10 Dec. 45

now a question of fateful importance had arisen concerning the joint conduct of the war. If Japan felt herself sufficiently strong militarily, the moment for Japan to attack Russia was probably now. He thought it possible that if Japan attacked Russia at this time, it would lead to her (Russia) final moral collapse; at least it would hasten the collapse of her present system. In any case, never again would Japan have such an opportunity as existed at present to eliminate once and for all the Russian colossus in eastern Asia.

"He had discussed this question with the Führer and the Führer was of the same opinion; but he wanted to emphasize one point right away: Japan should attack Russia only if she felt sufficiently strong for such an undertaking. Under no circumstances should Japanese operations against Russia be allowed to bog down at the half-way mark, and we do not want to urge Japan into an action that is not mutually profitable."
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now, for 10 minutes.

[A recess was taken.]

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, I now offer in evidence our Document Number 2954-PS as Exhibit USA-158. This is a record of a conference between Ribbentrop and Ambassador Oshima on 6 March 1943.

I note again for background that the strategic military situation in the broad expanses of the U.S.S.R. had changed somewhat.

In the previous month, February 1943, the Soviet armies had completely defeated the German forces at Stalingrad and inflicted very severe losses. Further north and west their winter offensive had removed large areas from the hands of the invader. Combined United States and British forces had already landed in North Africa.

You will remark as I read that the tone of Ribbentrop's argument at this time reflects the changed military situation. The familiar Japanese refrain of "So sorry, please," likewise appears to have crept in.

I note in this record that the month of February 1943 had also seen the end of the organized Japanese resistance on the Island of Guadalcanal.

I now quote the relevant extracts from the minutes of the discussion between Ribbentrop and Oshima on 6 March 1943, which appear in the English translation in the document book:

"Ambassador Oshima declared that he received a telegram from Tokyo, and he is to report by order of his Government to the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs the following: The