From: Washington
To: Tokyo
27 November 1941 (2327-2334 EST)
(Telephone Code)—(See JD-1: 6841) (S.I.S. #25344)

(Conversation between Ambassador Kurusu and Japanese Foreign Office American Division Chief, Yamamoto.)

            Literal translation                  Decode of Voice Code
 (After connection was completed:)
 KURUSU: "Hello, hello. This is Ku-
 YAMAMOTO: This is Yamamoto".
 KURUSU: "Yes, Hello, hello."
 (Unable to get Yamamoto for about six or
 eight seconds, he said aside, to himself, or
 to someone near him:)
 KURUSU: "Oh, I see, they're making a
 record of this, huh?"
 (It is believed he meant that the six second
 interruption was made so that a record could
 be started in Tokyo. Interceptor's machine
 had been started several minutes earlier.)
 KURUSU: "Hello. Sorry to trouble you 
 so often."
 YAMAMOTO: "How did the matrimonial                "How did the nego-
 question get along today?"                       tiations go today?"
 KURUSU: "Oh, haven't you got our tele-
 gram* yet? It was sent—let me see—at
 about six—no, seven o'clock. Seven o'clock.
 About three hours ago.
 "There wasn't much that was different            "There wasn't much
 from what Miss Umeko said yesterday."            that was different from
                                                 Hull's talks of yester- 
 YAMAMOTO: "Oh, there wasn't much diff-
 KURUSU: "NO, there wasn't. As before,
 that southward matter—that south,
 SOUTH—southward matter, is having con-
 siderable effect. You know, southward
 YAMAMOTO: (Obviously trying to indicate
 the serious effect that Japanese concentra-
 tions, etc. in French Indo-China were having
 on the conversations in Washington. He
 tries to do this without getting away from the
 "Miss Umeko childbirth, marriage" charac-
 ter of the voice code.)
 YAMAMOTO: "Oh, the south matter? It's
 KURUSU: "Yes, end at one time, the matri-       "Yes, and at one
 question seemed as if it would be               time it looked as
 settled."                                       though we could reach
                                                 an agreement".
 KURUSU: "But—well, of course, there are
 other matters involved too, but—that was
 it—that was the monkey wrench. Details
 are included in the telegram* which should
 arrive very shortly. It is not very long and
 you'll be able to read it quickly."
 YAMAMOTO: "Oh, you've dispatched it?"
 KURUSU: "Oh, yes, quite a while ago. At
 about 7 o'clock."
 KURUSU: "How do things look there?              "Does it seem as if a 
 Does it seem as if a child might be born?"      crisis is at hand?"
 YAMAMOTO: (In a very definite tone):            "Yes, a crisis does
 "Yes, the birth of the child seems imminent."   appear imminent."
 KURUSU: (In a somewhat surprised tone,
 repeating Yamamoto's statement):
 "It does seem as if the birth is going to take  "A crisis does ap-
 take place?"                                    pear imminent?"
 KURUSU: "In which direction. . ."
 (Stopped himself very abruptly at this slip
 which went outside the character of the voice
 code. After a slight pause he quickly re-
 covered, then to cover up the slip, con-
 KURUSU: "IS it to be a boy or a girl?"
 YAMAMOTO: (Hesitated, then laughing at
 his hesitation took up Kurusu's cue to re-
 establish the voice code character of the
 talk. The "boy, girl, healthy" byplay has
 no other significance):
 YAMAMOTO: "It seems as if it will be a
 strong healthy boy."
 KURUSU: "Oh, it's to be a strong healthy 
 (Rather long pause.) 
 "Did you make any statement (to the news-       "Did you make any
 regarding your talk with Miss                   statement regarding
 Kimiko today?"                                  your talks with the 
                                                President today?"
 KURUSU: "No, nothing. Nothing except 
 the mere fact that we met."
 YAMAMOTO: "Regarding the matter con-
 tained in the telegram** of the other day, 
 although no definite decision has been made 
 yet, please be advised that effecting it will 
 be difficult."
 KURUSU: "Oh, it is difficult, huh?"
 YAMAMOTO: "Yes, it is."
 KURUSU: "Well, I guess there's nothing 
 more that can be done then."
 YAMAMOTO: "Well, yes." 
 YAMAMOTO: "Then, today . . ."
 KURUSU: "Today?"
 YAMAMOTO: "The matrimonial question,            "Regarding negotia-
 that is, the matter pertaining to arranging a   tions, don't break them
 marriage—don't break them off."                 off."
 KURUSU: "Not break them? You mean talks." 
 KURUSU: "Oh, my."
       (Pause, and then with a resigned laugh:) 
 KURUSU: "Well, I'll do what I can."
       (Continuing after a pause:)
 KURUSU: "please reed carefully whet Miss        "Please read care
 had to say as contained in today's              fully what the Presi-
 telegram*."                                     dent had to say as con- 
                                                 tained in today's tele- 
 YAMAMOTO: "From what time to what
 time were your talks today?"
 KURUSU: "Oh, today's was from 2:30."
 (Much repeating of the numeral 2)
 KURUSU: "Oh, you mean the duration?
 Oh, that was for about an hour."
 YAMAMOTO: "Regarding the matrimonial            "Regarding the ne- 
 question."                                      gotiations."
 "I shall send you another message. How-
 ever, please bear in mind that the matter of 
 the other day is a very difficult one."
 KURUSU: "But without anything,—they              "But without any-
 want to keep carrying on the matrimonial        thing,—they want to 
 question. They do. In the meantime              keep on negotiating. we're 
 faced with the excitement of having a           In the meantime we 
 child born. On top of that Tokugawa is          have a crisis on hand 
 really champing at the bit, isn't he? Toku-     and the army is champ-
 gawa is, isn't he?"                             ing at the bit. You 
                                                 know the army."
  (Laughter and pause.)
 KURUSU: "That's why I doubt if anything 
 can be done."
 YAMAMOTO: "I don't think it's as bad as 
 YAMAMOTO: "Well,—we can't sell a moun-            "Well,—we can't
 tain."                                           yield."
 KURUSU: "Oh, sure, I know that. That 
 isn't even a debatable question any more."
 YAMAMOTO: "Well, then, although we 
 can't yield, we'll give you some kind of a re-
 ply to that telegram."
 KURUSU: "In any event, Miss Kimiko is             "In any event, the
 leaving town tomorrow, and will remain in        President is leaving
 the country until Wednesday."                    town tomorrow, and will 
                                                  remain in the coun-
                                                  try until Wednesday." 
 YAMAMOTO: "Will you please continue to 
 do your best."
 KURUSU: "Oh, yes. I'll do my best. 
 And Nomura's doing everything too."
 YAMAMOTO: "Oh, all right. In today's 
 talks, there wasn't anything of special in-
 terest then?"
 KURUSU: "No, nothing of particular in-
 terest, except that it is quite clear now that
 that southward—ah—the south, the south 
 matter is having considerable effect."
 YAMAMOTO: "I see. Well, then, good bye."
 KURUSU: "Good bye." 
JD-1: 6890                                  (M) Navy Trans. 11-28-41 ( )
*JD-1: 6915 (S.I.S. #25495). Outline of interview on 27 November with Roosevelt-Hull-Kurusu-Nomura .
**Probably #1189 (S.I.S. #25441-42). JD-1: 6896). Washington reports the two proposals presented by the U. S. on 26 November.