Ambassador Ishii 3.4 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

356. Japan Prepared for Crisis As Brazilian Army Supports America

Despite Foreign Minister Aranya’s, protestations of neutrality when interviewed by Ambassador Ishii on December 1, 1941, it was apparent that Brazil would be unable to accede wholeheartedly to a neutrality policy in view of the fact that military authorities were pressing for a United States‑Brazil alliance. The Ambassador described Brazil as “neutral in favor of the United States”. [768]  Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

On December 2, 1941, Ambassador Ishii retransmitted the circular from Tokyo to Japan’s Santiago office revealing additional code words and their meanings for activities in preparation for the coming crisis. [769]

The question of sufficient funds for Japan’s machinations in opposition to United States pressure arose again when on December 2, 1941, Ambassador Ishii advised Tokyo that the estimated 512 contos previously requested would be insufficient to complete reconstruction of the Naval Attaches office. In view of the fact that the number of personnel had been increased by three and additional security equipment was needed, the Ambassador requested that naval authorities arrange for disbursement of an additional nineteen contos. [770]

On the following day, Ambassador Ishii advised Tokyo that in view of current activities he had arranged for a loan of 5000 contos from the Specie Bank, making a total of 6000 contos on hand at diplomatic headquarters in Brazil. In addition, the Ambassador had arranged for a further loan of 10,000 contos as a safety measure in the event that conditions would take an adverse turn. [771]

357. Ambassador Ishii Requests Release of Secretary Kusano

Three days later, on December 6, 1941, Ambassador Ishii advised that he had released telegraphic official Kusano who, for various physical reasons, was inefficient in his position. It would be desired, the Ambassador said, that Mr. Kusano’s return to Japan be authorized sometime before December 7 and that a more healthy successor, well‑versed in telegraphy and machinery, be appointed. [772]

358. Japan Sees United States Military Occupation of South American

Japan grasped quickly at the occupation of Netherlands Guiana by the United States armed forces as the first military occupation of the South American continent in its analysis of the international situation retransmitted from Rio de Janeiro to Panama on December 7, 1941. The analysis emphasized the implications of this action stating that the United States was just beginning to reveal its true military objectives.

The release compared the United States’ occupation of Netherlands Guiana with Japan’s occupation of French Indo‑China, stating that the United States would act as it pleased in Latin America and under the banner of hemispheric solidarity would constantly threaten all of Latin America. Foreign Minister Togo called upon all Japanese representatives in South America to seize every opportunity available to point out the obvious intentions of the United States affecting South American governments and people. [773]

On December 8, 1941, Ambassador Ishii advised Tokyo that he had acted in accordance with these instructions and by arranging a confidential conversation with the Under Secretary of State of Brazil. At the interview he had explained the situation from Japan’s viewpoint and questioned the Brazilian regarding his government’s attitude toward the

[768] IV, 629.

[769] IV, 630.

[770] IV, 631.

[771] IV, 632.

[772] IV, 633.

[773] IV, 634.



United States‑Japanese war. The Under Secretary had replied that Brazil stressed the importance of hemispheric solidarity but did not say definitely that Brazil would sever relations with Japan. [774]

From local officials Ambassador Ishii gathered that hemispheric solidarity as interpreted by Brazil meant political and economic cooperation but had no particular military implications. In addition, he learned that the Brazilian government was protecting Japanese workers against fifth column agents and also that the United States was demanding that Brazil freeze all Japanese property there, with which he believed Brazil would comply. Ambassador Ishii learned that articles pertaining to any interpretation of Japanese‑American war were being shunned as were all articles which might provoke the Japanese, although publicity needed to be written sympathetically toward the United States. Ambassador Ishii said that although he had explained to the press why Japan was forced to fight America, the control office forbade the newspapers to print it. [775]

359. Japan Issues Instructions for Burning Codes

On December 8, Tokyo ordered that all codes with the exception of one each of certain codes be destroyed. Only in the event of a crisis would the remaining codes be destroyed. Foreign Minister Togo demanded that the files of his message to Ambassador Ishii and other secret and confidential papers should be burned in accordance with developments in Rio. Certain code words were to be used if and when Ambassador Ishii burned the various systems. [776]

360. Minister Yamagata Suspects United States Machinations in Chile

When Minister Yamagata in Santiago secretly learned that the United States had formally requested air bases in return for economic favors on October 16, 1941, he immediately associated this move with the economic crisis within Chile and observed on October 20, 1941, that the coincidence of the two events disclosed to a degree the United States’ attitude toward Japan. [777]

