Accordingly b.8.2. Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

No. 1155
September 9, 1941
#950.
FROM: Batavia
TO: Tokyo

Re my #852[a].

(1) I am pressing them for a reply in regard to the San Diego Maru, but on the 8th when I called, HO told me that the government had decided not to permit “special Tarakan” exports. I then told him that according to Mitsui’s, the Finance Ministry had told BPM that permits would not be issued for the “gasoil” and “Tarakan diesel” that they had expected to load on the Kiyo Maru and the Teiyo Maru, and asked him if this was true. HO replied that in the case of “gasoil” and “diesel” and also petroleum of any kind, they would be unable to make any statement until the Netherlands Government should decide upon its general policy governing export permits, and that until that decision is reached the N.E.I. authorities would not be able to give any permits on their own initiative; and BPM must have misunderstood the statement of the official in charge in regard to this.

I, therefore, asked him when he expected the general policy would be settled upon. HO replied that the Netherlands Government had not completed its consideration of the subject and that, therefore, he was unable to say when there would be a decision upon it.

(2) I told HO that in this unwarrantable attitude the Dutch were ignoring the understanding reached at the time of our negotiations, and repeatedly asked for an explanation. He remained obstinate, asserting that all this was before the invasion of French Indo-China, that at the time it was made very clear that everything would be worked out all right, providing no serious change should take place in the relations between the two countries, and that there is no occasion for our denunciations now. From the impressions I received during our conversation—–they are trying to settle upon their future policy of exports of goods other than—–to Japan from the standpoint of their own position, but in regard to petroleum, the intervention of Britain and the United States is strong, and they seem to be in a position of not being able to decide upon anything without the consent of Britain and the United States. The results are most unsatisfactory from our standpoint, as I think I have made clear in my reference message.

(3) This, as I have reported previously, is all based upon the threat they feel from our invasion of the southern part of French Indo-China, and upon the pressure exerted by Britain and the United States. Accordingly, unless we remove this feeling of being menaced, on the one hand, and devise plans for eliminating the activities of Britain and the United States on the other hand, merely to continue negotiations based on promises never carried out will never accomplish our ends.

(4) Therefore, when you come to negotiate with Pabst, please have these circumstances in mind and do what you can to make the best of the situation. At the same time, because of the fact that it is difficult for the government to purchase petroleum, and even if some could

[A-589]

be secured it is evident it would not meet our needs, I think the sooner we take the attitude that we do not care, and set up counter measures, the wiser we will be.

[a] Not available.

Trans. 9-16-41  Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire


No. 1156
September 9, 1941
#948.
FROM: Batavia
TO: Tokyo

Strictly confidential.

Re your #531[a].

I have reported from time to time on the matter of couriers however, very recently conditions here have taken a turn for the worse. When Nomoto arrived here recently, the authorities, saying that a courier’s duties had been fulfilled when he had delivered his documents, refused to grant him permission to travel away from the Consulate and in spite of continued negotiations, they have refused to modify their stand. I am sure that the couriers up to the present have been very careful on the above points, but if the courier is not skillful in foreign languages, and if his attitude and conduct are not in accord with that of an employee of the Foreign Office and, if, when he travels, he asks pointless questions of the resident Japanese, which will arouse suspicion, then the Dutch authorities will tend to become alarmed and the next step will be the prohibition of the courier system itself.

I think in this connection, it would be well not to dispatch as couriers any one other than members of the staff. Also, I think it would be desirable in view of the situation to send as a courier a secretary or someone of even higher rank, someone who is well versed in the policy of the office and cognizant of the internal situation and who would be able to carry back to the head office circumstances that defy expression in telegrams and documents.

Please make arrangements to put such a system into effect immediately.

[a] Not available.

Trans. 9-17-41


No. 1157
September 8, 1941
#940.
FROM: Batavia (Isizawa)
TO: Tokyo

Secret outside the department.

Because telegraphic clerk YAMAGUCHI wants to discuss telegraphic matters, he wishes to be sent to Soerabaja, Makasar, Menado, Medan, Thai, and Singapore. Please grant permissions for this, and may we hope for a speedy reply. Besides this, will you kindly agree to NOMOTO being sent home, as he wants to return after YAMAGUCHI returns to his post.

