Explanation by Chief of Army General Staff Sugiyama at the
Imperial Conference of 6 September 1941.

The Army Section wholly agrees with the explanation given by the Chief of Naval General Staff. Therefore, I will confine my explanation mainly to the relationship between preparations for war and diplomatic negotiations.

Is evidenced by the previous explanation delivered by Premier Konoye and in view of the present urgent situation, especially of the gradual decrease in the potentiality of our national strength, it is my firm conviction that the time has come for the Empire to decide on peace or war. Furthermore, it has become imperative for Imperial General Headquarters to make immediate and necessary preparations for military operations to cope with both peace and war.

If we should play into the hands of the United States and Great Britain by being driven into the prolonging of diplomatic negotiations at a time when the situation is urgent, the potentiality of the Empire's national defense strength would gradually decrease while at the same time the armament of the United States, and Britain would gradually increase. Such a situation would make our military operations more difficult and place us in a position where we would be forced to lose the advantage of surmounting the obstacles created by the United States and Britain. Therefore, we must open hostilities against the United States and Britain while we have confidence in waging war against them. Thus,


after considering the meteorological conditions in the anticipated theater of operations, we have decided that the appropriate time for the completion of war preparations is the middle of October.

Furthermore, the Empire at this time should take final diplomatic action to determine peace or war. Until such time, the Imperial General Headquarters must take such precautions regarding the execution of the preparations for military operations as to ensure its actions will not arouse the United States and Britain and as the result place us in a disadvantageous position in our diplomatic negotiations.

However, in case we are unable to attain our diplomatic aims, we must immediately decide to declare war on the United States and Britain and hasten the preparations for war. Preparations must be completed by the middle of October, including the dispatch of reinforcements to southern French Indo-China. Our determination as to whether or not to open hostilities should be established by early October at the latest in consideration of the viewpoint of troop movements.

As for the northern area, I believe that we do not have to worry about any contingencies in that theater during our southern operations inasmuch as the preparations for anti-Soviet operations which the Empire has been conducting since the outbreak of the German-Soviet war are already being further strengthened and accelerated.

I believe that the ultimate coalition between the United States and the Soviet Union is natural, but due to climatic restrictions large-scale operations in the north during winter are very difficult. More-


over, even if the United States and the Soviet Union should join together and launch military movements from some of their aircraft and submarines, the possibility of full-scale operations is very small. Therefore, I believe that we would be able to cope with any change of situation in the north after next spring if we succeed in bringing a speedy end to the operations in the south. On the other hand, if we should lose this seasonably favorable opportunity, it would be quite difficult later to secure impregnability in the north, while carrying on military operations in the south.

In conclusion, I want to emphasize that if the situation should result in a war in the south, the Empire should immediately disclose her intention to Germany and Italy and tighten the agreement with those two countries so that Japan, Germany and Italy can cooperate closely to achieve the common objectives of the war. The most important item in the direction of war is to prevent Germany and Italy from concluding a separate peace with the United States and Britain.


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