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105 Mr F. K. Officer, Charge' d'Affaires in Japan, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 495 [1] TOKYO, 7 November 1941, 8.50 p.m.


In my telegram No. 493 [2] I referred to the deterioration of the
tone of the Press. Although slightly less tense today this is
still bad. Belief here is that this is not promoted by the
Government but represents the opinion of such public who have an
opinion, admittedly a minority. On the other hand it is not being
taken too seriously as equally fierce attacks have been seen
before. Despatch of Mr. Kurusu to Washington [3] is no doubt one
of the further efforts that Mr. Nishi [4] referred to (vide my
telegram 493), but situation is undoubtedly grave. I have had
discussions with those best qualified to judge. Their appreciation
(following that in my telegram 486 [5]) is that effect of stiff
attitude of United Kingdom and U.S.A. Governments during the last
year, coupled with miscalculation as to Germany's success and
Germany's policy, has been to persuade the Japanese Government to
try to reach a settlement. But it would be most unwise to believe
that if they fail to reach a settlement further economic pressure
will deter them from going to war.

On the contrary they are in a desperate mood and will face war
rather than sacrifice through lack of essential commodities what
they believe to be their 'legitimate' aims; for example, China
settlement and co-prosperity sphere. Accordingly if the
conversations fail we must be prepared for Japanese moves to some
sources of materials such as oil even at the risk of war. Real
crisis may come with conclusion of the Diet session about November


1 Repeated to the Legation in Washington as no. 54 and to the High
Commission in London as no. 64.

2 Dispatched 5 November. On file AA : A981, Japan 185B, ii.

3 As Japanese special envoy to the United States.

4 Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs.

5 Document 94.

[AA : A981, JAPAN 185B, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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