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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The attempts by the Japanese government to surrender, July - August 1945 (PRO file HW37/3)

These extracts from British and American archives may contain phonetic or transcription errors. We invite comments, corrections and expansions. Please give details of item referred to. [comment]

Intercept 148150 of French ambassador in Washington to foreign ministry Paris, No 4887, August 6, 1945, très sécret, refers to another telegram intercept, re peace offers to Washington from Japan, No. 147953.

"Il semblerait d'après certains messages adresses par le gouvernement japonais a M Sato interceptés et déchiffrés par des services que l'ambassadeur du Japon à Moscou aurait bien été charge de demander au gouvernement des Soviets de prêter ses bons offices a une tentative de négociation de paix, et [wrong group: ? notamment] de favorises la venue a Moscou, peut-être a Potsdam, du prince Konoye. Staline s'y serait refusé."

D. & R.

August 10, 1945. From Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tokyo, to Japanese Minister, Berne, No. 649 Circular, date 10th August 1945. [W/T: III D. JAH' [In English].


Part II [Part I not received.]

Very Urgent

"The Japanese Government are ready to accept the terms enumerated in the Joint Declaration which was issued at Potsdam on 26th July, 1945, by the heads of the Governments of the United States, great Britain and China, and later subscribed by the Soviet Government, with the understanding that the said declaration does not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as a sovereign ruler. The Japanese Government hope sincerely that this understanding is warranted and desire keenly that an explicit indication to that effect will be speedily forthcoming.

The Japanese Government have the honor to request the Government of Switzerland to be good enough to forward immediately the above communications to the Governments of the United States and China."

Addressed also to Stockholm.


Director-General (2)
Mr. Bromley (2)

[Similarly, No. 648, MFA Tokyo to Japanese Minister, Berne, August 10, 1945:

"In accordance with the wishes of His Majesty the Emperor, who desires earnestly to bring the war to a speedy end, in order to spare mankind the horrors of war, the Japanese Government recently asked for the good offices of the Soviet Government which was neutral in the war of Greater East Asia. Unfortunately those efforts by the Japanese Government to bring about peace failed and, in conformity with His Majesty's wish for peace, the Japanese Government, desiring the obviate the disasters of war and to bring about the restoration of peace, have decided as follows: [...]"


The above material has been researched by David Irving for the third volume of his Churchill biography, "Churchill's War", vol. iii: "The Sundered Dream."

© Focal Point 2004 F Irving write to David Irving