What we knew and when,
and how we reported the facts
|"I must warn you to keep this report private
and not let it get into the hands of the press, or give it any
publicity whatever. I cannot stress this too strongly, as any publicity
might easily have serious repercussions on those left behind. There may
appear to you nothing in this report which reflects any very great
discredit on the Japanese Army, but I assure you that their reactions
to such matters are absolutely unpredictable." --A. A. Brown, Hon.
British Vice-Consul at Davao, Sept. 10, 1942 (original page)
"...any publication of Japanese atrocities at this time might complicate the present and future missions of the GRIPSHOLM and increase the mistreatment of prisoners now in Japanese hands." --Roosevelt, Sept. 9, 1943
"The possibility of violent adverse reaction by the Japanese to such publication cannot be overlooked." --Marshall, Oct. 13, 1943
"(Grashio) could not even tell his own friends or members of his own family any of these details. That is forbidden of all escaped prisoners and everyone should remember that for the sake of our men who are still subject to Japanese atrocities." --Grashio interview, Jan. 29, 1944
"Washington forbade the release of any of the details of the prisoner-of-war atrocities. Perhaps the Administration, which was committed to a Europe first effort, feared American public opinion would demand a greater reaction against Japan." --Douglas MacArthur, Reminiscences
|Below is a collection of various
documents and links
regarding the great number of atrocities committed against Allied POWs
by the Imperial
Japanese forces and how our Government dealt with the publication of
such information. I have
attempted to gather as much data as possible on the subject, including
Red Cross and repatriation efforts -- I will be organizing and
correcting spelling and formatting errors as time
From the early 1940's, a good number of books came out containing information regarding harsh treatment under the Japanese forces, most written by civilian internees who had been repatriated on the exchange ships:
Hill, Max, Exchange Ship (New York, 1942)
Marsman, Jan Henrik, I Escaped from Hong Kong (New York, 1942)
Brown, H. J., In Japanese Hands (North Newton, KS, 1943)
Brown, Wenzell, Hong Kong Aftermath (New York, 1943)
Dew, Gwen, Prisoner of the Japs (New York, 1943)
Hammond, Helen E., and Robert Bruce, Bondservants (Pasadena, CA, 1943)
Heaslett, Samuel, From a Japanese Prison Camp (London, 1943)
Long, Frances, Half A World Away (New York, 1943)
Marquardt, Frederic S., Before Bataan - And After (Indianapolis, 1943)
McLaren, Chas. L., Eleven Weeks in a Japanese Police Cell (Melbourne, 1943)
Morrison, Ian, Malayan Postscript (Sydney, 1943)
Osborn, L. C., From the Mouth of the Lion (Cleveland, 1943)
Proulx, Benjamin A., Underground from Hong Kong (New York, 1943)
Tolischus, Otto D., Tokyo Record (New York, 1943)
Van der Grift, Cornelis and E. H. Lansing, Escape from Java (New York, 1943)
Brines, Russell, ...Until They Eat Stones (New York, 1944)
Droste, Ch. B., Till Better Days (Melbourne, 1944)
McCoy, Melvyn H. and S.M. Mellnik, Ten Escape from Tojo (New York, 1944)
Priestwood, Gwen, Through Japanese Barbed Wire (London, 1944)
Turner, W. H., I Was a Prisoner of the Japanese (Franklin Springs, GA, 1944)
Perhaps the earliest our military leaders learned about the numerous Japanese atrocities was through the secret Allied Translator and Interpreter Service (ATIS) information bulletins which contained excerpts of interviews with Japanese POW's revealing accounts of atrocities committed against Allied soldiers and civilians. One can only imagine the horror and intense anger the general public would have had were these reports widely disseminated in 1942.
Initial Reports of Atrocities
Events Leading Up to WWII 1931-1944.doc
April 21, 1943. Announcement of the execution by the Japanese of American prisoners of war. [Statement of President Roosevelt.]
"This Government has vigorously condemned this act of barbarity in a formal communication sent to the Japanese Government. In that communication this Government has informed the Japanese Government that the American Government will hold personally and officially responsible for these diabolical crimes all of those officers of the Japanese Government who have participated therein and will in due course bring those officers to justice." (Bulletin, Vol. VIII, No. 200, p. 337.)
January 31,1944. Combined United States forces invaded Kwajalein.
The United States Department of State issued a statement in which it revealed a series of protests and requests concerning the treatment of prisoners made by the United States to Japan from December 7, 1941, to date.
MAGIC Vol. IV
510. Japanese Apprehend Blue Shirt Terrorists
On November 21  Shanghai officials declared that the Blue Shirts' activities in Shanghai and Nanking had been completely stopped, but that Generalissimo Chiang Kai‑shek was still attempting to promote underground movements in those areas. Apparently political prisoners captured in northern China were to be sent to Nagasaki; for the following day Tokyo requested information concerning the method, channels, means of transportation and time required for shipping the prisoners.
Initial Military Reports and News Articles
by Charles "Chick" Parsons, Jr.; written aboard the MS Gripsholm; one of the very first to
mention Bataan march. (PDF)
THE WHITE HOUSE
September 9, 1943
S E C R E T
The Secretary of War.
The Secretary of the Navy.
Subject: Japanese Atrocities – Reports of by Escaped Prisoners.
1. I agree with your opinion that any publication of Japanese atrocities at this time might complicate the present and future missions of the GRIPSHOLM and increase the mistreatment of prisoners now in Japanese hands. I request, therefore, that you take effective measures to prevent the publication or circulation of any stories emanating from escaped prisoners until I have authorized a release.
2. It might be well for the Joint Chiefs of Staff to make recommendation as to the moment when I should inform the country of the mistreatment of our nationals.
s/FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
Copy to: Admiral Leahy
|TO: CINC SWPA
NR: 8843 7TH OCT 43
The President has directed that measures should be taken to prevent the publication and circulation of atrocity stories (for MacArthur, Harmon, Richardson, Emmons, Buckner and Stilwell) emanating from escaped prisoners until he has authorized the release. One reason for this decision was not to jeopardize the present and future mission of the exchange ship Gripsholm particularly the delivery of food and medical supplies carried on that exchange ship. It is desired that effective measures be taken to prevent the circulation or publication of such stories emanating from any source. COMINCH has requested that this information be passed to naval commanders in your areas.
Source: MACARTHUR ARCHIVES
|TO: CINC SWPA (MACARTHUR)
NR: 9129 THIRTEENTH OCT 43
The President has directed that publication of stories of Japanese atrocities will be withheld until he has authorized their release and has asked that the Joint Chiefs of Staff advise him as to the moment when he should advise the country of the mistreatment of our nationals.
In considering the President’s request, (Reference our 8843 of 6 October and your C-6490 of 8 October) the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend to him that, for the time being, the release of this information be withheld and advised him that they would make recommendations later regarding the publication of such information when it is felt that the opportune time has arrived.
There is deep concern here regarding the atrocities committed by the Japanese against our nationals and also Japans failure to supply necessary food, shelter, clothing and medical supplies. Studies are now being conducted to determine the most appropriate course to secure better treatment for American prisoners held by the Japanese. There is grave doubt as to whether this can be accomplished through the pressure of world public opinion brought about by the publication of the atrocity stories. The possibility of violent adverse reaction by the Japanese to such publication cannot be overlooked.
Your common interest with the Australian Government in this matter is recognized. The British and the Chinese likewise have an interest and it is my intention to propose that the Combined Chiefs of Staff reach an agreement as to the course to be followed. This proposal will include a recommendation that the British Chiefs of Staff ascertain the views of the British Commonwealth Governments and also seek their cooperation in the controlling release of atrocity stories until a uniform policy has been worked out. Meanwhile, it is desired that you also use your best efforts to secure the cooperation of the Australian Government in preventing the circulation of publication of Japanese atrocity stories until there has been combined consideration of the problem and a decision as to a uniform policy to be followed.
Source: MACARTHUR ARCHIVES, Record Group 4: Box 16: Folder 4, "War Dept. Sept-Dec. 1943"
ALLIED INTELLIGENCE BUREAU.
PHILIPPINE REGIONAL SECTION
Report No. 1309
Date: 6 Dec 43
Message Reference Sheet
TO: Chief of Staff
Message No. 45 from ABCEDE
Precis: In re enemy terror campaign in NEGROS.
Comment: ABCEDE’s position is understandable but it all goes to the question of the United States’ policy. If we will not serve sharp warning of future accountability for the mistreating of American prisoners of war, it is hardly possible that the administration would champion the cause of the Filipino civilian.
Of course the whole matter is a delicate one. With so many prisoners in the enemy’s hands it is difficult for us to threaten “reprisals by United Nations.” About all that we could do would be to reaffirm our determination to hold the leaders responsible for atrocities to post war trial and punishment as has already been done in a general way.
It occurs to me that the C-in-C might afford the people some little protection against the wanton killing of civilian non-combatants by addressing letters to the several commanders directing that the names of all enemy leaders responsible for atrocities against the civil populace be submitted to him with the accompanying supporting evidence for the post war punishment of the offenders. Such a letter in the hands of commanders, if made public, would demonstrate to the people the C-in-C’s concern for their protection and would serve as a warning to the enemy which he might or might not heed.
If this procedure should be viewed favorably, I will submit a tentative draft of such a letter for your further consideration.
Action taken: None.
Action recommended: None, subject to the above comment.
Source: MACARTHUR ARCHIVES, R6-16. Box 64. Folder 1, “P.R.S. Admin. Dec 1943”
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA
(Do not remove from attached sheets)
Date: 30 Jan 44
1. Opportunity to evaluate reaction in treatment of our Prisoners of War to release of the enemy atrocity disclosures, is only possible through information obtainable from our intelligence contacts in the several areas concerned.
2. Suggest message be dispatched to appropriate contacts as follows:
“HAVE AGENTS OBSERVE AND REPORT ON ANY CHANGES IN TREATMENT OF INTERNEES OR PRISONERS OF WAR RESULTING FROM RECENT DISCLOSURE OF ENEMY ATROCITIES COMMITTED ON AMERICAN AND FILIPINO PRISONERS OF WAR CAMPS PD DETERMINE WHETHER AND TO WHAT EXTENT RED CROSS SUPPLIES LANDED IN MANILA ON TEIA MARU ON SIXTH NOVEMBER WERE DISTRIBUTED AMONG INTERNEES AND POW.”
To: Chief PRS
30 Jan 44
30 Jan 44
Source: MACARTHUR ARCHIVES, Record Group 16, Box 64, Folder 2, "P.R.S. Admin. Jan 1944"
|The story of Dyess and his companions and the
atrocities they had witnessed had been withheld for months by the
government in the fear that its publication would result in death to
thousands of American prisoners still in Japanese hands. When all hope
of aiding the prisoners passed, the story was released.
The swift recognition of the Dyess story's importance is due largely to Byron Darnton's dispatch, which might never have been written, except that World War II has been the most fully reported conflict in history. The army of news- paper and magazine correspondents and photographers is the greatest ever assigned to a war. Their intensive coverage of even the most remote sectors on the battlefronts of the world has unearthed and preserved thrilling and historical chapters by the thousands. It was this new standard of war reporting that took Darnton to the isolated Australian hospital where he met Ben Brown.
It was a year later, in July, 1943, that a brief telegraphic dispatch chronicled the safety and good health of one Major William Edwin Dyess, of the army air forces, who for many months had been a prisoner of the Imperial Japanese army. In some newspapers the dispatch appeared as written. In many others it did not appear. Certain editors sent the dispatch to their morgues with the scribbled query: "Who is he?" And when the Darnton clipping was laid before them, the Dyess item became big news.
Dyess's importance as an American hero -- as established by Darnton's dispatch -- was responsible for a concerted rush to obtain the full story. And when, in the course of their efforts, newspapers and magazine editors learned something of Dyess's appalling experiences in Japanese prison camps, the struggle for the right to publish them grew epochal.
By September 5, 1943, when Dyess was recuperating in the army's Ashford General Hospital at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, the stiffening competition had narrowed the field of bidders to a national weekly magazine and The Chicago Tribune, representing 100 associated newspapers. The Tribune was successful, not because it outbid the magazine, but because it could promise Dyess, now a lieutenant colonel, a daily circulation of ten million and an estimated daily audience of forty million against the magazine's circulation of about three million weekly and estimated reader audience of twelve million. Colonel Dyess's consuming determination to expose to the world Japan's barbaric treatment of American war prisoners decided him in favor of the daily newspapers and their vastly larger audience.
The Tribune obtained the War Department's permission for Colonel Dyess to tell his story. Only three days later the Secretary of War withdrew the permission and forbade Dyess to divulge any further details of his prison camp experience or escape from the Japs. The Tribune had the story, but we faced a four-and-a-half-month battle for its release. Official reluctance, indecision, resistance, and actual hostility in high places all contributed to lengthening the fight. In the end, the story came out and was given to the American people by their newspapers.
There was good reason in July, 1943, why editors might have been slow to recognize the Dyess epic for what it was. In the first place, Dyess himself was practically unknown. Many editors, as has been seen, lacked the background material that would have established him as a hero of the first rank. At that time, too, the Swedish repatriation liner Gripsholm already had made one trip, returning American civilian internees who had flooded the magazines and newspapers with stories of Jap callousness and neglect. Japanese prison stories were on their way to being old stuff. But to those who read it, the Darnton dispatch carried a mighty message: here was a man who had lived behind the curtain of military secrecy the Japanese had drawn upon Bataan after the surrender and who could tell what actually had happened to the battered remnants of MacArthur's armies after the Stars and Stripes had been hauled down.
|Stimson to Secretary of State Cordell Hull,
February 5, 1942:
"General MacArthur has reported... that American and British civilians in areas of the Philippines occupied by the Japanese are being subjected to extremely harsh treatment. The unnecessary harsh and rigid measures imposed, in sharp contrast to the moderate treatment of metropolitan Filipinos, are unquestionably designed to discredit the white race. I request that you strongly protest this unjustified treatment of civilians, and suggest that you present a threat of reprisals against the many Japanese nationals now enjoying negligible restrictions in the United States..."
from Michi Weglyn, Years of Infamy, 1976.
THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE BULLETIN
VOLUME VIII: Numbers 184-209
January 2 -June 26, 1943
APRIL 3, 1943
ADDRESS BY THE FORMER AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN
[Released to the press April 1]
Delivered by the Honorable Joseph C. Grew, who is
now Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, before
the Phoenix Club of Baltimore, Md., and broadcast
over the Mutual Network, Apr. 1, 1943.
One year ago I was in Tokyo. The Chinese
and British were at that time still fighting the
first campaign of Burma. Americans and Filipinos
were holding out on Bataan; and elsewhere
in the Philippines they were still hitting
hard at the Japanese. But the Japanese military
and naval machine had already uncoiled
its terrible power across the tropics, and in
Australia Port Darwin was being bombed from
I remember that period as a time of waiting
for us who were besieged, as it were, in the
American Embassy in Tokyo; and now I realize
that the world was waiting. The Japanese had
done that which many of us thought could not
be done; they had swept British, Dutch, and
American power aside in their mighty southward
thrust. Everywhere men wondered how
soon our fleets, armies, and air forces would return
to Singapore and Manila, to Rangoon and
Hong Kong, rolling up the map of Japan's conquests
as swiftly as the Japanese had unrolled
it. Most particularly, the scattered defensive
soldiers of the United Nations in the Far East
held on and hoped for relief: some thought it
would come in weeks; some, in months. Many
of those men are now dead ; others are prisoners
of the Japanese, and they must listen to the enemy's
boast that help can never get through
waters made deadly to us by the Imperial Japanese
Navy; still others escaped and are now
participating in the globe-circling rim of pressure
which Chinese, British, Dutch, Philippine,
and American power has built around Japan.
The vast perimeter of Japan's conquests is confined
and is beginning to shrink; we have
reached the end of the beginning of this war.
We have done tremendous things. We have
taken a world war and turned it around. What
was a war against peace has become a war
against aggression. The darkest period of
China's long agony has gone forever. The blitz
which imperiled London now imperils Berlin,
Bremen, Turin, and a score of other enemy
cities. Never again will free nations fall like
autumn leaves in a great storm of violence and
The initiative has passed to us, but it is now
our responsibility to use that initiative. We
cannot assume that the enemy no longer hopes
to win. We cannot count on the Germans and
Japanese to give up because they see what we
can do or might do. If they had been that kind
of men, they would not have started the war
in the first place. They are still fighting because
they still hope to win—still hope to inflict
on us some terrible, incalculable, mortal injury
; or, at the worst for them, they still hope
to wear us down until we are resigned and
weary and thereupon to cheat us out of our victory
by a false peace.
The fact that Germany and Japan are now
relatively weaker than they have been should
not make us less vigorous or more complacent.
Rather, we should be more on our guard than
ever before. We know that the Hitlerites and
the militarists of Japan are ruthless men ; now
we are beginning to trap them and to make them
desperate. Instead of being less dangerous,
they have become more so. The surer they are
of their own defeat, the more cunning, savage,
and novel will be their expedients to escape that
defeat. Let us not be fooled by the vanity peculiar
to war—by the assumption that victory
is so sure that we no longer need impose on
ourselves the iron discipline, the unrelenting
self-sacrifice, the unshaken unity of the first
hours of danger. Now, more than ever before,
we have the real work of war ahead of us.
We are all in this war—some of us in uniform
and some not. Modern war knows no
frontiers and no limits. If we at home, who are
the combatants of the industrial and armaments
front, fail to do our duty, we shall be bringing
death upon our own men in uniform overseas.
There can be only one standard of sacrifice, of
work, of devotion in this war : the utmost from
each and every one of us, all the time. The
Germans think of us Americans as degenerate;
the Japanese fanatics consider us willful, pampered,
and decadent. We are all objects of their
attack, and we are fighting enemies who exert
their maximum strength. None of us can be a
part-time fighter or a part-time patriot. The
reality of the bombing plane hovers in the offing;
the only reason that Baltimore is not a heap of
ruins, smelling of death and ashes, is the power
of the British and American fleets and air
forces. Otherwise, the Germans would have
blasted and ravaged this city—men, women, and
children; factories, shops, homes, and churches;
everything indiscriminately—as they did Coventry.
We can escape being killed by our enemies
only by keeping them preoccupied with
meeting our forces over their own soil.
In this universal, all-comprising war we must
all be good soldiers. The first lesson of warfare—
you can see it in Sun Tzu, the Chinese
strategist, or Caesar, the Roman, who wrote on
war long, long ago—is discipline. We must
give and take orders. We must decide what to
do and then organize ourselves to do it. War
cannot be conducted on a town-meeting basis.
Modern war has added immeasurably to the
disciplines required of the fighters, since modern
war is a complex process with raw materials—
crops, mines, forests—at one end and
with the mass-production of destruction at the
other. When this process is set to go a given
way, the dictates of modern strategy require
that the plan be followed. The Japanese did
not improvise their conquest of southeastern
Asia. They organized and planned for months,
years, even generations before they struck. The
evidence of foresight, calculation, and planning
became everywhere manifest.
We too can plan. You have heard the broad
outlines of our plan from the President of the
United States and the British Prime Minister.
You have seen the evidence of that plan in the
Atlantic and in North Africa. You have
watched it unfold. You have seen parallel, integrated
plans developing along the Don and
the Donets, in China, in Burma, and in the
south Pacific. We must fight in all parts of the
world, since the enemy, by starting the war,
chose the areas of aggression ; and to fight in all
parts of the world we must plan for one war
throughout the world.
It is impossible to plan for a war against
Germany apart from Japan, or vice versa. To
be successful we must unify our forces and fight
our one great war, the war which covers the
world. Japan is at this moment being defeated
in Tunisia, just as Germany suffered a setback
on Guadalcanal. It is not the partnership of a
reciprocal loyalty which binds the Germans and
the Japanese together. It is the companionship
of a common doom. Neither of them can escape
ruin singly. When one falls, the fall of the
other will follow. If one wastes our power, the
other profits by the waste ; if one yields ground,
the United Nations have just that much more
force to turn against the other. Japan and
Germany stated each of the many beginnings
of this war; Japan and Germany corrupted
their own peoples with militarist racialism ; and
Japan and Germany are inseparable in infamy.
Hence I exhort you to fight Japan and Germany
here at home so that our soldiers can fight
Japan and Germany in the Mediterranean, in
North Africa, over Berlin, can fight Germany
and Japan in China, in Burma, and in the
Pacific. I call to you, as I have called in all my
utterances since coming out of internment in
Japan, for an ever greater war effort, because
what you at home do—or fail to do—has many
simultaneous effects on all theaters of war.
You, the people at home, are the ultimate force
behind all fronts. We fight both Germany and
Japan, no matter which we engage in battle or
where we send our materials and our men.
From this one truth another truth is plain.
Whoever fights Germany and Japan is our
friend and our ally. The fight for Stalingrad
is our struggle and our victory. AA^'hen the Red
Army destroys Germans it helps us. The British
public, which has become grimly realistic,
is enthusiastic about Russian victories; the
most hard-headed British businessmen hail and
salute the Soviet forces unreservedly as Britain's
allies; the British people resent and ridicule
the Nazi attempt to split the Soviet Union
from themselves and us. The inconsistency of
this Nazi attempt is shown by the fact that the
Germans talk about "the Bolshevik menace"
only «'hen it suits their purposes. We too
should remember that the bogey of Bolshevism
is raised by Goebbels only when the Germans
are losing; when Germany is winning, the
Nazis shift the emphasis to the rich farms,
factories, mines, and cities they have stolen
Whoever fights Germany is our friend and
our ally and is deserving of our respect, confidence,
and trust. I say this to you as a matter
of hard common sense, learned or confirmed in
almost 40 years of diplomacy. I am not a
dreamy idealist, you may be sure ; but I am insistent
on the reality of our common cause with
the Soviet Union, and I am opposed to any attempt—
Nazi or domestic—to undermine that
The United Nations fight a single war. We
fight a single enemy: the militarist fanaticism
engendered by cultivated racial superstitions
and inflated national arrogance. We fight on a
single field : the whole world. And the Governments
and people of the United Nations must
and will achieve a single victory and a single
peace, in which liberty, security, and prosperity
will become the common possession of all men.
APRIL 10, 1943
RELIEF FOR AMERICANS DETAINED
IN THE FAR EAST
The American Red Cross has been receiving
the full cooperation and assistance of the United
States Government in its endeavors to arrange
for the continuing transmission of relief to
American prisoners of war and civilian internees
detained by the Japanese in the Far East,
including the Philippines,' according to information
issued by the Department under date of
February 1, 1943. Various relief supplies for
eventual distribution to these Americans under
the supervision of the International Red Cross
Committee were shipped by way of Lourenço Marques,
Portuguese East Africa, on the first
voyage from the United States of the motorship
Gripsholm, under the terms of the American-
Japanese exchange agreement. The American
Red Cross requested that the cargo be distributed
to Americans detained in Manila, Shanghai,
Hong Kong, and Japan.
The supplies carried on the first exchange
voyage of the Gripsholm included 20,000 American
Red Cross standard food parcels containing
evaporated milk, biscuits, cocoa, sardines,
oleomargarine, beef, sugar, chocolate bars, powdered
orange concentrate, prunes, cheese, dehydrated
vegetable soup, coffee, cigarettes, and
tobacco. The vessel also took American Red
Cross medical supplies valued at $50,000, as well
as 1,000,000 cigarettes and 10,000 tins of smoking
tobacco for Americans in Japanese prisoner of-
war camps. Under arrangements negotiated
through the International Red Cross Committee,
the American Red Cross shipped for the
War and Navy Departments at the same time
a supply of clothing and other necessities for
members of the United States armed forces who
are prisoners of the Japanese.
Word has since been received from the International
Red Cross Committee that distribution
of these supplies was begun late last autumn and
that a portion of the supplies has been shipped
to the Philippine Islands. It is expected that
on any future voyages of the American exchange
vessel additional large quantities of relief
supplies will be similarly dispatched for
transshipment at Lourenço Marques on board
the Japanese exchange vessels. The Japanese
Government has not yet consented to the transportation
of additional supplies by any other
APRIL 24, 1943
JAPANESE TRIAL AND EXECUTION OF AMERICAN AVIATORS
Statement by the President
[Released to the press by the White House April 21]
It is with a feeling of deepest horror, which I know will be shared by all civilized peoples, that I have to announce the barbarous execution by the Japanese Government of some of the members of this country's armed forces who fell into Japanese hands as an incident of warfare.
The press has just carried the details of the American bombing of Japan a year ago. The crews of two of the American bombers were captured by the Japanese. On October 19, 1942 this Government learned from Japanese radio broadcasts of the capture, trial, and severe punishment of those Americans. Continued endeavor was made to obtain confirmation of those reports from Tokyo. It was not until March 12, 1943 that the American Government received the communication given by the Japanese Government stating that these Americans had in fact been tried and that the death penalty had been pronounced against them. It was further stated that the death penalty was commuted for some but that the sentence of death had been applied to others.
This Government has vigorously condemned this act of barbarity in a formal communication sent to the Japanese Government. In that communication this Government has informed the Japanese Government that the American Government will hold personally and officially responsible for these diabolical crimes all of those officers of the Japanese Government who have participated therein and will in due course bring those officers to justice.
This recourse by our enemies to frightfulness is barbarous. The effort of the Japanese warlords thus to intimidate us will utterly fail. It will make the American people more determined than ever to blot out the shameless militarism of Japan.
I have instructed the Department of State to make public the text of our communication to the Japanese Government.
United States Communication of April 12, 1943 to the Japanese Government
[Released to the press April 21]
The Government of the United States has received the reply of the Japanese Government conveyed under date of February 17, 1943, to the Swiss Minister at Tokyo to the inquiry made by the Minister on behalf of the Government of the United States concerning the correctness of reports broadcast by Japanese radio stations that the Japanese authorities intended to try before military tribunals American prisoners of war, for military operations, and to impose upon them severe penalties including even the death penalty.
The Japanese Government states that it has tried the members of the crews of American planes who fell into Japanese hands after the raid on Japan on April 18 last, that they were sentenced to death and that, following commutation of the sentence for the larger number of them, the sentence of death was applied to certain of the accused.
The Government of the United States has subsequently been informed of the refusal of the Japanese Government to treat the remaining American aviators as prisoners of war, to divulge their names, to state the sentences imposed upon them or to permit visits to them by the Swiss Minister as representative of the protecting Power for American interests.
The Japanese Government alleges that it has subjected the American aviators to this treatment because they intentionally bombed nonmilitary installations and deliberately fired on civilians, and that the aviators admitted these acts.
The Government of the United States informs the Japanese Government that instructions to American armed forces have always ordered those forces to direct their attacks upon military objectives. The American forces participating in the attack on Japan had such instructions and it is known that they did not deviate therefrom. The Government of the United States brands as false the charge that American aviators intentionally have attacked non-combatants anywhere.
With regard to the allegation of the Japanese Government that the American aviators admitted the acts of which the Japanese Government accuses them, there are numerous known instances in which Japanese official agencies have employed brutal and bestial methods in extorting alleged confessions from persons in their power. It is customary for those agencies to use statements obtained under torture, or alleged statements, in proceedings against the victims. If the admissions alleged by the Japanese Government to have been made by the American aviators were in fact made, they could only have been extorted fabrications.
Moreover, the Japanese Government entered into a solemn obligation by agreement with the Government of the United States to observe the terms of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention. Article 1 of that Convention provides for treatment as prisoners of war of members of armies and of persons captured in the course of military operations at sea or in the air. Article 60 provides that upon the opening of a judicial proceeding directed against a prisoner of war, the representative of the protecting Power shall be given notice thereof at least three weeks prior to the trial and of the names and charges against the prisoners who are to be tried. Article 61 provides that no prisoner may be obliged to admit himself guilty of the act of which he is accused. Article 62 provides that the accused shall have the assistance of qualified counsel of his choice and that a representative of the protecting Power shall be permitted to attend the trial. Article 65 provides that sentence pronounced against the prisoners shall be communicated to the protecting Power immediately. Article 66 provides, in the event that the death penalty is pronounced, that the details as to the nature and circumstances of the offense shall be communicated to the protecting Power, for transmission to the Power in whose forces the prisoner served, and that the sentence shall not be executed before the expiration of a period of at least three months after such communication. The Japanese Government has not complied with any of these provisions of the Convention in its treatment of the captured American aviators.
The Government of the United States calls again upon the Japanese Government to carry cut its agreement to observe the provisions of the Convention by communicating to the Swiss Minister at Tokyo the charges and sentences imposed upon the American aviators, by permitting the Swiss representatives to visit those now held in prison, by restoring to those aviators the full rights to which they are entitled under the Prisoners of War Convention, and by informing the Minister of the names and disposition or place of burial of the bodies of any of the aviators against whom sentence of death has been carried out.
If, as would appear from its communication under reference, the Japanese Government has descended to such acts of barbarity and manifestations of depravity as to murder in cold blood uniformed members of the American armed forces made prisoners as an incident of warfare, the American Government will hold personally and officially responsible for those deliberate crimes all of those officers of the Japanese Government who have participated in their commitment and will in due course bring those officers to justice.
The American Government also solemnly warns the Japanese Government that for any other violations of its undertakings as regards American prisoners of war or for any other acts of criminal barbarity inflicted upon American prisoners in violation of the rules of warfare accepted and practiced by civilized nations as military operations now in progress draw to their inexorable and inevitable conclusion, the American Government will visit upon the officers of the Japanese Government responsible for such uncivilized and inhumane acts the punishment they deserve.
MAY 22, 1943
EXCHANGE OF AMERICAN AND
[Released to the press May 22]
For the information of the relatives and
friends of American civilians held in the Far
East by the Japanese authorities, the Department
of State announces that it has received a
communication from the Japanese Government
giving reason to hope that a second exchange of
approximately 1,500 American civilians for an
equal number of Japanese civilians held in the
United States may be arranged. The first exchange,
involving the same number of civilians,
took place last summer, the chartered Swedish
motor vessel Gripsholm being used to transport
the Japanese from the United States to Lourenço Marques
in Portuguese East Africa, where
the exchange took place, and the liberated Americans,
who were received there from Japanese
vessels, being brought home on the Gripsholm.
