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Page 280

                       APRIL 13, 1941

Frames 113215-113216, serial 104

 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office


Moscow, March 25, 1941-3:05 a. m.
Received March 25, 1941-5:45 a. m.

No. 680 of March 24
     For the Reich Foreign Minister personally.
     The  Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka, who left Moscow
for  Berlin  this evening in accordance with  his  itinerary,
paid  a  visit  to the Commissar for Foreign Affairs  Molotov
this  afternoon, accompanied by the Japanese Ambassador here.
In   the   ensuing  conversation,  which  lasted  two   hours
altogether,  I  hear  that Stalin later  also  took  part  at
Matsuoka's  expressed desire. Matsuoka tells me he  presented
to  Molotov  and  Stalin the "fundamental  problems"  pending
between  Japan  and  the Soviet Union  with  the  thought  of
eliminating  existing differences. When  Molotov  and  Stalin
wished  to reply, he asked them to withhold comment  at  this
time,  but instead to consider the subjects broached, and  to
continue the conversation upon his return to Moscow.  He  had
gained  a strong impression of the personality of Stalin.  He
would  communicate  to the Reich Foreign Minister  personally
all details of the conversation.
     Since  the  conversation with Molotov and Stalin  lasted
two    hours   altogether,   the   discussion   would   seem,
nevertheless, to have been a thorough one.
     Matsuoka explained to me and the Italian Ambassador that
he  had  for thirty years been of the opinion that  relations
between  Japan  and  the Soviet Union  should  be  good.  His
further pursuit of this policy, therefore, was nothing new.
     Matsuoka  with  the  greatest willingness  received  the
chiefs of the missions here (among them also the American and
French  Ambassadors, whom he knew from earlier  days-but  not
British Ambassador
Page 281

Cripps), as well as representatives of the press. In all  his
talks,  Matsuoka expressed himself very positively on Japan's
attitude to the Axis, in which connection he emphasized  that
he  had personally striven f or the consummation of the Three
Power  Pact. With regard to his trip, he repeatedly  stressed
the  importance  of a personal meeting with  Germany's  great
Fhrer,  the  Reich Foreign Minister, and Mussolini.  In  the
most emphatic manner he expressed the conviction that victory
was assured to Germany and Italy.

NOTE Transmitted to special train under No. 1085.
Telegram Control Office March 25, 8 a. m.

Frames 47400-47417, serial 67

Memorandum  of  the  Conversation Between the  Reich  Foreign
     Minister  and Japanese Foreign Minster Matsuoka  in  the
     Presence  of  Ambassadors Ott and Oshima  at  Berlin  on
     March 27, 1941

Aufz. RAM 14/41
     The  Reich  Foreign Minister welcomed Matsuoka cordially
as a man who had shown by word and deed that he took the same
attitude  with regard to the problems of his country  as  the
Fhrer and his co-workers had been forced to take for Germany
and  who, as the responsible Foreign Minister of his country,
had  made possible the conclusion of the Pact with Japan. The
Three  Power Pact was a very significant instrument  for  the
future of the three countries and represented the basis  upon
which the future of the three nations could be secured  in  a
form  such  as  the German and Japanese patriots  had  always
     Continuing, the Reich Foreign Minister gave a summary of
the situation as seen from the German point of view.
     With  regard  to the military situation he  pointed  out
that  Germany  today  was in the final phase  of  its  battle
against  England. During the past winter the Fhrer had  made
all  necessary preparations, so that Germany stood completely
ready today to meet England everywhere. The Fhrer had at his
disposal  at the moment perhaps the strongest military  power
that  had  ever existed in the world. Germany had 240  combat
divisions, 186 of which were first-class assault divisions of
young   soldiers.   Of  these  24  were   Panzer   divisions,
supplemented by other motorized brigades.
Page 282

     The  Luftwaffe  had  grown greatly  and  introduced  new
models, so that it was a match in the future, as it had  been
in  the  past, for competition of any kind; that is,  Germany
was  not only a match for England and America in this  field,
but was definitely superior to them.
     The  German  Navy, at the outbreak of the war,  had  had
only  a relatively small number of battleships. Nevertheless,
the  battleships  under construction had been  completed,  so
that  the  last of them would shortly be put in  service.  In
contrast to the World War, the German Navy this time did  not
stay  in  port, but from the first day of the  war  had  been
employed against the foe. Matsuoka probably gathered from the
reports of the past few weeks that German large battle  units
had  interrupted the supply lines between England and America
with extraordinary success.
     The  number of submarines heretofore employed  was  very
small. There had been at most 8 or 9 boats in service against
the  enemy  at any one time. Nevertheless even these  few  U-
boats,  in  conjunction with the Luftwaffe, had sunk  750,000
tons  per  month in January and February, and  Germany  could
furnish  accurate  proof of this at any  time.  This  number,
moreover,  did not include the great additional  losses  that
England had sustained through floating and magnetic mines. At
the  beginning  of  April  the  number  of  submarines  would
increase  eight  to tenfold, so that 60 to 80  U-boats  could
then  be continuously employed against the enemy. The  Fhrer
had  pursued the tactics of at first employing only a few  U-
boats and using the rest to train the personnel necessary for
a  larger fleet, in order then to proceed to a knockout  blow
against  the enemy with a greater number of units.  Therefore
the  figure  of tonnage sunk by the German U-boats  could  be
expected  in  the future greatly to exceed what  had  already
been  accomplished.  Under  these circumstances,  the  U-boat
alone could be designated as absolutely deadly.
     Passing  on to the subject of the military situation  on
the  continent of Europe, the Reich Foreign Minister observed
that  through  the  overthrow of  the  continental  countries
Germany had practically no foe of any consequence other  than
the  small  British forces that remained in  Greece.  Germany
would  fight  off-any  attempt of  England  to  land  on  the
Continent   or  entrench  herself  there.  She   would   not,
therefore,  tolerate England's staying in  Greece.  From  the
military  point of view, the Greek question was of  secondary
importance. The only practical significance was the fact that
in   the  thrust  toward  Greece,  which  would  probably  be
necessary,  dominant  positions in the Eastern  Mediterranean
would be won that would
Page 283

be  of  considerable  significance  for  the  development  of
further operations in these areas.
     In Africa the Italians had had bad luck in recent months
because  the  Italian  troops there were  not  familiar  with
modern  tank  warfare  and  were not  prepared  for  antitank
defense,  so  that  it was relatively easy  for  the  British
armored  divisions to capture the not very important  Italian
positions.  Any  further  advance of  the  British  had  been
definitively blocked. The Fhrer had dispatched  one  of  the
most able of German officers, General Rommel, to Tripoli with
sufficient German forces. The hope that General Wavell  would
attack had, unfortunately, not been realized. The British had
come  upon  the Germans in some skirmishes at an outpost  and
had  thereupon abandoned any further intention of  attacking.
Should  they  by chance attempt another attack upon  Tripoli,
they  would court annihilating defeat. Here, too, the  tables
would  be  turned  some day, and the British would  disappear
from  North Africa, perhaps even more quickly than  they  had
     In the Mediterranean area, the German Luftwaffe had been
doing  good  work  for  two months and  had  inflicted  heavy
shipping   losses  on  the  British,  who  were  holding   on
tenaciously. The Suez Canal had been blocked for a long  time
and   would  be  blocked  again  after  the  removal  of  the
obstacles. It was no longer any fun for the British  to  hold
out  in  the  Mediterranean. He (the Reich Foreign  Minister)
believed  that  even before the year's end the  Mediterranean
would  be  sealed off so effectively that the  English  would
represent  practically no further danger. Their  fleet  would
have to protect their position in Africa.
     If, then, we summed up the military situation in Europe,
we  would  come to the conclusion that, practically,  in  the
military  sphere  the  Axis  was  completely  master  of  the
situation  in the whole of continental Europe. A  huge  army,
which  was  practically  idle, was at Germany's  command  and
could  be  employed at any time and at any place  the  Fhrer
considered necessary.
     The   political  situation  was  characterized  by   the
adherence  of  almost the whole of the Balkans to  the  Three
Power  Pact. This morning, to be sure, news of a  putsch  and
the formation of a new government had come from Belgrade, but
further  details  were  lacking. The political  situation  in
Europe  and  in the whole world had also contributed  to  the
strengthening  of the Three Powers of the Pact.  Germany  was
also still endeavoring to win over to the cause of the Three
Page 284

Powers  one  or  another  of the last countries  which  still
remained  outside  the  Pact. Confidentially  he  (the  Reich
Foreign Minister) could inform Matsuoka that Spain, in spirit
at  least, was with the Three Power Pact. Of the two or three
countries yet remaining, Sweden and Turkey were of particular
interest.  He  could state confidentially  to  Matsuoka  that
here,  too, the attempt would be made to win these  countries
over to the Three Power Pact.
     Certain  feelers  had  already  been  put  out  in   the
direction  of  Turkey. Even if formally that country  had  an
alliance  with  England,  it was nevertheless  at  least  not
entirely  impossible that Turkey would  in  the  future  move
closer and closer to the Three Power Pact.
     With   Russia,  Germany  had  concluded  the  well-known
treaties. Ambassador Oshima knew how these treaties had  come
about.  Germany, at that time, had the desire to conclude  an
alliance  with Japan. In view of the situation in  Japan,  it
had not been possible to translate this desire into fact.  On
the  other hand, the war clouds in Europe had become more and
more  threatening.  At  the Fhrer's instruction,  the  Reich
Foreign  Minister  had  been  prepared  for  the  six  months
preceding  to  sign the Italo-Japanese-German alliance.  This
Ambassador  Oshima knew. Since the alliance was unfortunately
not  possible  in that time, Germany, in view of  the  coming
war, had to resolve on the pact with Russia.
     Confidentially,  he (the Reich Foreign  Minister)  could
inform  Matsuoka  that  present relations  with  Russia  were
correct,  to be sure, but not very friendly. After  Molotov's
visit,  during  which accession to the Three Power  Pact  was
offered,  Russia had made conditions that were  unacceptable.
They  involved the sacrifice of German interests in  Finland,
the  granting  of  bases  on  the Dardanelles  and  a  strong
influence  on  conditions  in the  Balkans,  particularly  in
Bulgaria. The Fhrer had not concurred because he had been of
the  opinion that Germany could not permanently subscribe  to
such  a  Russian policy. Germany needed the Balkan  Peninsula
above  all  for her own economy and had not been inclined  to
let it come under Russian domination. For this reason she had
given  Rumania  a  guarantee.  It  was  this  latter  action,
particularly, that the Russians had taken amiss. Germany  had
further been obliged to enter into a closer relationship with
Bulgaria  in  order to obtain a vantage point from  which  to
expel  the British from Greece. Germany had had to decide  on
this  course because this campaign would otherwise  not  have
been possible. This, too, the Russians had not liked at all.
Page 285
     Under  these  circumstances, relations with Russia  were
externally normal and correct. The Russians, however, had for
some   time  demonstrated  their  unfriendliness  to  Germany
wherever  they  could. The declaration made to Turkey  within
the  last  few  days  was an example of  this.  Germany  felt
plainly  that since Sir Stafford Cripps became Ambassador  to
Moscow  (he  had  recently met Eden at Ankara)  ties  between
Russia  and England were being cultivated in secret  and,  at
times,  even  relatively openly. Germany was  watching  these
proceedings  carefully. He (the Reich Foreign Minister),  who
knew  Stalin personally, did not assume that the  latter  was
inclined toward adventure, but it was impossible to be  sure.
The  German  armies in the East were prepared  at  any  time.
Should Russia some day take a stand that could be interpreted
as  a  threat  to  Germany, the Fhrer  would  crush  Russia.
Germany was certain that a campaign against Russia would  end
in the absolute victory of German arms and the total crushing
of  the  Russian Army and the Russian State. The  Fhrer  was
convinced  that, in case of action against the Soviet  Union,
there would in a few months be no more Great Power of Russia.
The  Reich Foreign Minister stressed the fact, however,  that
he did not believe that Stalin would pursue an unwise policy.
In any case, the Fhrer was not counting on the treaties with
Russia  alone,  but  was  relying,  first  of  all,  on   his
     It must also not be overlooked that the Soviet Union, in
spite  of  all  protestations  to  the  contrary,  was  still
carrying  on communistic propaganda abroad. It was attempting
not  only  in  Germany,  but also in the  occupied  areas  of
France,  Holland  and  Belgium, to  continue  its  misleading
propagandist activity. For Germany, this propaganda naturally
constituted no danger. But what it had unfortunately  led  to
in  other  countries, Matsuoka well knew. As an example,  the
Reich  Foreign  Minister cited the Baltic  States,  in  which
today,  one  year after the occupation by the  Russians,  the
entire  intelligentsia had been wiped out and really terrible
conditions  prevailed. Germany was on guard, and would  never
suffer the slightest danger to threaten Germany from Russia.
     Further,  there  was the fact that  Germany  had  to  be
protected  in the rear for her final battle against  England.
She  would, therefore, not put up with any threat from Russia
if  such  a  threat  should some day be  considered  serious.
Germany wanted to conquer England as rapidly as possible  and
would not let anything deter her from doing so.
Page 286
     In  the  further course of the conversation,  the  Reich
Foreign Minister spoke of the economic and food situation. It
was  possible,  to  be  sure, that  certain  foodstuffs  were
temporarily  in  short supply; but he could state  definitely
that   no  matter  how  long  the  war  lasted,  food  supply
difficulties  would not occur in Germany. Germany  had  space
enough  to  produce the necessary foods in her own  territory
for the duration of the war.
     With   regard  to  raw  materials,  there  were  certain
bottlenecks,  as  evidenced,  for  example,  by  the   rubber
negotiations  with  Japan. Here too,  however,  it  might  be
stated  generally  that a serious danger  to  the  Reich  was
entirely out of the question. The Fhrer had accumulated such
vast stockpiles of war materials that the German economy  was
due  for  a conversion. The German munitions stores  were  so
great that for years to come not the slightest shortage would
be  experienced. In the next few months, therefore,  a  great
process  of  conversion would take place in the economy,  and
the  effort of the German war potential would be utilized for
U-boat  and  airplane production. Since the German  Army  had
practically  no  opponents left on  the  Continent  with  the
possible  exception  of Russia, a high percentage  of  German
production capacity could be used for these two arms.
     In  summing up, the Reich Foreign Minister declared that
the  war  had  already been definitely won for the  Axis.  It
could,  in  any case, no longer be lost. It was  now  only  a
question of time until England would admit to having lost the
war.  When  this  would take place, he could  of  course  not
predict.  This  might  be very soon, however,  under  certain
circumstances. It would depend upon events of the next  three
or four months. It was highly probable, however, that England
would capitulate in the course of this year.
     Continuing, the Reich Foreign Minister spoke of America.
There  was  no doubt that the British would long  since  have
abandoned the war if Roosevelt had not always given Churchill
new  hope.  Germany  had clear and precise  information  from
England to this effect. What Roosevelt's intention was in the
long  run, it was difficult to say. It was not clear  whether
he  wished to enter the war or not. It was only certain  that
the  aid  promised England in the form of American  munitions
could  not be conjured up from the soil. It would be  a  long
time  before  this help would really be effective.  But  even
then  the  question  of quality would be very  problematical,
especially  in  the  sphere of airplane  deliveries.  At  the
present  stage  of  development  the  various  models  became
obsolete  very rapidly. From month to month, on the basis  of
daily experience at the front, improvements were being under
Page 287

