"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] President Kennedy's letter to Prime Minister Ikeda on the Cuban Missile Crisis

[Date] October 22, 1962
[Source] Nihon Gaiko Shuyo Bunsyo Nenpyo (2), pp. 424 - 425. Gaimusho shozoo bunsho.
[Full text]

October 22, 1962

Dear Prime Minister Ikeda:

I am asking Ambassador Reischauer to deliver to you personally a copy of a speech I am making tonight, concerning the dangerous development in Cuba and the action I have authorized.

The evidence that offensive nuclear missile bases have secretly been installed in Cuba by the Soviet Government is accurate beyond question. Moreover, extensive work is in progress for additional bases. Your Ambassador here will be briefed on the details. This Soviet action is being taken in direct contradiction of Mr. Khrushchev's statements, confirmed to me personally even a few days ago by Foreign Minister Gromyko, that only defensive weapons were being supplied Cuba.

You will recall that I stated publicly a month ago that "if at any time the Communist build-up in Cuba were to ... become an offensive military base of significant capacity for the Soviet Union, then this country would do whatever must be done to protect its own security and that of its allies." An immediate nuclear quarantine, therefore, is necessary to prevent further offensive missile installations by the Soviet Government in Cuba. I trust also that this action will lead to the elimination of the offensive missiles already in place.

I have told Mr. Khrushchev that I hope we can resume the path of peaceful negotiations. I am also requesting an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council. I have asked Ambassador Stevenson to present on behalf of the United States a resolution calling for the withdrawal of missile bases and other offensive weapons in Cuba under the supervision of the United Nations observers. This would make it possible for the United States to lift its quarantine. I hope that you will instruct your representative in New York to work actively with us and speak forthrightly in support of the above program in the United Nations .

The Department of State will keep your Ambassador informed of all developments.

John F. Kennedy