Conclusions Reached After Study of "The Outline for the Execution of the Empire's National Policy," at the Liaison Conference from 23 to 30 October 1941.

1. What is the outlook of the European war situation? (Studied by the Foreign Ministry and the Supreme Command)

Conclusion: At the present time there appears to be little possibility of peace being concluded between Germany and Great Britain, or Germany and the Soviet Union, and, in all probability, the war will become protracted. However, since Germany does desire peace, peace is not impossible, but much will depend on the war situation and the attitude of Great Britain and the Soviet Union.

Explanation: The German forces have already approached the outskirts of Moscow and the Soviet field armies in the European USSR have suffered a severe blow; therefore, the German-Soviet war should end in victory for Germany. However, the Stalin regime, fully aware that capitulation to Germany would lead to the collapse of its administration, will continue passive resistance, depending upon its political power, which has now been consolidated, and upon the resources east of Voltsk, which are regarded as inadequate. It will also depend upon aid from the United States and Great Britain. Therefore, in view of the fact that the German-Soviet war is now assuming the aspects of a racial war, the Soviet will continue to resist.

German leaders state that communism must be overthrown com-


pletely and that the present war against the Soviet Union will be meaningless unless the Soviet Union is dealt a fatal blow, rendering it impossible for it to counterattack. It would seem, under these circumstances, that Germany will not make peace with the Soviet Union on lenient terms.

Great Britain's national character is steeped in the tradition and pride of a great nation. In restoring her national defense potential by taking advantage of the German-Soviet war, she will have considerable confidence in her capacity to prosecute a war and will not yield readily to Germany. Consequently, the Anglo-German war is expected to be a long one.

However, Germany having already secured the rich Ukraine, will seize the oil fields in the Caucasus in the near future and will then advance and capture the Near East and Suez. Thus, by controlling the European Continent and establishing an invincible position, Germany will be able to complete the first phase of a new order in Europe. Under the circumstances, it will not be necessary for Germany to further expand its territory or to crush Great Britain.

If Germany launches an invasion of the British homeland, and succeeds in the landing operation, or if its counter-blockade of Great Britain proves effective, it will be a staggering blow to Great Britain, and this, coupled with the decline of the Soviet power, will possibly bring peace to Europe.


German troops may be able to land in Great Britain, but, in view of the great dangers involved, in all probability this will not be attempted until early next spring. Some assert that if Germany succeeds in landing on the British Isles, the British Fleet will flee to the Pacific. In view of the German announcement that it will not assume the responsibility of feeding the British people, it is unthinkable that from a humanitarian point of view, the British Fleet would take such an action, leaving 47 million fellow countrymen to their fate.

2. That is the operational outlook of a war against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands in its initial stage and in subsequent years?

What military measures would be taken by the United States and Great Britain to utilize unoccupied areas in China? (Studied by the Supreme Command).


a. Army Operations: Despite foreseeing considerable difficulty in operations-against the southern area in the initial phase, the Japanese Army is fully confident of success. Thereafter, with the maintenance of surface traffic by the Navy, the Army will be able to secure the areas required.

b. Navy Operations: The Japanese Navy is confident of victory in its initial operations and the subsequent interception 78

operations to be executed with the present ratio of the Navy's strength. With the success of the initial operations, Japan will be able to secure strategic areas in the Southwest Pacific and take up positions from which protracted operations can be carried out. Since in operations against the United States it is not possible to carry out decisive military actions to bring the enemy to submission, Japan must be prepared for a long war. Japan's success or failure in such a war will depend on her capacity to maintain adequately her naval strength to cope with the United States expansion of armament. Therefore, the war situation will be determined, in the main, by Japan's total national potential and changes in the international situation.

c. The United States and Great Britain will use unoccupied areas in China mainly for building air bases. In view of the existing situation and the planned disruption of communication by future Japanese southern operations, these bases should prove of little concern to Japan. Also, the enemy's military use of the Chinese coast will not be possible because of the Japanese Navy's dominance of the Southern sea area.

