Washington (Nomura) 5.wn.2 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

No. 108

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

May 10, 1941

# 289.

I have heard confidentially a statement to the effect that a decision will be reached within one or two days. Secretary of State HULL, I understand, is waiting impatiently for an answer (I have it confidentially that he will wait until late the night of today, the 10th). As it will be impossible to delay any longer than that, I wonder whether any further extension of the time will make the ultimate moment come too late? Should we fail to take this opportunity, I understand that it is their opinion that these conversations will result in failure. I greatly fear that this most favorable opportunity for adjusting the diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States may slip through our hands and I am greatly worried.

Whether or not we open negotiations along the lines of my # 273 [a], though you have in successive messages outlined your decisions, in view of the critical nature of the situation, please let me have the best plan under the present conditions.

[a] See I, 81. Nomura reports conversation with Secretary Hull during the morning of the 7th with regard to the “oral statement” and the neutrality pact.

Trans. 5-14-41

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No. 109

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

May 12, 1941

# 292.

Part 1 of 2. [a]

Yesterday, the 11th, at 10:00 p.m. (noon on the 12th Japan time), when I talked with the Secretary of State he said:

“As we are now conducting talks and negotiations, I have been exercising a great deal of secrecy in regard to them and have absolutely made no reference to them in my press conferences. Knowing Your Excellency’s discreetness and astuteness you likewise, I am sure, are carefully guarding its secrecy.” With this statement he received my memorandum.

I replied: “I am well aware of this. My one mission is the question of diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States. Aside from that I have no other purpose.”

The Secretary said: “I, too have been on the point of retiring from public life but in view of the threat of war I have remained in office. Neither one of us are diplomats in the professional sense.” And later he said; “When I asked you not to transmit this to Japan, it was because its disclosure would have a great effect upon the domestic tranquility of the United States.” Then again he told me very confidentially that a great deal of time would be required in order to rest equanimity. Again he went on to say: “In view of the way in which the Japanese Government handles diplomatic questions, though they come under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Minister, War and Navy Ministers too are able to bring great pressure to bear. In addition to which, the Premier exerts much control.”

[a] See I, 111, for Part 2.

Trans. 5-14-41

No. 110

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Washington

11 May 1941

# 209.

Strictly secret.

It goes without saying that this matter should be handled in absolute secrecy and we have been exercising extreme caution in this regard. It is absolutely forbidden to discuss this matter with the members of your office staff except those directly concerned, not to mention the Financial Attaché in New York (?). Rumor of this matter has reached our financial circles from New York and a certain amount of information has reached Germany from America. Therefore, please be increasingly careful regarding maintaining secrecy.

Trans. 5-12-41

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No. 111

FROM: Washington (Nomura)

TO: Tokyo

May 12, 1941

# 292.

Part 2 of 2. [a]

When I told him the reasons for our revisions, in view of the fact that he questioned me with regard to the evacuation of China, I told him that we plan to evacuate all in accordance with our commitments with the exception of those troops stationed in North China and Inner Mongolia who are there to suppress Communism. The Secretary of State then asked: “Should the China incident be concluded, will not Japan with these troops carry out her Southward movement?” I replied: “Our true intent is peaceful Southward penetration.”

The Secretary of State said: “For us to wait until Hitlerism has penetrated to our borders before attempting to block it, would be disastrous. Therefore, it is necessary that we forestall it so that it will not approach us.” (Since this is an argument which we must guard against, I intend to develop plans to check it.)

In our conversations we said that should the European war become a long one, the whole of our materialistic civilization will be destroyed. Our peoples will not be able to escape exhaustion and the only real victor will be Bolshevism. In referring to the extension of the war in the Pacific, we agreed that the war psychology of both countries would have to be diverted into more peaceful channels. It is clear that the United States does not desire an imbroglio with Japan and, at the same time, she is not at all anxious to become embroiled in a conflict with HITLER.

Our conversation lasted for forty minutes, and, promising to meet again, we parted.

I am most humbly indebted to Your Excellency for your untiring efforts. I am just now beginning to see a slight ray of hope and I am taking heart.

[a] See I, 109, for Part 1 reporting Nomura’s talk with Secretary of State Hull on the 11th.

Trans. 5-16-41



No. 112

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

December 10, 1940

# 591.

With the appointment of Ambassador Nomura we wish to formulate a definite plan for our propaganda and information gathering work by seeking cooperation of Japanese bank and business officials in the U.S.

(Abstract-some values missing.)

Trans.  1-25-41

No. 113

FROM: New York (Iguchi)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

December 17, 1940

# 763.

(2 parts-completed.)

Re your msg. to Wash. # 591 [a].