Trans. 9-12-41

[A-590]

THE “MAGIC” BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR


No. 1158
September 9, 1941
#564.
FROM: Tokyo
TO: Batavia

Strictly confidential.

Re your #921[a].

The results of the conference with the Finance Ministry were as follows:

1. There is some question in regard to the method of accepting the money on deposit. Even though the money is deposited in the Specie Bank or the Bank of Taiwan the books concerned should be placed in charge of the Consulate.

2. Since there may be orders issued to the head offices of the Specie Bank, and the Bank of Taiwan for the purchase of the guilder funds, it is desired that an understanding be reached with the depositors of those funds regarding the necessary procedure in the matter of issuing orders for this purchase of guilder funds and the sale again in Japan—–.

Please wire as to the total of the guilder funds on hand.

3. In case worse comes to worst and this matter should leak out to the Dutch authorities, the matter might not stop with the mere adoption of counter measures, but might result in the closure of the Consulate hence it is necessary to exercise extreme caution in all the steps taken. (For example, it might be well not to notify all evacuees but simply to take over the funds of those who request it.)

[a] See III, 1143.

Trans. 9-17-41


No. 1159
September 9, 1941
#946.
FROM: Batavia (Isizawa)
TO: Tokyo (Gaimudaijin)

Referring to your Circular #1946[a].

With reference to items 1, 2, and 3: at present the Dutch require special permission for the withdrawal of current and demand deposits, and it is risky. Planters’ profits are entirely in local deposits, and the withdrawal of current and special deposits here is virtually impossible. —–(8 groups missing)—–please consider the following points:

(1) The issuing of certificates of balances of current and special deposits of evacuees (notification being impossible in the case of special accounts);

(2) When this has been done, the banks concerned shall earmark the entire balance, or part of it, and notify their head offices in Japan. Loans may be advanced in Japan up to the limit of these earmarked funds.

(3) The method of safeguarding the withdrawing of new deposits was described in my message #921[b]. Further,

(4) These certificates of balances shall be presented, together with passports, as documentary proof whereupon

(5) Remittances to home may be permitted, letters of credit issued for travel use, and loans advanced in Japan against a part of these deposits.

[a] See III, 1144.
[b] See III, 1143.

Trans. 9-16-41

[A-591]


No. 1160
September 10, 1941
#109.
FROM: Medan (Hayasaki) http://Louis1J1Sheehan1Esquire.us
TO: Tokyo

(Part 1 of 3.)

1. a. At Pangkalan-Brandan and SC(ban ?) airplane direction detectors and observation posts had been set up.

b. Three-fourths of the petroleum factories are under heavy guard.

c. Artillery troops have come over from Java and are engaging in marksmanship exercises; however, with none too good results.

d. Just as in the case of the factories, explosives have been piled around the wells, and the Netherlands officials boast that they can blow them to smithereens in ten minutes. The other day, however, they tried to blow up some drum cans but were unable to rend them.

e. An assistant engineer of the BPM Company, a certain Malayan, came and told me confidentially that it takes time for the employees inside and outside the factories to flee to Shelter and that the destruction of the factories will require at least an hour. Still, nothing could really be done to prevent their razing. As for the oil fields, however, he said he knew where all the electric wires were laid, and in case of emergency it would certainly not be impossible to cut them.

Trans. 10-1-41


No. 1161
September 10, 1941
#109.
FROM: Medan
TO: Tokyo

(Part 2 of 3.)

2. Up until July, there were 4 cannon emplacements, 8 machine gun emplacements, and 20 trenches between Belawan[a] and Prapat[a]. (There is great difference in activity, depending on how much smuggling is being done by the Chinese; (land and sea defense lines ?)) 25 kilos to its south. However, since then there has been a marked increase, and even a motor road has been constructed. Everything is camouflaged.

3. (1) The Netherlands East Indies Government is strongly urging the hongoro in each village to recruit volunteers. http://Louis1J1Sheehan1Esquire.us One village near Belawan has had as many as 50 volunteers. However, I have been confidentially informed that in a crisis they would revolt.

(2) A Batak[b] driver employed by the—–authorities confidentially informed me that 1000 bags of cement had been transported to Prapat and Tanjonbarei[c], respectively.

