894.628/1–1847: Telegram

The Political Adviser in Japan (Atcheson) to the Secretary of State

us urgent

13. Reourtel 3, January 4.12 Following comments concerning proposed FEC 035/1 Jap fishing, whaling and pearl fishing are offered with recommendation that US strongly resist efforts of Australian representative to have this paper adopted.

Present SCAP policy re fisheries is governed by FEC 035 and SWNNC 99/3. It does not appear that any change to this policy under prevailing conditions in Japan is warranted. Present administration of Jap fisheries results in interim actions only and no precedent for permanent rights is thereby established or contemplated. Existing directives cover every contingency which might affect security of marine industries of Allied countries. These industries are adequately and reasonably protected.

Proposed appropriations by FEC of administrative responsibility in fishing and whaling appears to be unwarranted reflection upon past and present administration by SCAP whose decisions have not prejudiced Allied security or economy in slightest measure. Proposed changes ignore humanitarian considerations by practically insuring reduced marine production when world overall food shortage promises to remain acute. US has a vital stake in augmenting this food supply as demonstrated by burden which Jap shortages of food has placed upon US alone. Also mandatory reference to FEC will unduly hamper and complicate fishery administration by causing lengthy and costly delays when emergency action is required.

Detailed comments on objectionable paragraphs in proposed FEC 035/1 follows:

Fishing and whaling operations, subject to security considerations, are being carried out in defined area at present. Effective supervision [Page 165] of Jap fishing and whaling industries requires timely decisions to take advantage of fluctuations in fish and whale occurrences and insure efficient use distribution available fishing equipment.
Would make it mandatory for SCAP to request an amendment if for any reason a change were desired. Amendment might require months of negotiation and needlessly complicate administrative process in Japan. Authorization of fishing in present area under existing directives is specifically stated in Scapin 1033 not to be an expression of Allied policy relative to ultimate determination of national jurisdiction or fishing rights should be peace treaty matter and that FEC decision present time would in fact again merely amount to an interim measure.
3 (a) and 3 (b)
Same comments as above.
Would preclude exploitation whale occurrences in Bonin Island area. These islands are too distant from Japan to permit use of Jap shore stations. Experts here estimate that approximately 300 whales may be taken annually in Bonin Island area by operating factory ships, a catch which can ill be spared at time of critical world shortages. In addition humanitarian principles of augmenting supply of protein foods in Japan (as well as world supply of fats and oils) cannot be over-looked. It is felt here that Australian proposal undoubtedly in part arises out of present SCAP-administered and Japmanned Antarctic whaling project. As the Department is aware, however, this whaling fleet was dispatched as an emergency measure, was authorized for one season only, and no precedent for future authorization was intended or implied.
No comment.

In summation, it is felt that adoption by FEC of policy contemplated in FEC 035/1 would be tantamount to placing undue restriction upon administrative processes which are inherent in SCAP authority. Existing directives already amply protect interests of all Allied Nations, including Australia, and proposed changes would appear to result in “tinkering” with the administration of present satisfactory policy, thereby adding unnecessary confusion and restriction which precedent indicates are unnecessary and unwarranted.

  1. Not printed.