29 November 1941
#872 (In 2 parts, complete)
Re my #855.*
As a result of my conversation with PIBUN**, I have been able to ascertain his attitude to a large degree, and therefore through Yoshioka who as the outside agency of the Naval Attaché's office, we have suggested to SIN and WANITTO*** that, in the event of Thai's abandoning her neutrality policy in the future, it would be better both from the standpoint of face and also for material reasons for her to go through the formality herself of requesting cooperative action from the nation concerned, rather than to be put in the position of being compelled to consent to it because of pressure brought to bear. The shifts within the government mentioned in my caption message, are a result of the above. When SIN heard this from Yoshioka, he said that this is a matter he has been concerned over the past two years and as he feels that he himself is the most suitable person to handle the matter he promised to put forth every effort for its realization. He is also said to have told WANITTO that the matter should be left to him. WANITTO and SIN are keeping in touch with us through Yoshioka in regard to subsequent developments within the government, and we are giving them appropriate guidance under cover. The main points of the same are as follows: (Yoshioka's mediation in this puts him in a "delicate" position in relation to the army attaché, so this should be kept absolutely confidential within the department).
(1) Whenever there is discussion in the cabinet the points raised are, the real intentions of Japan, that is, the meaning of the East Asia Co-prosperity plan, the involvements of the southward expansion policy, the extent of commodity supplying, and the duration of the time of stationing troops. Great Britain seizes upon these points and furnishes all kinds of contradictory material with which to keep the pro-British elements busy. To meet this WANITTO presents the absolute necessity of union between Japan and Thai and this has already become the firm conviction of the pro-Japanese group, and there thus is no need for further discussion as far as they are concerned. However the opposition have been bringing up troublesome arguments and hold tenaciously thereto. Since it was so difficult to convince them an appeal was made to us for material with which to counter them and their arguments.
(2) Since then the pro-Japanese group have been having better success in their attempts, and their position has become more favorable. As a result the opposition, since about the 25th has kept silent. However, the matter has not been concluded.
(Part 2 being translated)
29 November 1941
#872 (Part 2 of 2)
3. The question of joint military action between Thai and Japan has already been brought up by the pro-Japanese faction, but up to date, they have expressed a desire to pursue a course of strict neutrality. They had taken a fairly firm stand that the first one, regardless of whether this be Britain or Japan, who makes the first move shall be considered Thai's enemy. Therefore, for Japan to be looked upon as Thai's helper, she should put Britain in a position to be the first aggressor. For the purpose of accomplishing this, Japan should carefully avoid Thai territory, and instead, land troops in the neighborhood of KOTAPARU in British territory, which would almost certainly force Britain to invade Thailand from PATANBESSA. The consequence would be Thai's declaration of war on Britain.
This strategy is being given careful consideration. Apparently this plan has the approval of Chief of Staff BIJITTO. Our naval Attaché has advised the Naval General Staff, also, I think.
4. WANITTO and SIN are both considerably concerned of the weak character of PIBUN. As a means of making PIBUN make a decision, they think that it would be well to have some outside pressure brought to bear on him. As one means, they suggest that some undesirable Japanese be forcibly removed from Thai by Japan, and then to publicize this as the forerunner of a general evacuation of Japanese nationals from Thai.
From the above and from other considerations, including that of the tone of PIBUN's radio broadcast which was reported in my message #871****, the situation here may show some unexpectedly speedy and favorable developments. I feel that we should not fumble this situation, but should proceed carefully and take the best advantage of it.
JD-1: 6923 (D) Navy Trans. 12-1-41 (S-TT)
*JD-1: 6881 (S.I.S. #25417).
**Premier and Foreign Minister.
***Actively in charge of Foreign Office.
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)