756D.94/43: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State

659. The following is a paraphrase of a report received from a confidential source.9

(Begin paraphrase) The Japanese forces will take over the Netherlands Indies shortly after, but not earlier than September 1, 1940. It is expected that the British will have abandoned Hong Kong by that time but if not they will be forcibly evicted. Certain fundamental steps designed to implement the policy of Asia for the Asiatics will have been carried out by the end of this year. What happens to the Philippines will depend somewhat on the fortunes of war but in any event the Japanese will at an early date establish a protectorate over them in the interest of furthering the new order in East Asia.

The strategy involving the attacks on Hong Kong and the Netherlands Indies has been worked out in detail; the forces have been assigned and instructed, [supply of?] arms and ammunition is in hand, the men and vessels have been selected.

The fate of the Netherlands Indies is sealed whether or not Germany is successful in the battle of Britain, and in either case Great Britain will be unable to act effectively in the East. The United States is notoriously unprepared for war and mere verbal protests will avail nothing.

The actions of the military have been predetermined and the formation of the second Konoye Cabinet can have little effect on them; the Government’s foreign policy necessarily follows the military dictates.

Unanimity is lacking in the United States due to the fact that it is election year and American’s “clenched fist with no arm to back it up” is a source of ridicule to the Japanese Army and Navy. The Japanese will pursue their divinely appointed course and the United States cannot deter them. (End paraphrase)

  1. See supra.