November 10, 1941
#757 (Part 1 of 3) (To be handled in government code)
On the 10th I went to talk to the American Ambassador, and DOOMAN sat with us. I opened the conversation with a resume of my #725 [a] and reiterated my earnest hope that a decision could be reached in the negotiations on a basis just to our Empire. I explained that I would bend every effort toward the solution of this difficult situation. Then I continued, "Having examined the results of the negotiations thus far, what I feel is that the United States does not have full knowledge of the true situation. I feel that the United States does not have enough understanding and knowledge. Secretary HULL says that he recognizes Japan's stabilizing influence, yet unless he realizes sufficiently present conditions in East Asia and that we Japanese have been occupied over a period of four and a half years with the China incident, even though he calls us a stabilizing influence, he contradicts himself. Our population is ever increasing. Already we have about 100,000,000 people. In order to maintain their existence, we absolutely must obtain the necessary materials. On the other hand, six months have passed since Japanese-American negotiations began, and during that time, although we have given in as much as we could, the United States sticks to her first proposals and will not bend an inch. This is a most regrettable circumstance. It would seem that there are not a few Japanese who doubt the sincerity of the American Government. Consequently, a further delay would do great damage to our popular spirit. Moreover, the cabinet will soon convene, and the situation is becoming exceedingly tense. Without the loss of a day, we should establish these negotiations. I hope that the American Government, too, will fully consider all these points and take the large view, settling the whole thing at once. I do not honestly believe that there is any other way to settle this perplexing situation.
Army 24583 Trans. 11/10/41 (s)
[a] S.I.S. #24330-32 states that as a result of a conference between the Foreign Office and the Military High Command, two new proposals, containing the final concessions Japan is willing to make, have been devised.
November 10, 1941
#757 (Part 2 of 3) (To be handled in government code)
Next I presented him with the English text of Proposal A contained in my #726 [a] and said, "As a result of deep thought, this was arrived at by the Government and represents the maximum compromise that we can endure to make. There is absolutely no possibility of our yielding any further.
"1. The attitude of both nations toward the European war is recorded in our proposal of September 25. Therefore, I take it for granted that we are in agreement on this score.
"2. I feel that this proposal fully covers America's desires concerning non-discriminatory treatment in commerce.
"3. Concerning the ever-knotty problem of evacuating troops, the present proposal, in view of the difficulties we face here in Japan, ventures our maximum compromise. I am sure that the United States officials can readily comprehend this. Let me tell you how strongly I hope that we can reach a quick settlement. Now included in this documents are many matters in which Great Britain's interests are deeply concerned, so it is necessary that, simultaneously with the establishment of Japanese-American negotiations, Japan and England make preparations to sign." I added, "I hope that the Government of the United States will undertake this."
The American Ambassador answered, "I have had no instructions from my home government, so I would like to reserve my opinion. Only as a hint, let me say that I have wired to Washington the two situation in detail, so the American Government understands the Oriental situation fully. Concerning influence for stability, there are many ways of interpreting that. Concerning the question of the obtention of materials, the present negotiations aim at that very thing, and I think that there will probably be some way for you Japanese to obtain what you need in a peaceful manner."
Army 24584 Trans. 11/10/41 (S)
[a] See S.I.S. #24334, #24335, #24336, and #24337.
November 10, 1941
#757 (Part 3 of 3) (To be handled in government code)
I answered, "Though I have all along fully appreciated the efforts of Your Excellency, I do not feel that the Government of the United States has as yet fully appreciated the situation. The feeling in favor of stability and peace is, as a matter of course, the feeling of the majority of the people. Then too, insofar as the question of resources is concerned, if we take the example of the recent situation wherein the supplying of raw materials to Japan was suspended as a result of America's actions in the freezing of assets, such strong-arm measures of economic pressure, in addition to being a threat indicate the probability of even more severe measures in the future. The people of Japan, though they may feel deeply within themselves that extreme steps for self-defense must be brought to bear, cannot bring themselves to the point of carrying this out.
"On this question there is a definite need for the United States to give the most careful consideration. Furthermore, insofar as the China question is concerned, would you have us ignore the successes gained as a result of sacrifices that we have made over four and a half years? Submission to terms such as these would be suicidal to Japan. For the Government, as well as for the people, I believe that such a course is impossible."
At this point, Counselor DOOMAN interposed the following: "We cannot accept the results of aggression." I refuted him by saying, "The Imperial Government does not consider that it has carried on a war of aggression. Therefore, the question of the results of aggression cannot be raised. We should, therefore, make an exception even in a non-aggression pact insofar as military action in the interests of self-defense is concerned. The fact is, insofar as the interpretation of the right of self-defense is concerned, judging by the examples of recent arguments, I believe that it is the United States which has been exhibiting a tendency to wrongfully magnify this. Therefore, it seems indicated that it is for Japan to call for the exercise of self-control by the Government of the United States. But at any rate, insofar as today is concerned, it behooves us not to become too involved in such arguments as these."
Army 24585 Trans. 11/10/41 (S)
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)