894.414/3–2447: Telegram

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


68. Reference Department’s telegram 18, January 21.

It is believed that question of central archives in Japan should not become involved with the treatment of Japanese archives, consular and diplomatic archives, properties, et cetera, held in Allied custody outside Japan. Soviet comment would appear obvious attempt to obtain an entering wedge for interference in administration by seeking full access to Japanese Government offices.
Blanket authorization to make central archives to [of] Japanese Government available to four Allied Powers is impracticable. Archives have already been exploited by principally United States and British Technical Mission, viz.: strategic bomb survey; British Naval Technical Mission; United States Naval Technical Mission; [apparent garble] Washington Document Center; War Department Intelligence Target Division; the record of large shipments is reported separately. Dissemination of information can only be made on basis of policy and [Page 195] definitive limitations expressed in War Department radios WX 78417, October 26, 1945, reaffirmed in WX 95147, July 24, 1946. Control and surveillance of contacts of foreign missions with Japanese Government, scrutiny and approval of inquiries and research in Japanese archives will place an undue burden on the limited personnel of SCAP.
Recommend that entire question be fully discussed and coordinated with War Department representatives who are familiar with present situation regarding Japanese central archives. Some archives have already been largely depleted as a result of Japanese destruction or result of bombing or shipment of large numbers of documents to Washington Document Center. Making available these incomplete files will prove embarrassing to the United States. Statistics on present status of archives contained Nr. 67, March 22.51
  1. Not printed.