"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Message from the Right Honourable Winston Churchill, Acting Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to His Excellency Mr. Yosuke Matsuoka, His Imperial Japanese Majesty's Minister for Foreign Affairs, of which a copy was handed unofficially to Mr. Matsuoka by His Majesty's Ambassador at Moscow on April 12th, 1941.

[Place] Moscow
[Date] April 12, 1941
[Source] Nihon gaiko nenpyo Narabi Shuyou bunsyo Ge, Gaimusyo, pp. 489-490.
[Notes] Note. --It had originally been intended that this letter should be delivered to Mr. Matsuoka by Mr. Shigemitsu who had expected to meet the Japanese Foreign Minister during his stay in Europe
[Full text]

Your Excellency,

I take advantage of the facilities with which we have provided your Ambassador to send you a friendly message of sincerity and goodwill. I venture to suggest a few questions which, it seems to me, deserve the attention of the Imperial Japanese Government and people:

(1) Will the Germans, without command of the sea or command of the British daylight air, be able to invade and conquer Great Britain in the spring, summer or autumn of 1941? Will the Germans try to do so? Would it not be in the interests of Japan to wait until these questions have answered themselves?

(2) Will the German attack on British shipping be strong enough to prevent American aid from reaching British shores with Great Britain and the United States of America transforming their whole industry to war purposes?

(3) Did Japan's accession to the triple pact make it more likely or less likely that the United States would come into the present war?

(4) If the United States entered the war at the side of Great Britain and Japan ranged herself with the Axis Powers, would not the naval superiority of the two English-speaking nations enable them to deal with Japan while disposing of the Axis Powers in Europe?

(5) Is Italy a strength or a burden to Germany? Is the Italian fleet as good at sea as on paper? Is it as good on paper as it used to be?

(6) Will the British Air Force be stronger than the German Air Force before the end of 1941 and far stronger before the end of 1942?

(7) Will the many countries which are being held down by the German army and Gestapo learn to like the Germans more or will they like them less as the years pass by?

(8) Is it true that the production of steel in the United States of America during 1941 will be 75 million tons and in Great Britain about 12-1/2 million tons, making a total of nearly 90 million tons? If Germany should happen to be defeated as she was last time would not the 7 million tons of steel production of Japan be inadequate for a single-handed war?

From the answers to these questions may spring the avoidance by Japan of a serious catastrophe and a marked improvement in the relations between Japan and Great Britain, the great sea Power of the West.

I remain, with great truth and respect,

Your Excellency's obedient Servant,