(Tentative plan for naval operations against China formulated by Navy General Staff on 12 July.)
I. Operations Policy
1. Operations will be launched in self-defense without a declaration of war. However, should the enemy declare war or should the progress of the war so require, war will be formally declared.
2. The object of the operations will be to punish the Chinese 29th Army, and therefore the area of operations will be limited to the Peiping-Tientsin area. It is preferable that the aim of punishing China and protecting Japanese residents be attained in the shortest possible period of time through localized battles, air combat and blockade, depending upon the situation.
3. Operations will be made jointly by the Army and Navy.
II. Tactical policy.
1. In accordance with the policy of localizing hostilities, our army forces will be moved into the Peiping-Tientsin area for the prompt attainment of our objective the punishment of the 29th Army. The Navy will escort army transports and cooperate with the Army in the Tientsin area while preparing for an over-all operation against China (first phase of operations).
2. Should the war spread, operations would be conducted along the following lines (second phase of operations):
(a) Shanghai and Tsingtao will be secured as operational bases with their Japanese residents placed under military protection. Japanese residents in other areas will be withdraw.
(b) In Central China, Army and Navy troops will be committed in appropriate strength to secure Shanghai. Simultaneously, Navy air strength will be employed for the neutralization of the
enemy air strength in Central China.
(c) In North China, Tsingtao will be secured jointly by the Army and Navy while other areas will be subjugated by the Army.
(d) Three divisions of army troops are scheduled to be committed in the Peiping-Tientsin area from the Kwantung Army, the Korea Army and home divisions. An additional two divisions are allotted to the Shanghai and Tsingtao areas. The disposition of these divisions will depend upon the development of the situation. The Navy considers it necessary to increase the latter figure to three divisions, and has proposed this to the Army.
(e) A blockade will be enforced along the lower reaches of the Yangtze and the coastal area of Chekiang Province as well as in other areas where our troops are stationed. The blockade will be enforced only on Chinese ships in order to avoid any conflict with third powers. However, should the progress of war so require, it will be enforced more intensively and extensively.
(f) The Chinese Navy will be first warned to observe strict neutrality and to remain in its present position. If it disobeys, it will be attacked.
(g) At first, the Third Fleet will be assigned for over-all operations in China and the Second Fleet will be assigned to escort army transports. With the dispatch of troops to the Tsingtao area, the Second Fleet will assume responsibility for operations in North China waters, while the Third Fleet will operate in Central and South China waters. These areas of operation will be divided by the Lung-Hai railroad, starting from Hai-chou, and will include the area of North China Operations.
(h) Able commanders and powerful troops will be assigned, to operations in South China, while the Third Fleet Headquarters will be so constituted as to facilitate its construction on operations in Central China.
(i) Advance bases should be established on the Saddle Islands, to serve as seaplane bases and to facilitate refueling of naval vessels. Plans should be drawn up by the Third Fleet to include the necessary personnel for these bases.
(j) In the event troops are redispatched to the Shanghai area after they have been dispatched to the Tsingtao area, their transports will be escorted by the Third Fleet, assisted by the Second Fleet.
(k) Two battalions will be added to the land combat unit dispatched to Shanghai while two naval landing battalions will be dispatched to Tsingtao. Should still more land combat units be required in either area, naval landing units will be used temporarily.
(l) Operations will be commenced simultaneously with surprise attacks by the air force. Either the 1st or 2nd Carrier Division will raid Hangchou, and the 1st Combined Air Group will raid Nanchang and Nanking. Other units will complete their disposition for operations without delay. The 2d Combined Air Group will be committed first in the North China area. Air attacks will be aimed at the annihilation of enemy air forces.
(m) Prior to the above-mentioned air raids, the flotillas placed on guard duty in the upper reaches of the Yangtze and at Canton respectively, must withdraw to pre-arranged points.
3. Although no definite agreements have yet been concluded with the Army as to cooperation with army units which may be dispatched to the Shanghai and Tsingtao areas, the Navy General Staff has a plan which may be summarized as follows:
(a) In the event that dispatch of troops to the Shanghai and Tsingtao areas is required, approximately one mixed brigade will be sent to the Shanghai area and one regiment of advance troops will be sent to Tsingtao.
(b) Naval vessels will assist in the transportation of troops where possible.
III. Organization of forces to be committed in operations (tentative plan). (Description omitted.)
IV. Disposition of troops to be committed in operations (tentative plan). (Description omitted.)