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122 Record Of Conversation By Critchley [1]

11th November, 1955


Entry of Japanese into Australia

Mr Uyama called to seek clarification of my letter of 3rd November
concerning the entry and stay in Australia of Japanese businessmen
and their families. [2] He asked whether only Japanese wool-buyers
would be permitted to stay indefinitely in Australia or would the
same concession apply to other Japanese businessmen, for example,
those engaged in the wheat and barley trade. I promised to check
the position and let him know.

2. Mr Uyama also raised the question of publicity for the amended
policy on the entry of Japanese. He mentioned that at the trade
talks which commenced a week or so ago, Dr Westerman had
specifically requested that in view of the 10th December general
election, the talks should be given the absolute minimum of
publicity. [3] He presumed the same considerations would apply in
regard to the change in policy on the entry of Japanese nationals.

I replied that I felt that the change in policy should be given no
more publicity than was necessary. The wisest course for the
Embassy to adopt would seem to be merely to inform all interested

3. After Mr Percival had spoken to Mr Brown of Immigration
Department (see record of conversation attached). [4] I rang Mr
Uyama and informed him that only Japanese wool-buyers would be
permitted indefinite residence-other Japanese businessmen could
only enter for a period of six months in the first instance, which
might however be extended for an additional six months.

4. Concerning publicity, I informed Mr Uyama that the Minister and
Department of Immigration were most anxious that no publicity
should be given to the new policy before the elections. The
reasons were obvious-it was feared that if the matter became an
election issue it could seriously prejudice any future decisions
on the entry of Japanese nationals into Australia. Mr Uyama
promised that no publicity would be given to the changes in
Australian policy.

1 The record was drafted by R.J. Percival of South and South-East
Asia Branch, DEA.

2 See paragraphs 7 and 8 of Document 126.

3 See the final paragraph of Document 118.

4 Not published. Brown also told Percival, in confidence, that a
Cabinet submission, recommending 7-year residence permits for
Japanese merchants with annual turnover of A10,000 and
'reasonable' conditions for establishment of Japanese business
agencies, was being held over until after the federal election.

[AA : A1838/283, 759/1, v]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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