Lot 122, Box 53
Memorandum Prepared by the Inter-Divisional Area Committee on the Far East
Japan: Karafuto (Southern Sakhalin): Occupation and Military Government
I. The Problem
The problem is “will the conceivable interest of the Soviets in Southern Sakhalin (Karafuto) affect the nature and extent of the control in this area” and “if the U.S.S.R. participates in the Far East war, will Karafuto become a special and exclusive concern of the Soviet?” (Question 3s).98
II. Basic Factors
Since the acquisition of Karafuto (Sakhalin south of the 50 degree parallel) by Japan in accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Portsmouth of 1905,99 that territory has been energetically developed by the Japanese. The population in 1940 totalled 415,000 and was almost exclusively Japanese. In November 1942 Karafuto ceased to be considered a colony and was placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Home Affairs and has since been regarded by the Japanese as a part of Japan Proper.
Strategically Karafuto lies athwart the most direct airline to Vladivostok from San Francisco via Dutch Harbor and Petropavlovsk. It commands the approaches from the northeast to the Japan Sea, The Maritime Provinces of Soviet Russia, and Vladivostok.
The final disposition of Karafuto may depend, in large measure, on the course of Russo-Japanese relations. According to the neutrality pact of April 13, 1941,1 both the Soviet Union and Japan “undertake mutually to respect the territorial integrity and inviolability of the other.” In the event of war between the Soviet Union and Japan, Soviet forces may undertake to occupy the Japanese portion of Sakhalin, particularly if other United Nations forces have not already done so, and the Soviet Union may demand its cession at the end of hostilities. However, the predominantly Japanese character of the population and the close integration of the economy of Karafuto with Japan might make it advisable, in spite of possible Soviet demands, that Karafuto be retained by Japan with provision for complete disarmament and periodic inspection to prevent its rearmament.[Page 1212]
If Karafuto is occupied by United Nations forces, under the same American theater commander as for Japan, the problem of the composition of the occupation forces for Karafuto is identical with the problem for Japan, irrespective of whether or not the Soviet Union enters the war in the Pacific. (See CAC–80 “Japan: Occupation and Military Government: Composition of Forces to Occupy Japan”).2 There is a possibility, however, that Karafuto may be under a different American command than that for Japan. If such is the case, the principle that units of those allied countries which have actively participated in the war against Japan should be included in the forces to be used for combat purposes and in the various stages of military government in Japan, would be applicable to Karafuto. Moreover, the principle that the occupation of Japan should be organized on a basis of a centralized administration rather than by zones would also be appropriate for Karafuto. (See CAC–80 “Japan: Occupation and Military Government: Composition of Forces to Occupy Japan”).
If the Soviet Union enters the war in the Pacific prior to the occupation of Karafuto by other United Nations forces, new problems will be presented. An agreement would have to be reached by the highest authorities as to whether Karafuto should be under a Soviet or American theater commander and if under a Soviet command whether American forces should participate in combat operations and civil affairs.
- On the assumption that Karafuto is under the American theater commander for Japan, it is recommended that:
- No special consideration be given to Karafuto as its occupation and military government would be part of the occupation and military government of Japan Proper. (See CAC–80 “Japan: Occupation and Military Government: Composition of Forces to Occupy Japan”).
- On the assumption that Karafuto is occupied by United Nations
forces under an American command separate from that for the rest
of Japan, it is recommended that:
- The principle, which is recommended for Japan, that those countries which have actively participated in the war against Japan be represented in the combat forces and in the army of occupation and in military government, should be applied to Karafuto (See CAC–80 “Japan: Occupation and Military Government: Composition of Forces to Occupy Japan”).
- The principle, which is recommended for Japan, that the occupation be centralized, should be applied to Karafuto. Karafuto should not be divided into separate zones to be administered by different national contingents. (See CAC–80 “Japan: Occupation and Military Government: Composition of Forces to Occupy Japan”).
- Representation of the different national contingents in the military government of Karafuto might be through an advisory council of the ranking officers of the respective contingents, in addition to representation on the civil affairs staff. (See CAC–80 “Japan: Occupation and Military Government: Composition of Forces to Occupy Japan”).
- The Soviet Union, if it enters the war against Japan, should participate in civil affairs in Karafuto on the same basis as other Allies.
- On the assumption that the Soviet Union enters the war in the
Pacific prior to the occupation of Karafuto by United Nations
forces, it is recommended that:
- The Governments of the nations concerned should decide whether Karafuto should be placed under a Soviet or American theater commander.
- If Karafuto is placed under a Soviet commander, the competent military and political authorities of the American Government should decide whether American participation would be advisable in combat operations and civil affairs in Karafuto.
Prepared and reviewed by the Inter-Divisional Area Committee on the Far East.
|TS:||HBorton (drafting officer)||JA:||ERDickover|