No. 30 NAI DFA 319/4

Memorandum by Frederick H. Boland on the position of the Japanese Consul-General in Dublin

Dublin, 7 November 1945

The Japanese Consul-General came to see me at 4.30 p.m. on the evening of the 5th November at his own request.

Mr. Beppu began by reading ceremoniously his Note D/228 of the 5th November. Having handed me the Note, Mr. Beppu added the comment that he felt sure that he was speaking for his Government when he said that they profoundly regretted this suspension of their official relations with this country; he was sure it was only a suspension. I said we regretted the necessity for his departure, but we understood the circumstances in which the necessity arose.

Mr. Beppu then proceeded to read ceremoniously his Note D/229 of the 5th November. He added that he could truthfully say that since their arrival in Ireland, he, his wife and his Consul had met with nothing but kindness and courtesy on all sides - in the shops, in the theatres and from the people they had come in contact with socially. I thanked Mr. Beppu for the Note and said we were glad to hear what he said.

Mr. Beppu then handed me his letter D/300 of the 5th November addressed to me. I told Mr. Beppu that we were concerned that the arrangements for the closing of his Consulate General and the handing over of the property and archives to the Allied powers should proceed as smoothly as possible; but I didn't see the necessity for our coming into the matter at all. After all, the Japanese Government was still in being and questions of this kind were matters for arrangement between them and the Allied Governments. There was no analogy between his case and that of the German Legation, because the German Government had ceased to exist. Mr. Beppu quite accepted this, but he said he was anxious to proceed in a strictly correct manner and he didn't want to be in the position of handing over his archives to any unknown person who walked up his front door steps and asked for them. He might be no more than an enterprising pressman. His suggestion was that we should establish the initial contact. I told Mr. Beppu we would see what we could do about this.

Mr. Beppu then handed me his letter D/301. I told Mr. Beppu that the asking of the safe-conduct seemed to me a matter for his own Government rather than for us and that once he were in contact with the Allied powers, his best course was to make the travelling arrangements directly with them. I took the opportunity of saying to Mr. Beppu that I thought he would make a mistake from his own point of view if he approached the dealings which he was bound to have with the Allied powers in an unduly stiff and formalistic spirit. He had to face the fact, however regrettable it might be, that they had the upper hand and were apt to reciprocate any such attitude on his part, with interest. I said that, speaking quite personally, we would be very sorry to think that he and his Consul would have to undergo personal humiliations but, things being as they were, it was better that they should face them cheerfully rather than invite the difficulties which any suggestion of unpleasantness on their part would certainly provoke. Mr. Beppu said he fully admitted the force of this. He would be indebted to the Department for any help we could give him in tiding over the period between this and his departure.

Mr. Beppu said he wished to make clear the point that he was recalled to the Foreign Office; he was not leaving the service or being dismissed. He would, therefore, retain his official capacity until he reached Tokio.

I raised with Mr. Beppu the question of publicity. I told him that in view of what had already appeared in the papers about General MacArthur's1 request and the Swedish decision, the newspapers here were likely to be after us for a statement very soon. Mr. Beppu said that he would prefer that the fact of his going should be made public in an official statement issued by us than that it should leak out through unofficial and possibly inaccurate press reports. He would have no objection to the issue by us of a statement based on the two first paragraphs of his Note D/228 as follows:-

'The Minister for External Affairs has been informed by the Japanese Consul-General that he and the Consul, Mr. K. Ichihashi, have been instructed by the Imperial Japanese Government to return to the Foreign Office in Tokio to report. The Consul-General stated that he had also been instructed to take the necessary steps, prior to his departure, to close his Office.

Mr. and Mrs. Beppu and Mr. Ichihashi will leave Ireland for Japan as soon as travelling arrangements are made.'

1 General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964), Chief of Staff of the United States Army (1930-5), Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, Japan (1945-51).

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