> I still agree with you completely in that I don't think Japanese military plans were synchronized to coincide with Dutch approval or rejection of their overture. I'm sure they planned to invade the NEI regardless; if the Dutch accepted, great; otherwise, they were still going to take the oil wells one way or another. >
That Japan intended to have the NEI's oil by one means or another is patently obvious, and to control the oil they had to control Borneo, Sumatra, and Java, among other richly endowed islands. These overtures are today important in their intent to inveigle the Dutch to cooperate and thus spare the Japanese troop casualties and equipment losses, AND to obtain virtually all of the oil in a usable state: NOT thousands upon thousands of barrels burned to destruction. Such attempts to seduce and pressure the Dutch would, as more than one forum contributor has pointed out, at war's end have been highly embarrassing to the government, particularly if it could be shown that Dutch officials listened to such siren songs. As it was, the Japanese importuning appears to have fallen on mostly deaf ears.