APPENDIX No 8
Testimony by Prime Minister Tojo before the
International Military Tribunal for the Far East
Relating to the Imperial Rescript on
the Declaration of war
However, in view of the gravity of the subject, I made two or three interim reports to the Throne prior to its final form. On these occasions we amended the following two points in the Imperial Rescript in obedience to His Majesty's wishes, on the responsibility of the Cabinet.
The first a line in the third paragraph of the rescript was amended to read, "It has been truly unavoidable and far from our wishes that our Empire has now been brought to cross swords with the United States and Great Britain," in accordance with His Majesty's wishes.
The second was an amendment to the concluding part of the Rescript, which was transmitted through the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal, Kido, to Cabinet Secretary Inada, on 1 December. The original wording of the concluding paragraph of the draft read, "raising and enhancing thereby the glory of the Imperial Way within and without our Homeland," which was thence, according to the Imperial wish, amended to read "preserving thereby the glory of our Empire." His Majesty's true intent and purpose can be easily understood from the foregoing two amendments.
The transcription of the promulgation of the Imperial Rescript
on the Declaration of far was submitted to the Privy Councilors for discussion. I remember it was past 1100 hours on 8 December 1941 when the above Rescript was announced by the Cabinet after deliberations by the Privy Council, and the Imperial sanction was then obtained. The general outline of the deliberations by the Privy Council was as represented in the records of 8 December 1941. It is stated in the records that I explained before the Investigation Committee of the Privy Council that as the war against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands was decided upon in the Liaison Conference of 1 December, negotiations with the United States since then were continued only for strategic reasons, and also that Japan was not going to declare war against the Netherlands in view of future strategic convenience.
Now, my statements before the Privy Council were recorded not through stenographic methods but were only summarized by the secretary. Hence, they do not correctly convey what I actually said on that occasion. What I actually said was as follows:
"The decision to wage war against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands was made on 1 December. After that date preparations for the commencement of hostilities were foremost in our efforts. However, even in the course of these preparations, we continued to hope for some way of arriving at a diplomatic settlement through reconsideration of the matters on the part of the United States Government. If this hope
materialized we contemplated the suspension of all military operations. However, war has actually broken out, but inasmuch as we were not anticipating any attack on the Netherlands at the outset of hostilities it is deemed unnecessary for Japan to declare war against her. For this reason Holland was not included in the Imperial Rescript."