453 Mr M. Akiyama, Japanese Consul-General in Australia, to Mr J. McEwen, Minister for External Affairs
Letter SYDNEY, 27 June 1940
With reference to my conversation with the Secretary of the Department of External Affairs, Colonel W. R. Hodgson, on the 24th instant , of the purport of which you have no doubt been informed, my Government has instructed me to enquire whether the Australian Government is prepared to give its consent to the Japanese Government's compliance with the request of the Italian Government that the Japanese Government, through this Consulate- General, should look after Italian interests in Australia and protect the rights of Italian nationals in this country for the duration of the war between Australia and Italy.
I have this morning received advice from the Japanese Government that the Italian Government confirms the request made to the Japanese Government by the Italian charge d'affaires in Tokio that Japan should look after Italian interests in the Commonwealth.
I shall be much obliged if you will let me know the opinion of the Australian Government on the question of the above-mentioned Japanese representation of Italian interests at your earliest convenience.