November 26, 1941: Washington (Namura) to Tokyo:

The United States is using the excuse that she is at present negotiating with the various competent countries. In view of the fact that she will propagandize that we are continuing these negotiations only with the view of preparing for our expected moves, should we, during the course of these conversations, deliberately enter into our scheduled operations, there is a great danger that the responsibility for the rupture of negotiations will be cast upon us. There have been times in the past when she could have considered discontinuing conversations because of our invasion of French Indo-China. Now, should we, without clarifying our intentions, force a rupture in our negotiations and suddenly enter upon independent operations, there is great fear that she may use such a thing as that as counter-propaganda against us. They might consider doing the same thing insofar as our plans for Thai are concerned.

Nevertheless, such a thing as the clarification of our intention is a strict military secret; consequently, I think that it might be the better plan, dependant of course on the opinions of the Government, that the current negotiations be clearly and irrevocably concluded either through an announcement to the American Embassy in Tokyo or by a declaration for internal and external consumptions. I would like, if such a course is followed, to make representations here at the same time. Furthermore, in view of the fact that there are considerations of convenience having to do with my interview with the President, should there be anything that you would want me to say at that time, please wire me back at once. (Costello II)

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