The documents published in these volumes were selected by the Historical Division of the Department of State with the intention of presenting a comprehensive record of the diplomatic relations between the United States and Japan in regard to matters related to the causes of conflict between the two countries from the beginning of the Japanese occupation of Manchuria on September 18, 1931, to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941,and the declaration of war by the United States on December 8, 1941.
The documents include: notes, diplomatic correspondences, telegrams, memorandums of conversations, memorandums of meetings and reports.
The correspondents include Secretaries of State of the United States, United States ambassadors in Japan, Prime Ministers of Japan, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Japanese Ambassadors in the United States.
The topics covered in these diplomatic papers include:
Occupation of Manchuria by Japan and statement of policy by the United States
Military action by Japan at Shanghai, 1932
Further Japanese political and economic penetration into China, 1934-1936.
Denunciation by Japan of the Washington naval treaty of 1922
Withdrawal of Japan from the London Naval Conference of 1935
Refusal by Japan to agree to limitation of gun caliber for battleships
Rejection by Japan of American, British, and French proposals for the reciprocal exchange of naval construction information
Refusal by Japan to grant the privilege of naval visits of courtesy to United States ships on a reciprocal basis into certain territorial waters
Japan's undeclared war in China and further Japanese penetration by armed force or threat of force.
Bombings of civilians by the Japanese and other acts endangering the life and welfare of American citizens in China
Sinking of the U.S.S. Panay, December 12, 1937
Acts of Japan in occupied China interfering with American treaty rights and equality of commercial opportunity
Statements by the Secretary of State of the policy of the United States to relinquish by agreement extraterritorial rights in China.
Growing tension between the United States and Japan arising from Japanese military aggression: 1939 to 1941
Relations of Japan with the European Axis Powers
Abrogation by the United States of the treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and Japan signed February 21, 1911
Economic measures by the United States affecting trade with Japan
Extension of Japanese penetration into Southern Asia and South Pacific territories
Informal conversations between the Governments of the United States and Japan
Efforts to reach a peaceful settlement between the United States and Japan preceding
attack by Japan on American territory, December 7, 1941
Wartime cooperation among the United States, the British Empire, China, and the
Netherlands after December 7th decision of the Soviet Union to remain neutral in the Pacific War
Freezing of Japanese assets in the United States
Relations of Japan with the Axis Powers and with the Soviet Union.