While arrangements were being made for that
exchange the Department entered into negotiations
with the Japanese Government for a second
and further exchanges. It has continuously
pursued those negotiations in the hope that an
agreement could be reached mutually acceptable
to both Governments. In its latest proposal the
Department suggested that a minimum of three
more exchanges be agreed on, which would involve
the repatriation of 1,500 on each exchange.
The reply of the Japanese Government indicates
that that Government prefers for the time being
to limit consideration to one exchange, involving
the repatriation of 1,500 persons on each
side, and that subsequent exchanges be left for
The Japanese Government has expressed its
desires with respect to the composition of the
Japanese passenger list for the second exchange.
The Department is now engaged, with the assistance
of the other Government agencies concerned,
in identifying and locating Japanese for
inclusion in the passenger list. The work entails
in many cases search throughout the United
States for Japanese who have been named by the
Japanese Government for inclusion in the exchange.
Some may already have departed from
the United States. Others cannot be identified
until the English spellings of their Japanese
names, by which they are known here, are ascertained.
However, progress is rapidly being
made in composing the passenger list. Until
that task is completed and final and definite arrangements
for the exchange have been made
with the Japanese Government, the Department
cannot indicate the date when the exchange may
As in the first exchange, there will be included
a number of citizens of the other American republics
and of Canada on a proportionate basis
with citizens of the United States. Similarly, a
number of Japanese from the other American
republics and from Canada will be included
with Japanese from the United States.
MAY 29, 1943
ADDRESS BY THE FORMER AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN
[Released to the press May 27]
Commencement address delivered by the Honorable
Joseph C. Grew, now Special Assistant to the Secretary
of State, to the Harvard Alumni Association, May 27,
On the last evening of the Harvard Tercentenary
Celebration, September 18, 1936, a concert
was given in Symphony Hall at M'hieh, for
the final number, Dr. Koussevitsky played his
special arrangement of "Fair Harvard". That
was indeed the dropping of the curtain on one
of the most impressive academic gatherings in
the history of our country or of any country.
I had come all the way from Japan to attend,
and the inspiration of those memorable three
days in the lives of many of us can never fade.
Dr. Koussevitsky began "Fair Harvard" softly
and slowly, like a hymn ; the second verse surged
up and out; and the last verse, with the
Symphony Orchestra and the Tercentenary
Chorus, composed of 325 Harvard and Radcliffe
voices, playing and singing fortissimo with all
their hearts and souls as if to give expression
to the glory of Harvard and all that Harvard
stands for, rang out like an exultant march,
symbolizing the irresistible and inevitable
triumph of American youth crashing through
all obstacles to victory.
Farewell ! Be thy destinies onward and bright!
To thy children the lesson still give,
With Freedom to think, and with patience to bear,
And for right ever bravely to live.
"With freedom to think."
That phrase represents one of the fundamental causes for which
our nation is fighting today; it represents one of
the fundamental causes for whose defense Harvard,
in the vanguard of our nation, has girded
herself for war. That Harvard finds herself in
that vanguard is due primarily to the traditions
of the university and the essential values of life
for which the university stands, but it is also
due in large measure to the enlightened vision
and the indomitable resolution of the leader who
sits here beside me. Vision alone would not
have been enough. In the midst of questioning
and doubt in many quarters, only strength, determination,
and exalted courage, "with firmness
in the right, as God gives us to see the
right", could have brought the university to the
outstanding position it holds in our united war
effort today, and it is to the leadership of the
president of the university that Harvard owes
her present proud position as one of the foremost
military and naval academies in the United
States. A friend said to me the other day quite
simply, "Thank God for Conant", a sentiment
which our Harvard Alumni Association most
heartily and most gratefully echoes.
President Conant, the alumni of Harvard
note that this is a momentous year of your life.
We are aware that it includes the attainment of
your fiftieth birthday and the completion of
your tenth year as president of this great
We look back over the decade, and we are
deeply grateful for the courage, vision, and the
leadership you have brought to Harvard. We
look forward with high confidence and affection
to 3-our continuing service in the days of peace
which we hope are not too many years ahead.
It is my great pleasure and privilege to present
you on behalf of the Harvard Alumni
Association this small gift as a token of our
esteem. The gift, an ashtray dating from 1685
and an inkstand dating from 1760, bears this
To James Bryant Conant on the occasion of the tenth
Harvard commencement since his election to office. In
recognition of his leadership and foresight in a decade
divided between peace and war; in gratitude for his
strengthening example as alumnus scientist educator
and patriotic citizen.
On the reverse are these words from Ralph
The sun set, but set not his hope;
Stars rose, his faith was earlier up.
"With freedom to think."
During the past 10 years I have lived in a country where free
thought is not tolerated. Indeed, a large and
important branch of the police force known as
the "Thought Control Police" was constantly
on the alert to ferret out so-called "dangerous
thoughts". If those who were suspected of harboring
thoughts which could be interpreted as
running counter to the policies and measures of
their totalitarian leaders did not, under third degree
methods or worse, see the light and become
regenerated to the satisfaction of the
authorities, they quite simply remained in prison
or disappeared. Much the same situation prevails
in the other Axis countries; they, also, are
enshrouded in a foul miasma of intellectual fog,
distorted information, untruth and lies, in which
"freedom to think" is, under dire penalties, prohibited.
Access to the truth is, so far as humanly
possible, denied to the peoples in those
misguided lands. Freedom to think, freedom
to seek the truth—for those great principles we
"With patience to bear."
Is not the record of our pre-war relations with our present
enemies a long, long story of almost superhuman
patience in the face of continued insults, outrage,
and deadly menace? Need I mention,
among many other provocations, the savage
treatment of the Jews by the Nazis, the sinking
of the Panay, the utterly inhuman bombing of
missions, hospitals, and schools throughout
China by the Japanese? Need I mention the
repeated promises broken, the perennial assurances
unfulfilled? Yes, we bore with extraordinary
patience, and for many years before
Pearl Harbor. We and our allies again and
again showed a willingness to pay the price of
peace: to be reasonable when it would have been
pleasanter to be heroic, to be patient when every
impulse was toward angry retaliation.
"And for right ever bravely to live."
From the earliest days of our pioneering the American
people have lived bravely. When war has
been forced upon us we have fought bravely.
Today we fight for our land, our homes, and our
way of life—that we may live for the right as
we conceive and always have conceived it.
Wars are often directly or indirectly traceable
to economic factors. Elimination of various
economic inequalities, discriminations, and even
injustices will go far toward preventing international
conflicts. But another factor, namely
an understanding of other peoples and of the
history, psychology, and resources of other peoples,
if that understanding existed, might often
act as a preventive of war. In the old days in
Berlin before 1914 I constantly saw exemplified
among the German people, and especially among
the Junker army officers, a complete failure to
grasp foreign psychology. Their estimates of
other peoples were always wrong. Would the
Germans have attacked France in 1914 if they
had then known that they were to face eventually
the combined might of Britain, France,
and the United States?
And what of Japan in 1941? Throughout
these many years the Japanese people and especially
the military elements, few of whom have
ever been abroad, were told that the United
States was an imperialistic nation determined
to drive Japan to the wall by reaching out for a
preponderant position in east Asia and by cutting
Japan off from access to the raw materials
which she needed for her national security and
welfare. Utterly futile were our efforts to convey
to them the truth : that our country and our
])people wished Japan well; that we wanted and
needed a prosperous Japan, if only because the
trade of our two countries was largely complementary
rather than competitive; and that if
only they would abandon armed aggression and
the use of force as an instrument of national
policy we, for our part, would gladly cooperate
with them in insuring a free flow of trade and
commerce, access to needed raw materials on
the basis of equality of opportunity, and such
other legitimate activities as would conduce to
their welfare and a rising standard of living.
But they turned a deaf ear.
The Japanese regarded us as a pampered and
decadent people, dependent upon our daily luxuries
and comforts, unwilling and unable to
make the self-sacrifices and self-denials required
for successful war. Democracy they considered
bankrupt. American life and morale were represented
to them as being undermined by isolationism,
labor troubles, and general disunity.
How could such a nation and such a disrupted
people ever become united and fight a successful
Even today the Japanese people are allowed
no conception of our mighty war effort, no
knowledge of our military and naval victories.
They are allowed no access to the truth. No
foreign newspapers or magazines, no short-wave
radio sets are permitted. They are told of a
continuing series of Japanese successes, few
Japanese losses, and a long line of American
But I think that their leaders, who have access
to the facts, must already be able to read the
handwriting on the wall. Those leaders must
already perceive that democracy, far from being
bankrupt, is capable of superlative and steadily
accelerating effort, and that Japan's days as a
once proud and aggressive nation are to come to
an end. If only they had better understood the
psychology and capacities of the American people,
if only they had been allowed to know that a
free people like ourselves can and will achieve
unity and will fight to victory not only for our
national safety but for principle and righteousness
and truth. They knew it not. But they
And they shall know more. They shall learn
not only of the stamina and character of the
American people but of our determination to
fight and to win for something beyond our mere
national safety. The willingness of the United
States to fight for principle is ingrained in the
fibre of our people. President Roosevelt, in his
annual mes.sage to the Congress on January 4,
1939, expressed that eternal verity in better
words than I could find:
"There comes a time in the affairs of men when
they must prepare to defend not their homes
alone but the tenets of faith and humanity on
which their churches, their governments, and
their very civilization are founded. The defense
of religion, of democracy, and of good
faith among nations is all the same fight. To
save one we must now make up our minds to
"For right ever bravely to live." It is for
those fundamental concepts that we fight today.
A primary axiom of war is to know your
enemy. Yet how little our people as a whole
really know or understand the Japanese. We
fall into the perfectly natural error of trying to
measure Japanese mentality and psychology
with western yardsticks and thus arrive at
wrong cf)conceptions and false conclusions. It is
their military machine that teaches the Japanese
people ruthlessness and barbarism. The hideous
cruelties practised in the course of their campaigns
in China and elsewhere, their bombing
of defenseless towns and villages, their coldblooded
slaughter of civilians are not the spontaneous
acts of wild beasts in human form.
Those Japanese soldiers are controlled by probably
the most rigid discipline that exists in any
army in the world. Absolute obedience to commands
is inculcated. They are taught that to
disobey an officer is to disobey the Emperor.
Their acts of ruthlessness are a part of a carefully
planned strategy, a strategy developed by
their military leaders in the mistaken belief
that such acts will gradually undermine and
eventually break the morale of their enemies.
It may be assumed that the execution of prisoners
taken in the Doolittle raid over Japan was
carried out with that end in view. Unquestionably
they believed that that utterly savage
act would exert an intimidating effect on the
American people. How little do we understand
their character. How little do they understand
ours. How little do they understand our capacity
for sustained anger m the face of infamous
affront or our unconquerable determination
once the issue is joined to work, to sacrifice,
to fight through to victory for the fundamental
principles of our way of life. But they shall
What I am leading up to is this:
Even in our own country—and I have been all over our country
since coming home last summer—I find a
surprising and ominous lack of understanding
among our own people of the problems of foreign
affairs and of the lives, history, resources,
habits, and psychologies of foreign nations and
foreign peoples. Various bodies throughout the
Nation are doing admirable service in fields
hitherto inadequately explored in this country,
but they are only nuclei which should be greatly
expanded as time goes on. After the war, when
the liberal arts can once again come into their
own, all our institutions of learning should in
my opinion lay far more emphasis than in the
past on these things, and I earnestly hope that
here again Harvard may be in the vanguard.
The ways and means are for the authorities to
consider. I venture merely to lay down the general
principle that in our country, as in every
country in the world, a goodly knowledge not
only of foreign psychologies but of the problems—all the
great problems—that beset foreign
nations, particularly the Far Eastern nations
and peoples, is the surest way of avoiding future
wars. Isolation in our modern world has become
But first of all we must win the war. In a
peace-loving democracy like ours, the wheels of
war grind slowly; there is, at the outset, inertia
and friction. We are not geared in time of peace
for war; we begin war as novices. We start in
low gear and painfully and with many creakings
of the machine we gradually move to second
gear. But finally we slip into high gear with the
component parts of the mighty machine working
in unison, developing power as we go, and
then nothing in the world can stop us, nothing
in the world ever could stop us as a free people
fighting not only for our way of life but for principle,
righteousness, and truth; fighting so that
our institutions of learning and, let us hope, the
universities and colleges and schools everywhere
may freely pursue again their search for truth;
fighting so that freedom of thought and the liberal
arts shall forever prevail ; fighting so that,
in the words of Emerson, aptly quoted by President
Conant at the Tercentenary, the scholar
may freely take up into himself all the ability of
the time, all the contributions of the past, all the
hopes of the future.
We have, I fear, a long, hard road still ahead,
a road beset with much blood, much sweat, and
many tears, before final victory can be achieved.
The moral stimulation that comes to our people
from successes on the field of battle, whether on
land or sea or in the air, is good, but the danger
of complacency is ever present. The Germans
are hardy fighters, long trained for war; the Japanese
likewise, and between them they occupy
today a very large proportion of the surface of
Japan, in the far-flung areas now under her
domination, now possesses all, or nearly all, the
necessities for tremendous national power. We
are dealing with fanatical warriors of intense
stamina, staying power, and courage, who welcome
death on the field of battle and to whom
surrender is generally an unthinkable disgrace.
Up until now, I fear, we have barely
scratched and only slightly damaged their
potential power. Yes, we have a long and difficult
road ahead, yet never for a single moment
have I ever doubted our ultimate victory.
Achievement of that victory will require the
constantly progressive development of our own
national production and power, and the maximum
effort of every man, woman, and child
throughout our land—for even the child in
following his daily curriculum is contributing,
just as is every student, his share to the war
effort. Even those who are children today will
eventually have to take up the burden, if not
of the war itself then of helping to construct a
new world. But we cannot rest until that cancer
of militarism has been totally excised,
rendered impotent further to function or to
grow, and rendered powerless to reproduce
itself in future. Once that has been accomplished
we shall, without any doubt, find
healthy elements in Japan about which a stable
edifice can be built, and that misguided nation
may once again take its place as a respected
member in the family of nations.
Meanwhile, Harvard is proudly contributing
and will continue to contribute her maximum
share to the war effort of our country, and when
I speak of Harvard I refer not only to the university
itself but also to the great body of the
Alumni Association. To membership in that
body, and on behalf of the association, I cordially
welcome you who today have received
degrees from this university. Yours is the
privilege, yours is the obligation, throughout
life, of highly representing Harvard. No
greater honor has come to me than to have been
called to preside over this association during
the past year. To my successor, most wisely
chosen, the opportunities, the privileges, and
the responsibilities, and, may I say, the great
inspiration of the office are now with confidence
entrusted. No general, leading a mighty army
of 80,000 picked men, could ever experience the
well-justified pride that must be felt by any
president of the Harvard Alumni Association.
For just as Harvard herself is a powerful driving
force in the Nation, constantly leavening
our national life with the finest types of American
manhood, prepared and inspired for service
by "the herald of light and the bearer of love,
till the stock of the Puritans die", so the alumni
of Harvard have with reverence and deep affection
for their Alma Mater taken up the torch
handed on to them by the university. Now,
more than ever before, they' are called upon to
be faithful to that trust.
In closing I venture to read from a letter
published not long ago in the Reader's Digest.
Perhaps most of you have already seen it, but it
cannot be read too often. I only wish that it
could be learned by heart-t by every American.
It is called "Testament of Youth", a letter from
a United States naval aviator, missing since the
Battle of Midway, to a friend at home:
"The Fates have been kind to me. When you
hear people saying harsh things about American
youth, you will know how wrong they all are.
"Many of my friends are now dead. To a
man, each died with a nonchalance that each
would have denied was courage, but simply
called a lack of fear and forgot the triumph.
"Out here between the spaceless sea and sky,
American youth has found itself, and given of
itself, so that a spark may catch, burst into
flame, and burn high. If our country takes
these sacrifices with indifference it will be the
cruelest ingratitude the world has ever known.
"You will, I know, do all in your power to
help others keep the faith. My luck can't last
much longer. But the flame goes on and only
that is important."
Gentlemen, Harvard and this association will
see that "the flame goes on", and that in leading
to victory that flame shall illumine the world
and shall make men free in their search for
AMERICAN NATIONALS IN JAPANESE
[Released to the press May 25]
Relatives and friends of Americans held as
Prisoners of war by the Japanese military
authorities have inquired of various agencies of
the Government concerning the prospects for
their early repatriation, suggesting in most
cases that Japanese prisoners of war be offered
in exchange for the Americans.
There are three distinct categories of American
nationals in Japanese custody, namely:
(1) Prisoners of war, that is, members of
the American armed forces who have been
captured by the Japanese armed forces,
(2) Sanitary and religious personnel captured
while serving with the armed forces, and
(3) Civilians in Japan or Japanese-occupied
or controlled territory, the majority of whom
have been interned.
The status of negotiations for an exchange
of civilian nationals between the United States
and Japan was discussed in a press release appearing
in the Bulletin of May 22, 1943, page
There is no customarily accepted practice
among nations nor provision of international
law or conventions for the return or exchange
during war of able-bodied members of the
armed forces of one belligerent captured by the
forces of the opposing belligerents. It is a
major objective of warfare to deplete as rapidly
as possible the forces of the enemy, and it has
so far been deemed inexpedient for military
reasons to propose the release and return of
able-bodied prisoners of war. In the circumstances,
there is no immediate prospect of obtaining
the release and return to the United
States of able-bodied members of the American
armed forces taken prisoners of war by the
The only prisoners of war whose release and
return to their own country is provided for and
sanctioned by international agreement and practice
are the seriously sick and seriously wounded
who are no longer capable of contributing to
the enemy' war effort. The release and return
of such prisoners is provided for in the Geneva
Prisoners of War Convention of 1929, which
both Japan and the United States are applying
in this war. Steps are already under way
for implementing the relevant provisions of
that convention. Military operations and the
difficulties of transportation through military
zones are the principal obstacles at present in
the way of such a movement.
Negotiations are also under way for the release
and return of such captured sanitary and
religious personnel as may not be needed to
care for their compatriots who are prisoners
Every endeavor is being made to obtain the
release as quickly as possible of those eligible
therefor, and all feasible steps are being taken
to provide for the well-being of all our nationals
of whatever category in enemy hands
until such time as they can be offered an opportunity
to return to their homes in the United
AUGUST 21, 1943
EXCHANGE OF AMERICAN AND JAPANESE NATIONALS
[Released to the press August 20]
The United States Government has requested
Japan to grant and to obtain from its allies safe conduct
for the exchange vessel Gripsholm and
has good reason to hope that safe-conduct for
the vessel will be received in time to permit the
forthcoming exchange to be made at Mormugao,
Goa, Portuguese India, by October 15.
As soon as additional details are available the
State Department will make a further announcement
for the information of relatives
and friends of those Americans who are expected
to return from the Far East.
The War Department last night, August 19,
issued the following notice, which is self-explanatory:
"The sailing of the exchange ship Gripsholm
to the Far East has been advanced. All persons
who received labels from the Provost Marshal
General authorizing packages to be sent to
prisoners of war and civilian internees in the
Far East must have such packages in New York
by midnight of August 27. This changes the
former time for receipt of parcels in New York
from September 15 to August 27 and applies
only to persons who received the labels from the
Office of the Provost Marshal General for packages
to prisoners of war and civilian internees
in the Far East."
[Released to the press August 21]
In connection with the forthcoming exchange
of American and Japanese nationals at Mormugao,
Goa, Portuguese India, the Department
of State in cooperation with the Post Office Department
has made special arrangements for
the dispatch and delivery of first-class mail to
the returning American repatriates on the exchange
vessel Gripsholm. Parcels may not be
sent to persons returning on the Gripsholm as
all cargo space has been made available to the
American Red Cross for medicines, concentrated
foods, and other relief supplies for
prisoners of war and interned civilians in the
Far East. Next-of-kin parcels for prisoners of
war and interned civilians remaining in the Far
East may be sent by those who have received the
necessary labels from the Office of the Provost
Marshal General, if they reach New York by
August 27 as already announced to the press.
Mail (letters and postal cards but not parcels)
for the American nationals returning from
the Far East should bear full foreign postage
and be mailed in time to reach New York by
August 30 at the latest. They should be addressed
in accordance with the following model:
Prospective Repatriate on M.S. Gripsholm,
Care of Postmaster,
New York, N. Y.
Mail sent as prescribed above will be delivered
after the vessel has cleared the port of Mormugao
on the return voyage. There is no assurance
that mail sent to the repatriates through
other channels will reach Mormugao in time to
be delivered to the repatriates.
On the return voyage the Gripsholm is scheduled
to call at Port Elizabeth and Rio de Janeiro
where mail may also be addressed to prospective
repatriates in care of the American Consulate
and American Embassy, respectively.
It is expected that mail intended for officially
reported American prisoners of war and civilian
internees in the Far East, addressed in the usual
manner for such mail, will also be carried on the
Subject to censorship regulations, commercial
facilities are understood to be available for telegraph
communication with persons at Mormugao.
Ample supplies of food, clothing, and medicines
will be provided on the exchange vessel to
meet the needs of its passengers.
AUGUST 28, 1943
RADIO ADDRESS BY THE FORMER AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN
[Released to the press August 28]
Delivered on Aug. 28 by the Honorable Joseph C.
Grew, who is now Special Assistant to the Secretary of
State, on the weekly program "For This We Fight"
under the auspices of the Commission to Study the
Organization of Peace.
In speaking tonight on the radio program of
the Commission to Study the Organization of
Peace I am especially glad to be associated with
the public-spirited exploratory work of that
body. Mankind learns something from experience,
but the memory of man is short and he is
terribly prone to repeat old errors. The mistakes
made at Versailles and afterward must
not he made again. To guard against those
mistakes we need a public opinion enlightened
by incisive thought and study, and to further
that study is the fundamental purpose of the
commission under whose auspices this program
is presented jointly with the National Broadcasting
I shall speak briefly tonight on two points:
First, our war with Japan ; second, what shall be
done with Japan when we have attained complete
and final victory? Please note that I do
not say "if" but "when". Military Japan,
without any shadow of doubt in my mind, is
As to the first point, people all over our country
have asked me and still are asking: How
long will it take to defeat Japan? Well, we
have heard a good many different views on
that subject. Some, perhaps many, of our people
still indulge in the old wishful thinking:
"When we really get around to the Japs we'll
mop them up quickly enough."
I might suggest here that ever since Pearl Harbor we've
been "getting around" to the Japanese, as a few
brilliant incidents in the Coral Sea, at Midway,
on Guadalcanal, on Attu, in the Gulf of Kula,
at Munda, at Salamaua and several other places
would seem to attest. On the other hand, Secretary
linox has stated that our best naval and
military brains are now planning for battles
which may have to be fought in 1949. He added
that it need not last that long and that we can
win before that time but we can assure ourselves
that this war will last even longer if our
efforts to win it are sabotaged by those who
carelessly believe that it has already been won.
"This war," he said, "will last until 1949 and
longer if the home front fails to back up our
men in battle."
To that view I heartily subscribe.
Recent news has been heartening. In every
arm—in the air, on land, at sea—we have con
clusively shown our superiority over the Japanese
forces. The process of attrition by which
we are constantly whittling down their manpower,
their planes, their warships, their supply
vessels, and their power to produce steadily
proceeds. But let us not forget that the Japanese—
on Attu, at Munda, and elsewhere—have
shown themselves to be fanatical, last-ditch
fighters; capture or surrender represents to
them the depth of shame by which they, their
families, their ancestors, and their Emperor are
disgraced. Mr. Ralph Knight, editor of the
Post-Star of Glens Falls, N. Y., points out that
our campaign against Munda airport proceeded
at the rate of a few yards a day and that Tokyo
is about 5,300,000 yards from Mundaj. "We
leave for debate," he writes, "the proposition of
whether the water which intervenes is an advantage
or a disadvantage to the doughboy.
The salient point is that the doughboy still has
the rest of the way to go." Other routes to
Tokyo will no doubt be used in due course, but
I think we have little ground as yet for believing
that our final victory over Japan, even after
the European end of the Axis has been eliminated,
can be quickly achieved. We must sedulously
guard against wishful thinking, unfounded
optimism, and smug complacency. We
cannot afford, any of us, to relax for a single
moment our all-out, steadily accelerating wax
Now, what shall be done with Japan after we
have achieved final victory? Here again a
good many imponderable factors enter into the
problem. Among these factors will of course be
the extent of the impact on the Japanese people
of their losses, their defeat, and their final unconditional
surrender, as well as the attitude toward
Japan at that time of the other United
Our Government is constantly studying postwar
problems but I do not know what the outcome
of those studies will be.
In any discussion of post-war policy it should
be borne in mind that one fundamental principle
set forth in the Atlantic Charter is respect
for the right of all peoples to choose the form of
government under which they will live. The
Charter, however, contains, inter alia, another
principle of equal fundamental importance,
namely, abandonment of the use of force and,
pending the establishment of a wider and permanent
system of general security, the disarmament
of nations which threaten, or may threaten,
aggression outside of their frontiers. In the
light of that latter provision, common sense
dictates that the military terms of settlement
shall prevent Japan from-om again becoming a
menace to international peace. This of course
presupposes disarmament and the denial to
Japan of certain strategic islands, quite apart
from the restitution by Japan of other territories
seized by force. It presupposes too the
condign punishment of Japan's military leaders
responsible for her aggression, as well as of those
guilty of the hideous and utterly barbarous
cruelties practiced alike upon prisoners and
wounded and upon non-combatant civilians of
the United Nations.
But that would solve only a part of the problem.
Effective steps will undoubtedly have to
be taken to rid the Japanese permanently of the
cult of militarism of which, in varying degrees,
they have been the unresisting pawns throughout
their history. This will of course mean a
substantial reorientation of their domestic life
and outlook through the process of re-education
in all their institutions of learning from the
kindergarten to the university.
My own opinion, based upon my 10 years of
experience in Japan, is that this process will
present no insuperable obstacles. At least a part
of that process will come about automatically
with the defeat of the Japanese nation. First
of all, we must remember that in Japanese life
and thought a loss of "face" plays an important
role. When the Japanese people witness the
complete defeat and discomfiture of their army
and navy and air force—which they have been
told have never yet lost a war and, being
allegedly protected by their sun goddess, can
never be beaten—that military machine will be
discredited throughout the length and breadth
of the land. Within the last generation there
have been times when the prestige of the
Japanese Army was so low that army officers
were reluctant to wear uniform in public when
off duty; and the incursion into Manchuria in
1931 was undoubtedly stimulated if not impelled
among other considerations by the desire of the
army to recover its former influence and prestige.
What has happened before can happen
again. Throughout Japanese history the pendulum
has swung to and fro between aggressive
and peace-seeking policies and action.
Furthermore, ever since the Manchuria venture,
and especially since the commencement of
the China war in 1937, the Japanese people have
suffered acutely. Living conditions have become
harder; the standard of living has steadily
deteriorated, and periodically Japanese families
have received from overseas in ever-increasing
numbers the little white boxes containing the
ashes of their loved ones. They are taught the
glories of such sacrifice, but human nature and
human sorrow are fundamentally much the same
everywhere. Weariness of war is just as current
among the Japanese as among any other people.
It is my belief that when Japan's war with
the United Nations is over, even in their defeat,
the great majority of the Japanese people will
give a sigh of profound relief and will welcome
a new orientation and outlook so long as they
are not deprived of the hope of better things to
Just as we must not deny to ourselves hope of
better things to come, so we must not deny them
or any one else, that hope. I have no sympathy
whatever with those who hold, as some people
hold, that before we can find permanent peace
in the Orient, the Japanese common people will
have to be decimated. Man for man, the
Japanese people at home in their own land are
not inherently the wolves in human form which
some of our own people who do not know them
believe. Once caught in the military machine
they are taught brutality, cruelty, trickery, and
ruthlessness as a matter of high strategy—in the
mistaken belief of their leaders that these things
will break the morale of their enemies and lead
to victory. Little do those Japanese leaders
seem to realize that such methods of warfare
have an effect precisely the reverse of that intended.
The Japanese people are going to learn
to their sorrow that crime and brutality do not
pay, and once they have learned that lesson, the
finer qualities which I know that many of them
possess will have opportunity to come to the
fore. The Japanese in their own Japan are
naturally a thrifty, hard-working, progressive
people with great recuperative powers.
Throughout their history they have become
inured to and have surmounted great disasters
disasters wreaked by fire and flood, by earthquake
and typhoon. Given the opportunity,
they will likewise overcome the ravages of war,
even with their substance spent and their cities
destroyed. Those recuperative powers must be
wisely directed into the healthy channels of
peaceful economic and cultural pursuits and
away, forever, from military enterprise.
But many difficult problems will confront us
in the post-war settlement with Japan, problems
of industry, commerce, agriculture, and finance,
of education and government. We are already
preparing against the day when those problems
will arise but the time has not yet come when
their solution can be decided upon in detail. As
a fundamental conception, I personally believe
that the healthy growth, wisely guided in its initial
stages, will have to come—through reeducation—
from within. If an ancient tree is
torn up by the roots and remodeled it will not
live, but if the healthy trunk and roots remain
the branches and foliage can, with care, achieve
regeneration. Whatever is found to be healthy
in the Japanese body politic should be preserved;
the rotten branches must be ruthlessly
Only skilled hands should be permitted to
deal with that eventual problem upon the happy
solution of which so very much in the shaping
of our post-war world will depend.
But first of all, let us get on with the war in
the winning of which every one of us has his or
her part to play. It is a hard war ; it may be a
long war. But it is our war—yours and mine—
and the maximum effort of all of us is needed
for ultimate victory.