taken on German models, and it was doubtful whether a country
far from the war could turn out the highest quality aircraft.
What the German fliers had thus far encountered in the way of
American machines, they described, at any rate, as "junk." He
(the Reich Foreign Minister) therefore believed that quite  a
considerable time would elapse before American aid to England
could  make any difference. Germany was endeavoring,  in  any
case,  to  end  the war as soon as possible, in the  interest
also of its allies and friends.
     The  Three  Power  Pact had above all had  the  goal  of
frightening America into abandoning the course it had  chosen
and  of  keeping  it out of the war. This goal  was  entirely
clear  and  desirable. The Three Power Pact  was  further  to
serve the purpose of assuring the future collaboration of the
treaty  partners  in  the New Order that  Germany  and  Italy
wished  to  establish in Europe, and Japan in East Asia.  The
principal enemy encountered in the establishment of  the  New
Order  was England. The latter was as much the enemy of Japan
as  of  the Axis Powers. America had to be prevented  by  all
possible means from taking an active part in the war and from
making its aid to England too effective.
     In  examining the possibilities that existed for further
collaboration  between Germany and Japan,  the  question  had
repeatedly  come  up  in  the talks with  the  Fhrer  as  to
whether,  in relation to the New Order-that is, the overthrow
of  England, which was necessary to the establishment of this
New  Order-active participation in the war  on  the  part  of
Japan   might  not  be  useful.  The  Fhrer  had   carefully
considered this question and believed that it would  actually
be  very  advantageous  if  Japan would  decide  as  soon  as
possible  to  take  an active part in the war  upon  England.
Germany  believed,  for instance, that a  quick  attack  upon
Singapore  would  be  a very decisive factor  in  the  speedy
overthrow   of  England.  He  (the  Reich  Foreign  Minister)
believed  that from there it would be possible to  work  much
more  closely with Japan in naval and other matters.  It  was
also  certain that the capture of Singapore would be  a  very
serious  blow  to  England.  This was  of  great  importance,
particularly  in  view  of  the  rather  bad  morale  already
prevailing  in the British Isles. He also believed  that  the
capture  of  Singapore would perhaps be most likely  to  keep
America  out  of  the  war, because the United  States  could
scarcely  risk  sending its fleet into  Japanese  waters.  If
today,  in a war against England, Japan were to succeed  with
one  decisive  stroke,  such  as  the  attack  on  Singapore,
Roosevelt would be in a very difficult position. It would be
Page 288

difficult for him to take any effective action against Japan.
If he did so, nevertheless, and declared war upon Japan, then
he  must  expect that the Philippine question,  for  example,
would  be  resolved  in favor of Japan.  This  would  mean  a
serious loss of prestige for the President, so that he  would
probably  reflect  for a long time before taking  any  action
against Japan.
     On  the  other  hand,  Japan, through  the  conquest  of
Singapore,   would  be  in  a  position  to   operate   quite
differently in East Asia than formerly, since it  would  then
command the absolutely dominant position in that part of East
Asia. Germany believed, therefore, that if Japan could decide
on such a move it would amount to cutting the Gordian knot in
East Asia.
     Summing up, the Reich Foreign Minister declared that  in
case Japan adopted such a course the war upon British tonnage
could  be waged more intensively in East Asia; America  would
probably  be  kept out of the war by Japan's bold  step;  and
Japan could secure those positions in East Asia which, in the
German  view, she must eventually have for the New  Order  in
Greater  East  Asia. In this connection  a  number  of  other
questions would surely arise, for the discussion of which  he
was available at all times.
     In  conclusion, the Reich Foreign Minister declared that
the  Three Power Pact could best accomplish its true purpose-
that  is,  to prevent the extension of the war, or, in  other
words, the entry of the United States into the war-if at  the
proper  time the treaty partners made joint arrangements  for
the  final defeat of England, over and above what had already
been  agreed upon. In this way the meaning of the Pact  could
be most effectively demonstrated by all its adherents.
     At  this  moment the Reich Foreign Minister was summoned
to the Reich Chancellery. Contrary to his original assumption
that  this  would mean only a short absence,  the  discussion
there  lasted  quite a while, so that the  conversation  with
Matsuoka could not be continued before lunch.
     Thereupon the lunch which was on the program was held in
a  very  intimate circle, at first without the Reich  Foreign
Minister, who did not appear until later.
BERLIN, March 31, 1941.

Page 289

Frames 47418-47444, serial 67

Memorandum  of  the  Interview Between  the  Fhrer  and  the
     Japanese Foreign Minister, Matsuoka, in the Presence  of
     the  Reich  Foreign  Minister and  Ambassadors  Ott  and
     Oshima, March 27, 1941

F/Nr. 13/41
     After  some  words  of welcome the Fhrer  inquired  how
Matsuoka  had found the long, tiresome journey from Japan  to
Germany.  Matsuoka replied that he had stood  the  trip  very
well,  since especially on the journey across Siberia he  had
been  completely cut off from the outer world  and  had  only
been  able  to  see  from  time  to  time  a  small  Siberian
provincial  newspaper,  in which practically  no  reports  on
current  events  appeared. It had been  therefore  much  like
being away on a holiday trip.
     Then  the Fhrer gave a review of the general situation.
Germany  had been forced into the war. She had not,  however,
been  surprised  by the war; for she had had  the  chance  to
observe  for years the campaign of hate carried on by certain
English,  French  and American circles, and  was  accordingly
prepared for anything. In spite of this basic preparation the
outbreak of war had not been one of the goals of her  policy.
Germany had had political claims; she had hoped, however,  to
be  able  to satisfy them by reasonable methods. In the  year
1939 the previously successful methods of securing a peaceful
revision  of  intolerable conditions had been interrupted  by
the  resistance  of Poland and the consequences  which  arose
     If  a  person considered the present situation carefully
and without illusions, he would have to concede that when the
war  began in the year 1939, there were in existence  on  the
side  of the opposition 60 Polish, 6 Norwegian, 18 Dutch,  22
Belgian, and 138 French divisions. In addition there were  12
or  13 British divisions on the Continent. Yet in scarcely  a
year  and a half 60 Polish divisions had been eliminated with
the  occupation  of  Poland, 6 Norwegian divisions  with  the
occupation  of Norway, 18 Dutch divisions with the occupation
of  Holland, and 22 Belgian divisions with the occupation  of
Belgium, and of the 138 French divisions there remained  only
8 weak brigades. All of the English units had been routed and
driven out. These were losses which could not be recouped and
the  position of England was no longer recoverable. Thus  the
war  had  been  decided, and the Axis Powers had  become  the
dominant  combination. Resistance to their  will  had  become
Page 290
     As  Matsuoka knew, Germany had only at the beginning  of
the  war set out to construct a navy. Nevertheless all of the
military  operations which had necessitated the use of  water
routes,  especially  those in Norway, had  been  carried  out
without  successful opposition by the British. The German  U-
boats,  as well as the surface craft (auxiliary cruisers  and
battleships), had, in cooperation with the Luftwaffe,  caused
England  losses  which amounted in tonnage almost  to  three-
quarters  of the English and Allied losses during  the  World
War.  At  first Germany had produced few U-boats. By far  the
greater  number of them had therefore been used to train  new
crews for the numerous units which were being constructed  by
mass  production. The real U-boat warfare was just  beginning
in the present and coming months. England would be damaged to
an extent far surpassing her present rate of losses and would
no  longer be able to threaten the German coasts and shipping
routes  in  any  way.  Besides, Germany  was  tying  down  an
increasing percentage of the English Fleet in the  North  Sea
and  in  the Atlantic. The same was being done by the Italian
Fleet and the German Luftwaffe in the Mediterranean.
     In  the air Germany had absolute supremacy, in spite  of
all the claims of the English to success. Matsuoka could test
this  assertion  if  he looked about in Berlin  and  compared
present-day  Berlin with present-day London. The  attacks  of
the  Luftwaffe in the coming months would actually grow  much
stronger.  England would suffer even more  severe  losses  in
tonnage;  and  the effectiveness of the German  blockade  was
demonstrated by the fact that in England, rationing was  much
more severe than in Germany. In the meantime the war would go
on in preparation for the final stroke against England.
     The   Fhrer   then  took  up  the  situation   in   the
Mediterranean  and declared that Italy had had  bad  luck  in
North Africa because the necessary antitank guns had not been
available against the British armored forces. Now the  danger
had  been  eliminated with the arrival of  the  first  Panzer
division in Tripolitania, which would soon be followed  by  a
second   division.  A  further  British  advance   would   be
impossible; on the contrary, the Axis would in a  short  time
pass over to a counterattack.
     Unfavorable  weather  conditions  had  hindered  Italian
operations in the Balkans. In the next few days, however, the
joint  advance  of  Germany  and Italy  would  eliminate  all
difficulties  there.  There  was no  military  problem  since
Germany  had  at her disposal 240 "unemployed" divisions,  of
which  186  were first-class combat divisions. The losses  in
personnel and material which had been suffered in the years
Page 291

