This week, we’ll discuss the Second Konoe Cabinet, which was torn by indecision and plagued by bad leadership. The Japanese leadership will alienate the US by signing the Tripartite Pact, and their attempts to bridge the gap with the US will be plagued by bad management and failure. 

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Asada, Sadao. From Mahan to Pearl Harbor: The Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States.

Butow, Robert. The John Doe Associates.

Hotta, Eri. Japan 1941.

Heinrichs, Waldo. Threshold of War

Media

A German newsreel depicting Matsuoka Yosuke’s arrival in Berlin. English subtitles are included.

The fall of France in June, 1940 provided impetus to those in the Japanese government who wanted to align with Germany. Here, Hitler is shown touring Paris after its defeat with the famous German architect Albert Speer.

The fall of France in June, 1940 provided impetus to those in the Japanese government who wanted to align with Germany. Here, Hitler is shown touring Paris after its defeat with the famous German architect Albert Speer.

The signing of the Tripartite Pact in September, 1940. On the far left is the Japanese delegate, Kurusu Saburo, who actually objected to the treaty but was ordered to sign it.

The signing of the Tripartite Pact in September, 1940. On the far left is the Japanese delegate, Kurusu Saburo, who actually objected to the treaty but was ordered to sign it.

The signing of the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Treaty. Matsuoka is shown signing, with Stalin and his foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov (on his right) lookind distracted.

The signing of the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Treaty. Matsuoka is shown signing, with Stalin and his foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov (on his right) lookind distracted.

The Russian text of the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Treaty.

The Russian text of the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Treaty.

Nomura Kichisaburo arriving at the White House to present himself as the new Japanese ambassador in February, 1941.

Nomura Kichisaburo arriving at the White House to present himself as the new Japanese ambassador in February, 1941.

James Drought, the Maryknoll priest and ringleader of the John Doe Associates. Drought would attempt to assist the peacemaking process but end up severely hampering it.

James Drought, the Maryknoll priest and ringleader of the John Doe Associates. Drought would attempt to assist the peacemaking process but end up severely hampering it.