for Foreign Affairs had
declared that the Three Power Pact stood and that Japanese policy was
based upon that pact. Large-scale preparation by Japan for extension of
her military activities was in progress, especially since early July.
Notwithstanding our efforts expressly to impress upon the Japanese
Government our Government's concern and our objection to movement by
Japan with use or threat of force into Indochina, the Japanese
Government had again obtained by duress from the Vichy Government an
authorization and Japanese armed forces had moved into southern
Indochina occupied bases there, and were consolidating themselves there
for further southward movements."
Confronted with the implacable attitude of Japan, President Roosevelt
issued an Executive Order on July 26, 1941, freezing Japanese assets in
the United States. This order brought under control of the Government
all financial and import and export trade transactions in which Japanese
interests were involved. The effect of the order was to bring to virtual
cessation trade between the United States and Japan. 
It should be noted that shortly before large Japanese forces went into
French Indochina, late in July, a change was effected in the Japanese
Cabinet whereby Admiral Toyoda took over the portfolio of Foreign
Affairs from Mr. Matsuoka. Thereafter the Japanese Prime Minister, the
new Japanese Foreign Minister and Ambassador Nomura made emphatic and
repeated protestations of Japan's desire for peace and an equitable
settlement of Pacific problems. Despite these representations of
peaceful intentions, the Japanese Government continued with mobilization
in Japan, and dispatched increasing numbers of armed forces to
Manchuria, Indochina, and south China. Bombing of American property in
China continued, including bursts which damaged the American Embassy and
the U. S. S. Tutuila at Chungking.  An intercepted message of July
19, 1941, from Tokyo to Berlin presented a candid estimate of the change
in the Japanese Cabinet: 
"The Cabinet shake-up was necessary to expedite matters in connection
with National Affairs and has no further significance. Japan's foreign
policy will not be changed and she will remain faithful to the
principles of the Tripartite Pact"
RESUMPTION OF NEGOTIATIONS AND PROPOSED MEETING OF PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT
AND PREMIER KONOYE
The Japanese Government did not reply to the President's proposal of
July 24, but on August 6 the Japanese Ambassador presented a proposal
which, so he stated, purported to be responsive to that of the
President. This proposal provided among other things:
(1) For removal of restrictions which the United States had imposed upon
trade with Japan;
 Foreign Relations, vol. II, p. 343.
 Id., at p. 343
 Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 3.
20 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
(2) For "suspension of its (the United States') military measures in the
southwest Pacific area";
(3) For the exercise of good offices by the United States for the
initiation of direct negotiations between Japan and China;
(4) For withdrawal of Japanese troops from Indochina after a settlement
between Japan and China;
(5) For recognition by the United States of Japan's special position in
Indochina even after the withdrawal of Japanese troops.
Throughout the negotiations it had been specified or implied that Japan
would expect the United States, in the proposed exercise of its good
offices between China and Japan, to discontinue aid to China. The
Japanese proposal of August 6 completely ignored the proposal of the
President to which it was allegedly responsive. It asked either
expressly or by implication that the United States remove the
restrictions it had imposed upon trade with Japan; suspend its defensive
preparations in the Philippines; discontinue furnishing military
equipment to Great Britain and the Netherlands for the arming of their
far eastern possessions; discontinue aid to the Chinese Government; and
acquiesce in Japan's assertion and exercise of a special military
position and a permanent preferential political and economic status in
Indochina, involving, as this would, assent to procedures and disposals
which menaced the security of the United States and which were contrary
to the principles to which this Government was committed. The Japanese
Government in return offered not to station Japanese troops in regions
of the southwestern Pacific other than Indochina. It proposed to retain
its military establishment in Indochina for an indeterminate period.
There thus would still have remained the menace to the security of the
United States, already mentioned, as well as the menace to the security
of British and Dutch territories in the southwestern Pacific area.
On August 8 Secretary Hull informed Japan's Ambassador that the Japanese
proposal was not responsive to the President's proposal of July 24.
Ambassador Nomura thereupon inquired whether it might be possible for
President Roosevelt and Premier Konoye to meet with a view to discussing
means for reaching an adjustment of views between the two Governments.
 This suggestion was made pursuant to a dispatch from Tokyo to
Ambassador Nomura which related in pertinent part: 
"We are firm in our conviction that the only means by which the
situation can be relieved is to have responsible persons representing
each country gather together and hold direct conferences. They shall lay
their cards on the table, express their true feelings, and attempt to
determine a way out of the present situation.
"In the first proposal made by the United States mention was made of
just such a step. If, therefore, the United States is still agreeable to
this plan, Prime Minister Konoye himself will be willing to meet and
converse in a friendly manner with President Roosevelt.
"Will you please make clear to them that we propose this step because we
sincerely desire maintaining peace on the Pacific."
The sincerity of Japan's desire for peace and the appraisal of any hopes
for a satisfactory settlement from such n meeting necessarily had to be
viewed in the light of a statement only 7 days earlier in an intercepted
dispatch from Tokyo to Ambassador Nomura: 
 Foreign Relations, vol. II, p, 344.
 Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 12
 Id., at p. 10.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 21
"Thus, *all measures which our Empire shall take will be based upon a
determination to bring about the success of the objectives of the
Tripartite Pact*. That this is a fact is proven by the promulgation of
an Imperial rescript. We are ever working toward the realization of
those objectives, and now during this dire emergency is certainly no
time to engage in any light unpremeditated or over-speedy action."
On August 18, the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs orally observed
to Ambassador Grew that the only way to prevent the strained relations
between the United States and Japan from further deterioration would be
through a meeting of President Roosevelt and the Japanese Prime
Minister. Strict secrecy concerning the proposal was urged upon our
Ambassador for the reason that premature announcement of the meeting
would result in the project being "torpedoed" by certain elements in
Japan. The Japanese Government's concern for preserving the secrecy of
the proposed meeting between the President and Premier Konoye is fully
evinced in an intercepted dispatch from Tokyo to Washington on September
3, 1941: 
"Since the existence of the Premier's message was inadvertently made
known to the public, *that gang that has been suspecting that unofficial
talks were taking place, has really begun to yell and wave the
Tripartite Pact banner*.
"In the midst of this confusion at home Fleisher's story in the Herald-
Tribune relating the rumor of a proposed conference between the Premier
and the President broke, which was unfortunate, to say the least, as you
can well imagine.
"The government is not afraid of the above-mentioned confusion; nor does
it feel that that condition will destroy the fruits of the said
conference. It is only that the government wished to keep the matter a
secret until the arrangements had been completed. I am sure that you are
aware that such a policy is not limited to just this ease.
"Because of the circumstances being what they are we would like to make
all arrangements for the meeting around the middle of September, with
all possible speed, and issue a very simple statement to that effect as
soon as possible. (If the middle of September is not convenient, any
early date would meet with our approval.)
"Will you please convey this wish of the government to Hull and wire us
the results. If an immediate reply is not forthcoming, we plan to issue
a public statement describing our position in this matter. We feel that
this should be done from the viewpoint of our domestic situation. Please
advise the United States of this plan."
The fact that the Konoye Cabinet desired the suggested meeting between
the President and the Japanese Premier to be strictly secret for the
reason that premature disclosure would result in frustration of the move
by hostile elements in Japan would indicate beyond doubt that there
existed in Japan a formidable opposition to efforts designed to achieve
an improvement in relations with the United States.  Further,
secrecy with respect to such a meeting would accomplish the additional
purpose from the Japanese viewpoint of disguising from her Axis
partners, Germany and Italy, the fact that steps might be undertaken
which would in any way compromise Japan's commitments under the
[*There will be found in Appendix D a detailed and comprehensive review
of the diplomatic conversations between the United States and Japan, and
related matters, during the critical period from the Atlantic Conference
through December 8, 1941, in the light of the facts made public by this
committee, to which reference is hereby made.*]
In connection with the proposed meeting it should be noted that
President Roosevelt returned to Washington on August 17 from the
 Id., at p. 25.
 See Memoirs of Prince Fumimaro Konoye, committee exhibit No. 173.
22 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
Atlantic Conference at which the far eastern situation had been
discussed with Mr. Churchill. It had been agreed by both the President
and Prime Minister Churchill that more time was needed by both the
United States and Britain to prepare their defenses against Japanese
attack in the Far East. It was further agreed that steps should be taken
to warn Japan against new moves of aggression. The President and Mr.
Churchill were in agreement that this Government should be prepared to
continue its conversations with the Government of Japan and thereby
leave open to her a reasonable and just alternative to the aggressive
course which she had mapped out for herself.
Upon his return to Washington from the Atlantic Conference, the
President on August 17 handed the Japanese Ambassador two documents, one
pointing out that the principles and policies under discussion in
conversations between the two Governments precluded expansion by force
or threat of force and that if the Japanese Government took any further
steps in pursuance of a program of domination by force or threat of
force of neighboring countries, the Government of the United States
would be compelled to take any and all steps necessary toward insuring
the security of the United States.  In the second document reference
was made to the desire expressed earlier in August by the Japanese
Government to resume conversations and to the Ambassador's suggestion of
August 8 that President Roosevelt and the Japanese Minister meet with a
view to discussing means for adjustment of relations between the United
States and Japan. Reaffirmation was made of this Government's intention
not to consider any proposals affecting the rights of either country
except as such proposals might be in conformity with the basic
principles to which the United States had long been committed and of its
intention to continue to follow its policy of aiding nations resisting
It was pointed out that informal conversations with the Japanese
Government relative to a peaceful settlement would naturally envisage
the working out of a progressive program involving the application to
the entire Pacific area of the principle of equality of commercial
opportunity and treatment, thus making possible access by all countries
to raw materials and other essential commodities; and that such a
program would contemplate cooperation by all nations of the Pacific
toward utilizing all available resources of capital, technical skill and
economic leadership toward building up the economies of each country and
toward increasing the purchasing power and raising the standards of
living of the nations and peoples concerned. The opinion was expressed
that if Japan was seeking what it affirmed to be its objectives the
program outlined was one that could be counted upon to assure Japan
satisfaction of its economic needs and legitimate aspirations with a far
greater measure of certainty than could any other program. The statement
was made that, in case Japan desired and was in a position to suspend
its expansionist activities, to readjust its position, and to embark
upon a peaceful program for the Pacific along the lines of the program
and principles to which the United States was committed, the Government
of the United States was prepared to consider resumption of the informal
exploratory discussions which had been interrupted in July and would be
glad to endeavor to arrange a suitable time and place to
 Foreign Relations, vol. II, p. 656.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 23
exchange news. It was also stated that, before renewal of the
conversations or proceeding with plans for a meeting of the heads of the
two Governments, it would be helpful if the Japanese Government would
furnish a clearer statement than had as yet been given of its present
attitude and plans. If the Japanese Government continued its movement of
force and conquest, "we could not," the President said to the
Ambassador, "think of reopening the conversations."
On August 28 the Japanese Ambassador handed the President a message from
Premier Konoye urging a meeting between the heads of the Governments of
the United States and Japan to discuss all important problems in the
Pacific. This message was accompanied by a statement of the Japanese
Government in which assurances were given, with several qualifications,
of Japan's peaceful intentions and her desire to seek a program for the
Pacific area consistent with the principles to which the United States
had long been committed. The qualifications were voiced in the following
terms: the Japanese Government was prepared to withdraw its troops from
Indochina "as soon as the China incident is settled or a just peace is
established in east Asia"; Japan would take no military action against
the Soviet Union as long as the Soviet Union remained faithful to the
Soviet Japanese neutrality treaty and did "not menace Japan or Manchukuo
or undertake any action contrary to the spirit of said treaty"; the
Japanese Government had no intention of using "without provocation"
military force against any neighboring nation. 
On September 3 the President handed the Japanese Ambassador the
following "oral statement." 
