Prime Minister Konoe argued for more negotiations and possible concessions to avert war. However, military leaders such as Sugiyama, Minister of War General Hideki Tōjō , and chief of the IJN General Staff Fleet Admiral Osami Nagano asserted time had run out and that additional negotiations would be pointless. They urged swift military actions against all American and European colonies in Southeast Asia and Hawaii. Tōjō argued that yielding to the American demand to withdraw troops would wipe out all the gains of the Second Sino-Japanese War, depress Army morale , endanger Manchukuo and jeopardize control of Korea; hence, doing nothing was the same as defeat and a loss of face .
Striking the Pacific Fleet at anchor in Pearl Harbor carried two distinct disadvantages: the targeted ships would be in very shallow water, so it would be relatively easy to salvage and possibly repair them; and most of the crews would survive the attack, since many would be on shore leave or would be rescued from the harbor. A further important disadvantage—this of timing, and known to the Japanese—was the absence from Pearl Harbor of all three of the . Pacific Fleet's aircraft carriers ( Enterprise , Lexington , and Saratoga ). IJN top command was so imbued with Admiral Mahan 's " Decisive battle " doctrine—especially that of destroying the maximum number of battleships—that, despite these concerns, Yamamoto decided to press ahead.  [ page needed ]