From: Batavia (Isizawa)
September 2, 1941
Re the first part of Circular #261 [a] from Ambassador HONDA.
1. Conditioned by our military invasion of French Indo-China, it is a fact that the government of these islands has drastically stepped up their anti-Japanese tendencies and very evidently assumed an attitude of aid to China. This is evidenced by the unconvincing control exercised by the authorities here over the anti-Japanese editorials of the Chinese press, the solicitation of funds for the construction of military airplanes for Chungking among Chinese resident here, and their demand for suspension of publication of the Japanese-operated East India Daily News Chinese character edition, as well as the Malayan language magazine Sinarusuratan. However, on the other hand, in order that we may give a sufficiently clear picture of the situation, there is a small group of Chinese resident here whose anti-Japanese tendencies have slightly improved as a result of the activities of the government here. However, no sooner than they got the impression that these Chinese were coming slightly closer to us in feeling, it could be seen that they began to exercise their old tendencies on a still greater scale. Japanese who had good contacts with Chinese here were unmercifully exiled, and these Chinese friends were hauled unceremoniously to the police stations for questioning or possibly taken before the person in charge of Chinese affairs here. It has been anonymously reported that a statement has been made that they are in danger of their lives. Thus they have begun to hinder our schemes with regard to the Chinese with more and more determination.
2. Therefore, when an excellent opportunity presented itself, I deliberately took the occasion to exchange arguments on the Sino-Japanese incident with the Chief of the Far Eastern Section, RO [b], who is chiefly in charge, within the government circles, of the handling of the Chinese question. At that time, the fundamental points of his argument relating to the Chinese question here, I am giving below for your information.
(a) "I have lived in China many, many years. In addition, since my return to the Netherlands East Indies ten years ago, I have gradually come into repute in my handling of the Chinese question. I think I am pretty well aware of matters having to do with the Chinese, but the fact that Japan has set up the Nanking regime and is very anxious to overthrow the regime of CHIANG KAI-SHEK is I think, extremely foolhardy and has slight chance of success. I personally cannot condone Japan's effort to beguile the Chinese masses from CHIANG KAI-SHEK through the establishment of the Nanking Government made up of second-rate or worse individuals. There is no more logical course for Japan to follow in the settlement of the China incident than to reach a compromise with CHIANG KAI-SHEK. This is my firm belief.
(b) "Though it is said that there are practically no Chinese living here in the Netherlands East Indies who support the Nanking Government, this is actually no exaggeration. All Chinese here give their support to CHIANG KAI-SHEK. Furthermore, the Dutch Government recognizes the CHIANG regime, and because she does not
recognize the Nanking regime, it can be clearly seen that the Netherlands Government entertains the same convictions.
(c) "WANG CHING-WEI, who heads the Nanking Government is sold on the Asia doctrine. He advocates Sino-Japanese peace. His fundamental policy is the expulsion of the white man from East Asia. It is but natural that the Netherlands East Indies Government should oppose this theory. Therefore the consequent reaction here is the decision to follow a course of seeing to it that the Chinese on these islands are not swept off their feet.
(d) "At the present time, martial law has been put into effect on these islands, and everything is on a wartime footing. The people are united, and in order that the Netherlands home government might be restored, they are ready to fight. The 1,500,000 Chinese resident here on these islands are an important and integral part of the society of the Netherlands Indies. Their well-being greatly affects the peace, order, and economic livelihood of all living on these islands. Therefore, the Netherlands Indies authorities have definitely decided to follow a policy of unequivocally crushing out political schemes from abroad directed toward the Chinese resident here."
3. Having said all this, I endeavored to refute him with all the strength that I could command. RO, however, would not be convinced and adamantly stuck to his statements. Not only is the situation like this, but recently the fact that the police strength on these islands has been greatly augmented has made it extremely difficult for us to carry on our schemes toward the Chinese resident here. As a consequence, the situation practically means that we can do nothing directly. Therefore, I would like to have our organs here for the manipulation of public opinion as well as those who work in the development of our schemes remain passive for a little while. For the time being, we are concentrating our efforts in the collection of intelligences having to do with the activities of Chinese here as we as other things.
4. Therefore, in the meantime, until we have securely brought French Indo-China and Thai within our sphere of influence, I think that it would be most propitious for us to strengthen our schemes with regard to the Chinese here. For this purpose I would like to have sent to these islands influential persons in whom the Nanking Government has much confidence, who can command large numbers of followers among the Chinese here, who will have for their main objective the preaching of the doctrine that the Chinese and the Japanese are one, as well as set up organizations to influence Chinese opinion. These men would have absolutely no relations with either this office or with Japanese persons but would meet in large and small group and talk with influential Chinese as well as substantial individuals of that group here.
Please transmit this message to Ambassador HONDA in China an to other competent diplomatic officials to whom this information, in your good judgment, might be usable.
Army 21816 Trans. 9/4/41 (7)
[a] Not available.
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)