The Japanese Embassy to the Department of State

No. 235

The Japanese Government has taken note of the regulations governing the exportation of iron and steel scrap, dated September 30, 1940, amending the construction and definition of the term “iron and steel scrap” included in the regulations of July 26, 1940, and the announcement [Page 224] of September 26, 1940 to the effect that, under the new regulations, licenses will be issued to permit shipments to the countries of the Western Hemisphere and Great Britain only.

The above mentioned regulations refer to the Presidential authority derived from the provisions of section 6 of the Act of Congress approved July 2, 1940, entitled “An Act to expedite the strengthening of the national defense”, thereby suggesting that it was determined to be necessary in the interest of national defense to curtail the exportation of iron and steel scrap.

In view of the situation of iron and steel scrap markets, the supply and demand of these materials and the volume shipped to Japan, the Japanese Government finds it difficult to concede that this measure was motivated solely by the interest of national defense of the United States.

In the note of the Japanese Ambassador of August 3 the Japanese Government pointed out that the measure announced on July 26, 1940, in regard to the exportation of aviation gasoline, was tantamount to an export embargo as far as countries outside the Western Hemisphere were concerned. Compared to that announcement, the announcement under review may be said to have gone a step further toward discrimination by specifically excluding Great Britain from the virtual embargo.

In view of the fact that Japan has been for some years the principal buyer of American iron and steel scrap, the announcement of the administrative policy, as well as the regulations establishing license system in iron and steel scrap cannot fail to be regarded as directed against Japan, and, as such, to be an unfriendly act.

The Japanese Government hereby protests against the measures taken by the United States Government in connection with the exportation of iron and steel scrap.