740.00119 Control (Japan)/7–1545

No. 613
Memorandum by the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State (Dooman)1
top secret

Japan : Occupation and Military Government

The United States has adopted the policy that for the purposes of prosecuting the war and for military government, Japan comes under the jurisdiction of the United States. Prime Minister Churchill is understood to have given tacit consent to this policy by certain statements made by him at the Second Quebec Conference in September 1944.2
The State, War and Navy Departments have provisionally agreed upon the following position with regard to the occupation and military government of Japan in the post-defeat period. It is now before the Joint Chiefs of Staff for approval or comment before [Page 934] being presented to the Secretaries of State, War and Navy for final action:
This Government is committed to the principle of united action for the prosecution of the war in all matters relating to the surrender and disarmament of Japan.
The United Kingdom, China and (if she enters the war) the Soviet Union, have a responsibility to participate with the United States in the occupation and military government of Japan and the obligation to assume a share in the burden thereof.
While the establishment of policies for the control of Japan is a matter to be entered into by the major Allies in harmony with other United Nations, the United States should insist on control over the implementation of these policies.
The major share of the responsibility for military government and the preponderance of forces used in occupation should be American, and the designated Commander of all occupational forces (the Military Governor), and the principal subordinate Commanders should be American.
The military government of Japan should be organized on the principle of centralized administration, avoiding the division of the country into national zones of independent responsibility administered separately.
If the foregoing should be adopted as the final United States position, it would call for a cordial acceptance of any Soviet expression of intention to despatch an armed contingent to collaborate in the assault on, and occupation of Japan. On the other hand, if and if [sic] there should be initiated a state of war between the Soviet Union and Japan, [and if] there were offered no such collaboration, the United States position would require the giving of a reminder to the Soviet Government of its commitment, under the Moscow Declaration of October 30, 1943,3 to the principle of united action for the prosecution of the war against Japan.
The United States position would call for insistence upon
(a) a unified, and not zonal, military government of Japan; and (b) the controlling voice of the United States in the determination of policies of military government; [.]
With regard to (a) above, the unified character of Japan from administrative, economic, social and ethnic points of view, along with the fact that the United States will have assumed the major share of the burden in accomplishing Japan’s defeat and will therefore have acquired warrantable grounds for claiming a controlling voice in the post-defeat treatment of Japan, makes desirable a unified military government.
Allied participation in military government of Japan would be effected by contingents of our Allies serving in the occupation forces directly under the designated Allied Commander, who will be an American, and representation on a council, advisory to the Commander, made up of ranking officers of the respective contingents.
In view of the undertakings given the Soviet Government with regard to Southern Saghalien [Sakhalin] and the Kurile Islands,4 an exception to the principle of unified administration might well be entertained in respect of these areas if any proposal to that effect were made by the Soviet Government. The areas mentioned are sparsely populated and relatively unimportant, and their administration as a separate unit would not materially affect the administration of Japan proper.
  1. The file copy is unsigned, but bears a manuscript notation indicating that it was drafted by Dooman.
  2. The records of the Second Quebec Conference are scheduled for publication in a subsequent volume in this series.
  3. Text in Department of State Bulletin, vol. ix, p. 308.
  4. i. e., the agreement regarding entry of the Soviet Union into the war against Japan, signed at Yalta, February 11, 1945. For text, see Executive Agreement Series No. 498; 59 Stat. (2) 1823; Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, p. 984.