23 July 1941
Regarding your message #545*. 1. You were correct in assuming that I have not as yet determined upon a definite policy because of the fact that I have not been in office very long.
As was pointed out in my message #368**, our occupation of French Indo-China was unavoidable. This step had been decided upon by the Cabinet even before I assumed office. It is to be carried out peacefully for the purpose of jointly defending French Indo-China.
It is my intention to continue to make an effort. to decrease the friction between Japan and Britain-U. S.
Should the U. S., however take steps at this time which would unduly excite Japan (such as closing of _____ for all practical purposes and the freezing of assets), an exceedingly critical situation may be created. Please advise the United States of this fact, and attempt to bring about an improvement in the situation.
2. Please carefully reread messages Nos. 368** and 396***, and make an effort to improve the situation.
3. With regard to your message #536**** _____ (last 13 groups garbled).
*JD-1: 3937. Wakasugi reports conversation with Undersecretary Welles.
**JD-1: 3680. (S.I.S. #19501). Tokyo informs Washington of the
contemplated negotiations with France for establishment of Jap naval and
air bases in French Indo-China.
***JD-1: 3953 (S.I.S. #20029).
*****JD-1: 3974 (S.I.S. #20087).
JD-1: 3986 (D) Navy Trans. 7-25-41 (S-TT)
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)