421 Australian Government to Addison, Fraser, Embassy in Washington and Mission in Tokyo

Cablegrams 180, 180, 840, 394 CANBERRA, 16 July 1947, 4.50 p.m.


Your D.552. See also 859 (F.E.C.171) from Washington; 129 from New Zealand (131 to London).

Japanese external contacts and representation at international conferences

Following are our views- 1. Japanese external contacts is a matter for decision at the Peace settlement and meanwhile F.E.C. should deal only with exceptional cases directly related to the occupation. Japanese nationals should attend international conferences during occupation period when necessity is shown and F.E.C. approves. We support N.Z. paper FEC-236 in this. Japanese attending inter- governmental conferences in exceptional cases as above should be only technicians and advisers and occupying control authorities and not representatives. As we affirmed in Our 732(153 to London, 106 to New Zealand) it is Japanese interests which should be represented and not the Japanese Government. Japanese interests should be represented by officials of the Allied Control authorities.

2. We think that the actual wording of New Zealand paper concerning F.E.C. approval might result in a wider interpretation than was intended and this might be provided against by the addition of the words 'in each case'. As regards possible U.S.

attitude that F.E.C. approval of each case would be inappropriate or even unconstitutional (i.e. that decision on cases as distinct from policy is a matter of implementation and therefore within province of S.C.A.P. and not F.E.C.) answer is that under a policy which contemplated exceptions, the exceptions become matters of policy.

3. As regards non-governmental conferences we note that New Zealand is prepared to make the same exception as for governmental conferences. Our feeling about this is that while there might be some grounds for permitting Japanese nationals, in exceptional cases specifically approved by F.E.C., to attend inter- governmental conferences as observers accompanying S.C.A.P.

officials, we see little reasons for such exceptions in regard to non-governmental conferences, and as far as we can see there would be no such exceptions in fact. We would prefer indeed omission of last 10 words of New Zealand paper.' 4. As regards the wider scope of Japanese external contacts covered by the U.S. paper FEC-240 [2], we consider this as an example of U.S. tendency to indulge the Japanese. We should desire definite evidence of Japanese goodwill before allowing them once again to move freely abroad on such pretexts as contributing towards 'process of re-orientation'. We maintain the principle that Japanese nationals should not be permitted to attend international conferences (except as indicated above) nor to interchange with other nationals outside Japan until after the peace conference. Such contacts would undoubtedly be skilfully used by the Japanese to strengthen their position at the Peace Conference table.

5. We note with concern the proviso (in FEC-240) that S.C.A.P. may authorise resumption of political and commercial interchange between Japan and other countries. Because of our experience of S.C.A.P.'s method of dealing unilaterally with matters vitally affecting other Pacific powers, it seems to us that a loophole is being deliberately left to enable the Japanese to have the same advantages as Allied powers before the Allies have made peace with them.

6. Cultural contacts are admittedly an important means of promoting the Allied policy of democratisation of Japan, but such contacts could be considerably increased by a more liberal U.S.

policy in regard to admission of Allied nationals into Japan. We have in mind for example the difficulty in obtaining clearances and the small quota of businessmen allowed into Japan. It would be more fitting if the U.S. had developed this means before being so solicitous about letting Japanese out of Japan. Further, the process of democratisation cannot bear fruit in any short period, and little if anything will be lost by delaying Japanese resumption of travel abroad until the peace conference decides the question.

7. We strongly oppose U.S. paper and stress view that the matter is a question for decision at the Peace Conference. [3]

1 The last paragraph of this paper read: 'Japanese nationals shall not be permitted to attend any non-governmental international conferences held outside Japan except with the prior approval of the Far Eastern Commission.' 2 FEC-240,'Interchange of Persons Between Japan and 0ther Countries',26 June 1947.In part this paper read: 'During the period of occupation ... there should be permitted between Japan and other countries an interchange of persons for educational, religious, scientific, informational and general cultural purposes including members of trade unions and related organizations and agencies whose purposes are recognized as democratic and who will contribute towards the process of reorientation ...' 3 On 15 October the Department of External Affairs advised the Embassy in Washington that if all other countries decided to support FEC-236 and FEC-240, Australia should reluctantly agree with them. During November, both papers were referred to Committee 4 for reconsideration. FEC-240/6 remained on the agenda. FEC-236/3 was forwarded to the Steering Committee as FEC-236/5 where it remained on the agenda.

[AA : A1838, 480/12/6, i]