740.0011 PW (Peace)/712–2.3.49

The Secretary of Defense (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

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Dear Mr. Secretary: On October 3rd, you wrote me requesting advice as to the essential security requirements of the United States in a peace settlement with Japan. This presented military questions of great seriousness and difficulty, which depended in some degree upon legal questions.

I regret that it has not been possible to answer your letter at an earlier date, but I know that you have been kept informed of the reasons which prevented this.

Inclosed is the opinion from the Joint Chiefs of Staff which I have just received. I concur in this opinion.

I am concerned about the psychological effect upon the Japanese—and therefore about the effect upon the success of our occupation—resulting from the wide-spread public discussion during recent months about an early treaty, including extensive debates in the Japanese Diet. This prospect has raised great hopes in Japan. I feel that we must promptly give consideration to the steps necessary to deal with this very real problem.

Sincerely yours,

Loins Johnson

Memorandum by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense (Johnson)

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The Joint Chiefs of Staff have formulated the following statement of their views concerning negotiations, at this time, leading toward a Japanese peace treaty, together with a statement of United States treaty requirements for military forces and bases in Japan:

On 6 May 1949, the President determined it to be national policy that it was then premature to press for a peace treaty with Japan (NSC 13/3). On 9 June 1949, in response to an inquiry by the Department of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff reaffirmed their view that a peace treaty with Japan was premature.1 This expression of views was forwarded on 14 June 1949 by the Secretary of Defense to the National Security Council (NSC 49).
The Joint Chiefs of Staff have again re-examined the military and national security factors involved in the matter of an early peace treaty with Japan, and in doing so have taken note of:
The unsettled political and military conditions and uncertain military action in the Asian continental areas near Japan;
The highly unstable political and military situation in Taiwan and in southeast Asia, both subject to relatively rapid deterioration and change;
The fact that a treaty consistent with the terms of the armistice by which Japan surrendered could not at this time assure the denial of Japan’s ultimate exploitation by the USSR or assure her orientation toward the western powers.

During this period of political and military instability in the Far East the following are the minimum military requirements of the United States as to forces and bases in the islands of the Japanese Empire, not considering Taiwan and the Pescadores:

The United States to be the only foreign power which would have military forces and base rights in any of the Japanese islands to the southward of Sakhalin and the Kurils Islands;
Arrangements whereby the United States strategic trusteeship over the Marianas, Caroline, and Marshall Islands would not be disturbed by any provision of the treaty;
The United States to secure exclusive long-term strategic control of the Ryukyu Islands south of latitude 29° north, Marcus Island, and the Nanpo Shoto south of Sofu Gan; and
The Joint Chiefs of Staff would expect that the United States forces to be stationed in Japan would be somewhat less than at present and that bases would be required:
On Okinawa, together with such other facilities in the areas delineated in subparagraph c above as are deemed essential by the Joint Chiefs of Staff;
At Yokosuka, as a protected naval base (NSC 13/3 and NSC 49); and
In the four main islands of Japan, Army and Air Force bases generally as at present.

From the military point of view the Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that a treaty to be acceptable must include both the USSR and the de facto Government of China as party signators to the document.

In light of the conditions noted in paragraph 1 b above and since it is apparent that the minimum military requirements and the requirement that the USSR be a party signator to the document are probably mutually exclusive, the Joint Chiefs of Staff reaffirm their previous view that negotiations now, leading toward a peace treaty with Japan, are still premature.

If, nevertheless, it is decided that peace treaty negotiations shall be undertaken, it is requested the Joint Chiefs of Staff collaborate in the formulation of those terms of the treaty having military implications.

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Omar N. Bradley

Joint Chiefs of Staff
  1. See enclosure to note of June 15, p. 774.