The Department of State to the Swiss Legation
The Department of State acknowledges the receipt of a memorandum dated October 8, 1945 (Ref. No. IX–11) from the Legation of Switzerland30 in charge of Japanese interests in the United States except Hawaii, presenting various questions concerning the eventual reunion of Japanese internees with their relatives in relocation centers for subsequent repatriation to Japan.
It has always been the policy of the War Relocation Authority and the Department of Justice in so far as possible to keep Japanese family units intact. As a result of this policy very few Japanese family units now interned are broken. An exception to this rule does exist, however, in the case of certain Japanese nationals removed from the [Page 442] Tule Lake Relocation Center as a consequence of their efforts to disturb the peace of that community.
The Legation will understand that the logistic problem of repatriating Japanese is a serious one and that the difficulties involved will probably preclude the reunion of some individuals with their family units before their departure from this country.
The Department is unable to confirm the oral statement accredited to an official of this Department to the effect that repatriation of persons who are, or have been held, in relocation centers is no longer under consideration in view of the fact that with the termination of the war an end has been made to the exchanges of American against Japanese civilians.33 The Legation is correct in its understanding that the termination of hostilities has rendered unnecessary negotiations for the exchange of American against Japanese nationals. As the matter now stands, policy with regard to the repatriation of Japanese nationals who are, or have been, accommodated in relocation centers has not been definitely determined and repatriation in a particular case will probably be governed by the circumstances surrounding that case.34
- Not printed.↩
- For documentation on efforts by the United States to arrange a third exchange of American and Japanese nationals, see pp. 419 ff.↩
- A further memorandum on this subject was sent to the Swiss Legation on November 5. It stated: “The American authorities working on the plans for the repatriation of Japanese nationals are endeavoring in every way practicable to keep family units together and to reunite the few units which have been broken. It is probable that the men who were removed from the Tule Lake Relocation Center because of their efforts to disturb the peace of that community will be permitted to rejoin their families at the port of departure. It should be understood that the practical difficulties in carrying out repatriation operations at this time will be many and that there may be exceptions to the general policy mentioned above because of these practical considerations,” (740.00115 PW/10–845)↩