Minister Yamagata then originated a dispatch on November 5 urging Tokyo to take advantage of the Chilean economic crisis to support a plan for increased Japanese-Chilean trade and to back negotiations for a new trade treaty. The Minister also voiced a protest against the cancellation of the Kaku Maru’s departure for Chile and against Japan’s failure to arrange for the sailing of another ship in its place. [778] The next day while answering a query from Japan’s Rome office, Minister Kiyoshi Yamagata advised that no foreign ships were sailing at that time from Chile to the Far East. [779]

361. Japan Limits Tour of Chilean Press

For undetermined reasons Japan had decided to return six visiting Chilean newspapermen to their native land without allowing them to visit Shanghai [780] or Nanking. [781] Having employed the Chilean press members for educating the people of South America to respect and cherish Japanese nationalism, Foreign Minister Togo on December 2 issued instructions for the six men returning home via the Tatsuta Maru to be cared for in Panama. A total of $2,160 was to be on hand when the Tatsuta docked and specific instructions were issued that the press members were not to disembark at Panama aboard an American vessel. [782]

[774] IV, 635.

[775] IV, 636.

[776] IV,  637, 638.

[777] IV, 639.

[778] IV, 640.

[779] IV, 641.

[780] IV, 642.

[781] IV, 643.

[782] IV, 644.


362. Japanese Watch Development of South American Sympathies in Face of War

It soon became obvious, when on November 18, 1941, the United States communication intelligence facility intercepted a retransmission of Tokyo’s message, that Japan had discovered excessive political maneuvers among the South American nations. Since the Colombian Foreign Minister as well as the Peruvian Vice Minister had been conferring in Chile and as the Chilean President had been ousted only recently, it was obvious that machinations were afoot. However, these moves did not necessarily mean that Latin America was consolidating for war against Japan, the Foreign Minister pointed out as he revealed that discussions were being carried on among South American nations for independent action in the event of a Japanese‑American conflict. [783]

However, another dispatch intercepted on November 21, 1941, originated by Ambassador Ishii in Rio de Janeiro and transmitted to Tokyo revealed that Foreign Minister Oswald Aranya of the Brazilian Foreign Office was scheduled to visit Chile in the office of negotiator between Chile and the United States for allied occupation of one of Chile’s military bases. Ambassador Ishii had been advised of this by the German Ambassador who was a close associate of the President of Brazil, Getuilo Vargas. [784]

By November 25, 1941, Minister Tomii in Buenos Aires had discovered that the principal object of the Brazilian Foreign Minister’s visit to Argentina and Chile was to exchange opinions regarding the defense of the Americas and the creation of military bases. The outcome of the informal conversations had been, according to an intelligence report, (1) to preserve neutrality, (2) to defend the southern portion of South America by Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Chile, excluding Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador and Bolivia because of their strong United States inclinations) and (3) to prevent establishing military bases in Uruguay (to be guaranteed by Brazil and Argentina). [785]

A circular message from Tokyo advised all South American offices on November 28, 1941, that Japanese‑American negotiations would take a critical turn within the next few day since the United States had overlooked all that Japan stood for. This was for the information of the Japanese diplomatic offices only. [786]

According to a December 6 dispatch from Minister Yamagata to Tokyo, Germany had pressed the Chilean government for information concerning its control of the Magellan Straits. The Secretary of State had revealed to the German Ambassador that Chile planned joint action with Argentina and that Chile had decided not to permit these straits to be used as a military base. [787]

On December 2, 1941, Minister Yamagata had supplemented his interpretation of the ABC conferences. He explained that while Argentina and Chile were resolved to preserve neutrality, Brazil had already maintained an understanding to support America as a non‑belligerent. However, the Foreign Minister had assured Mr. Yamagata that he would do all in his power to maintain Chilean neutrality. [788]

363. Minister Yamagata Asks Chile to Take in Maltreated Japanese from Panama

When on November 22, 1941, Minister Yamagata visited the Foreign Minister of Chile, he explained the problems of Japanese nationals in Panama. The Foreign Minister had been surprised by these activities and listened “with an air of incredulity and horror” as Mr. Yamagata disclosed the inhumane treatment being meted out to his countrymen and

[783] IV, 645.

[784] IV, 646.

[785] IV, 647.

[786] IV, 648

[787] IV, 649.