"Reference is made to the proposal of the Japanese Government
communicated on August 28, 1941, by the Japanese Ambassador to the
President of the United States that there be held as soon as possible a
meeting between the responsible heads of the Government of Japan and of
the Government of the United States to discuss important problems
between Japan and the United States covering the entire Pacific area in
an endeavor to save the situation and to the reply of the President of
the United States, in which the President assured the Prime Minister of
the readiness of the Government of the United States to move as rapidly
as possible toward the consummation of arrangements for such a meeting
and suggested that there be held preliminary discussion of important
questions that would come up for consideration in the meeting. In
further explanation of the views of the Government of the United States
in regard to the suggestion under reference observations are offered, as
"On April 16, at the outset of the informal and exploratory
conversations which were entered into by the Secretary of State with the
Japanese Ambassador, the Secretary of State referred to four fundamental
principles which this Government regards as the foundation upon which
all relations between nations should properly rest. These four
fundamental principles are as follows:
"1. Respect for the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of each
and all nations.
"2. Support of the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs
of other countries.
"3. Support of the principle of equality, including equality of
"4. Nondisturbance of the status quo in the Pacific except as the status
quo may be altered by peaceful means.
"In the subsequent conversations the Secretary of State endeavored to
make it clear that in the opinion of the Government of the United States
Japan stood to gain more from adherence to courses in harmony with these
principles than from any other course, as Japan would thus best be
assured access to the raw materials and markets which Japan needs and
ways would be opened for mutually beneficial cooperation with the United
States and other countries, and that only upon
 Id., at pp. 346, 347.
 Id., at pp. 589-59l.
24 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
the basis of these principles could an agreement be reached which would
be effective in establishing stability and peace in the Pacific area.
"The Government of the United States notes with satisfaction that in the
statement marked "Strictly Confidential" which was communicated by the
Japanese Ambassador to the President of the United States on August 28
there were given specific assurances of Japan's peaceful intentions and
assurances that Japan desires and seeks a program for the Pacific area
consistent with the principles to which the Government of the United
States has long been committed and which were set forth in detail in the
informal conversations already referred to. The Government of the United
States understands that the assurances which the Japanese Government has
given in that statement exclude any policy which would seek political
expansion or the acquisition of economic rights, advantages, or
preferences by force.
"The Government of the United States is very desirous of collaborating
in efforts to make effective in practice the principles to which the
Japanese Government has made reference. The Government of the United
States believes that it is all-important that preliminary precautions be
taken to insure the success of any efforts which the Governments of
Japan and of the United States might mate to collaborate toward a
peaceful settlement. It will be recalled that in the course of the
conversations to which reference has already been made, the Secretary of
State on June 21, 1941, handed the Japanese Ambassador a document marked
"Oral, Unofficial, and Without Commitment" which contained a redraft of
the Japanese Government's proposal of May 12, 1941. It will be recalled
further that in oral discussion of this draft it was found that there
were certain fundamental questions with respect to which there were
divergences of view between the two Governments, and which remained
unreconciled at the time the conversations were interrupted in July. The
Government of the United States desires to facilitate progress toward a
conclusive discussion, but believes that a community of view and a clear
agreement upon the points above-mentioned are essential to any
satisfactory settlement of Pacific questions. It therefore seeks an
indication of the present attitude of the Japanese Government with
regard to the fundamental questions under reference.
"It goes without saying that each Government in reaching decisions on
policy must take into account the internal situation in its own country
and the attitude of public opinion therein. The Government of Japan will
surely recognize that the Government of the United States could not
enter into any agreement which would not be in harmony with the
principles in which the American people-in fact all nations that prefer
peaceful methods to methods of force-believe.
"The Government of the United States would be glad to have the reply of
the Japanese Government on the matters above set forth."
The formal reply of the President to the Japanese Prime Minister was
handed Ambassador Nomura on September 3, and follows: 
"I have read with appreciation Your Excellency's message of August 27,
which was delivered to me by Admiral Nomura.
"I have noted with satisfaction the sentiments expressed by you in
regard to the solicitude of Japan for the maintenance of the peace of
the Pacific and Japan's desire to improve Japanese-American relations.
"I fully share the desire expressed by you in these regards, and I wish
to assure you that the Government of the United States, recognizing the
swiftly moving character of world events, is prepared to proceed as
rapidly as possible toward the consummation of arrangements for a
meeting at which you and I can exchange views and endeavor to bring
about an adjustment in the relations between our two countries.
"In the statement which accompanied your letter to me reference was made
to the principles to which the Government of the United States has long
been committed, and it was declared that the Japanese Government
"considers these principles and the practical application thereof, in
the friendliest manner possible, are the prime requisites of a true
peace and should be applied not only in the Pacific area but throughout
the entire world" and that "such a program has long been desired and
sought by Japan itself."
"I am very desirous of collaborating with you in efforts to make these
principles effective in practice. Because of my deep interest in this
matter I find it necessary that I constantly observe and take account of
developments both in my own country and in Japan which have a bearing
upon problems of relations between our two countries. At this particular
moment I cannot avoid taking cognizance of indications of the existence
in some quarters in Japan of concepts which, if
 Id., at pp. 591, 592.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 25
widely entertained, would seem capable of raising obstacles to
successful collaboration between you and me along the line which I am
sure we both earnestly desire to follow. Under these circumstances, I
feel constrained to suggest, in the belief that you will share my view,
that it would seem highly desirable that *we take precaution, toward
ensuring that our proposed meeting shall prove a success, by endeavoring
to enter immediately upon preliminary discussion of the fundamental and
essential questions on which we seek agreement*. The questions which I
have in mind for such preliminary discussions involve practical
application of the principles fundamental to achievement and maintenance
of peace which are mentioned with more specification in the statement
accompanying your letter. I hope that you will look favorably upon this
The decision to defer any meeting between the President and the Japanese
Prime Minister pending preliminary discussions of fundamental and
essential questions was deliberate and well considered. Secretary Hull
testified fully concerning the considerations attending the decision:
"A meeting between the President and Prince Konoe [70a] would have been
a significant step. Decision whether it should be undertaken by our
Government involved several important considerations.
"We knew that *Japanese leaders were unreliable and treacherous*. We
asked ourselves whether the military element in Japan would permit the
civilian element, even if so disposed, to stop Japan's course of
expansion by force and to revert to peaceful courses. Time and again the
civilian leaders gave assurances; time and again the military took
aggressive action in direct violation of those assurances. Japan's past
and contemporary record was replete with instances of military
aggression and expansion by force. *Since 1931 and especially since 1937
the military in Japan exercised a controlling voice in Japan's national
"Japan's formal partnership with Nazi Germany in the Tripartite Alliance
was a hard and inescapable fact. The Japanese had been consistently
unwilling in the conversations to pledge their Government to renounce
Japan's commitments in the alliance. They would not state that Japan
would refrain from attacking this country if it became involved through
self-defense in the European war. *They held on to the threat against
the United States implicit in the alliance*.
"Our Government could not ignore the fact that throughout the
conversations the Japanese spokesmen had made a *practice of offering
general formulas* and, when pressed for explanation of the meaning, had
consistently narrowed and made more rigid their application. This
suggested that when military leaders became aware of the generalized
formulas they insisted upon introducing conditions which watered down
the general assurances.
"A meeting between the President and the Japanese Prime Minister would
have had important psychological results.
"It would have had a *critically discouraging effect upon the Chinese*.
"If the proposed meeting should merely endorse general principles, the
Japanese in the light of their past practice could have been expected to
utilize such general principles in support of any interpretation which
Japan might choose to place upon them.
"*If the proposed meeting did not produce an agreement, the Japanese
military leaders would then have been in a position to declare that the
United States was responsible for the failure of the meeting.*
"The Japanese had already refused to agree to any preliminary steps
toward reversion to peaceful courses, as, for example, adopting the
President's proposal of July 24 regarding the neutralization of
Indochina. Instead they steadily moved on with their program of
establishing themselves more firmly in Indochina.
"It was clear to us that *unless the meeting produced concrete and
clear-cut commitments toward peace, the Japanese would have distorted
the significance of the meeting in such a way as to weaken greatly this
country's moral position and to facilitate their aggressive course.*
"The acts of Japan under Konoe's Prime Ministership could not be
"He had headed the Japanese Government in 1937 when Japan attacked China
and when huge Japanese armies poured into that country and occupied its
principal cities and industrial regions.
"He was Prime Minister when Japanese armed forces attacked the U. S. S.
Panay on the Yangtze River on December 12, 1937.
 Committee record, pp. 1120-1124. For a thoroughgoing discussion of
events and circumstances attending the proposed meeting between
President Roosevelt and Prince Konoye, see Appendix D.
[70a] It is to be noted that except in those instances where the name
appears in direct quotations, the Japanese Prime Minister's name is
spelled Konoye, rather than Konoe.
26 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
"He was Prime Minister when Japanese armed forces committed notorious
outrages in Nanking in 1937.
"He as Prime Minister had proclaimed in 1938 the basic principles upon
which the Japanese Government, even throughout the 1941 conversations,
stated that it would insist in any peace agreement with China. Those
principles in application included stationing large bodies of Japanese
troops in North China. They would have enabled Japan to retain a
permanent stranglehold on China.
"He had been Prime Minister when the Japanese Government concluded in
1940 with the Chinese Quisling regime at Nanking a "treaty" embodying
the stranglehold principles mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
"Prince Konoe had been Japanese Prime Minster when Japan signed the
Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy in 1940.
"As a result of our close-up conversations with the Japanese over a
period of months, in which they showed no disposition to abandon their
course of conquest, *we were thoroughly satisfied that a meeting with
Konoe could only result either in another Munich or in nothing at all,
unless Japan was ready to give some clear evidence of a purpose to move
in a peaceful direction*. I was opposed to the first Munich and still
more opposed to a second Munich.
"Our Government ardently desired peace. It could not brush away the
realities in the situation.
"Although the President would, as he said, "have been happy to travel
thousands of miles to meet the Premier of Japan," it was felt that in
view of the factors mentioned the President could go to such a meeting
only if there were first obtained tentative commitments offering some
assurance that the meeting could accomplish good. Neither Prince Konoe
nor any of Japan's spokesmen provided anything tangible. "
JAPANESE PROPOSALS OF SEPTEMBER 6 AND 27
On September 6 Ambassador Nomura handed Secretary Hull the following
"The Government of Japan undertakes:
"(a) that Japan is ready to express its concurrence in those matters
which were already tentatively agreed upon between Japan and the United
States in the course of their preliminary informal conversations;
"(b) that Japan will not make any military advancement from French
Indochina against any of its adjoining areas, and likewise will not,
without any justifiable reason, resort to military action against any
regions lying south of Japan;
"(c) that the attitudes of Japan and the United States towards the
European War will be decided by the concepts of protection and self-
defense, and, in ease the United States should participate in the
European War, the interpretation and execution of the Tripartite Pact by
Japan shall be independently decided;
"(d) that Japan will endeavour to bring about the rehabilitation of
general and normal relationship between Japan and China, upon the
realization of which Japan is ready to withdraw its armed forces from
China as soon as possible in accordance with the agreements between
Japan and China;
"(e) that the economic activities of the United States in China will not
be restricted so long as pursued on an equitable basis;
 The Konoye Memoirs reflect that the Japanese Navy approved the idea
of a meeting between the President and the Japanese Prime Minister
whereas the Army viewed such a meeting as of questioned desirability.
After outlining his ideas with respect to such a meeting Prince Konoye
observed: "Both the War and Navy Ministers listened to me intently.
Neither could give me an immediate reply but before the day (August 4,
1941) was over, the Navy expressed complete accord and, moreover,
anticipated the success of the conference. The War Minister's reply came
in writing, as follows:
" 'If the Prime Minister were to personally meet with the President of
the United States, the existing diplomatic relations of the Empire,
which are based on the Tripartite Pact, would unavoidably be weakened.
