XXV. INTERCEPTED JAPANESE COMMUNICATIONS AFTER THE "WAR WARNING" AND UP TO DECEMBER 6, 1941
A. FAILURE TO TRANSMIT TO ADMIRAL KIMMEL
After November 27, 1941, when the "war warning" was sent to Admiral Kimmel, and prior to the Japanese attack, there were a number of highly significant Japanese coded communications intercepted, decoded and translated by the Navy and the Army in Washington. Both the State Department and the Navy Department believed, according to Admiral Schuirmann, that from November 27th to December 6th relations with the Japanese were constantly deteriorating (page 204) .
It will be recalled that on November 28th, there were available in Washington the intercepted Japanese communications showing the reaction of the Japanese to the State Department note of November 26th; that it was regarded as a "humiliating proposal;" that with a report of the views of the Imperial Government to be sent in two or three days the negotiations would be de facto ruptured; but, that the Japanese emissaries were not to give the impression that the negotiations were broken off (supra, pages 60‑63).
Except to the extent set forth in the following chapter, Admiral Kimmel was not advised of any of this information. The reasons for this action have been previously mentioned (supra, page 44). As Admiral Stark explained it, in part,
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CincPac was not sent all of the information that was available in Washington; it was the job of the Chief of Naval Operations to evaluate that information; they tried to give CincPac the most useful information; and, they left it to him as to what to do after they gave him the picture as they saw it (page 800).
Admiral Stark testified that the procedure by which he received classified information was through his Flag Secretary or delivery to him personally by ONI. Comdr. Kramer normally brought information from Intelligence. Sometimes the information was evaluated and sometimes dispatches were brought in direct before evaluation. Intelligence and War Plans did the evaluations which were usually gone over by Admiral Ingersoll. A watch officer and duty officer in Operations received information after office hours and decided whether it should be sent to him at once. During the critical period from November 27th to December 7th, he felt that he was receiving all of the important information regarding Japanese‑United States relations (page 774).
Admiral Ingersoll said that he was not sure that he had seen every document received through interception (page 833).
B: CONCERNING THE DIPLOMATIC NEGOTIATIONS AND SITUATION
On November 30, 1941, there was a Navy translation of a message from "Tokyo to the Japanese emissaries in Washington, dated November 29, 1941 (Document 19, Exhibit 63), requesting that they make one more attempt to discuss the situation with the United States, and to state that the United States had always taken a fair position in the past; that the Imperial Government could not understand why the United States was taking the attitude that the new Japanese proposals could not be the basis of discussion, but instead had made new proposals which ignored actual conditions in East Asia and which would greatly injure the prestige of the Imperial Government; that the United States should be asked what had become of the basic objectives that the United States had made as the basis for negotiations for seven months; and that the United States should be asked to reflect on the matter. The emissaries were directed in carrying out this instruction to be careful that this did not lead to anything like a breaking off of negotiations.
Admiral Schuirmann testified that he was aware of this message but did not deliver it to Admiral Stark.
Also on November 30, 1941, there was a Navy translation of a trans‑Pacific radio telephone conversation from Kurusu in Washington to Yamamoto in Tokyo, in which a telephone code was used (Document 20, Exhibit 63). This indicated that Kurusu expected a long message ("probably Tokyo's reply to Mr. Hull's proposals"); that the President was returning apparently because of the speech of the Japanese Premier which Kurusu said was having strong repercussions here; that Kurusu said that unless the Premier and others used greater caution in speeches, it would put the Japanese emissaries here in a very difficult position; that care should be exercised, that Yamamoto said that they were being careful; that Kurusu wanted the Foreign Minister told that the emissaries here had expected to hear something different—some good word—but instead got this (the Premier's speech); that the Japanese‑American negotiations were to continue; that Yamamoto wanted them to be stretched out; that Kurusu needed Yamamoto's help to do this, and that both the Premier and the Foreign Minister would need to change the tone of their speeches and that all would have to use some discretion; that Yamamoto said the real problem that the Japanese were up against was the effect of happenings in the South.
There were four significant Japanese communications intercepted on December 1, 1941, as follows:
1. Navy translation‑(Document 21, Exhibit 63)
"1 December 1941
"#865 Re my #857
"1. The date 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.)