SEPTEMBER 4, 1943
EXCHANGE OF AMERICAN AND JAPANESE NATIONALS
[Released to the press September 2]
The departure of the motor vessel Gripsholm
from Jersey City early the morning of September
2 on a second American-Japanese exchange
voyage culminates the extensive negotiations
carried on for over a year by the Department
of State with the Japaneses Government through
neutral diplomatic channels. Progress concerning
these negotiations has been announced previously
by the Department from time to time.
The first exchange, consisting of American
and Japanese officials and non-officials, was
made last summer. On its current voyage, the
ship is leaving the United States with a passenger
list of more than 1,330 Japanese civilians.
The Gripsholm will stop at Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, and Montevideo, Uruguay, where
additional Japanese civilians totaling 173 will
be embarked. En route to the exchange point
at Mormugao the Gripsholm will also stop at
Port Elizabeth, Union of South Africa, for fuel
The exchange of American and Japanese nationals
is scheduled to take place on or about
October 15 at Mormugao, the principal port of
the Portuguese colony of Goa on the west coast
of India. The Japanese Government in turn
will transport to Mormugao on the Japanese
exchange vessel Teia Maru nationals of the
United States, certain of the other American
republics and Canada, totaling 1,500, of which
about 1,250 are nationals of the United States,
to be exchanged for the equivalent number of
Japanese nationals aboard the Gripsholm.
The Teia Maru is scheduled to leave Japan
September 15. The reason for the different sailing
dates is accounted for by the length of time
required for each vessel to reach Mormugao.
It will touch at ports in China, the Philippine
Islands, and Indochina to embark American
passengers and will call at Singapore for fuel
and water. The passenger list of returning
Americans is not yet complete and cannot be
complete until the Teia Maru has left her last
port of call, which will be about October 1. As
soon as it is received, the Department will notify
relatives and others concerned and will
make the list public.
Each exchange vessel will travel without convoy
under safe-conduct of all belligerent governments.
The vessels bear special markings
to distinguish them from ordinary commercial
passenger vessels and to indicate clearly the special
mission upon which they are engaged. At
night the vessels will be fully lighted.
Upon the completion of the exchange the
Gripsholm is scheduled to return to New York
via Port Elizabeth and Rio de Janeiro and is
expected to reach New York early in December.
Relief supplies, consisting of medicines, concentrated
foods, vitamins, blood plasma, etc.,
are being shipped on the Gripsholm by the
American Red Cross and the War Department.
These supplies are intended for distribution to
American prisoners of war and civilian internees
in Japan and Japanese-controlled territories,
including the Philippine Islands.
OCTOBER 23, 1943
EXCHANGE OF AMERICAN AND
[Released to the press October 22]
The motorship Gripsholm, carrying persons
returning from the Far East in the current
exchange of American and Japanese nationals,
departed from the exchange port at Mormugao,
Goa, Portuguese India, on October 22 and according
to the terms of its safe conduct is
scheduled to call on the dates indicated at the
following ports on its return journey to the
United States: Port Elizabeth, Union of South
Africa—arrive November 2 and depart November
4 ; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—arrive November
14 and depart November 16; and New York,
N. Y.—arrive December 2.
A few cases of illness have been reported
among the repatriates from the Far East, and
the next-of-kin in the United States have been
informed by the Department of State. The interested
relatives in this country will be
promptly notified if further reports pertaining
to illness among the passengers are received before
the Gripsholm returns to New York. The
Gripsholm has a complete medical department
fully equipped to care for all actual and possible
needs of the passengers.
The Japanese exchange vessel Teia Maru,
carrying Japanese repatriates from the Western
Hemisphere, departed from Mormugao on
October 21 and is scheduled to arrive at Yokohama
on November 14, calling en route at Singapore
from November 1 to 3 and at Manila from
November 7 to 8. The full quantity of mail
and of relief supplies, provided by the American
and Canadian Red Cross and other organizations
and intended for Americans and other
nationals of the United Nations under detention
in Japan and Japanese-occupied territory,
which was taken from the United States on the
Gripsholm, was transferred to the Teia Maru at
Mormugao. Arrangements have been made for
the distribution of this relief cargo under the
auspices of the International Red Cross Committee
to prisoners of war and civilian internees
in Japanese hands throughout the Far East.
There have also been placed on board the Teia
Maru at Mormugao some relief supplies provided
by the Indian Red Cross.
NOVEMBER 13, 1943
EXCHANGE OF AMERICAN AND JAPANESE NATIONALS
Negotiations between the United States Government
and the Japanese Government lasting
more than a year have culminated in a second
exchange of civilians resulting in the repatriation
of approximately 1,240 nationals of the
United States, including a small number from
the Philippine Islands, and 200 nationals of the
other American republics and Canada. In the
first exchange, which took place in the summer
of 1942, over 1,300 United States officials and
non-officials were repatriated from the Far East.
The motorship Gripsholm, carrying the persons
who are returning from the Far East in
the current exchange of American and Japanese
nationals, departed from the exchange port at
Mormugao, Goa, Portuguese India, on October
22. The vessel is now en route to the United
States and is scheduled to reach New York on
BULLETIN of Sept. 4, 1943. p, J40; Oct. 16, 1943, p.
255; and Oct. 23, 1943, p. 273.
The Japanese Government refused to apply
the provisions of the civilian-exchange arrange-
ments to American civilians who were ca^^tured
in the Philippine Islands, Guam, and Wake
Island. Although it finally agreed to permit
the repatriation of a small number of American
civilians from the Philippines in the second exchange,
it reserved to itself the right to select
them. In the current exchange, the repatriates
were thus drawn almost entirely from Japan,
Japanese-occupied China, Hong Kong, and
The Swiss representatives in the Far East,
under broad directives issued by the United
States Government, compiled the list of those
to be repatriated, giving preference to the following
categories of American civilians in Japanese
hands: (1) those under close arrest; (2)
interned women and children; (3) the seriously
ill; and (4) interned men, with preference being
given, other things being equal, to married
men long separated from their families in the
The Japanese Government has indicated that
it will not enter into negotiations for additional
exchanges until the present exchange is completed.
The Department of State will proceed
with the negotiations as soon as feasible and
will continue its efforts to induce the Japanese
Government to agree to apply to all American
civilians detained by the Japanese, wherever
they may have been captured, the provisions of
such arrangements as may be made. The Department
hopes eventually to obtain Japanese
agreement to further exchanges at an accelerated
rate so that all American civilians remaining
in Japanese custody, numbering about
10,000, may have an opportunity to be repatriated
at the earliest practicable date.
[Released to the press November 13]
Upon the arrival of the Gripsholm in New
York December 2 the American Red Cross,
having been designated by agreement among
various interested agencies, will be the sole
agency at the pier for the purpose of delivering
mail and telegrams to repatriates and of giving
them information as to addresses and telephone
numbers and where they can meet friends and
relatives in New York.
For reasons of security, the authorities will
not permit repatriates to meet friends and relatives
on the pier in New Jersey. Relatives and
friends have been asked to remain at their hotels,
homes, and other points of contact away from
the pier and to inform the Red Cross of their
exact location and telephone number in New
York. In this connection mail and telegrams
for repatriates arriving on the Gripsholm
should be addressed in the following manner:
"Mr. John Doe, Gripsholm Repatriate, Care of
New York Chapter, American Red Cross,
31.5 Lexington Avenue, New York, N. Y."
"Mr. John Doe, Gripsholm Repatriate, Care of
Postmaster, New York, N. Y."
Repatriates requiring assistance in obtaining
transportation from the pier to Manhattan will
so inform the Red Cross at the pier, and Motor
Corps service will be made available.
In addition to the foregoing information the
repatriates on the Gripsholm are being advised
as to detailed arrangements made for their reception
by the various agencies concerned, together
with instructions as to addresses and telephone
numbers of such agencies.
Appropriate travel and relief assistance will
be extended through these agencies at a reception
center provided by the American Red Cross
and located at 315 Lexington Avenue, New
York, N. Y.
NOVEMBER 20, 1943
ADDRESS BY JOSEPH C. GREW BEFORE THE HOLLAND SOCIETY OF NEW YORK
[Released to the press November 19]
Delivered at the annual banquet of the Holland
Society of New York, Nov. 18, 1943. Mr. Grew, formerly
American Ambassador to Japan, is now Special Assistant
to the Secretary of State.
"Great honors are great burdens", wrote Ben
Jonson, and "on whom they are cast, his cares
must still be double to his joys, in any dignity".
It is in that humble spirit that I accept the
honor that has so generously been conferred on
me tonight in the form of the gold medal of the
Holland Society of New York, an honor the significance
of which I fully recognize and of
which I express profound appreciation. The
care, however, must still be double the joy, realizing
as I do that such a mark of confidence—
having especially in mind the distinguished list
of Americans already recipients of this medal
must be taken less as a testimonial for work already
clone than as a spur and incentive to further
and fuller service to our country. To be
thus associated with the members of a society
which seeks to perpetuate the memory and to
foster and promote the principles and virtues
of their Dutch ancestors, descended as you are
from one of the most vigorous, staunch, and
wholesome fountainheads of our American civilization,
gives me the keenest pleasure, and I
thank you, gentlemen, with all my heart, for
this high distinction.
I shall not insult your intelligence by talking
platitudes tonight. This is a time, if ever, for
frank speaking, and, although an officer of the
Government, I shall, in what follows, express
my own personal thoughts rather than try to
undertake anything in the nature of official pronouncements.
Indeed, in any group of men,
whether in official or private life, especially in
dealing with the conduct of the war and with
prognostications as to the course the war will
take, opinions must inevitably vary, for many
imponderable factors are involved in the situation,
and it is wiser to try to analyze rather
than to predict, except in general terms. I
have never understood the somewhat sibylline
prescience of some of our self-appointed military
authorities who freely predict the dates for
the ending of our war with Germany and the
ending of our war with Japan.
In many talks throughout the country I have
expressed the personal opinion that the morale
of the Germans will eventually crack and that,
when the process of demoralization and disintegration
once sets in, it will be like a snowball
rolling downhill, gathering momentum as it
goes. I base this belief on my knowledge of the
German character, derived from nearly 10 years
of residence in Berlin. That residence was many
years ago, and profound changes have taken
place in Germany since those days. But the
moral stamina of a people does not greatly
change from one generation to another. As a
race, the Germans are cocksure, blatant, and
vainglorious when on the crest of the wave, but
when things go against them, when they can no
longer be fed with a daily diet of triumphal
victories, but, on the contrary, are subjected to
grim hardship, terror, and defeat, they cannot
and, I believe, will not long stand the test. In
this respect they are different from the Japanese—
but that is another story to be dealt with
later. The Germans cracked in 1918; I believe
that they will crack again in the not-too-distant
Let us for a moment analyze the present situation
of the Germans as compared with their
situation in 1918. In 1918 the food situation
in Germany, resulting from the blockade,
was serious; their then available sources of
trained manpower were drying up. Those two
factors—food and manpower—chiefly brought
about their defeat, demoralization, and capitulation.
Today, in this second World War, their food
situation is not serious, for they have the greater
part of Europe available as their larder. Their
manpower problem, however, conservatively
speaking, is as bad as before, and very old and
very young men are appearing in the ranks, but
they still possess an army of immense magnitude
and power. Their Gestapo is far more
thorough, efficient, and ruthless in controlling
defections than ever could the police control
morale in the last war. Furthermore, the Germans,
especially their younger generation, have
been tl^thoroughly and fundamentally indoctrinated
with the principles and spirit of Nazism.
They believe themselves a race of supermen;
they believe that defeat in this war will mean
the extermination of their country as a great
power—and since they interpret national greatness
as military greatness, they are in this conception
of defeat profoundly right. These are
their chief assets. Now let us look at some of
Bombing. The blotting out of great industrial
areas in Germany given over to the manufacture
of implements of war. The curve of
Nazi production is clearly moving downward.
Terror. Daily and nightly ever-lurking terror.
The deaths by bombing of thousands of
Germans. Those civilian deaths were not purposely
designed. They were the inevitable concomitant
of the destruction of German warplants.
Yet those deaths might well be held to
be just retribution for the wholly indiscriminate
bombing of London, Coventry, and many other
British cities during the earlier stages of the
war. The Germans began those methods of
warfare. We and the British reluctantly but
inevitably had to learn the direct modern road
to victory, yet our own policy and practice of
precision bombing is a far cry from the policy
and practice of the Nazis. How direct is that
modern road to winning the war may soon
become apparent. Sleepless nights and a perpetual
sense of terror—constant anticipation
yet ignorance as to where and when that terror
will strike—cannot be conducive to high morale.
Then, too, morale cannot be improved by the
knowledge that Gestapo spies are everywhere,
ready to pick up the slightest indiscreet remark
in the nature of complaint which could be interpreted
as defeatism, with the concentration
camp, the whip, or even liquidation awaiting
Housing. Millions of homeless Germans.
Mass migrations from one destroyed area to another
area awaiting destruction. Families living
in one room with the remainder of their
homes given over to refugees. That leads to
discomfort, dissatisfaction, bickering, hatred.
Defection of their chief ally, Italy. It was
not long after Austria-Hungary capitulated in
1918 that the floodgates broke.
Failure of the U-boat warfare. In 1917 and
1918 it was "touch and go" whether England
would be starved into submission. That situation
does not obtain in 1943.
Oil. I myself know little about their reserves
or their rate of production, but I have good
reason to believe that all is not rosy in that
respect. I have long ventured one prediction,
namely, that oil might and probably would have
an important bearing on the winning of the war
against Germany. Every effort was made by
the Nazis, in vain, to reach and to control the
oil fields in the Caucasus and in Iraq. The
bombing of Ploesti unquestionably made a big
dent in production.
The seething hatred against the Nazis and
the underground forces of rebellion constantly
gaining momentum in the occupied countries of
Europe, including the countries nominally
allies of the Reich—Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria.
The Frenchman, the Norwegian, the
Dutchman lives because he hates. The Dutchman
thinks and talks only of "Hatchet Day",
and the unity of purpose and of resistance in
Norway and Holland and Denmark is unsurpassed.
Throughout Europe the flame is there,
only awaiting the moment when it can expand
into a single devastating conflagration in which
the enemy must and will be consumed.
And finally, the gradually but inevitably
closing pincers of the mighty Allied forces in
Russia and Italy and the constant threat of a
descent in western Europe. This is a very different
picture from the comparatively static
battle-lines of 1918. These are the battle-lines
of certain ultimate doom to the Nazis, and the
handwriting is on the wall for all in Germany—who can see—to read.
There, gentlemen, are the main outlines of
the situation facing the Germans in 1943 as
compared with the situation just prior to their
collapse in 1918. We may draw our own inferences.
I submit that the time is approaching,
if not already here, for the final stupendous
knockout blow—the blow that will bring about
the early collapse of Germany and permit the
concentration of all our forces against that
other and—morally at least, I believe—that
even tougher enemy, Japan. From all indices,
that knockout blow is not to be long delayed.
In a few moments I shall speak briefly about
that other enemy. But first, let me make an
appeal. I realize that this will be a digression
from my train of thought, but I do wish, if
only for a moment, to dwell on another subject
in which I am deeply interested, and I venture
to hope that I may interest you gentlemen also.
One of the proudest achievements of our
country is our assimilation of many different
races within our borders. We take well-justified
pride in the term "melting pot" as applied
to our nation. The existence and purpose and
membership of the Holland Society are a living
testimonial to that great principle, and it
is especially interesting to note that, even three
centuries ago, when the Dutch West India
Company had extended to all friendly European
countries the privilege of trading with the
then province of New Amsterdam, the town of
New Amsterdam rapidly assumed the cosmopolitan
character for which it has ever since
been noted, and that, according to contemporary
reports, 18 languages were spoken among its 400
or 500 inhabitants in 1643.
The point I wish to make is this: In time
of war, blind prejudice is always rampant. In
the last war I remember that even loyal Americans
with German names were all too often
looked at askance. That bigotry fortunately
does not exist today, but it does exist today
among a large proportion of our fellow countrymen
with regard to American citizens of
Japanese descent. In fact many, perhaps most,
of our compatriots refer to those fellow-citizens
of ours quite indiscriminately as "Japs". In
reading the many letters I receive from all
over the country on that subject I very seldom
know whether the writer is referring to
Americans or to outright enemy aliens. There
is, or should be, a great difference there.
In time of war, especially, we must take every
proper step to protect our country from hostile
acts, especially from espionage or sabotage
within our gates. We have competent official
authorities to attend to that consideration, and
they are attending to it, constantly and effectively.
I do know that, like the Americans of
German descent, the overwhelming majority of
Americans of Japanese origin wish to be and
are wholly loyal to the United States, and not
only that, but they wish to prove that loyalty
in service to their native land. Relman Morin,
of the Associated Press, reports from the Fifth
Army in Italy that the first unit of American-born
Japanese troops went into combat smiling
with satisfaction as if they were going to a baseball
game; their motto is "Remember Pearl
Harbor", and their commander said that he
wouldn't trade his command for any other in the
Army. Their officers, said Morin, are unanimously
enthusiastic about the quality and spirit
of those men and said they never had seen any
troops train harder and more assiduously and
never had any doubt as to what to expect of
them in combat. A German prisoner was
brought past their encampment one day; he
gaped with surprise when he saw their faces and
asked if they were Japanese. An interpreter
explained that they were Americans of Japanese
parentage. The German shook his head
in wonder and said: "Ach, that's American."
There are camps in our country today engaged
exclusively in training these men for military
service. I have met and talked to them. Their
officers are proud of their charges.
What I wish to say is merely this. Those
Americans of Japanese descent have grown up
in our country—in our democratic atmosphere.
Most of them have never known anything else.
Among those few who have been to Japan, most
of them could not stand the life there and soon
returned to the United States. The overwhelming
majority of those men want to be loyal to us,
and, perhaps surprisingly, the few who don't
want to be loyal to us often say so openly. It
does not make for loyalty to be constantly under
suspicion when grounds for suspicion are absent.
I have too great a belief in the sanctity of
American citizenship to want to. see those Americans
of Japanese descent penalized and alienated
through blind prejudice. I want to see
them given a square deal. I want to see them
treated as we rightly treat all other American
citizens regardless of their racial origin—with
respect and support, unless or until they have
proved themselves unworthy of respect and
support. That fundamental principle" should
apply all along the line—to every citizen of
the United States of America.
Once again, gentlemen, I heartily thank you
for the honor you have accorded me tonight.
NOVEMBER 27, 1943
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO AMERICANS
HELD BY THE JAPANESE IN THE PHILIPPINES
[Released to the press November 22]
As a result of prolonged efforts by the Department
of State and the American Red Cross
to provide funds for the purchase locally of
relief supplies and to extend financial assistance
to the Americans held by the Japanese in the
Philippine Islands, the Japanese Government
has granted to the Swiss Legation at Tokyo,
which is charged with the representation of
American interests in Japan and Japanese-occupied
territory, permission to make remittances
each month to civilian internment camps in the
Philippine Islands. Funds totaling $50,000
have been sent to Santo Tomas for this purpose,
and arrangements have been made to forward
on a regular basis $25,000 monthly to this camp.
Seven thousand four hundred and ten dollars
has also been distributed to the smaller camps
at Bacolod, Baguio, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Tacloban,
and Tagbilaran for relief purposes. These
remittances will continue on a monthly basis.
Permission has likewise been requested to remit
funds to the Ateneo and Los Banos camps on a
regular monthly basis. Efforts to make similar
arrangements for American prisoner-of-war
camps in the Philippine Islands are being continued.
According to information so far received by
the Department, American civilians are now
being held by the Japanese authorities in internment
camps in the Philippines as follows:
Ateneo (Manila) 81
Los Banos 800
Santo Tomas (Manila) 2,300
The persons now on board the exchange vessel
Gripsholm who are returning to the United
States from the Philippine Islands are being interviewed
by representatives of the Department
of State with a view to obtaining and correlating
such information as the repatriates may
have concerning Americans remaining in the
Philippines. This information will be made
available to next-of-kin and other interested
persons in the United States as soon as it is
received in the Department.
ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK OF THE
[Released to the press November 27]
The M.S. Gripsholm, which is bringing
American and Canadian repatriates to the
United States from the Far East, departed from
Rio de Janeiro on November 16, 1943. The
Gripsholm has been favored with unusually
lino weather conditions during the voyage
from Rio de Janeiro, and as a consequence
it is expected that the vessel will arrive in
New York ahead of schedule.
If the weather continues to be good the
Gripsholm will probably arrive in New York
on Wednesday, December 1, instead of on
Thursday, December 2, as has been announced
JANUARY 1, 1944
WAR AND POST-WAR PROBLEMS IN THE FAR EAST
Address by Joseph C. Grew
[Released to the press December 29]
Delivered at the annual banquet celebrating the
90th anniversary of the Illinois Education Association,
Chicago, Dec. 29, 1943. Mr. Grew, former American
Ambassador to Japan, is now Special Assistant to the
Secretary of State.
Among the many invitations to speak which
come to me from all over the country, I know
of none that I accepted more promptly and
gladly than the invitation to meet tonight the
members of the Illinois Education Association,
even though it meant coming from Washington
for this single engagement. For in fighting the
war and in approaching the eventual problems
of the peace tables, we need—as perhaps never
before so urgently—the development of an enlightened
public opinion, especially among the
youth of our country—the younger generation
in whose hands will largely lie the shaping of
our future world. To whom therefore shall we
turn rather than to the teachers of our young
men and women to guide their thinking broadly
and wisely so that the coming generation may be
fitted effectively to influence or to deal directly
with the solution of the tremendous problems
that will face them on emerging from their
scholastic years and crossing the threshold into
life? The duties, the responsibilities, and the
opportunities that you yourselves face in inculcating
that training, my friends of the Illinois
Education Association, are of immense importance,
and I therefore heartily welcome this
occasion which permits me to speak to you tonight.
As for the opportunities, it may do no
harm to remember the difference between a pessimist
and an optimist: a pessimist is one who
sees a difficulty in every opportunity, while an
optimist is one who sees an opportunity in every
Some six weeks ago we passed an anniversary
of solemn and significant memory, the Armistice
of 1918. How well I remember that day
in Paris ! Guns booming, bells pealing, the people
of Paris in the streets singing and dancing,
laughing and weeping. The war to end wars
was over. Thenceforth we were to emerge from
battle to a bright new world, a world of peace
on earth, good-will toward men. And then,
what happened? We in America and people
elsewhere quite simply got into bed and pulled
the covers over our heads, unwilling to see what
was going on about us, asleep to actualities.
And now, once again the world is drenched in
Shall we make that grim mistake again? I
do not believe so. Human nature may not
change much through the ages, but at least mankind
learns something from experience, and I
believe that we in our country have learned that
in this modern world of ours—in which the nations,
through developments in communications
and transit, have been drawn into inevitable intimacy—
isolation has become an anachronism.
We cannot kill the seeds of war, for they are
buried deep in human nature. But what we can
do and I am convinced we shall do is precisely
what we did in permanently stamping out yellow
fever from our country—remove the conditions
under which those seeds of war can
germinate anywhere in the world. It can be
done and it must be done.
The guilty leaders among our enemies and
those individuals responsible for the barbarous
acts of crime and senseless cruelties that have
been committed under the cloak of war must
and shall be punished, and just retribution must
and shall be meted out to the enemy countries
so that the people of those countries shall be
forever cured of the illusion that aggression
pays. Their false philosophy can never be discredited
until the results are brought home to
them in defeat, humiliation, and bitter loss.
Measures must and shall be taken to prevent
that cancer of aggressive militarism from digging
in underground, once again to rear itself
in malignant evil and once again to overrun
the world, calling upon our sons and grandsons
to fight this dreadful war over again in the next
generation. Let us assure our defenders on the
battle-fronts that this time their heroism shall
forever finish the job begun in 1914.
But those self-evident measures will not be
enough. In approaching the eventual peace
tables, we shall need the highest qualities of farsighted
statesmanship. We must abandon all
promptings of vindictiveness or of pride and
First we must clear away the poisonous
growth in order to lay the foundations for the
erection of an invulnerable and enduring world
edifice. Two great cornerstones for that foundation
have already been swung into place.
One was the Atlantic Charter ; the second was
the Moscow agreement supplemented and
strengthened by the declarations of Cairo and
Tehran. Others will follow.
And then we must build. Re-education in
certain areas will become essential. I visualize
a helpful, cooperative, common-sense spirit in
conducting that system of re-education, devoid
of browbeating or vindictiveness, with emphasis
upon what our enemies will have to gain by
playing the game with the rest of the world
and what they would lose by recalcitrance. The
healthy growth must ultimately come from
within. When our enemies find that in cooperation
lies their only hope of salvation, they
will cooperate. Weariness of the sufferings of
war will work in our favor. We do not want
festering sores anywhere in our future world
for the building of which we and our Allies
are fighting and striving today. We do not
want the nursing of grudges, rebelliousness and
bitterness. We want the people of the world,
including our present enemies, to look forward,
not back, and to look forward not to the day
when they can achieve revenge but forward to
a peaceful, lawful, cooperative, solvent, productive,
and prosperous national and international
life, purged forever of the poison of aggressive
militarism. That should be our aim. That
should be the ultimate goal of far-sighted statesmanship,
and that should be the guiding spirit
at the peace tables. We shall need the wisdom
of Solomon in approaching those eventual problems.
Pray God that we may find it.
Thus may our defenders on the battle lines
know that they are not fighting or dying in
vain. Thus may they know that we on the
home-front are not only with joyful determination
supporting them through the war until
total victory is achieved, but that we pledge
to them our inexorable determination to carry
that support into the post-war world, where
the final monument to their heroism shall be
the creation of a permanent international structure
based on the principles of law, truth, liberty,
justice, and peace.
Now, having always in mind those landmarks
which I feel should guide our general course in
the post-war world, I should like to turn to our
war with Japan and its eventual aftermath.
In moving around the country, as I have done
more or less continually since returning to the
United States from Japan some 16 months ago,
I have found among our people a great deal of
muddled thinking on those problems, which
arises largely from an inadequate grasp of facts.
First, with regard to the war itself, there
seems to me to be a general tendency to underestimate
the difficulties, the length of time, and
the potential losses that we face in bringing
Japan to eventual unconditional surrender.
Over-optimism is not likely to further our
steadily strengthening war effort, and I have
conceived it as my own best contribution to our
war effort to try to overcome in some small degree
that dangerously complacent if not wishful
thinking among our people. I have already
spoken so often on this subject that I shall not
try your patience by harping upon it tonight,
but I think we all ought to bear in mind certain
palpable facts, namely, that the Japanese are
fanatical, do-or-die fighters and no mean fighters
while still alive ; that they control today tremendous
areas with all the raw materials and
all the native labor for processing those materials
that any country could desire; that they
are hard-working, pertinacious, foresighted,
thorough, and scientific in their methods, and
will let no grass grow under their feet in i-endering
those far-flung areas—through the building
of industries, warplants, and stockpiles—so far
as possible economically and militarily self-sustaining,
against the day when by crippling
their maritime transport system we shall have
partially or wholly cut them off from their
homeland. At a given moment, with defeat
staring them in the face, their leaders are more
than likely to try to get us into an inconclusive
peace, but that is something that we must never
under any circumstances be lured into accepting.
The show-down must be complete and
irrevocable if we are to avoid another war in
the Pacific in the next generation. Surveying
that war problem from the most pessimistic
angle, I can therefore conceive of a situation
where even after we had crippled or destroyed
their cities, their navy, their transport shipping,
and their air power, even after we had invaded
the Japanese homeland, the Japanese forces in
those vast occupied areas might continue to
fight to the last cartridge and the last soldier.
I do not believe that this will happen, but I do
believe that our people had better visualize what
might happen and that we had better foresee
the possible worst so that we shall not for a
moment relax our maximum war effort. We
shall have to fight, I fear, for a long time to
Now let us turn to some of the post-war problems
that we shall inevitably have to face when
once the Japanese have been brought to unconditional
surrender or at least to a situation when
they can fight no further. Here again there is
much obscure thinking in our country arising
from an inadequate grasp of facts, which has
brought about a deep-rooted prejudice against
the Japanese j^people as a whole. In the light of
Pearl Harbor, the Attila-like aggressions, and
the senseless cruelties of the Japanese military,
that prejudice is perfectly natural. I remember
that in the last war a similar prejudice and suspicion
extended even to Americans with German
names, and many people with German
names changed them. That blind prejudice
against the German race fortunately does not
exist today. Although this subject is controversial,
most of our people feel that we are
chiefly fighting the Nazis and the militaristic
caste and cult and doctrine in Germany and not
the Germans as a whole. But today comparatively
few of our people are able or willing to
admit that there can be anything good in Japan
or any good elements in the Japanese race. The
prejudice is all-embracing.
Not long ago after one of my talks somewhere
in the South, after I had tried to paint a fair
and carefully balanced picture of the Japanese
people as I know them, a prominent businessman,
with whom I had discussed the subject at
dinner, came up to me and said: "That was a
very interesting talk you gave tonight." I said,
"Thank you." "But", he added, "you haven't
changed my opinion in the slightest. The only
good Jap is a dead Jap." I asked : "Have you
ever lived in Japan?" "No", he replied, "but
I know that they are all a barbarous, tricky,
brutal mass that we can have no truck with,
ever again." That sort of attitude I have frequently
encountered. It is wide-spread in our
country, and through the force of public opinion
it can have a serious influence against an intelligent
and practical solution of some of the complicated
pi-problems we shall have to face in the
Far East when the war is over through the destruction
of Japan's military machine.
