Japan's Declaration of War: December 7, 1941

Japan's Declaration of War: December 7, 1941

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On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, Japanese Ambassador Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura and Special Envoy Saburo Kurusu, as instructed by their government, asked for an interview with U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull at 1300 (1 p.m.) Washington time. That hour had been selected because it was just 20 minutes before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was scheduled to begin (0750 Hawaiian time). Because the Japanese embassy staff in Washington, D.C. was slow in deciphering and translating the message in this publication the meeting was postponed until 1345 (1:45 p.m.). Codebreakers in Washington had decoded the message more rapidly than the Japanese, and Mr. Hull had already been handed a copy of Admiral Kimmel's radio warning, "Air attack Pearl Harbor — this is no drill." Hoping that it might be a mistake Mr. Hull received the Japanese and their fateful message. His comments after reading it are included in this publication.

By the time this declaration of war was delivered in Washington the attack on Pearl Harbor was nearly over and the Pacific War had begun.

Soft cover. 8.5 inches by 11 inches. 11 pages.