3. Assuming that hostilities are opened in the southern area this fall, what effect would this have on the north? (Studied by the War, Navy and Foreign Ministries, and the Supreme Command)

Conclusion: There is little probability of the Soviet Union taking aggressive action against Japan at the outbreak of war in the


southern area, but it is possible that the United States will take, by force, if necessary, Soviet territory in the Far East to be used as military bases. At the same time, the Soviet Union will attempt various maneuvers against Japan, for which Japan should be prepared. There is also a possibility of war between Japan and the Soviet Union, depending upon subsequent conditions.

Explanation: At the present time, the Soviet Union retains only 25 per cent of its munitions industry, having lost the area west of the Volga River. The Red Army in Europe has suffered a severe setback in the German-Soviet war and, in order to reinforce it, the Red Army in the Far East has had to send more than 11 divisions, at least 1,000 tanks and more than 1,200 planes since the spring. Therefore, the over-all fighting power of the Red Army is gradually decreasing and the Army in the Far East has become the last reserve force remaining to the Stalin regime.

If Japan launches its southward advance the Anglo-Soviet Military Alliance would be extended to the Far East, cooperation between the United States and the Soviet would be accelerated and Great Britain and the United States would force the Soviet Union to take the offensive against Japan. It is felt, however, that as long as our Kwantung Army exists, the Soviet Union will not attempt an invasion but rather will seek to keep Japan in check by subversive activities and ideological propaganda, by employing communists in Manchuria and China.


The United States will demand that the Soviet Union execute coordinated operations against Japan from the north and forcibly use part of her territory in the Far East as air or submarine bases to attack Japan. The Soviet Union will find it difficult to reject the United States' demand and probably will engage in operations against Japan with elements of her submarine or air force. Depending upon the situation, this may lead to war between Japan and the Soviet Union [1]. In case the Japanese occupation of the southern area is delayed or the internal conditions of the Soviet Union become more stable, there is a possibility that the Red army in the Far East may gradually assume the offensive.

On 13 April 1941, with the signing of the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Pact, the Soviet Government had agreed to maintain peace and friendly relations and to respect the integrity of Japan; not to conclude any military alliance against Japan and not to grant military bases to any third power in the Far East. However, these guarantees may be regarded as Soviet diplomatic policy to cope with the war against Germany and, if Japan starts her southward advance, the situation may assume an entirely different aspect. It is doubtful that the Soviet Union would adhere to the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Pact should Japan commences her southern operations and withdraw troops from the north.

[1] Japan did not consider Soviet help to the United States in the form of a very small number of submarines and the use of airfields as an overt act of war, but rather as assistance given under pressure because the Soviet Union badly needed United States' aid in Europe.


4. State number of ships to be requisitioned and an estimate of their losses during the three-year period after the outbreak of war against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands. (Studied by the Supreme Command)

No information is available as to whether the study of the estimate was made or the report thereon completed in time. Neither can information be obtained as to whether a verbal report on the estimate was made at the Liaison Conference or data concerning the estimate submitted and the report destroyed.

5. In connection with the above, what is the estimate of the transport capacity of the vessels for civil use and the estimated amount in demand and supply of key commodities. (Studied by the Planning Board)

The report of the Planning Board on the vessels and materials mentioned in this item are given in the "Study of Basic Conditions at the time of the Opening of Hostilities."

6. Estimate of the allocations from the Empire's budget to carry out the war against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands. (Studied by the Finance Ministry)

Conclusion: The financial strength of the Japanese Empire will enable us to hold out as long as the supply of materials necessary to make military action and maintain national life is adequate.

Explanation: No explanation given.

7. In regard to hostilities against the United States, Great


Britain and the Netherlands, what kind and amount of cooperation will Germany and Italy pledge to Japan? (Studied by Foreign, War and Navy Ministries.)

Conclusion: In the event of the outbreak of hostilities between Japan, the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands, presumably little help can be effected from either Germany or Italy. However, if Japan informs them of her intention to go to war and proposes an operational agreement, she will be able to obtain their promises generally to the following:

a. A declaration of war against the United States.

b. Separate treaties will not be concluded by Japan, Germany or Italy with either the United States and Great Britain, or with Great Britain alone.

c. Germany and Italy will cooperate with Japan by taking positive action in the Near East.

d. Germany and Italy will cooperate in the execution of warfare to destroy commerce.

Explanation: Germany and Italy would be pleased to see the Japanese Empire go to war against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands. However, even if Germany and Italy agree to assist Japan, the help will be slight as the sphere of such coordinated operational actions would be relatively small.