1939  and  1940  were very slight, so that in  spite  of  the
campaigns  just  past, Germany was stronger in every  respect
than in 1939.
     The Fhrer then spoke of his conviction that England had
already  lost  the war. It was only a matter  of  having  the
intelligence  to admit it. Then would occur the  collapse  of
the   individuals  and  of  the  government  which  had  been
responsible for the insane policy of England.
     In  her  present critical situation England was  looking
for  any straw to grasp. She was relying principally  on  two
     First,  on  American help. Germany, however,  had  taken
such  help into her calculations in advance. It could  appear
in  tangible form only in the year 1942 at the earliest,  but
even  then the extent of such help would bear no relation  to
the increased productive capacity of Germany.
     The  second hope of England was Russia. Both the British
Empire  and  the  United  States  hoped  that  in  spite   of
everything they would be able to bring Russia in on the  side
of  England. They believed that they could attain this  goal,
if  not  this  year,  perhaps next, and thus  produce  a  new
balance of power in Europe.
     In  this connection it should be noted that Germany  had
concluded well-known treaties with Russia, but much weightier
than  this  was the fact that Germany had at her disposal  in
case  of  necessity  some 160 to 180  divisions  for  defense
against Russia. She therefore did not fear such a possibility
in  the slightest and would not hesitate a second to take the
necessary  steps in case of danger. He (the Fhrer) believed,
however, that this danger would not arise.
     Concerning  the  German war aims in Europe,  the  Fhrer
said  that under any circumstances British hegemony would  be
destroyed,  British influence would be excluded from  Europe,
and  any attempt at American interference in Europe would  be
beaten back. In addition, an indispensable element of the New
Order  on  the European Continent would be the limitation  of
rights  and  duties to those who lived on the Continent,  and
the  exclusion of all countries who wished only to  interfere
from the outside, especially England and America.
     In  the  present  conflict the Axis  Powers  were  being
supported  spiritually, morally and, in part,  materially  by
Japan.  The  Three Power Pact had through the cooperation  of
Japan  made  possible, for example, the supplying  of  German
auxiliary  cruisers in East Asia. Most important of  all,  it
had  had  the effect of making America hesitate to enter  the
war  officially. On the other hand, through her effort in the
conflict,   Germany   had  brought   her   Japanese   partner
appreciable assistance for Japan's own future.
Page 292
     Few  situations could be envisaged which offered greater
facilities  for the realization of Japanese aims  and  larger
possibility  of  success. England was completely  engaged  at
sea,  in  the air, and on land. Increasingly powerful English
forces  were being pinned down in the Mediterranean. Also  on
the  ocean more powerful units were being required for convoy
service.  Cruisers and destroyers were often found to  be  no
longer sufficient, since these convoys were being attacked by
the  Germans with battleships. For in contrast with the World
War, Germany possessed today on the long front from Narvik to
the  Spanish-French frontier numerous bases  from  which  she
could  attack  England and her approaches with naval  forces.
Thus  England was tied down in Europe; the objective was  the
destruction of the British world empire.
     America was confronted by three possibilities: she could
arm  herself, she could assist England or she could wage  war
on  another front. If she helped England, she could  not  arm
herself.  If  she  abandoned England,  the  latter  would  be
destroyed and America would then find herself confronting the
powers  of  the Three Power Pact alone. In no case,  however,
could America wage war on another front.
     Thus  there could never in human imagination be a better
condition  for  a  joint  effort  of  the  Three  Power  Pact
countries  than the one which had now been produced.  On  the
other hand it was also clear to him that in any historic  act
some  risk had to be taken in the bargain. Seldom in history,
however,  had a risk been smaller than at present: while  war
was  being  fought in Europe and England was occupied  there,
and  while America was only in the initial stages of her  own
armament, Japan was the strongest power in the East Asia area
and  Russia could not intervene, since on her western  border
stood  one hundred and fifty German divisions. Such a  moment
would  never  return.  It was unique in history.  The  Fhrer
admitted that there was a certain amount of risk, but it  was
extraordinarily  slight  at  a moment  in  which  Russia  and
England  were  eliminated and America was not yet  ready.  If
this  favorable  moment passed by and the  European  conflict
ended  in some fashion with a compromise, France and  England
after a few years would recover. America would join them as a
third  enemy  of  Japan and Japan sooner or  later  would  be
confronted  with the necessity of undertaking the defense  of
her Lebensraum, in a struggle against these three powers.
     Even  from the military point of view there had probably
never  in  the  memory of man been a situation so  relatively
favorable as at
Page 293

present, even though the military difficulties presented by a
combined advance should not be underestimated.
     It  was especially favorable since between Japan and her
allies  there  were  no conflicts of interest.  Germany,  who
would  satisfy  her  own colonial claims in  Africa,  was  as
little  interested in East Asia as Japan was in Europe.  This
was   the   best  sort  of  preliminary  condition  for   the
collaboration  of  a Japanese East Asia and a  German-Italian
     Collaboration  with the Anglo-Saxons, on  the  contrary,
never represented actual cooperation, but only a playing  off
of one against the other. Just as England never tolerated the
hegemony  of one state in Europe, so in East Asia she  played
off  Japan,  China and Russia against each other, to  further
the  interests of her own world empire. Just as had  England,
so  would the United States conduct herself, if she inherited
the world empire and set up American imperialism in place  of
British imperialism.
     Also  on  personal grounds a better situation for  joint
action  would  scarcely  occur again.  He  (the  Fhrer)  had
complete  confidence in himself, and the German Nation  stood
united  behind  him  as  it had been behind  no  one  in  its
previous  history. He had the necessary power of decision  in
critical  situations,  and,  finally,  Germany  had  had   an
unparalleled series of successes such as occurred  only  once
in world history and was unlikely to occur again.
     Next  the Fhrer declared that his attitude toward Japan
had not been adopted in the year 1941. He had always been  in
favor  of collaboration with that country. Ambassador  Oshima
knew  that  he  (the Fhrer) had worked resolutely  for  many
years to that end. He was determined not to depart from  that
line  in  the future. Especially favorable for collaboration,
as  he had said, was the fact that there were no conflicts of
interest  between Japan and Germany. For, in  the  long  run,
interests were stronger than personalities and the will of  a
leader  and  could  always endanger anew the  cooperation  of
countries in case their interests were contradictory. In  the
case  of  Germany and Japan, because of the non-existence  of
such contradictions, one could make long-term plans. This had
been  his  firm  conviction since  his  earliest  youth.  The
Japanese,  German,  and Italian peoples would  achieve  great
successes  if  they drew the necessary conclusions  from  the
present unique situation.
     Matsuoka  thanked the Fhrer for his frank presentation,
which  seemed to him to put the whole situation in a  clearer
light. He would
Page 294
think  over once more most carefully the arguments which  the
Fhrer  had advanced, although he had already deliberated  at
length on these subjects.
     On  the whole he agreed with the views expressed by  the
Fhrer.  He  was  especially of the opinion that  any  action
which  was  determined upon always carried with it a  certain
risk.  Matsuoka  declared-after referring to the  reports  of
Ambassador Ott and the Reich Foreign Minister, through  which
the  Fhrer  would  certainly be informed about  the  current
situation  in  Japan-that he would personally set  forth  the
situation in the frankest fashion. There were in Japan, as in
other  countries, certain intellectual circles which  only  a
powerful individual could hold firmly under control. He meant
by  that  the  sort of person who would like to  capture  the
tiger  cub, but who was not prepared to go into the  den  and
take  it  away  from  its mother. He had used  this  line  of
thought  in  making  the same point in the  presence  of  two
princes   of   the  Imperial  Family  in  a   conference   at
headquarters.  It  was regrettable that  Japan  had  not  yet
eliminated those elements and that some of these people  were
even  occupying  influential  positions.  Confidentially,  he
could  state that in the interview at headquarters, after  an
earnest  discussion, his point of view had  prevailed.  Japan
would  take  action, and in a decisive form, if she  had  the
feeling  that otherwise she would lose a chance  which  could
only  occur once in a thousand years; and in fact Japan would
act  without  consideration of the state of her preparations,
since  there  were  always  some  people  who  claimed   that
preparations were insufficient. Matsuoka had also  made  this
point with the two princes. The hesitant politicians in Japan
would always delay and act partly from a pro-British or  pro-
American attitude.
     Matsuoka  declared that he had come out for the alliance
long  before  the outbreak of the European war. He  had  been
very  active  at that time to this end, but unfortunately  he
had had no success. After the outbreak of the European war he
personally  had  held  the opinion that  Japan  should  first
attack Singapore and bring to an end the British influence in
that area and should then join the Three Power Pact, since he
did  not  favor the idea that Japan should join the  alliance
without  having made some contribution toward bringing  about
the collapse of England. While Germany had been engaged in  a
titanic struggle against England for a year, Japan, up to the
conclusion of the alliance, had contributed nothing.  He  had
therefore come out very strongly for the plan of an attack on
Singapore, but he had not
Page 295

prevailed  and, under the force of events, had then  reversed
his  program  and  had  come around to  the  entry  into  the
alliance first.
     He  had  not  the  slightest doubt that  the  South  Sea
problem  could not be solved by Japan without the capture  of
Singapore. They would have to press into the tiger's den  and
drag out the young by force.
     It  was  only  a question of the time when  Japan  would
attack. According to his idea the attack should come as  soon
as  possible. Unfortunately he did not control Japan, but had
to  bring  those who were in control around to his  point  of
view. He would certainly be successful in this some day.  But
at the present moment he could under these circumstances make
no pledge on behalf of the Japanese Empire that it would take
     He  would, after his interviews with the Fhrer and  the
Reich  Foreign  Minister,  and  after  he  had  examined  the
situation  in  Europe, give his closest  attention  to  these
matters  on his return. He could make no definite commitment,
but  he  would promise that he personally would do his utmost
for the ends that had been mentioned.
     Matsuoka    then    requested    urgently    that    the
representations  which  he had made be  treated  as  strictly
confidential,  since, if they became known  in  Japan,  those
among his Cabinet colleagues who thought differently from him
would  probably become alarmed and would seek to get him  out
of office.
     In connection with his efforts to bring about the treaty
of  alliance he had maintained strict secrecy up to the  last
minute  and  in  order  to  deceive  his  opponents  he   had
oftentimes intentionally given the impression of having a pro-
American or pro-British attitude.
     Shortly  before the conclusion of the treaty of alliance
it  had been reported to him that the British Ambassador  was
conducting a strong propaganda campaign among the Japanese to
the  effect  that  Japan was taking  a  very  risky  step  in
adhering  to  the  Three Power Pact. The American  Ambassador
also  had been active in the same direction. A few days after
the  conclusion of the treaty of alliance he  had  asked  the
American   Ambassador   whether  the  reports   about   these
propaganda  activities were correct. The latter had  admitted
everything and had stated as well that every Japanese whom he
had  met,  since the adherence to the treaty of alliance  had
become  known,  had expressed the opinion that Germany  would
win  the war. In the opinion of the American Ambassador  that
was false; Germany had no chance to win the war and therefore
in the Ambassador's opinion it actually was a very risky step
for   Japan  if  the  alliance  had  been  concluded  in  the
expectation of a possible German victory.
Page 296

     Matsuoka  continued  that he had answered  the  American
Ambassador that only the good God knew who would finally  win
the  war.  He  (Matsuoka)  had, however,  not  concluded  the
alliance  on  the basis of the victory of this or  the  other
power,  but he had based his action on his vision of the  New
Order.  He  had  heard with interest the  statements  of  the
Fhrer on the subject of the New Order and had been fully and
completely  convinced  by  them.  If,  however,  he   assumed
entirely  hypothetically that the  fortune  of  war  at  some
period  would turn against Germany, he must tell the American
Ambassador  that in such a case Japan would come at  once  to
the assistance of her ally.
     His  vision of the New Order had been set forth  in  the
preamble  to  the  Three Power Pact. There was  at  stake  an
ideal,  which  had  been handed down from one  generation  to
another   from  time  immemorial.  For  him  personally   the
realization of this ideal was his life s aim, to which up  to
the  present  day  he had dedicated his fullest  efforts,  in
order  to  make on his own part a slight contribution  toward
its  realization. The Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Three Power Pact  was
also  a  contribution to such a realization. The consummation
of  this  idea, so Matsuoka went on, would be realized  under
the  slogan: "No conquest, no oppression, and no spoliation."
This  would  not be understood in all quarters in Japan.  If,
however,  Japan  seemed likely to depart from  this  line  he
would be the first to attempt to prevent it.
     In  this  connection Matsuoka referred to still  another
principle  of the preamble to the Three Power Pact, according
to  which  every people must assume the place they  deserved.
Although Japan, in the creation of the New Order, if  it  was
necessary,  would  proceed by force, and  although  she  must
sometimes  lead with a strong hand the peoples who  would  be
affected  by  this  New Order, nevertheless  she  had  always
before  her  the slogan which he had previously  quoted:  "No
conquest, no oppression, no spoliation."
     In  the  further  course  of the conversation,  Matsuoka
referred to his conference with Stalin in Moscow. As an  ally
he  owed  an explanation on that subject to the Reich Foreign
Minister  and  he would have given it in the  course  of  the
morning's conversation, if the Reich Foreign Minister had not
been called away early. Now he would give this information to
the Fhrer.
     He  had  first  only wanted to make a courtesy  call  on
Molotov  on passing through Moscow. After some consideration,
however,  he had decided to instruct the Japanese  Ambassador
to make discreet inquiry of the Soviet Government whether the
latter would be interested in an interview between Stalin and
himself. However, before the
Page 297