At the same time, a considerable domestic stir would undoubtedly be
created. For these reasons the meeting is not considered a suitable
move. The attempt to surmount the present artificial situation by the
Prime Minister's offering his personal services is viewed with sincere
respect and admiration. *If, therefore it is the Prime Minister's
intention to attend such a meeting with determination to firmly support
the basic principles embodied in the Empire's revised plan to the N plan
and to carry out a war against America if the President of the United
States still fails to comprehend the true intentions of the Empire even
after this final effort is made the army is not necessarily in
" 'However (1) it is not in favor of the meeting if, after making
preliminary investigations it is learned that the meeting will be with
someone other than the President such as Secretary Hull or one in a
lesser capacity; (2) *you shall not resign your post as a result of the
meeting on the grounds that it was a failure; rather, you shall be
prepared to assume leadership in the war againat America.'*
"The War Minister was of the opinion that 'failure of this meeting is
the greater likelihood.' " See committee exhibit No. 173, pp. 30, 31.
 Foreign Relations, vol. II, pp. 608, 609.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 27
"(f) that Japan's activities in the Southwestern Pacific Area will be
carried on by peaceful means and in accordance with the principle of
nondiscrimination in international commerce, and that Japan will
cooperate in the production and procurement by the United States of
natural resources in the said area which it needs;
"(g) that Japan will take measures necessary for the resumption of
normal trade relations between Japan and the United States, and in
connection with the above mentioned, Japan is ready to discontinue
immediately the application of the foreigners' transactions control
regulations with regard to the United States on the basis of
"The Government of the United States undertakes:
" "(a) that, in response to the Japanese Government's commitment
expressed in point (d) referred to above, the United States will abstain
from any measures and actions which will be prejudicial to the endeavour
by Japan concerning the settlement of the China Affair;
" "(b) that the United States will reciprocate Japan's commitment
expressed in point (f) referred to above;
" "(e) that the United States will suspend any military measures in the
Far East and in the Southwestern Pacific Area;
" "(d) that the United States will immediately [upon settlement]
reciprocate Japan's commitment expressed in point (g) referred to above
by discontinuing the application of the so-called freezing act with
regard to Japan and further by removing the prohibition against the
passage of Japanese vessels through the Panama Canal." "
Secretary Hull made the following comments with respect to the foregoing
Japanese proposal: 
"On September 6 the Japanese Ambassador presented a new draft of
proposals. These proposals were much narrower than the assurances given
in the statement communicated to the President on August 28. In the
September 6 Japanese draft the Japanese gave only an evasive formula
with regard to their obligations under the Tripartite Pact. There was a
qualified undertaking that Japan would not "without any justifiable
reason" resort to military action against any region south of Japan. No
commitment was offered in regard to the nature of the terms which Japan
would offer to China; nor any assurance of an intention by Japan to
respect China's territorial integrity and sovereignty, to refrain from
interference in China's internal affairs, not to station Japanese troops
indefinitely in wide areas of China, and to conform to the principle of
nondiscrimination in international commercial relations. The formula
contained in the draft that "the economic activities of the United
States in China will not be restricted *so long as pursued* on an
equitable basis" [italics added] clearly implied a concept that the
conditions under which American trade and commerce in China were
henceforth to be conducted were to be a matter for decision by Japan.
From time to time during September of 1941 discussions were held between
Secretary Hull and the Japanese Ambassador. On September 27, Ambassador
Nomura presented a complete redraft of the Japanese proposals of
September 6, following the form of the American proposals of June 21. On
October 2, Secretary Hull replied to the proposals made by the Japanese
Ambassador during September, handing the Ambassador an "oral statement"
reviewing significant developments in the conversations and explaining
our Government's attitude toward various points in the Japanese
proposals which our Government did not consider consistent with the
principles to which this country was committed. He said: 
"Disappointment was expressed over the narrow character of the
outstanding Japanese proposals, and questions were raised in regard to
Japan's intentions regarding the indefinite stationing of Japanese
troops in wide areas of China and regarding Japan's relationship to the
Axis Powers. While welcoming the Japanese suggestion of a meeting
between the President and the Japanese Prime
 Committee record, pp. 1118,1119.
 The Konoye Memoirs reveal that on September 6 an imperial
conference was held at which were determined the basic principles of the
Japanese Empire's national policy. Among these principles was the
understanding that in case there was no way found for attainment of
Japanese demands by early in October of 1941 the Empire should at once
determine to make up its mind to get ready for war against the United
States Great Britain and the Netherlands. Committee exhibit No. 173.
 Committee record, pp. 1124-1126.
28 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
Minister, we proposed, in order to lay a firm foundation for such a
meeting, that renewed consideration be given to fundamental principles
so as to reach a meeting of minds on essential questions. It was stated
in conclusion that the subject of the meeting proposed by the Prime
Minister and the objectives sought had engaged the close and active
interest of the President and that it was the President's earnest hope
that discussion of the fundamental questions might be so developed that
such a meeting could be held.
"During this period there was a further advance of Japanese armed forces
in Indochina, Japanese military preparations at home were increased and
speeded up, and there continued Japanese bombing of Chinese civilian
populations, constant agitation in the Japanese press in support of
extremist policies, and the unconciliatory and bellicose utterances of
Japanese leaders. For example, Captain Hideo Hiraide, director of the
naval intelligence section of Imperial Headquarters, was quoted on
October 16 as having declared in a public speech:
" "America, feeling her insecurity * * * , is carrying out naval
expansion on a large scale. But at present America is unable to carry
out naval operations in both the Atlantic and Pacific simultaneously.
" "*The imperial navy is prepared for the worst and has completed all
necessary preparations. In fact, the imperial navy is itching for
action, when needed.*
" "In spite of strenuous efforts by the government, the situation is now
approaching a final parting of the ways. The fate of our empire depends
upon how we act at this moment. It is certain that at such a moment our
Navy should set about on its primary mission." "
It is of interest to note the Japanese estimate of Secretary Hull's
position in the negotiations, reflected in an intercepted message of
September 15 from Nomura to Tokyo: 
"Whatever we tell to Secretary Hull you should understand will surely be
passed on to the President if he is in Washington. It seems that the
matter of preliminary conversations has been entrusted by the President
to Secretary Hull, in fact he told me that if a matter could not be
settled by me and Secretary Hull it would not be settled whoever
conducted the conversations. Hull himself told me that during the past
eight years he and the President had not differed on foreign policies
once, and that they are as "two in one." "
ADVENT OF THE TOJO CABINET
The Konoye Cabinet fell on October 16, 1941, and was replaced on the
following day by a new cabinet headed by General Hideki Tojo. On October
17 a dispatch from Tokyo to Washington was intercepted manifesting a
disposition by the Tojo Cabinet to continue the negotiations: 
"The Cabinet has reached a decision to resign as a body. At this time I
wish to thank Your Excellency and your entire staff for all the efforts
you have made.
"The resignation was brought about by a split within the Cabinet. It is
true that one of the main items on which opinion differed was on the
matter of stationing troops or evacuating them from China. However,
regardless of the make-up of the new Cabinet, negotiations with the
United States shall be continued along the lines already formulated.
There shall be no changes in this respect.
"Please, therefore, will you and your staff work in unison and a single
purpose, with even more effort, if possible, than before.'
The situation existing from the advent of the Tojo Cabinet to the
arrival of Saburo Kurusu in Washington on November 15 to assist
Ambassador Nomura in the conversations was depicted by Secretary Hull as
"On October 17 the American press carried the following statement by
Maj. Gen. Kiyofuku Okamoto:
" "Despite the different views advanced on the Japanese-American
question, our national policy for solution of the China affair and
establishment of a common coprosperity sphere in East Asia remains
 Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 27.
[76a] For a complete discussion of the fall of the Konoye Cabinet, see
 Id., at p. 76.
 Committee record, pp. 1127-34.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 29
" "For fulfillment of this national policy, this country has sought to
reach an agreement of views with the U. S. by means of diplomatic means.
There is, however, a limit to our concessions, and the negotiations may
end in a break with the worst possible situation following. The people
must therefore be resolved to cope with such a situation."
"Clearly the Japanese war lords expected to clinch their policy of
aggrandizement and have the United States make all the concessions.
"On October 30, the Japanese Foreign Minister told the American
Ambassador that the Japanese Government desired that the conversations
be concluded successfully without delay and he said that "in order to
make progress, the United States should face certain realities and
facts," and here thereupon cited the stationing in China of Japanese
"The general world situation continued to be very critical, rendering it
desirable that every reasonable effort be made to avoid or at least to
defer as long as possible any rupture in the conversations. From here on
for some weeks especially intensive study was given in the Department of
State to the possibility of reaching some stopgap arrangement with the
Japanese so as to tide over the immediate critical situation and thus to
prevent a break-down in the conversations, and even perhaps to pave the
way for a subsequent general agreement. The presentation to the Japanese
of a proposal which would serve to keep alive the conversations would
also give our Army and Navy time to prepare and to expose Japan's bad
faith if it did not accept. We considered every kind of suggestion we
could find which might help or keep alive the conversations and at the
same time be consistent with the integrity of American principles.
"In the last part of October and early November messages came to this
Government from United States Army and Navy officers in China and from
Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek stating that he believed that a Japanese
attack on Kunming was imminent. The Generalissimo requested that the
United States send air units to China to defeat this threat. He made a
similar request of the British Government. He also asked that the United
States issue a warning to Japan.
"At this time the Chinese had been resisting the Japanese invaders for 4
years. China sorely needed equipment. Its economic and financial
situations were very bad. Morale was naturally low. In view of this,
even though a Chinese request might contain points with which we could
not comply, we dealt with any such request in a spirit of utmost
consideration befitting the gravity of the situation confronting our
hard-pressed Chinese friends.
"I suggested that the War and Navy Departments study this Chinese
appeal. In response, the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval
Operations sent a memorandum of November 5 to the President giving an
estimate concerning the Far Eastern situation. At the conclusion of this
estimate the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations
" "That the dispatch of United States armed forces for intervention
against Japan in China be disapproved.
" "That material aid to China be accelerated constant with the needs of
Russia, Great Britain, and our own forces.
" "That aid to the American Volunteer Group be continued and accelerated
to the maximum practicable extent.
" "That no ultimatum be delivered to Japan."
"I was in thorough accord with the views of the Chief of Staff and the
Chief of Naval Operations that United States armed forces should not be
sent to China for use against Japan. I also believed so far as American
foreign policy considerations were involved that material aid to China
should be accelerated as much as feasible, and that aid to the American
Volunteer Group should be accelerated. Finally, I concurred completely
in the view that no ultimatum should be delivered to Japan. I had been
striving for months to avoid a show-down with Japan, and to explore
every possible avenue for averting or delaying war between the United
States and Japan. That was the cornerstone of the effort which the
President and I were putting forth with our utmost patience.
"On November 14 the President replied to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek,
in line with the estimate and recommendations contained in the
memorandum of November 5 of the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval
Operations. The Generalissimo was told that from our information it did
not appear that a Japanese land campaign against Kunming was immediately
imminent. It was indicated that American air units could not be sent and
that the United States would not issue a warning but there were outlined
ways, mentioned in the memorandum of the Chief of Staff and the Chief of
Naval Operations, in which the United States would continue to assist
30 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
"On November 7, I attended the regular Cabinet meeting. It was the
President's custom either to start off the discussion himself or to ask
some member of the Cabinet a question. At this meeting he turned to me
and asked whether I had anything in mind. I thereupon pointed out for
about 15 minutes the dangers in the international situation. I went over
fully developments in the conversations with Japan and emphasized that
in my opinion relations were extremely critical and that we should be on
the lookout for a military attack anywhere by Japan at any time. When I
finished, the President went around the Cabinet. All concurred in my
estimate of the dangers. It became the consensus of the Cabinet that the
critical situation might well be emphasized in speeches in order that
the country would, if possible, be better prepared for such a
"Accordingly, Secretary of the Navy Knox delivered an address on
November 11, 1941, in which he stated that we were not only confronted
with the necessity of extreme measures of self-defense in the Atlantic,
but we were "likewise faced with grim possibilities on the other side of
the world-on the far side of the Pacific"; that the Pacific no less than
the Atlantic called for instant readiness for defense
"On the same day Under Secretary of State Welles in an address stated
that beyond the Atlantic a sinister and pitiless conqueror had reduced
more than half of Europe to abject serfdom and that in the Far East the
same forces of conquest were menacing the safety of all nations
bordering on the Pacific. The waves of world conquest were "breaking
high both in the East and in the West" he said and were threatening,
more and more with each passing day, "to engulf our own shores." He
warned that the United States was in far greater peril than in 1917;
that "at any moment war may be forced upon us."
