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

Cablegram 511 TOKYO, 21 November 1941, 8 p.m.


My No. 560. [1]

Extraordinary session of the Diet has ended and left the situation
in much the same state of suspense although the tone of the press
is much less violent.

The Government have attempted to use the Diet to arouse popular
feeling and with the exception of emphasis in the Premier's [2]
speech on the three principles of the Japanese foreign policy
official utterances were all cautiously worded. The speech of one
interpolator was much more violent, and probably went beyond what
the Government intended, and there are signs that the opinion of
the Diet was inclined to be ahead of the Government and to favour
a show-down with the United States. The Government's attitude all
goes to confirm the view that they are genuinely anxious to secure
agreement with United States and to avoid at present anything that
might prejudice discussions in Washington.

There are signs that the Germans are uneasy about the situation,
but at the same time the Japanese Government are continuing their
preparations in South China seas and will be in a position to
launch an attack on Burma Road or attempt to occupy Thailand
should discussions fail.

One important question is how long the Government can hold their
ground against the extremists and continue discussions. There will
be constant danger that the more extreme military on whom the
Germans will exert every sort of pressure may precipitate some
coup and commit the Government to action against the Government's


1 This appears to be an incorrect reference to Officer's cablegram
506 of 18 November (on file AA : A816, 19/304/431) which reported
vigorous exchanges in the Diet and the recommencement of
mobilisation 'on a considerable scale'.

2 General Hideki Tojo.

[AA : A816, 19/304/431]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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