124 Mr Masatoshi Akiyama, Japanese Consul-General in Sydney, to Sir Henry Gullett, Minister for External Affairs

Letter SYDNEY, 27 July 1939

With reference to the conversation that I had with you last Saturday morning (July 22nd), I have the honour, under instructions of the Japanese Government, to transmit to you, for the information of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia, the following official report by the Japanese authorities on the inspection and searching of British nationals:-

1. In the inspection or searching of British nationals in Tientsin, the Japanese authorities have never had, nor have they, any thought of discriminating between British and any other Third Power nationals. When searching is carried out, it is inevitable that there are those whose behaviour is sometimes very arrogant and insolent, resulting on some occasions in misunderstanding on the part of the Japanese soldiers who make the search.

2. The allegation that the manner of searching is insulting to British nationals is groundless. The Japanese authorities are discreet, especially as regards the women, in whose case searching has been carried out by women police, who search only from the outside, although in some cases, for men and women alike, a closer inspection has been found necessary. There has been absolutely no case at all where a person has been stripped of his or her clothing.

3. It goes without saying that there has not been the slightest intention of stopping the supply of food or other daily necessities for the Concession. The transportation of food supplies and other necessary goods into the Concession is almost entirely carried on by Chinese. Not only are their numbers very great, but among them are some who object to the searching, which naturally results in a closer inspection and some delay.

4. All the above facts are gradually becoming known to the general public, and it is understood that there is no trouble at all, even though the same methods of investigation are still being carried on.

M. AKIYAMA

[AA: A981, JAPAN 101, ii]