To: Nanking, Shanghai, Peking, Hsinking
December 4, 1941
Circular #2468 Separate wire, Restricted Distribution.
(Secret outside the Department).
1. Until a state of war develops between Japan and the Netherlands, the Netherlands Government will be considered a quasi-enemy power. Already they have put into force prohibitions regarding the use of codes and are exercising rigid control and surveillance of our officials (consequently it is indicated that they are positively working in conjunction with enemy powers).
2. In the event the Netherlands declares war, we will issue a declaration to the effect that a state of war exists between Japan and the Netherlands. In the event that a state of war exists between our country and the Netherlands before the Netherlands has actually made a declaration of war, we will issue a declaration to the effect that a state of war exists between Japan and the Netherlands. Otherwise, in accordance with International Law, we will treat her as an enemy nation.
A. The advantages accruing the Netherlands Government through repudiation would be that at the same time she carried out her repudiation she would declare the Minister to be persona non grata. Though there are indications that she has gone beyond this, there will be no need to handle the situation any other way but in accordance with (1) above.
B. Should the Netherlands Government repudiate this, there will be no responsibility under International Law for the Netherlands to protect our nationals in the Netherlands East Indies. Then, too, even after a state of war has been brought about in her relations with us, she will be forced to stand in the position of not accepting a protest under International Law. Then again, she could bring about great inconvenience by demanding the evacuation of our Consular officials.
C. To date the Netherlands Government has actually maintained her position under International Law, but should she repudiate this, there would be no advantage in any other plan but A, mentioned above. Then, too, in the event that the Netherlands Government begins hostilities, this would indicate her intention to repudiate our relationships and there would be no necessity to handle her in any other way but as a qiesa enemy nation.
(Translation sketchy due to garbles.)
Army 26101 (Japanese) Trans. 12/11/41
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)