Lot 122, Box 53

Memorandum Prepared by the Inter-Divisional Area Committee on the Far East31


Japan: The Post-War Objectives of the United States in Regard to Japan

I. Fundamental Objectives

Japan must be prevented from being a menace to the United States and the other countries of the Pacific area.
American interests require that there be in Japan a government which will respect the rights of other states and Japan’s international obligations.

In order to achieve these fundamental purposes the policies of the United States should be considered separately for three distinct periods of Japan’s post-war development.

The first of these periods will be that during which the immediate terms of surrender for Japan will be enforced, and Japan will undergo the stern discipline of occupation as the inevitable retribution for military aggression.

The second period will be one of close surveillance; restrictions will be progressively relaxed as Japan demonstrates its willingness and ability to live at peace with other nations.

The third period will be one which will look toward the ultimate aim of the United States, namely, a Japan properly discharging its responsibilities in the family of peaceful nations.

II. The First Period

In accordance with the Cairo Declaration Japan is to withdraw from Manchuria, the Mandated Islands and all areas under Japanese military occupation and is to be deprived of Korea, Formosa and all islands obtained since the beginning of the first world war.

Japan’s military and naval forces are to be disarmed and disbanded, its military and naval installations destroyed and the country placed under military occupation and government.

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III. The Second Period

There will be developed such national or international bases as may be necessary to prevent Japanese aggression and to facilitate military policing.
Measures designed to eradicate militarism would include:
Military inspection to prevent rearmament;
Economic controls to prevent the development of a war potential;
Encouragement of democratic thought through the press, radio, cinema, and schools;
Impressing upon the moderate elements in Japan their responsibility for convincing the Japanese people that militarism is disastrous to their real interests;
Adoption of such other measures as will most effectively strengthen liberal political elements and liberal thought in Japan and assist the development of a civil government actually responsible to the people;
Rooting out of ultra-nationalistic societies.
Japan is to be permitted, within the framework of the restrictions necessary for international security, and having due regard for the matter of reparations, to begin to share in the world economy on a reasonable basis.

IV. The Third Period

The precise measures, whether political or economic, to be taken during the third period cannot be determined at this time. There is, however, to be borne in mind the fact that the break-up of the Japanese Empire, through the loss of dependencies, will call for permanent adjustments of fundamental importance.

Prepared and reviewed by the Inter-Divisional Area Committee on the Far East.

TS: GHBlakeslee (drafting officer) CA: JCVincent
HBorton (drafting officer) OEClubb
RAFearey ISO: DCBlaisdell
FE: JWBallantine (drafting officer) QWright
AHiss LA: ALMoffat (drafting officer)
JA: ERDickover (drafting officer) TA: WWilloughby
BRJohansen ME: MBHall
FSWilliams FMA: CFRemer
LRD: JRFriedman
FSO: EHDooman
CD: WTPhillips
  1. Marginal notation in the original: “Note: Changes from the original document are underscored.” (Document under reference, PWC–108a, April 17, not printed.)