December 3, 1941: Rome to Tokyo:

Accompanied by ANDO I saw the Duce, MUSSOLINI (CIANO also was present) at 11 AM on the 3rd. I first gave him an outline of Japanese-American negotiationsˇ­ MUSSOLINI said he had been following the negotiations from their inception until today with the greatest attention, and my communication had caused him no surprise. There was no doubt that the present situation was the natural result of the obstinacy of the American Government and of President ROOSEVELT's policy of intervention.

The plutocrats of AMERICA aimed at the economic exploitation of Eastern ASIA for their own benefit, and wanted to detach JAPAN from the Axis and intervene in the European war. He had always known from the beginning that JAPAN, who was faithful and loyal, would not respond to such an attitude on AMERICA's part, negotiations or no negotiations. As I and my predecessor knew, he was a whole-hearted supporter of JAPAN's fundamental policy for the establishment of a New Order in East ASIA, and as it was in the past, so it was in the present and would be in the future. He firmly believed that JAPAN, as a natural right, would be the leader of Greater East Asia. ....

MUSSOLINI said if that war broke out ITALY would give military support to the best of her power; that is to say she would do her best to keep the British Navy in the MEDITERRANEAN. Moreover GERMANY and ITALY together had recently established an air blockade and were trying to put further pressure an BRITAIN in the MEDITERRANEANˇ­ ˇ­At this meeting MUSSOLINI asked me questions about the Russian question, and I therefore did not refer to it. (Costello II)

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