(3) ABASU[c] (an Atsuchie[c]), son of the Rajah of Kutaraja[d], who was exiled to Java nineteen years ago, planned to (take refuge?) in Japan.

[a] In northern Sumatra.
[b] Negro tribe in the Malay.
[c] Kana spelling.
[d] Northern tip of Sumatra.

Trans. 10-1-41

[A-592]

THE “MAGIC” BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR


No. 1162
September 10, 1941
#109.
FROM: Medan (Hayasaki)
TO: Tokyo

(Part 3 of 3.)

4. (1) According to our Rajamura[a], cannons have been emplaced on the Hajubukitsuto[a], Heights on the Island of Samosir[b] in Lake Toba[b] and stout bamboos have been driven in crisscross fashion on the emergency landing fields all over Atjeh[b].

(2) The road between Lake Toba and this city is 175 kilometers long and that between Pisoso[a] and this city is very steep and is 100 kilometers long. The Hongoro[a] (formerly Chief of Police) is familiar with the geography of this region.

5. (1) The Manager of a Netherlands tea plantation, whose common-law wife is Japanese, (a reserve officer (?)) confidentially told me that in case of an emergency all male Japanese will be interned in a building which was formerly a hospital in—–, (at one time this building housed 480 Germans—it is big enough to accommodate 1000 persons), and that the women will not be confined in such a manner.

(2) It is rumored that the last place of internment is situated at Burankejyaren[a], south of Kotochane[a]. We have made a secret investigation but have found no trace of it. It is also rumored now that there are places of internment at the point where the road from Bakanshiapipi[a] runs into River Rokan and at Paguruarama[a] to the southeast of Benkulen[b], but we have not been able to ascertain whether this is true.

6. According to what a Tonkoarifu[a] (an Atjeh) at Kutaraja[b], the construction of the hangers at Saban[a] and other military facilities is being supervised by a Captain of———-.

[a] Kana spelling.
[b] In Sumatra.

Trans. 10-7-41


No. 1163
September 10, 1941
#951.
FROM: Batavia (Ishizawa)
TO: Tokyo

Re your #558[a].

Payment to the BPM has been completed, but if, as reported to the main office of the Yokohama Specie Bank from its branch, this ship is now stopping at Purobukomu[b] in the British possession (please refer to your #473[c]), it means that the material in question will be loaded in British territory. Therefore, I think there is no other way but to have the APC and RA Companies apply to the Singapore authorities for permission. The Economic Ministry here claims that it has nothing to do with this matter, and so will you please re-investigate.

This message has been transmitted to Singapore.

[a] Not available.
[b] Kana spelling.
[c] This number must be in error, as #473 concerns the Netherlands East Indies’ prohibition of the use of the Japanese language in communication.

Trans. 9-12-41

[A-593]


No. 1164
September 10, 1941
#953.
FROM: Batavia
TO: Tokyo

Message to Shanghai #13.

Re your #1318[a] addressed to the Minister.

I was under the impression that this question had been settled as a result of your efforts. However, I understand that they are experiencing difficulties in connection with the loading of the third ship (the least quantity) because of change of the official in charge and of other reasons. The Netherlands authorities have again requested us to lend our good offices. Will you, therefore, look into this matter and endeavor to settle it. After doing so, please let me know the results. This message has been transmitted to the Minister.

[a] See II, 1109.

Trans. 9-12-41


No. 1165
September 11, 1941
#966.
FROM: Batavia (Ishizawa)
TO: Tokyo

Strictly confidential.

Rumors have been going around among the Dutch recently that November will be a critical month. Again according to secret information received from a Chinese working in the East Asia Bureau all local government offices in anticipation of the worst are apparently making secret preparations to move to Bandong and all workers in the East Asia Bureau have been given secret orders to make preparations for the move to Bandong during this month. I have not yet ascertained whether these rumors are so or not, but I am passing them on for what they are worth.

Trans. 9-13-41


No. 1166
September 11, 1941
#967.
FROM: Batavia
TO: Tokyo

Re your #559[a].

On the 10th I called on Hofstraaten and requested an explanation of the Tzisalak’s departure on the 7th without loading the goods.

Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire  He replied that on the 6th the government of the Netherlands East Indies instructed the ship to leave on the 7th, regardless of whether it had completed loading or not. We were aware of these orders, he said. (See my message #936[b].) The final permit of the Japanese Government, he continued, was granted at last during the afternoon of the 6th. However, in view of the various loading arrangements that had to be made, the captain probably was convinced that he could not possibly complete loading in the specified time limit. That was undoubtedly the reason the vessel sailed without loading the goods, the N.E.I. spokesman said.  Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

[A-594]

THE “MAGIC” BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

I then advised him that we would be willing to load goods on Japanese ships from Japan to N.E.I. in accordance with the offer made by our government and asked him if export permits would be granted to ship goods out of N.E.I. on this Japanese ship’s return voyage. Hofstraaten expressed his gratitude for this courtesy on our part and added that he would be delighted if at the same time the unfulfilled part of the goods internationally agreed upon could be shipped on said ship too. As to the goods to be loaded on the ship on her return voyage, he said that there would be no objections to exporting sugar and corn. As for other goods, the N.E.I. officials are at present considering the establishment of a new policy regarding exports to Japan, and requests that we await until that is determined to make any applications for export permits.

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

Trans. 9-15-41


No. 1167
September 11, 1941
#970.
FROM: Batavia
TO: Tokyo

Re your #567, Part 1.[a]

I negotiated through Imagawa and today the 11th received permission for the transfer of 60,000 guilders to the Specie Bank and at the same time the director of the control bureau stated that there was no objection to rescinding the freezing regulation of the Java Bank when necessary to permit transfer of funds to the Specie Bank in the future. Hence, there is now no obstacle in the way of the South Seas enterprise and since further negotiations concern the general problem, they will be postponed. (Imagawa concurs in this.)

[a] Not available.

Trans. 9-17-41


No. 1168
September 11, 1941
#968.
FROM: Batavia (Ishizawa)
TO: Tokyo

Re your #543[a].

Thinking it would be well to sound out the attitude of the Dutch once more, I explained to ROOFINKU the official in charge of the bureau, Japan’s friendly attitude in allowing the use of the Dutch language, and stated that it would be to the advantage of both parties for the international telephone service to be continued on the condition that the use of the Japanese language be permitted in return. RO replied that with marital law in force now, the prospects of permission to use the Japanese language are meager.

Accordingly I think it best to suspend the international telephone service. If it is suspended please have your office advise Minister Pabst, or else have the Ministry of Communications advise the communications authorities of the Netherlands Indies, and report the results to me by dispatch.

[a] Not available.

Trans. 9-13-41

[A-595]


No. 1169
September 12, 1941
#575.
FROM: Tokyo (Toyoda)
TO: Batavia

(Secret.)

Re your #938[a].

1. Today, the 11th, I summoned PA[b] and had the Chief of the Trade Bureau converse with him. The Chief said, “The other day the Vice-Minister spoke to you about what HO[c] had told Consul General ISHIZAWA; namely, that the Japanese army should withdraw from south French-Indo China, etc. Now, how did you report it to your Government? The fact is that according to the Consul General’s report, HO had given what was strictly his private views but because you had sent a report he was questioned by the Governor General and the Chief of the Economic Bureau regarding the confidential conversation and was thereby greatly embarrassed.”

PA replied, “Since I was asked by the Vice-Minister whether HO’s views could be justly taken as being representative of those of the Netherlands East Indies Government I had addressed an inquiry to my Government. Although I have not yet received any reply regarding this matter, if, as you just said, the Netherlands East Indies Government leaders are questioning HO, it is clear that the views in question were entirely those of HO; and so would it not be well to assume from this that the question has naturally been settled?”

To this, I understand, the Bureau Chief remarked, “I believe it is well to say that this marks the closing of this question.” Please be so informed.

2. Incidentally, the Bureau Chief pressed for a reply to the request which the Vice-Minister had made with regard to the oil fields for mineral oil and petroleum. But PA replied that he had not yet received any instructions from his Government and that he believed that his Government would not decide upon its attitude until international situation becomes more definite.