You can't live among a people for 10 years
without coming to know them—all classes of
them—fairly well. Heaven knows that I
should be the last person in our country to hold
a brief for any Japanese, for not only have I
closely watched that cancer of Japanese aggressive
militarism, chauvinism, truculence, vaingloriousness,
and over-weening ambition grow
throughout those 10 years, but I have known by
first-hand intimate reports of the medieval barbarity
of those militarists—the rape of Nanking,
which will forever and ineradicably stain
Japan's escutcheon in the records of history;
the utterly ruthless destruction by bombing of
innocent and undefended cities, towns, and villages
in China and of our own religious missions
throughout China—for the purpose of stamping
out American interests and Christianity from
all of East Asia—and finally of the indescribable
treatment inflicted alike upon helpless Chinese,
British, and Canadian prisoners-of-war and
upon many of our own American citizens subsequent
to Pearl Harbor. Those things one can
never forget or ever forgive. The guilty will
in due course be brought to the bar of justice
and duly punished, but no punishment under
our civilized code can ever repay what has been
wrought or wipe out the memory of those utterly
barbarous crimes. It would be very easy for
me, with my background of many days of bitter
experience and many sleepless nights of bitter
memory, to assimilate my own thinking with
that of the mass of our compatriots who can see
no good among the Japanese.
Yet we Americans are generally fair-minded.
We are not prone to condemn the innocent because
they are helplessly associated with the
guilty. I have said that you can't live for 10
years in a country without coming to know all
classes of the people of that country, their problems,
their predilections, and, in some measure,
their trends of thought. Even in our own country
we have our Dillingers and our reputable
citizens residing in the same street. The main
difference is that in our country it is the reputable
citizens who control. In Japan it is the
military gangsters who control. Only a few
years before Pearl Harbor a prominent Japanese
said to me : "If our military leaders continue
to follow their present course, they will
wreck the country."
Throughout those 10 years I was in touch
with people in Japan from the highest to the
lowest, from the Emperor and his statesmen to
the servants in our house, the academic world,
the businessmen, the professionals, the tradespeople,
and the gardeners on our place. I was
never taken in by the often-expressed opinion
that a great mass of liberal thought in Japan
was just beneath the surface, ready, with a little
encouragement from the United States, to
emerge and to take control. I knew the power
of the stranglehold of the militarists, only
awaiting the day when they should find the
moment ripe to put into operation their dreams
of world conquest. But I also knew that many
of the highest statesmen of Japan, including the
Emperor himself, were laboring earnestly but
futilely to control the military in order to avoid
war with the United States and Great Britain,
and I did know that many of the rank and file
of the Japanese people were simply like sheep,
helplessly following where they were led.
There is no extenuation implied in that statement.
It is simply a statement of fact. There
of course arises the question as to what effect
the impact of the war and the inculcation by the
military leaders of the doctrine of hatred
against the democracies may have altered the attitude
and thinking of the rank and file of the
people of Japan since Pearl Harbor. That
question cannot with certainty be answered, especially
in view of the activities of the
"Thought Control" section of the Japanese police
who are always searching out what they
call "dangerous thoughts". Those in Japan
who deplore the war and who cherish no inherent
hatred against the white man must be
and are inarticulate. Besides, all Japanese are
fundamentally loyal to the Emperor at least in
spirit, and since the Emperor, after the militarist
fait accompli of Pearl Harbor, was
obliged, willy-nilly, to sign an Imperial Rescript
declaring war and calling for the destruction
of the United States and Great
Britain, very few Japanese would allow their
thoughts to run counter to that edict. The
Japanese people, under the Emperor, are unquestionably
more united in thought and spirit
than are the Germans under Hitler.
Yet I repeat that the Japanese rank and file
are somewhat like sheep and malleable under
the impact of new circumstances and new conditions.
I will tell you two short stories—
true stories in my own experience—which I
think tend to illustrate what I have just said.
On December 12, 1937 the United States ship
Panay was bombed and sunk in the Yangtze
River near Nanking by Japanese planes. From
the facts, there could be no question but that the
act was deliberate, carried out by Japanese
fliers for the vei-y same purpose that had led
them to bomb and destroy many of our American
religious missions—churches, hospitals,
schools, residences—in various parts of China.
That purpose was to drive all American interests
out of East Asia. After sinking our naval
ship, the planes returned and machine-gunned
the officers and men who had taken refuge in
the high reeds on the shore, in an endeavor to
wipe them out. You no doubt remember what
happened after that incident. The Japanese
Government did not want war with the United
States; perhaps the Japanese Army and Navy
did not yet feel prepared for war with us at that
time. At any rate, the Government abjectly
apologized for what they alleged was an accident—
as they had apologized in so many previous
cases—met all of our demands, and
promptly paid the full indemnity we asked.
The incident was closed.
But then the Japanese people had their say.
They were ashamed. From all over Japan,
from people in high places down to schoolboys,
from professors in the universities to taxi
drivers and the corner grocer, I received letters
of profound apology and regret for the incident.
Gifts of money poured in to the Embassy—for
that is the Japanese way of expressing sympathy; considerable sums from those who were well off, a few cents from groups of schoolboys. Suggestions were received from home that I
return the money, but the money could not be
returned, first because it would have been an
insult to refuse to accept the gifts in the spirit
in which they were given, and second because
many of the donations were received anonymously\
The money was placed in a ''Panay
Fund" and invested, and the income was to be
used for the upkeep of the graves of American
sailors who had died in Japan.
But the most touching incident of that
wholly spontaneous expression of friendship
for the American people by many elements of
the people of Japan was when a young Japanese
woman came into my office and asked my
secretary for a pair of scissors. The scissors
were handed to her ; she let down her beautiful
long hair, cut it off to the neck, wrapped her
hair in a parcel, and, taking a carnation from
her head, placed it on the parcel and handed the
parcel to my secretary with the words: "Please
give this to the Ambassador. It is my apology
for the sinking of the Panay.''
Those people did not want war with the
Another little story, not important, perhaps,
but still significant. During the early stages of
the war, while we in the Embassy were still interned
in Tokyo, the Japanese military police
occasionally arranged demonstrations in front
of our Embassy, and on the day of the fall of
Singapore, while Tokyo was celebrating with
processions and brass bands, the police gathered
several hundred Japanese—from the streets, the
shops, and the homes—and brought them down
to the square in front of our office to demonstrate.
They pressed close to the bars of the
Embassy fence behind which we were caged,
waving Japanese flags and howling like a pack
of angry wolves. "Down with the United
States", they shouted. It was a really terrifying
sight, and for a moment I almost feared
that they might get over the wall and run
amuck in the Embassy compound.
At the height of this demonstration, a member
of my staff, who was standing on a balcony
overlooking that howling pack of wolves, pulled
out his pocket handkerchief and cheerfully
waved it at the demonstrators. The Japanese
were of course astonished at this unexpected
gesture. Their jaws fell open in surprise, and
for a moment they ceased their howling. But
the member of my staff kept right on, blithely
waving his handkerchief. And then, wonder of
wonders, those Japanese laughed and pulled out
their handkerchiefs and waved back in most
friendly spirit. The police of course were furious;
they dashed around trying to stop the
unexpected form their carefully regimented hostile
demonstration had taken, but nothing could
be done, and that whole pack of erstwhile snarling
wolves went off up the street, still heartily
I submit that little anecdote merely by way of
concrete evidence to support my belief, indeed
my knowledge, that the Japanese people as a
whole are somewhat like sheep, easily led and
malleable under the impact of new circumstances
and new direction. They have followed false
gods. They have been and are helpless and inarticulate
under their gangster leadership. And
when once the false philosophy of those leaders
comes back to the Japanese people in defeat,
humiliation, and bitter loss, they themselves, I
confidently believe, will be their own liberators
from the illusion that military gangsterism pays.
It is my belief—a belief not subject to proof
but based on my long experience among the
Japanese people—that when once the Japanese
military machine—that machine which the Japanese
people have been told is undefeatable,
having never yet lost a war and being allegedly
protected by their sun goddess and by the "august
virtues" of the Emperor—has been defeated,
largely destroyed and rendered impotent
to fight further, it will lose one of the most important
of oriental assets—namely "face"—and
will become discredited throughout the length
and breadth of the land. It is furthermore my
belief that if at the time of the eventual armistice
or at the eventual peace table—while putting
into effect every measure necessary, effectively
to prevent that cancer of militarism
from digging underground with the intention
of secretly building itself up again as it did in
Germany—we offer the Japanese people hope
for the future, many elements of the rank and
file of the Japanese will give a sigh of relief
that the war is over and will—perhaps sullenly
at first but not the less effectively—cooperate
with us in building a new and healthy edifice.
This concept also is not subject to proof, but
from my knowledge of the Japanese it seems
to me to be a fair postulate.
The Japanese people have suffered acutely;
they are going to suffer a great deal more
acutely for a long time to come. They will see
their shipping destroyed and their cities
bombed; they will lack adequate food and fuel
and clothing; their standard of living will
steadily deteriorate; their military police will
outdo the Gestapo in cruelties, and when the
reckoning comes, the Japanese people will
learn of the preposterous lies and of the baseless
claims of continual victories over their enemies
with which they are daily fed by their
military leaders. Even their hardened fanaticism—even
their last-ditch, do-or-die philosophy—
can hardly withstand such an impact. I
saw obvious signs of weariness of war among
the Japanese people even during the unsuccessful
campaign against heroic China between
1937 and 1941. How much greater will that
weariness of war become in the years ahead!
That leads us to the problems of the eventual
peace settlement with Japan. In approaching
this subject I must make perfectly clear the
fact that I am speaking solely for myself and
that although an officer of the Government I am
presuming in no respect to reflect the official
views of the Government. Those official views,
so far as I am aware, have not yet crystallized.
With so many still imponderable factors in the
situation I do not see how they could yet crystallize.
Studies, of course, are constantly being
pursued with regard to post-war problems,
and I do not doubt that those studies will lead
to a variety of opinions as to the treatment that
should eventually be accorded to the enemy nations.
In any group of men, in official or unofficial
life, it is inconceivable that views and
opinions should be unanimous. In the last
analysis it is of course the President and the
Secretary of State, in conference with the leaders
of other members of the United Nations, and
with due regard to the views of the American
people as expressed by the Congress, who will
determine and formulate our own course. With
regard to Japan it is therefore of the highest
importance that the American people—woefully
uninformed as most of them are with
regard to Japan and the Japanese—should
be enlightened in their thinking not by armchair
theorists but by those who know the subject
by first-hand experience, by those who have
lived long in Japan. The approach to the pence
table should be guided by those who intimately
know the Japanese people and should be formulated
on a basis of plain, practical common
sense, without pride or prejudice, or the vindictiveness
which is inherent in human nature—
formulated with the paramount objective of insuring
the future peace and security of the Pacific
area and of all the countries contiguous
thereto. Seldom if ever will the United States
be called upon, in conjunction with allied nations,
to face and to deal with a problem of
more momentous import to the future welfare
of our country and of the world.
I spoke a moment ago of armchair theorists,
and this reminds me of a story told by an American
businessman who had lived in Japan, representing
a prominent American firm, for some
40 years. During my stay in Tokyo he was
called home by his company for consultation.
The president and vice presidents of the firm
were gathered around the table. "Now, Mr.
So-and-so", said the president, "please tell us
what Japan is going to do." "I don't know",
replied the agent. "What ?" thundered the president;
"After we have paid your salary for 40
years to represent us in Japan, you have the
face to tell us you don't know ?" "No," said the
agent, "I don't know. But ask any of the tourists;
they'll tell you." That anecdote, which
was confirmed to me a few days ago by the businessman
under reference as substantially correct, is more
significant than it may seem.
Many Americans visit Japan for a few days or
weeks or months and come home and write articles
or books about the Japanese. But they
haven't got to first base in understanding Japanese
mentality. The Japanese dress like us and
in many respects they live and act like us, especially
in their modern business and industrial
life. But they don't think as we do, and nothing
can be more misleading than to try to measure
by Western yardsticks the thinking processes
and sense of rationality and logic of the
average Japanese and his reaction to any given
set of circumstances. We have armchair statesmen
galore ; we have volumes galore written by
Americans who have spent a few weeks or
months, or even a year or two, in Japan, yet
whose diagnoses and assessments of Japanese
mentality and psychology are dangerously misleading.
Many of them have observed Japan
and the Japanese solely from the vantage point
of that international hostelry, the Imperial
Hotel in Tokyo. We who have lived in Japan
for 10 or 20 or even 40 years know at least how
comparatively little we really do know of the
thinking processes of the Japanese. But we are
at least in a better position to gage those processes
and their results than are the "armchair
First of all, I know that there are among us
today those who advocate building a fence about
Japan and leaving her—I have heard the phrase
used in that connection—"to stew in her own
juice". The thought has been expressed that
during the j^period of her existence as a world
power Japan, through the competition of her
export trade and her military aggressiveness,
has proved to be more of a nuisance and a handicap
in world affairs than an asset. Control
of Japanese imports, it is said, could be relied
upon to prevent rearmament in future.
With regard to the competition of her export
trade having been a nuisance, I might merely inquire
whether our cotton exporter's and our silk
importers would share that opinion. In any
case, it is open to question whether we should
use our military victory to destroy the legitimate
and peace commerce of a commercial competitor
and thus betray the principles of the Atlantic
Charter. As for the nuisance of Japan's
military aggressiveness, it is my assumption
that our primary and fundamental objective in
the eventual post-war settlement with Japan
will be the total and permanent elimination of
that military cancer from the body politic of
I myself do not doubt that this major operation
can and will be successfully performed and
that effective measures can and will be taken to
prevent the re-growth of that cancer in future.
Otherwise we shall have fought Japan in vain.
In any future system of re-education in Japan
I visualize, as I have said, a helpful, cooperative,
common-sense spirit, devoid of browbeating or
vindictiveness, with emphasis laid upon what
the Japanese would have to gain by playing
the game with the rest of the world and what
they would have to lose by recalcitrance. It
was always my regret that these things were
not more forcibly brought before the Japanese
people in the years before Pearl Harbor. I
myself did everything in my power in that
direction, but I was a voice crying in the wilderness.
The Japanese people were told by the
propaganda of their leaders that the United
States and Great Britain were crowding them
to the wall,' intent upon grabbing control of
East Asia and cutting Japan off from the raw
materials which she needed for her very existence.
At times some of the highest Japanese
liberal statesmen did everything in their power,
even at the constant risk of assassination by the
fire-eaters, to bring their country back to a
reputable international life, but they failed.
That is all water over the dam now. Now we
must look to the future.
The question of determining what kind and
how much of Japan's industrial equipment
should be left to her after the war will require
systematic study. The United Nations must
be in a position to determine the factories and
machinery necessary for the maintenance of a
peace economy, and to dispose of the balance as
they think wise—through the dismantling of
arsenals and dockyards and of heavy industries
designed for or capable of the manufacture of
implements of war.
President Roosevelt, Generalissimo Chiang
Kai-shek, and Prime Minister Churchill conferring
at Cairo in November of this year declared
that "all the territories Japan has stolen
from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa,
and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the
Republic of China", adding: "Japan will also
be expelled from all other territories which she
has taken by violence and greed." The three
Chiefs of State also declared that the "three
great powers, mindful of the enslavement of the
people of Korea, are determined that in due
course Korea shall become free and independent."
And along with these measures, I visualize
a grim determination that the Japanese
shall make some sort of amends to China and
to other countries for the unspeakable acts of
brigandage and the barbarous cruelties inflicted
upon the innocent people of those countries.
Now to return to the theory that a fence
should be built around Japan and that the Japanese
should be left "to stew in their own juice".
I cannot see any signs of high statesmanship
in such a tenet. Any careful student of international
affairs and of history must see at a
glance to what such a measure would lead. It
would lead to the creation of a festering sore
with permanent explosive tendencies—and, as
I have said, we do not want festering sores anywhere
in the future world for the building of
which we and our Allies are fighting and striving
But there is another reason why that proposed
monastic wall around Japan could lead
only to disaster. Up to the restoration in 1868,
Japan was exclusively an agricultural country
with a population of approximately 25 million
people, living chiefly on their rice and vegetables
and fish. After the opening of Japan to the
world, the Japanese, imitating the West, industrialized
the country, importing raw materials,
manufacturing goods, and selling the
produce in foreign markets. As a direct result of
that industrialization the population of Japan
grew to some 75 million. If once again Japan
is to become a hermit nation, what is to become
of that excess population of 50 million souls?
They could not possibly support themselves on
the meager land subject to cultivation, for in
the mountainous terrain and volcanic soil of
the Japanese isles, such land is even now worked
to the last square foot, and even now the Japanese
depend on fertilizer from Manchuria,
sugar from Formosa, and supplementary rice
supplies from Korea, among other basic commodities.
That excess population of 50 million
souls—or such part of it as survived the war—
would quite simply starve. I doubt if even the
most bloodthirsty of our fellow citizens could
with equanimity countenance such a situation.
I now refer to the subject of Shintoism.
There are really two forms of Shintoism. One
is the indigenous religion of the Japanese, a
primitive animism which conceives of all nature—
mountains, rivers, trees, etc., as manifestations
of or the dwelling-places of deities.
It has only slight ethical content.
The other form of Shintoism is a cult. It has
but little religious content and has ethical content
to the extent that it is designed to support
the idea of the divine origin of the Emperor
and ancestor-veneration, and to instill in the subject
habits of obedience and subservience to the
state. The military leaders of Japan have for
long used this aspect of Shintoism to further
their own ends and to inculcate in the Japanese
a blind following of their doctrines as allegedly
representing the will of the Emperor.
But fundamentally Shintoism is the worship
of ancestors. The other day I was talking to a
well-known American who visited us in Tokyo
a few years before Pearl Harbor. He said that
before sailing for Japan he had visited his
family tomb up in New England where his forebears
for several generations back—one of them
having been a member of George Washington's
Cabinet—were buried. Later he stood before
the Japanese national shrine at Ise. He said
that he was deeply moved by the scene. He
told a Japanese friend of his own feeling when
standing before his own family shrine in America
and said that that feeling helped him to
understand the reverence of those who came
to pray at Ise. The Japanese, his face radiant,
grasped the American's hand in both of his
and said: "You understand."
There are those in our country who believe
that Shintoism is the root of all evil in Japan.
I do not agree. Just so long as militarism is
rampant in that land, Shintoism will be used
by the military leaders, by appealing to the
emotionalism and the superstition of the people,
to stress the virtues of militarism and of
war through emphasis on the worship of the
spirits of former military heroes. When militarism
goes, that emphasis will likewise disappear.
Shintoism involves Emperor-homage
too, and when once Japan is under the aegis of
a peace-seeking ruler not controlled by the military,
that phase of Shintoism can become an
asset, not a liability, in a reconstructed nation.
In his book Government by Assassination Hugh
Byas writes: "The Japanese people must be
their own liberators from a faked religion."
I think we should bear in mind an important
historical fact. The attempt in Japan to erect
a free parliamentary system was a grim failure.
That attempt was bound to fail because Japan's
archaic policy ruled out any possibility of parties
dividing over basic political problems which
are elsewhere resolved by parliamentary processes.
So long as the constitution fixed sovereignty
in the Emperor, it was impossible for
any party to come forward with the doctrine
that sovereignty resided in the people or for
another party—in the absence of any such
issue—to deny that doctrine. The promulgation
of archaic ideas as the fundamental doctrine
of the state made impossible any such
struggle as that which took place in England
between the Whigs and the Tories. Thus, lacking
anything important over which party lints
could be drawn, Japanese political parties developed
into factions grouped around influential
political personages, such as Prince Ito
and Count Okuma, and, when these men died,
second-rate politicians tried to take their place
but without success.
When certain constitutional changes are made
and the Japanese are given adequate time to
build up a parliamentary tradition, Japan will
then, for the first time, have an opportunity
to make the party system work.
To summarize my thoughts on this general
subject of post-war Japan I would put it this
way: First of all we must of course by force of
arms reduce the Japanese Army and Navy and
air force to impotence so that they can fight
no further. That, I fear, is going to be a far
longer and tougher job than most of our people
conceive, for we are, as I have said, dealing with
a fanatical enemy. As one American officer put
it: "The Japanese soldier fights to die; the
American soldier fights to live." To try to
predict even an approximate date for the total
defeat of that enemy seems to me to be senseless.
I would not hazard a guess within a period
even of years. Time means nothing to the
Japanese except as a much-needed asset. They
blithely think and talk of a 10- or 50- or 100-
year war. What they need is time to consolidate
their gains. But when their leaders know beyond
peradventure that they are going to be
beaten, then I shall confidently look for efforts
on their part to get us into an inconclusive peace.
Let us be constantly on guard against such a
move, for any premature peace would simply
mean that the militaristic cancer would dig in
underground as it did in Germany, and our sons
and grandsons would have to fight this whole
dreadful war over again in the next generation.
The Japanese would be clever. They would
certainly present the pill in a form to appeal to
the American people. But whatever terms they
might suggest for any premature peace, it is
certain that they will never, until reduced to
military impotence, abandon their determination
to exert control in East Asia. We must
be constantly ready for such a move. We must
go through with our war with Japan to the
bitter end, regardless of time or losses.
In approaching a peace settlement with Japan
we must remember that during the second
half of the 19th century and the first three decades
of the 20th century Japan developed a
productive power comparable to that of many
Western powers; that the rewards of this increased
production were not distributed to the
Japanese masses but were diverted to the building
up of armaments ; and that thus the failure
of the Japanese people to obtain a more abundant
life was not due to lack of economic opportunity
but to the aggressive aims of their leaders.
The Japanese, notwithstanding the advantages
of propinquity to the nations of Asia, did not
want to trade on a basis of open competition
with other powers but wanted to create exclusive
spheres in which their military would
be in charge. No wonder that Japanese penetration
and development abroad were viewed
with suspicion, and efforts made to resist them.
In the light of our past experience, in the postwar
world Japan can only be taken back as a
respectable member of the family of nations
after an adequate period of probation. When
and as Japan gives practical evidence of peaceful
intentions and shows to our complete satisfaction
that she has renounced any intention of
resuming what Japanese leaders refer to as a
100-year war will we be safe in relaxing our
guard. When and as Japan takes concrete steps
along the paths of peace, then there will be
found opportunities for extending to Japan
helpful cooperation. All this, however, is so
far in the future that we cannot undertake now
the laying down of a definite policy.
One more point I should like to make and
that is this: In victory we must be prepared to
implement the principles for which we are fighting.
To allow our attitude as victors to be
dominated by a desire to wreak vengeance on
entire populations would certainly not eliminate
focal points of future rebelliousness and disorder.
And perhaps even more important
would be the effect which such an attitude would
generate in time, among the people of the victor
nation, possibly in our own children, namely, a
profound cynicism with regard to the avowed
principles for which we are now fighting.
Before terminating this soliloquy I would
like to quote passages from three well-known
authorities: First Hillis Lory, whose book
Japan's Military Masters I consider one of the
soundest works that has been written on that
subject ; second Sir George Sansom, long a member
of the British Embassy in Tokyo and one
of the world's most eminent writers and experts
on Japan; and third, Hugh Byas, a resident in
Japan for many years and long correspondent
of the New York Times in Tokyo. With both
Sansom and Byas I maintained close relations
during my own stay in Japan, and on most
issues in the Far East we saw eye to eye.
"An appalling blunder in our thinking is the
widespread belief that time is with us. On the
contrary time is with Japan. It may seem
almost inconceivable to many that Japan could
possibly compete seriously with us in our war
production. But what is there to prevent this?
The Japanese have the raw materials. They
have the manpower that can be trained. We
have no monopoly on mass production. Japan,
even in conquered areas, is adapting it to her
needs. Japan's most urgent need is time. That
we must not give her.
"The longer she has to entrench herself in
her conquered territories, the more formidable
will be the military task of dislodging her.
The longer she has to utilize her rich booty of
war—the tin, the copper, the iron, her vast supplies
of oil and rubber; the longer she has to
lash the whip over the masses of China, the
Dutch East Indies, Malaya, Burma, and the
Philippines—labour that transforms these raw
materials into guns and planes and tanks and
ships, the longer must be the years of terrible
fighting with its cost of American dead to defeat
"Every Japanese knows that now they are in
to win all or lose all. This war is literally a
life-and-death struggle. If Japan wins, no
nation on earth can successfully challenge her."
In a paper read to the Eighth Conference of
the Institute of Pacific Relations in Canada in
December 1942, Sansom, speaking personally
and not officially, summed up his thesis in the
"I believe that the past social and political
history of the Japanese have produced in them
as a nation a remarkable incapacity to grasp the
essentials of cultures other than their own, which
accounts for their failure to take over, with the
physical apparatus of Western Civilization,
anything beyond the most superficial aspects of
its moral elements. I do not see how this is to
be broken down except by increased association
between Japanese and people of other nations,
and I have to admit that the facts of geography
and international politics are unfavourable to
that process. Yet, unless this difficulty is somehow
overcome, the prospects of a useful contribution
by Japan to postwar reconstruction
and reform are poor indeed. An outlawed
Japan, even weakened to the point of despair,
cannot be other than a danger, a kind of septic
"I therefore see no escape from the conclusion
that, in their own interests, the United Nations
must after the war endeavour to enlist the
collaboration of Japan in their projects for security
and welfare in the Pacific area. I cannot
suggest specific and positive methods, because
it is t«o early to envisage the state of affairs at
the end of the war, the relative military and
economic strengths of the combatants and the
state of mind of their peoples. But I do believe
that an attempt by the victors to prescribe
the form or the content of Japanese domestic
policy would make their task, already difficult
enough, impossible of execution.
"Similar difficulties are likely to arise out of
plans to dictate to Japan reforms in her system
of domestic government. They are likely to
engender more antagonism than agreement.
The important thing is not so much that the
Japanese should be told to abolish distasteful
features of their system as that they should
have some positive notions of what to put in
"The liberal democracies now fighting Japan
have reason to be proud of their past political
history and of the freedoms which they have
gained ; but we are most of us now agreed that
our political philosophies are due for some drastic
revision. It is only under the strain of war
that we begin to realize that the liberty of the
individual citizen has its essential counterpart
in his obligations. We find that our enemies,
who are not by our standards—or by any standards,
for that matter—free men, are able to gain
victories which, making all allowance for their
material strength, depend in no small measure
upon a militant faith. It is, we believe firmly,
a mistaken, heretical faith, and its tenets are
propounded by its leaders in the language of
lunacy. But beneath all the mystical rubbish,
the mumbo-jumbo of the master race, the
special position in the universe, the divine mission
and suchlike foolishness, there is a core of
genuine sentiment, a strong feeling of national
unity and national purpose in a society where
men's duties are felt to be more important than
"Unless at the end of the war the Japanese
are in a state of helpless despair, and ready to
follow any strong lead, they are not likely to
adopt a ready-made 'way of life' of Western
pattern which does not offer better prospect of
reconciling rights and duties throughout the
community than does our own peace-time system
of liberal democracy. They will, I feel
sure, for better or worse work out their own
system by trial and error upon the basis of their
"I do not venture to hazard a prediction, but
I should not be surprised if, in favourable conditions,
they developed a more modern and
democratic type of constitutional monarchy;
and I am interested to find that Dr. Hu Shih,
for whose judgment I have great respect, thinks
that this is not unlikely."
Byas, in his admirable book Government by
"Japan's spiritual malady is the same as Germany's—
a false philosophy. It is a belief that
the Japanese race and state are one and the
same and that it has unique qualities that make
it superior to its neighbors and give it a special
mission to perform . . .
"This false philosophy has been so sedulously
inculcated and so eagerly swallowed that at
last a policy of live and let live, a position of
equality, and a willingness to compromise seem
intolerable humiliations. The only position
Japan will consider is that of overlord and
protector of East Asia. . . .
"For our own future and not for that of
Japan we must continue the war until the
Japanese forces have been driven from the
regions they have invaded. Yet in saving ourselves
we are saving the Japanese people. The
false philosophy they have taken to their heart
will never be discredited until it comes back to
them in defeat, humiliation, and loss. Peace
without victory, if we accepted it, would be to
them a mere cloak to save our face. They
would readily join in the fraud for the benefits
it would bring them, but the whole false morality
which underlies their policy would be reinforced,
and their gains would be the jumping off
place for fresh wars. . . .
"The Japanese people must be their own liberators
from a faked religion and a fraudulent
Constitution. But our victory will start the
process and help it along. It will cure them of
the illusion that aggression pays and it will
open wide a better way to their renascent
national energies. . . .
"We want the Japanese people to recognize
the war for what it was—a bloody and useless
sacrifice to false gods. . . .
"We are laying the foundations of a new
order which we conceive to be suited to the
modern world in which we live. The riches of
the earth will be freely and fairly open to all
nations, and the primitive or backward or
simply weak peoples will have the protection of
an authority representing civilized humanity
instead of being left to the chance that may
give them a mild or a harsh taskmaster.
"If we consider fifty years of modern Japan
and not the gangster decade alone, we are entitled
to believe that Japan has qualities that
will again fit it to be a member of this new order.
Japan is now possessed by the evil genius that
it loves, but there is another Japan and it has
a contribution to make to the world. . . .
"We want to live in peace and devote our
energies to our own well-being. We want to
start on the tremendous task of adjusting our
lives to a civilization of abundance. We want
to raise the level of subsistence and to create
economic security for all and on that foundation
to erect a free universal culture such as
the world has not seen.
"In that order there can be a place for Japan."
JANUARY 15, 1944
EXCHANGE OF AMERICAN AND JAPANESE NATIONALS
[Released to the press January 13]
Reports have reached the Department of
State, as they appear to have reached many of
the Department's correspondents, that American
passengers from the Philippine Islands who
returned on the Gripsholm in the recent exchange
of nationals with Japan were selected
for repatriation by the Department of State.
These reports are not true.
The facts are these:
It was only after long and difficult negotiations
that the Government of the United States
succeeded in making with the Japanese Government
arrangements for the exchange of American
and Japanese civilian nationals which has
just been completed.
