Japan: Rising Sun Notes

for The U.S. War Against Asia
by William P. Meyers

Site Search

Also sponsored by Peace Pins

Popular pages:

U.S. War Against Asia
Barack Obama
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Natural Liberation


Page 5 of 20

Notes from The Rising Sun, The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936-1945 by John Toland

Book Club Edition, Random House, New York, copyright 1970

America was already sending supplies into China to support Chiang Kai-shek, [WPM: and so was at war with China by proxy]. [79]

Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka argued that signing the Tripartite Agreement with Germany and Italy (quoting Matsuoka) ““would force the United States to act more prudently in carrying out her plans against Japan” and would prevent war between the two countries.” Despite his personal opposition, the Emperor officially approved the pact, which was signed in Berlin on September 27, 1940. “The United States retaliated immediately by adding scrap metal of every kind to the list of embargoes.” [80-81]

Germany tried to persuade Russian foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov to join the Tripartite alliance [81]

“Matsuoka was positive he had engineered a plan for world peace.” He believed that Americans would respect a person or nation only “if you stand firm and start hitting back.”

Matsuoka did not see Japan as being at war with China; he still considered the situation the “China incident.” He wanted the United States to mediate, and said “Japan should agree to a complete withdrawal of her troops from China.” [but not Manchukuo]. Matsuoka visited Germany and Russia in March 1941. Hitler wanted Japan to take Singapore and assured him that Germany could defeat America in a war if it came to that. Matsuoka was still eager to bring Russia into the alliance, but was warned by Ribbentrop and his own ambassador to Germany that war between Germany and Russia was likely. [82-83]

Although Russia was not added to the Axis, Stalin did sign a neutrality agreement with Matsuoka in April. [83]

Matsuoka’s ambassador in Washington at this time was Kichisaburo Nomura, who “was already endeavoring to patch up the differences between Japan and America with  Secretary of State Cordell Hull. Two Catholics, Bishop James E. Walsh and Father James M. Drought also worked to mend U.S. – Japan relations; their aim was to keep Japan anti-communist. In the U.S. the priests worked through Postmaster General Frank C. Walker, also a Catholic. Hideo Iwakuro and Tadao Ikawa were the main connections on the Japanese side. [84-86]

The Japanese helped 5000 Jews who had escaped from Hitler to settle in Manchukuo. [85]

Cordell Hull’s senior advisor for East Asia was Dr. Stanley Hornbeck, “well known for his sympathy toward China and hostility toward Japan.” But Roosevelt encouraged the informal talks. [86]

The China Lobby was created by T. V. Soong, the Harvard-educated brother-in-law of Chiang Kai-shek. His friends included Henry Morgenthau, Harry Hopkins, Henry Luce and Joseph Alsop, among others [86]

The Draft Understanding between the U.S. and Japan was drafted by Father Drought, Ikawa and Iwakuro starting on April 2, 1941.  Walker passed it to Roosevelt.  The understanding offered to withdraw troops from China provided Chiang’s government agreed to merge with that of Wang Ching-wei [“Sun Yat-sen’s chief disciple”. See substantial footnote beginning page 88] and recognize Manchukuo’s independence. Hull met with Nomura on April 14, 1941 in secret at the Wardman Park Hotel. But Tokyo had not approved the understanding, or even seen it yet. Apparently Nomura thought Hull agreed to make the points of the understanding the basis of negotiations, but Hull claimed later he had raised objections, and did not mean that merely dealing with those particular objections would make the understanding acceptable to the U.S. On April 4, 1942, Hull handed to Nomura a list of principles he said Japan must adopt (quoting): 1. Respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of each and all nations. 2. Support for the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries. 3. Support of the principle of equality, including equality of commercial opportunity. 4. Nondisturbance of the status quo in the Pacific except as the status quo may be altered by peaceful means. [88-90]

Continue page 6

III Blog list of articles