"2. We have decided to withhold submitting the note to the U. S, Ambassador to Tokyo as suggested by you at the end of your message #1124. Please make the necessary representations at your end only.
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"3. There are reports here that. the President's sudden return to the capital is an effect of Premier Tojo's statement. We have an idea that the President did so because of his concern over the critical Far Eastern situation. Please make investigations into this matter."
Admiral Stark testified that he did not recall this, but it may have been discussed (page 778). He did not advise CincPac of this message since he did not consider that it added anything (page 779). Admiral Schuirmann said that he was aware of this message and the following one, but had not delivered them to Admiral Stark (pages 702‑3). Admiral Ingersoll did not remember this (page 828).
2. Army translation‑(Document 22, Exhibit 63)
"November 30, 1941
"#986 (Strictly Secret) (To be handled in Government Code)
(Part 1 of 2) (Secret outside the Department)
"1. Japan‑American negotiations were commenced the middle of April this year. Over a period of half a year they have been continued. Within that period the Imperial Government adamantly stuck to the Tri‑Partite Alliance as the cornerstone of its national policy regardless of the vicissitudes of the international situation. In the adjustment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States, she has based her hopes for a solution definitely within the scope of that alliance. With the intent of restraining the United States from participating in the war, she boldly assumed the attitude of carrying through these negotiations.
"2. Therefore, the present cabinet, in line with your message, with the view of defending the Empire's existence and integrity on a just and equitable basis, has continued the negotiations carried on in the past. However, their views and ours on the question of the evacuation of troops, upon which the negotiations rested (they demanded the evacuation of Imperial troops from China and French Indo‑China), were completely in opposition to each other.
"Judging from the course of the negotiations that have been going on, we first came to loggerheads when the United States, in keeping with its traditional ideological tendency of managing international relations, re‑emphasized her fundamental reliance upon this traditional policy in the conversations carried on between the United States and England in the Atlantic Ocean. The motive of the United States in all this was brought out by her desire to prevent the establishment of a new order by Japan, Germany, and Italy in Europe and in the Far East (that is to say, the aims of the Tri‑Partite Alliance). As long as the Empire of Japan was in alliance with Germany and Italy, there could be no maintenance of friendly relations between Japan and the United States was the stand they took. From this point of view, they began to demonstrate a tendency to demand the divorce of the Imperial Government from the Tri‑Partite Alliance. This was brought out at the last meeting. That is to say that it has only been in the negotiations of the last few days that it has become gradually more and more clear that the Imperial Government could no longer continue negotiations with the United States. It became clear, too, that a continuation of negotiations would inevitably be detrimental to our cause.
[Part 2 of 2]
"3. The proposal presented by the United States on the 26th made this attitude of theirs clearer than ever. In it there is one insulting clause which says that no matter what treaty either party enters into with a third power it will not be interpreted as having any bearing upon the basic object of this treaty, namely the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. This means specifically the Three‑Power Pact. It means that in case the United States enters the European war at any time the Japanese Empire will not be allowed to give assistance to Germany and Italy. It is clearly a trick. This clause alone, let alone others, makes it impossible to find any basis in the American proposal for negotiations. What is more, before the United States brought forth this plan, they conferred with England, Australia, the Netherlands, and China—they did so repeatedly. Therefore, it is clear that the United States is now in collusion with those nations and has decided to regard Japan, along with Germany and Italy, as an enemy."
3. The Navy report states that "on 1 December, 1941, the Navy Department intercepted a message from Tokyo to the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin as follows:
"The conversations between Tokyo and Washington now stand ruptured,
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Say very secretly to Hitler and Ribbentrop that there is extreme danger that war may suddenly break out between the Anglo-Saxon nations and Japan, and this war may come quicker than anybody dreams. We will not relax our pressure on the Soviet, but for the time being would prefer to refrain from any direct moves on the north. Impress on the Germans and Italians how important secrecy is.' "
Commander Kramer said that the President was so interested "in the dispatch" to Berlin that Kramer was directed to prepare a special paraphrase for the President's retention; otherwise neither the State Department or White House were permitted to retain copies of the "super secret" dispatches (page 983).