Thereupon, the Bureau Chief spoke of the extreme hardships the crew of the tankers, sent to the Netherlands East Indies, have had to suffer because of food and fuel shortage during the month or so that they have been waiting for permits to be issued for shipping of petroleum and machine oil and he earnestly requested that the permits be issued at once even as a temporary measure for these tankers.

PA replied that he was entirely in sympathy with the Bureau Chief and he would urge his Government to immediately issue a reply one way or the other. (This paragraph was included for your reference.)

[a] See III, 1147.
[b] PABST, Netherlands Minister to Tokyo.
[c] HOOGSTRATEN, Chief of Commerce Bureau, Netherlands East Indies.

Trans. 10-2-41


No. 1170
September 12, 1941
#974.
FROM: Batavia (Isizawa)
TO: Tokyo

(Secret outside the Department.)

Re your #564[a].

[A-596]

THE “MAGIC” BACKGROUND OF PEARL HARBOR

1. To be sure, you have already discussed the matter with the Finance Ministry. However, to place the money in custody of the Yokohama Specie Bank, etc., might, in view of (1) in paragraph 1 of my #921[b], cause the scheme to be exposed sometime in the near future as illegal and would, at the same time, have the danger of causing (2) to happen, whether it is carried out openly or secretly. However, if the money is placed in care of the consulate, there is no danger of such a thing happening. Therefore, we would like to have the money placed in such custody outwardly, but actually to have the business connected with this disposal left for the sake of convenience in the hands of the branches of the two banks. The cash will be handled, as a whole, in the two branch banks as belonging to the suspense accounts of the consulate and be entered in the books as such; but books in which detailed listings of the depositors are made will be kept in care of the consulate.

2. (a) A detailed list will be sent on each occasion as explained in my previous telegram.

(b) In the matter of getting the approval of the depositors, when a deposit is to be made the depositor should be asked to accept the proviso that all matters connected with the deposit will be left entirely in the hands of the Consul and that the depositor has no objection to payments being made to creditors from the deposit whenever a formal repayment request has been made by the creditor to the depositor. Since this plan has not yet been carried out, we are not in a position to know what the total amount would be in guilders, but with the withdrawal from the islands of Japanese residents, the amount will gradually increase.

3. Execution of the aforementioned plan in the islands, while the South Seas Development Company assumes the role in Japan of a loan agency, I believe, would make it possible for us to avoid such a serious question as the closing of our consulates by the Netherlands authorities.

We shall be very careful so as not to disclose the details either to the Netherlands authorities or to the Japanese residents in general.

4. We would like to have your approval for carrying out the aforementioned plan (including the South Seas Development Company) at once, and so will you please take up the matter again with the Finance Ministry and wire me your reply (I have discussed this matter with IMAGAWA). Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

[a] Not available.
[b] See III, 1143. http://Louis1J1Sheehan1Esquire.us

Trans. 9-18-41


No. 1171
September 15, 1941
#582.
FROM: Tokyo
TO: Batavia

Strictly Confidential.

Regarding your #974[a].

The results of the conference with the Finance Minister are as follows:

1. Entering these accounts on the official books of the bank would not be a decrease, but would result in a temporary increase in the funds of the bank, and even if they were carried in a suspense account credited to the Consulate, there is grave danger of the Dutch discovering the procedure; hence, the funds should be left in the custody of the consulate.

2. Is it not possible to send Guilder Paper currency to Japan by some very safe method?

3. We interpret the word creditor of your caption message, paragraph 2 B to mean banks in Japan proper, which will make loans against collateral. Is this correct? (It will be impossible in the future to make loans using—–funds as security for everyone in general.

[A-597]

4. We would like to have the South Seas Association render all the assistance it can. However, the Finance Minister is opposed to their using their financial strength in the mediation.

5. Please give study to the above points, and wire us your reaction.

[a] See III, 1170.

Trans. 9-19-41


No. 1172
September 13, 1941
#577.
FROM: Tokyo
TO: Batavia

Re your #927[a].

Should a decision such as reported in your telegram be made report it as soon as possible. Also exercise all the care and discretion you can.

Furthermore, in regard to the above report should the use of code telegrams be suspended as you suggested or should conditions become acute, send a plain text telegram “please note details”, (ISAIRYOSHO).

[a] Not available.

Trans. 9-17-41

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