Japanese   Ambassador  had  been  able  to  carry   out   his
instructions with the Soviet Government, a proposal was  made
by  the  Russian  Government itself  for  a  meeting  between
Stalin, Molotov and Matsuoka. He had spoken with Molotov  for
about 30 minutes and with Stalin for an hour, so that, taking
into  account  the necessary translations, he  had  conversed
with  Molotov for perhaps 10 minutes and with Stalin  for  25
     He   had  told  Stalin  that  the  Japanese  were  moral
communists.  This ideal had been handed down from  father  to
son  from time immemorial. At the same time, however, he  had
said  that  he  did  not  believe in political  and  economic
communism, and he rather assumed that his Japanese  ancestors
had  much earlier given up any attempt in that direction  and
had turned to moral communism.
     In  connection  with  what  he called  moral  communism,
Matsuoka  cited  several examples from his own  family.  This
Japanese ideal of moral communism had been overthrown by  the
liberalism,  individualism, and egoism  introduced  from  the
West. At the moment the situation in Japan in this field  was
extraordinarily confused. However, there was a minority which
was  strong  enough to fight successfully for the restoration
of  the  "Old  Ego"  ["alten Ichs"]  of  the  Japanese.  This
ideological struggle in Japan was extremely bitter. But those
who  were fighting for the restoration of the old ideals were
convinced  that they would be finally victorious. The  Anglo-
Saxons  were basically responsible for the entry of  the  new
philosophy  which he had mentioned and, in order  to  restore
the  old traditional Japanese ideals, Japan was compelled  to
fight  against the Anglo-Saxons, just as in China  they  were
not  fighting  against  the Chinese but  only  against  Great
Britain in China and capitalism in China.
     Matsuoka  then  continued that  he  had  discussed  with
Stalin his ideas about the New Order and had stated that  the
Anglo-Saxon  represented  the  greatest  hindrance   to   the
establishment  of  this order and that  Japan  therefore  was
compelled to fight against them. He had told Stalin that  the
Soviets on their part also were coming out for something  new
and  that he believed that after the collapse of the  British
Empire  the  difficulties between Japan and Russia  could  be
eliminated. He had represented the Anglo-Saxons as the common
foe of Japan, Germany, and Soviet Russia.
     Stalin had arranged to give him an answer when he passed
through Moscow again on his return journey to Japan; he  had,
however, after some reflection stated that Soviet Russia  had
never gotten along well with Great Britain and never would.
Page 298
     Matsuoka in the further course of the conversation  made
several remarks about the status of the Tenno. The Tenno  was
the  State,  and the life and the property of every  Japanese
belonged to the Tenno, that is to the State. That was,  in  a
way,  the  Japanese version of the idea of  the  totalitarian
     Further,  Matsuoka expressed himself as marvelling  over
the  way in which the Fhrer with decisiveness and power  was
leading the German people, who stood completely united behind
him  through this great period of upheaval, a period  without
parallel  in previous history. A people found such  a  Fhrer
once  in  a thousand years. The Japanese people had  not  yet
found  their Fhrer. He would, however, certainly  appear  in
time  of need and with determination take over the leadership
of the people.
BERLIN, April 1, 1941.

Frames 47376-47389, serial 67

  Memorandum of the Conversation Between the Reich Foreign
Minister and Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka on March 28,

Auf. RAM Nr. 18/41
     The  Reich  Foreign Minister expressed his gratification
at  being  able  to  speak with Matsuoka a second  time.  The
Fhrer  would  have  liked to define his attitude  even  more
fully with respect to the questions under consideration,  but
his  time  had  been  very much taken up by  developments  in
Yugoslavia. The details, however, were not so important.  The
essential  thing  was the question of the  possibilities  and
prospects of a closer cooperation between Japan and  Germany,
that   is,  the  transition  from  a  passive  to  an  active
collaboration of Japan in the common cause. It was with great
satisfaction  that the Germans had heard  of  the  spirit  in
which  Matsuoka  was  approaching these  matters.  It  was  a
question  of  the greatest opportunity that had ever  existed
for the attainment of Japanese aims, and it would be well  to
make  use  of  this  opportunity  before  it  was  lost.  The
Tripartite  Pact  was a most important treaty  and  formed  a
basis for relations between Japan and Germany for hundreds of
years. There existed no conflicts of interest.
     The  situation  was  such that  a  New  Order  could  be
established only when Great Britain was completely  defeated.
This  applied  with  even  greater force  to  Japan  than  to
Germany,  who  at  present  already  dominated  the  European
Continent and by the end of this year would also
Page 299

bring the Mediterranean region and Africa, to the extent that
Germany   was  interested  in  them,  under  her  domination.
Germany,  then, had everything that she needed. She  was  not
striving for world domination, as Roosevelt falsely asserted.
The Fhrer wished to end the war as soon as possible in order
to  devote  himself again to his work of reconstruction.  The
goal  that  he  had set for himself-that is, to  provide  the
maximum security for the Reich-had, essentially, already been
     On  the  other  hand, the New Order in the Greater  East
Asian  sphere  could  be  established  only  if  Japan   also
dominated  the  South.  For this,  however,  the  capture  of
Singapore was necessary.
     With  reference  to  Russia the Reich  Foreign  Minister
stated  that  the  Germans did not  know  how  matters  would
develop in this direction. It was possible that Russia  would
set  out  upon  the wrong road, although he  did  not  really
expect this from Stalin. But one could not know. In any  case
Germany  would immediately strike if Russia should  undertake
anything  against Japan, and thereby keep Japan free  in  the
rear  with  respect  to  Russia.  In  this  way  one  of  the
misgivings  of  Japanese statesmen,  but  especially  of  the
Japanese   Army,  reported  by  Ambassador  Ott,   would   be
eliminated  with  the  help of the German  Army.  The  second
misgiving  with reference to the English Home Fleet  and  the
English   Mediterranean   Fleet,  which   had   been   voiced
particularly  by  the Japanese Navy, he  (the  Reich  Foreign
Minister) could answer by the fact that both of these English
fleets  would  be  tied  down  by  Germany  in  European  and
Mediterranean   waters.  Finally,  the  Japanese   had   also
expressed  concern on account of America. The United  States,
however, would not risk its fleet against Japan and would not
send it beyond the Hawaiian Islands. A great Japanese success
at  Singapore  would,  on the contrary,  strengthen  American
neutrality.  Roosevelt  would  then  hesitate  to   undertake
anything rash.
     Although   he   (the  Reich  Foreign   Minister)   fully
understood  the  situation  in  Japan,  which  Matsuoka   had
illustrated  by his story about the tiger and  her  cubs,  he
nevertheless had to point out again that two of the strongest
countries  in the world, which possessed a youthful,  strong,
and  fearless spirit, were now offered a chance by Providence
which  probably  occurred  only once  in  a  thousand  years.
Germany's  great opportunity was the Fhrer, whose co-workers
carried  out his will only as his instruments. He (the  Reich
Foreign  Minister) had repeatedly declared to the Ambassadors
of England and France that

Page 300

they  should not fall into the error of confusing present-day
Germany with that of 1919-1918. Even then the Reich had  held
out  for  four years against a world of enemies; only because
of  its  disunity and its internal weakness had it  lost  the
war.  Now, however, it was united and consequently had  twice
the  strength-which was again increased twofold by the genius
of  Adolf  Hitler's leadership, so that henceforth one  would
have  to reckon with a Germany which was four times as strong
as  in  the World War. The Ambassadors had disregarded  these
warnings.  The  predictions  had,  however,  come  true,  and
nothing  in  the world would prevent Germany and  Italy  from
dominating  the European-African Hemisphere absolutely.  When
under  such  circumstances an opportunity was offered  Japan,
she  ought  to weigh matters very carefully and not  let  the
opportunity slip out of her hand.
     When  the  present  conflict would end,  could  not,  of
course,  be  predicted with certainty; he (the Reich  Foreign
Minister)  had  the  feeling,  however,  that  England  might
perhaps collapse sooner than was generally expected.  If  the
English  should  suddenly ask for peace,  it  would  be  very
desirable  if  Germany and Japan could establish  this  peace
     The  Reich Foreign Minister then spoke about his  family
traditions, which had always been pro-Japanese. Moreover,  he
had had an important conversation with the Fhrer as early as
1934  on  German-Japanese collaboration.  The  Fhrer's  high
esteem  for Japan had begun with the Russo-Japanese War.  Now
the   most  important  thing  was  not  to  lose  the  common
opportunity which presented itself in the year 1941.
     Matsuoka  replied that he was of the same  opinion.  For
logical  reasons, as well as from an inner feeling,  he  also
believed  that  1941 would go down in history  as  a  fateful
year.  In  it  the greatest tragedy, the fall of the  British
Empire, would be consummated. The German Nation in Europe and
the  Japanese  in the Far East were, he felt,  acting  almost
under  a  divine command to break up the British  Empire  and
establish a New Order.
     Matsuoka  then  asked what attitude Germany  would  take
toward the United States if England should be brought to  its
knees during the summer but America was not yet in the war.
     The  Reich  Foreign  Minister replied  that  this  would
depend  on the attitude of the United States. The possibility
of an occupation of the British Isles required, to be sure, a
period of good weather, and the English would possibly try to
set  up  a  new government in the United States. But  in  his
opinion this could not be done.
Page 301
     Matsuoka  then  made his question specific  as  follows:
When  England was crushed, the United States in  his  opinion
would  not  continue  to support the British  Empire.  Canada
would  simply  be more or less annexed. Would  Germany  under
these  circumstances leave the United States  in  peace?  The
Reich Foreign Minister replied that Germany did not have  the
slightest  interest  in  a  war against  the  United  States.
Matsuoka noted this with satisfaction, remarking that one had
to  reckon with the Anglo-Saxons as a whole; if it should not
be possible to convert America to our way of thinking, no New
Order  could  be  established.  The  Reich  Foreign  Minister
replied  that each would exercise dominion in its own sphere.
Germany,  together with Italy, would do this in the European-
African sphere; the United States would have to limit  itself
to  the American Continent; and the Far East was reserved for
Japan.  As  far  as Russia was concerned, it  would  be  very
carefully watched and would in no case be permitted any  kind
of  subversive  propaganda.  In the  future  only  the  three
aforesaid  spheres of interest would remain as great  centers
of power. The British Empire would disappear.
     Matsuoka  replied  that  the  only  big  problem   still
remaining would then be Russia. Japan was prepared to  permit
Russia an ice-free outlet to the sea by way of India or Iran,
but  would  not  tolerate the Russians on the Chinese  coast.
Matsuoka  then  asked whether the Fhrer had ever  considered
the  possibility of a Russian-Japanese-German  alliance.  The
Reich  Foreign  Minister denied this and said that  a  closer
collaboration  with  Russia  was an  absolute  impossibility,
since  the ideological bases of the army, as well as  of  the
rest  of the nation, were completely incompatible. The Soviet
Union  was  still  internationally  minded  while  Japan  and
Germany  thought  nationally.  Russia  was  undermining   the
family; Germany championed it. A union was just as impossible
here  as  between fire and water. Stalin was very clever  and
had  therefore  concluded the pact  with  Germany  under  the
circumstances then prevailing. Russia would also have  joined
the Tripartite Pact, but her conditions could not be met. The
whole matter was now being handled in a quite dilatory manner
by  Germany,  as he could now inform Matsuoka confidentially.
Moreover, Germany was watching the Soviet Union closely, and-
this Matsuoka should realize clearly-she was prepared for any
eventuality.  Germany would not provoke Russia;  but  if  the
policy  of  Stalin was not in harmony with  what  the  Fhrer
considered  to  be  right, he would  crush  Russia.  Matsuoka
replied  that  Japan  was now taking  pains  not  to  provoke
Russia.  Japan was waiting for the completion of  the  German
victory in the