"Early in November the Japanese Government decided to send Mr. Saburo
Kurusu to Washington to assist the Japanese Ambassador in the
"On November 7, the Japanese Ambassador handed me a document containing
draft provisions relating to Japanese forces in China, Japanese forces
in Indochina, and the principle of nondiscrimination. That proposal
contained nothing fundamentally new or offering any real recessions from
the position consistently maintained by the Japanese Government
"In telegrams of November 3 and November 17 the American Ambassador in
Japan cabled warnings of the possibility of sudden Japanese attacks
which might make inevitable war with the United States
"In the first half of November there were several indeterminate
conversations with the Japanese designed to clarify specific points. On
November 15 I gave the Japanese Ambassador an outline for a possible
joint declaration by the United States and Japan on economic policy. I
pointed out that this represented but one part of the general settlement
we had in mind. This draft declaration of economic policy envisaged that
Japan could join with the United States in leading the way toward a
general application of economic practices which would give Japan much of
what her leaders professed to desire.
"On November 12 the Japanese Foreign Office, both through Ambassador
Grew and through their Ambassador here, urged that the conversations be
brought to a settlement at the earliest possible time. In view of the
pressing insistence of the Japanese for a definitive reply to their
outstanding proposals, I was impelled to comment to the Japanese
Ambassador on November 15 that the American Government did not feel that
it should be receiving such representations, suggestive of ultimatums.
"On November 15 Mr. Kurusu reached Washington. On November 17 he and the
Japanese Ambassador called on me and later on the same day on the
ARRIVAL OF SABURO KURUSU
Mr. Kurusu in his initial conversation with President Roosevelt and
Secretary Hull indicated that Prime Minister Tojo desired a peaceful
adjustment of differences. At the same time it was clear that Kurusu had
nothing new to suggest concerning Japan's participation in the
Tripartite Pact or the presence of her troops in China. The President
reiterated the desire of the United States to avoid war between the two
countries and to effect a peaceful settlement of divergent positions in
the Pacific. The Secretary of State, setting forth his comments at the
conference, stated: 
 Foreign Relations, vol. II, pp. 740, 741.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 31
"Ambassador Kurusu made some specious attempt to explain away the
Tripartite Pact. I replied in language similar to that which I used in
discussing this matter with Ambassador Nomura on November fifteenth,
which need not be repeated here. I made it clear that any kind of a
peaceful settlement for the Pacific area, with Japan still clinging to
her Tripartite Pact with Germany, would cause the President and myself
to be denounced in immeasurable terms and the peace arrangement would
not for a moment be taken seriously while all of the countries
interested in the Pacific would redouble their efforts to arm against
Japanese aggression. I emphasized the point about the Tripartite Pact
and self-defense by saying that when Hitler starts on a march of
invasion across the earth with ten million soldiers and thirty thousand
airplanes with an official announcement that he is out for unlimited
invasion objectives, this country from that time was in danger and that
danger has grown each week until this minute. The result was that this
country with no other motive except self-defense has recognized that
danger, and has proceeded thus far to defend itself before it is too
late; and that the Government of Japan says that it does not know
whether this country is thus acting in self-defense or not. This country
feels so profoundly the danger that it has committed itself to ten,
twenty-five, or fifty billions of dollars in self-defense; but when
Japan is asked about whether this is self-defense, she indicates that
she has no opinion on the subject-I said that I cannot get this view
over to the American people; that they believe Japan must know that we
are acting in self-defense and, therefore, they do not understand her
present attitude. I said that he was speaking of their political
difficulties and that I was thus illustrating some of our difficulties
in connection with this country's relations with Japan."
In a further conversation with Ambassador Nomura and Mr. Kurusu on
November 18, Secretary Hull's observations were related in the following
"The Secretary of State conferred again with the Japanese Ambassador and
Mr. Kurusu on November 18. The Secretary expressed great doubt whether
any agreement into which we entered with Japan while Japan had an
alliance with Hitler would carry the confidence of our people. He said
that a difficult situation was created when, for example, telegrams of
congratulation were sent to Hitler by Japanese leaders when he commits
some atrocity, and he emphasized that we would have to have a clear-cut
agreement making clear our peaceful purpose, for otherwise there would
be a redoubled effort by all nations to strengthen their armaments. He
pointed out that we were trying to make a contribution to the
establishment of a peaceful world, based on law and order. He said that
this is what we want to work out with Japan; that we had nothing to
offer in the way of bargaining except our friendship. He said that
frankly he did not know whether anything could be done in the matter of
reaching a satisfactory agreement with Japan; that we can go so far but
rather than go beyond a certain point it would be better for us to stand
and take the consequences."
During the discussion Ambassador Nomura and Mr. Kurusu suggested the
possibility of a modus vivendi or a temporary arrangement to tide over
the abnormal situation.  They offered as a possibility return to the
status prevailing prior to July 26, 1941, when Japanese assets in the
United States were frozen following Japan's entry into southern French
Indochina. To this suggestion, Secretary Hull replied: 
"I said that if we should make some modifications in our embargo on the
strength of such a step by Japan as the Ambassador had mentioned, we
would not know whether the troops to be withdrawn from French Indochina
would be diverted to some equally objectionable movement elsewhere. I
said that it would be difficult for our Government to go a long way in
removing the embargo unless we believed that Japan was definitely
started on a peaceful course and had renounced purposes of conquest. I
said that I would consult with the representatives of other countries on
this suggestion. On the same day I informed the British Minister of my
talk with the Japanese about the suggestion of a temporary limited
 Id., at p. 363.
 See committee record, p. 1135.
32 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
NEGOTIATIONS VERSUS DEADLINES
In a conversation with the Secretary of State on November 19, the
Japanese emissaries made it clear that Japan could not abrogate the
Tripartite Alliance and regarded herself as bound to carry out its
obligations. Through all of the discussions it was evident that Japan
was pressing for an early decision. In a series of "deadlines" (now
known to have been keyed to the contemplated departure of the task force
that struck Pearl Harbor) contained in intercepted messages from Tokyo
to Washington the urgency of the negotiations was explained:
November 5, 1941, circular No. 736. 
"Because of various circumstances, *it is absolutely necessary that all
arrangements for the signing of this agreement be completed by the 25th
of this month*. I realize that this is a difficult order, but under the
circumstances it is an unavoidable one. Please understand this
thoroughly and tackle the problem of saving the Japanese-U. S. Relations
from falling into chaotic condition. Do so with great determination and
with unstinted effort, I beg of you.
"This information is to be kept strictly to yourself only."
November 11, 1941, circular No. 762. 
"Judging from the progress of the conversations, there seem to be
indications that the United States is still not fully aware of the
exceedingly criticalness of the situation here. *The fact remains that
the date set forth in my message #736 is absolutely immovable under
present conditions. It is a definite dead-line and therefore it is
essential that a settlement be reached by about that time*. The session
of Parliament opens on the 15th (work will start on [the following
day?]) according to the schedule. The government must have a clear
picture of things to come, in presenting its case at the session. You
can see, therefore, that the situation is nearing a climax, and that
time is indeed becoming short.
I appreciate the fact that you are making strenuous efforts, but in view
"of the above mentioned situation, will you redouble them. When talking
to the Secretary of State and others, drive the points home to them. Do
everything in your power to get a clear picture of the U. S. Attitude in
the minimum amount of time. *At the same time do everything in your
power to have them give their speedy approval to our final proposal.*
"We would appreciate being advised of your opinions on whether or not
they will accept our final proposal A."
November 22, 1941, circular NO. 812. 
"To both you Ambassadors.
"It is awfully hard for us to consider changing the date we set in my
No. 736. You should know this, however, I know you are working hard.
Stick to our fixed policy and do your very best. Spare no efforts and
try to bring about the solution we desire. There are reasons beyond your
ability to guess why we wanted to settle Japanese-American relations by
the 25th, but if within the next three or four days you can finish your
conversations with the Americans, *if the signing can be completed by
the 29th* (let me write it out for you-twenty-ninth); if the pertinent
notes can be exchanged; if we can get an understanding with Great
Britain and the Netherlands; and in short if everything can be finished,
we have decided to wait until that date. This time we mean it, that the
dead line absolutely cannot be changed. *After that things are
automatically going to happen*. Please take this into your careful
consideration and work harder than you ever have before. This, for the
present, is for the information of you two Ambassadors alone."
JAPANESE ULTIMATUM OF NOVEMBER 20 AND THE MODUS VIVENDI
During a conversation with Secretary Hull on November 20 the Japanese
Ambassador presented a proposal which was in fact an ultimatum, reading
as follows: 
 Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 100.
 Id., at p. 116.
 Id., at p. 165.
 Foreign Relations. Vol. II, pp. 366, 367.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 33
"1. Both the Governments of Japan and the United States undertake not to
make any armed advancement into any of the regions in the Southeastern
Asia and the Southern Pacific area excepting the part of French Indo-
China where the Japanese troops are stationed at present.
"2. The Japanese Government undertakes to withdraw its troops now
stationed in French Indo-China upon either the restoration of peace
between Japan and China or the establishment of an equitable peace in
the Pacific area.
"In the meantime the Government of Japan declares that it is prepared to
remove its troops now stationed in the southern part of French Indo-
China to the northern part of the said territory upon the conclusion of
the present arrangement which shall later be embodied in the final
"3. The Government of Japan and the United States shall cooperate with a
view to securing the acquisition of those goods and commodities which
the two countries need in Netherlands East Indies.
"4. The Governments of Japan and the United States mutually undertake to
restore their commercial relations to those prevailing prior to the
freezing of the assets.
"The Government of the United States shall supply Japan a required
quantity of oil.
"5. The Government of the United States undertakes to refrain from such
measures and actions as will be prejudicial to the endeavors for the
restoration of general peace between Japan and China."
In his testimony Secretary Hull observed with respect to the foregoing
"On November 20 the Japanese Ambassador and Mr. Kurusu presented to me a
proposal which on its face was extreme. I knew, as did other high
officers of the Government, from intercepted Japanese messages supplied
to me by the War and Navy Departments, that this proposal was the final
Japanese proposition-*an ultimatum*.
"The plan thus offered called for the supplying by the United States to
Japan of as much oil as Japan might require, for suspension of freezing
measures, for discontinuance by the United States of aid to China, and
for withdrawal of moral and material support from the recognized Chinese
Government. It contained a provision that Japan would shift her armed
forces from southern Indochina to northern Indochina, but placed no
limit on the number of armed forces which Japan might send to Indochina
and made no provision for withdrawal of those forces until after either
the restoration of peace between Japan and China or the establishment of
an "equitable" peace in the Pacific area. While there were stipulations
against further extension of Japan's armed force into southeastern Asia
and the southern Pacific (except Indochina), there were no provisions
which would have prevented continued or fresh Japanese aggressive
activities in any of the regions of Asia lying to the north of
Indochina-for example, China and the Soviet Union. The proposal
contained no provision pledging Japan to abandon aggression and to
revert to peaceful courses."
There can now be no question that Japan intended her proposal of
November 20 as an ultimatum. It was their final proposal  and a
deadline of November 25, subsequently changed to November 29, had been
set for its acceptance. It was a proposal which the Government of Japan
knew we could not accept. It was the final gesture of the Tojo Cabinet
before launching the vast campaign of aggression which the military
overlords of Japan had long before decided upon.
The critical situation culminating in consideration of a modus vivendi
was revealed by Secretary Hull: 
"On November 21 we received word from the Dutch that they had
information that a Japanese force had arrived near Palao, the nearest
point in the Japanese Mandated Islands to the heart of the Netherlands
Indies. Our Consuls at Hanoi and Saigon had been reporting extensive new
landings of Japanese troops and equipment in Indochina. We had
information through intercepted Japanese messages that the Japanese
Government had decided that the negotiations must
 Committee record pp. 1136-1138.
