740.00115 P.W./11–3044

The Department of State to the Spanish Embassy


The Department of State refers to memorandum No. 140, Ex. 113.00 T–2, dated June 6, 1944 from the Spanish Embassy in charge of Japanese interests in the continental United States transmitting a memorandum dated June 3, 1944 from the Japanese Government concerning the shooting of Soichi Okamoto (Shoiza) at the Tule Lake Relocation Center.

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With reference to the Japanese Government’s protest concerning the death of Soichi Okamoto, since he was an American citizen, the United States Government is at a loss to understand the Japanese Government’s concern with his death. The United States Government, however, states for the information of the Spanish Embassy that a thorough investigation of all of the circumstances surrounding the death of Soichi Okamoto was made by a duly appointed board of four officers, in the course of which the board interviewed all available witnesses, some twenty in number. The investigating board found that Soichi Okamoto was shot by the sentry in performance of his duties. In view of the fact that the incident resulted in the death of a human being, the sentry was tried by general court-martial, charged with manslaughter under the 93rd Article of War. The court-martial established that the sentry fired in the performance of his duty and he was, therefore, acquitted.