Memorandum by the Adviser on Political Relations (Hornbeck) to the Secretary of State

There are certain points that we should keep vividly in mind, among them these:

Japan is in a weakened and a perilous position;

Japanese leaders are contending among themselves and are uncertain and fearful;

Japan is in no position to attack, with expectation of success, either the Russians, the British and Dutch or the United States;

It is the Japanese who are eager for and who are asking for this conference;

This approach, by one element in Japan’s leadership, is a confession of internal weakness and external weakness;

The real “crisis” is in Japan.

Political confusion within Japan has its potential advantages as well as its potential dangers.

Although we should take no unfair advantage, we have everything to gain and little or nothing to lose by standing firm on our principles and our policies.