November 20, 1941: Berlin to Tokyo:

I received a visit from the Thai Minister on the 20th. He opened his remarks by saying that he was also a soldier and would like to have a frank talk with me as between men who had know each other for many years. He then referred to a recent crop of rumors to the effect that JAPAN was to invade THAILAND, and to reports of large Japanese troop concentrations on the Thai frontier of French Indo-China, and asked point blank whether there was any truth in them or not. I replied that I had no news from my home Government on these matters but that my own belief was that Japanís actions toward all Far Eastern races were aimed at applying the principle of live-and-let-live, the fact being that in cases such as that of the recent arbitration between THAILAND and French INDO-CHINA JAPAN had done her utmost for Thailand for this very reason and would never invade THAILAND for the purpose of aggression.

But the facts were that GREAT BRITAIN and AMERICA had set up the so-called ABCD front in opposition to JAPANís establishment of a New Order, finally threatening the existence even of JAPAN herself. JAPAN of course would be compelled to continue her course brushing this aside, and that she wished to attain this and by peaceful means was obvious from the mere fact of her having sent Mr. KURUSU to AMERICA. However if the worst came to the worst and it was unavoidable, JAPAN would have to take the necessary steps for her own existenceónot that there would be any question of this happening if THAILAND soon understood JAPANís ultimate purpose and displayed an attitude of cooperation with JAPAN; she would have to invade THAILAND only if that country should blindly follow the lead of GREAT BRITAIN and AMERICA and take up an attitude of opposition.

The Minister interposed by describing the position in which THAILAND was placed and by stating emphatically that THAILAND would never oppose JAPAN as an Anglo-American catís-paw. When suggesting his visit the Minister said that he wished to see me urgently, and OMMINISIís view that he probably came on instructions from his home Government. The Germans are also extremely interested in Thai problems and I should be glad if you would inform me at once as to the latest situation. (Costello II)

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