Appendix No. 12

Decisions Reached at the Five Ministers' Conference (24 June to 19 July 1938)

I. Future policy for the China Incident (adopted 24 June).

1. All domestic and foreign policies will be rearranged on the assumption that by concentrating on the settlement of the China Incident, the objectives of the war will be attained within this year.

2. A third power's friendly proposal for mediation may be accepted provided that reasonable terms are offered.

II. Measures to be taken if the existing Chinese Central Government offers to capitulate (decided 8 July).

Policy: If the existing Chinese Central Government offers to capitulate the Empire will accept this offer in accordance with the policy approved at the Council in the Imperial Presence to the effect that the Empire will have that government join the new Chinese central regime as a local government.

Gist of Plan:

1. The Empire will follow established principles for settling the incident, and will refuse to deal with the present Chinese Central Government in adjusting over-all relations between Japan and China.

2. If the present Chinese Central Government submits to us and accepts the forms stated below, the Empire will have said Government join the newly established Chinese Central Government as a friendly local regime, or have it establish a new central regime in cooperation with the existing pro-Japanese regime. Although the incorporation of said government into the existing now central regime will be left to China, the Empire will render assistance in these matters.

The terms on which capitulation of the present Chinese Central Government would be accepted are:

1. Merger with the new regime or participation in establishing a new central regime.


Appendix No. 12

2. Reorganization and redesignation of the former Nationalist Government incidental to the above actions.

3. Abandonment of anti-Japanese and pro-Communist policies and adoption of a new Japanese-Manchukuo anti-Communist policy.

4. Withdrawal of Chiang Kai-shek from position of authority.

No discussion of truce forms unless it is confirmed that the present Chinese Central Government has capitulated. However, should the subject of a truce be brought up, its terms would be considered separately.

III. Measures to be taken if the present Chinese Central Government does not capitulate.


The Empire will more firmly consolidate its national powers and concentrate all activities of the nation, from military operations to state administration, diplomacy, economy, propaganda and behind-the-lines activity, for the sole purpose of destroying or defeating the present Chinese Central Government. At the same time, the Empire will tighten the policies to meet the current pressing requirements for enduring protracted warfare, thus thoroughly fitting the nation for war both spiritually and materially.

Gist of Plan:

1. The policy to be followed until the occupation of strategic points is achieved:

a. With the objective of occupying such strategic points as will enable Japanese forces to secure control over the greater part of China, operations will be conducted in as close succession as possible. At the same time, effort will be made to lower Chinese morale by emphasizing the defeat of Chinese forces, especially their loss of the central plains of China, showing thereby that the present Central Government of China has abandon the will to fight.
b. With the development of operations, behind-the-lines


Appendix No. 12

activities will be intensified in all phases, to include polities, economies, diplomacy and ideologies. By this means, endeavors will be made to foment pro-Japanese and anti-Communist elements, to create a desire for peace among anti-Japanese elements by upsetting their financial foundations, and thus to lead the existing Central Government to split; and break down or at least reduce itself to a local regime at the earliest possible date. Such measures will be pushed not only by the Japanese, but through pro-Japanese regimes in China which will be guided behind the scene by Japan.
c. Pro-Japanese regimes will be enlarged and strengthened and finally consolidated at the earliest possible date into a single regime that fully deserves to be called a Central Government of China, so that neither the Chinese nor other nations can refuse to recognize it as the government of China. Although the time of recognition of such a now central regime by the Empire will depend very much upon circumstances, it will be realized as soon as possible after the said regime has acquired a status deserving the name.
d. We will do our utmost to respect foreign rights and interests in China and refrain from intentionally initiating conflicts with those foreign nations concerned. At the same time, however, we shall deal with the incident vigorously and resolutely so as to force foreign powers to approve our policy toward China and to oblige them to support it for the sake of maintenance and promotion of their own rights and interest, thus isolating Chiang Kai-shek's government.

2. Measures to be taken after the occupation of the strategic points:

Should the existing Chinese Central Government, even after strategic areas are captured, refuse to capitulate, the Empire should not seek hasty settlement of the Incident with force of arms. Instead, it should strive to destroy this government chiefly by means of political devices and behind-the-lines activities, such as


Appendix No. 12

vigorously encouraging the growth of the new central regime and imposing greater pressure on the present Chinese Central Government in such fields as politics, diplomacy economics and ideology.

3. The method of executing these measures will be dealt with separately.

IV. Behind-the-lines activities against China (decided on 8 July).


Plans currently being effected for undermining the enemy's fighting potential and upsetting the present Chinese Central. Government or destroying Chiang Kai-shek will be enlarged in accordance with the following plan:

Gist of Plan:

1. Leading figures of China will be utilized to discourage the fighting spirit of the Chinese masses as well as the present Chinese Central Government and to arouse general desire to establish a firm now regime.

2. The enemy's fighting potential will be dissipated and fighting spirit discouraged by attempts to convert non-regular troops into puppet troops.

3. Powerful elements opposed to Chiang Kai-shek will be incited to create an anti-Communist and anti-war government within the enemy ranks.

4. Moslems in the northeastern provinces will be assisted in their attempts to create an anti-Communist zone.

5. The present Chinese Central Government will be financially starved by such means as freezing Chinese funds invested abroad.

6. Behind-the-lines activities and propaganda will be conducted with a view to facilitating the execution of the foregoing measures.

Note. Further research will be made concerning Item 5 above.


Page maintained by Larry W. Jewell, Created: 1/3/98 Updated: 1/3/98