The Hull note or officially Outline of Proposed Basis for Agreement Between the United States and Japan was the final proposal delivered to the Empire of Japan by the United States before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war between the two nations. The note was delivered on November 26, 1941; it is named for Secretary of State Cordell Hull.
The United States objected to the Second Sino-Japanese War and the occupation of part of China by Japanese troops. In protest, the United States sent support to the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek. In July 1941, Japanese military units occupied southern French Indochina, violating a gentlemens' agreement. Japanese bombers quickly moved into bases in Saigon and Cambodia, from where they could attack British Malaya. As a result, immediately after the Japanese military occupation, the US government imposed trade sanctions on Japan, including the freezing of Japanese assets in the United States, and an embargo of oil exports to Japan.
On 5 November 1941, Emperor Hirohito approved, in Imperial Conference, the plan for the attack on Pearl Harbor. At the same time, his government made a last effort to arrive at a diplomatic solution of their differences with the United States. Ambassador Kichisabur? Nomura presented two proposals to the American government.
The first, proposal A, he presented on November 6, 1941. It proposed making a final settlement of the Sino-Japanese War with a partial withdrawal of Japanese troops. United States military intelligence had deciphered some of Japan's diplomatic codes, so they knew that there was a second, follow-up proposal in case proposal A failed. The United States government stalled and then rejected proposal A on November 14, 1941.
On November 20, 1941, Nomura presented proposal B, which proposed that Japan stop further military action in return for one million gallons (3,800 m3) of aviation fuel from the United States. The United States was about to make a counteroffer to this plan which included a monthly supply of fuel for civilian use. However, President Franklin D. Roosevelt received a leak of Japan's war plan and news that Japanese troopships were on their way to Indochina. He decided the Japanese were not being sincere in their negotiations and instructed Secretary Hull to drop the counter-proposal.
On November 25 Henry L. Stimson, United States Secretary of War noted in his diary that he had discussed with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt the severe likelihood that Japan was about to launch a surprise attack, and that the question had been "how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.'"
On the following day, November 26, 1941, Hull presented the Japanese ambassador with the Hull note, which as one of its conditions demanded the complete withdrawal of all Japanese troops from French Indochina and China. It did not refer to Manchukuo, in which hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians were already living. Japanese Prime Minister Tojo Hideki said to his cabinet, "this is an ultimatum."
The strike force which attacked Pearl Harbor had set sail the day before, on the morning of November 26, 1941, Japan time. It could have been recalled along the way, but no further diplomatic progress was made and on 1 December, Emperor Hirohito approved, in Imperial Conference, the war against United States, Britain, and the Netherlands, which began by the attack on Pearl Harbor, Malaya, and the Philippines.
United States Army commander who served primarily in Asia during World War II, Albert C. Wedemeyer said, “Finally, the U.S knows which countries should have been fought as their enemy during the war. After the WW2 finished, the Korea War and Vietnam War happened. As Japan thought the Manchuria in China and area of Korea were very important to defend from communist countries. That’s why Japan had controlled them before they defeated.Japan tried to have conference with the U.S president before Japan attacked the Hawaii. However, the U.S president ignored Japanese requested. If the U.S had understood the Japanese strategy at that time, the two of communists’ countries, Russia and China, would not have been become such countries which a hypothetical enemy U.S thinks. Moreover, many American would not have died by the wars.”
Mirror for Americans: JAPAN by Helen Mears
Wedemeyer Report! ～Albert Wedmeyer