 In an intercepted dispatch from Tokyo to Washington on November 19
the Japanese Government stated in referring to the ultimatum presented
to the United States on the following day: "If the United States consent
to this cannot be secured the negotiations will have to he broken off;
therefore, with the above well in mind put forth your very best
efforts." Committee exhibit No. 1 p. 155.
 Committee record pp. 1138-1141.
34 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
be terminated by November 25, later extended to November 29. We knew
from other intercepted Japanese messages that the Japanese did not
intend to make any concessions, and from this fact taken together with
Kurusu's statement to me of November 21 making clear that his Government
had nothing further to offer, it was plain, as I have mentioned, that
the Japanese proposal of November 20 was in fact their "absolutely final
"*The whole issue presented was whether Japan would yield in her avowed
movement of conquest or whether we would yield the fundamental
principles for which we stood in the Pacific and all over the world*. By
midsummer of 1941 we were pretty well satisfied that the Japanese were
determined to continue with their course of expansion by force. We had
made it clear to them that we were standing fast by our principles. It
was evident, however, that they were playing for the chance that we
might be overawed into yielding by their threats of force. They were
armed to the teeth and we knew they would attack whenever and wherever
they pleased. If by chance we should have yielded our fundamental
principles, Japan would probably not have attacked for the time being-at
least not until she had consolidated the gains she would have made
"*There was never any question of this country forcing Japan to fight.
The question was whether this country was ready to sacrifice its
"To have accepted the Japanese proposal of November 20 was clearly
unthinkable. It would have made the United States an ally of Japan in
Japan's program of conquest and aggression and of collaboration with
Hitler. It would have meant yielding to the Japanese demand that the
United States abandon its principles and policies. It would have meant
abject surrender of our position under intimidation.
"*The situation was critical and virtually hopeless. On the one hand our
Government desired to exhaust all possibilities of finding a means to a
peaceful solution and to avert or delay an armed clash, especially as
the heads of this country's armed forces continued to emphasize the need
of time to prepare for resistance. On the other hand, Japan was calling
for a showdown*.
"There the situation stood-the Japanese unyielding and intimidating in
their demands and we standing firmly for our principles.
"The chances of meeting the crisis by diplomacy had practically
vanished. We had reached the point of clutching at straws.
"Three possible choices presented themselves.
"Our Government might have made no reply. The Japanese war lords could
then have told their people that the American Government not only would
make no reply but would also not offer any alternative.
"Our Government might have rejected flatly the Japanese proposal. In
that event the Japanese war lords would be afforded a pretext, although
wholly false, for military attack.
"Our Government might endeavor to present a reasonable counter-proposal.
"The last course was the one chosen."
Full consideration was given by officials of our Government to a
counterproposal to the Japanese note of November 20, including the
thought of a possible modus vivendi. It was recognized that such an
arrangement would demonstrate the desire of the United States for peace
and at the same time afford a possible opportunity for the Army and Navy
to continue its preparations. From November 22 to 26 the President,
State Department, and the highest military authorities discussed a modus
vivendi, a first draft being completed on November 22. Revised drafts
were prepared on November 24 and 25. The final draft of November 25,
which is being set forth in its entirety in view of the testimony that
has been adduced concerning it, was as follows: 
"The representatives of the Government of the United States and of the
Government of Japan have been carrying on during the past several months
informal and exploratory conversations for the purpose of arriving at a
settlement if possible of questions relating to the entire Pacific area
based upon the principles of peace, law and order, and fair dealing
among nations. These principles include the principle of inviolability
of territorial integrity and sovereignty of each and all nations; the
principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other
countries; the principle of equality, including equality of commercial
 See Committee Exhibit No. 18.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 35
treatment; and the principle of reliance upon international cooperation
and conciliation for the prevention and pacific settlement of
controversies and for improvement of international conditions by
peaceful methods and processes.
"It is believed that in our discussions some progress has been made in
reference to the general principles which constitute the basis of a
peaceful settlement covering the entire Pacific area. Recently, the
Japanese Ambassador has stated that the Japanese Government is desirous
of continuing the conversations directed toward a comprehensive and
peaceful settlement in the Pacific area; that it would be helpful toward
creating an atmosphere favorable to the successful outcome of the
conversations if a temporary modus vivendi could be agreed upon to be in
effect while the conversations looking to a peaceful settlement in the
Pacific were continuing; and that it would be desirable that such modus
vivendi include as one of its provisions some initial and temporary
steps of a reciprocal character in the resumption of trade and normal
intercourse between Japan and the United States.
"On November 20, the Japanese Ambassador communicated to the Secretary
of State proposals in regard to temporary measures to be taken
respectively by the Government of Japan and by the Government of the
United States, which measures are understood to have been designed to
accomplish the purposes above indicated. These proposals contain
features which, in the opinion of this Government, conflict with the
fundamental principles which form a part of the general settlement under
consideration and to which each Government has declared that it is
"The Government of the United States is earnestly desirous to contribute
to the promotion and maintenance of peace in the Pacific area and to
afford every opportunity for the continuance of discussions with the
Japanese Government directed toward working out a broad-gauge program of
peace throughout the Pacific area. With these ends in view, the
Government of the United States offers for the consideration of the
Japanese Government an alternative suggestion for a temporary modus
vivendi, as follows:
"1. The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan,
both being solicitous for the peace of the Pacific, affirm that their
national policies are directed toward lasting and extensive peace
throughout the Pacific area and that they have no territorial designs
"2. They undertake reciprocally not to make from regions in which they
have military establishments any advance by force or threat of force
into any areas in Southeastern or Northeastern Asia or in the southern
or the northern Pacific area.
"3. The Japanese Government undertakes forthwith to withdraw its forces
now stationed in southern French Indochina and not to replace those
forces; to reduce the total of its force in French Indochina to the
number there on July 26, 1941; and not to send additional naval, land,
or air forces to Indochina for replacements or otherwise.
"The provisions of the foregoing paragraph are without prejudice to the
position of the Government of the United States with regard to the
presence of foreign troops in that area.
"4. The Government of the United States undertakes forthwith to modify
the application of its existing freezing and export restrictions to the
extent necessary to permit the following resumption of trade between the
United States and Japan in articles for the use and needs of their
"(a) Imports from Japan to be freely permitted and the proceeds of the
sale thereof to be paid into a clearing account to be used for the
purchase of the exports from the United States listed below, and at
Japan's option for the payment of interest and principal of Japanese
obligations within the United States, provided that at least two-thirds
in value of such imports per month consist of raw silk. It is understood
that all American-owned goods now in Japan, the movement of which in
transit to the United States has been interrupted following the adoption
of freezing measures shall be forwarded forthwith to the United States.
"(b) Exports from the United States to Japan to be permitted as follows:
"(i) Bunkers and supplies for vessels engaged in the trade here provided
for and for such other vessels engaged in other trades as the two
Governments may agree.
"(ii) Food and food products from the United States subject to such
limitations as the appropriate authorities may prescribe in respect of
commodities in short supply in the United States.
"(iii) Raw cotton from the United States to the extent of $600,000 in
value per month.
36 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
"(iv) Medical and pharmaceutical supplies subject to such limitations
the appropriate authorities may prescribe in respect of commodities in
short supply in the United States.
"(v) Petroleum. The United States will permit the export to Japan of
petroleum, within the categories permitted general export, upon a
monthly basis for civilian needs. The proportionate amount of petroleum
to be exported from the United States for such needs will be determined
after consultation with the British and the Dutch Governments. It is
understood that by civilian needs in Japan is meant such purposes as the
operation of the fishing industry, the transport system, lighting,
heating, industrial and agricultural uses, and other civilian uses.
"(vi) The above-stated amounts of exports may be increased and
additional commodities added by agreement between the two Governments as
it may appear to them that the operation of this agreement is furthering
the peaceful and equitable solution of outstanding problems in the
"The Government of Japan undertakes forthwith to modify the application
of its existing freezing and export restrictions to the extent necessary
to permit the resumption of trade between Japan and the United States as
provided for in paragraph 4 above.
"6. The Government of the United States undertakes forthwith to approach
the Australian, British, and Dutch Governments with a view to those
Governments taking measures similar to those provided for in paragraph 4
"7. With reference to the current hostilities between Japan and China,
the fundamental interest of the Government of the United States in
reference to any discussions which may be entered into between the
Japanese and the Chinese Governments is simply that these discussions
and any settlement reached as a result thereof be based upon and
exemplify the fundamental principles of peace law, order, and justice,
which constitute the central spirit of the current conversations between
the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States and
which are applicable uniformly throughout the Pacific area.
"8. This modus vivendi shall remain in force for a period of 3 months
with the understanding that the two parties shall confer at the instance
of either to ascertain whether the prospects of reaching a peaceful
settlement covering the entire Pacific area justify an extension of the
modus vivendi for a further period."
The tentative modus vivendi was submitted for consideration to the
Governments of Great Britain, Australia, the Netherlands, and China. The
ultimate decision to abandon it was made for reasons best set forth in
Secretary Hull's testimony: 
"On the evening of November 25 and on November 26 I went over again the
considerations relating to our proposed plan, especially the modus
"As I have indicated, all the successive drafts, of November 22, of
November 24 and of November 25, contained two things: (1) The possible
modus vivendi; and (2) a statement of principles, with a suggested
example of how those principles could be applied-that which has since
been commonly described as the 10-point proposal.
"I and other high officers of our Government knew that the Japanese
military were poised for attack. We knew that the Japanese were
demanding-and had set a time limit, first of November 25 and extended
later to November 29, for acceptance by our Government of their extreme,
last-word proposal of November 20.
"It was therefore my judgment, as it was that of the President and other
high officers, that the chance of the Japanese accepting our proposal
"So far as the modus vivendi aspect would have appeared to the Japanese,
it contained only a little chicken feed in the shape of some cotton,
oil, and a few other commodities in very limited quantities as compared
with the unlimited quantities the Japanese were demanding.
"It was manifest that there would be widespread opposition from American
opinion to the modus vivendi aspect of the proposal especially to the
supplying to Japan of even limited quantities of oil. The Chinese
Government violently opposed the idea. The other interested governments
were sympathetic to the Chinese view and fundamentally were unfavorable
or lukewarm. Their cooperation was a part of the plan. It developed that
the conclusion with Japan of such an arrangement would have been a major
blow to Chinese morale. In view of these considerations it became clear
that the slight prospects of Japan's agreeing to the modus vivendi did
not warrant assuming the risks involved in proceeding with it,
especially the serious
 Committee Record, pp. 1146-1147.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 37
risk of collapse of Chinese morale and resistance, and even of
disintegration of China. It therefore became perfectly evident that the
modus vivendi aspect would not be feasible.
"The Japanese were spreading propaganda to the effect that they were
being encircled. On the one hand we were faced by this charge and on the
other by one that we were preparing to pursue a policy of appeasing
Japan. In view of the resulting confusion, it seemed important to
restate the fundamentals. We could offer Japan once more what we offered
all countries, a suggested program of collaboration along peaceful and
mutually beneficial and progressive lines. It had always been open to
Japan to accept that kind of a program and to move in that direction. It
still was possible for Japan to do so. That was a matter for Japan's
decision. Our hope that Japan would so decide had been virtually
extinguished. Yet it was felt desirable to put forth this further basic
effort, in the form of one sample of a broad but simple settlement to be
worked out in our future conversations, on the principle that no effort
should be spared to test and exhaust every method of peaceful
"In the light of the foregoing considerations, on November 26 I
recommended to the President-and he approved-my calling in the Japanese
representatives and handing them the broad basic proposals while
withholding the modus vivendi plan. This was done in the late afternoon
of that day."
