740.00119 PW/2–2746

Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Truman

top secret

Subject: Peace Treaty regarding Japan

I will hold the proposed treaty as to Japan until I have a chance to talk further with you. I do this because of your statement that our place in Pacific affairs should be a dominant one in the peace as in the war. I want to be certain that we are in agreement.

In the ordinary course of events a peace treaty will be agreed to. Presumably, we will then withdraw our troops from Japan. The proposed treaty would provide the method of control to be thereafter exercised by the four Governments.

The only way in which we could have a dominant position in Japan in the days following the adoption of a peace treaty would be to provide for the continued occupation by our troops, or by troops of the four Governments under the direction of our Government. I am convinced the other Governments will not agree to this latter suggestion. They agreed to our appointment of a supreme commander only for the purpose of accepting the surrender of the Japanese and directing the administration pending a peace conference.

I think we have to decide whether after a peace conference we will withdraw all troops from Japan or whether we will provide for an [Page 151] army of occupation for an indefinite period and the composition of such army or whether we will adopt the alternative plan suggested in the proposed treaty.