756D.94/58: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State

687. Our 657, August 3. My Netherlands colleague informs me that on August 9 he called on Nishi, chief of the bureau of European and West Asian Affairs in the Foreign Office, and referred to press reports of an interview with General Koiso in which the latter was alleged to have said in effect that the natives of the Netherlands East Indies are oppressed by the Netherlands Government. The Minister said that neither he nor his Government believed that General Koiso’s remarks were correctly reported but that unless the press version should be retracted General Koiso’s position in the East Indies would be “very difficult” (by which the Minister meant “impossible”).

Nishi after long silence replied that a retraction would be difficult (1) because Koiso is not at present in active service and (2) because the decision to send him to the East Indies is not yet definite, but Nishi said that he would take up the matter with the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The Netherlands Minister says that unless a reply is soon received he will press the matter with Mr. Matsuoka and that in any case his Government will not accept General Koiso in the absence of a retraction.26

Sent to the Department, repeated to Batavia.

  1. The subsequently appointed mission was headed by Ichizo Kobayashi, Japanese Minister of Commerce and Industry, rather than by General Koiso; see telegram No. 761, August 28, 9 p.m., from the Ambassador in Japan, p. 88.