- Hull note
The Hull note, delivered on
November 26, 1941, was the final proposal delivered to Japanby the United Statesbefore the start of war between the two nations. It is formally called "Outline of proposed Basis for Agreement Between The United States and Japan".
The United States objected to the Second Sino-Japanese War and the occupation of part of China by Japanese troops. In protest, the United States sent support to the Chinese Nationalist Government of
Chiang Kai-shek, froze Japanese assets in the United States, and imposed an oil embargo on Japan.
On 5 November
1941, Emperor Hirohito approved, in Imperial Conference, the plan for the attack on Pearl Harbor. [Peter Wetzler, "Hirohito and War", 1998, p.39] At the same time, his government made a last effort to arrive at a diplomatic solution of their differences with the United States. Ambassador Nomura Kichisaburo presented two proposals to the American government.
The first, proposal A, he presented on
November 6, 1941. It proposed making a final settlement of the Sino-Japanese war with a partial withdrawal of Japanese troops. United States spies had deciphered some of Japan's diplomatic codes, so they knew that there was a second, follow-up proposal in case proposal A failed. The United States government stalled and then rejected proposal A on November 14, 1941.
November 20, 1941, Nomura presented proposal B, which proposed that Japan stop further military action in return for 1 million gallons (3,800 m³) of aviation fuel from the United States. The United States was about to make a counter offer to this plan which included a monthly supply of fuel for civilian use. However, President Roosevelt received a leak of Japan's war plan and news that Japanese troop ships were on their way to Indochina. He decided the Japanese were not being sincereFact|date=October 2007 in their negotiations and instructed Secretary of State Cordell Hullto drop the counter-proposal.
November 26, 1941Secretary Hull presented the Japanese ambassador with the 'Hull note', which as one of its conditions demanded the complete withdrawal of all Japanese troops from French Indochinaand China. It did not refer to Manchukuo, in which hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians were already living. Japanese prime minister Hideki Tojo said to his cabinet, "this is an ultimatum."
The strike force which attacked Pearl Harbor had set sail the day before, on the morning of
November 26, 1941, Japan time. It could have been recalled along the way, but no further diplomatic progress was made and on 1 December, Emperor Hirohito approved, in Imperial Conference, the war against United States, Great Britain and The Netherlands, which began by the attack on Pearl Harbor, Malaya and Philippines. [Wetzler, "ibid", p.39.]
The draft of the Hull Note was not written by Cordell Hull himself, but was written by a high official
Harry Dexter White. It turned out after the war that White had been a communist spy working for the Soviet Union.
* Costello, John, "The Pacific War 1941-1945" (New York: William Morrow, 1982) ISBN 0-688-01620-0
Hamilton Fish, "Tragic Deception: FDR and America's Involvement in World War II" (Devin-Adair Pub, 1983) ISBN 0-8159-6917-1
Robert A. Theobald, "Final Secret of Pearl Harbor" (Devin-Adair Pub, 1954) ISBN 0-8159-5503-0 ISBN 0-317-65928-6 Foreword by Fleet Admiral William Frederick Halsey, Jr.
* Albert C. Wedemeyer, "Wedemeyer Reports!" (Henry Holt Co, 1958) ISBN 0-89275-011-1 ISBN 0-8159-7216-4
Peter Wetzler, "Hirohito and War", University of Hawaii press, 1998 ISBN 082481925X
* [http://www007.upp.so-net.ne.jp/togo/dic/data/hullnote.html Full text of the Hull note]
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