Doc. No. 6907 Japan, with the assistance of Germany, resorted to the crafty device of using her position of so-called mediator in the French Indo-China-Thailand border dispute to improve her situation with those two countries and obtain bases therein to serve as a springboard for an attack on Singapore. Foreign Minister MATSUOKA determined upon an official visit to Berlin and, after expressing intention to obtain wide authority from his Cabinet and particularly from War Minister TOJO, he advised the German Ambassador of the principal questions he desired to discuss, including a Japanese attack on Singapore. Ambassador OSHIMA was also advised by MATSUOKA of the important questions to be dis¬cussed . On 22 February 194-1, in a conference with the Secretary of State of the Belch Foreign Ministry, Ambassador OSHIMA expressed the view that Singapore must be seized in grand style from the sea and from the land, but that it was first necessary to take Hong Kong. On the following day an extended conference was held between Ambassador OSHIMA and Foreign Minister RIBBENTROP, in which VON RIBBENTROP voiced the opinion that the decisive blow against England should be a Japanese attack on Singapore, which would eliminate England's key position in East Asia and which would secure a position in that area which Japan could win only by war. The suggestion