169. Telegram From the Embassy in Japan to the Department of State0

4020. CINCPAC and HICOMRYIS for POLADs. AmEmbassy Manila for Mr. Hagerty. Embtel 3969.1 According to Associated Press report Akira Iwai (Secretary-General of Sohyo General Council of Trade Unions) told press June 3 that Sohyo will stage “giant demonstration” in presence of James Hagerty, White House Press Secretary, during his visit to Japan next week. Iwai also told press that demonstrations during President’s visit are “likely” and said he is “still apprehensive that some physical violence may occur.”

Labor Ministry official June 3 commented on Iwai press statement by pointing out that Sohyo has been planning to hold “May Day-like” central rally in Tokyo sometime around June 11 (reference telegram). Iwai’s statement was probably designed to give specific target to that rally and attempt to contribute to general build-up of momentum of campaign during next three weeks. Ministry also informed Embassy June 3 that it has received report that several thousand Zengakuren (Federation of Student self-government associations) adherents planning to demonstrate at Haneda when Hagerty arrives. Sohyo Unions not expected to participate in that demonstration as organized element. Ministry attempting to confirm report on Zengakuren plans and will keep Embassy informed.

Re Iwai’s reference to possibility of violence during President’s visit, Embassy has been told by several Sohyo officials that orders against violent demonstrations against President will be issued to all Sohyo Unions. Zenro (Japanese Trade Union Congress) official and Labor Ministry officials TODU stated that violent demonstrations by unionists are unlikely, since unions estimate such acts would turn Japanese public irrevocably against union; all observers have remarked, however, that Zengakuren is always potential source of violence.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 894.062/6–460. Confidential. Repeated to Manila, COMUS/Japan, CINCPAC, and HICOMRYIS.
  2. Telegram 3969 from Tokyo, June 1, reported that Sohyo was energetically developing mass momentum for strikes and rallies against the security treaty and against the Kishi cabinet. (Ibid., 894.062/6–160) See Supplement.