740.00116 P.W./7–3045

The Swiss Chargé (Grässli) to the Secretary of State

The Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of Switzerland in charge of Japanese interests presents his compliments to the Honorable the Secretary of State and has the honor to quote the text of a cable just received from abroad:

“The Japanese Government has called the attention of the United States Government to the indiscriminate bombing of Naha City carried out by United States airplanes on 10th October, 1944,82 and in particular to the deliberate inhuman wounding and killing of a large number of innocent civilians. And in view of the fundamental principles of humanity and the guiding principles of international law which should none the less be adhered to even in time of war, the Japanese Government has presented an emphatic protest to the United States Government and demanded from it an immediate reply setting forth its views regarding such indiscriminate bombing. The Japanese Government has not yet received any reply from the United States Government. No sign of any serious attention on the part of the United States Government to the above-mentioned Japanese protest is seen; but on the contrary, in subsequent air raids on Japan proper the United States air forces have concentrated their attacks on non-military objectives. Especially the attacks made by United States airplanes on Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, Yokkaichi, and many other cities since the 25th February this year, when judged from the method of attack could not but be regarded as having been exclusively aimed at the wounding and killing of innocent civilians. In these attacks the United States planes deliberately bombed such absolutely non-military objectives, as shrines, temples, schools, hospitals, and densely populated residential quarters and reduced them to ashes. They slaughtered [Page 472]an innumerable number of women, children, and aged people, and scenes of disaster presented were simply shocking.

“The Japanese Government strongly condemns these cruel inhuman and indiscriminate bombings carried out by United States airplanes as violations of the principles of humanity and the rules of international law, and solemnly protests against same to the United States Government. While reserving all rights and freedom of action relating to the matter, the Japanese Government demands of the United States Government its responsible reply.”

The Chargé d’Affaires ad interim has been requested to cable the date of this notification and would, therefore, greatly appreciate it if the Honorable the Secretary of State would refer this matter to the appropriate American authorities for consideration.

  1. See memorandum 251, Ex. 150.000, December 11, 1944, from the Spanish Embassy, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. v, p. 1169.