Lot 122, Box 53
Memorandum Prepared by the Inter-Divisional Area Committee on the Far East
Japan: Occupation and Military Government: Extent of Occupation
I. The Problem
Will all of Japan be occupied? If so, what should be the manner of occupation? [Question 3 (a)]22
II. Basic Factors
It is assumed that the reference here is to occupation after actual hostilities have ceased in any given area; occupation in the wake of combat is a military and not a political function.
The primary political purposes of occupation may be summarized as follows:
- To insure the fulfillment of terms of the armistice or surrender.
- To impress upon as large a proportion of the Japanese people as possible the extent of the defeat to which their military leaders have brought them.
- To create conditions which will facilitate the emergence of a liberal government with which the United Nations can deal.
- To prevent the resurgence of military power.
The first two aims can be attained in a fairly short period; the second two will require more time.
To accomplish the first two it would appear desirable that our right to occupy all of Japan proper (as well as the Empire) be stated in the terms of armistice or surrender; that as soon as possible after the surrender our (or Allied) military forces put in an appearance [Page 1231]and occupy all of the prefectural capitals, other important cities and strategic areas; and that units be sent from these centers from time to time through the outlying districts on tours of inspection, or otherwise make their presence noticeable.
After these primary political purposes have been achieved, the troops may be concentrated in those centers from which they will be able to observe developments and where they will be in a position to suppress any undesirable movements which may arise. This period should continue until a reasonably stable civil government has been established by the Japanese and strict control by the occupying forces is no longer necessary.
It is contemplated that some sort of Allied supervisory body will be set up to insure the disarmament of Japan, to prevent rearmament, and to exercise such supervision of Japanese internal affairs as the United Nations may deem essential. It is anticipated that such a supervisory body will require the support of some armed forces in Japan, at least in the early stages of its operations.
It is recommended that the Army and Navy be advised to be prepared:
- To have adequate forces available to occupy all of the prefectural capitals, other important cities and strategic areas, including divisional headquarters and industrial districts, as soon as possible after the capitulation of Japan.
- When the purposes of the initial occupation have been accomplished, to concentrate these forces in those centers from which they will be able to observe developments and where they will be in a position to suppress any undesirable movements which may arise. This period should continue until such time as a reasonably stable civil government has been established by the Japanese.
- To continue the presence of such forces as may be required to support such an Allied supervisory body as may be established for the supervision of Japanese internal affairs. It is anticipated that these forces will not be large.
Prepared and reviewed by the Inter-Divisional Area Committee on the Far East.