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Liveblogging World War II: March 27, 1941

The Foreign Ministers of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan confer:

RIBBENTROP: "When I invited you after the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact, I expressed my wish that this visit should take place soon. The enthusiastic reception which the population of Berlin accorded you is an expression of the good will which the German people feel for the Japanese. The political course which you have taken in Japan is the same that Germany has taken. We remember that when Japan left the League of Nations in 1933 you said at Geneva that the League would suffer more through this step than Japan. Your prediction proved right. Even at that time there was spiritual harmony between our two nations as to the policy to be pursued against the arrogance of the old world. The crowning of this harmony was the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact. The world knows that you, Your Excellency, were champion of this Pact, and that it was mainly due to your initiative and energy that it materialized. May this visit contribute to make the ties between the three nations indissoluble. Your visit takes place at an important moment. It is the period of the final fight against England, which will be waged by the entire German and Italian nations with an unequaled fanaticism. Each bomb which falls on England brings the island empire nearer to its final doom, and with each ton of shipping sunk, there sinks a piece of Great Britain. And our armies stand in readiness. In point of fact-this is our conviction-England's fate is already sealed. We know that the war is won for Germany and her allies and we believe that the whole world will know it at the end of 1941. England which set out to mobilize the nations against us, is in truth isolated today.

We all know that the three great powers which are united in the Tripartite Pact and the States which have joined them are united in a community of destiny. The destiny of Germany and Italy is also the destiny of Japan and vice versa. This community of destiny is determined to turn against anyone who should endeavor to cause an extension or prolongation of the war and thus to counter our true aim, which is speedy restoration of the peace of the world. Our nations are now waging a battle for their vital rights which will perhaps determine the destiny of our nations for centuries. This fight is an ethical one in the highest sense of the word. Today already hundreds of millions are longing for this world of true social justice and are increasingly imbued with this new ideal of freedom. The Tripartite Pact is the political foundation on which these nations will achieve victory and freedom.

MATSUOKA: I should like to thank you most cordially, Herr Reichminister, for the extremely kind words which you have just addressed to me. Let me reply in a few words. We concluded the Three Power Pact on the 27th September of last year. The significance of this Pact is that it was a Pact of peace and its aim is to refute categorically the intervention of any power into the sphere of interests of Germany and Italy in Europe and Japan in Eastern Asia. Immediately after the conclusion of the Pact you had the kindness to invite me to visit Germany. I promised to come as soon as my official duties permitted it. For a long time I had to deny myself this visit to Italy and Germany, but when I had happily concluded the conflict between Thailand and Indochina I left Tokio on the following day. I felt myself that the lack of personal contact was a loss. This feeling was also held in Germany. Now that I am here I wish to, nay I must, make the acquaintance of Hitler, the man of genius, the leader of the Greater German Reich, and his collaborators, among them, especially the Foreign Minister. But it is chiefly up to them whether they want me to make their acquaintance. I should think they do. Otherwise I would not have undertaken the effort of such a long journey.