Major General J. H. Hilldring and Captain H. L. Pence to the Director of the Office of European Affairs (Dunn)

Dear Mr. Dunn: Pursuant to our recent discussions, there is transmitted herewith an inclosure enumerating some of the fundamental questions which confront us in the planning, training and organization for civil affairs administration in Japan Proper, the Mandated Islands, and the countries occupied by Japan. It is requested that we be furnished with the recommendations and advice of the State Department for consideration in connection with our future planning for such civil affairs administration. The inclosed memorandum is not to be considered as embracing all the questions which are or may become inherent in the future occupation of Japan.

It is recognized that the State Department cannot at this time answer all questions posed in the memorandum. It will be appreciated, however, if the State Department will furnish these offices with its advice seriatim as the answers thereto become fully or partially available. It will also be of invaluable aid to us if the State Department will from time to time transmit such additional information or policy advice as may be indicated in its continuing or progressive consideration of these or any other questions of which the State Department will be cognizant.


J. H. Hilldring

Major General, USA Director, Civil Affairs Division
H. L. Pence

Captain, USN Officer-in-Charge Occupied Areas Section

Memorandum Prepared in the War and Navy Departments

Preliminary Political and Policy Questions Bearing on Civil Affairs Planning for the Far East and Pacific Areas

The War and Navy Departments are engaged in the planning, training, and organization for civil affairs administration in Japan and its possessions or occupied lands. The advice and recommendations of the State Department will be of invaluable aid in the formulation [Page 1191] of the necessary military decisions. At the outset, certain basic questions arise:
What territories should be subjected to Civil Affairs Administration (hereinafter abbreviated as CAA)?
Should such administration be conducted by the United Nations or will it be solely by the United States? In the latter case, the Army and Navy, through the Joint Chiefs of Staff can readily make the necessary allocations of areas of responsibility on a purely military basis, but the State Department may have a special interest therein, as, for example, with reference to Karafuto (vis-à-vis the Russians) and in the mandated islands as to any residual League of Nations interest.
Should the administration be punitive, mild, or primarily to safeguard reparations?
Does the American Government have any long-range policies for the postwar period which will in any manner influence the near-term conduct of CAA during the last phase of military operations and during the early phase of actual military occupation?
The foregoing questions cannot be posed effectively as mere generalities. They must be related to specific areas and specific commitments or operations functions. Broadly, the areas over which the United States Army and Navy forces may operate can be divided into groups as follows:
Enemy country—Japan proper and its long integrated possessions such as Korea, Formosa and Manchukuo.
Mandated islands—held by Japan under League of Nations trusteeship.
Liberated countries—territory presently occupied by the enemy but belonging to the powers of the United Nations such as China and the Netherlands and France (though France is not one of the United Nations).
Neutral countries—lands overrun by the enemy but owned by countries which are not at war, such as Timor owned by the Portuguese; and Thailand against whom the United States has not declared war although the present puppet government of Thailand has announced a declaration of war against the United States and Britain.
Japan proper. For present planning purposes, Japan proper is being considered as embracing the four present islands, but not including Korea and Manchukuo. In this area the authority of the military commander will be absolute and will stem by operation of international law, and as such, he will be limited only by directive to him from the Joint or Combined Chiefs of Staff. In any case, the following problems, among others, will be presented:
Will all of Japan be occupied? If so, what should be the manner of occupation?
What countries should participate in such occupation?
What should be the nature of occupation? Should it be by zones or by one supreme council of interested United Nations membership?
Should the exercise of the powers of the present existing government be suspended?
Are there any political agencies or political parties of the enemy country with whom we can deal to assist in the restoration of essential authority in Japan and in its subsequent administration?
Are there any political parties, organizations or groups in enemy country that should be dissolved? If so, which ones?
Are there any obnoxious laws that should be nullified? If so, what are they?
Should we permit freedom of worship in view of the position and status of the Japanese church and religion—Shintoism? Advice is requested as to the proper course insofar as the church, personnel, and property are concerned.
What will be the status of the Emperor? Will he be removed both as an individual and as an institution? Will the individual be removed but the institution preserved? Will both remain? If so, under what measure of control?
Should the Japanese Government be supervised at only the national and prefectual levels? Should control of the lower echelons of the native government be through inspectors rather than supervisory officials?
What will be the duration of the CAA and will it be followed by a control commission?
Should the military government take any steps to effect the enemy recall of diplomatic and consular officials?
What particular steps should be taken in regard to the employer, the head of government and cabinet ministers who are or may not be war criminals?
