The “Magic” Background of Pearl Harbor, Vol. III (Excerpt)

From The “Magic” Background of Pearl Harbor, Vol. III (August 6, 1941–October 17, 1941), Department of Defense, United States of America, 1977, pp.  161-62.


(c) Japanese-Philippine Relations

249. Consul Kihara Discusses Plight of Japanese Nationals with President Manuel Quezon
To present the problem of obtaining protection for Japanese residents in the event of war between the United States and Japan, the Japanese Consul to Manila, Mr. Jitaro Kihara, called on Mr. Manuel Quezon, President of the Philippine government. When the Japanese Consul said that he would appreciate being advised of any plans which had been drawn up in this respect, President. Quezon replied that Japanese residents might be forced to experience considerable hardships, depending upon the character of the person selected as the Commander-in-Chief of the Far Eastern forces. Although he had experienced many anxious moments concerning the situation, the appointment of General Douglas MacArthur had dispelled his worries, President Quezon said, for he felt that they could work together in harmony. He had not been able to get along with High Commissioner Francis B. Sayre.

President Quezon pointed out, however, that if war did actually come, he and his Cabinet would be subordinated to the United States. In a recent conference with General MacArthur, he had stated that he was particularly interested in giving foreign residents every possible protection. President Quezon believed that it was quite possible that the United States would deem it necessary to place those persons in concentration camps. Jitaro Kihara then declared that as long as the Japanese nationals were not subjected to undue pressure, they would cause no trouble for they had been urged to remain calm and patient. Because of American propaganda and the anti-Japanese attitude of the general public, however, he could not guarantee that the Japanese residents would not take some measures to defend themselves, if war should break out. 

250. Consul Kihara Plans to Protect Japanese in Case of War
According to a tentative plan advanced by Consul Kihara, Japanese residents should be congregated in school, business and club buildings to facilitate their protection by the Philippine officers. President Quezon agreed with Mr. Kihara that such a plan would be mutually beneficial and added, that until the termination of the hypothetical war, or until the Japanese forces took the area over, there was need to store about six months supply of food for these people. President Quezon said that he would again confer with General MacArthur on this subject. 

United States Government
Author: United States Government

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