The very serious reaction of the Chinese to the suggested modus vivendi
is clearly set forth in a dispatch dated November 25, 1941, from an
American adviser to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in Chungking: 
"After discussion with the Generalissimo the Chinese Ambassador's
conference with the Secretary of State, I feel you should urgently
advise the President of the Generalissimo's very strong reaction. I have
never seen him really agitated before. Loosening of economic pressure or
unfreezing would dangerously increase Japan's military advantage in
China. A relaxation of American pressure while Japan has its forces in
China would dismay the Chinese. Any "modus vivendi" now arrived at with
Japan would be disastrous to Chinese belief in America and analogous to
the closing of the Burma Road, which permanently destroyed British
prestige. Japan and Chinese defeatists would instantly exploit the
resulting disillusionment and urge oriental solidarity against
occidental treachery. It is doubtful whether either past assistance or
increasing aid could compensate for the feeling of being deserted at
this hour. The Generalissimo has deep confidence in the President's
fidelity to his consistent policy but I must warn you that even the
Generalissimo questions his ability to hold the situation together if
the Chinese national trust in America is undermined by reports of
Japan's escaping military defeat by diplomatic victory."
There is no possibility whatever that the modus vivendi would have been
accepted by the Japanese. In an intercepted dispatch of November 19 
the Japanese Ambassadors suggested to Tokyo that there were three
courses open to the Empire: (1) maintain the status quo, (2) break the
"present deadlock" by an advance under force of arms, or (3) devise some
means for bringing about a mutual nonaggression arrangement. In favoring
the third alternative it was stated:
"* * * as I view it, the present, after exhausting our strength by 4
years of the China incident following right upon the Manchuria incident,
is hardly an opportune time for venturing upon another long-drawn-out
warfare on a large scale. I think that it would be better to fix up a
temporary "truce" now in the spirit of "give and take" and make this the
prelude to greater achievement to come later * * *."
Replying to the foregoing suggestion, Tokyo advised on November 20 
that "under the circumstances here, we regret that *the plan suggested
by you, as we have stated in our message would not suffice for
 Communication from Owen Lattimore in Chungking to Lauchlin Currie,
Presidential Assistant handling Chinese matters, in Washington. See
Committee exhibit No. 18.
 Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 158.
 Id., at p. 160.
38 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
saving the present situation. We see no prospects for breaking the
deadlock except for you to push negotiations immediately along the lines
of the latter part of our No. 798.  Please understand this. The
Premier also is absolutely in accord with this opinion."
It is significant to note that when Mr. Kurusu suggested the possibility
of a modus vivendi to Secretary Hull on November 18, the Japanese
ambassadors very obviously had not consulted their Tokyo superiors. When
they did on November 19, Tokyo replied the following day rejecting the
idea completely, as indicated above.
Writing in his diary for November 25, 1941, Secretary Stimson, in
referring to the tentative draft of a modus vivendi, clearly indicated
an appreciation of the fact that it would not be acceptable to the
"At 9:30 Knox and I met in Hull's office for our meeting of three. Hull
showed us the proposal for a 3 months' truce, which he was going to lay
before the Japanese today or tomorrow. It adequately safeguarded all our
interests, I thought as I read it, but l don't think there is any chance
of the Japanese accepting it, because it was so drastic. In return for
the propositions which they were to do, namely, to at once evacuate and
at once to stop all preparations or threats of action, and to take no
aggressive action against any of her neighbors, etc., we were to give
them open trade in sufficient quantities only for their civilian
population. This restriction was particularly applicable to oil."
Had our Government submitted the tentative modus vivendi, it is clear
that Japan would have rejected it, and Chinese morale and resistance
would very probably have been seriously impaired if not destroyed.
UNITED STATES MEMORANDUM OF NOVEMBER 26
The modus vivendi was designed to accompany a statement of principles
with a suggested example of how the principles could be applied. With
the decision not to propose a modus vivendi, the Secretary of State on
November 26 presented to the Japanese Ambassador its accompanying
material which was as follows: 
"The representatives of the Government of the United States and of the
Government of Japan have been carrying on during the past several months
informal and exploratory conversations for the purpose of arriving at a
settlement if possible of questions relating to the entire Pacific area
based upon the principles of peace, law and order and fair dealing among
nations. These principles include the principle of inviolability of
territorial integrity and sovereignty of each and all nations; the
principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries;
the principle of equality, including equality of commercial opportunity
and treatment; and the principle of reliance upon international
cooperation and conciliation for the prevention and pacific settlement
of controversies and for improvement of international conditions by
peaceful methods and processes.
"It is believed that in our discussions some progress has been made in
reference to the general principles which constitute the basis of a
peaceful settlement covering the entire Pacific area. Recently the
Japanese Ambassador has stated that the Japanese Government is desirous
of continuing the conversations directed toward a comprehensive and
peaceful settlement in the Pacific area; that it would be helpful toward
creating an atmosphere favorable to the successful outcome of the
conversations if a temporary modus vivendi could be agreed upon to be in
effect while the conversations looking to a peaceful settlement in the
Pacific were continuing. On November 20 the Japanese Ambassador
communicated to the Secretary of State proposals in regard to temporary
measures to be taken respec-
 See committee exhibit No. 1, p. 155.
 See committee record, pp. 14417, 14418.
 Foreign Relations, vol. II, pp. 766-770.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 39
tively by the Government of Japan and by the Government of the United
States, which measures are understood to have been designed to
accomplish the purposes above indicated.
"The Government of the United States most earnestly desires to
contribute to the promotion and maintenance of peace and stability in
the Pacific area, and to afford every opportunity for the continuance of
discussions with the Japanese Government directed toward working out a
broad-gauge program of peace throughout the Pacific area. The proposals
which were presented by the Japanese Ambassador on November 20 contain
some features which, in the opinion of this Government conflict with the
fundamental principles which form a part of the general settlement under
consideration and to which each Government has declared that it is
committed. The Government of the United States believes that the
adoption of such proposals would not be likely to contribute to the
ultimate objectives of ensuring peace under law, order and justice in
the Pacific area, and it suggests that further effort be made to resolve
our divergences of views in regard to the practical application of the
fundamental principles already mentioned.
"With this object in view the Government of the United States offers for
the consideration of the Japanese Government a plan of a broad but
simple settlement covering the entire Pacific area as one practical
exemplification of *a program which this Government envisages as
something to be worked out during our further conversations.*
"The plan therein suggested represents an effort to bridge the gap
between our draft of June 21, 1941, and the Japanese draft of September
25 by making a new approach to the essential problems underlying a
comprehensive Pacific settlement. This plan contains provisions dealing
with the practical application of the fundamental principles which we
have agreed in our conversations constitute the only sound basis for
worthwhile international relations. We hope that in this way progress
toward reaching a meeting of minds between our two Governments may be
"OUTLINE OF PROPOSED BASIS FOR AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND
"SECTION I-DRAFT MUTUAL DECLARATION OF POLICY
"The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan both
being solicitous for the peace of the Pacific affirm that their national
policies are directed toward lasting and extensive peace throughout the
Pacific area, that they have no territorial designs in that area, that
they have no intention of threatening other countries or of using
military force aggressively against any neighboring nation, and that,
accordingly, in their national policies they will actively support and
give practical application to the following fundamental principles upon
which their relations with each other and with all other governments are
" "(1) The principle of inviolability of territorial integrity and
sovereignty of each and all nations.
" "(2) The principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of
" "(3) The principle of equality, including equality of commercial
opportunity and treatment.
" "(4) The principle of reliance upon international cooperation and
conciliation for the prevention and pacific settlement of controversies
and for improvement of international conditions by peaceful methods and
"The Government of Japan and the Government of the United States have
agreed that toward eliminating chronic political instability, preventing
recurrent economic collapse, and providing a basis for peace, they will
actively support and practically apply the following principles in their
economic relations with each other and with other nations and peoples:
" "(1) The principle of nondiscrimination in international commercial
" " (2) The principle of international economic cooperation and
abolition of extreme nationalism as expressed in excessive trade
" "(3) The principle of nondiscriminatory access by all nations to raw-
" "(4) The principle of full protection of the interests of consuming
countries and populations as regards the operation of international
" "(5) The principle of establishment of such institutions and
arrangements of international finance as may lend aid to the essential
enterprises and the continuous development of all countries and may
permit payments through processes of trade consonant with the welfare of
40 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
"SECTION II-STEPS TO BE TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND
BY THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN
"The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan propose
to take steps as follows:
"1. The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan will
endeavor to conclude a multilateral nonaggression pact among the British
Empire, China, Japan, the Netherlands, the Soviet Union, Thailand, and
the United States.
"2. Both Governments will endeavor to conclude among the American,
British, Chinese, Japanese, the Netherlands, and Thai Governments an
agreement whereunder each of the Governments would pledge itself to
respect the territorial integrity of French Indochina and, in the event
that there should develop a threat to the territorial integrity of
Indochina, to enter into immediate consultation with a view to taking
such measures as may be deemed necessary and advisable to meet the
threat in question. Such agreement would provide also that each of the
Governments party to the agreement would not seek or accept preferential
treatment in its trade or economic relations with Indochina and would
use its influence to obtain for each of the signatories equality of
treatment in trade and commerce with French Indochina.
"3. The Government of Japan will withdraw all military, naval, air, and
police forces from China and from Indochina.
"4. The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan will
not support-militarily, politically, economically-any government or
regime in China other than the National Government of the Republic of
China with capital temporarily at Chungking.
"5. Both Governments will give up all extraterritorial rights in China,
including rights and interests in and with regard to international
settlements and concessions, and rights under the Boxer Protocol of
"Both Governments will endeavor to obtain the agreement of the British
and other governments to give up extraterritorial rights in China,
including rights in international settlements and in concessions and
under the Boxer Protocol of 1901.
"6. The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan will
enter into negotiations for the conclusion between the United States and
Japan of a trade agreement, based upon reciprocal most-favored-nation
treatment and reduction of trade barriers by both countries, including
an undertaking by the United States to bind raw silk on the free list.
"7. The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan will
respectively, remove the freezing restrictions on Japanese funds in the
unite States and on American funds in Japan.
"8. Both Governments will agree upon a plan for the stabilization of the
dollar-yen rate, with the allocation of funds adequate for this purpose,
half to be supplied by Japan and half by the United States.
"9. Both Governments will agree that no agreement which either has
concluded with any third power or powers shall he 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
"10. Both Governments will use their influence to cause other
governments to adhere to and to give practical application to the basic
political and economic principles set forth in this agreement."
The foregoing reply was clearly not an ultimatum from the standpoint of
the Government of the United States. On the contrary it was an admirable
statement of every honorable principle for which the United States has
stood for many years in the Orient. Ambassador Grew characterized the
November 26 note of Secretary Hull as follows: 
"NOVEMBER 29, 1941.
"Our Government has handed to the Japanese a 10-point draft proposal for
adjusting the whole situation in the Far East. It is a broad-gauge
objective, and statesmanlike document, offering to Japan practically
everything that she has ostensibly been fighting for if she will simply
stop her aggressive policy. By adopting such a program she would be
offered free access to needed raw materials, free trade and commerce,
financial cooperation and support, withdrawal of the freezing orders,
and an opportunity to negotiate a new treaty of commerce with us. If she
wants a political and economic stranglehold on the countries of East
Asia (euphemistically called the New Order in East Asia and the East
 Grew, Ten Years in Japan (1944), pp. 482, 483. Committee exhibit
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 41
Co-Prosperity Sphere)-which most of her extremists do want-and if she
pursues her southward advance by force, she will soon be at war with all
of the A B C D powers and will unquestionably be defeated and reduced to
the status of a third-rate power. But if she plays her cards wisely, she
can obtain without further fighting all of the desiderata for which she
allegedly started fighting-strategic, economic, financial, and social
Referring to the November 26 note Secretary Stimson said: 
"I personally was relieved that we had not backed down on any of the
fundamental principles on which we had stood for so long and which *I
felt we could not give up without the sacrifice of our national honor
and prestige in the world*. I submit, however, that no impartial reading
of this document can characterize it as being couched in the terms of an
ultimatum, although the Japanese were of course only too quick to seize
upon it and give that designation for their own purposes."
