23 Mr M. Akiyama, Japanese Consul-General in Australia, to Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Letter SYDNEY, 22 January 1940


On February 1st the Japanese Government is to present to the Japanese Parliament the Japanese Financial Budget for the coming financial year (April 1st 1940 to March 31st 1941). The Japanese Government has included in this financial Budget the allocation of expenses for a Japanese Legation in Australia, in order to make possible the establishment of such a Legation within the coming financial year; otherwise the Government fears that it might be obliged to postpone the allocation to a later financial year.

In order that it may make clear, if necessary, to the Japanese Parliament the position regarding the establishment of the respective Legations in Australia and Japan, it is essential for my Government to know that the Commonwealth Government will decide to establish an Australian Legation at Tokio during the same period.

For these reasons, I am instructed by the Japanese Government to request you to be kind enough to let me know, even if informally and confidentially, the intention of the Australian Government, or, if this is impossible, your opinion on this point, before the end of the present month, that is to say, before the presentation of the Japanese budget to Parliament. [1]


1 Akiyama subsequently discussed this letter with Sir Henry Gullett, Minister for External Affairs. (See N. C. Tritton's letter to Akiyama of 2 February 1940 on file AA: A461, A703/1/2.)

[AA: A981, JAPAN 120, i]