The Japanese Empire would require the assurance of Germany and Italy that they would divert the fighting power of the United


States to the Atlantic insofar as possible by declaring war against the United States and that they would at no time conclude a separate peace with the United States and/or Great Britain. In view of the present relationship between the United States and Germany and the fact that Chancellor Hitler is planning to take offensive action against Great Britain, it is impossible to believe that Germany and Italy would refuse to give the required assurances.

It is possible to conclude an agreement on such coordinated operational actions as can be carried out within limited assigned tasks. Germany, in all probability, will carry out operations in the Near East in regard to the German-Soviet War. Therefore, it will be possible for Germany to cooperate with Japan by carrying out operations in the Near East simultaneously with Japan's southern area operations. Coordinated action to destroy commerce, mainly in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, will automatically be carried out.

8. Is it possible to limit the war to the Netherlands alone or to Great Britain and the Netherlands? (Studied by the Foreign Ministry and Imperial General Headquarters.)

Conclusion: Because of the close relationship between the United States and Great Britain and their interest in the Netherlands, it would be impossible to limit the war to the Netherlands or to Great Britain and the Netherlands.

Explanation: The reasons for the conclusion from the standpoint of political strategy are:


Undoubtedly, an understanding exists between Great Britain, the United States and the Netherlands to stand united in the event of an armed invasion of the southern area by Japan. Although the actions taken by the United States and Great Britain may be somewhat different, depending upon the time and method of armed invasion of the southern area by Japan, the international situation at that time and the domestic situations of tine United States and Great Britain, the limitation of the adversary to the Netherlands, or to Great Britain and Netherlands, would be absolutely impossible. The estimate of the stands to be taken by the United States and Great Britain, based on the present situation, are:

In the event of an armed invasion of the Netherlands East Indies by Japan, Great Britain in view of her economic stand, undoubtedly would resist the Japanese forces and would immediately seek the assistance of the United States. Even though the United States might not actively enter the war immediately, she would resort to feints in order to gain time to reinforce her military strength. Contrary to the steps taken against Germany, the United States will enter a war against Japan as early as possible. The reasons for this are:

a. The United States considers that she has a voice in the southwest Pacific area.

b. The United States needs such raw materials as rubber and tin from this area.

c. Military action by Japan would menace the Philippines.


d. The United States would completely lose her voice in Chinese affairs if she did not enter the Pacific war.

e. United States' public opinion would be much more likely to favor defense of the Pacific than of Europe.

The reasons from the standpoint of operations are:

a. Any attempt to carry out operations against the Netherlands East Indies alone or against the Netherlands and Great Britain without taking into consideration the attitude of the United States, would result in the creation of a situation whereby we would expose our flank to attack from Singapore, Hongkong and the Philippines.

b. Under the present circumstances, it would be extremely difficult to carry out operations against Great Britain and the United States if Japan did not have the initiative. If war against Great Britain and the United States was launched after the commencement of hostilities against the Netherlands, it would be impossible for Japan to retain the initiative in view of the present ratio of military strength between the United States, Great Britain and Japan. The necessity to launch the initial attacks becomes even more urgent when the rapid increase in the military strength of Great Britain and the United States is taken into consideration.

c. It would be impossible to establish a strong strategical position without securing Malaya and the Philippines.

9. The following conclusions were arrived at on the assumption that war will break out about March of next year:


a. Advantages and disadvantages from the standpoint of foreign relations. (Studied by Navy, Foreign and War Ministries and Imperial General Headquarters)

Conclusion: In view of the present international position, it would be to Japan's advantage to commence hostilities about March next year.

Explanation: (1) In Europe, the Soviet troops have received a near fatal blow, and, as a result, the Soviet will be busy regrouping its military strength during this winter and until next spring.. Therefore, it can be estimated that it will be necessary to transfer a considerable number of the Soviet troops stationed in the Far East to Europe. This, together with the increasing internal strife in Soviet Russia, will considerably weaken her strength in the East. With the commencement of hostilities between Japan and the United States, however, Russia will cooperate with the United States.

(2) Whatever situations may develop, there should always be opportunities through diplomatic channels, mainly with the Soviet, to attempt to mediate peace between the Soviet Union and Germany.

