1 December 1941
Re my #1222*
Following up the reporting of Premier Tojo's speech, the press here carried reports of the speech delivered by Vice President Ando of the Imperial Rules Assistance Association, on the 30th. Special attention was paid in these dispatches to those parts of the speech in which the Vice President advocated the reinvigorating of the alliance ties with Germany and Italy, and where he pointed out the United States as being the biggest obstacle to the establishment of the Far Eastern Co-Prosperity Sphere.
This report together with the report of President Roosevelt's sudden decision to return immediately to Washington and the disclosure of Hull's conferences with the British Ambassador on the 29th and the 30th is attracting considerable attention of the general public.
The general tone of these reports is that Roosevelt decided to cut his vacation short and rush back to Washington because Hull advised him by telephone that Premier Tojo had made an unusually strong speech, and relayed to him that a Far Eastern crisis may be at hand. Within governmental circles, although decisive comments were withheld, the general opinion seems to be that Tojo's speech indicates the refusal of the Japanese Government to accept the proposals submitted to it by the United States on the 26th. These circles also seem to feel that the speech indicated Japan's decision to give up hope for the talks and to resort to stronger measures.
The press on the 1st carried a U. P. dispatch from Tokyo reporting that though Japan was not satisfied with the United States' reply, Japan is desirous of having the discussions continue for at least two more weeks. In view of the reports of the Premier's speech, this report has an ominous tone about it.
Some of the newspapers comment that since Japan's invasion of Thai has already been definitely mapped out, the above is merely a means of stalling for time so as to give the Japanese a chance to seize the most opportune moment with respect to developments in Europe, to launch this attack.
JD-1: 7054 (D) Navy Trans. 12-4-41 (1)
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)