Page 302

Balkans. Without the good offices of Germany and without  her
strength there was no chance for Japan to mend Russo-Japanese
relations completely.
     Matsuoka  also  spoke of the long-term  trade  agreement
which would be concluded with Russia. He then asked the Reich
Foreign Minister whether on his return trip he should  remain
in  Moscow for a somewhat longer period in order to negotiate
with the Russians on the Non-aggression Pact or the Treaty of
Neutrality.  He  emphasized in this  connection  that  direct
acceptance  of Russia into the Tripartite Pact would  not  be
countenanced by the Japanese people. It would on the contrary
call forth a unanimous cry of indignation all over Japan. The
Reich  Foreign  Minister replied that such  an  adherence  of
Russia  to  the  Pact was out of the question and,  moreover,
recommended that Matsuoka, if possible, should not  bring  up
the  above-mentioned questions in Moscow, since this probably
would  not  altogether fit into the framework of the  present
     In  reply  to  a  further remark by  Matsuoka  that  the
conclusion of a fishing and trade agreement would improve the
feeling  between Russia and Japan, the Reich Foreign Minister
replied  that  there were no objections to the conclusion  of
such purely commercial agreements. Matsuoka mentioned in this
connection   that   America  was  observing  Japanese-Russian
relations  closely and was trying on her part to conclude  an
agreement with Russia against Japan.
     Matsuoka  then  began to speak of Singapore  again.  The
Japanese were not worried on account of the British Navy. But
there  were  Japanese circles which viewed  a  conflict  with
America  with great misgivings, since they assumed that  this
would  involve a five-or ten-year war with the United States.
He  would readily admit that America would not risk its fleet
in  a  war  against  Japan, but for that  very  reason  these
Japanese   circles   were  worried,   because   under   these
circumstances the war would last for years. The Reich Foreign
Minister replied that in his opinion Roosevelt would not  let
it  come  to war since he was well aware of the impossibility
of  any action against Japan. Japan, on the other hand, could
occupy the Philippines and in this way deal a severe blow  to
Roosevelt's  prestige.  If  Japan  captured  Singapore,   the
greater  part of the world would have come under the  control
of the Tripartite Powers, and America would find itself in an
isolated position.
     Matsuoka  expressed himself as personally very  strongly
in  favor  of the Reich Foreign Minister's line of reasoning.
If  Japan did not assume the risk connected with the  capture
of Singapore, he was of

Page 303
the  opinion that it would thereby become a third-rate power.
The  blow would therefore have to come some day in any event.
If  he  could succeed in keeping the United States quiet  for
six  months,  all  difficulties would be overcome.  A  nation
which  continued to hesitate in a matter of such  fundamental
national  importance thereby only showed that it  lacked  the
most important quality, power of decision.
Berlin, March 31, 1941.

Frames 47357-47375, serial 67

  Memorandum of the Conversation Between the Reich Foreign
Minister and Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka in Berlin on
                       March 29, 1941

Auf. RAM 18/41
     The  Reich  Foreign  Minister referred  to  the  earlier
discussion  with  Matsuoka concerning the latter's  impending
conversations  with the Russians in Moscow. He expressed  the
opinion  that in view of the general situation  it  might  be
best  not to go into things too deeply with the Russians.  He
did  not know how the situation would develop. But one  thing
was  certain:  if  Russia should ever attack  Japan,  Germany
would  strike immediately. He could give this firm  assurance
to  Matsuoka,  so  that  Japan could  push  southward  toward
Singapore  without fear of any complications with Russia.  As
it  was,  the  greater part of the German  Army  was  on  the
eastern boundary of the Reich and was ready to attack at  any
time. He (the Reich Foreign Minister) believed, however, that
Russia would not occasion any military action. But if Germany
should  become involved in a conflict with Russia, the Soviet
Union  would be finished within a few months. In  that  case,
Japan would, of course, not have anything at all to fear,  if
she  wanted to advance toward Singapore. So, in any case, she
need  not  be  kept from that undertaking  by  any  fears  of
     Of  course, we could not tell how matters would  develop
with  Russia.  It was uncertain whether or not  Stalin  would
accentuate  his  present  policy  of  unfriendliness   toward
Germany. He (the Reich Foreign Minister) in any event  wanted
to  point  out  to Matsuoka that a conflict with  Russia  was
always within the realm of possibility. At any rate, Matsuoka
could  not  report to the Japanese Emperor, upon his  return,
that a conflict between Germany and Russia was inconceivable.
On  the  contrary, as matters stood, such a conflict,  though
not probable, still would have to be designated as possible.
Page 304

     With  regard  to  Russian adherence to the  Three  Power
Pact,  as  had been offered to Molotov by Germany, the  Reich
Foreign Minister remarked that there had been no question  of
the direct admission of Russia into the Pact, but rather of a
different grouping. As already stated, however, the  Russians
had  set  conditions for their adherence which Germany  could
not accept, so that matters were now in suspense.
     In reply to a question interpolated by Matsuoka, whether
that  meant that Germany would perhaps again seek, after  the
lapse  of  some time, to get Russia to adhere  to  the  Three
Power  Pact,  the  Reich  Foreign Minister  replied  that  an
attempt  of  that kind would probably not be  made  for  some
time,   since   the  conditions  submitted  by  Russia   were
irreconcilable  with  the  German  view,  particularly  those
concerning Finland and Turkey.
     In  reply to an inquiry by Matsuoka for further  details
on   the  Russian  conditions,  the  Reich  Foreign  Minister
responded  that German resistance to the Soviet demands  with
respect to Finland was based on economic considerations,  and
also  on  sentiment. Germany had fought on the  side  of  the
Finns  in the World War. Matsuoka put in here that the  Finns
apparently laid great stress on being considered as belonging
on  the German side. The Japanese Minister in Helsinki,  whom
he  had  recalled in connection with the recent  shifting  of
diplomats,  told  a  newspaperman at  Manchuli  on  the  trip
homeward that Finland now appeared to have placed herself  on
Russia's side. Some time later, the Finnish Minister in Tokyo
protested  officially to Matsuoka against that statement  and
declared  that Finland would never place herself on  Russia's
     The  Reich Foreign Minister pointed out that the Social-
Democratic governments in Finland had always been against the
Fhrer, so that there was no reason for Germany to help  them
during  the Russo-Finnish War. Besides, Germany had to assume
an  absolutely neutral position, because in the conversations
with  Molotov and Stalin, Finland had been designated as  not
lying  within  the German sphere of interest.  But  when  the
Finns  defended themselves so valiantly against the Russians,
strong feeling for them sprang up in Germany, so that it  was
now  impossible  to give up Finland, since an  occupation  by
Russia would lead to complete destruction of the country,  as
was shown by the example of the Baltic States.
     The second Russian condition dealt with the guarantee to
Bulgaria, together with occupation of the country by  Russian
troops,  concerning  which he had already  been  informed  in
detail in the earlier conversations.
Page 305
     The third condition had as its subject the establishment
of bases on the Dardanelles. Matsuoka was already informed on
that   point   too.  At  any  rate,  Germany  preferred   the
Dardanelles to remain in the hands of the Turks. Besides, she
could  not  permit  a penetration of the  Russians  into  the
Balkans. However, Russia kept trying to push forward in  that
direction.  Thus,  in  connection with recent  happenings  in
Yugoslavia, activity was now increasing partly with  the  aid
of   the  Sokol  organization  or  through  direct  Communist
influence. At any rate, the discussions with the Russians  on
those  conditions had not been taken up again. We had  merely
told  the Soviet Union that Germany could not allow  any  new
conflict  in  Finland or the Balkans. Since  then  all  these
questions  were,  as stated, in suspense,  and  no  favorable
development was to be expected.
     During the further course of the conversation, the Reich
Foreign  Minister imparted to the Japanese Foreign  Minister,
in  confidence,  his view of the true Russian  interest.  The
Soviet  Union wanted the war to last as long as possible.  It
knew  that  it  could  not itself gain anything  by  military
attacks. Therefore the exceedingly rapid defeat of France did
not  suit  that sly politician Stalin very well. He wanted  a
long  war that would tire out the peoples and make them  ripe
for  Bolshevik  influence. That was the true aim  of  Russian
policy, which should never be lost sight of.
     Matsuoka agreed with these ideas and cited the situation
in  China as an example. Chiang Kai-shek, with whom he was in
personal  touch,  who knew him and trusted him,  was  greatly
alarmed  as to the further increase of the influence  of  the
Red Army in China.
     The  Reich  Foreign Minister said that it  was  entirely
possible that the conditions previously described would  lead
rather  rapidly to a conflict between Germany and Russia.  If
Germany should feel herself endangered, she would immediately
attack and put an end to Bolshevism.
     To  a  suggestion  by Matsuoka, not to allow  the  Anti-
Comintern Pact to expire, but to renew it, the Reich  Foreign
Minister replied that he could not take a definitive position
on  the matter yet, since the situation as it would appear in
the  autumn,  at  the expiration of the Pact,  could  not  be
foreseen  at  the  present time. As a  matter  of  principle,
however, Germany's stand was always in the sense of the Anti-
Comintern Pact.
     When Matsuoka asked the Reich Foreign Minister to inform
him in good time, before the expiration of the Anti-Comintern
Pact, regard-