4. Army translation‑(Document 23, Exhibit 63)
"From: Washington (Nomura)
"November 28, 1941
"#1214 To be handled in Government Code.
"Re my #1190.
"So far silence has been maintained here concerning our talks with the United Staten; however, now the results of our conference of the 26th are out and headlines like this are appearing in the papers "Hull Hands Peace Plan to Japanese," and "America Scorns a Second Munich." The papers say that it is up to Japan either to accept the American proposal with its four principals, or face war, in which latter case the responsibility would be upon Japan.
"This we must carefully note."
In connection with the diplomatic situation,
Admiral Schuirmann said that the Navy Department had been kept fully informed of the progress of negotiations with Nomura and Kurusu. (p. 411) Reference was made to page 138 in "PEACE AND WAR" concerning which Admiral Schuirmann said that he did not recall the particular meetings mentioned on November 25 and November 28. Admiral Schuirmann did recall that on Wednesday or Thursday before Pearl Harbor, Secretary Hull telephoned him and said that he wanted Admiral Schuirmann to know that he didn't seem to be able to do anything more with the Japanese and that they were liable to run loose like a mad dog and bite anyone. Admiral Schuirmann assured Secretary Hull that a war warning had been sent out and reported the conversation to Admiral Stark. (p. 412 Admiral Schuirmann said that the general attitude of Admiral Stark and General Marshall was that any time that could be gained in the outbreak of hostilities was to the benefit of the United States. (p. 412)
it may be here noted that on December 2nd, Under Secretary of State Welles had a conversation with Nomura and Kurusu (page 311), which was summarized by Welles as follows:
"I have received reports during the past days of continuing Japanese troop movements to southern Indochina. These reports indicate a very rapid and material increase in the forces of all kinds stationed by Japan in Indochina. It was my clear understanding that by the terms of the agreement—and there is no present need to discuss the nature of that agreement—between Japan and the French Government at Vichy that the total number of Japanese forces permitted by the terms of that agreement to be stationed in Indochina was very considerably less than the total amount of forces already there. The stationing of these increased Japanese forces in Indochina would seem to imply the utilization of these forces by Japan for the purpose of further aggression, since no such number of forces could possible be required for the policing of that region. Such aggression could conceivably be against the Philippine islands; against the many islands of the East Indies; against Burma; against Malaya or either through coercion or through the actual use of force for the purpose of undertaking the occupation of Thailand. Such new aggression would, of course, be additional to the acts of aggression already undertaken against China, our attitude towards which is well known, and has been repeatedly stated to the Japanese Government. Please be good enough to request the Japanese Ambassador and Ambassador Kurusu to inquire at once of the Japanese Government what the actual reasons may be for the steps already taken, and what I am to consider is the policy of the Japanese Government as demonstrated by this recent and rapid concentration of troops in Indochina. This Government has seen in the last few yearn in Europe a policy on the part of the German Government which has involved a constant and steady encroachment upon the territory and rights of free and
494 CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
independent peoples through the utilization of military steps of the same character. It is for that reason and because of the broad problem of American defense that I should like to know the intention of the Japanese Government.
"The Japanese Ambassador said that he was not informed by the Japanese Government of its intentions and could not speak authoritatively on the matter but that of course he would communicate the statement immediately to his Government."
Admiral Schuirmann could not recall that information as to this note was given to Admiral Stark.