As suggested by Mr. Stimson, Japan did choose to regard it as an
ultimatum consistent with her purposes. Her note of November 20, it is
apparent, was the final diplomatic move and failing to secure the
concessions demanded the November 26 reply of the United States was
seized upon by the war lords of Japan in subsequent propaganda as their
excuse for the attack on Pearl Harbor which they had planned for many
weeks. It is to be noted in this connection that the Japanese task force
was enroute for its attack on Pearl Harbor before the American note of
November 26 was delivered to the Government of Japan. At the time of
receiving the note from Secretary Hull, Kurusu stated the Japanese
Government would be likely "to throw up its hands" when it received the
proposal; that he felt the response which had thus been given to the
Japanese proposal of November 20 could be interpreted as tantamount to
meaning the end of the conversations.  A dispatch from Ambassador
Grew to the State Department on December 5 reflected the strong reaction
in Japan. 
Secretary Hull said: 102
"It is not surprising that Japanese propaganda, especially after Japan
had begun to suffer serious defeats, has tried to distort and give false
meaning to our memorandum of November 26 by referring to it as an
"ultimatum." This was in line with a well-known Japanese characteristic
of utilizing completely false and flimsy pretexts to delude their people
and gain their support for militaristic depredations and
In press conferences on November 26 and 27, Secretary Hull outlined the
status of American-Japanese relations. 
The decision to stand by basic American principles was the only
honorable position under the circumstances.  To have acceded to the
Japanese ultimatum of November 20 would have been indefensible. Firmness
was the only language Japan understood. As Ambassador Grew had stated in
his celebrated "green light" dispatch of September 12, 1940, to the
State Department: 
"Force or the display of force can alone prevent these powers (including
Japan) from attaining their objectives * * *.
"If then we can by firmness preserve the status quo in the Pacific until
and if Britain emerges successfully from the European struggle, Japan
will be faced with a situation which will make it impossible for the
present opportunist philosophy to maintain the upper hand * * *.
"In the present situation and outlook I believe that the time has come
when continued patience and restraint on the part of the United States
may and probably will lead to developments which will render Japanese-
American relations progressively precarious."
 See committee reeord, p. 14393
 Foreign Relations, vol. II, p. 375.
 Committee Record, p. 1821-24.
 Committee Record, p, 1153.
 See statement of Secretary Hull, Committee Record, pp. 1153 et
 Id., p. 1155.
 Committee exhibit No. 26.
42 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
That firmness, the only language the Japanese understood, failed to
dissuade them cannot redound to our regret but only to the ignominy of
the Empire of Japan.
FRAUDULENT NATURE OF JAPANESE DIPLOMACY-NOVEMBER 28 TO DECEMBER 7
An intercepted dispatch NO. 844 from Tokyo to its Washington Embassy on
November 28 left little doubt of the fraudulent character of the
negotiations thereafter and is a classic example of Japanese deceit and
"Well, you two Ambassadors have exerted superhuman efforts but, in spite
of this, the United States has gone ahead and presented this humiliating
proposal. This was quite unexpected and extremely regrettable. The
Imperial Government can by no means use it as a basis for negotiations.
Therefore, with a report of the views of the Imperial Government on this
American proposal which I will send you in two or three days, the
negotiations will be de facto ruptured. This is inevitable. However, I
do not wish you to give the impression that the negotiations are broken
off. Merely say to them that you are awaiting instructions and that,
although the opinions of your Government are not yet clear to you, to
your own way of thinking the Imperial Government has always made just
claims and has borne great sacrifices for the sake of peace in the
Pacific. Say that we have always demonstrated a long-suffering and
conciliatory attitude, but that, on the other hand, the United States
has been unbending, making it impossible for Japan to establish
negotiations. Since things have come to this pass, I contacted the man
you told me to in your #1180  and he said that under the present
circumstances what you suggest is entirely unsuitable. From now on do
the best you can."
The following dispatch, while the attack force was en route to Pearl
Harbor, was sent from Tokyo to Washington on December 1: 
"The date (November 29) set in my message #812  has come and gone,
and the situation continues to be increasingly critical. However, to
prevent the United States from becoming unduly suspicious we have been
advising the press and others that though there are some wide
differences between Japan and the United States, the negotiations are
continuing. (The above is for only your information) * * *"
After November 26 Ambassador Nomura and Mr. Kurusu conferred with the
President and Secretary Hull on several occasions but with nothing new
being developed looking to a peaceful settlement.
On the morning of December 6 a dispatch from Tokyo to Washington was
intercepted advising that the Japanese reply to the American note of
November 26 was being transmitted:
"I will send it in fourteen parts and I imagine you will receive it
tomorrow. However, I am not sure. The situation is extremely delicate,
and when you receive it I want you to please keep it secret for the time
This dispatch indicated that subsequent instructions would be
forthcoming concerning the time for presenting the reply to the
Government of the United States. By approximately 7 p. m. on the evening
of December 6 the first 13 parts of the 14-part Japanese memorandum had
been intercepted, decoded, and made ready for distribution to authorized
recipients by our military. These 13 parts were a long recapitulation of
the negotiations with the purposes of Japan colored with pious hue and
those of the United States perverted into a base and ulterior scheme
"for the extension of the war." The thirteenth part concluded on the
"therefore, viewed in its entirety, the Japanese Government regrets that
it cannot accept the proposal (American proposal of November 26) as a
basis of negotiations."
 Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 195.
 See committee exhibit No. 1, p. 181.
 Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 208.
 See committee exhibit No. 1, p. 165, setting the date November 29
as the deadline for effecting an understanding.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 43
The fourteenth part was intercepted early on the morning of December 7
and was available for distribution at approximately 8 a. m. It stated
"obviously it is the intention of the American Government to conspire
with Great Britain and other countries to obstruct Japan's efforts
toward the establishment of peace through the creation of a New Order in
East Asia, and especially to preserve Anglo-American rights and
interests by keeping Japan and China at war."
With the observation that this intention had been revealed during the
course of the negotiations and the "earnest hope of the Japanese
Government * * * to preserve and promote the peace of the Pacific
through cooperation with the American Government has finally been lost",
the Japanese memorandum closed with the statement:
"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
Nowhere in the memorandum was there any indication or intimation of an
intention to attack the United States nor, indeed, that formal
diplomatic relations were to be broken-merely that it was impossible to
reach an agreement through the then current negotiations. Coincident
with the receipt of the full reply, instructions were issued to Japan's
representatives for its delivery to the American Government at an hour
keyed to the time set for the assault on Pearl Harbor. On the previous
evening, President Roosevelt had dispatched an earnest appeal to the
Emperor of Japan for the preservation of peace in the Pacific.  The
infamous character of the Japanese reply was voiced by Secretary Hull to
the Japanese ambassadors who were making delivery 1 hour after  the
first bombs had fallen on Pearl Harbor: 
"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 fifty
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."
DIPLOMATIC AND MILITARY LIAISON IN WASHINGTON
With a view to effecting the fullest liaison between the diplomatic and
military arms of the Government, there was created in the light of the
approaching emergency a body familiarly referred to as the War Council.
This Council consisted of the President, the Secretary of State, the
Secretary of War, the Secretary of Navy, the Army Chief of Staff, the
Chief of Naval Operations, and, on occasion, the Chief of the Army Air
Forces.  It met at the call of the President, and during the fall
of 1941 it was in frequent session. Secretary Hull said:
 See committee exhibit No. 1, pp. 239-245.
 See Foreign Relations, vol. II, pp. 784-786. Several hours after
the Pearl Harbor attack had begun Ambassador Grew was informed by the
Japanese Foreign Minister that the Japanese 14-part memorandum replying
to the American note of November 26 was to be regarded as the Emperor's
reply to the President's appeal. See Peace and War, p. 148.
 The Japanese Ambassadors were instructed to deliver the Japanese
note to the American Secretary of State at 1 p. m. on Sunday December 7.
They made the appointment pursuant to the instruction; however, they
later postponed for 1 hour their previous appointment, stating the delay
was due to the need of more time to decode the message they were to
 Foreign Relations, vol. II, p. 787.
 For a rather full discussion of liaison between the various
departments, see testimony of Secretary Stimson, Army Pearl Harbor Board
Record, p. 4041 et seq.
44 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
"The War Council, which consisted of the President, the Secretaries of
State, War, and Navy, the Chief of Staff, and the Chief of Naval
Operations, was a sort of clearing house for all the information and
views which we were currently discussing with our respective contacts
and in our respective circles. The high lights in the developments at a
particular juncture were invariably reviewed at those meetings." 
In addition to the War Council, another liaison body, consisting of the
Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of Navy, was
created during 1940, with a view to holding weekly meetings, which were
scheduled for 9:30 each Tuesday morning. Secretary Stimson said: 
"They were perfectly informal and unofficial meetings, but they were
very regular, and we met once a week regularly; and * * * 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 Navy, and myself were in
And again: 
"During this entire period I kept in constant and close touch with Mr.
Hull and Mr. Knox, as well as having frequent meetings with the
During 1941 Rear Adm. R. E. Schuirmann was the Director of the Central
Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and had as one of his
duties liaison with the State Department. He made the following
observations concerning State Department liaison: 
"A "Liaison Committee" consisting of the Chief of Naval Operations, the
Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, and the Under Secretary of State was set up
while Admiral Leahy was Chief of Naval Operations. This Committee was
mainly occupied with questions other than the Far East, but occasionally
questions relating to the Far East were discussed. About the middle of
May 1941, the practice of having a stenographer present to record the
discussion was commenced; prior to that time I would take notes of the
meetings in order to be able to follow up such matters as required
action, and I believe one of Mr. Welles' assistants made a precis of the
meetings. At times there were "off the record" discussions at these
liaison committee meetings. I made notes of some of these "off the
record" discussions. Aside from the meetings of the Liaison Committee,
Secretary Hull held meetings with various officials of the Navy
Department, and I maintained liaison with Dr. Hornbeck and Mr. Hamilton
of the Far Eastern Division of the State Department by visit and by
telephone. I know of no official record of these meetings and
discussions. Fragmentary notes of some are in the files of the Central
Division as are such records of the Liaison Committee as are in the
possession of the Navy Department. It is possible that the State
Department representatives may have made notes of some of these meetings
and discussions with Secretary Hull and other State Department
Admiral R. W. Turner, Director of War Plans Division in the Office of
the Chief of Naval Operations, summarized the liaison with the State-
Department as follows: 
"The Chief of Naval Operations had a close personal association with the
Secretary of State and Under Secretary of State. *He consulted them
frequently and they consulted him, I might say invariably, before making
any particular diplomatic move*. In the Office of Naval Operations, the
Chief of the Central Division was appointed as liaison officer with the
State Department. He visited the State Department and discussed problems
with them practically every day. There was a weekly meeting in the State
Department conducted by the Under Secretary of State, Mr. Welles,
usually attended by the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of Staff of
the Army, Chief of the War Plans of the Army, Chief of War
 Committee record, p. 1144.
 Roberts record, pp. 4051-4053, 4078-4079.
 Committee record, p. 14386.
 Hart record. p. 405.
 Id., at p. 257.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 45
Plans of the Navy, the Chief of the Central Division of the Office of
Naval Operations, an officer of the General Staff not in the War Plans
Division, and two or three representatives of the State Department. The
matters discussed at these meetings usually related to events in Western
Hemisphere countries. The Army was building a lot of air fields in the
Caribbean and South America. The Navy and the Army, both, had sent
missions to those countries and at the meetings with the Under Secretary
it was chiefly American affairs that were discussed. Occasionally,
possibly once a month, the Secretary of State would hold a conference
with representatives of the War and Navy Departments, and at these
meetings events outside of the Americas were discussed. From time to
time the Secretary of State would call individuals from the War and Wavy
Departments to discuss particular aspects of world events. There were
other unscheduled conferences between the State and War and Navy
Departments. I participated in a great many such conferences. From time
to time, informal memoranda were exchanged between individuals of the
State and Navy Departments or exchanged between the Secretary of State
and the Chief of Naval Operations. *I would say that relations between
the State and War and State and Navy Departments were very close and
were characterized by good feeling.*"
At a regular Cabinet meeting on November 7 the President inquired of
Secretary Hull as to whether he had anything in mind. In replying
Secretary Hull testified: 
"I thereupon pointed out for about 15 minutes the dangers in the
international situation. I went over fully developments in the
conversations with Japan and emphasized that in my opinion relations
were extremely critical and that we should be on the lookout for a
military attack anywhere by Japan at any time. When I finished the
President went around the Cabinet. All concurred in my estimate of the
dangers. It became the consensus of the Cabinet that the critical
situation might well be emphasized in speeches in order that the country
would, if possible, be better prepared for such a development. "
Secretary Stimson stated: 
"On Friday, November 7, we had the usual weekly Cabinet meeting. The Far
Eastern situation was uppermost in many of our minds. Mr. Hull informed
as that relations had become extremely critical and that we should be on
the outlook for an attack by Japan at any time. "
At a meeting of the war council on November 25 Secretary Hull pointed
out that the leaders of Japan were determined and desperate, and, in his
opinion, the Japanese military was already poised for attack; that they
might attack at ally time and at any place. He emphasized the probable
element of surprise in Japanese plans, that "virtually the last stage
had been reached and that the safeguarding of our national security was
in the hands of the Army and Navy." 
