Yokohama Specie Bank in Saigon 6.spe.0098 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

No. 967
August 13, 1941
FROM: Vichy
TO: Tokyo

Re my #456[a].

On the 12th Harada called upon ARUNARU[b] on other business but took the occasion to press the matter of rubber also. ARUNARU replied that as yet he had had no reply from the Colonial Office, but in regard to the part for America the agreement has already been signed and inasmuch as it is necessary for French Indo-China to maintain its trade status with American it would be very difficult to divert that rubber to Japan.

To this Harada replied that Japan was not necessarily seeking revenge but that they merely desired half that amount (ARUNARU expressed his appreciation at this), and he requested that ARUNARU try again to prevail upon the Colonial Office.

ARUNARU said further that plans were being laid for the transportation of rubber to France via South America in spite of the fact that this was bound to prove a very dangerous undertaking. And in view of the fact that at least a part of it would have to be diverted to Germany he begged for Japan to consider the poverty of France at this time and to consider this problem as one unrelated to France and to give it our most favorable consideration. http://LOUIS-J-SHEEHAN.US

[a] Not available.
[b] Arnald of the Vichy Foreign Office.

Trans. 8-15-41


No. 968
August 28, 1941
FROM: Vichy
TO: Tokyo

Re my #459[a].

The French Foreign Office has delivered a note to us dated the 26th which I have summarized in my separate wires #475[b] and #476[b]. Subsequently I had HARADA call on ARNALD[c]. The French attitude with regard to the question of French ships in Saigon is more shilly-shallying than ever before. There is no foretelling the result. Though a speedy settlement of this question is urgently desirable and should be negotiated here in Vichy, the French express a desire to negotiate in Tokyo or, with regard to the portion to be sent to the United States, they feel that they should first secure the approval of the American authorities. Or, since under the present circumstances payment in dollars is impossible, in order to make an explanation to the United States that there is no recourse but to use free yen in these transactions, ARNALD feels that at the same time the French make representations to the United States, Japan should advise the United States in some form or other. ARNALD is understood to have expressed himself further as being willing to negotiate at a later date on the manner of payment.

[a] See III, 967.
[b] Not available.
[c] Minister at Vichy.  Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

Trans. 9-1-41

No. 969
August 30, 1941
FROM: Vichy (Kato)
TO: Tokyo

Re your #361[a].

On the 30th I had HARADA submit to ARNALD a request to the effect that since there is no other method of payment except by transferable yen, we would like to have their agreement to this manner of payment. ARNALD replied that some officials in the French Finance Ministry were opposed to this method because there is a large accumulation of yen currency in France, but that he would study the matter.

Incidentally, ARNALD, referring to the request which Ambassador ARERII[b] recently submitted urging Japan to speed up her exports to French Indo-China, asked that the Japanese Government make greater effort in this direction.

[a] Not available.
[b] Probably HENRY.

Trans. 9-12-41



No. 970
August 30, 1941
FROM: Vichy
TO: Tokyo

Re my #474[a].

On the 30th ARUNARU[b] told HARADA that as a result of conversations with the United States, it will be possible to transfer to Japan the 5,000 tons of rubber which was to go to the United States. Of the remaining 7 tons of French Indo-China rubber, the French Government has finally decided that 4 tons will be allotted to Germany and 3 tons to Japan, and Japan is asked to be satisfied with this arrangement.

HARADA replied that this new proposal still meant that Japan would lack 6 tons for her requirements, but that he would transmit the proposal to Tokyo. Furthermore, he asked that if, before the end of the year, it was found to be impossible to ship any part of France’s or Germany’s allotments, these quantities also be transferred to Japan.

To this it seems “A” replied that although it was a reasonable point and he would like to agree to it, no such stipulation had been added to the decision arrived at by the special conferees who had met for the purpose.

Please wire me your decision in connection with the new French proposal.

[a] See III, 968.
[b] French Minister at Vichy.

Trans. 9-15-41

No. 971
August 16, 1941
FROM: Vichy (Kato)
TO: Tokyo

Re your #275[a].

The French Foreign Office, by note under date of August 14, inquired the opinion of the Imperial Government concerning the three following clauses.

1. The business involved in the exchange concerning the payment of occupation expenses shall be left up to the Bank of Indo-China and the Bank of Japan.

