Japanese Antarctic Whaling.
We have received an extract from SCAP files of the log of action
taken in respect of the rehabilitation of Japanese Whaling. This
document was brought to Australia by an Australian who was working
in the relevant Division of the SCAP Natural Resources Section and
the information disclosed of which the more significant parts are
set out below must therefore be used with discretion. 
2. The subject of Antarctic Whaling by the Japanese was raised in
SCAP discussions at least as early as 8th April this year as a
result of informal soundings by Japan on SCAP attitude. It was
then decided that the Antarctic could be open to the Japanese but
only after a thorough study of the political and economic
implications had been made and concurrence obtained from
On 16th April SCAP sought War Department views by signal
indicating SCAP's favourable disposition towards the idea 'in view
of the world need for whale oil and meat and other whale
On 20th April the Ocean Fishing Company indicated to SCAP their
plans to convert a 10,000 ton tanker for use as a factory ship. It
is interesting to note that SCAP then warned them that such a
large vessel might be subject to seizure for reparations.
On 28th April War Department's reply to SCAP signal of 16th
indicated that proposal to allow limited Japanese activity would
possibly be favourably regarded by United States but stated
'Resumption of Whaling by Japanese will require International
On 16th May the State Department over Acheson's  signature
informed SCAP that they saw no objection on policy grounds subject
to 'provisions by World policy with respect to fisheries and
aquatic industries in Japan' and provided that whale oil produced
be subject to C.F.B.  allocation and approval was without
prejudice to future decision regarding disposition of vessels,
equipment and products. They asked for prompt advice if and when
SCAP approval was given.
When this message was received a member of the SCAP section
suggested that it might be advisable to seek concurrence of other
countries as some might object to early entry by Japanese into
whaling industry. It was ruled, however, that Washington signal
was virtual concurrence and that further concurrence from other
powers was unnecessary whether local representatives objected or
On the following day Japanese Bureau of Fisheries was asked by
SCAP to contact the three major Japanese whaling companies and to
arrange for them to prepare a joint formal petition to permit
resumption of Antarctic whaling.
On 19th May the tentative Japanese plan for seasons 1946/7 and
194[7/8]  was presented to SCAP and their final plan was
submitted on 8th June.
On 5th July SCAP gave formal approval for the release of two
vessels requested for the expedition.
On 16th July fuel requirements for the expedition were tabled.
On 27th July SCAP was advised that Norwegian Government considered
that Japan should be prohibited from future whaling and State
Department instructed SCAP to notify decision promptly.
On 1st August SCAP arranged to make Japanese authorities familiar
with amendments to the Whaling Convention.
On the same day the SCAP section concerned was informed that the
Commander-in-Chief did not want to submit the question to the
The SCAP directive authorising the project was issued on 6th
August.  Incorporated in the directive was an instruction that
'Each vessel will display in the usual manner the flag of the
Japanese Merchant Marine'.
On 12th August the Diplomatic section of SCAP provided verbally to
the SCAP Fisheries Division arguments to justify not presenting
the Whaling Directive to the Allied Council.
On 16th August the Japanese Government was instructed to place two
qualified inspectors on each factory ship.
3. The American action all through in this matter has been very
highhanded. It is clear that the issue of the SCAP authorisation
was not a hasty or ill-considered action. SCAP and the State
Department were fully conscious of the propriety of consulting
with other powers and deliberately decided to present them with a
fait accompli. MacArthur's personal decision to ignore the Allied
Council was also fully deliberate. Apparently the Americans
realised that their most effective counter to any subsequent
objection was the argument that MacArthur must not be allowed to
4. These facts should assist in furthering our case in relation to
present expedition. Failing that they will assist in insisting-
(a) That the Japanese will not be permitted to continue whaling in
the Antarctic after the 1946/47 expedition; and
(b) That Japanese whaling equipment will be made available as
In this connection you might consider it advisable immediately to
file claim or indicate intention to claim at least one of the
factory ships and some of the chasers as part of Australia's