26 Nov. 45

hope that, as long as the British World Empire existed, one day they could advance against Japan together with Great Britain, whereas, in case of the collapse of the World Empire, they would be totally isolated and could not do anything against Japan.

"The Reich Foreign Minister interjected that the Americans precisely under all circumstances wanted to maintain the powerful position of England in East Asia, but that on the other hand it is proved by this attitude, to what extent she fears a joint action of Japan and Germany.

"Matsuoka continued that it seemed to him of importance to give to the Führer an absolutely clear picture of the real attitude inside Japan. For this reason he also had to inform him regretfully of the fact that he, Matsuoka, in his capacity as Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, could not utter in Japan a single word of all that he had expounded before the Führer and the Reich Foreign Minister regarding his plans. This would cause him serious damage in political and financial circles. Once before, he had committed the mistake, before he became Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, to tell a close friend something about his intentions. It seems that the latter had spread these things, and thus brought about all sorts of rumors, which he, as Foreign Minister, had to oppose energetically, though as a rule he always tells the truth. Under these circumstances he also could not indicate how soon he could report on the questions discussed to the Japanese Premier or to the Emperor. He would have to study exactly and carefully, in the first place, the development in Japan, so as to make his decision at a favorable moment, to make a clear breast of his proper plans towards the Prince Konoye and the Emperor. Then the decision would have to be made within a few days, because the plans would otherwise be spoiled by talk.

"Should he, Matsuoka, fail to carry out his intentions, that would be proof that he is lacking in influence, in power of conviction, and in tactical capabilities. However, should he succeed, it would prove that he had great influence in Japan. He himself felt confident that he would succeed.

"On his return, being questioned, he would indeed admit to the Emperor, the Premier and the Ministers for the Navy and the Army, that Singapore had been discussed; he would, however, state that it was only on a hypothetical basis.

"Besides this, Matsuoka made the express request not to cable in the matter of Singapore, because he had reason to