The Department of State to the Embassy of the Soviet Union
On May 15 the American Chargé d’Affaires at Moscow handed to Mr. Vyshinski a note concerning a recent proposal by the Japanese Government regarding the forwarding of relief supplies which are now stored at Vladivostok and those to be sent subsequently via that port for distribution to Allied civilian internees and prisoners of war detained by the Japanese. The Japanese Government stated its willingness to move these relief supplies and mail and to distribute them to Allied prisoners of war and civilian internees in Japanese custody provided the Soviet Government is willing to grant permission for a Japanese ship to enter Vladivostok at approximately monthly intervals to pick up these supplies.
The United States Government realizes that since Vladivostok is an important naval base, the Soviet Government may be reluctant to permit a Japanese ship to call regularly at that port. The possibility also is recognized that the Japanese Government for this reason may have put forward its proposal with this condition attached in the hope of creating difficulties between the Governments of the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
In view of the urgent need to arrange for a means by which regular shipments of relief supplies may be made for Allied nationals in Japanese custody, the United States Government hopes that the Soviet authorities may find it possible to permit a Japanese ship to enter Vladivostok at least once under proper security safeguards to pick up the supplies which have been stored there since the fall of 1943. [Page 1175] If the Soviet authorities are unwilling to permit a Japanese ship to call regularly at Vladivostok to pick up relief supplies and mail, the United States Government earnestly hopes that the Soviet Government will designate an alternative port which this Government may propose to the Japanese for use on subsequent voyages.