SDHF Newsletter No.267 Open Letter To Japan National Archives No.2
Open Letter to the National Archives of Japan
Regarding the Special Internet Exhibit
“Diplomatic Negotiation between Japan and the United States”
March 4, 2020
On December 8, 2005, the National Archives of Japan opened an Internet Special Exhibit “Archives Reveal Diplomatic Negotiation between Japan and the United States”.
However, we did not find Study on Japan’s Diplomacy after the Opening of the War between Japan and the United States, authored by Professor Sugihara Seishiro, published in 1997 by Aki Shobo, among the many references. So, Prof. Sugihara sent a letter to Mr. Kato Takeo, Director of National Archives of Japan, who sent back reply letter as below:
Mr. Kato’s reply letter:
In the letter it is mentioned that “the staff responsible for this Web exhibit listed only those sources he directly referred to or used in writing an introduction and other explanations to the exhibit.”
Prof. Sugihara counters in his second letter:
“— regarding my book in question, which relates to Japan-U.S. diplomatic negotiation, the findings that I wrote in the book are very well known in the academic world and attracted much public attention at the time when this Web Exhibit opened in 2005.
In 2001, Mr. Iokibe Makoto, who later became President of the National Defense Academy of Japan, led a study concerning Japan’s intelligence capability before the War and revealed at a press conference a fact that he knew, for the first time, that Japan was successful in decoding U.S. diplomatic telegrams to certain extent, vying with the United States in intelligence warfare.
However, this historical fact was already stated in my book Study on Japan’s Diplomacy after the Opening of the War between Japan and the United States, published in 1997 (by Aki Shobo). —
When Mr. Iokibe announced the historical fact that Japan had decoded American diplomatic telegrams to a certain extent at a press conference, I was interviewed by the media about this “newly discovered” fact and I told them that this was not in fact “newly discovered”. My comments were widely reported in both national and local newspapers, with my book mentioned in those articles as well.”
It is apparent that the staff responsible for the Web exhibit did not know about Sugihara’s book but intentionally ignored it by some reasons. This is not the way for the neutral nature National Archives do, so this should be reconsidered.
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact