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In World War II, Japan and the European Axis powers had to communicate over strategy and other things. Also, their diplomats must have had to go to their own countries sometimes. After the USSR entered the war, how was this done? Was this not a major problem for the Axis Powers?

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Underwater telephone cables, coded radio messages, etc. –  American Luke Oct 7 '12 at 19:35
@Luke Since all these things could easily be disrupted by the enemy powers, how safe was this? And what about traveling? –  Arani Oct 7 '12 at 20:13
Radios were encrypted. Underwater telephone cables were less safe, but were difficult to find. –  American Luke Oct 7 '12 at 20:29
@Luke: Do you have any reference that there has ever been an Axis-controlled underwater cable route between Germany and Japan? –  nic Oct 9 '12 at 3:45
Not between Germany and Japan, but between Hong Kong and Saigon and Hong Kong and Singapore. Read Operations Sabre and Foil here. –  American Luke Oct 27 '12 at 23:17

1 Answer 1

Diplomats enjoy certain immunities. When accredited as such, they can travel in "enemy territory" without interference (unless declared persona non grata), and only the least "civilized" countries will violate the sanctity and privacy of diplomatic pouches.

It was much easier for Japanese diplomats to travel through the Soviet Union than for German diplomats, because technically, the Soviet Union and Japan were at peace, even though their respective allies were at war with the other. Hence, most of the communication between the Axis powers in World War II was done through Japanese diplomats based in Europe.

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Was this not harmful to the Allied war effort? If so, why did the other Allied countries not object to this? –  Arani Oct 13 '12 at 19:28
Do you have sources? –  American Luke Oct 13 '12 at 21:05
@Luke: One account of Axis diplomatic relations is found in "Marching Orders," by Bruce Lee. alibris.com/booksearch?qwork=4180927 –  Tom Au Oct 27 '12 at 22:12
@Arani: America's Secretary of State, Henry L. Stimson famously said, "Gentlemen do not read each other's mail." He refused to open, or allow the opening of intercepted Japanese cables that would have warned the U.S. about Pearl Harbor. –  Tom Au Jan 9 at 16:11

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