As propaganda and enlightenment organs here, we have the Japan Institute, the Tourist Bureau, and the silk office of the Ministry of Commerce and Communication. Other groups whose importance we cannot ignore for collecting information are the financial adviser, the Army and Navy Inspection Offices, Representatives of Domei, ASAHI, NITINITI, AND YOMIURI, the Bank of Japan, Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire the Specie Bank, Mitsui, Mitsubishi, N.Y.K., O.S.K., the Manchurian R.R. and OKURA Co.

In order to obtain the fullest cooperation from the above it is well to establish an information committee centering around the press attaché.

[a] See I, No. 112.

Trans.  1-9-41

No. 114

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

February 5, 1941

# 056.

In connection with New York to Tokyo message # 763, [b] the business men (including Sumitomo’s representatives) and representatives of newspapers were invited to call there. One of my men discussed the following points with them:

(1) To have the various representatives of business firms engage in collecting intelligence material.

(2) To have all such representatives abroad (in the United States) cable their opinions and manipulations in so far as they are related to politics, through diplomatic channels so as to maintain secrecy.

We were able to obtain their agreement to cooperate with us in this respect, so please proceed with this program.

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We have the perfect understanding and agreement of the Army and Navy in this connection. They promise to give us whatever aid they can.

[a] See I, 112. “With the appointment of Ambassador Nomura we wish to formulate a definite plan for our propaganda and information gathering work by seeking cooperation of Japanese bank and business officials in the U.S.”

[b] Refers to above message and lists 18 Japanese organs in New York as potential sources of information.

Trans. 2-11-41

No. 115

FROM: New York (Iguchi)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

December 11, 1940

# 762.

(3 parts-complete).


1. In view of the fact that our Embassy’s propaganda effort in the U.S. has been chiefly confined to cultural enlightenment in the past, which by the very nature of the thing evoked little or no objection, we have been considering a plan since last year to strengthen our political propaganda methods. However, due to the increased vigilance and control exercised over foreign propaganda in general and over the 5th column activities in particular, since the outbreak of the European war, we cannot hope for too great a success in this field of propaganda. Nevertheless, the effect of the recently-signed tri-partite agreement will impose a greater necessity for just such propaganda efforts if the present Japanese-American relations are to be maintained. It is imperative, therefore, that we reconsider our efforts with a view to seeking more effective propaganda methods. While I realize that your office has been giving much thought to this question, I wish to submit herewith my views on this matter.

While cultural propaganda and enlightenment, no doubt, contribute much toward the promotion of amicable relations between Japan and America, the cost is prohibitive. Therefore, I suggest that, wherever possible, this type of propaganda be discontinued.

Political propaganda will meet with a great deal of obstacles which will cast some doubts on its successful outcome. However, we should strive to deal with fundamental problems in order to thwart the counter-propaganda in this country, which is based on the assumption that all foreign propaganda seek to divide the American people.

The set-up of the press attaché should be concentrated on the task of assembling information and of widening the intelligence net and its personnel. Especial effort should be made to establish personal contacts with the members of the press and persons influential in American politics and business. The intelligence net should be so organized as to be able to function, even if there should be a severance of diplomatic and commercial relations between Japan and the U.S.

2. In addition to the present work of investigating the activities of the American Communist party and of the Chinese by our Embassy, we should constantly keep watch over American politics and the economic and social activities of Soviet Russia in the United States, particularly as they affect Central and South Americas. For this task it is necessary not only to hire Americans, but also to have competent researchers sent from Japan.

3. Although the Tourist Bureau and the Trade Promotion Bureau have been carrying on propaganda in the past, we should consider the inconsistency of having the Tourist Bureau giving out travel information when, today, no American tourists are permitted to travel in Japan.

Trans.  1-23-41

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No. 116

FROM: Mexico (Miura)

TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

January 28, 1941

# 037.

(In 2 parts-complete.)

(Strictly confidential)

1. In view of the present world conditions, particularly where U.S. activities are concerned, close contact should be maintained not only from the various offices in Central and South America to Tokyo and Washington, but among themselves as well. Through such means, all officials in the field should strive to use their knowledge and abilities to the fullest extent.

2. Where it is impossible due to lack of personnel or technical abilities, to make sufficient surveys, Washington or Tokyo should keep them informed by relaying the latest information and opinions gathered from the various other sources at regular intervals, say, weekly or biweekly. In this way we should keep our heads up to date.

3. Washington and New York should keep close tab on all activities by the U.S. in that area where they involve the Latin American countries and concern us indirectly. Whatever information picked up by them should be relayed without delay to our various offices in the Latin American countries. If nothing else, copies of all cables sent from New York and Washington to Tokyo concerning this matter should be sent to the offices in Latin America.

4. Tokyo should give sincere consideration to all reports and opinions submitted from Washington and the Latin American countries and, after studying the matter carefully, dispatch whatever instructions are deemed necessary.

