The Consul at Yokohama (Boyce) to the Secretary of State

No. 315

Sir: I have the honor to report, as of possible interest to the Department, that an officer of this Consulate has had several interviews with Captain Alfred Parker, who was an applicant at this office for a Section 3 (2) Non-immigration Visa, concerning his experiences and observations while stranded in the Japanese Mandated Islands.

Captain Parker, a Norwegian subject, was the captain of the M. S. Fijian, a motorship under Panamanian registry and owned by Flood Brothers, 444 Market Street, San Francisco, California, which sank after an explosion, on March 25, 1937, near the island of Majuro. The captain and crew, consisting of Norwegian and Chinese nationals, were rescued by the Japanese vessel, Shinko Maru. They were taken by this vessel to the island of Ahrno.

After staying at Ahrno for 36 hours, the Shinko Maru proceeded to the island of Jaluit. At Jaluit the captain and crew of the Fijian disembarked under police supervision. They remained on this island from March 28 to April 24, on which date they sailed on the Kasagi Maru for Yokohama. En route to Yokohama, the vessel made brief stops at the islands of Kusaie, Ponape, Truk and Saipan.

According to Captain Parker he was questioned by the police on 21 different occasions during his stay at Jaluit. He believes that the police regarded him as a spy of some foreign nation and for that reason greatly restricted his freedom of action on Jaluit and refused to allow him or the members of the crew to land at any of the islands visited en route to Yokohama.

Captain Parker stated that Jaluit has an excellent harbor which can only be entered by vessels under the guidance of pilots familiar with the reef formations in the channel. There were three Japanese Naval Destroyers and one Airplane Carrier stationed in Jaluit harbor. The Captain saw no indications of fortifications on the island.

While on Jaluit Captain Parker became acquainted with Mr. Carl Heine, a missionary representative of the American Foreign Board of Missions, who has been on the islands for 48 years. Mr. Heine travels throughout the Mandated Islands in his work and is acquainted with a number of Japanese naval officers. Mr. Heine stated that these [Page 813]officers had told him that their naval plans provided for the immediate capture of Guam in case of war between Japan and the United States. Captain Parker also stated that Mr. Heine did not believe that the Japanese would allow him to leave the islands.

Captain Parker observed from the vessel on the voyage to Yokohama that a large airport was being constructed on the island of Kusaie. He stated that of the islands visited radio stations were located on Jaluit, Truk and Saipan.

The Consulate has no way of verifying Captain Parker’s statements.

Very respectfully yours,

Richard F. Boyce