At the same meeting of the council the President warned that we here
likely to be attacked, perhaps as soon as the following Monday, or "the
Japanese are notorious for making an attack without warning." 
On the morning of November 26, Secretary Hull advised Secretary Stimson
that he had about decided not to make the proposition of the 3-month
truce, the modus vivendi, that he had discussed with Secretaries Knox
and Stimson on November 25-"the Chinese, for
 Committee record, p. 1131.
 In an address delivered on November 11, 1941, Secretary Knox
warned that the Nation was confronted not only by the necessity for
extreme measures or self-defense in the Atlantic but was "likewise faced
with grim possibilities on the other side of the world-on the far side
of the Pacific." See committee record at pp. 1131, 1132.
 Committee record, pp. 14387, 14388.
 In an address on November 11, Under Secretary of State Sumner
Welles stated that beyond the Atlantic a sinister and pitiless conqueror
had reduced more than half of Europe to abject serfdom and that in the
Far East the same forces of conquest were menacing the safety of all
nations bordering on the Pacific. He said at the waves of world conquest
were "breaking high both in the East and in the West" and were
threatening "to engulf our own shores"; that the United States was in
far greater peril than in 1317 and at any "at any moment war may be
forced upon us." See committee record, p. 1132.
 Id., at p. 1144 See also statement of Mr. Stimson, committee
record, p. 14390.
 See statement of Mr. Stimson, committee record, p. 14390.
46 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
one thing, had pointed out strong objections to the proposal,
particularly the effect on the morale of their own people." 
Secretary Stimson said: 
"Early that morning (November 27) I had called up Mr. Hull to find out
what is final word had been with the Japanese-whether he had handed them
the proposal for three months' truce, or whether he had told them he had
no other proposition to make. He told me that he had broken the whole
matter off. His words were: "*I have washed my hands of it, and it is
now in the hands of you and Knox-the Army and the Navy.*" I then called
up the President, who gave me a little different view. He said that it
was true that the talks had been called off, but that they had ended up
with a magnificent statement prepared by Hull. I found out afterwards
that this was the fact and that the statement contained a reaffirmation
of our constant and regular position without the suggestion of a threat
of any kind."
With reference to his remarks before the War Council on November 28,
Secretary Hull stated: 
" * * * I reviewed the November 26 proposal which we had made to the
Japanese, and pointed out that there was practically no possibility of
an agreement being achieved with Japan. *I emphasized that in my opinion
the Japanese were likely to break out at any time with new acts of
conquest and that the matter of safeguarding our national security was
in the hands of the Army and the Navy*. With due deference I expressed
my 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
Addressing a public rally in Japan on November 30, Premier Tojo stated:
"The fact that Chiang-Kai-shek is dancing to the tune of Britain,
America, and communism at the expense of able-bodied and promising young
men in his futile resistance against Japan is only due to the desire of
Britain and the United States to fish in the troubled waters of East
Asia by putting [pitting?] the East Asiatic peoples against each other
and to grasp the hegemony of East Asia. This is a stock in trade of
Britain and the United States.
"For the honor and pride of mankind we must purge this sort of practice
from East Asia with a vengeance."
Following a conference with military leaders concerning the Japanese
Premier's address, Secretary Hull called the President at Warm Springs,
Ga., urging him to advance the date set for his return to Washington.
The President accordingly returned to Washington on December 1. 
In testifying before the Navy inquiry conducted by Admiral Hart, Admiral
Schuirmann stated in reply to a query as to whether the State
Department's estimate of the situation vis-a-vis Japan as conveyed to
the Navy Department was in accord with the statements contained "on page
138 of the book *Peace and War*": 
"I was not present at any meeting that I recall where the Secretary
expressed the element of surprise so strongly or if at all, or the
probability of attack at various points. However, the particular
meetings which he mentioned, I do not know if I was present. I cannot
make any positive statement that he did not make such a statement.
However, on Wednesday or Thursday before Pearl Harbor Secretary Hull
phoned me saying in effect, "*I know you Navy fellows are always ahead
of me but I want you to know that I don't seem to be able to do anything
more with these Japanese and they are liable to run loose like a mad dog
and bite anyone.*" I assured him that a war warning had been sent out. I
reported the conversation to Admiral Stark."
 Committee record, pp. 14391,14392.
 Id., at pp. 14392, 14393.
 Committee record, pp. 1160, 1161.
 See committee record, p. 1162
 Id., at p. 1163.
 Hart record, p. 412,
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 47
Referring to a meeting at the State Department on the morning of
December 7, Mr. Stimson said: 
"On December 7, 1941, Knox and I arranged a conference with Hull at ten-
thirty and we talked the whole matter over. *Hull is very certain that
the Japs are planning some deviltry, and we are all wondering where the
blow will strike*. We three stayed together in conference until
lunchtime, going over the plans for what should be said and done."
Considering all of the observations made by Secretary Hull to Army and
Navy Officials in the days before December 7, 1941, it is difficult to
imagine how he could have more clearly and forcefully depicted the
manner in which relations between the United States and Japan had passed
beyond the realm of diplomacy and become a matter of cold military
reality.  This thought was expressed by General Marshall when he
testified to a distinct recollection of Mr. Hull's saying: "*These
fellows mean to fight; you will have to be prepared.*" [133a]
That there was the fullest exchange of information between the
diplomatic and military arms of the Government is further indicated by
the manner in which intercepted and decoded Japanese diplomatic messages
were distributed. These messages, familiarly referred to as "Magic" and
discussed in detail elsewhere in this report, contained detailed
instructions and proposals from Tokyo to its Washington Embassy and the
comments concerning and contents of American proposals as forwarded to
Tokyo by its ambassadors. This materials not only indicated what Japan
and her ambassadors were saying but literally what they were *thinking*.
This material was available to the Secretaries of War and Navy, the
Chief of Staff, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Directors of War
Plans in both the Army and Navy, and the heads of the intelligence
branches of both the services, among others.
Beginning in 1931 Japan embarked on a career of conquest no less
ambitious nor avowed than that of the Nazis. Despite American protests
she overran and subjugated Manchuria. In 1937, bulwarked b her Anti-
Comintern Pact with Germany of the preceding year, she invaded China. In
1940 she seized upon the struggle for survival of the western powers
against Hitler's war machine to conclude an ironclad alliance with
Germany and Italy aimed directly at the United States. Thereupon she set
about to drive the "barbarians" from the Orient and to engulf the Far
East in her Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere which was to be her
bastion for world conquest. As early as January of 1941 the dominating
military clique prepared for war on the United States and conceived the
attack on Pearl Harbor.
Hailing the German invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941, as a divine
wind" securing her northern flank, Japan within a period of 2O days
adopted a crucial policy followed by an all-out mobilization for war
Almost immediately thereafter she invaded Southern French Indochina for
the purpose "when the international situation is suitable, to launch
therefrom a rapid attack." She boldly declared in an intercepted
dispatch of July 14, 1941:
 Army Pearl Harbor Board record, p. 4081. See also committee
record, p, 14428.
 For a record of Mr. Hull's conferences, consultations, and
telephone conversations (as entered in engagement books) with
representatives of the War and Navy Departments, November 20 to December
7, 1941, and arrangements for contacts between the Departments of State,
War, and navy in 1940 and 1941, see committee record, pp. 1166-1176.
See also committee record, p. 1180.
[132a] Committee record, p. 3079.
48 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
"After the occupation of French Indochina, next on our schedule is the
sending of an ultimatum to the Netherlands Indies. In the seizing of
Singapore the Navy will play the principal part."
The invasion of southern Indochina resulted in the freezing of asset and
virtual cessation of trade between the United States and Japan.
On November 20, 1941, the Empire of Japan delivered all ultimatum to the
Government of the United States. It required that the United States
supply Japan as much oil as she might require; that we discontinue aid
to China, withdrawing moral and material support from the recognized
Chinese Government. It contained no provision pledging Japan to abandon
aggression and to resort to peaceful methods. The ultimatum contained no
tenable basis for an agreement, a fact well known to and contemplated by
the Tojo Cabinet.
During all of the negotiations, Japan qualified and restricted every
intimation of her peaceful purposes. With each succeeding proposal it
became abundantly apparent that she did not intend to compromise in any
measure the bellicose utterances and plans of conquest of her military
masters. She uniformly declared her purpose to fulfill her obligations
under the Tripartite Pact-aimed directly at the United States. She
refused to relinquish the preferential commercial position in the Orient
which she had arrogated to herself. She demanded a victor's peace in
China and would give no effective recognition to the principle of
noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries. Her clear
purpose was to maintain a military and economic overlordship of China.
The story of our negotiations with the Empire of Japan during the year
1941 epitomizes the traditional purpose of the United States to seek
peace where compatible with national honor. Conversations were carried
forward with the representatives of that nation in the hope of bringing
to an end the frightful aggression that had brought sorrow, death, and
degradation to the Orient for almost a decade. At the same time it was
realistically recognized that the negotiations afforded precious time to
improve our own capacity for self-defense, the appalling need for which
was becoming daily more apparent as the Axis dreams of world conquest
pushed relentlessly toward realization.
That there were elements in Japan who desired peace is unquestioned. But
for many years the Government of that nation had be divided into two
schools of thought, the one conceivably disposed to think in terms of
international good will with the other dominated by the militarism of
the war lords who had always ultimately resolved Japanese policy. 
It was this monstrous condition which, from the time of Japan's
emergence as a power in world affairs, resulted in her military acts
invariably belying her diplomatic promises. The United States therefore
in looking to any final settlement had properly before it the
substantial question of whether those in Japan who might wish peace
possessed the capacity and power to enter a binding and effective
agreement reasonably designed to stabilize conditions in the Far East.
It was for this reason that our Government insisted Japan offer some
tangible proof of her honest purpose to abandon a policy of aggression.
No such proof or disposition to provide it was at any time forthcoming.
 See testimony of Mr. Hull, committee record, p, 1120.
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
In considering the negotiations in their entirety the conclusion is
inescapable that Japan had no concessions to make and that her program
of aggression was immutable. When the Konoye Cabinet could not secure an
agreement giving Japan an unrestrained hand in he Orient it was replaced
by a Cabinet headed by General Tojo. Tojo made one gesture in the form
of an ultimatum to realize Japan's ambitions without fighting for them.
When he realized such a price or peace was too high even for the United
States, his Government launched the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor
while instructing her ambassadors in characteristic duplicity to
maintain the pretense of continuing negotiations. 
It is concluded that the diplomatic actions of the United States
provided no provocation whatever for the attack by Japan on Pearl
Harbor. It is further concluded that the Secretary of State fully
informed both the War and Navy Departments of diplomatic developments
and that he in a timely and forceful manner clearly pointed out to these
Departments that relations between the United States and Japan had
passed beyond the stage of diplomacy and were the hands of the military.
 The Japanese force to strike Pearl Harbor actually left Hitokappu
Bay for the attack at 7 p.m., November 25, Washington time, before the
United states note in reply to the Japanese ultimatum of November 20 was
delivered to Japan's ambassadors on November 26.
50 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
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