[788] IV, 650.



promised that he would discuss the matter immediately with the Vice President and offered the suggestion that perhaps Chile could influence Panama to change its attitude. Whereupon Minister Yamagata assured the Foreign Minister that this would be impossible and suggested that Chile allow as many as 300 Japanese to enter its boundaries. [789] In reply the Foreign Minister had inquired as to the possibility of evacuating Japanese nationals in Panama to which Minister Yamagata explained that Japanese for many years had been residing in Panama and did not cherish the idea of leaving Latin America.

The Foreign Minister then advised the Japanese Minister that Chile, although it had no particular racial prejudice, had been discontinuing, in recent months, the issuing of immigrant passports. Should they change this policy the United States and other countries might interpret it as definite discrimination in favor of Japan whereas Chile was in no position to show such partiality. However, the Foreign Minister promised to consult with his Vice President but Mr. Yamagata held little hope that large numbers of Japanese would be permitted to enter Chile. [790]

The day after this interview Minister Yamagata advised Tokyo that he had visited the Apostolic Delegate, currently confined because of sickness, where he again repeated the story of Panamanian discrimination against Japanese nationals and asked if the Catholic representative could not intercede. However, the delegate had replied that Panama was not under his jurisdiction and suggested that Minister Yamagata appeal directly to the Pope. Mr. Yamagata then suggested that perhaps the delegate could intercede on behalf of Japan in Chile and was advised that at a good opportunity the delegate would consult with the Foreign Minister. [791]

Although Minister Yamagata had been conferring with high officials he was unable to secure entrance visas for the staff of Amano and company which was to enter Chile and on November 25 was reprimanded by Foreign Minister Togo who instructed that the matter should be concluded immediately by obtaining separate visas for these employees. [792]

The next day, November 26, Tokyo issued instructions to evacuate as many Japanese nationals as possible on the Tatsuta Maru which would leave Japan for South America by the end of November. [793]

Following Tokyo’s reprimand with regard to Chile visas, Minister Yamagata called on the Foreign Minister on December 1, 1941, to explain the problem of entrance visas for Japanese in general, entrance visas for diplomatic employees and primarily visas for Amano staff members. Since Chile’s Vice‑President had been quite busy, the Foreign Minister had seen no opportunity to discuss the matter with him but hastened to inform Mr. Yamagata that he himself was trying to obtain an entrance permit for members of the Amano company staff.

However, the Foreign Minister cautioned Mr. Yamagata that present day conditions did not favor the entrance of Japanese into Chile since British and American agents had already sought to accuse him of being pro‑Axis. He explained that although every precaution was being taken to avoid being caught, American surveillance had become increasingly strict necessitating the constant alertness of foreign office officials. The Foreign Minister asked that this be kept strictly secret and that Minister Yamagata deal directly with him in view of the fact that he, always sympathetic toward Japan, was attempting to remove obstacles to Japanese‑Chilean trade.

[789] IV, 651.

[790] IV, 652.

[791] IV, 653.

[792] IV, 654.

[793] IV, 655.


Mr. Yamagata asserted his faith in the Chilean Foreign Minister who apparently was convinced that the Amano staff members were not Japanese spies but was only afraid that American and British authorities might look askance at such behavior. Then Minister Yamagata related a story of previous American machinations against the German Minister in Chile and suggested that similar unpleasant action might be instigated against the Japanese. [794]

(d) Peru

364. Minister Sakamoto Asks Permission to Confer with Ambassador Kurusu

Apparently the general opinion of the people and the government in Peru was one of pessimism regarding the outcome of Japanese‑American relations. According to Minister Tatsuki Sakamoto in Lima on November 12, 1941, Peru held no expectations of success for Ambassador Saiburo Kurusu in Washington. In a message to Tokyo, Minister Sakamoto asked that he be given expenses and time for a three weeks trip to the United States in order to talk with Ambassador Kurusu regarding the international situation and its effect on Peruvian policies for the future. [795]

Since relations with South America had become so foreboding Foreign Minister Togo, on November 15, granted the Minister’s request stipulating a period of ten days for the trip. [796]

On December 8, acting Minister Masaki Yodokawa in Lima revealed that Mr. Sakamoto had been in Washington since November 26. [797]

365. Acting Minister Yodokawa Analyzes Peruvian Attitude

As the situation developed in Peru, Acting Minister Yodokawa analyzed the current happenings for the foreign office. Accordingly he reported that at midnight on December 7 an extraordinary session of the Peruvian Cabinet was held to determine their final policy toward the Japanese situation. However, Mr. Yodokawa believed that Peru would await a decision from other major South American powers before taking any definite steps. However, he reported that strict police surveillance was to be expected and that Japanese newspapers had already been banned.