There are certain problems the solution of which will require guidance from the policy making departments of the U.S. government. Those problems deal with problems of currency stabilization and banking, taxes, payment of pensions, obligations of the enemy country and interests thereon.
Should the various labor employee-employer organizations be permitted? What, if any, labor union activities can be tolerated? To what extent should the Japanese labor laws concerning courts and labor exchanges be abolished, modified or changed?
Should unemployment insurance, relief and public works be continued?
It will be desirable to inform the people of Japan concerning the purposes of military government. What special statements should be included in any proclamations to be issued by the military commander?
Who should participate in military government—the British? Chinese? Dutch? Free French? USSR (if the Soviets enter the Far East war)?
Will the conceivable interest of the Soviets in southern Sakhalin (Karafuto) affect the nature and extent of the control in this area? In any event, if the USSR participates in the Far East war, will Karafuto become a special and exclusive concern of the Soviets?
Mandated islands. The United States Senate did not ratify the League of Nations covenant.75 Inherent in the situation are certain questions:
Does Japan’s violation of her international trusteeship carry any special implications for CAA?
Does the League of Nations have any residual rights in the mandated islands which must be subserved by the military occupant?
Are all Japanese personnel (military and civilian) to be evacuated from the mandated islands?
Liberated countries. There is unanimous opinion that in enemy country the authority of the military commander is theoretically absolute, but there are limitations in free or neutral countries as to the status, jurisdiction, and arrangements for CAA. Therefore, it will be necessary to explore the form and subjects of agreements (if any) with the Netherlands, China, and French Committee. So far as concerns liberated territory of the U. S. and U. K., it has been agreed that the governments concerned will prepare the necessary directives for CAA.
Neutral countries. Timor is a possession of Portugal, a neutral nation. Thailand was overrun by the Japanese and its puppet government declared war on the United States and Britain. Thailand was the subject of public statements by the Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek on February 26, 1943,76 and by President Roosevelt on March 4, 1943.77 On March 13, 1943, the British Embassy stated that the British would “take the same line.”
What special considerations or principles control CAA in Timor and Thailand?
Should Thailand’s independence be guaranteed? Or is it to be mandated or trusteed to some foreign power or powers?
Should King Anata Mahidal be enabled or encouraged to ascend the throne?
What use, if any, should be made of the Pibul collaborationist government?
Should conversations be initiated with the Chinese military representatives concerning the interest of China in her nationals in Thailand?
Will foreign capital be allowed to invest freely in Thailand during the period of occupation?
Should relief for civilian population be administered by the military occupant? By some international agency? By the Thai Government itself?
Are the Shann States, taken from Burma by the Japanese and given to Thailand, to be returned for CAA by the British? The same question applies as to the four Malaya States given by the Japanese to Thailand in 1943.
French Indo-China.
What should be the status of the French National Committee (de Gaullist) in this territory?
Should there be any AMG (Allied Military Government) in this area; if so, what should be the AMG-de Gaullist relationship?
In short, should the U.S. Army plan for any degree of military government or civil affairs administration in French Indo-China? If so, what limiting factors should there be?
In view of the Cairo pronouncement78 that Korea is ultimately to be made independent, what interim governmental machinery is to be set up?
To what extent will the U.S. Army and/or Navy have administrative civil affairs responsibility?
Will civil affairs responsibility be shared with the British? The Chinese? And/or the Russians (if they join the Far East war)?
What policies and responsibilities will govern in the problem of civilian relief?
What policy will be followed with respect to technically qualified Japanese nationals who may remain?
Will Chinese sovereignty be immediately re-established or will there be an interim CAA?
If the latter, will this be American or United Nations?
What nations will participate? And, what will be their degrees of participation?
Will China and/or the Soviets (if the USSR joins the Far East war) have a paramount interest and participation?
What considerations should be reflected in the economic directive (if there is U.S. participation) with reference to Japanese subsidized enterprises?
Miscellaneous. The foregoing questions and their arrangement are not all-embrasive or preclusive. For example, the Philippines are not discussed in this memorandum. Other and detailed questions will emerge as planning progresses and will be submitted to the State Department for its advice and recommendations.
  1. Part 1 of the Versailles Treaty of Peace, June 28, 1919, Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, vol. xiii, p. 69.
  2. See telegram 293, February 27, 1943, from Chungking, Foreign Relations, 1943, China, p. 13.
  3. For proposed statement, see letter of March 6, 1943, from the Acting Secretary of State to President Roosevelt, ibid., pp. 2324, and footnote 28, p. 24. For President Roosevelt’s press conference statement March 12, 1943, see telegram 362, March 17, 1943, to Chungking, ibid., p. 36.
  4. For text of the Cairo Declaration, December 1, 1943, see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, p. 448.