Page 306

ing the German stand with respect to a possible extension  of
the Pact, the Reich Foreign Minister rejoined that by October
the situation would certainly have been clarified to such  an
extent that a definite stand by Germany would be possible.
     Thereupon the Reich Foreign Minister spoke once more  of
the question of Singapore. In view of the fears expressed  by
Japan of possible submarine attacks from the Philippines  and
of  the  intervention of the British Mediterranean Fleet  and
Home  Fleet, he had discussed the situation once  again  with
Admiral  Raeder.  The latter had told him  that  the  British
Fleet  would  be so fully occupied this year in British  home
waters  and  in the Mediterranean that it could  not  send  a
single  ship  to  the Far East. The American submarines  were
designated by Admiral Raeder as so poor that Japan  need  not
concern herself about them at all.
     Matsuoka  at  once  rejoined  that  the  Japanese   Navy
considered  the danger from the English Navy as very  slight,
and  was also of the opinion that in case of a clash with the
American Navy it could destroy the latter without trouble. It
did  fear, however, that the Americans would not give  battle
with their fleet, and that in that way the conflict with  the
United  States would perhaps last for five years.  They  were
very uneasy over that in Japan.
     The  Reich  Foreign Minister replied that America  could
not  do  anything at all against Japan in case of the capture
of  Singapore.  For that very reason Roosevelt would  perhaps
think  twice before deciding actually to move against  Japan.
For  while he could not do anything against Japan, there  was
the probability that the Philippines would be taken by Japan;
this  would naturally entail great loss of prestige  for  the
American  President,  since,  as  a  result  of  insufficient
American military preparation, he could not retaliate.
     Matsuoka  pointed  out in this connection  that  he  was
doing  everything  to  soothe  the  British  with  regard  to
Singapore.  He  was  acting  as  if  Japan  had  no   designs
whatsoever on this key point of England in the East. It might
therefore  be  that in his words and acts he would  assume  a
friendly manner toward the English. But Germany should not be
misled by that. He was assuming that manner not only in order
to soothe the British, but to mislead the pro-British and pro-
American  elements in Japan, until he should one day suddenly
attack Singapore.
     With  regard to this, the Reich Foreign Minister  stated
that  in  his opinion the declaration of war by Japan against
England should follow from an attack on Singapore.
Page 307
     Matsuoka  remarked in this connection that  his  tactics
were  based upon the safe assumption that the whole  Japanese
Nation would be united at one stroke by the sudden attack  on
Singapore.  ("Nothing  succeeds  like  success,"  the   Reich
Foreign  Minister  interjected here) He (Matsuoka)  was  here
following  the words of a famous Japanese statesman addressed
to  the  Japanese Navy at the outbreak of the  Russo-Japanese
War:  "Open  fire, and the Nation will then be  united."  The
Japanese  had  to be shaken up to rouse them. Lastly,  as  an
Oriental  he  also believed in fate, which comes  whether  we
want it or not.
     As  the  conversation went on, it turned to the question
of   rubber  shipments.  The  Reich  Foreign  Minister  asked
Matsuoka to test the practicability of shipment to Lisbon  or
France by one or two Japanese auxiliary cruisers.
     Matsuoka agreed to this and said that immediately  after
the  step taken by Ambassador Ott with respect to the  rubber
question,  he  had  proposed  having  Japan  provide  certain
amounts  for  Germany from her own rubber  stocks  and  later
filling up the resulting gaps with rubber from Indo-China.
     In  this  connection the Reich Foreign Minister  pointed
out  that traffic over the Siberian Railroad was not adequate
and  that,  besides, 18,000 tons of French rubber from  Indo-
China  would  be delivered to Japan through the mediation  of
Germany.  In this connection also he inquired as to the  size
of  the  auxiliary cruisers that might be available  for  the
rubber  shipments.  Matsuoka,  who  said  that  he  was   not
accurately informed, estimated the size at 10,000 tons.
     In  addition,  referring to the  discussion  with  Reich
Minister   Funk,  the  Reich  Foreign  Minister  turned   the
conversation  to  future trade relations  between  Japan  and
Germany.  He  explained  that the  trade  between  the  great
economic  areas of the future, that is, Europe and Africa  on
the  one side and the Far East on the other side, would  have
to  be  developed  on  a  relatively free  basis,  while  the
American Hemisphere, at any rate as far as the United  States
was  concerned,  would  remain more  to  itself,  as  it  had
everything that it needed in its own territory and  therefore
was  not to be considered for interchange with other economic
areas.  In  South  America, however, things  were  different.
Possibilities of exchange with other economic areas  actually
presented themselves there.
     Matsuoka  replied  that, for her own reconstruction  and
for  the development of China, Japan needed cooperation  with
Germany.  Some time before, he had given written instructions
to   the  Japanese  missions  in  China  to  grant  preferred
treatment to German and Italian
Page 308
economic interests, as had already been done in Manchukuo and
North  China.  Japan  was not in a position  to  develop  the
gigantic  territories  of  China without  the  assistance  of
German  technical skill and German enterprise. Outwardly,  of
course,  Japan  would declare the open-door  policy,  but  in
reality  would  grant preferential treatment to  Germany  and
     Besides,  he had to admit openly that Japanese  business
circles  were afraid of their German competitors,  whom  they
considered very clever, while they only smiled at British and
American competition. German business circles probably took a
similar  stand  with  regard to the Japanese,  and  therefore
complaints  came  from both sides. He  was  of  the  opinion,
however, that the reciprocal interests could be brought  into
harmony,  and he told Japanese businessmen that  they  should
not  be afraid of German competition, but should endeavor  to
grapple  with the problem with equal cleverness. At any  rate
the  Japanese Government would do everything to equalize  the
interests of the two sides.
     Then  the  Reich Foreign Minister went on  to  speak  of
Matsuoka's   possible  trip  to  Vichy,   which   was   being
considered. In this connection he said that of course he left
it  entirely to Matsuoka to decide whether he wanted to go to
Vichy  or  not.  If  he considered this trip  advisable,  the
German  Government  would not have anything  against  it.  It
would  by  no  means stand in his way if,  for  instance,  he
wanted to talk to the French about Indo-China.
     Matsuoka  replied that above all else the respect  which
he  felt  for  old Marshal Ptain had given him the  idea  of
going  to  Vichy. The Emperor, who as Crown Prince  had  once
been  a  guest of Ptain, was also among the admirers of  the
Marshal.  Besides, he (Matsuoka) would like to go  to  Paris,
and  in  that  case  a  visit  to  Vichy  would  probably  be
unavoidable.  However,  in view of the extraordinary  tension
between  Italy  and  France, he hesitated  a  great  deal  to
undertake this visit, and in any event he wanted to  ask  the
Duce  and Count Ciano beforehand. He was certain that in  her
position of power Germany would have nothing against  such  a
visit,  but he did not know if he would hurt Italian feelings
by going.
     Going  on,  Matsuoka  again  spoke  of  Japanese-Russian
relations.  He  pointed  out that  he  had  proposed  a  non-
aggression pact to the Russians, to which Molotov had replied
with  the proposal of a neutrality agreement. During his stay
in  Moscow  he,  as  the one who had made the  original  non-
aggression proposal, would be forced to take a stand in  some
way with respect to these matters. On that occasion

Page 309
he  also  intended to attempt to get the Russians to give  up
the  northern  half  of  the Sakhalin Peninsula.  There  were
important  oil deposits there, the exploitation of which  was
hampered  in every conceivable way by the Russians.  In  all,
Matsuoka  calculated the maximum amount to be  procured  from
these oil deposits at 2 million tons. He would propose to the
Russians acquiring northern Sakhalin by purchase.
     In reply to a question by the Reich Foreign Minister, as
to whether the Russians would be ready to sell these regions,
Matsuoka answered that it was extremely doubtful. At  a  hint
to the same effect, Molotov had asked the Japanese Ambassador
whether  "that was meant for a joke." At any rate  Japan  was
ready  in  return to replace the treaties of  Portsmouth  and
Peking  by  other agreements and also to give up her  fishing
rights.  In any event he would have to take up these  matters
and,  in particular, the question of the non-aggression  pact
during  his  stay  in  Moscow. He  asked  the  Reich  Foreign
Minister  whether  he  should  go  very  deeply  into   these
questions or treat them only superficially.
     The  Reich Foreign Minister replied that in his  opinion
only  a  purely formal, superficial handling of these  points
was advisable. The question mentioned by Matsuoka with regard
to  Sakhalin  could also be settled later.  Further,  if  the
Russians should pursue a foolish policy and force Germany  to
strike, he would-knowing the sentiments of the Japanese  Army
in  China-consider it proper if that army were prevented from
attacking Russia. Japan would best help the common  cause  if
she did not allow herself to be diverted by anything from the
attack  on  Singapore. With a common victory, the fulfillment
of  the  wishes  named above would, so to  speak,  fall  into
Japan's lap like ripe fruit.
     Matsuoka  went on to speak of German help  in  the  blow
against  Singapore, regarding which he had received  repeated
assurances, and in that connection he mentioned the offer  of
a written promise of German help.
     The  Reich Foreign Minister replied that he had  already
discussed  these things with Ambassador Oshima. He had  asked
him  to  supply  maps of Singapore, so that the  Fhrer,  who
certainly  must be considered the greatest expert  of  modern
times on military matters, could advise Japan as to the  best
method  for the attack on Singapore. German aviation  experts
would  also  be  available and, on the  basis  of  experience
gained in Europe, could advise the Japanese regarding the

Page 310
use  of  dive bombers against the British Fleet in  Singapore
from  air  bases  nearby. The British  Fleet  would  then  be
compelled to disappear from Singapore at once.
     Matsuoka  interjected here that Japan was less concerned
about  the  British  fleet  than about  the  capture  of  the
     The  Reich  Foreign Minister replied that here  too  the
Fhrer  had  developed new methods for the German attacks  on
strongly  fortified positions, such as the Maginot  Line  and
Fort Eben Emael, which he could place at the disposal of  the
     Matsuoka  replied, in this connection, that some  junior
naval officers who were experts on such matters and who  were
good  friends of his were of the opinion that it  would  take
three months for the Japanese forces to capture Singapore. As
a  cautious Minister of Foreign Affairs, he had doubled  that
time. He believed that for six months they could ward off any
danger  threatening  from America.  But  if  the  capture  of
Singapore   should  take  still  longer  and   were   perhaps
protracted  for  as  long as a year,  an  extremely  critical
situation  with America would develop, which he did  not  yet
know how to meet.
     If  it could somehow be avoided, he would not touch  the
Dutch  East  Indies, as he feared that in case of a  Japanese
attack on those regions the oil fields would be set on  fire.
Then they could not be brought into production again for  one
or two years.
     The  Reich Foreign Minister remarked on that point  that
with  the capture of Singapore, Japan would also gain control
of the Dutch East Indies at the same time.
     Matsuoka  then  mentioned also that the desire  for  air
bases  in  French Indo-China and Thailand had been  expressed
among Japanese officers. He had rejected this, however, since
he  was by no means willing to undertake anything that  might
betray Japanese intention with regard to Singapore.
     In  conclusion, the Reich Foreign Minister took up  once
more the question of Germany's assistance to Japan. Something
could  perhaps  be  done in that field  also.  Japan  had  to
understand, however, that in this war the heaviest burden was
resting  on  Germany's  shoulders.  The  Reich  was  fighting
against  the  island of Great Britain and was  tying  up  the
British  Mediterranean Fleet. Japan, on the other  hand,  was
fighting  only  on the periphery. Besides, the  main  Russian
forces  were  on  the European side. The chivalrous  Japanese
Nation would surely recognize this state of affairs.
Page 311
     Matsuoka agreed to these ideas, in closing, and gave the
assurance  that  Japan would always be a  loyal  ally,  which
would  devote  its efforts fully and entirely to  the  common
cause and not merely in a half-hearted way.
BERLIN, March 31, 1941.
Frames 47334-47347, serial 67

Memorandum  of  the  Interview Between  the  Fhrer  and  the
     Japanese Foreign Minister, Matsuoka, in the Presence  of
     the  Reich  Foreign  Minister  and   Minister  of  State
     Meissner at Berlin, April 4, 1941

Aufz. Fh 20/41
     Matsuoka  first thanked the Fhrer for the  gifts  which
had been presented to him in the Fhrer's name, which he said
he  would treasure forever in an honored place as a perpetual
remembrance  of  his  stay in Berlin. At  the  same  time  he
expressed his thanks for the friendly reception which he  had
received  in  Germany  from  the Fhrer,  the  Reich  Foreign
Minister, and the whole German people. As long as he lived he
would  never  forget  the sympathy which had  been  displayed
toward him here on all sides. On his return to Japan he would
exert  himself  with all his power to convince  the  Japanese
people  of  the honored friendship and esteem in  which  they
were held by the German people.
     Next Matsuoka reported concerning his conversations with
the Duce and the Pope.
     With the Duce he had discussed the European situation in
general and the state of the war, as well as the relationship
of   Italy  to  Germany  and  the  future  course  of   world
development.  The  Duce had informed him  (Matsuoka)  of  his
views of the situation of the war in Greece, Yugoslavia,  and
North Africa and of the part which Italy herself had in these
events.  Finally  the  Chief of the  Italian  Government  had
spoken  of  Soviet Russia and America. He had said  that  one
must   have  a  clear  notion  of  the  importance  of  one's
opponents.  The  enemy No. 1 was America, and  Soviet  Russia
came  only  in  second place. By these remarks the  Duce  had
given  him  to understand that America as enemy-No.  1  would
have  to  be  very  carefully observed,  but  should  not  be
provoked.  On the other hand one must be thoroughly  prepared
for  all  eventualities. Matsuoka had agreed in this line  of
     With  regard  to Soviet Russia the Duce had spoken  only
briefly  and  to  the same effect as had the Fhrer  and  the
Reich Foreign Minister. In that connection also Matsuoka  had
agreed with him.
Page 312

     As  the  deepest impression which he was  bringing  back
from  his conversation with the Duce, Matsuoka mentioned  the
sense  of  complete  unity between Italy and  Germany,  whose
relations,  in  his opinion, could never be  disturbed.  Both
countries were at one and firmly determined not to  let  this
position  be  shaken. Matsuoka had felt this previously,  but
his  conviction  after his conversation  with  the  Duce  was
stronger  than ever. On his return to Japan he would  try  to
drive  home  this  fact, especially with those  Japanese  who
continued to believe that Italy could be persuaded  by  Great
Britain,   perhaps  not  to  become  detached  from   Germany
completely,  but at least to cease to fight  with  her  whole
heart for the common cause.
     Count  Ciano, with whom he was personally friendly,  had
informed him that he did not always completely understand the
policy of the
     Fhrer, but that nevertheless he had implicit confidence
in him and his decisions.
     With   the   Pope  he  had  had  an  open  and  friendly
conversation  lasting for an hour and a  quarter,  which  was
concerned  in  a  more theoretical fashion with  the  present
situation  and  the future development of civilization.  They
had  not spoken of the war, so that it would be hardly useful
to  describe the conversation any further to the  Fhrer.  At
his  departure Matsuoka had asked the Pope whether or not the
latter perceived any opportunity or chance for bringing about
peace. After brief consideration the Pope had said "No,"  and
on  his  part asked Matsuoka whether or not he discerned  any
possibilities  of  peace. Matsuoka had also  replied  in  the
negative. The Pope had added only that nevertheless he prayed
daily  for  peace and he requested Matsuoka to do  the  same,
which  the  latter  promised to  do.  In  addition  the  Pope
declared that if Japan saw any possibility of peace he  would
be glad to give his assistance.
     Matsuoka further reported that he had told the Pope that
during  the World War he had served in the Foreign Office  in
Tokyo  as  private secretary to the then Prime Minister,  and
that,  in that capacity, he had sought to persuade the  Prime
Minister    and   Field   Marshal   Yamagata   to   establish
communication  with the Vatican for the purpose  of  bringing
about  peace. Both had been favorable in principle  but  they
had  not  had  the  boldness  to put  the  idea  into  actual
     Matsuoka  added that he had been led to undertake  these
peace  efforts  principally in view  of  the  personality  of
Cardinal Gaspari.
     Further,  he  had sought to convince the Pope  that  the
United  States  and  especially the American  President  were
prolonging  the  war in Europe and in China.  It  was  not  a
matter of proving whether
Page 313

