611.003 Rayon/6

Memorandum by Mr. Leo D. Sturgeon of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs of a Conversation With the First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy (Miura)

Mr. Miura said that he had called to inform the Department in regard to a telegram received at the Embassy from the Central Committee of the Japanese Silk Association in Japan. He said that the Ambassador was out of town, but would probably call tomorrow to discuss the proposed silk taxes with either the Under Secretary or Mr. Sayre.

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In the meantime Mr. Miura said that he wished to advise that, according to a telegram received from the Silk Association, the Japanese Government and people regard the question of the proposed silk taxes as more serious than questions involving the textile trade, and have asked the Embassy to make every effort to secure elimination of the taxes. Mr. Miura further stated that some of the members of the Central Committee of the Silk Association were also members of the Diet, and in consequence undesirable political reaction is feared. He stated that the silk industry is related to Japan’s social welfare problem, and also to its general agricultural problem, and reemphasized that it is of more serious concern to the Japanese than questions relating to the limitation of cotton textile exports.

Upon leaving Mr. Miura stated that he appreciated the difficult position of the Department with respect to action designed to prevent the proposed taxes being placed into effect; he wished, however, to request that we do our utmost, within the limits of propriety, to prevent enactment of the silk taxes.

Mr. Sturgeon informed Mr. Miura that he had gained an understanding of the Japanese position from the conversation had the previous day with the Japanese Commercial Attaché and would bring the substance of Mr. Miura’s statements to the attention of the officers concerned in the Department. He reminded Mr. Miura that it had been the object of this Administration to avoid as far as possible obstructions to the natural development of trade with other countries.