On December 3, 1941, there was available the Army translation of a report by Kurusu and Nomura to Tokyo, dated December 2, 1941 (Document 25, Exhibit 63) which stated:
"Today, the 2nd, Ambassador KURUSU and I had an interview with Undersecretary of State WELLES. At that time, prefacing his statement by saying that it was at the direct instruction of the President of the United States, he turned over to us the substance of my separate wire #1233. Thereupon we said: "Since we haven't been informed even to the slightest degree concerning the troops in French Indo‑China, we will transmit the gist of your representations directly to our Home Government. In all probability they never considered that such a thing as this could possibly be an upshot of their proposals of November 20th." The Under‑Secretary then said: "I want you to know that the stand the United States takes is that she opposes aggression in any and all parts of the world." Thereupon we replied: "The United States and other countries have pyramided economic pressure upon economic pressure upon us Japanese. (I made the statement that economic warfare was even worse than forceful aggression.) We haven't the time to argue the pros and cons of this question or the rights or wrongs. The people of Japan are faced with economic pressure, and I want you to know that we have but the choice between submission to this pressure or breaking the chains that it invokes. We want you to realize this as well as the situation in which all Japanese find themselves as the result of the four‑year incident in China; the President recently expressed cognizance of the latter situation. Furthermore, I would have you know that in replying to the recent American proposals, the Imperial Government is giving the most profound consideration to this important question which has to do with our national destiny." Undersecretary of State WELLES said: "I am well aware of that." I continued: "We cannot overemphasize the fact that, insofar as Japan is concerned, it is virtually impossible for her to accept the new American proposals as they now stand. Our proposals preferred on the 21st of June and the proposals of September 25th, representing our greatest conciliation based on the previous proposal, still stand in spite of the fact that the agreement of both sides was in the offing, it has come to naught. At this late juncture to give thoughtful consideration to the new proposals certainly will not make for a smooth and speedy settlement of the negotiations. Recently, we promised to evacuate our troops from French Indo-China in the event of a settlement of the Sino‑Japanese incident and the establishment of a just peace in the Far East. In anticipating the settlement of fundamental questions the question of the representations of this date would naturally dissolve." The Under‑Secretary assiduously heard us out and then said: "The American proposals of the 26th were brought about by the necessity to clarify the position of the United States because of the internal situation here." Then he continued: "In regard to the opinion that you have expressed, I will make it a point immediately to confer with the Secretary." I got the impression from the manner in which he spoke that he hoped Japan in her reply to the American proposals of the 26th would leave this much room. Judging by my interview with Secretary of State HULL on the 1st and my conversations of today, it is clear that the United States, too, is anxious to peacefully conclude the current difficult situation. I am convinced that they would like to bring about a speedy settlement. Therefore, please bear well in mind this fact in your considerations of our reply to the new American proposals and to my separate wire #1233."
It may be noted that about December 3rd, according to Admiral Schuirmann, the State Department felt that although there might be some further discussions with the Japanese, it was inevitable that they would be unsuccessful. The Chief of Naval Operations, he said, was kept informed (page 203).
There were various intercepted Japanese communications of interest available on December 4, 1941, as follows:
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1. Navy translation‑(Document 26, Exhibit 63)
"1 December 1941
". . . In the event that Manchuria participates in the war . . . in view of various circumstances it is our policy to cause Manchuria to participate in the war in which event Manchuria will take the same steps toward England and America that this country will take in case war breaks out.
"A summary follows:
"1. American and British consular officials and offices will not be recognized as having special rights. Their business will be stopped (the sending of code telegrams and the use of short wave radio will be forbidden). However, it is desired that the treatment accorded them after the suspension of business be comparable to that which Japan accords to consular officials of enemy countries resident in Japan.
"2. The treatment accorded to British and American public property, private property, and to the citizens themselves shall be comparable to that accorded by Japan.
"3. British and American requests to third powers to look after their consular offices and interests will not be recognized.
"However, the legal administrative steps taken by Manchoukuo shall be equitable and shall correspond to the measures taken by Japan.
"4. The treatment accorded Russians resident in Manchoukuo shall conform to the provisions of the Japanese‑Soviet neutrality pact. Great care shall be exercised not to antagonize Russia."
2. Navy translation‑(Document 27, Exhibit 63)
"1 December 1941
"(This raised the question of the possibility of a conference between persons in whom the leaders have confidence to have them make one final effort to reach some agreement. The meeting to be held at some midway point, such as Honolulu . . . It was said that this last effort might facilitate the final decision as to war or peace.)"
3. Navy translation‑(Document 29, Exhibit 63)
"3 December 1941
"#875 Chief of Office routing.
"Re your #1232
"Please explain the matter to the United States along the following lines:
"There seem to be rumors to the effect that our military garrisons in French Indo‑China are being strengthened. The fact is that recently there has been an unusual amount of activity by the Chinese forces in the vicinity of the Sino-French Indo‑China border. In view of this, we have increased our forces in parts of northern French Indo‑China. There would naturally be some movement of troops in the southern part as a result of this. We presume that the source of the rumors is in the exaggerated reports of these movements. In doing so, we have in no way violated the limitations contained in the Japanese‑French joint defense agreement."