Realizing that another Cabinet meeting was in the offing, Mr. Yodokawa advised that he had spoken privately with the Peruvian Under‑Secretary of Foreign Affairs asking him, in the interest of Japanese nationals, to permit supervised publication of certain papers. The Under‑Secretary had conceded that Peru differed from other South American countries in that it supported a greater number of Japanese but on the other hand it was in a highly strategic position from the standpoint of the United States.

Mr. Yodokawa then confided that the general public appeared resigned to war and he personally feared that Peru might enter the conflict within the near future. [798]

The next day the Minister submitted a resume to Tokyo concerning the hostile attitude being taken by Peruvian newspapers which were going so far as to advocate severing relations with Japan. According to his special spy reports, the Peruvian government had advised the press confidentially to report all news sympathetically toward the United States.

[794] IV, 656, 657.

[795] IV, 658.

[796] IV, 659.

[797] IV, 660.

[798] IV, 661.



By this time Japanese were forbidden to travel in certain sections and it was expected that funds would be frozen and the purchase of Japanese goods stopped. All telegrams to Panama would now of necessity be written in English and an attack on the Japanese sponsored APRA Party Wing was in the offing. [799]

The Minister revealed on December 8, 1941, that the Peruvian Government had broadcast its decision to take no steps in opposition to hemispheric solidarity and that Japanese funds would be retained in local banks. However, Mr. Yodokawa believed that Peru was merely following the lead of Brazil and Argentina and did not expect any particular difficulties to arise which might jeopardize the lives and property of the Japanese. Apparently the Japanese had merely been denied the right of assembly and movement throughout the country and it was not logical that any sudden and drastic action would be taken against them. [800]

By December 8, 1941, Mr. Yodokawa had arranged for the local German and Italian Ministers to handle all telegraphic business should the government of Peru adopt an active anti‑Japanese policy. [801]

[799] IV, 662.

[800] IV, 663.

[801] IV, 664.






(g) Japanese‑British Relations

366. Custom Question Forces Ambassador Tsurumi to Remain in Singapore

Despite the fact that Ambassador Tsurumi had given considerable assistance to the army attaches in Singapore, he desired to return to Japan. However, on October 20, 1941, he was informed by Vice Minister Amau in Tokyo that due to the arising of the customs issue, it was necessary that he remain in Singapore and maintain his duties as Consul‑General. Amau had previously explained this situation to Ambassador Craigie arid voiced his regret at the turn of events. [802]

367. Ambassador Tsurumi Receives Permit for the Loading of Raw Cotton

A reciprocal agreement between Japan and Great Britain provided for the shipping of glycerine to England if British authorities granted the Japanese permission to export cotton. [803]

In a previous dispatch dated October 6, Shanghai had been directed to ascertain whether or not the British Consul‑General had succeeded in obtaining export permits for glycerine. Tokyo also asked that steps be taken to delay the exportation of the shipment until the loading of the raw cotton and machinery had been completed. [804] On October 22, Ambassador Tsurumi reported to the Japanese Foreign Office that eight days previous he had received a written notice from the British chief of administration stating that the latter would permit the loading of the raw cotton which had been landed from the Star of Egypt but that no reference had been made to the specified quantity nor to the loading of the machinery. [805] However, on October 28, 1941 Tokyo learned that both types of raw glycerine, No. 50 and No. 70 respectively, had already been shipped from Shanghai. [806] An investigation was ordered and on the following day a dispatch was sent to Japan informing the authorities there that on October 9, 1941 the glycerine had been sent on the Dutch ship Tjimanok to Batavia. [807]

368. Spanish Ambassador Reports Improvement of Conditions in Britain

Mr. Yakachiro Suma, Japanese Ambassador to Spain, reported to Tokyo on October 24, 1941, his recent conversation with the Spanish Ambassador to London, the Duke of Alba, [808] who had returned to Madrid for a short visit. The Duke was favorably impressed with the general situation in England and stated that the standard of living there was much better than in Spain. The British officials had anticipated a lengthy war in the Atlantic and were making every preparation for the defense of the British Isles. Great Britain earnestly desired the actual participation of the United States and had sent Sir Alfred Duff‑Cooper to America for the purpose of arousing war fever. The consensus of opinion, however, was that the United States was unlikely to enter the present war since the public opinion, particularly that of the Isolationists, was strongly against it. [809]

[802] IV, 665.

[803] IV, 762.

[804] IV, 775.

[805] IV, 666.

[806] IV, 667.

