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PROTEST BY JAPAN AGAINST TREATMENT ACCORDED THE JAPANESE ENVOY TO THE VATICAN BY AMERICAN ARMED FORCES; PROTEST BY THE UNITED STATES AGAINST THE CONDUCT OF JAPANESE ARMED FORCES TOWARD THE AMERICAN LEGATION IN THAILAND
The Spanish Embassy to the Department of State
The Spanish Embassy presents its complaints [compliments] to the Department of State and begs to transmit the following memorandum received from the Japanese Government through the “Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores” 45 of Madrid in which it complains against the conduct of the American soldiers in Rome with regards to the Japanese Envoy to the Vatican:
Memorandum-July 28th, 1944
“The Japanese Government have received a telegraphic report through Vatican from Mr. Ken Harada, Japanese Envoy to the Vatican, according to which Mr. Harada together with the members of his staff, and a number of visitors was confined to his official residence which is in the city of Rome, from the 6th June. It was on the 9th June that he was allowed to communicate with the Vatican under police supervision.
During the period of confinement United States soldiers intruded into the official residence several times and when Mr. Harada demanded their withdrawal they retorted in threatening and insulting language.
In particular they were so insolent as to note that as Japan disregarded international law, she had no right to claim its observance. They also expressed an entirely groundless allegation that female members of the families of the Envoy's staff were spies disguised as women.
The above mentioned conduct of the United States soldiers is not only a violation of the inviolability to which a diplomatic agent is entitled in international law, but also refusal of the due respect which is universally rendered to him in civilized countries.
The Japanese Government hereby lodge a most emphatic protest with the United States Government against the above mentioned conduct of the United States soldiers."
WASHINGTON, July 28, 1944.
45 Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The Department of State to the Spanish Embassy
The Department of State presents its compliments to the Spanish Embassy and refers to the Embassy's memorandum no. 171 of July 28, 1944 in which is quoted a memorandum from the Japanese Government alleging that the Japanese Envoy to the Vatican, Mr. Ken Harada, was confined to his official residence in the city of Rome from the 6th to the 9th of June, 1944, and that only upon the latter date was he allowed to communicate with the Vatican. The memorandum alleges further that during this period soldiers of the United States armed forces intruded into the official residence on several occasions and on one occasion when asked to withdraw, the soldiers responded in threatening and insulting language. The Japanese memorandum contends that the alleged conduct of the United States soldiers is not only a violation of the inviolability to which a diplomatic agent is entitled under international law but is also a denial of the respect which is said to be universally accorded to such agents in civilized countries. The Japanese Government protests against this alleged misconduct of the United States soldiers.
It will be recalled that the Rome area was within a theater of military operations during the period referred to in the Japanese memorandum. Therefore it was necessary, for the personal safety of those Axis diplomats who resided in Rome outside the Vatican City, for the military to take certain precautions such as the posting of guards at the places of residence of such persons. However, according to official reports received by the Department of State from Rome the allegation that the Japanese Envoy was confined to his residence in Rome on and after June 6, 1944 is not borne out by the facts. These reports indicate that the Japanese Envoy was provided for his protection and at his request with a military escort to accompany him to and from the Vatican on frequent occasions prior to his change of residence from outside to inside the Vatican City. The reports indicate further that on at least one occasion the Japanese Envoy expressed to an Allied officer his satisfaction with the arrangements for his protection and movements.
Owing to shifts in military personnel at Rome, as a result of the rapidly changing military situation in Italy, it has not been possible to verify the circumstances in which American soldiers are alleged to have entered the residence of the Japanese Envoy. If it should be confirmed that events transpired as alleged by the Japanese Government, suitable measures will be taken.
WASHINGTON, October 2, 1944.
311.22/10-244: Airgram The Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Harrison)
WASHINGTON, October 2, 1944–2:50 p. m. A-446. Please request Swiss Government to communicate the following message to Minister Gorgé 46 to be delivered textually to the Japanese Government:
“The United States Government recently received from the Japanese Government through the Spanish Government a communication asserting that the Japanese diplomatic envoy to the Vatican had been denied the respect universally rendered to such agents in civilized countries. The United States Government recalls in this connection the conduct of the Japanese armed forces toward the American Legation at Bangkok, Thailand, upon the occasion of their entry into Thailand in December 1941, under circumstances somewhat similar to the entry of Allied forces into Rome.
"Following the entry of Japanese troops into Bangkok Japanese armed guards were stationed at the entrance of the American Legation in that city to prevent the entry and departure of the staff and, contrary to international comity, were actually posted on the Legation premises as well. The American flag was forcibly lowered from the Legation flagstaff and the Japanese flag was hoisted in its place. Japanese troops were quartered in a building of the Legation and Japanese troops under the command of officers of high rank conducted searches of the Legation buildings and grounds. Before this forcible Japanese control of an American diplomatic mission in a neutral country was discontinued Japanese soldiers threatened the American Minister and members of his staff with lethal weapons for fancied infringement of the Japanese security arrangements. They seized United States Government-owned equipment in the Legation with armed force, subjected the American Minister to Thailand 47 and members of his staff to the indignity of personal body searches, and deliberately kept the staff of the Legation without access to the representation of the protecting Power during the period of the Japanese control of the Legation.