(3) Since the winter operations of the German Army are expected to be carried out mainly against Africa, the Near East and Central Asia, Great Britain will be called upon to defend these areas. At the same time, Great Britain must prepare for anticipated landing operations by German. forces against the mainland of


Great Britain. In consequence, Britain's position in East Asia will be weakened.

(4) Even if the United States does not enter the war until next March, she can be expected to assume a stronger military position. Therefore, the possibility exists that the United States will meet with difficulties in her domestic administration and be faced with new economic problems as well as being forced to split her military strength between the European and Pacific theaters.

(5) By March of next year Japan will be forced to face new economic situations.

(6) From the military point of view, the delay in the commencement of operations will allow hostile countries to build up their military strength.

(7) Delay will allow the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands and China to strengthen their economic, political and military unity.

b. Estimates of demand and supply of key commodities. (Studied by the Planning Board, War and Navy Ministries.)

There are no documents available giving details of the report. However, this estimate was discussed and explanations given at the Imperial Conference of 6 September 1941. (Monograph 147)

c. Advantages and disadvantages in military operations. (Studied by Imperial General Headquarters.)

Conclusion: From the operational standpoint, it would place


Japan at a great disadvantage to delay the outbreak of war until March of next year and would make aggressive operations absolutely impossible.

Explanation: As time passes, the ratio of military strength between Japan and the United States will be more and more to Japan's disadvantage. This will be especially true in regard to air strength. The United States will continue to strengthen the defense of the Philippines and the relationship between the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands and China in regard to joint defense will be consolidated. Their defensive strength in the southern area will be built up rapidly.

The total air strength in the Philippines, Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies has been built up a little over 10 per cent in the past two months. If diplomatic relations between these countries and Japan deteriorate, the rate of reinforcement will be stepped up sharply. Five air bases in the Philippines and six in Malaya, now under construction, should be completed early in the new year.

The Army strength in the Philippines and Malaya is being reinforced at the rate of approximately 4,000 men a month.

By spring of next year, Soviet operations in the northern area would be simpler and there is an increasing possibility that Japan will be called upon to fight in the north and south



d. In consideration of the above, when should the war be started? (Studied by the Army, Navy and Foreign Ministries and Imperial General Headquarters.)

Conclusion: In consideration of the above, the time for the commencement of hostilities should be set during early December at the latest.

10. Is there any prospect that our minimum demands, decided at the Imperial Conference on 6 September, can be attained in a short period of time by continuing negotiations with the United States. (Studied by the Foreign, War and Navy Ministries and Imperial Headquarters.)

Conclusion: There is no hope of attaining our demands within a short period of time.

Explanation: In view of the previous proposals of the United States authorities, we believe that the United States is attempting to prolong negotiations under the pretext of adjusting diplomatic relations in order to avoid conflict with Japan until her military preparations are completed. At the sane time, the United States doubts that Japan is sincere in her intention to carry out her foreign policy by peaceful means. The United States still stands by the four general principles for peace presented on 3 September 1941 (Monograph 14?) and, in consequence, does not intended to approve diplomatic negotiations until Japanese troops are withdrawn from China and French Indo-China.


Therefore, there appears to be no hope of attaining our demands, as set forth at the Imperial Conference of 6 September, within a short period of time.

11. What influence will a war against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands exert upon the Chungking regime? (Studied by the Foreign, War and Navy Ministries.)

Commencement of hostilities by Japan against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands will strengthen Chiang Kai-Shek's resolution to carry out a protracted war of resistance against Japan, as well as boost the morale of his troops because of the assistance the United States and Great Britain will necessarily accord him.

If such bases as Shanghai and Hongkong, through which help is given to Chiang Kai-shek, were captured; transport by the Burma route were interrupted by the southern advance of the Japanese Armed Forces, and operational results in the southern area were maintained, aid to Chiang Kai-shek by the Chinese residents in the southern area would be cut off. This would aggravate the economic pressure being brought to bear on the Chiang regime as well as affect the actual fighting strength of Chiang's troops. This would, in turn, affect the morale of the leaders of the Chiang regime and vacillating officers would more readily sell their allegiance to the Nanking government, thereby further undermining the strength of Chiang's regime.