The exchange included for the most part
civilians who were in Japan, Manchuria, China,
Hong Kong, and Indochina. The Japanese
Government contended that the provisions of
the exchange arrangements were not applicable
to Americans who were in the Philippines,
Wake, and Guam when those territories were
occupied by the Japanese. Only after months
of negotiations did the Japanese Government
finally indicate that it would return to the
United States in the second exchange a small
number of civilians from the Philippine
Islands. The Japanese Government exercised
complete control over the departure of those
desiring repatriation and actually refused to
permit the repatriation of a number of Americans
whose inclusion in the exchange Swiss
representatives in charge of American interests
endeavored to arrange on humanitarian
The Government of the United States, recognizing
that all American citizens have an equal
right to consideration, did not select individual
Americans for inclusion in the exchange or discriminate
in any other way between individual
Americans desiring repatriation.
Since all Americans could not be accommodated
in one exchange, the Swiss representatives
in charge of American interests in Japan
and occupied China were given broad humanitarian
directives for their guidance in compiling
passenger lists for the Gripsholm. These
directives gave preference to (1) those under
close arrest; (2) interned women and children;
(3) the seriously ill; and (4) interned men,
with preference being given, other things being
equal, to married men long separated from their
families in the United States. The Japanese
Government did not permit even these broad
directives to be applied in the Philippine
Islands, and even in other areas it prevented
their full application in respect to certain individuals.
Since the successful conclusion of the second
exchange of nationals with Japan, the Department
of State has endeavored to arrange for a
third exchange. The Japanese Government has
so far refused to discuss further exchanges, contending
that it desires first to receive "clarification
on certain points respecting the treatment
of Japanese nationals in the United States".
Spanish representatives in charge of Japanese
interests in the United States have been requested
to supply the information requested by
the Japanese Government. As of this moment,
however, the Department of State is not in a
position to offer encouragement for the early repatriation
of American citizens in Japanese custody.
The Department wishes to emphasize
that responsibility for this situation rests not
with the United States Government but with the
Government of Japan. In time of war an exchange
of nationals with an enemy is fraught
with difficulties. This is particularly true of
those of the magnitude of the exchanges that the
United States has twice been able to arrange
with Japan and hopes to be able to arrange in
the future. Such exchanges cannot be accomplished
by unilateral action. No matter what
efforts are put forth by the United States Government,
and they have been many and continuous,
an exchange cannot take place unless the
enemy is willing to cooperate and deliver on its
part the Americans in its custody.
Since the successful termination of the second
exchange of nationals with Japan, the Department
has received numerous letters concerning
the desire of individuals in the United
States to expedite the repatriation of their relatives
and friends still in Japanese custody.
Some of these letters request preferential treatment
for specific individuals. These inquiries
and requests are handled as expeditiously' as possible
and every effort is made to insure that all
persons who have expressed an interest in a particular
individual still in Japanese custody are
currently informed of developments regarding
his or her possible repatriation.
Relatives and friends in the United States of
American nationals still in Japanese custody
may be assured that their Government will not
relax its efforts to induce the Japanese Government
to agree to the release for repatriation of
all such Americans and to insure that all be
given equal consideration in such arrangements
as may be made for their repatriation. Meanwhile,
the Government is persevering in its efforts,
some of which are summarized in the following
statement, to relieve the situation of
American nationals still detained by Japan.
Summary of Steps Taken by the Department
Of State in Behalf or American Nationals
In Japanese Custody
1. Treatment of prisoners of war and civilian
Upon the outbreak of war between the United
States and Japan, the United States Government,
in an endeavor to insure humane treatment
for American nationals in Japanese hands,
confirmed its intention to observe the Geneva
Prisoners of War Convention (convention relative
to the treatment of prisoners of war, signed
at Geneva on July 27, 1929 and ratified by the
United States in 1932), and to apply its provisions
to prisoners of war and, so far as its
provisions might be adaptable, to civilian internees.
The Japanese Government, which had
signed but had not ratified the convention,
thereupon notified the United States Government
that it would apply the provisions of the
convention, mutatis mutandis, to the treatment
of American prisoners of war and to the treatment
of American civilian internees so far as
its provisions might be adaptable to civilian
The United States Government has also
obtained assurances from the Japanese Government
that it is applying the Geneva Red Cross
Convention (convention for the amelioration
of the condition of the wounded and the sick of
armies in the field, which was also signed at
Geneva on July 27, 1929 and which was ratified
by the United States in 1932 and by Japan in
The conventions named above provide a humanitarian
standard of treatment for prisoners
of war. Specifically, they provide that prisoners
of war shall be treated humanely and held
in honorable captivity—not imprisoned as criminals.
They establish as the standard for the
shelter and diet of prisoners of war, the cor
responding treatment of the garrison troops
of the detaining power, and they establish fundamental
rights regarding correspondence,
medical care, clothing, pay for labor, satisfaction
of intellectual, recreational, and religious
needs, and the continued enjoyment of full civil
status. For persons generally referred to as
"protected personnel"—that is, doctors, nurses,
and other sanitary (medical) personnel and
chaplains—they provide certain special rights
The Department of State is constantly alert
to insure observance of the conventions. Whenever
it is learned through the Swiss Government,
which represents American interests in
Japan and Japanese-occupied territories,
through the International Red Cross, or otherwise,
that the terms of the conventions are not
being observed, the United States Government
draws to the attention of the Japanese Government
that Government's obligations under the
Red Cross Convention and under its agreement
to apply to the treatment of interned American
nationals in Japanese hands the provisions of
the Prisoners of War Convention.
2. Exchange of civilians
Negotiations between the United States Government
and the Japanese Government lasting
more than a year culminated in a second exchange
of civilians resulting in the repatriation
of approximately 1,240 nationals of the United
States, including a small number from the Philippine
Islands, and 260 nationals of the other
American republics and Canada. In the first
exchange, which took place in the summer of
1942, over 1,300 United States officials and non-officials
were repatriated from the Far East.
The Japanese Government refused to apply
the provisions of the civilian-exchange arrangements
to American civilians who were captured
in the Philippine Islands, Guam, and Wake Island.
After protracted negotiations it finally
agreed to permit the repatriation of only a
small number of American civilians from the
Philippines in the second exchange. The repatriates
were thus drawn almost entirely from
Japan, Japanese-occupied China, Hong Kong,
The Swiss representatives in the Far East,
under broad directives issued by the United
States Govei-nment, compiled the list of those
to be repatriated, giving preference to the following
categories of American civilians in
Japanese hands: (1) those under close arrest;
(2) interned women and children; (3) the
seriously ill; and (4) interned men, with preference
being given, other things being equal, to
married men long separated from their families
in the United States.
The second exchange of American and Japanese
nationals having been completed by the
return of the motorship Gripsholm to the United
States on December 1, 1943, the Department is
now endeavoring to negotiate a third exchange
of American and Japanese nationals and will
continue its endeavors to induce the Japanese
Government to agree to the general release for
repatriation of all American civilians in its
custody. The Department hopes eventually to
obtain Japanese agreement to further exchanges
at an accelerated rate so that all American
civilians remaining in Japanese custody, numbering
about 10 thousand, may have an opportunity
to be repatriated at the earliest practicable
3. Repatriation of sick and wounded prisoners
Article 68 of the Prisoners of War Convention
"Belligerents are bound to send back to their
own country, regardless of rank or number,
seriously sick and seriously injured prisoners of
war, after having brought them to a condition
where they can be transported.
"Agreements between belligerents shall accordingly
settle as soon as possible the cases of
invalidity or of sickness entailing direct repatriation,
as well as the cases entailing possible
hospitalization in a neutral country. "While
awaiting the conclusion of these agreements,
belligerents may have reference to the model
agreement annexed, for documentary purposes,
to the present Convention."
The model agreement defines the degree of
incapacity that shall be considered sufficient to
qualify a prisoner of war for repatriation. This
Government proposed to the Japanese Government
that the model agreement be observed on a
reciprocal basis and made insistent demands
that the Japanese Government honor the obligation
imposed by the convention to repatriate
sick and wounded prisoners. The Japanese.
Government replied, after long delay, that it
could not make a favorable response to the
United States Government's proposal. The Department
of State has formulated, in consultation
with other agencies of the Government,
further proposals in an effort to induce the
Japanese Government to enter into negotiations
for the exchange of sick and wounded prisoners
of war, and these proposals are being transmitted
to the Japanese Government in connection
with proposals for the continuation of the
repatriation of civilians.
4. Repatriation of sanitary personnel
Article 9 of the Red Cross Convention provides,
"The personnel charged exclusively with the
removal, transportation, and treatment of the
wounded and sick, as well as with the administration
of sanitary formations and establishments,
and the chaplains attached to armies,
shall be respected and protected under all circumstances.
If they fall into the hands of the
enemy they shall not be treated as prisoners of
Article 12 of the same convention provides, in
"The persons described in Articles 9, 10 and
11 may not be detained after they have fallen
into the power of the adversary.
"Unless there is an agreement to the contrary,
they shall be sent back to the belligerent
to whose service they are attached as soon as a
way is open for their return and military exigencies
"While waiting to be returned, they shall continue
in the exercise of their functions under
the direction of the adversary; they shall be
assigned preferably to the care of the wounded
and sick of the belligerent to whose service they
Pursuant to the provisions of article 12 of
the Red Cross Convention, it was proposed to
the Japanese Government that the repatriation
of the personnel protected under the convention
be begun, since facilities for their return to the
United States could be made available on the
vessels employed for the exchange of civilian
nationals. In order, however, not to deprive
American prisoners of war of the care that they
may require and might not otherwise receive,
the United States Government also proposed
to the Japanese Government, on a basis of reciprocity,
that the right of repatriation be waived
for protected personnel needed and permitted in
prisoner-of-war camps or hospitals to render
spiritual and medical assistance to compatriots
who were in the care of that personnel at the
time of capture. This Government further
proposed that the selection of protected personnel
to be repatriated be made by the senior
officer of the unit captured.
The Japanese Government agreed in principle
to the repatriation of protected personnel
in connection with exchanges of civilians but
reserved to itself the decision whether the retention
of that personnel was necessary for the
care of American prisoners of war and civilian
internees under Japanese control. The Department
accordingly requested the Swiss Government
to endeavor to arrange for the accommodation
of American protected personnel in
future American-Japanese civilian exchange
Although it repatriated five nurses from
Guam at the time of the first civilian exchange,
the Japanese Government apparently did not
find that it had in its power surplus American
protected personnel available for repatriation
in the second exchange as no such personnel was
included in the lists for that exchange. However,
the Department intends, when conducting
negotiations for further exchanges of civilians,
to convey again to the Japanese Government
the expectation of the United States Government
that protected personnel whose repatriation
proves possible will be included in future
5. Exchange of able-bodied prisoners of war
As indicated in a statement to the press dated
May 25, 1943, there is no customarily accepted
practice among nations or provision of international
law or conventions for the return or exchange
during hostilities of able-bodied members
of the armed forces of one belligerent who
may be captured by the forces of an opposing
belligerent. In the circumstances, there is no
immediate prospect of obtaining the release and
return to the United States of able-bodied members
of the American armed forces taken prisoners
of war by the Japanese.
6. Shipment of relief supplies to the Far East
Early in 1942 the American Red Cross, in
conjunction with the interested agencies of the
United States Government, made efforts to find
a means acceptable to the Japanese Government
of forwarding to our prisoners of war and
civilian internees in the Far East necessary supplies
of food, medicine, clothing, and comforts
such as are regularly sent to American citizens
in corresponding circumstances in other enemy-held
areas. A neutral vessel to carry such supplies
to Japan was obtained and chartered in
the summer of 1942. The Japanese Government,
however, refused to give its safe-conduct
for the voyage of the vessel to the Far East. In
response to repeated representations the Japanese
Government indicated that it was unwilling
for strategic reasons to grant any non-Japanese
vessel safe-conduct to move in Japanese
waters and that it had no intention of
sending one of its own vessels to any neutral
area in order to pick up relief supplies for
United States and Allied prisoners of war and
civilians as was suggested by the United States
Government. Upon the receipt of this Japanese
reply the United States Government pointed
out its expectation that the Japanese would
modify their position as soon as strategic reasons
would permit and suggested for the interim
the immediate appointment of International
Red Cross delegates to Japanese-occupied territory
who might receive and distribute funds
in behalf of American nationals. This suggestion
was eventually accepted by the Japanese
only for Hong Kong and certain areas in occupied
China. They have not accepted it so far
for the Philippine Islands, Malaya, and the
Netherlands Indies. Efforts to induce the Japanese
Government to abandon its position
against the use of neutral ships to carry relief
supplies into its waters were continued and new
avenues of approach were fully canvassed, including
the possibility of sending relief supplies
in transit through Soviet territory. One suggestion
proposed the sending of supplies by air
to some point where the Japanese might lift
them, with particular reference to medical supplies
which might be scarce in Japan. No reply
to this particular proposal was ever received.
Another proposal was that the American Red
Cross would provide a cargo ship to go to some
point in the Pacific where a Japanese crew
might take it over in order to conduct it to the
ports where relief cargo should be discharged.
This proposal was rejected by the Japanese.
Numerous other proposals were considered but
were either abandoned because of obstacles
interposed by other enemy governments or were
found to be otherwise impossible of accomplishment.
In March 1943 the Japanese Government, in
response to repeated representations stressing
its responsibility to cooperate in solving the
problem, stated that strategic reasons still prevented
neutral vessels from plying the Pacific
waters but that it would explore other means of
permitting the delivery of relief supplies. In
the following month the Japanese Government
stated that it might consent to receive supplies
overland or by sea from Soviet territory. There
have ensued since that time long and complicated
negotiations with the Japanese and Soviet
Govei-nments. Each detail of the negotiations
had to be dealt with through a long and complicated
procedure involving the handling of
communications at Tokyo, Bern, Washington,
and Moscow and in reverse direction through
the same channels. Despite these difficulties, it
has now been possible with the Soviet Government's
cooperation to create a stockpile of prisoner-
of-war relief supplies on Soviet territory.
Moreover, the Soviet Government has given assurances
that it will facilitate the transit
through the Soviet Union of such relief supplies
on a continuing basis when a satisfactory arrangement
for the onward shipment of these
supplies is reached between the Japanese and
American Governments. In spite of the Department's
repeated endeavors to bring this matter
to a conclusion, the Japanese Government has
not thus far indicated the means by which it is
prepared to receive these supplies. The Department
is continuing its efforts in this regard, and
it is hoped that a definite arrangement can soon
be made whereby relief supplies will move on a
continuing basis to all American nationals detained
by the Japanese.
While the foregoing negotiations have been
in progress it has fortunately been possible to
take advantage of the two exchanges of civilians
with the Japanese Government, one in July 1942
and the other in October 1943, to send to our
nationals in the Far East an important quantity
of relief supplies by means of the exchange
Reports of the distribution of relief supplies
which left the United States on the first exchange
vessel in 1942 were in due course received
from the Far East. There was placed on the
motor vessel Gripsholm when it left this country
to effect the second exchange of civilian nationals
another large cargo of assorted relief
supplies, American Red Cross standard food
parcels, next-of-kin parcels, and mail for distribution
to American prisoners of war and
American civilians interned in the Philippine
Islands, occupied China, Hong Kong, Japan, the
Netherlands East Indies, and Malaya. Valued
at over $1,300,000 and weighing 1,600 short tons,
these supplies included 140,000 food parcels of
approximately 13 pounds each; 2,800 cases of
medical supplies, including surgical instruments,
dressings, 7,000,000 vitamin capsules,
etc.; 950 cases of comfort articles for men and
women; 24,000,000 cigarettes; from 20,000 to
25,000 next-of-kin parcels; and important supplies
of clothing for men and women. This
entire cargo was transferred to the Japanese
exchange vessel at Mormugao and dispatched
In addition to the shipment of relief supplies
on the exchange vessels and the other measures
mentioned above, the Department of State and
the American Red Cross are continuing to give
close attention to all other phases of the subject.
7. Proi^i'iion of financial assistanee to American
nationals in the Far East
Since the Trading With the Enemy Act as
amended prohibits, among other things, individual
remittances to enemy and enemy-occupied
or enemy-controlled territory, imless
licensed, and since the issuance of such licenses
is contrary to the policy of the Government, the
Department of State, shortly after this country's
entry into the war, made provision for the
extension of financial assistance from public
funds in the form of loans to Americans in such
territories through representatives of the Swiss
Government representing American interests
there. An information sheet explaining how
such assistance is extended and how funds so
ad\'anced may be reimbursed to the United
States Government is printed below. With certain
exceptions in territories occupied or controlled
by Japan, the enemy governments have
permitted payments to be made to qualified
American nationals in the manner described.
The Japanese authorities, however, have thus
far refused to permit the Swiss Government's
representatives, in certain areas under Japanese
control, to extend financial assistance to
American nationals in those areas on the same
basis as elsewhere. The Department, therefore,
has had to find other means of making funds
available to Americans in such areas.
At Hong Kong, where the Swiss Government
has not been permitted by the Japanese Government
to act in behalf of American nationals,
the International Red Cross delegate has been
authorized to provide assistance to qualified
American nationals there from public funds
made available for the purpose by the Department.
Immediately after the fall of the Philippine
Islands, the Department endeavored to arrange
for the extension of financial assistance to qualified
American nationals there. In June 1943,
the Japanese Government permitted the transfer
of $25,000, representing a contribution by
the American Red Cross, to be made to the
Executive Committee of the Santo Tomas internment
camp at Manila, and later allowed
the transfer of a second Red Cross contribution
of $2r),000 for the relief of American nationals
interned in Manila.
It was not until July 1943 that the Japanese
Government indicated that it would agree in
principle to permit payments to American nationals
interned in other parts of the Philippine
Islands, and to allow further payments to
the internees at Manila. Accordingly, the Department
in August 1943 authorized the Swiss
Government to make remittances, in accordance
with the need and the number of eligible individuals,
to the executive committees of the
American internment camps in the Philippine
Islands beginning with the month of August or
us soon as feasible thereafter. Funds delivered
to the executive committees under this authorization
may be used (1) for the purchase of
available supplies considered necessary to supplement
the diet provided by the Japanese authorities,
(2) to pay for essential services obtained
outside camp, (3) to provide each internee
with a small amount of money for personal
use, and (4) to advance funds, against promissory
notes if possible, to indigent internees for
delivery to such members of their families as
may be at liberty.
The Japanese Government has recently consented
to monthly transfers of United States
Government funds to the Executive Committee
of the Santo Tomas internment camp to be used
for the relief of American nationals at Santo
Tomas, Los Banos, Baguio, and Davao which,
according to latest available information, are
the only civilian internment camps now maintained
by the Japanese in the Philippine
Islands. These transfers are now being effected
from such funds on deposit with the Swiss
Government for the purposes mentioned above.
The Department's standing instructions to
the Swiss representatives in charge of American
interests in enemy-held areas are that funds
provided by this Government may be made
available to American prisoners of war as well
as to interned American civilians for necessary
personal expenditures in accordance with their
established needs over and above the food,
shelter, and other necessities provided them by
the detaining power. Such assistance has already
been made available through the local
International Red Cross delegates to American
prisoners of war near Shanghai and Hong Kong.
The Department of State is pressing for the extension
to American prisoner's of war in the
Philippine Islands of the system of financial
assistance referred to above which the Japanese
have agreed to make available to civilian internees.
Procedure To Be Followed in Extending
Financial Assistance to American Nationals
IN Territories Where the Interests
OF THE United States Are Represented by
The Department of State has completed arrangements
for financial assistance to American
nationals in territories where the interests of the
United States are represented by Switzerland.
Those able to qualify for such assistance will be
entitled to receive from the Swiss representatives
monthly payments corresponding to their
established needs and the prevailing cost of living
in the country concerned. All recipients
will be limited to the monthly payments established
for their place of residence, regardless of
their ability or the ability of others interested
in their welfare to repay amounts greater than
the sums advanced. It is realized that a limitation
upon the amount that American nationals
may expend in enemy territory, even from their
own resources, will entail some hardship. The
conservation of foreign exchange, however, is
an essential factor in the present economic policy
of the United States and it is expected that
Americans everywhere will willingly share with
those in the armed forces the sacrifices that must
be made in winning the war.
Based upon the latest ascertained cost of living
in the various countries concerned, the maximum
monthly payment for the head of a household
will range from $60 to $130, with smaller
allowances for additional members of the household.
The monthly payments are subject to
revisions from time to time to meet changing
' Switzerland represents the interests of the United
States in Germany, Italy, and Japan, in territories
occupied by those countries, and in Bulgaria, Hungary,
Living cost. In addition, the Swiss representatives
are authorized to make special advances
or such extraordinary expenditures as may be
essential to the health or safety of American
nationals for medical, surgical, or dental care,
for hospitalization, for reasonable legal defense
against political or criminal charges, or for a
decent though modest burial where such is not
provided by friends or relatives locally nor by
the local authorities.
Wherever prisoners of war and interned
civilians are supported by the detaining power,
it is expected that payments made to them will
generally not exceed a small sum sufficient to
provide spending money for miscellaneous personal
needs not supplied by the detaining power.
However, no payments will be made to officers
or to persons of equivalent status held as prisoners
of war, who receive pay under the convention
relative to the treatment of prisoners of
war, signed at Geneva on July 27, 1929.
Swiss representatives charged with the representation
of the interests of the United States
will explain to the recipients that such financial
assistance should not be considered as public
bounty but as loans from public funds to American
nationals finding themselves in an abnormal
position by reason of the war. It is
accordingly expected that all sums advanced
will be repaid either by the recipients themselves
or by relatives, friends, business associates,
employers, or legal representatives in the
Receipts embodying promises to repay without
interest the sums advanced will be taken
for all payments. Private deposits to reimburse
the Government for sums advanced shall
be made with the Department of State. Persons
wishing to make such deposits should indicate
the names of the beneficiaries and should remit
by postal money orders or certified checks payable
to "The Secretary of State of the United
|JANUARY 29, 1944
Statement by the Secretary of State
At his press and radio news conference on January 28 the Secretary of State declared, in reply to an inquiry in regard to the Japanese mistreatment of American prisoners of war in the Far East:
"According to the reports of cruelty and inhumanity, it would be necessary to summon, to assemble together all the demons available from anywhere and combine the fiendishness which all of them embody in order to describe the conduct of those who inflicted these unthinkable tortures on Americans and Filipinos..."
The Secretary added in reply to other inquiries that the Department of State had been constantly endeavoring to obtain as complete information as possible with respect to the situation of prisoners of war and civilian internees in the Far East, that whenever information regarding any case of cruelty had been received a protest had been made to the Japanese Government, but that the United States had not received from the Japanese Government satisfactory replies to the protests which had been made.
Statement by Joseph C. Grew
Mr. Grew, formerly American Ambassador to Japan, is now Special Assistant to the Secretary of State.
In response to an inquiry in regard to Japanese atrocities on American and Filipino soldiers in the Philippine Islands, Mr. Grew said:
"No language can possibly express my feelings and the feelings of every American today. Our burning rage and fury at the reported medieval and utterly barbarous acts of the Japanese military in the Philippines are far too deep to find expression in words, and the country will be shaken from coast to coast. My broadcast over CBS on August 30, 1942 just after returning from Japan and my book Report from Tokyo tried to express my views then, and those views have now become intensified. My feelings make me, and I should think every other American this morning, want to fight this war on the home front with grimmer determination than ever before."
FEBRUARY 5, 1944
United States Protests and Representations to Japan
[Released to the press January 31]
Immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor the Department of State took up with Japan the matter of according proper treatment for American nationals in Japanese hands. Although Japan is not a party to the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention the Department obtained from the Japanese Government a commitment to apply the provisions of that convention to American prisoners of war, and, so far as adaptable, to civilian internees held by Japan. Since the very beginning of the war, by repeated protests and representations through the protecting power, the Department has again and again called to the Japanese Government's attention failures on the part of Japanese authorities to live up to their Government's undertakings.
Horrified at the accounts of repatriates who returned on the first exchange voyage of the Gripsholm, accounts with which the public is familiar through the statements of Mr. Grew and other repatriates, the Department made these accounts the basis of a vigorous and comprehensive protest to the Japanese Government.
The American people are familiar with the protest addressed to Japan following the Japanese Government's barbarous action in executing our aviators who fell into Japanese hands after General Doolittle's raid over Tokyo. In that protest the -Department again called upon the Japanese Government to carry out its agreement to observe the provisions of the convention and warned the Japanese Government in no uncertain terms that the American Government will hold personally and officially responsible for their acts of depravity and barbarity all officers of the Japanese Government who have participated in their commitment and, with the inexorable and inevitable conclusion of the war, will visit upon such Japanese officers the punishment they deserve for their uncivilized and inhuman acts against American prisoners of war.
When it received from the military authorities reports of the brutal atrocities and depraved cruelties inflicted by the Japanese upon American prisoners of war in the Philippines the Department again called upon the Japanese Government to honor its undertaking to apply the provisions of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention and to observe in its treatment of American nationals held by it the international common law of decency.
These protests are but three of the many that have been sent by the Department to Japan.
In order that the public may be familiar with the Department's efforts to obtain from Japan fulfillment of its undertakings to treat American nationals in its hands in accordance with humane and civilized principles, there is printed below a statement giving the dates of the principal representations and protests made by the Department, with a brief resume of their purpose. The latest of these, representations comprehensively citing categories of abuse and of neglect to which American prisoners in the hands of the Japanese have been subjected and calling for amelioration of the treatment accorded to American nationals, both prisoners of war and civilian internees, went forward on January 27.
January 13. The exchange of names of prisoners of war in accordance with article 77, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention, and of interned civilians in accordance with the same article when applied to the treatment of civilians, was proposed.
January 31. Request that representatives of the Swiss Government entrusted with the protection of American interests in Japan and Japanese-occupied territory be permitted to visit all camps where Americans are held, in accordance with article 86, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention. Similar facilities requested for representatives of the International Red Cross Committee in accordance with international usage.
February 3. Proposal to exchange names of civilian internees and prisoners of war repeated.
February 7. Request for permission to visit camps repeated.
February 13. Proposal that in application of clauses of Geneva Convention which relate to food and clothing, racial and national customs be taken into account.
February 14. Japanese Government informed that United States Government may have to reconsider its policy of extending liberal treatment to Japanese if assurances are not given by the Japanese Government that liberal principles will be applied to Americans. Request that Swiss representative be permitted to visit part of Philippines occupied by the Japanese forces.
March 3. Request that nurses and other sanitary personnel be repatriated in accordance with article 12 of the Geneva Red Cross Convention.
March 11. Asked for immediate report of the names of American sick, wounded, and dead.
March 19. Made proposals with regard to the labor of civilians, provision of food according to national tastes, visits by friends, relatives, doctors, etc., visits by protecting power and International Red Cross to civilian internment camps.
April 3. Asked for permission for the appointment of an International Red Cross representative for the Philippines.
April 11. Request for improvement in treatment of civilians at Kobe.
May 14. Confirmation requested of message received from International Red Cross that Japanese authorities are applying Geneva Red Cross Convention.
May 14. Asked if Swiss representatives were permitted to interview prisoners of war without witnesses in accordance with article 86 of Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
May 19. Asked for information concerning whereabouts of Americans from Wake Island.
May 19. Requested information concerning whereabouts of Americans in Philippine Islands.
May 20. Repeated request for lists of American wounded, sick, and dead.
May 20. Requested improvement of conditions under which civilian internees were held.
May 21. Requested visits to camps by Swiss representatives and application of Geneva Prisoners of War Convention in outlying areas in accordance with Japanese Government's undertaking.
June 4. Repeated request far permission for Swiss and International Red Cross representatives to visit camps.
June 11. Repeated request for permission for Swiss representatives to interview prisoners of war without witnesses.
June 19. Pressed for appointment of International Red Cross delegate in the Philippines.
July 14. Requested Japanese Government to report names of prisoners and internees held in Philippines and British and Netherlands territories under Japanese occupation in accordance with article 77, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
July 15. Repatriation of seriously sick and wounded prisoners of war on the basis of the Model Agreement attached to the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention proposed.
July 17. Requested Swiss to endeavor to have conditions in Kobe civilian camps improved.
August 7. Protest against the sentences imposed on Americans who attempted escape from Shanghai prisoner-of-war camp. These sentences were contrary to article 50, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention. Protest was made at the same time against the refusal of the Japanese authorities to permit the Swiss representatives to visit these men.
August 12. Permission again requested for Swiss and International Red Cross representatives to visit all camps.
August 27. Again requested that visits to camps be permitted.
September 11. Additional request for the transmission of names of prisoners of war. Asked if prisoners might mail cards immediately after their arrival at camp in accordance with article 36, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
September 22. Lists of the camps, their location, and population requested.
September 26. Japanese asked to accept mail addressed to persons not reported as interned because Japanese authorities had not properly reported names of persons held.
September 29. Requested ranks of officers who unsuccessfully attempted to escape be restored. Protection of Geneva Prisoners of War Convention for American aviators reportedly being held incommunicado demanded.
September 29. Requested reporting of names of 400 American civilians known to have been on Wake Island and whose names have not yet been reported as prisoners or internees.
October 6. Pressed for reply concerning proposals for repatriation of seriously sick and wounded.
November 12. Pressed Japanese to provide at their expense medical care for internees in accordance with article 14, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention, when adapted to the treatment of civilian internees.
November 17. Protest against six cases of atrocities perpetrated by Japanese authorities.
November 17. Requested additional food at Negishi camp.
November 17. Weekly transmission of names of American prisoners of war and civilian internees requested in accordance with article 77, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
December 7. Names of captured aviators and permission to visit them requested.
December 7. Requested that (1) internees at Sumire be allowed to have visitors, (2) visitors may speak languages other than Japanese, (3) Swiss representative be allowed to speak to internees without witnesses.
