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184 Mr Torao Wakamatsu, Japanese Consul-General in Sydney, to Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister

Letter (copy) SYDNEY, 11 April 1938

With further reference to my letters of March 26th and April 5th
[1], regarding the matter of iron ore exports from Australia, I
have the honour to communicate to you, under instructions from my
Government, firstly, the very deep concern felt by the Imperial
Government regarding this matter, since, apart from the question
of the safety of Japanese investments in Yampi Sound, Japan is the
country which would be most seriously affected by any far-reaching
restriction on iron ore supplies from this Commonwealth and,
secondly, their earnest desire for a guarantee by the Federal
Government that no disturbance shall be caused to the basic
foundations on which a vast amount of Japanese capital has been
vested in Yampi Sound, with the definite approval and general
support of the West Australian Government.

In connection with the latter point, I am instructed to mention
that, although newspapers of recent dates in this Commonwealth
have reported that the licence system for exports of iron ore is
likely to be adopted by the Federal Government, pending the
completion of full investigations, the Japanese Government hope
that your Government will be good enough, whether this system be
adopted or not, and whatever the result of the investigations may
be, to give permission, practically, for the export to Japan from
Yampi Sound of a total quantity of at least twenty-five million
tons of iron ore-preferably at the rate of one million tons every
year for a period of twenty-five years-which is the minimum basis
on which both the mining enterprise in Yampi Sound and the iron
works in Japan prepared specially in this connection, can
economically be carried on.

Further, I desire to state that I am informed by Mr Fujimura,
Director of the Nichinan [sic] [2] Mining Company-the Company
which has invested the necessary capital in the enterprise and has
the sole right to import the iron ore to Japan-that the
preparatory work must be continued in any circumstances, as it is
absolutely impracticable to interrupt the progress of a work on
such a huge scale.


1 Documents 170, 178.

2 Elsewhere described as Nippon Mining Company (see attachment to
Document 249).

[AA : A981, AUSTRALIA 90]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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