[807] IV, 668.

[808] IV, 669.

[809] Ibid.



369. Details of Unloading Scrap Iron Remain Unsettled

Mr. Eiji Kawasaki, the Japanese representative in Vancouver, in a dispatch sent to Ottawa on October 28, 1941, reported that after making inquiries of the Imperial Shipping Company in Vancouver and the King Brothers in Victoria, the date of unloading and other details concerning the scrap iron remained entirely unsettled. [810]

370. The Asama Maru Prepares to Evacuate Japanese Nationals from British‑Controlled Ports

On October 31, 1941 Singapore learned that an N.Y.K. ship would soon arrive from Tokyo for evacuation purposes. In order to arrange the sailing schedule of the vessel, Tokyo requested that it be notified at once as to the number of Japanese nationals to be evacuated and the requisite procedure for leaving the country. [811] On the same day, a second dispatch gave the itinerary of the Asama Maru. With Mr. Sugiyama, of the Ministry of Communications, on board in charge of the vessel, it was scheduled to leave Japan on November 7, 1941, and put in to port at Manila three days later, there taking aboard 700 passengers. Leaving Manila on November 11, 1941, it would arrive in Singapore on the 15th of that month and embark an additional 500 persons. Arrangements were to be made with the authorities concerning the provisions for the return trip on November 16, 1941. At a later date the Asama Maru was scheduled for a trip to Britain but the negotiations were not yet completed, and meanwhile it would make another round trip to Singapore. [812] Because of her sailing to Manila en route to Singapore, as a precautionary measure, the vessel embarked as one pressed into the service of the Imperial Government; however, regardless of the capacity of the ship, the matter of her handling in the port of Singapore was to be arranged on the basis of the Japanese‑British agreement. [813] All evacuees boarding the Asama Maru were to carry their money in the form of exchange drafts, and Mr. Tsurumi was instructed by the Japanese foreign Minister to collect the fares of those embarking and to hold the money as a special account from which the expenses incurred while in port at Singapore were to be paid. Expenses incurred en route were to be paid after the arrival of the ship in Japan. The British authorities in Japan had been contacted in regard to this matter and authorities in Singapore were to be advised immediately. [814]

On November 5, 1941, a change in the itinerary of the vessel was made to the effect that the Asama Maru would leave Tokyo on November 6 thus advancing the entire schedule by one day. The supply of food, water, and fuel sufficient for the round trip had been placed aboard, and the British Ambassador in Tokyo had been contacted in regard to the arrangements concerning the payment of harbor taxes. This matter was to be dealt with in the same manner in the case of the Fuso Maru. [815]

371. The Kito Maru Abandons Trip to Dairen

Meanwhile, as the Asama Maru prepared to sail to Singapore, a dispatch from Shanghai informed Tokyo that the Kito Maru would sail on to Yokohama after its arrival in Tokyo. A trip to Dairen had been scheduled but due to the public excitement over the Tomisurafu matter, the decision had been made to sail directly to Japan. [816]

[810] IV, 670.

[811] IV, 671.

[812] IV, 672.

[813] IV, 673.

[814] IV, 674.

[815] IV, 675.

[816] IV, 676.



372. Japanese Officials in Singapore Continue Negotiations in Regard to the Frozen Accounts

In Japan the withdrawal of British diplomatic funds or bank deposits of the members of the staff had been forbidden. Although they were not permitted to draw upon their accounts secretly, legal permits could be issued in case drafts were made against British or American banks. [817] At that time steps were being taken with competent authorities to prohibit even the granting of these special permits. In view of the fact that the question of drawing drafts against Japanese and British diplomatic bank accounts was deadlocked, Singapore was instructed to continue negotiations for permission to defray necessary expenditures from frozen accounts. Mr. Togo asked that he be notified as to the result of the negotiations. [818]

373. Japanese and Canadian Officials Disagree Concerning the Purchasing Rate of ¥100

Apparently Tokyo had requested a change in the purchasing rate for ¥100 in exchange between America and Canada for on November 6, Mr. Yoshizawa, the Minister in Ottawa, notified Tokyo that after a member of his staff had conferred with the Canadian officials in regard to the request, he had learned that in American dollars the latest New York buying rate for ¥100 was $23.44. [819] The selling rate was $23.57, making the average rate $23.50 1/2. Adding to this the fixed average rate for exchanging money orders between America and Canada at a premium of 10 1/2 %, a rate of $25.97 was given. The Japanese staff member replied that in this case the exchange between American and Canada should be at the New York market rate rather than the Canadian fixed rate. The Canadian officials insisted firmly, however, that there was no precedent for taking the New York price. The Japanese staff member replied that if the above calculations were insisted upon, it would be impossible to settle the matter. Since it would be necessary to make some reply to Canada, Mr. Yoshizawa requested a wire from Tokyo at once stating the basis for their submitting the figure of $26 3/8. [820]

