25 November 1941
We are advised by the military that we are to have a reply from the United States on the 25th. If this is true, no doubt the Cabinet will make a decision between peace and war within the next day or two. It goes without saying here, of course, that if the U. S.-Japanese negotiations are brought to a successful termination, the various enterprises shall be launched in accordance with the plans which have been laid down in advance.
Should, however, the negotiations not end in a success, since practically all preparations for the campaign have been completed, our forces shall be able to move within the day.
Under these circumstances, however, there shall have to be some alterations in the program we have laid out for the various enterprises. We shall, undoubtedly, have to establish organs and conduct negotiations which will not conflict with the campaign. The thing that we are most concerned about is whether or not, in the event of war, the status quo will be maintained as far as the French Indo-China's governmental setup is concerned. I feel that it is essential that we not only be advised of this, but it must be done immediately as we wish to make all pre-arrangements as far in advance as possible.
If you have any opinions as to the outcome of the Japanese-U. S. negotiations, will you please inform this office of them together with whatever other pertinent information you may deem wise to impart to us.
Of course, I realize that secrecy is of the utmost importance. According to press reports, however, the United States conferred with the representatives of Britain, Australia, the Netherlands, and even of China, in Washington, and hence the governments of these countries are now aware of the matters being discussed in the Japanese-U. S. negotiations. Moreover, by means of (courier?) service, the military here are aware of not only our stand in the negotiations but also of the general atmosphere of the said negotiations.
We feel as if we, a Foreign Office organ, alone have been left out of the picture. As you pointed out in your circular message #2353* the situation is becoming exceedingly critical. Please, therefore, make arrangements to advise us on these points by means of either cable or by special messenger services.
JD-1: 6838 (D) Navy Trans. 11-26-41 (S-TT)
*Available, dated 19 November.
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)