3 October 1941
1. With the resignation of former Foreign Minister Matsuoka the chances of turning away from the Axis policy and toward the Democracies, has been considerably enhanced.
2. Among the difficult points in the materialization of a Japanese-United States conference, is that with Japan speed is required. Moreover, she can enter into nothing more, at the present time, than a temporary understanding. On the other hand, by pursuing a policy of stalling, the United States is arguing about every word and every phrase on the grounds that it is an essential preliminary to any kind of an agreement. It seems apparent that the United States does not comprehend the fact that by the nature of the Japanese and also on account of the domestic conditions in Japan, no delays can be countenanced. It would be very regrettable indeed if the best opportunity for the settlement of the Far Eastern problems since I assumed my post here, were to be lost in such a manner.
3. Prince Konoye is sincerely desirous of avoiding the dangers which Japan may face through her connections in the Tripartite Pact and in the Axis for which the Prince, himself, feels responsibility. Opposition within the country to the Prince's reversal of policy is fairly strong. Therefore, unless the Japanese-U. S. conversations are held in the very near future, the opportunity will probably be lost. Moreover, if by some chance, meetings fail to materialize, or if they are unduly delayed, the Konoye cabinet will be placed in a precarious position.
4. We realize, of course, that there are numerous very complicated matters involved in the proposed negotiations. However, both the U. S. Ambassador in Japan and I are firmly of the opinion that it would be a foolish policy if this superb opportunity is permitted to slip by assuming an unduly suspicious attitude.
In conclusion, it must be added that until Japan's reversal of policy is concretely proven-in other words, until the Konoye principles actually materialize-there should be no let up in the retaliatory economic measures by us.
(NOTE -The above message expresses the views of British Ambassador Craigie in Tokyo, as explained in JD-1: 5623).
JD-1: 5624 (D) Navy Trans. 10-4-41 (S-TT)
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)