The Acting Political Adviser in Japan (Sebald) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 1—10:39 a. m.]
A–28. During a discussion at a dinner given by Prince Takamatsu, second brother of Emperor Hirohito, which was attended by the Acting Political Adviser and an officer of this Mission, gratitude was expressed by the Prince for the magnificent effort made by the United [Page 664] States in repatriating Japanese from overseas and the hope expressed that those remaining in Soviet areas might be brought home speedily. Prince Takamatsu was conversant with the reason given by the Soviet Member of the Allied Council for Japan that repatriation was temporarily suspended because ports were ice-bound during the winter (this Mission’s despatch No. 10 of January 3, 1948 transmitting a letter from the Soviet Member of the Allied Council for Japan of December 24, 19471). He suggested that with spring the conditions which the Soviets had cited as the cause of the temporary suspension of repatriation would no longer exist and referred to the offer of the Supreme Commander to the Soviet Member of the Allied Council to complete repatriation from Soviet areas in five months (this Mission’s despatch No. 1363 of October 31, 1947, reporting the Forty-fourth Meeting of the Allied Council for Japan1). Prince Takamatsu, who has been active in various societies engaged in assisting the families of unrepatriated prisoners of war, stated that the many Japanese people concerned are increasingly anxious that their sons, husbands, and other relatives be repatriated and, because of the severity of conditions in Siberia during the winter hope that everything will be done to complete repatriation before another winter begins.