3 December 1941
Circular #616 (In 3 parts, complete)
Peking to Tokyo #763 (Most secret outside the Ministry).
Kitazawa, Commander Army of North China.
Arisue, Vice Chief of Staff.
Nishimura, 4th Section, Staff Headquarters.
Kazayama, Chief of Staff.
Shiozawa, Liaison Officer, Chinese Development Board.
At a meeting on December 1st and 2nd, of the above five, the following conclusions and decisions were reached:
"If this war does start, this will be a war which will decide the rise or fall of the Japanese Empire. For this reason it goes without saying, do not have small, or local, insignificant matters, occupy you. Instead quiet such things immediately and settle in a most advantageous way to us. In addition, all administrative control of these districts should be carefully planned anew with the above in view. For example, the fact that this war is one which is unavoidable for the existence of Japan and the maintenance of peace in East Asia' should be made very clear to all foreign nations and thus internally strengthen the unity of the people while guiding the world's public opinion in a direction beneficial to Japan. Thus both during the period of war and at the end of the war during the peace negotiations the greatest benefit will accrue to Japan.
"Especially on the minds of the southern native peoples we must make an impression so as to draw them towards us and against the United States and Britain. For this purpose, when this war starts all district and regional authorities must as much as possible adhere to existing international laws, etc. and under no condition should any action which would look like 'stealing while the house burns' to foreign countries be taken which might result in the loss of the main issue for a small immediate local profit.
"In order to end this affair in a profitable note for Japan, one need but remember that in the Russo-Japan war it was necessary to have President Roosevelt act as peace mediator, to appreciate that for the expected coming war the only one who can be imagined as an intermediary is the Pope. This fact should be kept in mind in any step which is taken in the occupied territory. And for this reason too the enemy's position should be considered, and the handling of enemy churches etc. in China should be carefully studied.
"It is evident that Japan will have to put everything that they have in the coming war, and for this reason it is only natural that our burden in China be made as light as possible, so that our strength must be saved. For this reason matters other than political or economic, that can be handled by China should as much as possible be left to China to manage and thereby get credit for this from the Chinese, too.
"It can be imagined that the next war is to be a longer one than the China incident, so that in this region the main issue should be the obtaining of materials. For this reason the question of closed trade and methods of gathering material should again be thoroughly studied.
II "The military will of course try to handle matters as much as possible according to the International code. They will increase even more their close cooperation with the Legations, especially regarding protection of churches. In this regard they have already planned a complete education of the soldier groups stationed in the occupied territories."
Arisue mentioned that he was on close terms with the Vatican here _ _ _ _ _ (2 lines garbled) _ _ _ _ _ .
(Arisue mentioned that he had always approved of allowing the Chinese to handle their own affairs and as a matter of fact he had been acting with that in mind. However, he was only worried that by handing over the management of things to the Chinese, that they might get the mistaken idea that the Japanese had become weakened. This point should be kept in mind and any action of this kind should be done in such a way as to not let them get such a mistaken idea.)
"It is of course important to obtain materials, but regarding easing the ban on free trade in enemy territory, this subject should be studied from various angles."
III Shiozawa expressed his agreement with most items mentioned and declared that very close touch has been kept with military forces and different methods of leading North China politically were being studied.
JD-1: 7848 (Y) Navy Trans. 12-26-41 (C-NR)
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)