740.00119 PW/7–645: Telegram

No. 1420
The Minister in Sweden ( Johnson ) to the Secretary of State 1

Top secret

2384. Following is substance of report given Leg by Prince Carl Bernadotte following a conversation with Jap Military Attaché.2 This conversation took place at a dinner arranged by the Japs for Prince Carl who had previously informed Leg that he would.3

Major General Onodera, Jap Mil Attaché, stated that Japs know war has been lost and when right time comes they will make direct contact with King of Swed. Onodera said this would be done by him and he emphasized that he and not Jap Minister4 has authorization from Emperor and Jap Govt to enter into negotiations. King Gustaf would be approached with view to his contacting Allies. Onodera referred to Emperor and pointed out that by reason of Emperor’s position contact will have to be made by Swed King. He further stated that Emperor must be maintained in his position after the capitulation. No other conditions of surrender were specified. Bernadotte [Page 1590] was asked not to advise the Americans of conversation at this time Mil Attaché stressing point that time had not yet arrived for contact to be made. Onodera then requested Prince Charles [Carl] to arrange meeting for him with his father Prince Carl Senior. Bernadotte replied that his father is now in Oslo and is not well but that he would deliver message and give Onodera Prince Carl Senior’s reply. Prince Carl Senior is brother of King Gustaf and President of Swed Red Cross.

  1. Sent to Washington; relayed to Byrnes, then at sea, in Grew’s telegram No. 4 of July 7 (file No. 740.00119 (Potsdam)/8–645). This is presumably the message which Truman had in mind when he mentioned an “indicate[on] from Sweden” in his discussion with Stalin on July 18 of a Japanese peace feeler. See ante, pp. 87, 1588.
  2. Major General Onodera Makoto.
  3. There is an apparent omission at this point in the original.
  4. Okamoto Suemasa.