4. Navy translation‑(Document 31, Exhibit 63)
"3 December 1941
"If we continue to increase our forces in French Indo‑China, it is expected (that the United States will close up our Consulates, therefore consideration should be given to steps to be taken in connection with the evacuation of the consuls."
496 CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
On December 5, 1941, there were available translations of additional intercepted Japanese communications dealing with the diplomatic negotiations, as follows:
1. Army translation‑(Document 33, Exhibit 63)
"3 December 1941
"Judging from all indications, we feel that some joint military action between Great Britain and the United States, with or without a declaration of war, is a definite certainty in the event of an occupation of Thailand."
2. Navy translation‑(Document 34, Exhibit 63)
"1 December 1941
"(This is a report of conversations held by Japanese representatives with Secretary Hull on December 1st, which referred to the Japanese Premier's speech, the President's return, Japanese troop movements, and apparent agreement as to the impossibility of reaching an agreement.)"
C. CONCERNING UNITED STATES SHIPS AND PLANES
On 4 December 1941, the Army translated an intercepted communication from Tokyo to Honolulu, dated 20 November 1941, serial 7029, which stated:
"Please investigate comprehensively the fleet—bases in the neighborhood of the Hawaiian military reservation."
Captain Safford sand that to the best of his knowledge none of the Jap intercepts which were translated in the period immediately prior to 7 December 1941 and which showed interest in U. S. ships at Pearl Harbor were sent to CinCPac. (p. 111) He added that so far as he knew the codes used by the Japanese for reports on U. S. ships at Pearl Harbor were not being read by the radio intelligence unit there. (p 118)
"In addition to the Japanese intercepts which were translated prior to 7 December 1941, a number of Jap messages regarding U. S. ships at Pearl Harbor were intercepted before that date but not translated until after the attack (Exhibit 13)
"From: Tokyo (Togo,)
"November 28, 1941
"Intelligence of this kind which are of mayor importance, please transmit to us in the following manner.
"1. When battleships move out of the harbor if we report such movement but once a week the vessels, in that interval, could not only be in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands, but could also have traveled far. Use your own judgment in deciding on reports covering such movements.
"2. Report upon the entrance or departure of capital ships and the length of time they remain at anchor, from the time of entry into the port until the departure." (Translated by the Army, 12/8/41.)
"December 6, 1941
1. On the American Continent in October the Army began training barrage balloon troops at Camp Davis, North Carolina. Not only have they ordered for or five hundred balloons, but it is understood that they are considering the use of these balloons in the defense of Hawaii and Panama. Insofar as Hawaii is concerned, though investigations have been made in the neighborhood of Pearl Harbor, they have not set up mooring equipment, nor have they selected the troops to man them. Furthermore, there is no indication that any training for the maintenance of balloons is being undertaken. At the present time there are no signs of barrage balloon equipment. In addition, it is difficult to imagine the
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they have actually any. However, even though they have actually made preparations, because they must control the air over the water and land runways of the airports in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor, Hickam, Ford and Ewa, there are limits to the balloon defense of Pearl Harbor. I image that in all probability there is considerable opportunity left to take advantage for a surprise attack, against these places.
"2. In my opinion the battleships do not have torpedo nets. The details are not known. I will report the results of my investigation." (Translated by the Army 12/8/41.)
"December 6, 1941
"1. On the evening of the 6th, among the battleships which entered port were—and one submarine tender. The following ships were observed at anchor on the 6th:
"9 battleships, 3 light cruisers, 3 submarine tenders, 17 destroyers, and in addition there were 4 light cruisers, 2 destroyers lying at docks (the heavy cruisers and airplane carriers have all left.)
"2. It appears that no air reconnaissance is being conducted by the fleet air arm." (Translated by the Army 12/8/41.)
"November 28, 1941.
"(1) There are eight "B-17" planes at Midway and the altitude range of their anti‑aircraft guns is (5,000 feet ?).
"(2) Our observations at the Sand Island maneuvers are:—number of shots—12; interval of flight—13 seconds; interval between shots—2 minutes; direct hits—none.
"(3) 12,000 men (mostly marines) are expected to reinforce the troops in Honolulu during December or January.