December 12. Extended protest regarding torture, neglect, physical violence, solitary confinement, illegal prison sentences, mistreatment, and abuse that led to deaths of some Americans; failure to permit visits to camps by Swiss and International Red Cross Committee representatives; and other violations of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention and the laws of humanity.
December 17. Protest against Japanese decision to apply Geneva Convention only to extent that its provisions do not change the effect of Japanese laws in force.
December 19. Protests against failure of Japanese to afford facilities to permit the receipt and distribution of relief supplies in accordance with article 37 of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
January 2. Requested that names of Americans held in an internment camp in Java be provided in accordance with article 77, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention, that Swiss representatives visit the camp in accordance with article 86, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention, and that International Red Cross representatives be permitted to visit the camp in accordance with general international usage.
January 4. Protest concerning conditions at Shinagawa prisoner-of-war camp. Protest covers insufficient diet (article 11, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention) and request that Japanese grant Americans reciprocal treatment with respect to mail privileges and wages for labor.
February 4. Requested a liberalization of maximum canteen purchases permitted in any month be granted on the basis of reciprocity.
February 5. Protest against Japanese failure to provide canteens in accordance with article 12, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention, failure to permit free exercise of religion in accordance with article 16, requirement that non-commissioned officers perform other than supervisory labor contrary to the provisions of article 27, limitation on correspondence with the protecting power contrary to article 44. Increased facilities with regard to mail requested on a basis of reciprocity.
February 12. Protest against failure of Japanese to provide heat at Urawa camp in accordance with article 10, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
February 15. Protest against Japanese refusal to permit Swiss representatives to interview internees without witnesses in accordance with article 86, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
February 16. Protest against the Japanese failure to provide proper medical attention to prisoners of war in accordance with article 14, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention. February 18. Protest against program of general internment of American nationals in the Far East.
February 20. Protest against refusal of Japanese authorities to permit American internees to receive foodstuffs sent from the outside in accordance with article 37, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention. Japanese Government requested reciprocally to permit Americans to receive visitors.
February 25. Request that Japanese supply the names of Americans held in the Sham-Sui-Po prisoner-of-war camp, Kowloon, in accordance with article 77, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
March 1. Further protest with regard to failure of Japanese authorities to permit interviews without witnesses being present. Request that the Japanese authorities reciprocally provide underwear for American internees. March 1. Protest against refusal of Japanese authorities in Thailand to apply Geneva Prisoners of War Convention in accordance with Japanese Government's undertaking.
March 6. Protest against refusal of Japanese Government to permit representatives of protecting power to visit and to communicate with American civilian internees at Singapore in accordance with articles 44 and 86, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
March 8. Request for permission for Swiss representatives to visit American prisoners of war in labor detachments.
March 11. Japanese Government reminded that United States Government expects that Geneva Prisoners of War Convention will be applied to the treatment of American prisoners held by the Japanese forces in Thailand.
March 12. Japanese Government pressed to restore military rank of American officers who, as a penalty for trying to escape, were deprived of their rank contrary to article 49, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
March 15. Additional protest against failure of Japanese authorities to transmit the names of prisoners of war and civilian internees in accordance with article 77, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
March 16. Protest against refusal of Japanese authorities to install canteens where foodstuffs may be purchased in accordance with article 12, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention, and to permit interviews between internees and Swiss delegate without witnesses.
March 18. Protest against another instance when Japanese did not permit Swiss representative to interview internees without witnesses.
March 26. Reciprocal treatment again requested with regard to mail forwarded by civilian internees and prisoners of war.
March 30. Protest against failure of Japanese Government to report names of all American civilians who were taken into custody at Wake Island.
April 3. Further protest against Japanese failure to provide clothing in accordance with article 12, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
April 8. Reciprocal treatment requested for interned persons to live together as family units.
April 12. Protest against the Japanese action in sentencing to death American airmen for acts committed during military operations. Protest made at the same time against Japanese refusal to grant these men the safeguards with respect to judicial proceedings set up in articles 60, 61, 62, 65, and 66, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
May 22. Protest against refusal of the Japanese Government to permit representatives of the protecting power to act in behalf of American interests in Hong Kong.
May 25. Protest against Japanese refusal to permit visits to camps near Shanghai by representatives of the Swiss Consulate General.
May 25. Protest against continued Japanese refusal to permit conversations between prisoners of war and Swiss representatives without witnesses.
May 25. Protest against refusal of Japanese Government to permit advances of official United States Government funds to needy American nationals detained by Japan.
May 25. Further protest with regard to the failure of the Japanese Government to report names of all civilians last known to have been on Wake Island.
May 27. General protest against the Japanese failure to provide standards of housing, diet, clothing, medical care, etc., for Americans, that are in accordance with the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
May 31. Request that Swiss visit civilians interned in Philippines and prisoners of war held at Mukden, Manchuria.
June 5. Protest against failure of Japanese to permit visits by representatives of the protecting power to internment camps in and near Canton, Weihsien, and Wuhu, all in China.
June 9. Protest against failure of Japanese Government to permit Swiss to visit prisoner-of-war camp at Hakodate in accordance with article 86, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
July 3. Further protest with regard to failure of Japanese authorities to permit Swiss representatives to visit camps.
July 6. Extended protest against the Japanese Government's refusal to permit Swiss' representatives to visit all prisoner-of-war and civilian internment camps in Japan and Japanese-occupied territory.
July 17. Protest against Japanese Government's action in locating camps in an unhealthy location, in failing to communicate orders to prisoners of war in a language which they understand, in failing to permit the camp spokesmen to correspond with the protecting power, in failing to provide clothing, and in requiring excessive hours of labor by prisoners of war. These acts were contrary to articles 10, 20, 44, 12, and 30, respectively, of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention. Reciprocal treatment with regard to mail again requested.
July 20. Protest against failure of Japanese authorities to (1) supply adequate food, lodging, and clothing (2) permit representatives of protecting power to interview internees without witnesses (3) establish canteens at civilian internment camps.
August 5. Protest against failure of Japanese Government to report names of Americans being held in Burma as required by article 77, Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
October 7. Protest against failure of Japanese authorities to permit visits to prisoner-of-war camp at Fukuoka.
October 13. Reciprocal treatment requested with respect to the privilege of dating letters and postcards mailed by prisoners of war and civilian internees.
November 19. Additional protest with respect to the failure of the Japanese Government to report the names of American civilians interned at Wake Island.
November 22. Protest against Japanese failure to permit the Swiss representatives to visit American prisoners of war held by the Japanese in Thailand.
December 1. Additional representations with respect to reciprocal privileges for prisoners of war and civilian internees to forward mail.
December 2. Additional protest with respect to the failure of the Japanese Government to report the names of all civilians held in internment camps as well as the release or transfer of persons previously reported in accordance with article 77 of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention when it is adapted to the treatment of civilian internees.
December 11. Protest against Japanese refusal to permit representatives of the protecting power to visit sick Americans held in hospitals in Shanghai.
January 27. Extended protest to Japanese Government with respect to: (1) failure to permit representatives of Swiss Government and of the International Red Cross Committee to visit all places where Americans are held (2) failure to forward complaints to the appropriate authorities and to representatives of the protecting power (3) punishment of American nationals for complaining concerning the conditions of captivity (4) failure to furnish needed clothing to American nationals (5) confiscation of personal effects from American civilian internees and prisoners of war (6) subjection of Americans to insults and to public curiosity (7) failure and refusal to provide health-sustaining food (8) improper use of the profits of the sale of goods in camp canteens (9) forcing civilians to perform labor other than that connected with the administration, maintenance, and management of internment camps (10) forcing officer prisoners of war to perform labor and non-commissioned officers to do other than supervisory work (11) requiring prisoners of war to perform labor that has a direct relation with war operations (12) failure to provide proper medical care (13) failure to report the names of all prisoners of war and civilian internees in their hands and of American combatants found dead on the field of battle (14) failure to permit prisoners of war freely to exercise their religion (15) failure to post copies of Geneva Prisoners of War Convention in English translation in the camps (16) failure to provide adequate equipment and accommodations in the camps (17) failure to apply the provisions of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention with respect to the trial and punishment of prisoners of war (18) inflicting corporal punishment and torture upon American nationals.
January 27. Comprehensive statement detailing specific instances of failure of the Japanese Government to abide by its commitments as charged above.
Japanese Atrocities to Prisoners of War: Joint press release of the War and Navy Departments containing stories of Japanese atrocities and brutalities to the American and Philippine armed forces who were prisoners of war in the Philippine Islands. H. Doc. 393, 78th Cong, ii, 8 pp.
FEBRUARY 12, 1944
United States Representations of January 27, 1944 to Japan
[Released to the press February 11]
Published below are the texts of two telegrams sent to the American Legation in Bern for communication to the Japanese Government through the Swiss Government representing the interests of the United States in Japan. In these communications the Government of the United States again made comprehensive representations to the Japanese Government concerning abuses and neglect to which American nationals in Japanese custody had been subjected and called for amelioration of the treatment accorded them.
January 27, 1944.
Please request Swiss Legation Tokyo to deliver the following textually to the Japanese Government:
The Government of the United States refers to its communication delivered to the Japanese Government on December 23, 1942 by the Swiss Legation in Tokyo in charge of American interests in Japan and Japanese-occupied territory concerning reports that the Government of the United States had received of the mistreatment of American nationals in Japanese hands. The Swiss Legation in Tokyo on May 28, 1943 forwarded to the Government of the United States a preliminary reply from the Japanese Government to this communication in which that Government stated that it would communicate in due course the results of investigations concerning each instance referred to in the note of the Government of the United States. No reports of investigations regarding these instances have yet been received.
The Government of the United States has taken due note of the statements of the Japanese Government "concerning the special circumstances prevailing in areas which have until recently been fields of battle" and concerning "the manifold difficulties which exist in areas occupied by the Japanese forces or where military operations are still being carried on". The Government of the United States points out, however, that the regions in which Americans have been taken prisoner or interned have long ceased to be scenes of active military operations and that the Japanese holding authorities have therefore had ample opportunity to establish an orderly and humane internment program in accordance with their Government's undertakings. Despite this fact the Government of the United States continues to receive reports that the great proportion of American nationals are the victims either of inhuman cruelty or of callous failure to provide the necessities of life on the part of the Japanese holding authorities, in violation of the common laws of civilization and of the Japanese Government's undertaking to apply to American nationals the humane provisions of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
There follows a statement of the principal categories of the deprivation of rights, cruelties, wanton neglect, mistreatment and hardships to which, according to information received by the Government of the United States from many sources, Americans in Japanese custody have been subjected.
I. Representatives of the Swiss Government entrusted with the protection of American interests in Japan and Japanese-occupied territory have not been permitted to go to every place without exception where prisoners of war and civilian internees are interned, have not been permitted to interview without witnesses the persons held, and have not had access to all places occupied by the prisoners (Article 86 of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention).
II. Representatives of the International Red Cross Committee have been refused permission to visit most of the places where American nationals are held by the Japanese authorities (Articles 79 and 88).
III. American nationals have not been permitted to forward complaints to the Japanese holding authorities or to representatives of the protecting power (Article 42).
IV. The Japanese authorities have punished and have threatened to punish American nationals for complaining concerning the conditions of captivity (Article 42).
V. The Japanese Government has failed to furnish needed clothing to American nationals (Article 12).
VI. The Japanese authorities have confiscated personal effects from American civilian internees and prisoners of war (Article 6).
VII. American prisoners of war and civilian internees have been subjected to insults and public curiosity (Article 2).
VIII. Civilians and prisoners of war interned by Japan are suffering from malnutrition and deficiency diseases because of the failure and refusal of the detaining authorities to provide health sustaining food for their charges, or to permit the United States to make regular shipments on a continuing basis under appropriate neutral guarantees of supplemental food and medical supplies. (Article 11 and the specific reciprocal undertaking of Japan to take into account national differences in diet).
IX. The Japanese authorities have devoted to improper and forbidden uses the profits of the sale of goods in camp canteens instead of devoting them to the welfare of the persons held in the camps (Article 12).
X. Contrary to the specific undertaking of the Japanese Government, the detaining authorities have compelled civilians to perform labor other than that connected with the administration, maintenance and management of internment camps. Officer prisoners of war have been forced to labor and noncommissioned officers to do other than supervisory labor (Article 27).
XI. Prisoners of war have been required to perform labor that has a direct relation with war operations (Article 31).
XII. Medical care has in many instances been denied to prisoners of war and civilian internees and when given has been generally so poor as to cause unnecessary suffering and unnecessary deaths (Article 14).
XIII. The Japanese Government has reported the names of only a part of the American prisoners of war and civilian internees in its hands (Article 77) and of American combatants found dead by Japanese forces (Article 4 of the Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Sick and Wounded of Armies in the Field, to which Japan is a contracting party).
XIV. The Japanese Government has not permitted internees and prisoners of war freely to exercise their religion (Article 16).
XV. The Japanese Government has not posted the Convention in camps in English translation, thus depriving American prisoners of war and civilian internees of knowledge of their rights there-under (Article 84).
XVI. The Japanese Government has failed to provide adequate equipment and accommodations in prisoner of war and civilian internment camps and transports, but on the contrary forced them to subsist in inhumane conditions (Article 10).
XVII. The Japanese Government has completely failed to apply the provisions of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention (Title III, Section V, Chapter 3) with regard to trial and punishment of prisoners of war despite the fact that violations of its undertaking in this respect have repeatedly been called to its attention, but on the contrary has imposed cruel and inhuman punishments without trial.
XVIII. The Japanese authorities have inflicted corporal punishment and torture upon American nationals (Article 46).
The Government of the United States emphasizes that it has based the foregoing charges only on information obtained from reliable sources. Many well-authenticated cases can be cited in support of each of the charges.
The Government of the United States also desires to state most emphatically that, as the Japanese Government can assure itself from an objective examination of the reports submitted to it by the Spanish, Swedish, and International Red Cross representatives who have repeatedly visited all places where Japanese are held by the United States, the United States has consistently and fully applied the provisions of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention in the treatment of all Japanese nationals held by it as prisoners of war or (so far as they are adaptable) as civilian internees, detainees or evacuees in relocation centers. Japanese nationals have enjoyed high standards of housing, food, clothing, and medical care. The American authorities have furthermore freely and willingly accepted from the representatives of the protecting Powers and the International Red Cross Committee suggestions for the improvement of conditions under which Japanese nationals live in American camps and centers and have given effect to many of these suggestions, most of which, in view of the high standards normally maintained, are directed toward the obtaining of extraordinary benefits and privileges of a recreational, educational or spiritual nature.
The Government of the United States demands that the Japanese Government immediately take note of the charges made above and take immediate steps to raise the treatment accorded American nationals held by Japan to the standard provided by the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention, which the United States and the Japanese Governments have mutually undertaken to apply. The Government of the United States also expects the Japanese Government to take proper disciplinary or penal action with regard to those of its officials, employees, and agents who have violated its undertakings with respect to the Geneva Convention and the international Common Laws of decency.
The Government of the United States again directs the attention of the Japanese Government to the system of neutral supervision provided in Article 86 of the Geneva Convention. The Government of the United States again reminds the Japanese Government of the complete fulfillment of the provisions of this Article as respects the activities of the Government of Spain acting as protecting Power for Japanese interests in the continental United States and of the Government of Sweden as protecting Power for Japanese interests in Hawaii.
The Government of the United States therefore expects the Japanese Government, in accordance with recognized practice of civilized states, fully to implement the provisions of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention. The United States Government demands that the Japanese Government will, among other things, promptly implement the provisions of Article 86 in respect to the activities of the Government of Switzerland as protecting Power for American interests in Japan and Japanese-controlled territory and will make it possible for the Government of Switzerland to give to the Government of the United States assurances to the effect that Swiss representatives have been able to convince themselves by the full exercise of the rights granted under Article 86 that the abuses set forth in the foregoing statement have been completely rectified or that steps have been taken in that direction that are considered by Switzerland to be adequate.
The United States Government until the present has refrained from publishing in this country the facts known to it regarding outrages perpetrated upon its nationals, both prisoners of war and civilian internees, by the Japanese. The United States Government hopes that as these facts are now again officially called to the Japanese Government's attention that Government will adopt a policy of according to United States nationals in its hands the treatment to which they are entitled, and will permit representatives of the protecting Power to make such investigations and inspections as are necessary in order to give assurances to this Government that improved treatment is in fact being accorded to American nationals. In such case this Government would be in a position to assure the American people that the treatment of American nationals by the Japanese authorities had been brought into conformity with the standards recognized by civilized nations.
January 27, 1944.
There are recited in the following numbered sections, the numbers of which correspond to the numbered charges in the Department's urgent telegram of even date, examples of some of the specific incidents upon which this Government bases the charges made by it against the Japanese Government in the telegram under reference. The specific incidents have been selected from the numerous ones that have been reported from many reliable sources to this Government. Ask the Swiss Government to forward this statement textually to its Minister in Tokyo with the request that he present it to the Japanese Government simultaneously with the telegram under reference and that he call upon the Japanese Government promptly to rectify all existing derelictions and take such further steps as will preclude their recurrence.
The Minister should further seek for himself or his representatives permission, in accordance with Article 86 of the Convention, to visit each place without exception where American nationals are detained and request of the Japanese Government the amelioration of any improper conditions that he may find to exist.
The Swiss Minister in Tokyo should be particularly asked to report promptly and fully all steps taken by the Japanese Government in conformity with the foregoing.
Charges I and II. Prisoner of war and civilian internment camps in the Philippines, French Indochina, Thailand, Manchuria, Burma, Malaya, and the Dutch East Indies, and prisoner of war camp no. 1 in Formosa have never been visited by Swiss representatives although they have repeatedly requested permission to make such visits. None of these camps except the one at Mukden are known to have been visited by International Red Cross representatives. In recent months visits have not been allowed to the prisoner of war camps near Tokyo and Yokohama, and the prisoner of war camps in and near Hong Kong, although the Swiss representatives have requested permission to make such visits.
The value of such few visits as have been permitted to some camps has been minimized by restrictions. Swiss representatives at Shanghai have been closely escorted by several representatives of the Japanese Consulate General at Shanghai during their visits to camps and have not been allowed to see all parts of camps or to have free discussion with the internees. Similar situations prevail with respect to the civilian internment camps and prisoner of war camps in metropolitan Japan and Formosa.
By contrast, all of the camps, stations, and centers where Japanese nationals are held by the United States have been repeatedly visited and fully inspected by representatives of Spain and Sweden who have spoken at length without witnesses with the inmates, and International Red Cross representatives have been and are being allowed freely to visit the camps in the United States and Hawaii where Japanese nationals are held.
Charge III. Communications addressed by the persons held to the protecting Power concerning conditions of captivity in several of the civilian camps near Shanghai, among them Ash Camp and Chapei, remain undelivered. The same situation exists with respect to the civilian internment camp in Baguio, and in most if not all of the camps where American prisoners of war are held. Persons held at Baguio, Chefoo, Saigon, and at times in the Philippine prisoner of war camps were denied permission to address the camp commander.
Charge IV. On one occasion during the summer of 1943 all of the persons held at the Columbia Country Club, Shanghai, were punished by cancellation of dental appointments because complaints were made to representatives of the Swiss Consulate General. During the same period, at Camp B, Yanchow, the entire camp was deprived of a meal by the Camp Commandant because complaints had been made concerning the delivery of spoiled food.
There are cited under Section XVIII below, cases of prisoners of war being struck because they asked for food or water.
Charge V. Civilian internees at Hong Kong have gone without footwear and civilian internees at Kobe have suffered from lack of warm clothing. In 1942 and 1943, American and Filipino prisoners of war in the Philippines and civilian internees at Baguio were forced to labor without shoes and clad only in loin cloths.
Charge VI. This is reported to have been the case at the following camps: prisoner of war camps in the Philippine Islands, prisoner of war enclosures at Mariveles Bay, Philippine Islands, civilian internment camps at Baguio, Canton, Chefoo, Peking, Manila, Tsingtao, Weihsien, and Yangchow, and at the Ash Camp, Chapei Camp, Lunghwa Camp, and Pootung Camp, in or near Shanghai. The articles most needed by the prisoners and internees have been taken. For example, Japanese soldiers took the shoes from an American officer prisoner of war who was forced to walk unshod from Bataan to San Fernando during the march which began about April 10, 1942. Although the prisoners constantly suffered from lack of drinking water canteens were taken from prisoners during this march; one of these victims was Lieutenant Colonel William E. Dyess.
At Corregidor a Japanese soldier was seen by Lieutenant Commander Melvyn H. McCoy with one arm covered from elbow to wrist and the other arm half covered with wrist watches taken from American and Filipino prisoners of war.
Charge VII. American prisoners of war in Manila were forced by Japanese soldiers to allow themselves to be photographed operating captured American military equipment in connection with the production of the Japanese propaganda film "Rip down the Stars and Stripes".
Prisoners of war from Corregidor being taken to Manila were not landed at the port of Manila but were unloaded outside the city and were forced to march through the entire city to Bilibid Prison about May 23, 1942.
Japanese school children, soldiers, and civilians have been admitted to internment camps and encouraged to satisfy curiosity regarding the persons held. Such tours were conducted at Baguio, Hong Kong, and Tsingtao.
Charge VIII. Deficiency diseases such as beriberi, pellagra, scurvy, sprue, et cetera, are common throughout Japanese internment camps. These diseases are least common in the civilian internment camps (called assembly centers) at Shanghai and in some other camps where the persons held have but recently been taken into custody or where trade by the internees themselves with outside private suppliers is allowed. It appears therefore that the great prevalence of deficiency diseases in prisoner of war camps where internees have been solely dependent upon the Japanese authorities for their food supply over an extended period is directly due to the callous failure of these authorities to utilize the possibilities for a health sustaining diet afforded by available local products. The responsibility for much of the suffering and many of the deaths from these diseases of American and Filipino prisoners of war rests directly upon the Japanese authorities. As a specific example, prisoners of war at Davao Penal Colony suffering from grave vitamin deficiencies could see from their camp trees bearing citrus fruit that they were not allowed to pluck. They were not even allowed to retrieve lemons seen floating by on a stream that runs through the camp.
Charge IX. For example, in the prisoner of war camps at Hong Kong, the profits of the canteens have not been used by the holding authorities for the benefit of the prisoners. Charge X. At Baguio civilian internees have been forced to repair sawmill machinery without remuneration.
Officer prisoners of war have been compelled by Major Mida, the Camp Commandant at Davao Penal Colony, to perform all kinds of labor including menial tasks such as scrubbing floors, cleaning latrines used by Japanese troops and working in the kitchens of Japanese officers.
Charge XI. Ten American engineers were required to go to Corregidor in July 1942 to assist- in rebuilding the military installations on that island, and prisoners of war have been worked in a machine tool shop in the arsenal at Mukden.
Charge XII. The condition of health of prisoners of war in the Philippine Islands is deplorable. At San Fernando in April 1942, American and Filipino prisoners were held in a barbed-wire enclosure so overcrowded that sleep and rest were impossible. So many of them were sick and so little care was given to the sick that human excrement covered the whole area. The enclosure at San Fernando was more than 100 kilometers from Bataan and the abominable treatment given to the prisoners there cannot be explained by battle conditions. The prisoners were forced to walk this distance in seven days under merciless driving. Many who were unable to keep up with the march were shot or bayoneted by the guards. During this journey, as well as at other times when prisoners of war were moved in the Philippine Islands, they were assembled in the open sun even when the detaining authorities could have allowed them to assemble in the shade. American and Filipino prisoners are known to have been buried alive along the roadside and persistent reports have been received of men who tried to rise from their graves but were beaten down with shovels and buried alive.
At Camp O'Donnell conditions were so bad that 2,200 Americans and more than 20,000 Filipinos are reliably reported to have died in the first few months of their detention. There is no doubt that a large number of these deaths could have been prevented had the Japanese authorities provided minimum medical care for the prisoners. The so-called hospital there was absolutely inadequate to meet the situation. Prisoners of war lay sick and naked on the floor, receiving no attention and too sick to move from their own excrement. The hospital was so overcrowded that Americans were laid on the ground outside in the heat of the blazing sun. The American doctors in the camp were given no medicine, and even had no water to wash the human waste from the bodies of the patients. Eventually, when quinine was issued, there was only enough properly to take care of ten cases of malaria, while thousands of prisoners were suffering from the disease. Over two hundred out of three hundred prisoners from Camp O'Donnell died while they were on a work detail in Batangas.
At Cabanatuan there was no medicine for the treatment of malaria until after the prisoners had been in the camp for five months. The first shipment of medicines from the Philippine Red Cross was held up by the camp authorities on the pretext that they must make an inventory of the shipment. This they were so dilatory in doing that many deaths occurred before the medicine was released. Because of lack of medicines and food, scurvy broke out in the camp in the Fall of 1942. Since the prisoners had been at the camp for some months before this disease became prevalent, the responsibility for it rests upon the detaining authorities.
It is reported that in the autumn of 1943 fifty percent of the American prisoners of war at Davao had a poor chance to live and that the detaining authorities had again cut the prisoners' food ration and had withdrawn all medical attention.
Though the medical care provided for civilian internees by the Japanese camp authorities appears to have been better than that provided for prisoners of war, it still does not meet the obligations placed on the holding authorities by their Government's own free undertaking and by the laws of humanity. At the civilian internment camp, Camp John Hay, childbirth took place on the floor of a small storeroom. At the same camp a female internee who was insane and whose presence was a danger to the other internees was not removed from the camp. A dentist who was interned at the camp was not permitted to bring in his own equipment. The Los Banos Camp was established at a recognized endemic center of malaria, yet quinine was not provided, and the internees were not allowed to go outside of the fence to take anti-malarial measures.
The Japanese authorities have not provided sufficient medical care for the American civilians held in camps in and near Shanghai and the internees have themselves had to pay for hospitalization and medical treatment. Deaths directly traceable to inadequate care have occurred.
Even in metropolitan Japan, the Japanese authorities have failed to provide medical treatment for civilian internees, and it has been necessary for Americans held at Miyoshi, Yamakita, and Sumire to pay for their own medical and dental care.
Charge XIV. For example the internees at Camp John Hay were not allowed to hold religious services during the first several months of the camp's operation, and priests have not been allowed to minister to prisoners held by the Japanese in French Indochina.
Charge XV. No copy of an English translation of the text of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention has been available to civilian internees or prisoners of war nor have the Japanese authorities taken other steps to inform the persons held of their rights under the terms of the Convention. Reports have been received of the Japanese authorities informing prisoners of war that they were captives, having no rights under international law or treaty.
Charge XVI. At Camp O'Donnell many of the men had to live without shelter during 1942. In one case twenty-three officers were assigned to a shack, fourteen by twenty feet in size. Drinking water was extremely scarce, it being necessary to stand in line six to ten hours to get a drink. Officers had no bath for the first thirty-five days in the camp and had but one gallon of water each in which to have their first baths after that delay. The kitchen equipment consisted of cauldrons and a fifty-five gallon drum. Camotes were cooked in the cauldrons, mashed with a piece of timber, and each man was served one spoonful as his ration.
In late October 1942, approximately 970 prisoners of war were transferred from the Manila area to the Davao Penal Colony on a transport vessel providing only twenty inches per man of sleeping space. Conditions on the vessel were so bad that two deaths occurred, and subsequently because of weakness some fifty percent of the prisoners fell by the roadside on the march from the water front at Lasang, Davao to the Penal Colony.
The places used by the Japanese authorities for the internment of American civilians in the Philippine Islands were inadequate for the number of persons interned. At the Brent School at Baguio, twenty to thirty civilians were assigned sleeping accommodations in a room which had been intended for the use of one person.
At the Columbia Country Club at Shanghai the internees were obliged to spend CRB $10,000 of their own funds to have a building deloused so that they might use it for a needed dormitory. At Weihsien no (repeat no) refrigeration equipment was furnished by the Japanese authorities and some of the few household refrigerators of the internees were taken from them and were used by the Japanese guards, with the result that food spoiled during the summer of 1943. The lack of sanitary facilities is reported from all of these camps.
Charge XVII. American personnel have suffered death and imprisonment for participation in military operations. Death and long-term imprisonment have been imposed for attempts to escape for which the maximum penalty under the Geneva Convention is thirty days arrest. Neither the American Government nor its protecting Power has been informed in the manner provided by the Convention of these cases or of many other in stances when Americans were subjected to illegal punishment. Specific instances are cited under the next charge.
Charge XVIII. Prisoners of war who were marched from Bataan to San Fernando in April 1942 were brutally treated by Japanese guards. The guards clubbed prisoners who tried to get water, and one prisoner was hit on the head with a club for helping a fellow prisoner who had been knocked down by a Japanese army truck. A colonel who pointed to a can of salmon by the side of the road and asked for food for the prisoners was struck on the side of his head with the can by a Japanese officer. The colonel's face was cut open. Another colonel who had found a sympathetic Filipino with a cart was horsewhipped in the face for trying to give transportation to persons unable to walk. At Lubao a Filipino who had been run through and gutted by the Japanese was hung over a barbed-wire fence. An American Lieutenant Colonel was killed by a Japanese as he broke ranks to get a drink at a stream.
Japanese sentries used rifle butts and bayonets indiscriminately in forcing exhausted prisoners of war to keep moving on the march from the Cabanatuan railroad station to Camp No. 2 in late May 1942.
At Cabanatuan Lieutenant Colonels Lloyd Biggs and Howard Breitung and Lieutenant R. D. Gilbert, attempting to escape during September 1942 were severely beaten about the legs and feet and then taken out of the camp and tied to posts, were stripped and were kept tied up for two days. Their hands were tied behind their backs to the posts so that they could not sit down. Passing Filipinos were forced to beat them in the face with clubs. No food or water was given to them. After two days of torture they were taken away and, according to the statements of Japanese guards, they were killed, one of them by decapitation. Other Americans were similarly tortured and shot without trial at Cabanatuan in June or July 1942 because they endeavored to bring food into the camp. After being tied to a fence post inside the camp for two days they were shot.
