Signature of the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact on April 13, 1941. April 1941

In March 1941, Japanese Foreign Minister Y. Matsuoka came to Moscow to sign a neutrality pact.

During a pause in the talks, Matsuoka visited Rome and Berlin.

From the standpoint of the Soviet leadership, the new pact served to diminish the risk of an attack from the East and so helped the USSR to counter the threat of German aggression.

As to Japan, it wanted to cover its rear during the upcoming war in the Pacific Ocean and Southeast Asia.

In a conversation with V. Molotov on April 7, 1941, Matsuoka voiced the Japanese proposals, including the sale of North Sakhalin to Japan. the Japanese delegation was received by J. Stalin on April 12. the two sides came to terms on key issues, and Stalin managed to convince Matsuoka to sign the pact on Soviet terms.

On April 13, 1941, the Neutrality Pact between Japan and the Soviet Union came into effect for a period of five years. the same day, the sides signed a declaration on the mutual respect of the territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of the Mongolian People’s Republic and Manchukuo.

For the USSR, the signature of the pact was a major diplomatic success that played an important role in the war until the Soviet Union denounced the agreement in April 1945.

12 April 1941
Russian State Archive of Social and Political History
Coll. 558, ser. 11, fold. 404, ff. 102–111.

Original. Corrections and decision – autograph of J. Stalin

13 April 1941
Russian State Archive of Social and Political History
Coll. 82, ser. 2, fold. 1625, f. 1.

Photograph

13 April 1941
Russian State Archive of Social and Political History
Coll. 82, ser. 2, fold. 1625, f. 3.
Photograph