740.0011 PW (Peace) /11–1449: Telegram

The Acting Political Adviser in Japan (Sebald) to the Secretary of State


495. For Butterworth: General MacArthur and I have independently given, careful study and consideration to the November 2 draft treaty forwarded under cover of your letter November 4, minus chapter 5 reserved for security provisions. General MacArthur submits the following observations:

That the provisions contained in Article 52 should be eliminated as contrary to the concept of a definitive peace enunciated in the preamble, and would be generally construed by both Japanese and the outside world as continuing restriction upon Japanese sovereignty, becoming a psychological barrier to the prompt, orderly and progressive [Page 899] re-entry of Japan into a dignified place within the community of nations.
That Article 39 and annex 7 should be re-examined in the light of the bitterness which would be aroused if provision is made for the partial recovery from Japan for losses sustained by United Nations nationals resulting from damage to property in Japan, while losses sustained by United Nations nationals in areas occupied by the Japanese or in areas of the former Japanese empire to be ceded to other nations under terms of the treaty are excepted from claim or recovery. That such provisions are entirely inconsistent with the intent and effect of Articles 31, 32 and 36 of the treaty draft and could not fail to be challenged as a move designed to afford special protection to British and American investments in Japan, providing the Soviet and a Communist China with a major propaganda advantage. That the imposition of such a burden upon Japan would most seriously impair the chance for her economic rehabilitation and thereby eventually confront the American people with the possibility of having to assume this financial burden either directly or indirectly.
Article 41, paragraph 3 is considered unrealistic for the reasons not only that the Japanese economy most probably could not stand the tremendous drain consequent upon compensation for Japanese assets abroad, but also because it attempts to legislate upon a matter which might better be left for determination between the Japanese Government and its nationals.

I fully concur with General MacArthur’s observations set forth in a b, and c above.

Although I propose to submit by airmail mission’s comments in greater detail and on an article by article basis,1 I believe it might be helpful to give our tentative reactions: While the mission is agreed that it would be preferable to have a shorter treaty with less emphasis upon technical matters, we feel that to a large extent the problem is one that must be solved in consequence of the needs, desires and recommendations of the many Washington agencies concerned, as well as with a view to presenting an acceptable draft to our Allies. On the other hand, we are somewhat concerned that the November 2 draft seemingly represents the maximum conditions which the United States seeks to place upon Japan, and that it leaves little room for bargaining purposes should a “harder” treaty be desired by our Allies. We are, of course, fully aware that the security provisions have not yet been formulated and that revisions of fundamental provisions in the draft may be affected thereby.

The following are our preliminary comments concerning those provisions which we consider of high importance:

Article 4: Presumably security provisions will effect eventual determination Taiwan and adjacent islands. Suggest consideration question of trusteeship for Taiwan consequent upon plebiscite.

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Article 5, paragraph 2: Japan will unquestionably advance strong claim to Etorofu, Kunashiri, Habomai, and Shikotan. Believe United States should support such claim and due allowance made in draft for peculiarities this situation. Consider problem highly important in view questions permanent boundary and fisheries.

Article 6: Recommend reconsideration Liancourt Rocks (Take-shima). Japan’s claim to these islands is old and appears valid. Security considerations might conceivably envisage weather and radar stations thereon.

Article 14: Query: Should Japan be committed to recognize treaties of little or no direct concern to herself, or treaties which have not yet been concluded?

Article 19: Strongly recommend deletion this entire article.

Articles 33 to 37, inclusive: Suggest single article containing general statement referring these matters to annexes.

Article 38: Recommend deletion.

Article 41, paragraph 2: Consider this paragraph gratuitous.

Article 43: We are somewhat skeptical concerning proposed arbitral tribunal by reason of its being an extension into era of peace, presumably for many years, of forced means of adjudication.

Article 48: Recommend deletion or rewording this article to state a principle rather than an enforced administrative measure.

Article 49: Question the necessity for this article.

  1. Despatch No. 806, November 19, not printed.