At Cabanatuan during the summer of 1942 the following incidents occurred: A Japanese sentry beat a private so brutally with a shovel across the back and the thigh that it was necessary to send him to the hospital. Another American was crippled for months after his ankle was struck by a stone thrown by a Japanese. One Japanese sentry used the shaft of a golf club to beat American prisoners, and two Americans, caught while obtaining food from Filipinos, were beaten unmercifully on the face and body. An officer was struck behind the ear with a riding crop by a Japanese interpreter. The same officer was again beaten at Davao Penal Colony and is now suffering from partial paralysis of the left side as the result of these beatings. Enlisted men who attempted to escape were beaten and put to hard labor in chains.
At the Davao Penal Colony, about April 1, 1943, Sergeant McFee was shot and killed by a Japanese guard after catching a canteen full of water which had been thrown to him by another prisoner on the opposite side of the fence. The Japanese authorities attempted to explain this shooting as an effort to prevent escape. However, the guard shot the sergeant several times and, in addition, shot into the barrack on the opposite side of the fence toward the prisoner who had thrown the canteen. At about the same time and place an officer returning from a work detail tried to bring back some sugarcane for the men in the hospital. For this he was tied to a stake for twenty-four hours and severely beaten.
In the internment camp at Baguio a boy of sixteen was knocked down by a Japanese guard for talking to an internee girl, and an elderly internee was struck with a whip when he failed to rise rapidly from his chair at the approach of a Japanese officer. Mr. R. Gray died at Baguio on March 15, 1942 after being beaten and given the water cure by police authorities. At Santo Tomas, Mr. Krogstadt died in a military prison after being corporally punished for his attempted escape.
American Prisoners of War in the Far East : Remarks of the Hon. Elbert D. Thomas, a Senator from the State of Utah, in the Senate of the United States February 7, 1944 relative to American prisoners of war in the Far East. S. Doe. 150, 78th Cong, ii, 3 pp.
FEBRUARY 19, 1944
RED CROSS AID TO AMERICAN PRISONERS OF WAR IN THE FAR EAST
[Released to the press by the American Red Cross February 13]
On February 13 the American Red Cross in Washington, D. C, issued the following statement summarizing its efforts to get relief to American war prisoners in Japanese hands:
The American Red Cross has spared and will continue to spare no effort to effect Japan's full compliance with the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention of 1929 and to establish a regular route for the shipment of supplies to prisoners of war and internees in the Far East. A chronological summary of steps which have been taken to date in this regard in full cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and all the national Red Cross societies of the United Nations directly involved, follows:
From December 7, 1941 to the end of January 1943, 167 cables were sent by the American Red Cross to Geneva, Switzerland, pertaining to the shipment of relief to American prisoners of war and civilian internees in the Fast East and related subjects. Many of these cables dealt with mail and communications facilities, while others were concerned with the local procurement of supplementary relief supplies by means of cash from the American Red Cross.
As the Department of State has recently pointed out, although Japan is not a party to the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention, the Department, immediately after the outbreak of hostilities in the Fast East, obtained from the Japanese Government a commitment to apply the provisions of the convention to American prisoners of war, and, so far as adaptable, to civilian internees held by Japan. Following this, the Japanese Government approved the appointment of International Committee delegates for permanent station in Japan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Despite repeated representations by the American Red Cross, however, the Japanese Government has yet to approve the appointment of an International Committee delegate to function in the Philippines or even to visit the islands.
On December 31, 1941 the International Committee was asked to obtain Japanese approval for a relief ship to carry supplies to prisoners of war and civilian internees in the Far East. When the American Red Cross was informed by the Committee that negotiations to that end were in progress, the Kanangoora, a Swedish ship then berthed at San Francisco, was chartered and loaded in the summer of 1942 with Canadian and American Red Cross supplies valued at over one million dollars. In August 1942 the Japanese authorities finally refused safe-conduct for this ship and stated that no neutral vessel would be permitted in waters controlled by Japan. The charter of the Kanangoora consequently was canceled and the ship unloaded.
While these negotiations were under way the Japanese agreed to accept relief supplies shipped on diplomatic exchange vessels. The Gripsholm, which was about to sail from New York on its first exchange voyage in June 1942, was accordingly loaded with more than 100 tons of American Red Cross supplies and an equal amount of Canadian, which eventually reached Yokohama in August 1942. It was expected that a second exchange would follow immediately upon the return of the Gripsholm, and in September 1942 a second cargo was loaded. Because of the delay in concluding the exchange negotiations, however, these supplies were discharged from the Gripsholm, early in 1943.
Fully realizing that diplomatic exchange ships alone were at best nothing more than a temporary expedient, and that a regular route should be established for the flow of relief supplies to United Nations prisoners of war and civilian internees in the Far East, the American Red Cross, through the State Department and the International Committee, undertook a series of steps in an effort to reach some understanding with the Japanese authorities as to how this might be brought about.
It was suggested in turn (1) that a neutral port be selected to which a neutral ship might carry relief supplies from the United States, the suppliers to be picked up at this neutral port by Japanese ships; (2) that the American Red Cross turn over to the Japanese a fully loaded ship in mid-Pacific or at any other point acceptable to the Japanese; (3) that supplies be flown from the United States to a neutral point for relay to Japan; (4) that, if the necessary arrangements could be made with the Soviet Union, supplies be shipped on Soviet vessels to Vladivostok and then transshipped to Japanese-controlled territory.
The most far-reaching proposal was made in February 1943 when the American Red Cross, with the approval of the United States Government, offered to furnish to the Japanese Red Cross a ship to carry relief supplies to the Far East. The proposal then made was that a fully loaded ship be turned over to the Japanese at any point specified by them -- even in mid-Pacific if necessary -- from there be manned by a Japanese crew, and, after the distribution of the supplies, be returned empty. The Japanese crew would then pick up a second fully loaded ship and the process would be repeated.
The Japanese never even replied to this proposal. Instead, in April 1943 they suggested that they would consider accepting supplies sent by Soviet ships from a West Coast port to Vladivostok. The State Department secured the approval of the Soviet Union to this suggestion, and at the end of May 1943 the State Department advised the Japanese of the Soviet agreement, at the same time asking them to specify the means they proposed to use in getting the supplies from Vladivostok to the camps. While awaiting the Japanese answer, the United States Government asked the Russians to start carrying supplies to Vladivostok at once. In late August the Soviet Union agreed to carry 1,500 tons of supplies monthly on Soviet ships to Vladivostok.
Although no definite agreement had been reached with the Japanese that supplies shipped to Vladivostok would be accepted by them and in due course be distributed to the prison camps, the American Red Cross and interested governmental agencies decided that, despite the risks involved, it was highly desirable to lose no more time in accumulating a stockpile of food, medicines, and clothing at the nearest point possible to the Far Eastern camps. The aim was to avoid any further delay in the distribution of supplies in the event -of Japanese agreement. Consequently, some 1,500 tons of urgently needed supplies were assembled and shipped from the West Coast and are now warehoused in Vladivostok. Further substantial amounts are ready in this country for immediate shipment as soon as the Japanese begin accepting the supplies already in Vladivostok. While the actual movement of goods was taking place, a series of cables were sent through Geneva to the Japanese Red Cross urging a definite Japanese proposal for the distribution of the supplies. There has still been no definite plan from the Japanese side, but further steps to obtain a solution to this problem are receiving continuous consideration.
The second shipment of American relief supplies on diplomatic exchange vessels was made in September 1943. The Gripsholm then left New York with a cargo valued at over $1,300,000, including 140,000 specially prepared 13-pound food packages, 2,800 cases of medical supplies, including drugs, surgical instruments, and dressings, 7 million vitamin capsules ; and large quantities of clothing and comfort articles for men, women, and children. The entire cargo was transferred to the Japanese exchange vessel Teia Maru, which sailed eastward from Mormugao on October 21, 1943. About one half of these supplies, including 78,000 food parcels and 73 tons of drugs and medicine, were unloaded at Manila on November 8, 1943 for distribution to camps in the Philippines. About a week later several hundred tons were unloaded at Yokohama for distribution in Japan and elsewhere in the Far East.
Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of Interior
To Roosevelt, June 2, 1944:
I again call your attention to the urgent necessity of arriving at a determination with respect to revocation of the orders excluding Japanese Americans from the West Coast...
1. I have been informally advised by officials of the War Department who are in charge of this problem that there is no substantial justification for continuation of the ban from the standpoint of military security.
2. The continued exclusion of American citizens of Japanese ancestry from the affected areas is clearly unconstitutional in the present circumstances. I expect that a case squarely raising this issue will reach the Supreme Court at its next term. I understand that the Department of Justice agrees that there is little doubt as to the decision which the Supreme Court will reach in a case squarely presenting the issue.
3. The continuation of the exclusion orders in the West Coast areas is adversely affecting our efforts to relocate Japanese Americans elsewhere in the country. State and local officials are saying, with some justification, that if these people are too dangerous for the West Coast, they do not want them to resettle in their localities.
4. The psychology of the Japanese Americans in the relocation centers becomes progressively worse. The difficulty which will confront these people in readjusting to ordinary life becomes greater as they spend more time in the centers.
5. The children in the centers are exposed solely to the influence of persons of Japanese ancestry. They are becoming a hopelessly maladjusted generation, apprehensive of the outside world and divorced from the possibility of associating -- or even seeing to any considerable extent -- Americans of other races.
6. The retention of Japanese Americans in the relocation centers impairs the efforts which are being made to secure better treatment for American prisoners-of-war and civilians who are held by the Japanese. In many localities American nationals were not interned by the Japanese government until after the West Coast evacuation; and the Japanese government has recently responded to the State Department complaints concerning treatment of American nationals by citing, among other things, the circumstances of the evacuation and detention of the West Coast Japanese Americans.
I will not comment at this time on the justification or lack thereof for the original evacuation order. But I do say that the continued retention of these innocent people in the relocation centers would be a blot upon the history of this country.
JULY 16, 1944
Special War Problems Division
By GRAHAM H. STUART
Duties Regarding American Prisoners Abroad
The Internees Section reviews reports that it receives from the International Red Cross Committee and from the Swiss Government covering visits that their representatives make to the prisoners-of-war camps where Americans are held in enemy and enemy-occupied countries. (In September 1943 there were in Europe 27 prisoners-of-war camps, 16 internees camps, and 21 hospitals where Americans were known to be detained.) It prepares comments on these reports for transmission to Swiss representatives for their guidance in making representations as needed on behalf of American prisoners confined in the camps subject to their inspection. In this connection the Section must maintain liaison with the proper departments of the American Government to insure that privileges requested for American prisoners abroad are reciprocally granted to enemy prisoners in American hands.
In the United States, Germans, Italians, and Japanese are segregated ; in Germany, the British and Americans are often placed in the same camp. The conditions of Americans held in prison camps in Europe are not on the whole so good as those of German or Italian prisoners in the United States, for in the European camps quarters are sometimes overcrowded and the food is of poor quality.
A representative example of a German prisoners-of-war camp is Stalag IIIB at Fuerstenberg, where there are approximately 5,000 American prisoners of war. When the prisoners were first placed in this camp in the spring of 1943, they were in poor physical condition. A number had scarletina and their clothing was ragged, inadequate, and vermin-infested. With the aid of the Red Cross and the Y.M.C.A., the German authorities provided new clothing and promised additional food supplies. During a visit by a neutral representative in September conditions were found to be more satisfactory, and the camp commander was quite cooperative.
The State Department has faced a very difficult situation with regard to American prisoners in the hands of the Japanese. The Internees Section has devoted much time and attention to this problem. Although Japan is not a party to the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention, (' Japan has signed but never ratified the convention.) the Department obtained from the Japanese Government a commitment to apply mutatis mutandis the provisions of that convention to American prisoners of war and, so far as adaptable, to American civilian internees held by Japan. In spite of Japanese promises, information from many sources indicated constant and flagrant violation of the convention on the part of the Japanese Government. During the years 1942 and 1943 the United States Government requested scores of times that the Japanese Government report names of American prisoners and that it permit the Swiss representatives to visit the camps. On August 7, 1942 the United States protested emphatically against sentences imposed, contrary to article 50 of the Geneva convention, upon Americans who attempted to escape from the Shanghai prisoners-of-war camps. It protested also against the refusal of the Japanese to permit the Swiss representatives to visit these men. On December 12 the Internees Section prepared an extended protest covering torture, neglect, physical violence, solitary confinement, illegal prison sentences, mistreatment, and abuse that led to the deaths of seven Americans. On January 4, 1943 the United States protested the insufficient diet and generally unsatisfactory conditions at Shinagawa prisoners-of-war camp. During February and March, thirteen further protests were registered for various violations of the convention, such as lack of heat, improper medical attention, refusal of the Japanese to permit foodstuffs sent from the outside to be distributed to prisoners, and other failures of the Japanese Government to carry out their obligations. In April the United States Government learned of the execution of the captured American airmen who flew over Tokyo and protested vigorously both the sentences and the failure to grant proper judicial proceedings. Nineteen more protests, some of them covering many kinds of violations, were filed during the rest of the year.
On January 27, 1944 the United States sent two long telegrams to our Legation in Bern to be communicated to the Japanese Government through the Swiss Government that represents our interests in Japan. These communications summarized the entire unsatisfactory situation, reciting the many violations on the part of Japan, her callous failure to provide the minimum requirements for the barest existence, and her inhuman and revolting treatment of those unfortunates in her power. A list of eighteen flagrant violations of specific provisions of the Geneva convention was presented. This was followed by detailed charges giving specific facts in regard to the violations. Some of these reported brutalities were so inhuman that only a barbarous people of sadistic tendencies could have been guilty of them.
Although the first accusation on the part of the United States was dated December 23, 1942, no reply had been made on the part of Japan other than that the Japanese would investigate and in due course of time communicate the results. The United States, therefore, weary of waiting, not only summarized the entire situation in explicit fashion but on February 11, 1944 also made public the text of the accusations." At the same time the United States stated most emphatically that the Japanese Government could assure itself by examining the reports of the Spanish, Swedish, and International Red Cross representatives that the United States had consistently and fully applied the provisions of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention in the treatment of all Japanese nationals that it held as prisoners of war or civilian internees.
It is manifestly impossible to give the exact number of American prisoners held by the Japanese, but the Internees Section has made the following estimates from sources available and from estimates based on first-hand information. A total of approximately 19,919 American prisoners are thought to be in the hands of the Japanese; in Japan proper 2,999 prisoners are held in 16 camps. varying in size from the one at Osaka with 570 inmates to the one at Hakodate with 12; 887 are held in China at Kiangwan in Shanghai and 2,436 in other Japanese-controlled territory, including Formosa, Java, Thailand, and Malaya. In the Philippines it is estimated that there are 13,590 American prisoners.
The United States has made every effort to carry over the provisions of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention to the treatment of civilian internees. The European members of the Axis group have agreed to these provisions, and with few exceptions they have carried out their obligations. Japan, however, has violated these in her internment camps for civilians as she has in the prisoners-of-war camps.
Approximately 5,600 American civilians are interned under Japanese control. Of these over 4,000 are in the Philippines. The largest internment camp is Santo Tomas, which is perhaps the model camp from the standpoint of humanitarian treatment, and those few inmates who have been returned from that camp have vouched for the fairly humane conduct on the part of the Japanese officials.
Among the specific complaints directed at the civilian-internment camps in Japan were the refusal on the part of commanders to permit internees to address the protecting power; the lack of proper food, footwear, and adequate clothing; insufficient medical care; restrictions on religious services; and seizure of personal possessions. Although these violations did not include cruel and inhuman treatment to the same extent as in the case of prisoners of war, they were contrary to the methods of conduct that the United States very carefully accepted and observed.
In 1942 the Japanese registered a few complaints regarding the treatment of Japanese nationals in internment camps in the United States. This Government carefully considered and made appropriate replies to all complaints. In concluding its reply to the protecting power the United States stated that it had instructed its officers concerned with the handling of Japanese nationals to exercise the most scrupulous care that their control be governed by the humanitarian principles of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention and the generally accepted rules of international law.
There are seven internment camps in the United States for civilian alien enemies : three in Texas, two in New Mexico, one each in Idaho and North Dakota. A few hundred civilian alien enemies are held at Ellis Island and in detention stations in various cities. The camp at Santa Fe, New Mexico, has, at the present writing, 1,428 inmates, all Japanese; the one at Crystal City, Texas, has 2,070 inmates of which 1,266 are German. Of the total of 8,183 enemy aliens held in custody by the United States about 4,000 are German; 3,000, Japanese; and 1,000, Italian.
Japanese Relocation Centers
The situation of the Japanese in the United States has been complicated by the fact that it was felt necessary for the safety of the country to consider the entire western coast as a potential combat zone and to exclude all persons of Japanese or part-Japanese ancestry and individually objectionable European enemy aliens from this area. ('Enemy aliens, as such, were not excluded. As a matter of fact not only can individually objectionable enemy aliens be excluded from coastal-defense regions but also American citizens can be excluded even when not of Japanese or part-Japanese ancestry.) Most of the Japanese in the United States -- more than 100,000 -- were inhabitants of this zone and about 63 percent were American-born and, therefore, citizens. Nevertheless, the emergency was such that it was not thought practicable to permit even Japanese loyal to the United States to remain there. The Executive order of February 19, 1912 authorized the military commanders to prescribe military areas and exclude any or all persons from such areas. General DeWitt declared the entire West Coast to be such a military area and that all Japanese, aliens and American-born, be excluded. On March 18, 1942 to aid in the removal of such large numbers the President established the Wartime Civil Control Administration to assist the War Department in this task. It was emphasized that this evacuation of Japanese from military areas was not to be confused with the enemy-alien program which required internment in camps under far more rigid restrictions.
Ten relocation centers were established on public lands : two in Arizona, two in Arkansas, two in California, and one each in Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Each area was required to support a minimum of 5,000 persons and to possess agricultural and power facilities. Until these centers were ready the Japanese were placed in assembly centers where food, shelter, and medical care were provided.
It is difficult to give figures for the population of these relocation centers, which remain inconstant, but on March 4, 1944 there were 90,504 evacuees resident in the 10 centers. In addition, 19,516 were on indefinite leave, 769 on short-term leave, and 2,557 on seasonal leave. The largest center was Tule Lake with 16,807 residents, and the next largest, Colorado River Center with 13,207. No center has less than 6,000 residents. The relocation centers are under the control of a civil agency in the Department of Interior -- the War Relocation Authority. They are not, however, governed by the strict regulations imposed upon the prisoners-of-war and enemy-alien internment camps. Nevertheless, the protecting power has been invited to visit and report upon them, and, as in other camps, a representative of the Internees Section of the Special War Problems Division accompanied the representatives of the protecting power.
Since the Japanese evacuees in relocation centers are not regarded as internees, the provisions of the Geneva convention have not been fully applied to them. Except for the relocation center at Tule Lake, the Japanese evacuees are permitted many more liberties than those granted to the internees.
Exchange of Sick and Wounded
According to the terms of article 68 of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention, belligerents are obligated to send back to their own country, regardless of rank or number, seriously sick and seriously injured prisoners of war, after their physical condition has improved to the extent that they can be transported. A model agreement which defines the degree of incapacity considered sufficient to qualify a prisoner of war for repatriation is attached as an annex to the Geneva convention. Furthermore, according to the provisions of the Geneva Red Cross Convention of July 27, 1929, surplus personnel charged exclusively with the care of the sick and wounded are to be repatriated as soon as a way is open for their return and military exigencies permit.
In September 1943 the United States and Germany reached an agreement for the mutual repatriation of seriously sick and seriously wounded prisoners of war and surplus protected personnel -- the latter according to the terms of the Geneva Bed Cross Convention. Surplus protected personnel was defined in this agreement as including all such personnel in excess of two doctors, one dentist, one chaplain, and six enlisted sanitary personnel for each thousand prisoners of war.
The first exchange of seriously sick and seriously wounded prisoners and surplus protected personnel between the United States and Germany took place in October 1943, when the United States repatriated 234 seriously sick or seriously wounded prisoners and 1,732 surplus protected personnel. It received, in return, 14 sick or wounded American prisoners of war. In this exchange all the German prisoners who were returned were approved for repatriation by the American medical authorities. They included all who, up until that time, were found eligible for exchange. In the second exchange, which took place in March 1944, 117 Germans were repatriated, in contrast to 36 American prisoners. In this case the eligibility for repatriation from the United States was determined by mixed medical commissions composed of two neutral doctors and one doctor appointed by the detaining power.
Before the second exchange took place the State Department, through the Internees Section of the Special War Problems Division, approached the German Government for a third exchange to take place in Lisbon on April 12, 1944. At the same time the Department proposed that similar exchanges should occur without further negotiation at regular three-month intervals. The United States proposed that arrangements be made between the periodic exchanges for the examination of all possible repatriable prisoners, so that the largest number possible of repatriables might be returned upon each sailing of the exchange ship.
The German Government in its reply stated that' all American prisoners of war qualified for repatriation, 36 in number, had already been sent back on the Gripsholm. Therefore, since no others would be available before the mixed medical commission completed its next tour of German war camps on May 9, 1944, it was felt that the proposed exchange should be deferred. The German Government, however, at approximately the same time agreed to further exchanges of seriously sick or seriously wounded prisoners of war and proposed May 2, or a date thereafter, as the exchange date. Since Colonel d'Erlach, chairman of the mixed medical commission, operating in Germany, did not believe that the commission's work would be finished before the middle of May, a later date was thought to be more practicable.
The Governments of the United States and Great Britain jointly proposed to the German Government that an additional exchange of seriously sick and seriously wounded prisoners of war take place on May 17 with either Lisbon or Barcelona as the port of exchange. Barcelona was agreed upon, since the trip from Germany to Barcelona was much shorter than the trip to Lisbon. The German Government accepted both the date of May 17 and Barcelona as the exchange port. The vessel proposed was the M.S. Gripsholm. The itinerary was from New York via Algiers to Barcelona and return via Algiers and Belfast (to disembark the British contingent) to New York.
The number of Germans repatriated on this voyage of the Gripsholm, which left New York on May 2, 1944, was 517 sick and wounded and surplus protected personnel in British custody and 340 sick and wounded and protected personnel in United States custody, making a total of 857. The number of Allied sick and wounded brought back from Germany was over 1,000, of whom 65 were Americans.
The State Department was responsible for the repatriation movement from the time of delivery of the German prisoners of war on the Gripsholm m New York until the returning British and American prisoners were disembarked in Algiers, Belfast, or New York. This responsibility included accommodating, guarding, furnishing adequate medical care, and delivering the German prisoners to the Spanish authorities.
The United States has made similar proposals for the exchange of seriously ill and wounded prisoners and surplus protected personnel to the Rumanian and Bulgarian Governments, which are parties to the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention and the Geneva Red Cross Convention. The Japanese Government, which is a party to the Geneva Red Cross Convention, agreed in principle to the United States Government's proposal for the repatriation of protected personnel. It sent back a small number of American military nurses at the lime of the first civilian exchange but none there-after. The Japanese Government, after due consideration, stated that it could not make a favorable response to the United States proposals for the reciprocal application of the model agreement and the repatriation of seriously sick and seriously wounded prisoners of war under the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention.
AUGUST 6, 1944
Special War Problems Division
By GRAHAM H. STUART
Representation of Foreign Interests
C. THE REPATRIATION UNIT
General principles and problems
We have already discussed the work of repatriation of nationals before the United States entered the war, a function performed by the Welfare Section, the repatriation of sick and wounded prisoners of war by the Internees Section, and certain negotiations regarding the repatriation of foreign diplomats and consuls by the Enemy Interests Unit of the Representation Section. Repatriation in its various aspects has been one of the most important activities of the Special War Problems Division. The Repatriation Unit proper has the responsibility of making the necessary arrangements for the repatriation of nationals of the United States and its Allies and associates from enemy territory and the repatriation of enemy nationals from the territories of the United States and other countries of the Western Hemisphere upon the basis of an equable and reciprocal exchange.
The desire for repatriation is a very keen one, on the part not only of the individual concerned but also of his relatives and friends. Since everyone seeking repatriation cannot be accommodated simultaneously, the compilation of lists of the persons to be repatriated, taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances pertinent to a fair and just evaluation, requires thorough investigation, careful consideration, and balanced judgment. It also requires considerable negotiation and implementation with the enemy and protecting powers and the governments of the American republics and also with the military, naval, and civil security agencies of the United States.
As a preliminary to the act of repatriation the Repatriation Unit maintains a card file of all American citizens known to be residing in enemy territory, whether in Europe or in the Far East, in which is entered all information obtainable indicating the repatriability of the individuals named. This information includes citations to any correspondence between the protecting power and enemy governments in regard to any individual's repatriation. The Far Eastern file contains from 6,500 to 7,000 names of Americans.
Since repatriation after war begins is a two-way street and becomes practically an equivalent exchange of nationals, the Repatriation Unit maintains a similar card index of German, Italian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, and Rumanian nationals resident in the Western Hemisphere indicating their current repatriation status. That index contains more than 20,000 names.
The Unit has compiled a third file of the individuals of the Japanese race in the United States and other countries of the Western Hemisphere. That compilation has been one of the most difficult problems facing the Unit. The Japanese alphabet has so many delicate nuances of meaning that Miss Elizabeth B. Smith, who is in charge of this work, has found it necessary to recheck the index innumerable times (with War Relocation Authority, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Provost Marshal General's Office, Office of Naval Intelligence, Military Intelligence Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alien Enemy Control, Census Bureau, and Selective Service). The information received by the Unit from Japanese sources regarding the priority lists of Japanese to be repatriated was both incomplete and inaccurate, and many months' meticulous work was required to make them usable. The Unit today has a list in both Japanese and English characters of 100,000 names, with their correct addresses, and with the necessary information concerning their identification, whereabouts, and repatriability. In fact, this is the only agency which has correlated all the information available on individuals of the Japanese race in the United States. As such it has become an invaluable source of information for the other agencies of the Federal Government regarding the loyalty and identity of persons of the Japanese race.
Perhaps one of the most troublesome problems facing the Unit is that of deciding which Americans are to be brought home. The Unit received innumerable letters from Congressmen, officials of the administration, and the general public urging the repatriation of specific individuals. However, as behooves a democratic system, the Government of the United States, recognizing that all American citizens have an equal right to consideration, refused to select individual Americans for inclusion in exchanges or to discriminate in any other way among individual Americans desiring repatriation. It was necessary nevertheless to give the Swiss representatives in charge of American interests in enemy countries certain directives based upon broad humanitarian grounds to aid them in meeting the exchange quotas. In the case of the exchanges with Germany, except for the repatriation of Government officials, the United States made no demands of a specific character. The Swiss made up the lists of Americans largely according to the wishes and availability of the persons to be repatriated. The situation of non-official internees under Japanese control made it advisable however, for humanitarian reasons, to single out certain groups for priority. The directives which were set up to govern repatriation from the Far East in 1943 gave preference to (1) those under close arrest ; (2) interned women and children; (3) the .seriously ill; and (4) interned men, with preferences being given, other things being equal, to married men long separated from their families in the United States. For subsequent Far Eastern repatriation, unaccompanied interned women and children had absolute first priority. The next to be considered were the seriously sick and seriously wounded, whether civilian or military, and those under close arrest. Any remaining space was to be filled by those least likely to withstand the rigors of continued internment.
Exchange of official personnel
With the entry of the United States into the war, plans had to be made for the exchange of official and non-official nationals of the United States and other countries in the Western Hemisphere, including Canada, with the nationals of the Axis countries. Since most of the Latin American republics broke diplomatic relations with the Axis powers immediately after Pearl Harbor, the United States sent a circular telegram to all its diplomatic missions in the other American republics stating that the United States would be glad to include in the arrangements which it was making for the exchange of its own diplomatic and consular representatives in Axis countries any of the official personnel of the other American republics which had broken or might subsequently break relations with the Axis powers. The Department assumed the initiative in this matter in a spirit of cooperation and in view of the fact that transportation facilities were more readily available to this Government for the successful execution of such an exchange. The nationals of the other American republics and Canada were extended equal treatment pari passu with American nationals.
The Special Division, as it was then called, had charge of all the negotiations pertaining to the exchange. The original proposal of December 19, 1941, to Germany covered the type of personnel to be included and the procedure to be employed. In substance, the German-American exchange agreement provided for the exchange of all nationals whether interned or not (In all cases of repatriation of non-officials. it is required that men between the ages of 18 and .50 sign a pledge not to bear arms again for the duration of the present war. Anyone violating this pledge is subject to court-martial if recaptured.) with the proviso that either Government might exceptionally withhold from the exchange any national of the other whose release might be considered inimical to its national interests. The Japanese-American exchange agreement provided for the exchange of all nationals (except certain permanent residents), without regard to their number or possible usefulness in the prosecution of the war. Subsequent arrangements provided that the exchanges should cover Latin American diplomats who were being exchanged with the Axis countries as well as those from the United States.
The principal difficulties in carrying out the arrangements seemed to be the procurement of suitable vessels and an agreement concerning the inclusion of certain non-official persons. For example, Germany requested 50 prominent German civilians to be exchanged with the diplomatic transport. The United States was willing to repatriate all non-official Germans, but it insisted that certain persons might be retained for reasons of national security. The German Government objected to this limitation, but the United States was insistent and did not yield its point. Other points of dispute arose when the Japanese wanted their officials to proceed to third countries, contrary to the interests of the United States and when the United States wished to receive as official personnel the American military legation guards and Marine detachments from China. Neither of these desiderata was attained.
The long delay before the first exchange was finally consummated -- approximately four months -- was caused partly by the lack of direct communications. For example, an average of 18 days was required for a reply from Germany or Japan through the channels of the protecting power even though the reply did not require much reflection on the part of the enemy government. The negotiations were also delayed by the fact that the United States had to deal, in one way or another, with every government in the Western Hemisphere and all except a few governments in Europe and Asia. Finally, the negotiations were hampered by a lack of shipping, particularly on the west coast of South America, which delayed the arrival in the United States of the Axis diplomatic missions from Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador.