"(4) There has usually been one cruiser in the waters about (15,000 feet ?) south of Pearl Harbor and one or two destroyers at the entrance to the harbor." (Translated by the Army, 12/8/11.)
"From: Honolulu (Kita).
"6 December 1941
"(1) During Friday morning, the 6th, the three battleships mentioned in my message #239 arrived here.
"(2) The LEXINGTON and five heavy cruisers left port on the same day.
"(3) The following ships were in port on the afternoon of the 6th:
"3 light cruisers
"Four ships of the Honolulu class and . . . . were in dock." (Translated by the Navy, 12‑10‑41.)
(6) "From: Honolulu (Kita).
"1 December 1941
"(J19) Report on ship maneuvers in Pearl Harbor;
"1. The place where practice maneuvers are held is about 600 nautical miles southeast of here.
"2. The usual schedule for departure and return of the battleships is: leaving on Tuesday and returning on Friday, or leaving on Friday and returning on Saturday of the following week. All ships stay in port about a period of one week." (Translated by the Navy 12/10/41.)
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(7) "From: Honolulu (Kita).
"3 December 1941
"From Ichiro Fujii to the Chief of #3 Section of Military Staff Headquarters.
"1. I wish to change my method of communicating by signals to the following:
"1. Arrange the eight signals in three columns as follows:
"Battleship divisions including scouts and screen units.
Preparing to sortie
A number of carriers
Preparing to sortie
All departed between 1st and 3rd
Several departed between 1st and 3rd
All departed between 1st and 3rd
All departed between 4th and 6th
Several departed between 4th and 8th
All departed between 4th and 8th
"1. Lanikai* Beach. House will show lights during the night as follows:
"One light between 8 and 9 p. m............................. 1
" " " 9 and 10 p. m............................. 2
" " " 10 and 11 p. m............................. 3
" " " 1l and 12 p. m............................. 4
"Two lights " 12 and 1 a. m............................. 5
" " " 1 and 2 a. m............................. 6
" " " 2 and 3 a. m............................. 7
" " " 3 and 4 a. m............................. 8
"III. Lanikai* Bay, during daylight.
"If there is a 'star' on the head of the sail of the Star Boat it indicates signals, 1, 2, 3, or 4.
"If there is a 'star' and a Roman numeral III it indicates signal 5, 6, 7, or 8.
"IV. Lights in the attic window of Kalama House** will indicate the following:
"V. K.G.M.B. *** Want ads.
"A. Chinese rug etc. for sale, apply P.O. Box 1476 indicates signal 3 or 6.
"B. CHIC . . CO farm etc. apply P.O. box 1476 indicates signal 4 or 7.
"C. Beauty operator wanted etc. apply P.O. box 176 indicates signal 6 or 8.
"3. If the above listed signals and wireless messages cannot be made from Oahu, then on Maui Island, 6 miles to the northward of Kula Sanatorium **** at a point halfway between Lower Kula Road and Haleakala Road (latitude 20° 40' N., longitude 156° 19' W., visible from seaward to the southeast and southwest of Maui Island) the following signal bonfire will be made daily until your signal is received:
From 7‑8....................................... 3 or 6
From 8‑9....................................... 4 or 7
From 9‑10...................................... 5 or 8
*Between Waimanalo and Kailua Beaches on cast coast of Oahu.
**A beach village on east coast of Oahu, 1 raffle northwest of Lanikai.
***A radio broadcast station in Honolulu.
****At latitude 20‑48‑45 N., longitude 158‑20-20 W."
(Translated bit the Navy 12/11/41)
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"From: Honolulu (Kita)
"November 24, 1941.
"1. According to normal practice, the fleet leaves Pearl Harbor, conducts maneuvers and forthwith returns.
"2. Recently the fleet has not remained for a long period of time nor conducted maneuvers in the neighborhood, of Lahaiana Roads. Destroyers and submarines are the only vessels who ride at anchor there.
"3. Battleships seldom, if ever, enter the ports of Hilo, Hanalei, or Kaneohe. Virtually no one has observed battleships in maneuver areas.
