March 5, 1941
: Basic Order Number 24: The Fuehrer had issued the following order regarding collaboration with Japan:
1. It must be the aim of the collaboration based on the Three-Power Pact, to induce Japan, as soon as possible, to take active measures in the Fast East. Strong British forces will thereby be tied down, and the center of gravity of the interests of the United States of America will be diverted to the Pacific. The sooner she intervenes, the greater will be the prospects of success for Japan in view of the still undeveloped preparedness for war, on the part of her adversaries. The "Barbarossa" operation will create particularly favorable political and military prerequisites for this. (Marginal note:) Slightly exaggerated.
2. To prepare the way for the collaboration it is essential to strengthen the Japanese military potential with all means available. For this purpose, the High Commands of the branches of the Armed Forces will comply in a comprehensive and generous manner with Japanese desires for information regarding German war and combat experience, and for assistance in military economics and in technical matters. Reciprocity is desirable, but this factor should not stand in the way of negotiations. Priority should naturally be given to those Japanese requests which would have the most immediate application in waging war. In special cases the Fuehrer reserves the decisions to himself.
3. The harmonizing of the operational plans of the two parties is the responsibility of the Navy High Command. This will be subject to the following guiding principles:
(a) The common aim of the conduct of war is to be stressed as forcing England to the ground quickly, thereby keeping the United States out of the war. Beyond this, Germany has no political, military, or economic interests in the Far East which would give occasion for any reservations with regard to Japanese intentions.
(b) The great successes achieved by Germany in mercantile warfare make it appear particularly suitable to employ strong Japanese forces for the same purpose. In this connection every opportunity to support German mercantile warfare must be exploited.
(c) The raw material situation of the Pact Powers demands that Japan should acquire possession of those territories which it needs for the continuation of the war, especially if the United States intervenes. Rubber shipments must be carried out even after the entry of Japan into the war, since they are of vital importance to Germany.
(d) The seizure of Singapore as the key British position in the Far East would mean a decisive success for the entire conduct of war of the Three Powers.
In addition, attacks on other systems of bases of British naval power—extending to those of American naval power only if the entry of the United States into the war cannot be prevented—will result in weakening the enemy's system of power in that region and also, just like the attack on sea communications, in tying down substantial forces of all kinds (Australia). A date for the beginning of operational discussions cannot yet be fixed.
4. In the Military Commissions to be formed in accordance with the Three-Power Pact, only such questions are to be dealt with as equally concern the three participating powers. These will include primarily the problems of economic warfare. The working out of the details is the responsibility of the Main Commission, with the co-operation of the Armed Forces High Command.
5. The Japanese must not be given any intimation of the "Barbarossa" operations. (IMT)