711.94114A/12–2244: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Switzerland ( Huddle )

117. American Interests—Far East. Please inform Geneva as follows:

You are requested to take up the following matters in confidence with Junod2 before his departure for the Far East. You may ask James’3 help in presenting these matters if you deem it advisable:

Recently there have been received a number of communications from American prisoners of war previously reported missing but who are evidently held in various camps in Japan and Japanese-occupied territory. Communications have also been received recently from prisoners of war reported as dead in 1943 or earlier.4 It would be appreciated if Junod would endeavor to obtain from the Japanese Government a complete list of names of American prisoners of war by camps in Japan and Japanese-occupied territory. A list of American prisoners of war who have died and their dates of death is also urgently desired.

In recent months there has been a tendency to transfer prisoners of war to the hearts of industrial areas in Japan. Many of the camp reports received thus far give very little information about the location [Page 317] of the camps. Detailed information of this kind would be very-valuable to the American military authorities who desire to protect as far as possible their own people in Japanese hands.

Any assistance which Junod might render in improving mail transmission would be greatly appreciated. The United States Government is now dispatching mail to American nationals in Japanese custody and mail from Japanese nationals in American custody by two routes: (1) by air from the United States to Tehran and thence by surface means to Japan via Moscow (2) by Soviet vessels plying the Pacific. The Japanese Foreign Office has indicated that mail sent from the United States via Tehran is arriving in Japan and has stated that it will route all mail destined for the United States and its possessions by way of Moscow and Tehran. Thus far, however, no mail has been received in the United States by the Tehran route.


[In telegram 388, January 23, to Bern, the Department requested that the Swiss Government express to the Japanese Government the grave concern of the United States Government concerning the treatment accorded to Americans detained at the Prisoner of War Camp, Kawasaki, No. 2, in Japan; for text, see Department of State Bulletin, September 9, 1945, page 349.]

  1. Marcel Junod, Chief of the Delegation to Japan of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Japanese Government’s acceptance of Dr. Junod’s appointment to this position was reported by the Chargé in Switzerland in telegram 7864, December 1, 1944 (800.142 /12–144).
  2. Francis B. James, Special Representative of the American Red Cross at Geneva.
  3. In telegram 820, February 23, midnight (711.94114A/1–1345), to Bern, the Department furnished the names of 5 Americans officially reported dead but known to be alive and 20 Americans not officially reported but known to be prisoners of war to “provide Junod with necessary examples that Japanese Government is not reporting names of prisoners of war in manner consistent with Articles 77 and 79 of Geneva Prisoners of War Convention”. (For text of Convention, see Foreign Relations, 1929, vol. i, p. 336.) In telegram 185, January 12, midnight, to Bern, the Department requested the Swiss Government to press the Japanese Government “to forward desired lists of American prisoners of war by camps in Japan and Japanese-occupied territory as well as a list of American prisoners of war who have died and their dates of death.” (711.-94114 A/1–1245)