"4. The manner in which the fleet moves:
"Battleships exercise in groups of three or five, accompanied by lighter craft. They conduct maneuvers for roughly one week at sea, either to the south of Maui or to the southwest. Aircraft carriers maneuver by themselves, whereas sea plane tenders operate in concert with another vessel of the same class. Airplane firing and bombing practice is conducted in the neighborhood of the southern extremity of the island of Kahoolawe." (Translated by the Army 12/16/41.)
Vice Admiral Wilkinson, Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence, did not recall seeing translations of intercepted Japanese messages prior to the attack, relating to the presence of ships in Pearl Harbor. (Exhibit 13) (p. 406‑7)
Asked whether it was his belief, prior to the attack on 7 December, 1941, that Japanese agents at Pearl Harbor were reporting United States ships there, Admiral Wilkinson replied that he believed such reports were being made; however, it was his belief that the Japanese were concerned about the presence of the fleet "with a view to its availability for distant operations rather than its susceptibility as a target." (p. 407)
On November 29th, there was an Army translation of a message from Manila to Tokyo; dated November 22, 1941 (Document 10, Exhibit 68), which reported on British and American ships at Mamila.
On December 3rd, the Navy translated an intercepted communication from Tokyo to Honolulu, dated November 15, 1941 (Dot. 24, Exhibit 83), which stated:
"As relations between Japan and the United States are most critical, make your 'ships in harbor report' irregular, but at a rate of twice a week. Although you already are no doubt aware, please take extra care to maintain secrecy."
Admiral Stark testified that he did not specifically recall this message, but may have seen it, as the Japanese were reporting a great mass of ship movement information, and he assumed they knew every move we made (page 781). He stated that it was routine for the Japanese to report ship movements and the fact that they reported such movements from Honolulu was not unusual (page 790).
To have gone the limit, he said, in tightening up on espionage and on Japanese facilities for getting information out might have precipitated the war which they were trying to delay. He pointed out that they did stop Japanese ships from using the Panama Canal and did reroute safely United States ships (page 795).
On December 4th the following intercepts were available:
1. Navy translation‑(Document 12, Exhibit 68)
"From: Manila (Nihro)
"25 November 1941
"l. On the 23rd a camouflaged submarine tender, the Holland (5 or 6 thousand tons apparently a camouflaged Dutch vessel), entered port. (Probably the U. S. HOLLAND of 8000 tons.)
"2. On the 24th, 5 submarines left port, destination unknown.
" 3. On the 25th, 7 destroyers left port, destination unknown."
2. Navy translation‑(Document 14, Exhibit 68)
"To: San Francisco
"29 November 1941
"(J19) "Circular #2431
"Make full report beginning December 1st on the following:
"Ship's nationality, ship's name port from which it departed (or at which it arrived), and port of destination (or from where it started), date of departure, etc., in detail, of all foreign commercial and war ships now in the Pacific. Indian Ocean, or South China seas."
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On December 5th the following translations of intercepted communications were available:
1. Army translation‑(Document 37, Exhibit 63)
"From: Tokyo (Togo)
"November 18, 1941
"Please report on the following areas as to vessels anchored therein: Area "N". Pearl Harbor, Manila Bay, (Probably means Mamala Bay), and the areas adjacent thereto. Make your investigation with great secrecy.
2. Navy translation‑(Document 36, Exhibit 63)
"29 November 1941
"We have been receiving reports from you on ship movements; but in future will you also report even when there are no movements."
Admiral Stark testified that he may have seen these two messages, but that they did not change the situations as to which he had advised CincPac (page 781). Admiral Schuirmann did not remember seeing these (page 720).
3. Army translation‑(Document 13, Exhibit 68)
"From Manila (Nihro)
"November 28, 1941
"Recently they have utilized a group of nine planes (one flight of six and another of three planes) in high‑level scouting patrols over the city of Manila from four o'clock in the morning. In addition, three other planes fly over the city independently. Though in the morning and evening the weather is clear and windless, squalls come once a day."
On December 6, 1941, there was available in Washington an Army translation of an intercepted Japanese communication from Honolulu to Tokyo, dated November 18, 1941 (Document 40, Exhibit 63), reading as follows:
"1. The warships at anchor in the Harbor on the 15th were as I told you in my #219[a] ([a]‑Available in ME code dated November 14. Code under study.) on that day.