2. Whenever the Imperial forces in French Indo-China need piastres, they shall so notify the Bank of Indo-China, and at the same time they shall pay to the Bank of Indo-China the dollars or transferable yen requested by the French Government. Thereupon the Bank of Indo-China will pay out an equivalent in piastres.

3. All other technical arrangements will be left up to the Bank of Indo-China and the Yokohama Specie Bank.

It seems, furthermore, that suitable instructions have already been issued to the Bank of Indo-China.

[a] See II, 971A.

Trans. 8-29-41


No. 971A
July 12, 1941
FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)
TO: Vichy

Special message. Secret.
To be handled in Government Code.

Regarding the amount of troops sent to French Indo-China.

1. The French Indo-China authorities are to guarantee to supply this amount in piastres through the organization set-up. The specific method will be brought out in a separate agreement. http://LOUIS-J-SHEEHAN.US

2. The amount to be paid for the balance of the year is 23,000,000 piastres (monthly amount, 4,500,000 piastres). This is to be paid in “free yen” (literal translation), American dollars, or in gold, whichever the French Indo-China authorities desire. Furthermore, the amount of 1,000,000 piastres a month ‘loaned’ to the army stationed in the Northern section is not included in the above figures.

Trans. 7-15-41

No. 972
August 18, 1941
FROM: Tokyo
TO: Vichy


(Translator’s Note:) (This message, being extremely garbled, cannot be translated word-for-word. The following, as a consequence, is merely a summary.)

Re your #466[a].

I am rewiring per your request as follows: #354. Circular #1821 from Tokyo to Hanoi and Saigon.

(Strictly Secret.)

According to a report from the Finance Ministry to Yokohama Specie Bank, acting as an agent of the Finance Ministry, has been momentarily expecting receipt of funds stipulated in the terms of the recent Franco-Japanese agreement since July 23rd. The payment stipulation called for the turning over of funds to cover military expenses of the army of occupation. The August allotment of 4,500,000 Hi[b] dollars is urgently needed. In spite of the fact that the terms of payment as specified in the text of the treaty for the use of the northern(?) army of occupation do not exceed being merely technical ones, their lack of—–is hard for us to condone. As soon as you have heard the facts of the matter from NAKAGAWA, who is the Yokohama Specie Bank representative in charge of this matter, I would like to have you take such measures as are advisable so that receipt of 4,500,000 Hi dollars can be had since the military authorities are insisting that the receipt of the August apportionment by the night of the 16th is absolutely necessary. Please make formal representations to the Governor-General for the



continuance of conversations on payment terms with the Yokohama Specie Bank representatives on the spot. Relayed to Vichy.

[a] Not available.
[b] Kana spelling.

Trans. 8-21-41

No. 973
September 1, 1941
FROM: Tokyo (Toyoda)
TO: Hanoi

Message from Vichy #479 on August 30th.

Re your #361[a].

Before receiving your wire, I received one from the French Foreign Office. The Yokohama Specie Bank in Saigon had consented to the payments in gold for materials for the troops stationed there, in the allotment for the first month; but owing to the fact that it is impossible to get export permits for it, they are taking temporary measures, and France has consented to accept transferable yen.  Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire  The export permits for this gold have been granted (autoriser le transfer). Because France is not operating with our exported Japanese money to French Indo-China, its holdings of transferable yen have already actually amounted to considerable sums. Accordingly, in case it is impossible to pay for the materials in dollars, they are hoping to be paid to some extent in gold. There is also preparation for negotiations here, and if it was not already agreed to pay the full amount in gold on the spot, please inform me by return wire.

Relay to Hanoi.

[a] Not available.

Trans. 9-3-41

No. 974
August 21, 1941
FROM: Tokyo
TO: Hanoi

Tokyo to Berlin #752.

Referring to Nos. 308[a] and 310[a] from Hanoi to the Foreign Minister.

1. With reference to the German plan to set up some kind of a representative delegation in French Indo-China, we have no basic reason to oppose this move. In view of the present Franco-Grerman relations, however, we feel that the Armistice Commission is sufficient. Our position is that there is no positive and essential reason for the Germans to establish such a delegation in Indo-China and we do not like it.

2. Thus, if the Germans establish such a body, we cannot avoid recognizing that, because of such a situation, we would have to adopt entirely new measures regarding the present Franco-Japanese defense cooperation and all Japan-Indo-China relations. The German Government’s formal proposals for discussion must be settled after careful consideration.