America  and  her President were right or wrong.  They  would
certainly  have  definite grounds for their policy.  Entirely
apart  from  the question of right or wrong, the  fact  would
have  to be recognized that they were prolonging the  war  in
Europe  and in China. In connection with China he had  sought
to  convince the Pope that Japan was not fighting against the
Chinese or China herself, but only against Bolshevism,  which
was  threatening to spread over China and the whole Far East.
It was regrettable that America and England stood on the side
of Bolshevism.
     The  Fhrer  here  interjected that both  countries  had
stood on the side of Bolshevism in Spain as well.
     Matsuoka  then  advanced  the request  that  the  Fhrer
should  instruct the appropriate authorities  in  Germany  to
meet the desires of the Japanese Military Commission as fully
as possible. Especially in the field of U-boat warfare, Japan
required  German  help  in the way of furnishing  the  latest
operational  experience and the newest technical improvements
and  discoveries. Japan would do everything in her  power  to
avoid  a  war  with  the United States. In case  his  country
determined  on a stroke against Singapore, the Japanese  Navy
must,  of  course, also make preparations against the  United
States, for in such a case America might possibly come out on
the  side of Great Britain. Personally he (Matsuoka) believed
that  the entry of the United States into the war on the side
of  Great  Britain could be avoided. The army and navy  must,
however,  prepare  for the worst, i. e., for  a  war  against
America.  They believed that such a war would last over  five
years  and  would  be fought out as a guerrilla  war  in  the
Pacific  Ocean and South Seas. For this reason the experience
derived  by  Germany  in  her guerrilla  war  would  be  most
important for Japan. It was a matter of how such a war  could
best be carried on and how all the technical improvements  of
the U-boats, down to individual parts, such as periscopes and
the like, could be made useful by Japan.
     Summing up, Matsuoka asked the Fhrer to see to it  that
the  improvements and discoveries in the naval  and  military
fields  should  be  made available to  the  Japanese  by  the
competent German authorities
     The  Fhrer  agreed to this and added that Germany  also
considered  a  war with the United States to be  undesirable,
but that it had already been included in his calculations. In
Germany the viewpoint was that America's performance depended
upon  her  transport capabilities, which  in  turn  would  be
limited  by the tonnage available. Germany's warfare  against
shipping  tonnage  represented an appreciable  weakening  not
only of England but of America also. Germany had made
Page 314

her  preparations so that no American could land  in  Europe.
She  would  wage a vigorous war against America with  the  U-
boats  and  the  Luftwaffe, and with her greater  experience,
which  the United States had still to achieve, would be  more
than  a match for America, entirely apart from the fact  that
the  German  soldiers were, obviously, far  superior  to  the
     In  the  further course of the conversation  the  Fhrer
declared  that if Japan got into a conflict with  the  United
States, Germany on her part would take the necessary steps at
once. It made no difference with whom the United States first
came  into  conflict,  whether it was with  Germany  or  with
Japan.  They  would always be intent upon  disposing  of  one
country  first,  not  with the idea  of  then  coming  to  an
agreement  with  the  other country, but  with  the  idea  of
disposing  of  it next. Therefore Germany would,  as  he  had
said,  promptly take part in case of a conflict between Japan
and  America,  for the strength of the allies  in  the  Three
Power  Pact  lay  in their acting in common.  Their  weakness
would be in allowing themselves to be defeated separately.
     Matsuoka  again  repeated his request  that  the  Fhrer
should give the necessary instructions, so that the competent
German  authorities would make available to the Japanese  the
latest  inventions and improvements of interest to them,  for
the  Japanese  Navy  must make preparations  at  once  for  a
conflict with the United States.
     With  regard  to  Japanese-American  relations  Matsuoka
continued that in his own country he had always declared that
if  Japan continued in the same fashion as at present, a  war
with  the United States sooner or later would be unavoidable.
In  his  view  this conflict might better occur  sooner  than
later. Accordingly, so his argument had run, should not Japan
decide  to  act with determination at the proper  moment  and
take the risk of a war against America? Exactly by such means
the   war   might  perhaps  be  postponed  for   generations,
especially if Japan secured domination in the South Seas.  In
Japan,  however, many people refused to follow this  line  of
thought.  In those circles Matsuoka was considered  to  be  a
dangerous  man  with  dangerous ideas. He declared,  however,
that if Japan proceeded further along the present course  she
would some day have to fight and that this might happen under
more favorable circumstances then than at present.
     The  Fhrer  replied  that  he  had  much  sympathy  for
Matsuoka's  position, since he had found himself  in  similar
situations  (the  occupation  of  the  Rhineland,   and   the
resumption of full military independence). He had  also  come
to the conclusion that in a period when

Page 315
he  was  still  young  and vigorous he  should  make  use  of
favorable circumstances and take upon himself the risk  of  a
war  which was eventually unavoidable. That he had been right
in  taking  this  position had been demonstrated  by  events.
Europe was now free. He would not hesitate a moment to  reply
at  once to any extension of the war whether by Russia or  by
America.  Providence favored those who  did  not  let  perils
overtake them, but who confronted them courageously.
     Matsuoka  replied that the United States, or rather  the
statesmen who were in control there, had lately undertaken  a
last  maneuver with respect to Japan, in which they  declared
that America would not fight Japan on account of China or the
South   Pacific,  on  condition  that  Japan  should   permit
shipments  of  rubber  and tin from these  areas  to  proceed
unhindered to their points of destination in America. America
would,  however, fight Japan the moment she felt  that  Japan
intended to enter the war with the intention of assisting  in
the  destruction  of Great Britain. With the English-oriented
education  which  many Japanese had received,  this  sort  of
argument naturally was not without effect on the Japanese.
     The   Fhrer  declared  in  this  connection  that  this
attitude of America meant no more than that, as long  as  the
British Empire remained, the United States would cherish  the
hope  of  one day being able to proceed together  with  Great
Britain  against Japan, while, with a collapse of the  Empire
they  would be completely isolated as against Japan and could
accomplish nothing against her.
     The  Reich  Foreign Minister here interjected  that  the
Americans  under any circumstances would seek to  uphold  the
English  power  position in East Asia;  that,  however,  this
attitude showed how much they feared joint action on the part
of Japan and Germany.
     Matsuoka  continued that it seemed important to  him  to
give the Fhrer the true story about the actual situation  in
Japan.  Therefore  he  must inform  him  of  the  regrettable
circumstances   that  he  (Matsuoka),  as  Japanese   Foreign
Minister,  in Japan itself did not dare to say a  word  about
the  plans which he had set forth to the Fhrer and the Reich
Foreign Minister. In political and financial circles it would
do  him  much  harm. He had once, previously, before  he  had
become Japanese Foreign Minister, made the mistake of telling
a close friend something about his intentions. The latter had
apparently  spread the matter about, so that  every  kind  of
rumor  arose, which, although he always otherwise  spoke  the
truth,  as  Foreign  Minister he was bound  energetically  to
contradict.  Also, under these circumstances,  he  could  not
state how soon he would be able to hold a conference with the

Page 316

Japanese  Prime  Minister  or  with  the  Emperor  about  the
questions which had been discussed. He would first have to go
into developments in Japan closely and carefully, in order to
determine a favorable occasion on which to give Prince Konoye
and  the  Emperor the true picture about his real plans.  The
decision  would  then  have to follow  in  a  few  days,  for
otherwise the problems would be talked to pieces. If he  were
not  able to put through his plans, it would be an indication
that he lacked sufficient influence, power of persuasion  and
tactical ability. But if he could put them through, it  would
show  that  he  had  attained great influence  in  Japan.  He
personally  believed  that  he would  be  able  to  put  them
     On  his return he would admit to the Emperor, the  Prime
Minister, and the Navy and War Ministers, if they asked, that
the  matter  of  Singapore  had  been  discussed.  He  would,
however,  declare  that  this  had  only  been  done   in   a
hypothetical way.
     In addition Matsuoka expressly requested that nothing be
cabled  on the subject of Singapore, since he feared that  by
use  of  telegrams  something might  slip  out.  In  case  of
necessity, he would send a courier.
     The  Fhrer  agreed and assured him that he  could  rely
fully and completely on German discretion.
     Matsuoka  replied  that  he  had  confidence  in  German
discretion,  but he could not, unfortunately,  say  the  same
thing for Japan.
     After  some personal farewell greetings the conversation
came to a close.
BERLIN, April 4, 1941.

Frames 113240-113241, serial 104

 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office

Moscow, April 4, 1941-10:28 p. m.
Received April 5, 1941-12:55 a. m.

No. 796 of April 4
     For the Reich Minister personally.
     Molotov just summoned me to the Kremlin to inform me  of
the  following, in accordance with the agreement  to  consult
existing between Germany and the Soviet Union:
Page 317
     The  Yugoslav  Government had  proposed  to  the  Soviet
Government the negotiation of a treaty of friendship and non-
aggression,  and  the  Soviet  Government  had  accepted  the
proposal.  This agreement would be signed today or  tomorrow.
In  its  decision to accede to the proposal of  the  Yugoslav
Government, the Soviet Government had been actuated solely by
the desire to preserve peace. It knew that in this desire  it
was  in harmony with the Reich Government, which was likewise
opposed  to  an  extension of the war. The Soviet  Government
therefore  hoped  that  the German Government,  too,  in  its
present  relations  to  Yugoslavia, would  do  everything  to
maintain  peace. The agreement between the Soviet  Union  and
Yugoslavia  was  analogous to the Turco-Soviet  Agreement  of
1925,  and  relations of the Soviet Union to other  countries
were  not  affected  by  the agreement with  Yugoslavia.  The
Soviet-Yugoslav Agreement was directed against no one and was
not aimed at any other state.
     I  replied  to Molotov that in my estimation the  moment
chosen  by  the Soviet Union for the negotiation  of  such  a
treaty had been very unfortunate, and the very signing  would
create an undesirable impression in the world. The policy  of
the   Yugoslav  Government  was  entirely  unclear,  and  its
attitude,  as  well  as the behavior of the  Yugoslav  public
toward Germany, was challenging.
     Molotov  replied that Yugoslavia had concluded a  treaty
with Germany regarding accession to the Three Power Pact, and
the Yugoslav Envoy here, who was at the same time a member of
the  new Cabinet, had assured the Soviet Government that  the
new  Yugoslav  Government was observing  this  treaty.  Under
these  circumstances, the Soviet Government had thought  that
it could, for its part, conclude an agreement with Yugoslavia
that  was  not  even  as far-reaching as the  German-Yugoslav
     To  my objection that, to my knowledge, we had thus  far
received  no statement from the Yugoslav Government regarding
the  observance of its accession to the Three Power Pact  and
had  been  given every reason to doubt its goodwill,  Molotov
countered  with  the assertion that he was convinced  of  the
peaceful  intentions of the Yugoslav Government.  The  latter
had  restored  peace and order to its country and  strove  to
create good relations with all its neighbors.
     At  my  objection that the behavior of the new  Yugoslav
Government   actually  revealed  no  striving   toward   good
relations  with Germany-and despite all my efforts to  obtain
from  Molotov  the  promise that the Soviet Government  might
reconsider  the  matter-Molotov repeatedly  stated  that  the
Soviet Government had reached its decision

Page 318
after mature deliberation. It was convinced that the step  it
had  taken  was a positive contribution to peace,  which  was
also  desired by Germany. To this Molotov added the  repeated
and  urgent  request that Germany also do all  she  could  to
preserve peace in the Balkans.