"Area A[b]‑([b]‑Waters between Ford Island and the Arsenal.) A battleship of the Oklahoma class entered and one tanker left port.
"Area C[c]‑([c]‑East Loch) 3 warships of the heavy cruiser classes were at anchor.
"2. On the 17th the Saratoga was not in the harbor. The carrier, ENTERPRISE, or some other vessel was in Area C. Two heavy cruisers of the Chicago class, one of the Pensacola class were tied up at docks 'KS.' 4 merchant vessels were at anchor in Area D[d]-([d]‑Middle Loch).
"3. At 10:00 a.m. on the morning of the 17th, 8 destroyers were observed entering the Harbor. Their course was as follows: In a single file at a distance of 1,000 meters apart at a speed of 3 knots per hour, they moved into Pearl Harbor. From the entrance of the Harbor through Area B to the buoys in Area C, to which they were moored, they changed course 5 times each time roughly 30 degrees. The elapsed time was one hour, however, one of these destroyers entered Area A after passing the water reservoir on the Eastern side."
Admiral Stark testified that he did not see this message (pages 781‑2). Admiral Schuirmann similarly testified (page 719).
It is of interest to note that a Japanese message from Tokyo to Honolulu, dated December 2, 1941, was intercepted, apparently on December 23rd, and translated by the Army on December 30th (Document 46, Exhibit 63), which read:
"(Secret outside the department)
"In view of the present situation, the presence in port of warships, airplane carriers, and cruisers is of utmost importance. Hereafter, to the utmost of your ability, let me know day by day. Wire me in each case whether or not there are any observation balloons above Pearl Harbor or if there are any indications that they will be sent up. Also advise me whether or not the warships are provided with anti‑mine nets."
PROCEEDINGS OF HEWITT INQUIRY 501
NOTE: This message was received here on December 23.
Also of interest is a similar message, dated December 6 1941, translated by the Army, December 12, 1941 (Document 45, Exhibit 63), which directed that Honolulu wire immediately the movements of the fleet subsequent to December 4th.
Admiral J. R. Redman during the latter part of 1941 was Assistant Director of Naval Communications (page 1091). He said that the general tenor of Japanese traffic was a searching expedition all over the world, as to ship movement. This had been going on for a long time, but was intensified during the several months preceding December, 1941. There were about 700 dispatches in November 1941. In the last month prior to December 7th, diplomatic intercepts averaged 25 a day. September and October were heavy but there was an increase in November (page 1101).
Document 40 of Exhibit 63 (the location of ships in areas in Pearl Harbor) was more specific than the other ship movement dispatches (page 1104).
Admiral Turner did not specifically remember seeing the ships movements dispatches; they had been going on for a long time (page 1004).
Admiral Ingersoll said that he did not remember Documents 24, 36, and 37 of Exhibit 63 (ship movements reports). He would not have attached any significance to them as he presumed such reports were being made as a matter of routine; same as to Document 40 of Exhibit 63 (page 836). No record was kept of persons to whom these documents were shown at the time.
Commander Kramer said that he was generally familiar with Documents 24 and 36 in Exhibit 63 and stated that these would have been in daily folders submitted to the regular recipients of this class of information. As to ships movements, the Japanese were always reporting them, so that those were not unusual but somewhat more emphatic (page 961).
Commander Kramer said that he saw Document 36 of Exhibit 63 (concerning reports even when there are no ship movements) on December 5th; Document 37 (requesting reports on certain areas at Pearl Harbor) on December 5th; Document 40 (giving the locations of ships at Pearl Harbor (about December 6th). Previously during the year similar intercepts were received, but Document 40 of Exhibit 63 was the first of the ship movement messages which had gone into detail as to the location of ships at Pearl Harbor at a specific time. It was received December 6, 1941 (page 974) (also page 976).
The inference he gathers from these is that the Japanese were concerned about the location of United States ships but they had also been concerned Similarly about planes in the Philippines and all aspects of military establishments in the Netherlands East Indies (page 974). Moreover the inference was that since we were working with the British and Dutch, the Japanese were concerned about the action we were taking, and there was no indication from this material of overt intentions against the United States (page 975). This was, however, the first time the Japanese had asked for such detail (page 975).