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The Pacific War and the Occupation of Japan

Series Two: The O'Ryan Mission to Japan and Occupied China, 1940 The Whitney Diary; Correspondence and Papers of Dr Whitney, General O'Ryan and other members of the Economic and Trade Mission

The O'Ryan Mission to Japan and Occupied China in 1940 was an important economic and cultural exchange between the USA and Japan a year before Pearl Harbor. 

General John F O'Ryan and two economists - Warren Hunsberger and Simon Whitney - travelled extensively through Japan and Japanese-occupied China and Korea, visiting Yokohama, Tokyo, Kobe, Shimoseki, Seoul, Mukden, Harbin, Manchuria, North China and Central China.  Even though they were accompanied by chaperones from the Japan Economic Federation they were able to size up the ambitions of military and political elite and were able to talk to a wide variety of business leaders and local residents.  We include:

  • the original typescript diary of Dr Simon N Whitney;
  • the correspondence and papers of Dr Whitney, Dr Hunsberger, General O’Ryan and other members of the Economic and Trade Mission.

There are records of meetings with Matsuoka Yôsuke, Japanese Foreign Minister; Wang Ching-wei, President in Nanking; Ayukawa Gisuke, founder of Nissan and President of the Manchuria Heavy Industry Development Corporation; and Ishibashi Tanzan, editor of the Oriental Economic Journal and later Prime Minister.

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