Memorandum by Mr. William R. Lang don, of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs26

Lieutenant General Eiki Tojo27 is not quite 57 years old, and has been War Minister since July 1940 (second Konoye Cabinet). Most of his military career has been spent in military educational, staff, and administrative work and he spent a term (1919) in Germany as resident officer. He was gendarmerie commander of the Kwantung Army from 1935 to 1937 and chief of staff of the Kwantung Army in 1937–1938. From 1938 to his appointment as War Minister he was director of the military aviation department of the Army.

In Manchuria General Tojo had the reputation of being a taciturn, clear-thinking, quick-deciding executive, with ideas leaning toward the conservative, sound side. He has the confidence of his fellow generals as a middle-of-the-road man. In Tokyo last spring he was understood by the Embassy to be thoroughly in sympathy with Prince Konoye’s policy of placing relations with the United States on a normal footing, and I understand was in the confidence of the Prince in the matter of the initial measures taken to sound out the United States’ attitude toward normalization of relations with the United States. It is believed that his designation as Premier signifies a continuation of Prince Konoye’s policies including continuation of conversations with the United States.

  1. Noted by the Secretary of State.
  2. Designated successor to Prince Konoye as Prime Minister.