5. Heretofore, personnel and financial allotments allowed the Latin American offices were equivalent to those of third and fourth rate countries. The Foreign Office should give this matter their serious consideration, and if necessary dispatch an investigation party. If circumstances seem to warrant it, personnel and allowances should be increased. Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

Trans.  2-5-41

No. 117

FROM: Buenos Aires (Omori)

TO: Mexico City (Koshi)

February 5, 1941

# 014.


Received from Tokyo as # 018.

Tokyo to Lima (?) # 010.

Re my (Tokyo ?) message to Santiago (?) # 007 [a].

It is desired that projects of this type be carried out in your country too. It is possible to do so, and if it is, is it advisable? Please discuss the matter with the more prominent Japanese merchants in that area and advise.

[a] Not available.

Trans. 2-20-41

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No. 118

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

January 30, 1941

# 043.

Foreign Office secret.

Heretofore, we have placed emphasis on publicity and propaganda work in the United States. In view of the critical situation in the recent relations between the two countries, and for the purpose of being prepared for the worst, we have decided to alter this policy. Taking into consideration the small amount of funds we have at our disposal, we have decided to de-emphasize propaganda for the time being, and instead, to strengthen our intelligence work.

Though we must give the matter of intelligence work our further study-in this connection we are at present conferring with the intelligence bureau-we have mapped out a fundamental program, the outline of which is contained in my supplementary cable No. 44 [a].

Please, therefore, reorganize your intelligence set-up and put this new program into effect as soon as possible.

Cable copies of this message, as “Minister’s orders” to Canada, Mexico, (a copy to be relayed from Mexico to Mexicali), San Francisco, (copies from San Francisco to Honolulu, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver), New York, New Orleans, and Chicago.

[a] See I, 119.

Trans. 2-7-41

No. 119

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi)

January 30, 1941

# 44.

(In two parts-complete).

(Foreign Office secret).

(1) Establish an intelligence organ in the Embassy which will maintain liaison with private and semi-official intelligence organs (see my message to Washington # 591 [a] and # 732 [b] from New York to Tokyo, both of last year’s series).

With regard to this, we are holding discussions with the various circles involved at the present time.

(2) The focal point of our investigations shall be the determination of the total strength of the U.S. Our investigations shall be divided into three general classifications: political, economic, and military, and definite course of action shall be mapped out.

(3) Make a survey of all persons or organizations which either openly or secretly oppose participation in the war.

(4) Make investigations of all anti-Semitism, communism, movements of Negroes, and labor movements.

(5) Utilization of U.S. citizens of foreign extraction (other than Japanese), aliens (other than Japanese), communists, Negroes, labor union members, and anti-Semites, in carrying out the investigations described in the preceding paragraph would undoubtedly bear the best results.

These men, moreover, should have access to governmental establishments, (laboratories?), governmental organizations of various characters, factories, and transportation facilities.


(6) Utilization of our “Second Generations” and our resident nationals. (In view of the fact that if there is any slip in this phase, our people in the U.S. will be subjected to considerable persecution, and the utmost caution must be exercised).

(7) In the event of U.S. participation in the war, our intelligence set-up will be moved to Mexico, making that country the nerve center of our intelligence net. Therefore, will you bear in mind and in anticipation of such an eventuality, set up facilities for a U.S.-Mexico international intelligence route. This net which will cover Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru will also be centered in Mexico.

(8) We shall cooperate with the German and Italian intelligence organs in the U.S. This phase has been discussed with the Germans and Italians in Tokyo, and it has been approved.

Please get the details from Secretary Terasaki upon his assuming his duties there.

Please send copies to those offices which were on the distribution list of No. 43 [c].

[a] See I, 112.

[b] Has no bearing on this subject. # 732 probably an error.

[c] (See No. 4)-See I, 118.

Trans. 2-7-41

No. 120

FROM: New York (Morishima)

TO: Tokyo

February 26, 1941

# 60.

The situation is very strained and we have to review our Embassy’s intelligence and propaganda work. On this subject last year I sent you my # 762 [a]. You in return sent # 43 [b] and # 44 [c] in the form of instructions to Washington. I am endeavoring to strengthen and further revise my work here in New York and in order to achieve liaison and cooperation, I consider it necessary to have Consul FUKUSHIMA, who has been doing this kind of work all along and who knows his business, make a trip to New York before going back to Japan. Therefore, I want you to be sure to approve of this.

Relayed to Los Angeles.

[a] New York discusses plan to strengthen the Japanese political propaganda methods in the United States for 1941.

[b]Tokyo directs Washington to reorganize their intelligence set-up and put into effect the new program which will de-emphasize propaganda and strengthen intelligence work. See I, 118.

[c] Outline of major points in connection with setting up of intelligence organization in the United States. See I, 119.

Trans. 3-6-41

No. 121

FROM: Mexico (Miura)

TO: Tokyo

February 14, 1941

# 16.

Some recent messages have been badly garbled. I suspect that American companies may be purposely garbling the texts.

Trans.  2-18-41

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