3. Please report the results of proposals to the German Government, based upon the foregoing.

Relay to Vichy. Relayed to Hanoi. [a] Not available.

Trans. 8-28-41

No. 975
August 21, 1941
FROM: Tokyo
TO: Hanoi

Tokyo to Berlin #753.

Re #308[a] and #310[a] from Hanoi to Tokyo.

(1) The protocol recently made between Japan and France has put relations between Japan and French Indo-China on an entirely new basis, and in order that the Imperial Government may be able to effectively carry out her part in the joint defense plan, we expect that in case French Indo-China enters into any new permanent political relations with any other country, French Indo-China and the other country involved will of course give friendly notice of such action (at least if it is not a potential enemy nation). Accordingly, in this matter it would be proper for Germany to notify us in advance.

(2) It might be all right for Germany to think of establishing some representative agency in French Indo-China, but the Germans, as far as the political aspects are concerned, have acknowledged that they have no “claims” on French Indo-China, and in the economic field, it is our intention to give Germany full assistance in the matter of supplying necessary commodities, (see my #413[b]), and therefore, not only is there very little real reason for Germany’s having a representative agency in French Indo-China but also this would needlessly complicate the “status” of French Indo-China, and put her in position between Japan and Germany where it would be harder to assist—–. In view of these considerations the said plan is not one that the Imperial Government could favor. You will please therefore investigate whether it is true, and if it is true, ask the Germans to reconsider in the light of the above.

Relay to Vichy. Relayed to Hanoi.

[a] Not available.
[b] In reply to a request from Vichy as to what steps Japan should take regarding Vichy’s refusal to permit the sending of a German economic representative to F.I-C, Tokyo states that Japan has done her utmost to supply German with F.I.-C. materials, and had it been necessary to dispatch anyone to F.I.-C. Wohlthat, who is now in Tokyo, would have been consulted. (Dated 17 May.)  Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

Trans. 8-28-41



No. 976
August 22, 1941
FROM: Berlin (Osima)
TO: Tokyo

Re your #755[a].

In response to the notice given to the German Foreign Office in compliance with your #485[b], the German Government said that it had no intention of interfering with Japan’s plan and that they had taken the matter up because the French Government had made known their desire to join the air route in question and had requested the German Government for permission on the basis of the terms set forth in the armistice agreement. It said, furthermore, that it is a general rule with the German Government not to issue permission, because of military considerations, for expansion of French civilian aviation either in France proper or in the colonies, but that this time, in consideration of Japan’s plan, they have decided not to reject the French request at once but to agree to France’s negotiating along the lines the French have submitted, on condition that the German Government reserve to itself the final decision in the matter.

It is clear from this reply they gave that what the German Government considers to be a question has to do largely with allowing France to join the air route (please refer to clause #12 of the armistice agreement). I believe, therefore, the quickest way to the realization of this plan is to explain to the French authorities the aforementioned situation, to postpone the settlement of the question as to whether the French should join the air route, and to carry on intensive negotiations so that the Japanese demands will be recognized.

[a] Not available.
[b] Not available.

Trans. 8-26-41

No. 977
September 2, 1941
FROM: Tokyo (Toyoda)
TO: Hanoi

Message to Vichy #375.

Re my #345[a].

The French Indo-Chinese authorities have on successive occasions replied to us concerning this matter that the Governor General had no authority to sanction this unless we had first secured the understanding of the German authorities through the Vichy Government. In such a way as this they have constantly procrastinated. The German authorities, as evidenced by Berlin’s wire to the Foreign Minister, #1058[b], have clarified their stand in offering no objections to the institution of this service. Therefore, I would like to have you, in accordance with the gist of the latter half of my caption message, immediately and strongly insist upon the acceptance of our demands. Wire me the results.

[a] See III, 958.
[b]See III, 976.

Trans. 9-4-41


No. 978
September 4, 1941
FROM: Vichy (Kato)
TO: Tokyo

Re your #375[a].

On the 4th, I had HARADA request another discussion with ARNALD to inform him that hereafter relations between France and Japan will be settled by compromise since we are adhering to the original bill in all respects, and since it appears that the German authorities, as a matter of principle, have no objections with regard to this matter.

[a] See III, 977.

Trans. 9-16-41


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