1939 issued visa by a Japanese Diplomat - Our Passports
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  • Saburō Kurusu issued visa from 1939
  • Mozambique exchange of Allied and Enemy personnel passport image

1939 issued visa by a Japanese Diplomat

Mozambique exchange of Allied and Enemy personnel.



It’s not every day that one can admire a visa placed inside a passport. The image here is of a Japanese visa that was issued in Nazi Germany, hand written visa and singed with the applied red chop. The visa was made out by special envoy to Germany Japanese senior diplomat Saburō Kurusu (来栖三郎), born on March 6, 1886 – April 7, 1954.


After entering the Foreign Service, he served in various locations in South America and Europe.  He served in the 1930’s in Belgium, Peru, Italy and Germany (1939-1940). Later on that year he even singed the infamous Tripartite Pact for Japan with Germany, together with the foreign ministers of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy (September 27, 1940). His status rose when he was dispatched to the US, to Washington, as a “special envoy” for Imperial Japan, to assist in the stalled peace talks between the two countries. Negotiations continued between all sides right up to Pearl Harbor.


Saburō Kurusu was interned at Virginia, at Hot Springs. He was sent off to Mozambique in June of 1942, where an exchange of diplomatic & civilian personnel took place. Several vessels participated in the exchange: MS Gripsholm (US chartered), TSS Conte (Italian liner) and the Asama Maru (Nippon Yusen Kaisha – Japanese).


After the war the Allies decided not to prosecute him, and he died at the age of 68, always maintaining that he had no idea of the plans for Pearl Harbor.


Added images of the visa and sample stamp inside a passport that was applied during the arrival at Mozambique for the exchange.




Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.

Neil Kaplan
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