711.94114 Supplies/4–2645: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan) to the Secretary of State

1352. ReEmbs 872, March 23, 4 p.m. Embassy has received note from Foreign Office dated April 24 stating that Japanese Embassy in Moscow informed Foreign Office on April 7 that Japanese Government had decided to send to Nakhodka the Awa Maru, a vessel of 11,200 tons displacement to transport cargo to Allied prisoners of [Page 1061] war in Japan and that the vessel would be ready to proceed to Nakhodka the middle of April.

Note continues that on April 18 Foreign Office received second note from Japanese Embassy stating that Japanese Government had been obliged to cancel the planned dispatch of the Awa Maru since the vessel has been lost on a return voyage from the south where “it had delivered the first part of a cargo” and that the Japanese Embassy had alleged in its note that it had learned from an official American statement that the Awa Maru had been sunk by a United Nations submarine in spite of a guarantee of safe conduct given by the United Nations.45

The Soviet note is not clear as to exactly what is meant by the “first part of a cargo”.

  1. For documentation concerning the sinking of the Awa Maru, see vol. vi , section under Japan entitled “Sinking by a United States submarine of the Japanese ship Awa Maru…”