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Heinrich Georg Stahmer
From left to right: Chief of the Reich Chancellery Hans Lammers, Japanese Foreign Minister Yōsuke Matsuoka, Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel and Stahmer at a meeting in Berlin on 28 March 1941.
Born (1892-05-03)May 3, 1892
Hamburg, Germany
Died June 13, 1978(1978-06-13) (aged 86)
Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Nationality German
Occupation Diplomat
Years active 1936-1945
Military career
Allegiance  German Empire
Service/branch Imperial German Army
Unit Flying Corps
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Iron Cross

Heinrich Georg Stahmer (3 May 1892 in Hamburg, Germany – 13 June 1978 in Vaduz, Liechtenstein) was a German diplomat and economist by training who was in charge of German–Japanese relations at the German Foreign Ministry. He was an aide to Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (1938–1940), special envoy to Japan and ambassador to the pro-Japanese Reorganized National Government of China in occupied Nanjing (1940–1943), before becoming German Ambassador to Japan (1943–1945).

A native of Hamburg, Stahmer fought during World War I and earned both classes of Iron Cross.

Diplomatic career[]

In 1936, Stahmer took part in the negotiations for the Anti Comintern Pact between the German and the Japanese governments.

Throughout 1940, he worked for a German-Japanese alliance treaty, and on August 13, 1940, was able to notify the Japanese Embassy in Berlin about the decision to conclude such a treaty.[1] In September 1940, he took part in the negotiations leading to the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact.[2] Following the conclusion of the pact, Stahmer was sent to his next mission in Tokyo.

Stahmer with Wang Jingwei, the president of the pro-Japanese Nanjing regime.

In October 1941, Stahmer was appointed as German ambassador to the Chinese reorganized national government under Wang Jingwei, established in Nanjing by the Japanese occupation,[3] and remained in that position until late 1942. According to Japanese diplomatic cables, Stahmer was "excited" for his new posting as ambassador to China, a posting which was confirmed by Hitler, and that he would seek to act in accordance with both Germany's interests and those of the Japanese government during his tenure in China.[4]

In January 1943, he was appointed ambassador to Japan, and arrived in Tokyo from Nanjing on January 28, 1943. He remained in that position until the end of the war. On May 5, 1945, as the German surrender was approaching, Stahmer was handed an official protest by Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo, accusing the German government of betraying its Japanese ally.[5] Following the surrender of the German government, the Japanese government broke off diplomatic relations with the German Reich on May 15, 1945, and Stahmer was interned and kept under arrest in a hotel near Tokyo until the Japanese surrender in August 1945.[6]

On September 10, 1945, following the Japanese surrender, he was placed under arrest by U.S. authorities in Sugamo Prison in Tokyo, and in September 1947 was returned to Germany, where he was interned until September 1948.

Following his release, Stahmer became involved in business with Japanese companies. He died in 1978 at Vaduz, Liechtenstein.


  1. "Department of History". Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  2. US Ambassador to Japan (Joseph C. Grew) to the Secretary of State, September 19, 1940 Foreign Relations of the United States 1940, vol. I, pp. 647–648. For a brief postwar US intelligence report on Stahmer, US Political Adviser in Japan (George Atcheson Jr.) to the Secretary of State, May 31, 1946 Foreign Relations of the United States 1946, Vol. VIII, pp. 432–434
  3. US Consul in Shanghai to the Secretary of State, November 9, 1941 Foreign Relations of the United States 1941, vol. V, pp. 870–872
  4. The MAGIC Background of Pearl Harbor. Department of Defense, Volume 3, pp. A-557–A-559
  5. Togo Shigenori, The Cause of Japan, translated and edited by Togo Fumihiko and Ben Bruce Blakeney, (New York, 1956) p. 275
  6. George H. Johnston, "150 Axis Diplomats in Tokyo" The Argus, September 11, 1945 (Australian newspaper which appeared in Melbourne)

Further reading[]

  • Heinrich Stahmer, "Germany and Japan" The XXth Century, Feb. 1943 (journal published in Shanghai) [1]

External links[]

  • Time article mentioning Stahmer's nomination as Ambassador to Japan [2].
  • Dickinson Magazine article on the German Embassy in Japan under Stahmer [3].
  • Article about the Stahmer mission to Tokyo in September 1940 (in Japanese) [4]
  • "Heinrich Georg Stahmer and Hiroshi Ōshima", Nippon News, No. 18. in the official website of NHK.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Eugen Ott
German Ambassador to Japan
Succeeded by
position terminated following German surrender
Preceded by
Recognition transferred to the Nanjing regime
Oskar Trautmann (Chiang Kai-shek's government)
German Ambassador to China
(Nanjing regime)

Succeeded by
Ernst Wörmann

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