“The United States Government hereby lodges a most emphatic protest with the Japanese Government against the aforesaid acts of the Japanese armed forces.” 48
For your information, and for informal communication to the Swiss Foreign Office and to Minister Gorgé in connection with the foregoing, there is quoted below the text of a memorandum addressed by the Department, simultaneously with the despatch of this airgram, to the Spanish Embassy in Washington, replying to a Japanese protest against alleged mistreatment by American soldiers of Japanese diplomats in Rome. It would be preferable if the foregoing communication to the Japanese Government were to be delivered by
46 Camille Gorgé, Swiss Minister in Japan. 47 Willys R. Peck. 48 There is no record in the Department files of a Japanese reply to this protest
Gorgé subsequent to the receipt by the Japanese Government of the communication sent through the Spanish authorities. Gorgé might therefore be requested to defer presentation of the above protest until such time as he deems that the Japanese Government can be presumed to have received the Department's reply to the Japanese protest. The protest would presumably be more effective if Gorgé were to indicate his possession of the following text:
[Here follows text of memorandum of October 2 to the Spanish Embassy, printed supra.]
The Spanish Embassy presents its compliments to the Department of State and begs to transmit the following memorandum received from the Japanese Government through the Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores” of Madrid in which it further complains about the treatment given by American soldiers to the Japanese Envoy to the Vatican:
Memorandum-January 27, 1945.
“The Japanese Government are in receipt of the United States Government's reply dated the second October, 1944, to their protest against unlawful conduct of United States soldiers toward Mr. Harada, Japanese Envoy to the Vatican. In the said reply the United States Government deny the fact of Mr. Harada having been confined to his Official residence in the city of Rome by United States soldiers. But a telegraphic report from Mr. Harada confirms that the United States soldiers cut off all communications between his official residence and the outside world; that they prohibited even drinking water and provisions from being brought in, and later, when they did permit it, they subjected the supplies to a rigid examination; that on several occasions they refused permission for calling in a doctor to attend to patients, and, when they granted permission, they demanded the presence of a United States Military Officer by the sickbed, and that, when a high official of the Vatican called at the Envoy's Official residence on official business, he was refused permission to enter it.
All these facts, the Japanese Government must point out, are well known to the Vatican Authorities. The United States Government contend in their reply that it is impossible to inquire into the circumstances under which the United States soldiers forced their way into the official residence of the Japanese Envoy and subjected the Envoy to threats and insults. But the Japanese Government stress the fact that, since those soldiers belonged to a small detachment then stationed in an elementary school building at the back of the Envoy's Official residence, the United States Government can easily conduct the investigation if they are honestly willing to do so.
The Japanese Government thereby once again present a protest to the United States Government against the unlawful conduct of the United States soldiers in question." 49
WASHINGTON, January 29, 1945.
PROTESTS BY THE UNITED STATES AGAINST ATTACKS BY JAPANESE NAVAL FORCES ON SURVIVORS OF TORPEDOED AMERICAN MERCHANT VESSELS
195.7 Richard Hovey/6: Telegram The Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Harrison)
WASHINGTON, June 14, 1941. 2043. Request Foreign Office to deliver following message verbatim to Japanese Government:
“The United States steamship Richard Hovey carrying cargo and one passenger was at 11:20 GCT 50 on March 29, 1944 torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in latitude 16 degrees 40 minutes north and longitude 64 degrees 30 minutes east. After torpedoing the Richard Hovey, the submarine attacked the personnel who escaped from the ship.
Reports from the survivors, including the Chief Officer, disclose that subsequent to releasing three torpedoes and obtaining two hits, the submarine surfaced, opened fire on the ship itself, and then proceeded in the direction of the lifeboats, opening fire on them from about 1,000 feet with her forward gun, and continuing to fire as she circled around the lifeboats. The survivors in the lifeboats took to the water, keeping the boats between them and the submarine. The submarine approached the no. 2 lifeboat and, proceeding slowly, rammed and capsized it. She cruised slowly among the other boats, taking pictures and firing with rifles, machine guns, and other small arms. The submarine then made another circle around to the starboard side of the no. 4 lifeboat at which she fired her big gun, holing the boat on the starboard side above the water line, smashing thwarts, puncturing the engine casing, the fuel tanks, and one water tank só seriously that half its contents were lost. The submarine finally approached the master's boat, took on board the master and three others, and took the boat in tow.
The United States Government protests most emphatically against this inhuman form of warfare practiced by Japanese forces in brutally
49 Marginal notation : "They never stop. Either we stop this exchange or we must protest their treatment of our replies !". The Department's reply of February 8, 1945, stated: “The Department of State acknowledges the receipt of the Spanish Embassy's memorandum no. 12 of January 29, 1945 in which is quoted the text of a communication from the Japanese Government concerning the treatment of the former Japanese Envoy to the Vatican, Mr. Harada.” (811.22/1-2945) No further reply has been found in Department files.
Greenwich Civil Time.