10 Dec. 45

suggestion of the German Government to attack Russia was the subject of a common conference between the Japanese Government and the Imperial headquarters during which the question was discussed in detail and investigated exactly. The result is the following: The Japanese Government absolutely recognize the danger which threatens from Russia and completely understand the desire of their German ally that Japan on her part will also enter the war against Russia. However, it is not possible for the Japanese Government, considering the present war situation, to enter into the war. They are rather of the conviction that it would be in the common interest not to start the war against Russia now. On the other hand, the Japanese Government would never disregard the Russian question.

"The Japanese Government have the intention to become aggressive again in the future on other fronts.

"The RAM brought up the question, after the explanation by the Ambassador, how the continued waging of the war is envisaged in Tokyo. At present Germany wages the war against the common enemies, England and America, mostly alone, while Japan mostly behaves more defensively. However, it would be more correct that all powers allied in the Three Power Pact would combine their forces not only to defeat England and America, but also Russia. It is not good when one part must fight alone. One cannot overstrain the German national strength. He was inwardly concerned about certain forces at work in Tokyo, who were of the opinion, and propagated the same, that doubtless, Germany could emerge from the battle victoriously and that Japan should proceed to consolidate her forces before she should further exert herself to the fullest extent."
I now skip several pages in the German text and resume the quotation:

"Then the RAM again brought up the question of the attack on Russia by Japan and he declared that, after all, the fight on the Burma front as well as in the south is actually more of a maritime problem; and on all fronts except those in China at best very few ground forces are stationed. Therefore the attack on Russia is primarily an Army affair, and he asked himself if the necessary forces for that would be available."
Ribbentrop kept on trying. He held another conference with Oshima about 3 weeks later on 18 April 1943. The top-secret notes of this conference are contained in our Document 2929-PS, which I now offer as Exhibit USA-159. I shall quote only one sentence: