I just finished reading this book on the recommendation of Larry (Opana Pointer). It was written by Togo Shigenori, who was Japan's Foreign Minister at the beginning of the war and again at wars end. It was written while he was in prison and translated. The copyright was 1956. A few things strike me. He never refers to Japan's war with China as a war. He consistently refers to it as the "China Affair". I find this disingenuous at best. Togo seems to regard Japan's incursion as a natural extension of Japanese power. Likewise, there is no mention of the Rape of Nanking. Nowhere is this atrocity mentioned. Much of the blame for the outbreak of the war is placed on the US. He goes into great detail about the negotiations with the US, always highlighting the concessions made by Japan. Of course, the starting point of negotiation was recognition of Japan's conquests in Indochina and the southwest to provide necessary raw materials to Japan. Because this was not acceptable to the US, it was a "failure" of diplomacy. I did find the complex relations among the military, the cabinet and the Emperor enlightening. Much of the discord, especially at the end of the war he lays at the feet of the military. They insisted that any peace settlement be with conditions, even if the Home Islands faced imminent invasion. Both the Emperor and the Cabinet vacillated and often changed their ideas, depending upon whom they were talking to. This vacillation might even occur in the space of time it took between conversations. While this book was difficult to read, not in the least because of the flowery language, it was interesting in exposing the thinking of the leadership of Japan in the run-up to WW2. Obviously, it was somewhat self-serving and showed Togo as an insistent voice for diplomatic solutions. However, much of what he wrote about the 30s squares with what Hotta's research led her to conclude. A hard read, but a good look at Japan's inner workings.