10 Dec. 45

this year would have its hands so full in the English home waters and in the Mediterranean that it would not be able to send even a single ship to the Far East. Grossadmiral Raeder had described the United States submarines as so poor that Japan need not bother about them at all.

"Matsuoka replied immediately that the Japanese Navy had a very low estimate of the threat from the British Navy. It also held the view that, in case of a clash with the American Navy, it would be able to smash the latter without trouble. However, it was afraid that the Americans would not take up the battle with their fleet; thus the conflict with the United States might perhaps be dragged out to 5 years. This possibility caused considerable worry in Japan.

"The RAM replied that America could not do anything against Japan in the case of the capture of Singapore. Perhaps for this reason alone, Roosevelt would think twice before deciding on active measures against Japan. For while on the one hand he could not achieve anything against Japan, on the other hand there was the probability of losing the Philippines to Japan; for the American President, of course, this would mean a considerable loss of prestige, and because of the inadequate rearmament, he would have nothing to off set such a loss.

"In this connection Matsuoka pointed out that he was doing everything to reassure the English about Singapore. He acted as if Japan had no intention at all regarding this key position of England in the East. Therefore it might be possible that his attitude toward the British would appear to be friendly in words and in acts. However, Germany should not be deceived by that. He assumed this attitude not only in order to reassure the British, but also in order to fool the pro-British and pro-American elements in Japan just so long, until one day he would suddenly open the attack on Singapore.

"In this connection Matsuoka stated that his tactics were based on the certain assumption that the sudden attack against Singapore would unite the entire Japanese nation with one blow. Nothing succeeds like success,' the RAM remarked.) He followed here the example expressed in the words of a famous Japanese statesman addressed to the Japanese Navy at the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese war: 'You open fire, then the nation will be united.' The Japanese need to be shaken up to awaken. After all, as an Oriental, he believed in the fate which would come, whether you wanted it or not."