740.0011 Pacific War/1654: Telegram

The Ambassador in Chile (Bowers) to the Secretary of State

84. The Japanese Minister2 made an appointment with the Minister of Defense3 and Chilean officers for his so-called Naval Attaché, a junior lieutenant who is supposed to have come from United States via the east coast of South America. Commanders-in-chief Navy and Army were present and six other Chilean officers. Japanese officer asserted that the United States Navy was now vastly inferior and expressed optimism in victory. He promised destruction of the Panama Canal and sinking of all ships carrying contraband by the Japanese submarines, intimated friendship and support by Japan for Chile. He also stressed strategic importance of Easter Island. It seems probable that similar talks were given in other key South American countries on the eve of Conference at Rio.4 The Naval Attaché of this Embassy believes that the talk had some effect since recent news of American military actions has not been favorable.

Repeated to Rio de Janeiro.

  1. Keyoshi Yamagata.
  2. Jaque Juvenal Hernández.
  3. For correspondence concerning the Third Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the American Republics, held at Rio de Janeiro, January 15–28, 1942, see vol. v, pp. 6 ff.