Publication Details

Ward, R. G. (2015). The Asia-Pacific War and the failed Second Anglo-Japanese Civilian Exchange, 1942-45. Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 13 (11), 1-9.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Asia-Pacific Journal – Japan Focus


The proposed 2nd Anglo-Japanese civilian exchange, originally planned for October 1942, never eventuated partly due to differences in the interpretations of what constitutes a merchant seaman and views on whether the Hague Convention should apply. The failure of the exchange meant that over 3,000 Japanese and British civilian internees as well as another 2,000 or so Japanese and American civilian internees remained in internment camps until at least August 1945. At the heart of the negotiations were 331 Japanese pilots and pearl divers who had been employed in the pearling industry until the outbreak of war. The impasse would impact attempts at civilian exchange involving multiple powers throughout the Asia-Pacific War.