In the repatriation of German citizens the German Government requested (1) that German citizens from the other Americas be repatriated first; (2) that Germans interned before the outbreak of the war should come next; and (3) that all internees were to have preference over those at liberty. The Special Division had to check all official lists, both those compiled of Germans in the United States and, with the help of the Passport Division, those of Americans in Germany. It also had to prepare a list of all Germans detained or interned in the United States who wished to return home and to obtain the approval of the Office of Naval Intelligence, Military Intelligence, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Alien Enemy Control Unit, Department of Justice, for their repatriation.
The United States chartered the Swedish steamship Drottningkohn to serve as the exchange vessel. On its trip from Goteborg, Sweden, on April 19, 1942, under safe-conduct of all belligerent governments, it brought to the United States 114 American citizens stranded in Sweden since 1940. The Swiss Government consented to act as guarantor for compliance with the terms of the agreement reached by the various governments concerned for the exchange of Axis and American diplomats and nationals. The Portuguese Government consented to act for all governments concerned as guarantor for the exchange operation on Portuguese territory. When the Drottningholm sailed from New York on May 7, 1942 its passenger list of 948 comprised 652 German, Italian, Rumanian, and Bulgarian officials from the United States and 215 German and Italian officials from Latin American countries. The remaining 81 passengers were German non-officials. On its return trip from Lisbon on June 1, 1942 the Drottningholm brought back 133 American officials and 46 Latin American officials. On the same trip were included 561 American non-officials and 169 Latin American non-officials.
To safeguard national interests the responsible security agencies had rightly taken the stand that no one should be repatriated who might be of assistance to the enemy, intellectually or physically. This position, fully supported by the Department of State, made it increasingly difficult to find an adequate passenger list for the second exchange with Germany. When Germany refused safe conduct for the vessel unless it changed its port of call in the United States to an American port specifically designated by Germany to fit in with the extension of her submarine campaign in the North Atlantic, it was decided, with the approval of the Chief Executive, to terminate the European exchanges at least for the time being. When the next European exchange was made in 1944 the security and military authorities considered that developments in the war had reduced the dangers of such repatriation movements.
In the case of the Japanese official personnel the Swedish motorship Gripsholm (On its way over from Sweden, arriving in New York on June 9, 1942, the Gripsholm brought 194 Americans and alien relatives still remaining in Sweden in return for our promise that we would reciprocate to the vessel's capacity on her return to Goteborg.) served as the exchange vessel from New York to Lourenço Marques in Portuguese Africa. The Japanese Government utilized one of its own vessels, the Asama Maru, which sailed from Japan and stopped at Saigon, and an Italian vessel, the Conte Verde, with an Italian crew, to carry the American repatriates from Shanghai and Hong Kong.
An even greater delay than in the case of the European exchange occurred because of the non-receipt of the list of Americans to be repatriated from China and the refusal of the Japanese Government to grant safe-conduct to the Gripsholm until June 16. When the Gripsholm sailed from New York on June 18, 1942 there were on board approximately 495 Japanese and Thai officials, as well as 602 non-official Japanese and Thais. According to the arrangements the vessel was to call en route at Rio de Janeiro to take on board approximately 403 additional Japanese official and non-official nationals from Brazil and Paraguay. Thus, a total of about 1,500 persons were transported by the American exchange vessel on its first voyage to Lourenço Marques.
The first exchange with Japan brought about the repatriation of 1,378 nationals of the United States of whom 288 were officials; 104 Latin Americans; 71 Canadians and 1 Spaniard, making a total of 1,554 persons. The majority of non-officials included in this exchange came from Japan, the remote areas of China under Japanese control, and Hong Kong.
Second exchange with Japan
A second exchange with Japan was expected to follow immediately after the first, but long delays resulted. The Japanese resented the publication of atrocity stories recounted by Americans returned from the Far East, and undoubtedly they felt that the statements concerning America's war effort made by returning Japanese undermined to some extent the Japanese war effort. The Japanese Government also attempted to interpret the agreement to repatriate the Manila group of Foreign Service officers as covering only officers formally stationed at Manila. The United States rejected in strong terms this interpretation. Another delaying factor was the difficulty in identifying and locating the Japanese requested by the Japanese Government.
The Department's position was laid down in a telegram to Bern, dated April 20, 1942. In this communication the Department stated that in agreeing to the repatriation of non-official persons the United States "accepted the Japanese proposal that all includable persons be exchanged without question of their usefulness for the prosecution of the war and contemplated proposing no limitation upon repatriation of persons because of their military age." The Department followed an identical policy in its telegram of July 29, 1942 to proceed with the second exchange, and the Japanese accepted on the same basis as the first, which the Special Division interpreted to mean that the United States was obligated to repatriate, without exception, all persons specifically named by the Japanese Government unless such persons refused repatriation. (This policy was based on the fact that Americans in the hands of the Japanese were in a less favorable position physically than those in the power of the European enemies.) In attempting to do so, however, great difficulties were encountered. The Japanese Government's priority list, which had been made up, evidently from memory, on board the Gripsholm by the returning Japanese officials, contained thousands of names, many of which were incorrectly spelled and of which the addresses given were inexact. Since many of the names had not previously been suggested for repatriation they were unknown to the Special Division. The most expeditious procedure was to obtain Japanese acceptance of a list of passengers whose identity, whereabouts, and willingness to be repatriated were already known.
Successive passenger lists suggested and submitted to the Japanese Government on the basis of identified Japanese who were willing to be repatriated were rejected by Japan on the ground that certain Japanese requested by Japan were not included. Furthermore, Japan refused to believe that so many, more than 3,000 out of 5,000, of those named by her for repatriation refused the opportunity when offered.
Another factor which may have affected the Japanese attitude was the change of ministry which occurred in the Japanese Government in September 1942, when a certain Masayuki Tani, who was reported to hold the militaristic point of view, was placed in charge of the Japanese Foreign Office. During his incumbency there was manifest a disinclination to proceed with the second exchange, and it was not before he left office in the spring of 1943 that the Special Division was able to proceed with some hope of effecting the second exchange.
It was finally decided to ask the Japanese again to state precisely whom in the light of all difficulties encountered they wished exchanged, hoping thus to obtain information that would enable us to. meet Japan's wishes. A note worded so as to permit a flexible interpretation brought a rather favorable reply from the Japanese. After a year of disappointing delays the State Department was in a position to proceed with some hope of success. Numerous details yet remained to be worked out, but as a result of the whole-hearted cooperation of all agencies, growing out of a meeting in the Department on August 19, 1943, the Gripsholm, was able to leave on its second exchange voyage (this time to Mormugao, Portuguese India) on September 2, 1943. (On its second voyage the Gripsholm took over 1,507 Japanese and brought back the same number of nationals from North and South America, including 221 Canadians.)
It is possible that the delay in effecting the second exchange made more difficult the possibility of future exchanges with the Japanese. More important is the fact that the delay undoubtedly caused much suffering among American prisoners of war in Japanese custody, whose lives, in many instances, probably depended upon the medicine that could be obtained only on the exchange vessels. However, the experience gained by the Department may yet prove of the greatest value. Since the return of the Gripsholm from the second exchange the State Department has been persistently attempting to negotiate a third exchange. Accurate information is now on file regarding practically all Japanese willing to accept repatriation, numbering more than 9,000. The officials of the Special War Problems Division hope that as the demand for manpower increases, the Japanese Government may again be willing to carry on negotiations for further exchange of its nationals.
Other exchanges with Germany
The Drottninghohn, on its second voyage from New York, repatriated 950 non-officials, of which 819 were Germans; 120 Italians; 6 Bulgarians; 5 Rumanians ; and 10 Hungarians. On its return trip it brought back 785 North Americans and 157 Latin Americans. On its third trip to Lisbon, June 3, 1942, the Drottninghohn carried 646 Germans, 124 Italians, 2 Hungarians, and 43 Swedish, a total of 815. Two other vessels were used to repatriate German non-officials, the Nyassa, June 13, 1942, and the Scrpa Pinto, July 3, 1942, which together took over 351.
No other exchanges with Germany were made before the spring of 1944 when the Gripsholm, repatriated 1,145 Germans and 18 French officials and brought back 533 Americans and 95 Latin Americans. On this last exchange a considerable number of the passengers were being repatriated on humanitarian grounds because of serious illness or because they were seriously wounded prisoners of war. No arrangements have yet been concluded for further group exchanges with Germany, although negotiations are under way. In the meantime, a small number of civilians are being included in current exchanges of seriously sick and wounded prisoners of war.
The total number of Americans who have been repatriated from Europe up to April 1, 1944 has been 2,361 and from the Far East, 3,080. In return, 4,176 nationals of the European Axis powers have been sent back to Europe and 2,950 Japanese nationals have been repatriated to Japan.
The removal of subversive aliens from the other American republics
Within a short time after the entrance of the United States into the World War the Latin American republics, with the exception of Argentina and Chile, either broke relations with or declared war upon the Axis powers. At the Conference of Foreign Ministers of the American Republics, held in Rio de Janeiro in January 1942, several resolutions were passed which aimed at combating the subversive activities of enemy aliens and an Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense was set up at Montevideo. This Committee adopted a resolution drafted by the Department of Justice in consultation with the Special Division and the Division of American Republics in the Department of State. The resolution was presented by the American member of the Committee, which recommended to the governments of the American republics the need for the adequate detention of dangerous Axis nationals and for the deportation of such persons to another American republic for detention when adequate local detention facilities were lacking.
The Department, as well as other agencies of the Government, including the Departments of War, Navy, and Justice, felt that the presence of large numbers of dangerous and potentially dangerous Germans, Italians, and Japanese in the countries to the south was a serious threat to continental safety. These aliens had access to communication facilities, to mines engaged in producing essential materials, to public-utility power plants, and to wharves and harbor facilities used by our shipping in the transportation of defense materials. Because of the political influence exerted by many of these aliens, measures of strict control could hardly be hoped for. The safest procedure was to remove as many of these aliens as possible, either by repatriation to their homelands or by bringing them to the United States where adequate internment facilities to take care of large groups of alien enemies had been prepared.
As an aid to repatriation the United States, in its negotiations with enemy governments for the repatriation of nationals, provided for the inclusion of the nationals of all other American governments which might be interested. All but three -- Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay -- of the Latin American republics which had broken with the Axis took advantage of our exchange agreement with the European Axis powers. By this means, some 2,000 German and Italian nationals who were regarded as dangerous enemy aliens were returned to Europe on the three voyages of the Drottningholm and on the two supplementary sailings of neutral vessels.
In addition to this exchange procedure, the United States has provided, at its own expense, facilities for the transportation of any Axis nationals who might be under consideration for deportation to this country and for their accommodation once they arrive here. (Potentially dangerous alien enemies brought to the United States for internment are not "entered" into the United States under the provisions of immigration laws of this country and are subject to deportation proceedings at the conclusion of the war.)
The Special War Problems Division handles all arrangements regarding the transportation of alien enemies from the other American republics deported for internment in the United States. They have been transported to the United States by the following means: Army transports, Army air transports, commercial airlines, and Chilean commercial steamship lines. The majority of the alien enemies have been transported to the United States by Army transports, the use of which has been limited to cases where the removal of a particular group of alien enemies is considered urgent. The use of commercial lines for the transportation of alien enemies has been confined mainly to the families of potentially dangerous men already interned in the United States. By use of such transportation, the individuals have been transported from time to time in small groups as space became available.
On two occasions space on Chilean passenger vessels proceeding to the United States has been used for the transportation of alien enemies and their families from Peru. This means was not continued because, toward the end of June 1943, the passenger vessels on the run from Santiago to New Orleans were taken over by the United States Maritime Commission.
The cooperation received from the other American republics has varied according to the local laws and the national policy of each country. The belligerent republics of the Caribbean area have sent us subversive aliens without limitation concerning their disposition. Peru has followed a similar policy. On the other hand Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico have insisted upon explicit guarantees before turning over aliens for repatriation.
The success of the repatriation program may be gauged from the results which have been obtained. The total number of enemy aliens brought to the United States from South and Central America is 4,707, of which 2,584 have been repatriated, and 2,118 are interned in the United States. In regard to security this means that the Japanese colonies in many states have been virtually eliminated and the local German organizations substantially disorganized.
AUGUST 27. 1944
Transfer of Funds for American Prisoners of War in the Philippines
[Released to the press August 25]
On May 23, 1944 the Department of State announced that the Japanese authorities in the Philippine Islands had extended permission to the neutral delegate there of the War Prisoners' Aid of the Y.M.C.A. to purchase locally relief supplies to an amount not exceeding $25,000 monthly for shipment to civilian-internment and prisoner-of-war camps in the Philippine Islands.^ At the request of the United States Government the Swiss Government, which represents American interests in the Far East, authorized its Minister at Tokyo to make available from official funds of the United States Government $25,000 monthly to the War Prisoners' Aid delegate in the Philippine Islands for this purpose. The Department has now been informed that when the Swiss Minister at Tokyo endeavored to arrange for the transfer of these funds the Japanese authorities stated that "because of the special situation of the Philippines" the relief activities of the Y.M.C.A. representative which theretofore had "been tolerated by the local authorities" could not be permitted to continue. At the same time, however, the Japanese Government indicated that it would be willing to consider requests made by the Swiss Government to transfer funds to the Philippine Islands for the assistance of American prisoners of war. The United States Government, acting through the Swiss Government, has constantly endeavored since the spring of 1942 to arrange for the transfer of funds to American prisoners of war in the Philippine Islands. As in the case of funds which are being transferred by the Swiss Government for the assistance of interned civilians in the Philippine Islands, remittances for prisoners of war must be made through Japanese military channels. The Japanese Government has limited such remittances to 20 pesos monthly (approximately $10.00) for each prisoner of war. The Swiss Government has been requested to arrange for the transfer on a continuing basis of funds required to provide the maximum amount permitted by the Japanese authorities for each prisoner of war. The Japanese authorities have also indicated a willingness to consider requests for the transfer of funds for the relief of American prisoners of war, interned merchant seamen, and interned civilians in the Netherlands East Indies, and the Swiss Government has been requested to arrange for the remittance of funds to the maximum amount permitted by the Japanese authorities.
DECEMBER 10, 1944
Third Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor
ADDRESS BY ERLE R. DICKOVER
[Released to the press December 7]
Delivered at a civic gathering under the auspices of the Kiwanis Club at Salisbury, Maryland, on Dec. 7, 1944. Mr. Dickover is Chief, Division of Japanese Affairs, Office of Far Eastern Affairs, Department of State.
It is a great pleasure to me to have this opportunity to speak to you tonight on the subject "Lest We Forget" -- a subject on which I feel very strongly. I have no doubt but that, since December 7, 1941, all of my listeners tonight have read in the press and heard over the radio a great deal of comment regarding Japan and the Japanese war-machine. But lest you forget what the menace of Japan means to us now and in the future, the organizers of this meeting have asked me, as one who has lived in Japan for many years and who can speak from personal knowledge and experience, to tell you something of the development and power of the Japanese war-machine. I lived in Japan for 23 years, in the service of our country, and, as a part of my education in things Japanese, I had to learn to speak and understand, to read and write, and to sing and whistle the Japanese language. I learned to eat Japanese food and to like it. I lived through many of their typhoons, earthquakes, insurrections, and riots. The latter were often rather amusing, as usually the rioters confined their activities to overturning and burning the wooden police boxes which one finds on almost every important intersection in Japanese cities and against which the rioters appeared to have a special grievance. And once I was knifed and seriously wounded by a Japanese burglar in Tokyo. I was Charge d'Affaires of the American Embassy at the time, and the incident created quite a sensation, as the Japanese were afraid that it might cause international complications. So emissaries were sent from the Emperor down to apologize to me for the attack and to bring presents of cakes and fruit.
So I think I can lay claim to having had considerable personal experience of Japan and the Japanese and a keen appreciation of the reasons why we must not forget Pearl Harbor. The Chinese, you know, observe various "humiliation days" which commemorate events which were disastrous to the nation. I am not suggesting that we have a "humiliation day" but rather a day of remembrance of the great disaster in American naval history and of the greatest piece of treachery and deceit in the history of mankind. I wish that on December 7 of each year, for many years to come, gatherings similar to this, and with the same slogan, "Lest We Forget", could be held in every city, town, and village in the country. I shall tell you why I wish this.
The western nations received a shock when the realization of the tremendous power of the Japanese war-machine burst upon them. They had been told about it often enough by their diplomatic officers stationed in Japan, including our own, and by military observers and journalists, but the western peoples either did not believe that the supposedly "nice little Japanese", whom they associated only with cherry blossoms and geisha, could really build up such a machine, or they shrugged off the growing danger with the easy assumption that one American, or one Briton, or one Australian is equal in fighting qualities to five or ten Japanese. It is very apparent that such persons did not realize, as those of us who lived in Japan did, that the Japanese soldier is in truth a very tough customer -- strong, brutal, fanatically patriotic, well trained, well equipped, and well led.
The question is often asked, "How did the 'nice little Japanese' develop such a powerful, ruthless military machine ?" In the first place, most people, even those who have visited Japan, did not realize that they were being deceived by the nice side of the Japanese and that in fact the Japanese have a dual nature. Some Japanese do have a nice side -- the side which is usually seen by tourists and other visitors to Japan. They have a simple but beautiful culture of their own, with a great love of nature and of beautiful things. You all know their miniature gardens, their color prints, their porcelains and brocades. In- ordinary life, we who lived there found the Japanese to be a friendly, kindly, helpful, and courteous people. They had to be, to get along with each other in their crowded islands. At the time of the great earthquake of 1923, foreigners resident in Tokyo and Yokohama commented on the helpful spirit of the Japanese, who would assist each other or even the foreigner before attending to their own needs. I was the American Consul in Kobe at that time and helped to take care of the thousands of refugees from the earthquake areas and to handle part of the $20,000,000 worth of relief supplies sent to Japan by the American people. I also was struck by the spirit of helpfulness and kindly cooperation among the Japanese at this time, as well as by their sincere appreciation of the aid sent by the American people. But there is another side to the Japanese, upon which the military have built their war-machine -- a primitive, cruel, and brutal side which makes them laugh at animals in pain (which I have often seen myself) and sell their daughters to the brothels -- which is in fact quite a common practice. This side of the Japanese also was demonstrated at the time of the great earthquake. Several thousand Korean coolies were then working in and around Tokyo. Somehow the false rumor was started that these Koreans were looting and were murdering the Japanese. The Japanese young men's societies armed themselves with sticks and clubs and ran down and beat to death every Korean whom they could find, and incidentally killed about a hundred Chinese. This innate cruelty was also shown later in the Japanese treatment of American and British prisoners of war. The world was shocked by the revelation of this cruelty, but the world had forgotten that one of the primary purposes of Commodore Perry's visits to Japan in the 1850's was to compel the Japanese to accord humane treatment to American sailors shipwrecked on the shores of Japan and taken captive by the Japanese. Prior to Perry's visits the Japanese had terribly mistreated these men. So you can see that it was not difficult for the Japanese militarists to transform the ordinarily simple, kindly peasant lads of Japan into the brutal soldiers of the present-day Japanese Army.
The Japanese military machine is not an overnight growth, as ours is, but was developed by long and very careful planning by the warlords of Japan. To develop their machine they used spiritual as well as physical methods, somewhat similar to those employed by Germany and Italy. But Japan did not copy Germany and Italy in this; in fact, they employed those methods many years before Mussolini and Hitler were even heard of. The following are some of the methods employed:
(1) In the first place they subordinated the individual to the state (which you will remember is one of the primary principles of National Socialism) . This came naturally to the great mass of the Japanese, who had always subordinated themselves to the family or the clan. The wise men of the early days of modern Japan simply transferred this innate sense of loyalty of the people from the family or the clan to the Emperor, who was brought out of seclusion at Kyoto to act as head of the new military state. Until fairly recently this loyalty was a rather vague, impersonal sort of devotion, but during the past 10 or 15 years it has been developed into a blind, fanatical devotion almost impossible of conception to occidental peoples.
(2) In the second place they developed a national patriotic cult. Japan has had many religions, but in an endeavor to provide a purely Japanese national faith the leaders of Japan grafted onto the native Shinto the cult of emperor worship and of glorification of militarism. Contrary to popular belief, ancient Shinto is a harmless religion -- a peculiar mixture of primitive animism and ancestor-worship. There are thousands of little Shinto shrines scattered over Japan, dedicated to the local tutelary deity, or to the fox-god, or to some other god or goddess of the Shinto pantheon. The people go to these shrines to pray for a good harvest, or for children, or for other desired things, and at these shrines are held the annual local festivals. It was all very harmless and picturesque, until the military leaders superimposed the cult of emperor-worship and extreme nationalism upon this ancient religion. The new cult, which is called "State Shinto" or "National Shinto", is the obnoxious part of present-day Shinto. In this cult, the Emperor, as the direct descendant of the sun goddess, became the spiritual father of the Japanese race, thereby uniting under him, as in one great family, all of the people of Japan. This created a strong, unified national spirit. There would appear to be nothing inherently evil in the unification of a people, through emperor-worship or any other means, if that unification is developed for peaceful purposes. The unification of the Japanese people, however, was engineered in order to develop an extremely nationalistic, militaristic, and aggressive nation.
(3) In the third place the military leaders of Japan propagated a martial spirit among the people. The Japanese people always have glorified and idolized the military virtues. As you know, the Samurai, the fighting men of ancient Japan, formed a privileged class ranking much higher than the heimin, or common people, who were not allowed to bear arms. The ancient respect for the fighting men, growing out of this relationship, has been maintained and intensified in modern Japan. Various methods have been employed for this purpose, of which one has been the theater. Not much attention appears to have been given to the effect of the theater on Japanese life and thinking, but in my opinion it has been extremely important. Those of you who know the Kabuki theater know the type of play produced -- stories of ancient Japan, of loyalty and sacrifice, with much swordplay and buckets of blood and tears in each act. Children are taken to these plays from babyhood and grow up with the ideal before them of the swashbuckling, bloodthirsty Samurai of old Japan. This again, in my opinion, has had a tremendous effect upon the behavior pattern of the Japanese soldier. I believe that when a Japanese soldier engages in a suicidal banzai rush, or blows off his head with a hand grenade in a last futile gesture of defiance, he is in fact picturing himself in the role of one of his heroes of the Kabuki plays. The showing of these plays on the stage and screen is encouraged by the military in Japan. Other means employed to promote a martial spirit among the people include the teaching of bushido, the ethical code of the Samurai, to the people as a whole; military drill in the schools, starting from the age of about 10; and the inclusion in the school textbooks of tales of ancient and modern military valor.
The more radical element in the Japanese Army was not always content with the mere indoctrination of the people -- some of the younger members of the radical element occasionally eliminated by force advocates of liberalism and democracy. You all remember the assassinations of Premiers Hara, Hamaguchi, and Inukai and of Mr. Inouye and Baron Dan in the 1920's and 30's. These assassinations of liberal statesmen and businessmen are popularly supposed in Japan to have been encouraged by extremist groups in the Army. I was First Secretary of our Embassy in Tokyo at the time of the Army insurrection of February 26, 1936, when old Admiral Viscount Saito, Finance Minister Takehashi, and others were murdered. The Embassy stood on rising ground overlooking the area of operations of the insurgents, and consequently we in the Embassy had grandstand seats during the three-day revolt. It happened that I had occasion, during this affair, to be of some service to Saburo Kurusu, whom you will undoubtedly remember as the Japanese representative who came to the United States during the latter stages of our conversations with the Japanese in the last half of 1941. Kurusu was then attached to the Foreign Office in Tokyo and his residence was in the direct line of fire between the loyal soldiers and the insurgents. At 5 o'clock one morning, during a snowstorm, the Army ordered him and his family to vacate their house. He could not get his car through the lines, so he telephoned me and asked me to send my car for him and his family, since my car had a diplomatic license and could go almost anywhere. So I sent my car, rescued Kurusu and his family and servants, and put them up in my house until the insurgents surrendered and they could return to their own home.
Coincident with this intense indoctrination of the people, the spiritual preparation for war, and the elimination by force of liberal elements in and out of the Government, the military leaders made the necessary physical preparations for aggressive warfare. These included compulsory universal military service, which encountered little opposition in Japan, as the common people felt honored to be permitted to bear arms, like the privileged Samurai of old. A high birthrate was encouraged in order to provide cannon fodder for the military machine. So successful were the military leaders in that, that there was created a serious problem of overpopulation, which the military then brought forward as justification for aggression upon Japan's neighbors. A very efficient spy and police system was developed and used to suppress all "isms", such as socialism, communism, liberalism, pacifism, and labor unionism, which would militate against the development of the totalitarian military state desired by the warlords.
As a result of all this slow but steady preparation and indoctrination, the military leaders of Japan now have a nation of regimented minds -- a nation of people fanatically devoted to their Emperor; unified as no nation has ever been unified in the past, in their belief in the divine source of the race and in its destiny; willing to sacrifice themselves in order to achieve that destiny; and possessed of no inhibitions in regard to the methods to be employed. And supporting this nation of regimented minds they have an Army of some four or five million men, composed in large part of sturdy, tough peasant boys, inured from birth to hardship and well trained in the arts of war, including some, such as jujitsu and wrestling, not ordinarily included in the training of soldiers in other lands. The great bulk of that Army remains to be defeated -- a long and bloody task. They have -- or perhaps one can now almost say "had" -- a good Navy and an excellent supporting merchant marine, which our armed forces are busy whittling down to a point where we can hope their importance in the Japanese war-machine will be greatly reduced. They have also developed industries -- iron and steel, chemicals, synthetic oils, et cetera -- coordinated with the war-machine and designed to render Japan independent of foreign supplies in time of war. Those industries are now gradually being smashed by our B-29 bombers, but we still have a long way to go before Japan's war production will be seriously impaired.
And that, briefly, is a description of the war machine which we shall have to defeat and to crush before the peoples of the world have been relieved of the menace of Japanese aggression. I said "the peoples of the world", because it was, and I believe still is, the program of the extreme Jingoists in Japan to bring the whole world, as they say, "under the beneficent influence of the Imperial rule". The conquest and the economic and political domination of East Asia were only the immediate aims of the Japanese warlords. They hoped to be able in time to mobilize the immense manpower and material resources of Asia behind their war-machine and then to set out on the conquest of the world. Fortunately they were stopped in time, or they might have succeeded in a part at least of their grandiose scheme of conquest.
How did it happen that this seemingly invincible Japanese war-machine failed in the first part of its program of aggression ? Well, despite what the automobile and watch manufacturers say, no machine is perfect. They all have faults, and the Japanese war-machine is no exception. For example, the military leaders of Japan lack an expert knowledge of anything except military tactics and their own code of patriotism and extreme nationalism. They particularly lack a knowledge of economics and of the psychology of peoples. As anyone with an elemental knowledge of economics realized, the Japanese "Co-prosperity Sphere" could not possibly be a success without access to outside markets. It is true that within the so-called Co-prosperity Sphere there lie most of the world's resources of rubber, tin, cinchona, kapok, manila hemp, and various other raw materials, but the people of Asia cannot eat or wear these things. Consequently, the Co-prosperity Sphere has turned out to be a "co-poverty sphere", with a ragged, hungry population hating their conquerors. For this and other reasons Japan did not obtain the cooperation and assistance from the peoples of the Co-prosperity Sphere which were necessary for the success of the first part of the warlords' program of aggression. For another example, the treacherous Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor disclosed a lack of knowledge of the psychology of peoples. It may be argued that Pearl Harbor was a highly successful stroke from Japan's viewpoint, and it is a fact that it was a serious blow to our Pacific fleet, leaving the Japanese Army and Navy almost free for months to complete the conquest of East Asia. But it was also an enormous psychological and strategic blunder, and it will be the principal cause of Japan's undoing. If Japan had gone to war with the breaking off of diplomatic relations and a declaration of war before any act of war, about half of the American people might have said, "Oh, those nice little Japanese have been misled by their military masters. We will not be hard on them." But since Pearl Harbor, and the absence of any expressed disapproval of that stroke on the part of the Japanese, the American people are united as one man in the determination to drive those "nice little Japanese" back to their islands and to keep them from again over-running neighboring countries in a food of aggression.
This generation of Americans knows what it has to do. It has to defeat Japan, utterly and completely, and then to take such steps as may be necessary to destroy the vicious Japanese war machine, root and branch. After that, it has to keep watch that that machine is not rebuilt in our time. But how about your children and your grandchildren? Will they keep watch, or will they be deceived by those "nice little Japanese"? I have told you something of the intense indoctrination of the Japanese people. It will take generations to eradicate from the hearts and minds of those people the ideas of military power and of world domination which have been drilled into them for the past 50 years. Remember that the Japanese warlords themselves have said that this war will last for a hundred years -- not this particular phase of the war, but the whole war against the Western powers for domination of the world. With these facts in mind, who can be sure that, when the United Nations dictate their peace terms to a defeated Japan, the Japanese will not accept those terms with ostensible meekness, but with their tongues in their cheeks, preparing in their hearts to arise again in a generation or two, when the Western nations are off guard? It is reasonably certain that in the future we shall have an international security organization to deal with nations bent on aggression, but the fact that such an organization is in existence will not entirely relieve our Nation of the responsibility for the maintenance of constant vigilance, especially in the Pacific. It is imperative that Japanese aggression be, kept in check, and we are convinced that the establishment of an international security organization for the maintenance of world peace will contribute greatly to this end, but it is also necessary that you and I never forget the deep-rooted military fanaticism of the Japanese, never forget the treacherous attack upon Pearl Harbor, and never forget that, as our President said recently, "Years of proof must pass by before we can trust Japan."