The agreement gave the Japanese access to bases in French Indo-China, which comprised Cambodia, Laos, plus Annam, Tonkin and Cochin China. [The latter three territories make up present-day Vietnam]. The region was the third largest in the world for the production of rice.
In late 1940, Vichy had replaced the French Governor General, General Georges Catroux, with Vice-Admiral Jean Decoux in the hope that the latter would take a firm stand against Japanese encroachment.
Decoux could do little. The Japanese had occupied Saigon and had already entered Cambodia.By the end of the year, French Indo-China was controlled by the Japanese, although it continued to be administered by Vichy.
Georges Catroux left French Indo-China and found his way to London, where he joined the Free French forces under Charles de Gaulle. Catroux was the most senior French general to join the Gaullist cause.