Page 144

Parent Collaboration Between Japan, Germany and Italy Volume III
Date 23 February 1940
Language English
Collection Tavenner Papers & IMTFE Official Records
Box Box 15
Folder Japan, Germany, Italy Collaboration Vol 3
Repository University of Virginia Law Library
as a talk of the War Vice Minister with the Italian Military- Attache, reveal the following viewpoint of the army which I consider official* "The Prime Minister has obtained a compromise, which the army indicates as the highest possible offer under present conditions, in the conflict of the five minister conference (War Minister and Finance Minister against the Foreign Minister and Navy Minister) • "Concerning the main points of the declaration, the army explained: "1.) Regarding obligatory aid, the army had further proposed to lay down more clearly the 'change in circumstances' w' ich will later make j&qeg q! eat1 y■ effective aid possible, and to declare in short that the neutrality of Japan would not in any way enter into the question. The army attributed the present wording to the Foreign Minister. The War Vice Minister declared that the treaty binds Japan definitely to the Axis Powers. We must, however, understand that Japan is isolated in the Far East and is in a considerably worse position than the Axis bloc in Europe which could cooperate directly. In case of war, however, independent of the outbreak and extent of Japanese acts of war, just the plain fact of the treaty would exert effective pressure on the enemy. "2.) Re the 'Explanation' the army emphasizes that the present proposal is elastic, contains no