I. B. 124
September 11, 1941.
Memorandum for the Chief of Staff:
Subject: Political Developments in Japan.
1. A United Press dispatch from Tokyo dated September 11, 1941, gives the following information:
"Emperor Hirohito today took direct command of Japanese Army Head quarters and moved to assure close Army collaboration with Premier Fumimaro Konoye's Government, which appeared to be trying to keep Japan out of war even if that meant drifting away from her Axis ties."
2. Major developments are reported as follows:
a. Establishment of a new Defense General Headquarters under General Otozo Yamada. Yamada is personally responsible to the Emperor and becomes virtual Generalissimo of the Army superseding previous emphasis on General Staff control.
b. Appointment of Fumio Goto, former Home Minister, as chairman of the Central Cooperative Council of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, replacing Admiral Suetsugu.
e. Entertainment of the Cabinet at luncheon by the Emperor, "in appreciation of its outstanding services to the State."
3. A proper evaluation of this news is impracticable at this early date but a definite trend seems indicated-a trend away from the Axis and toward better relations with the United States and Great Britain. The new system is interpreted as an effort to strengthen the civilian government, cheek militaristic domination of Imperial Policy, and erect a barrier to possible dissatisfaction among the militarists with the future course of events.
4. General Yamada is a conservative, of great energy and ability. It is reported that he stands high in the Emperor's favor. Goto is likewise a conservative and replaces one of Japan's worst jingoists. The action of the Emperor in taking direct command of the Army and his giving prestige to the Cabinet by inviting it to luncheon, and publicly thanking it is unprecedented.
5. Barring a massacre of the conservatives by the militarists, an event deemed unlikely in view of the Emperor's action, it is probable that Japan will find a peaceful way out of one of the greatest crises in her history and seek a means to realign her foreign policy in an anti-Axis direction.
(signed) Sherman Miles
Brigadier General, U. S. Army,
Acting Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2.
The President Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2
Secretary of War Assistant Chief of Staff, WPD
Under Secretary of War Coordinator of Information
Assistant Secretary of War Director of Naval Intelligence
Secretary of State G. H. Q
Chief of Staff General Embick
[Note by General Miles :] Original copy given to Gen. Watson for the
(signed) S. M.
(EXHIBITS OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE, PHA, PT. 14, EXHIBIT NO. 33 MILITARY INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATES PREPARED BY G-2, WAR DEPARTMENT)