694.0031/1–2847: Circular airgram

The Secretary of State to Diplomatic and Consular Officers 14

Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers has requested assistance of US State Department in ascertaining trade possibilities between Japan and other countries, especially those not now represented in Tokyo by official Liaison Missions and trade representatives. SCAP now preparing Japanese import and export programs for fiscal year 1948. Governments should be advised that trade with Japan will be greatly facilitated if information regarding trade possibilities, including some indication of quantities of particular commodities desired from or available for sale to Japan, is available to Tokyo before these programs are in final form.

[Page 168]

[Here follow lists of commodities which were among those tentatively scheduled for export and for import, respectively, during fiscal year 1948.]

For information regarding the procedures to be followed by third countries in trading with Japan please refer to the Department’s circular airgram of July 2, 1946.15 There has been no substantial change in policies and procedures outlined therein. Pending establishment of procedures under which participation by private individuals and corporations in Japanese foreign trade may be authorized (which will be as soon as conditions permit) exports from and imports to Japan may be arranged in any of three ways outlined under A, B, C, below:
Through duly authorized buying and selling agencies of interested governments. It should be emphasized, however, that it is neither desire nor intention of SCAP to encourage governments to establish new purchasing agencies or to engage in governmental bulk procurement of Japanese goods. It is entirely possible for governments to limit their relationship to Japanese trade to Liaison activities as described in B, below. Such agencies may maintain Liaison with SCAP either through
An accredited Liaison Mission and trade representative in Tokyo.
Accredited Liaison Mission of some other government which is willing to render this service, or
Direct correspondence either by Postal service or telegraph.
Through agencies, departments, or ministries of interested governments which are authorized to maintain Liaison with SCAP on trade matters. Such departments or ministries need not act as buyers from or sellers to Japan; they need only sponsor and endorse buyers and sellers of their respective countries and take specified responsibilities in connection with export or import transactions involving their countries. Such departments or ministries may maintain Liaison with SCAP in one of three ways specified under A, above.
Through U.S. Commercial Company. If a government does not care to make use of services of an authorized buying agency or a department authorized to sponsor and endorse transactions between a sales agency of Japanese Government and nationals of its own country, USCC, an agency of the U.S. Government, is prepared to act as an intermediary. Private firms and individuals in such countries may negotiate imports and exports through USCC, subject of course to pertinent import, export, and exchange regulations. Such firms should communicate with USCC in Washington D.C. either through regular diplomatic or consular channels or directly.
Government to which you are accredited should be advised of these policies and procedures. If such government designates a department, ministry, or other agency through which its nationals may [Page 169] negotiate sales and purchases with SCAP, that government should so inform Department, SCAP, and general public. Thereafter either authorized agency or SCAP may initiate correspondence directly with other and begin flow of inquiries and information which necessarily precede trade transactions. In event a government prefers to have all or most negotiations relating to trade with Japan handled by having its nationals deal through US Commercial Company, Department, SCAP and general public should be informed to this effect.
A government which maintained a diplomatic or consular mission in Japan before war or which can reasonably anticipate a considerable volume of trade with Japan during next few years but which has not yet established a Liaison Mission or trade representative in Tokyo should be advised that an inquiry regarding possibility of sending missions and trade representatives to Tokyo should be addressed to Department either through you (in which event you should forward to Washington and Tokyo simultaneously) or through its Washington Mission. All such requests will be forwarded to SCAP, who has responsibility of determining when arrangements can be made to accommodate additional missions.
It should be explained in your approach to United Nations governments to which you may be accredited that the above information and facilities are provided by your Government with two objects in mind: to make available in world trade Japanese export products previously in demand abroad, and to reduce the burden of the occupation by placing Japan as soon as possible on a self-sustaining basis through the revival of trade in peace time goods. Preference in the revival of Japanese economy and trade over the economies and trade of United Nations is neither desired nor intended.
  1. Correspondence in reply to this circular not printed.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. viii, p. 264.