Frames 113249-113250, serial 104

                  Foreign Office Memorandum

                    MATERIALS TO GERMANY
     1)  After the conclusion of the German-Soviet Commercial
Agreement  of  January  10, 1941, there  could  at  first  be
observed  on  the  Soviet  side a noticeable  restraint  with
regard   to   the  practical  carrying  out  of  the   Soviet
deliveries,  which was probably attributable in part  to  the
cooling  off  of  political relations  with  the  Reich.  The
conclusion  of  the  individual commercial contracts  also-as
usual-caused great difficulties. In consequence,  imports  of
raw materials from the U.S.S.R. remained relatively slight in
January  and  February  (17 million RM  and  11  million  RM;
including,  to  be  sure, as the largest and  most  important
item, 200,000 tons of Bessarabian grain).
     2)  A change took place in this respect in the month  of
March.   Deliveries  in  March  rose  by  leaps  and  bounds,
especially  in  grains,  petroleum, manganese  ore,  and  the
nonferrous and precious metals. The grain contract, which  we
had struggled so hard to get, was closed in the amount of 1.4
million  tons of grain, at relatively favorable  prices,  for
delivery by September of this year. The Soviets have  already
made  available  110,000 tons of grain on this  contract  and
have  promised firmly to deliver 170,000 to 200,000  tons  of
grain in April.
     3)   The   situation  as  regards  the  German  counter-
deliveries is favorable in this quarter, since, in accordance
with the provisions of the contracts, we only have to deliver
in  this  quarter the balances due on the first year  of  the
contract.  It  will not be possible to adhere  to  the  later
German  delivery periods because of a shortage of  labor  and
priority of the military programs.
     4)   Transit   traffic  through  Siberia  is  proceeding
favorably  as  usual. At our request, the  Soviet  Government
even  put  a special freight train for rubber at our disposal
at the Manchurian border. Negotiations are now in progress in
Moscow regarding the increase in Soviet tariff rates.
Page  319
     To  sum  up,  it may be said that after an  initial  lag
Russian deliveries at the moment are quite considerable,  and
the  Commercial  Agreement of January 10th of  this  year  is
being observed on the Russian side.
BERLIN, April 5, 1941.

Frames 365281-365282, serial 1448

 The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the
                 Soviet Union (Schulenburg)

BERLIN, April 6, 1941-4:30 a.m.
Received Moscow, April 6-9:35 a. m.

No. 703 of April 6
     State Secret. Strictly secret. To be decoded only by the
officer  in charge of state secret documents. To be submitted
at  once  to  the Chief of the Mission personally.  Reply  by
courier or secret code.
     For the Ambassador personally.
     Please call on Herr Molotov early Sunday morning,  April
6th,  and tell him that the Government of the Reich had  felt
itself compelled to proceed to military action in Greece  and
Yugoslavia.  The Government of the Reich had been  forced  to
take  this  step  because of the arrival of British  military
forces on the Greek mainland in ever increasing numbers,  and
because  of the fact that the Yugoslav Government  which  had
come  to power illegally by the coup d'tat of March  27  had
made   common  cause  with  England  and  Greece.  The  Reich
Government had accurate information for several days  to  the
effect  that the Yugoslav General Staff, in conjunction  with
the  Greek General Staff and the High Command of the  British
Expeditionary  Army that had landed in Greece,  had  prepared
for joint operations against Germany and Italy, which were on
the  verge  of  being carried out. Moreover,  the  constantly
increasing  number of reports on excesses against Germans  in
Yugoslavia had made it impossible for the Government  of  the
Reich  to  remain  inactive  further  in  the  face  of  such
developments.  The  new Yugoslav Government  had  taken  this
course contrary to all law and reason, after Germany had  for
years pursued a policy of friendship with this country, which
was  to  have reached its culmination in the recent accession
to  the  Three Power Pact. Moreover, I would ask you in  this
connection to refer to the communications made
Page 320

to  Herr  Molotov on various occasions, which you had already
made  to  the  Soviet  Government,  regarding  the  aims  and
intentions  of the German Government on the Balkan Peninsula:
that is, that German activity in this area is directed solely
to  prevent  England  from gaining another  foothold  on  the
Continent;  that  Germany  has  absolutely  no  political  or
territorial  interests in this area; and that  German  troops
would  be  withdrawn  when their tasks  in  the  Balkans  are
finished.  Please make these statements without  any  special
emphasis, in an objective and dispassionate manner.
     Please do not on this occasion mention the communication
made  to you by Molotov regarding the conclusion of a Soviet-
Yugoslav Friendship Pact. Should Molotov, on his part,  speak
of  it, then please confine yourself to the comment that  you
have  transmitted his communication to Berlin, but  have  not
yet received any reply.
     Send telegraphic report on execution hereof.
Frame 113266, serial 104

 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office


Moscow, April 6, 1941-7 p. m.
Received April 6, 1941-10:25 p. m.

No. 818 of April 6
     Reference your telegram of the 5th [6th], No. 703.
     For Reich Minister personally.
     Since  Molotov always spends Sunday out of town,  I  was
only  able  to  speak with him this afternoon at  4  o'clock.
Molotov came to Moscow expressly for this purpose.
     After   I   had   made  to  Molotov  the  communications
prescribed,  he repeated several times that it was  extremely
deplorable  that  an  extension of the war  had  thus  proved
inevitable after all.
     Molotov did not on this occasion mention the negotiation
of the Soviet-Yugoslav Pact. Therefore I, too, as instructed,
did not revert to this subject.
Page 321
Frames 84963-84964, serial 177

 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office

Moscow, April 9, 1941-9:03 p. m.
Received April 9, 1941-11:05 p. m.

No. 843 of April 9
     Reference my telegram No. 832 of the 7th. [13]
     Japanese  Foreign Minister Matsuoka will have a  further
conversation  with  Molotov this afternoon  in  the  Kremlin.
After the dinner which Molotov arranged for him this evening,
Matsuoka  will leave for Leningrad and spend Thursday  there.
Matsuoka  has delayed his departure till Sunday. I  have  had
several  conversations with Matsuoka, but have not  yet  been
able  to  obtain  any  straightforward  statement  from   him
regarding  his conversations with Molotov and their  concrete
results. In my opinion Matsuoka went very much into detail in
the  conversations with Molotov, and it might well depend now
essentially  on the Soviet Government whether there  will  be
any written agreements. Matsuoka promised to inform me before
his departure for Tokyo.
     Matsuoka  also  related the following:  At  a  breakfast
which  Steinhardt,  the American Ambassador  here,  gave  for
Matsuoka  by  reason of his previous personal relations  with
him,  Steinhardt tried time and again to find  out  from  him
whether a Japanese attack on America had been decided upon in
Berlin.  Matsuoka  added  that he  had  the  impression  that
Steinhardt  had  been directly requested by Roosevelt  to  do
this. Naturally he had replied that this was entirely out  of
the question.

[13] Not printed.

Frame 84967, serial 177

 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office

Moscow, April 10, 1041-12:25 a. m.
Received April 10, 1941-5:20 a. m.

No. 851 of April 9
     This  evening,  shortly before his dinner with  Molotov,
Japanese  Foreign  Minister Matsuoka  sent  Minister  Nischi,
First Counselor of

Page 322
Embassy  at  the  Japanese Embassy  here,  who  was  likewise
invited by Molotov, to give me the following information:
     Today Matsuoka had again conferred for three hours  with
Molotov.   The  result  was:  Matsuoka  waived  the  original
Japanese demand for a non-aggression pact and the purchase by
Japan  of  North Sakhalin; at present it was  a  question  of
concluding  a neutrality pact, to include the following  main
     1. Friendship
     2. Respect for each other's territory
     3. Neutrality in case of war
     The   Soviet  Government  was  still  insisting  on  the
abandonment of Japanese concessions in North Sakhalin as  the
price of a neutrality pact, while the Japanese Government was
proposing that this point be settled later. Should the Soviet
Government  persist in this viewpoint, Matsuoka  would  leave
here without accomplishing anything. If the Soviet Government
gave in, a neutrality pact would probably be concluded.
     Matsuoka is leaving for Leningrad today; upon his return
Friday the decision may be made known.

Frames 131706-131707, serial 165

 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office

[Moscow], April 13, 1941-6 p. m.

No. 883 of April 13
     For the Reich Foreign Minister personally.
     Matsuoka  has  just  visited me in  order  to  make  his
farewell  call.  He  stated  to  me  that  a  Japanese-Soviet
Neutrality Pact had been arranged at the last moment and,  in
all  likelihood, would be signed this afternoon at  2  p.  m.
local  time.  The  Soviet Government had originally  insisted
that Japan should at the same time give up her concession  in
North Sakhalin, and that this be included in an annex to  the
treaty.  Matsuoka  absolutely  rejected  this  demand.   Last
evening  he had a conversation with Stalin, in which  Stalin,
at   the  conclusion,  had  given  up  the  demand  for   the
elimination  of  the  Japanese  concession.  Stalin  declared
characteristic-ally that Herr Matsuoka was "choking him"

Page 323
and  he  made the appropriate gesture. Herr Matsuoka promised
that  he  would  do his best in Tokyo to bring  the  Japanese
Government  and Japanese public opinion around to  giving  up
the  concession.  With regard to the episode,  Herr  Matsuoka
made the following remarks:
     1) In Berlin he had told the Reich Foreign Minister that
in  Moscow  he probably would not be able to avoid discussing
the  question, which had been pending for a long time,  of  a
Japanese-Soviet Non-aggression or Neutrality Pact. He  would,
of  course, show no eagerness in the matter, but he would  be
compelled  to do something in case the Russians were  willing
to  agree to Japanese wishes. The Reich Foreign Minister  had
agreed in this point of view.
     2) The forthcoming conclusion of the Pact, of course, in
no way affects the Three Power Pact. My inquiry as to whether
the  Pact which was being concluded had any provision to this
effect  in it, was answered by Matsuoka in the negative,  and
he  added that the Russians had not brought up this question,
and accordingly he had not gone into it either.
     3)  Matsuoka  emphasized  that  the  conclusion  of  the
Neutrality  Pact was of very great importance for  Japan.  It
would make a powerful impression on Chiang Kai-shek and would
appreciably  ease  Japanese negotiations with  him.  Also  it
would  result in an appreciable strengthening of the position
of  Japan as over against America and England. Matsuoka added
that  the  American and English journalists, who had reported
yesterday  that  his journey to Moscow had  been  a  complete
failure,  would  be compelled today to acknowledge  that  the
Japanese policy had achieved a great success, which could not
fail to have its effect on England and America.

Frames 131704-131705, serial 165

 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office

Moscow, April 13, 1941-9 p. m.

No. 884 of April 13
     For the Reich Foreign Minister personally.
     Reference my telegram of today No. 883.
     1.  According to a statement of Matsuoka to the  Italian
Ambassador  at  this capital, Matsuoka's  assurance  that  he
would do his best
     Page 324
to  bring about the elimination of the Japanese concession in
North  Sakhalin has been confirmed in writing by a letter  of
Matsuoka to Molotov.
     2. To a question from the Italian Ambassador to Matsuoka
as to whether at the conversation between Matsuoka and Stalin
the  relations  of the Soviet Union with the  Axis  had  been
taken up, Matsuoka answered that Stalin had told him that  he
was a convinced adherent of the Axis and an opponent [Gegner]
of England and America.
     3. The departure of Matsuoka was delayed for an hour and
then  took  place  with  extraordinary  ceremony.  Apparently
completely  unexpectedly  for  both  the  Japanese  and   the
Russians,  both  Stalin  and  Molotov  appeared  and  greeted
Matsuoka  and  the Japanese who were present in a  remarkably
friendly  manner  and  wished them a pleasant  journey.  Then
Stalin publicly asked for me, and when he found me he came up
to  me and threw his arm around my shoulders: "We must remain
friends and you must now do everything to that end!" Somewhat
later  Stalin  turned to the German Acting Military  Attach,
Colonel Krebs, first made sure that he was a German, and then
said  to  him: "We will remain friends with you-in any  event
[auf  jeden  Fall]!"  Stalin  doubtless  brought  about  this
greeting  of  Colonel  Krebs  and myself  intentionally,  and
thereby he consciously attracted the general attention of the
numerous persons who were present.

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As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.