740.00119 Control (Japan)/10–2648

The Acting Secretary of State to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Souers)

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Dear Admiral Souers: You will recall that with the exception of its paragraphs 5, 9 and 20, NSC 13/2 (“Recommendations with Respect [Page 877] to U.S. Policy Toward Japan”) was approved at the meeting of the National Security Council on October 7, 1948.

Approval of paragraph 5 on the disposition of the Ryukyus was not given at that time as a result of a Joint Chiefs of Staff recommendation, contained in a memorandum dated September 29, 1948 to the Secretary of Defense, that not only the Ryukyus south of latitude 29° North but also Marcus Island and the Nanpo Shoto south of Sofu Gan be retained by the United States under long-term strategic control. The Joint Chiefs of Staff further recommended that this control be at least as explicit and firm as that which has been obtained under our strategic trusteeship for the ex-Japanese mandates.

Paragraph 5 is regarded by the Department of State as the firmest and most explicit statement that can be made at this time, since no arrangements for the disposition of former Japanese territories can be final until the Peace Treaty. However, this Department agrees with the Joint Chiefs of Staff suggestion that provision be made, presumably in NSC 13/2, for long-term U.S. strategic control of Marcus Island and the Nanpo Shoto south of Sofu Gan.

I am accordingly forwarding to you a revised paragraph 5 as an enclosure1 to this letter. It is recommended that this revised paragraph be inserted in NSC 13/2 and approved by the Council as soon as possible.

Sincerely yours,

[Robert A. Lovett]
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NSC 13/1 “Recommendations With Respect to U.S. Policy Toward Japan

Revised Paragraph 5.

5. The Ryukyu Islands. The Ryukyu, Nanpo and Marcus Islands.

The United States should make up its mind at this point that it intends to retain on a long-term basis the facilities at Okinawa and such other facilities as are deemed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be necessary in the Ryukyu Islands south of 29° N., Marcus Island and the Nanpo Shoto south of Sofu Gan. and the base there should be developed accordingly. The base on Okinawa should be immediately developed.2 The United States agencies responsible for administering the above-mentioned islands should promptly formulate and carry out a program on a long-term basis for the economic and social well-being [Page 878] and, to the extent practicable, for the eventual self-support of the natives. At the proper time, international sanction should be obtained by the means then most feasible for United States long-term strategic control of the Ryukyu Islands south of latitude 29° degrees N., Marcus Island and the Nanpo Shoto south of Sofu Gan.

  1. This “agreed State-Army draft” was sent to the Acting Political Adviser in Japan by letter on October 29.
  2. In the text of a memorandum of November 5, 1948, which was approved by President Truman, this sentence had been revised to read: “The base on Okinawa should be developed accordingly.”