Naval War College Review


Sadao Asada


The decade of the 1920’s seemed a tranquil era of arms limitation defined by the three-naval conference s: at Washington in 1921-1922, Geneva in 1927, and London in 1930. Within the Imperial Japanese Navy, however, there was strong and growing opposition among officers, particularly those on the Naval General Staff, to the policy of arms limitation pursued by the leadership of the Navy Ministry. This essay examines, on the basis of hitherto unused Japanese naval records, the hidden moves and countermoves in the years after the Washington Conference that climaxed in the early 1930s in a violent collision within Japanese naval circles over the London Naval T rea ty.1 In short, it examines the Japanese side of the "Prelude to Pearl Harbor."