Lot 56D527

Unsigned Memorandum by the Policy Planning Staff

top secret

Assumption by Japan of a Greater Measure of Responsibility for its own Security, Both Internal and External

The Policy Planning Staff welcomes and endorses (a) various memoranda prepared by the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs pressing [Page 1256] for a greater degree of centralization and a strengthening of the Japanese police, (b) Mr. Kennan’s memorandum of July 18, 1950 in the same vein,1 and (c) the memorandum prepared by Mr. Dulles, dated July 20, 1950, regarding the development of military strength in Japan.

The established position of (the Staff since the formulation of PPS 49 (NSC 13 series)2 has been that the United States should develop internal security forces in Japan adequate to deal effectively with subversive activities. The Staff has felt and continues to be of the opinion that this policy recommendation has not been adequately implemented. It is our conviction, in view of the current crisis in Northeast Asia, that the centralization and augmentation of Japanese internal security forces is of greater importance than ever before.

Heretofore the Staff has not pressed for the immediate remilitarization of Japan.* It has been our opinion that the Japanese people themselves were not prepared to take such a step and that the other members of the FEC would strongly oppose such a proposal. The Staff has, however, envisaged the likelihood that, following a peace settlement and the gradual phasing out of United States occupation troops, Japanese defense forces would be brought into being. We have not felt that this development could provide military strength adequate in itself to defend Japan against direct aggression by a great power. But we did believe that it would be desirable from many points of view that the Japanese themselves should contribute to their own defense, in collaboration with whatever forces we might commit to the protection of the islands.

The Korean conflict and the deep uncertainties regarding the future now make it imperative, in the opinion of the Staff, that we proceed forthwith to create Japanese forces designed to contribute to the defense of the islands. We realize that there are many serious impediments to the implementation of this objective, perhaps the most serious of which is the collective commitments undertaken by ourselves and our allies, predominantly in the FEC, regarding Japanese demilitarization. At the same time we must recognize that all peoples of good will, including the Japanese, are through no fault of their own confronted with a new situation radically different from that envisaged in [Page 1257] the Potsdam Proclamation and the Post-Surrender Policy. On this basis we are justified in resorting to extraordinary measures to enable Japan to contribute to its own defense.

Mr. Dulles’ memorandum of July 20 suggests the possibility of establishing Japanese military contingents under Article 43 of the United Nations Charter and placing them under the direction of a command chosen by the United Nations Security Council. The Staff feels that this suggestion should be carefully examined and alternative possibilities looked into. By way of illustration, a possible alternative device might be for SCAP to accept in the occupation forces the services of qualified Japanese in much the same manner that McCloy has recommended for Germany. For example, the Government might turn over to SCAP destroyers and smaller patrol craft, over and above those now being activated, to be manned wholly by Japanese crews and to be employed in preventing infiltration of the Japanese coast. To maintain the position that these vessels are controlled and operated by the occupation forces, each ship would be commanded by an American officer and fly the American flag.


The Departments of State and Defense should immediately seek means (a) to strengthen the Japanese internal security forces, and (b) to provide for a contribution by the Japanese themselves to the defense of their own country.

As this is a tactical planning question. NA should be designated as the office responsible for the implementation of these recommendations. S/P is prepared to participate in this study.

If the results of this study reveal that effective measures can now be undertaken, the findings should be submitted to the NSC, with a recommendation that they be issued as national policy directives.

  1. To Mr. Rusk, not printed. (894.501/7–1850)
  2. PPS 49, which dealt with economic relations of the United States and Yugoslavia, is apparently not the intended reference. The NSC 13 series grew out of PPS 28, March 25, 1948, which is printed in Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. vi, p. 691.
  3. The original position of S/P (PPS 28, March 25, 1948, page 1) was “If Russia has not been extensively weakened and sobered by that time [a peace treaty] or if Japanese society still seems excessively vulnerable in the political sense, we should either postpone the treaty or insist on a limited remilitarization of Japan, preferably under U.N. guidance and supervision.” [Footnote, including bracketed insertion, appears in the source text.]