740.00119 FEAC/2–1748

The Secretary General of the Far Eastern Commission ( Johnson ) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: The Terms of Reference of the Far Eastern Commission provide that one of the functions of the Commission should be to “formulate the policies, principles and standards in conformity with which the fulfillment by Japan of its obligations under the Terms of Surrender may be accomplished.”

It is further provided that when such decisions are made by the Far Eastern Commission, “The United States Government shall prepare directives in accordance with the policy decisions of the Commission and shall transmit them to the Supreme Commander through the appropriate United States Government agency.”

At the ninety-second meeting of the Far Eastern Commission held at 2516 Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C., on 12 February 1948, the enclosed policy decision relative to Prohibition of Military Activity in Japan and Disposition of Japanese Military Equipment was approved.1 The Soviet member abstained from voting on the enclosure but said in a prepared statement, a copy of which is enclosed for your information,2 that it was his intention “not to prevent the adoption” of the policy. The Chairman accordingly declared the policy adopted in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph V, 2 of the Terms of Reference, on the ground that the statement of the Soviet member amounted to “concurrence” in the “action” taken by the Commission.

As Secretary General of the Far Eastern Commission, I have been instructed to forward this decision to you on behalf of the Commission in order that an appropriate directive may be prepared and transmitted to the Supreme Commander in accordance with the Terms of Reference.3

At the time the enclosed policy was adopted several members read into the minutes various statements of understanding as to the meaning of certain portions. I am enclosing an excerpt4 from the draft [Page 663] minutes of the ninety-second Commission meeting including these statements, with the request of the Commission that they be transmitted to the Supreme Commander for his information along with the policy decision itself.

The Commission agreed that the text of the enclosed policy should be released to the press after the appropriate directive has been received by the Supreme Commander. In order that we may make our arrangements for release as expeditiously as possible, it would be appreciated if you could notify me when the United States directive has reached Tokyo.

Sincerely yours,

Nelson T. Johnson
  1. FEC–017/20; see The Far Eastern Commission, Second Report, p. 19.
  2. Not printed.
  3. A directive was sent SCAP as serial no. 89 on March 17; a copy was sent the Far Eastern Commission by the Department on March 26.
  4. Not printed.