Thus, it was to seek true civilization and true justice for all the peoples of the world, and to view this as the destruction of personal freedom and respect is to be assailed by the hatred and emotion of war, and to make hasty judgments.
I would point out that the cultural advance of these people has been suppressed in the past and continues to be suppressed in the present by policies designed to keep them in ignorance.
However, even during the preparations for action, we laid our plans in such a manner that should there be progress through diplomatic negotiation, we would be well prepared to cancel operations at the latest moment that communication technology would have permitted.
It goes without saying that when survival is threatened, struggles erupt between peoples, and unfortunate wars between nations result.
At the Imperial Conference on December 1, it was decided to make war against England and the United States.
Nevertheless, China was unfortunately unable to understand Japan's real position, and it is greatly to be regretted that the Sino-Japanese War became one of long duration.
When reflecting upon it today, that the Pearl Harbor attack should have succeeded in achieving surprise seems a blessing from Heaven. It was clear that a great American fleet had been concentrated in Pearl Harbor, and we supposed that the state of alert would be very high.
During this period, Japan's peaceful commercial relations were successively obstructed, primarily by the American rupture of commercial relations, and this was a grave threat to the survival of Japan.
Justice has nothing to do with victor nations and vanquished nations, but must be a moral standard that all the world's peoples can agree to. To seek this and to achieve it - that is true civilization.
Even military ministers have no more than a certain amount of control. It is customary that they have the right and the power to participate, from a political and military point of view, in the planning of actual operations.
From the point of the view of the nation's power, it was obvious that while we were fighting the Sino-Japanese war, every effort was to be made to avoid adding to our enemies and opening additional fronts.
I would point out that Japan's proposal at the Versailles Peace Conference on the principle of racial equality was rejected by delegates such as those from Britain and the United States.
On October 18, 1941, I suddenly received a mandate from His Majesty to form a new cabinet. This was completely unexpected, and when I was summoned to the Imperial Palace I thought I would be questioned on the army's point of view.
Throughout that period, Japan had made honest efforts to keep the destruction of war from spreading and, based on the belief that all nations of the world should find their places, had followed a policy designed to restore an expeditious peace between Japan and China.
Despite Japan's desires and efforts, unfortunate differences in the ways that Japan, England, the United States, and China understood circumstances, together with misunderstandings of attitudes, made it impossible for the parties to agree.
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