374. Mr. Wataru Assumes Post as Commerical Attaché in Shanghai

On November 6, 1941, Tokyo requested an application, addressed to the Foreign Minister from Mr. Wataru, in regard to his appointment as Commercial Attaché in Shanghai. The application together with the decision of the head of the industrial section was to be sent at once by air mail. [821] The following day Shanghai wired a reply to Tokyo concerning its request for information in regard to Mr. Wataru’s period of employment and salary. Unless in order to comply with regulations within the country, no definite period of employment would be specified; however, after three years of service a promotion would be in line. In regard to the remaining points, the basic salary was quoted as $1800.00, national currency; exchange allowance $1316.57; and living allowance $2605.00; making a total of $5721.57. [822]

375. Japan is Concerned Over the Attitude of Great Britain

On November 11, 1941, a discussion of Britain’s present position in the war was sent from London to Washington and later relayed to Tokyo. [823] The British attitude toward Japan was, of necessity, conditioned by the vicissitudes of the German‑Soviet war, which, had

[817] IV, 677.

[818] Ibid.

[819] IV, 678.

[820] Ibid.

[821] IV, 679.

[822] IV, 680.

[823] IV, 681.


reached an extremely critical phase. Due to Russia’s continued resistance and the German losses which had been far greater than anticipated, the Atlantic war and the bombing of England had been considerably slowed down and Britain’s imports and accumulation of commodities had increased along with the expansion of its production. The British at last had confidence in their preparations to resist a German invasion and were manifesting a willingness to carry on the war for seven years if that were necessary to attain ultimate victory. Operations in the Mediterranean and in the Near East had been more favorable than anticipated and in addition the financial situation had also been relieved since results of the contributions for the Army Drive had exceeded all expectations. Cooperation between England and America was becoming more closely knit, and in view of this and the improved conditions in Britain, a break in the negotiations that were in progress between Japan and America would merely serve to spur the British government on in its attitude toward Japan. It was the earnest desire of Mr. Mamoru Shigemitsu, the Japanese Ambassador in London, that at this time the Imperial Government should formulate a far reaching national policy in order not to be circumscribed by future developments and that it would face the Japanese‑American negotiations with an epoch making plan and a resolute determination.

After the Ambassador had given the above resume of the British attitude toward Japan, Mr. Churchill made a special broadcast and took the occasion to utter a final warning to Japan. The Japanese ambassador was convinced that he was not bluffing and that he had no intention of seeking a rapprochement made with Japan at the expense of Generalissimo Chiang Kai‑shek. [824]

376. Spanish Charge d’Affaires in Cairo Comments on the Situation in Egypt

Senor Gabriel Alloman Villa‑Ionga, the Spanish Charge d’Affaires in Cairo en route to his home passed through Ankara on November 10 and commented on the situation in Egypt. He had observed that due to the successes of Germany in the war, the anti‑British attitude was increasing but the positive policy of the British had thus far managed to suppress it to some extent. Since the establishment of Tojo’s cabinet in Japan, the increase of Australian troops had been deferred and it was rumored that some of the troops would return to their homeland. At the same time, as a warning, British troops had been recently stationed in Syria near the Turkish border and between 170,000 and 180,000 troops were established in the Libyan border region. [825]

377. Japanese Naval Reconnaissance Bomber Flies Over Hong Kong

Canton notified Tokyo that on the previous day, November 12, 1941, the British Consul-General had called to say that on November 5, 1941, a Japanese Naval reconnaissance bomber made a flight over the southern part of Hong Kong Harbor and then headed north. As a result of the protest lodged concerning a similar occurrence on September 28, 1941, Japan had promised to issue strict instructions in order to prevent a repetition of the incident. This recurrence was most unexpected, hence another protest had been submitted and it was requested that Canton contact the military authorities immediately. [826] On November 11, 1941 the British Embassy in Tokyo had also lodged a strong protest giving a resume of the November 5 incident. Canton received this information on November 13, 1941 and was requested to wire Tokyo immediately upon the completion of the negotiations. [827]

[824] Ibid.

[825] IV, 682.

[826] IV, 683.

[827] IV, 684.


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