November 30, 1941
#986 (Strictly Secret) (To be handled in Government Code)
(Part 1 of 2) (Secret outside the Department)
1. Japan-American negotiations were commenced the middle of April of this year. Over a period of half a year they have been continued. Within that period the Imperial Government adamantly stuck to the Tri-Partite Alliance as the cornerstone of its national policy regardless of the vicissitudes of the international situation. In the adjustment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States, she has based her hopes for a solution definitely within the scope of that alliance. With the intent of restraining the United States from participating in the war, she boldly assumed the attitude of carrying through these negotiations.
2. Therefore, the present cabinet, in line with your message, with the view of defending the Empire's existence and integrity on a just and equitable basis, has continued the negotiations carried on in the past. However, their views and ours on the question of the evacuation of troops, upon which the negotiations rested (they demanded the evacuation of Imperial troops from China and French Indo-China), were completely in opposition to each other.
Judging from the course of the negotiations that have been going on, we first came to loggerheads when the United States, in keeping with its traditional ideological tendency of managing international relations, re-emphasized her fundamental reliance upon this traditional policy in the conversations carried on between the United States and England in the Atlantic Ocean. The motive of the United States in all this was brought out by her desire to prevent the establishment of a new order by Japan, Germany, and Italy in Europe and in the Far East (that is to say, the aims of the Tri-Partite Alliance). As long as the Empire of Japan was in alliance with Germany and Italy, there could be no maintenance of friendly relations between Japan and the United States was the stand they took. From this point of view, they began to demonstrate a tendency to demand the divorce of the Imperial Government from the Tri-Partite Alliance. This was brought out at the last meeting. That is to say that it has only been in the negotiations of the last few days that it has become gradually more and more clear that the Imperial Government could no longer continue negotiations with the United States. It became clear, too, that a continuation of negotiations would inevitably be detrimental to our cause.
Army 25554 Trans. 12/1/41 (NR)
November 30, 1941
#986. (Part 2 of 2)
3. The proposal presented by the United States on the 26th made this attitude of theirs clearer than ever. In it there is one insulting clause which says that no matter what treaty either party enters into with a third power it will not be interpreted as having any bearing upon the basic object of this treaty, namely the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. This means specifically the Three-Power Pact. It means that in case the United States enters the European war at any time the Japanese Empire will not be allowed to give assistance to Germany and Italy. It is clearly a trick. This clause alone, let alone others, makes it impossible to find any basis in the American proposal for negotiations. What is more, before the United States brought forth this plan, they conferred with England, Australia, the Netherlands, and China—they did so repeatedly. Therefore, it is clear that the United States is now in collusion with those nations end has decided to regard Japan, along with Germany and Italy, as an enemy.
Army 25555 Trans. 12-1-41 (NR)
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)