Memorandum of Conversation, by the Special Assistant to the Consultant (Allison)


Subject: Japanese Peace Settlement

Participants: Sir Oliver Franks, British Ambassador
Mr. Hubert Graves, Counselor, British Embassy
Mr. John Foster Dulles, S
Maj. Gen. Carter Magruder, Army1
Col. C. S. Babcock, Army
Mr. John M. Allison

Sir Oliver called this morning by appointment to discuss the United States thinking on a Japanese peace settlement with Mr. Dulles prior to the latter’s departure for Japan. Mr. Dulles opened the conversation by making clear that the contemplated trip to Japan did not envisage detailed negotiations but was rather of an exploratory nature and was designed to obtain the latest thinking of General MacArthur and Japanese leaders on what could be done to bring about a satisfactory peace settlement.

Mr. Dulles went on to explain that, in United States thinking, the treaty itself was merely a means to an end which was to assure that Japan would be willing to associate itself with and play its part alongside the free nations of the world. In order to obtain this objective, Mr. Dulles gave an explanation of our thinking on the various [Page 793] broad aspects of the situation, particularly the security, political, economic and cultural problems connected with any settlement.

On the security point of view, Mr. Dulles stated that our present thinking was that sooner or later, preferably sooner, Japan would have to begin to assume some of the burden of its own defense. It is hoped that this can be accomplished in cooperation with the western powers in a way which will ensure a reasonable degree of security to Japan and at the same time give some assurance to Japan’s former enemies that they would not again be threatened by an aggressive Japan. As a result of preliminary studies and reports from Japan, as well as talks with individual Japanese leaders who had visited the United States, it appears that the problem of Japan’s re-armament can best be solved if it can be accomplished in a multilateral framework tied up in some manner with the United Nations. If some device can be arranged whereby Japan can contribute armed forces to an international organization for the defense of peace and security in the Pacific area, it will be easier for the Japanese themselves, in view of their present constitutional limitations on a national defense force, to go along and at the same time it will give the other participating nations in such an arrangement a right to have a voice in what Japan does so that they may be assured that Japanese re-armament does not get out of hand and become a threat to the other powers.

From the political point of view, it is necessary that any peace settlement be based upon the free will of the Japanese and any settlement which imposed long-term, post-treaty controls or limitations would be a bad thing as we cannot expect the Japanese to acquiesce in a settlement which would mean that Japan would in perpetuity be a second-class nation. The United States, therefore, proposes a simple, non-punitive treaty, with no post-treaty controls, which will bring Japan quickly back into a position of complete sovereignty among the other nations.

The economic problems of the peace settlement are great and are becoming increasingly more difficult to solve. With the complete domination of China and Manchuria by the Communists, it has been necessary for Japan to look elsewhere for both raw materials and markets and it had been hoped that a vigorous attempt to increase trade with the southeast Asian areas might, to some extent, offset the loss of Japan’s traditional trading area in China and Manchuria. However, we cannot ignore the possibility that these southeast Asian areas may also be lost to Communism with consequent grave effect on Japan’s economic position. The United States must consider what must be done in case of such loss; for if we are to keep Japan on our side, it will be necessary to assure a reasonable degree of economic livelihood to the 80,000,000 vigorous Japanese.

[Page 794]

From the cultural and social point of view, there are great opportunities for all of us to take action which will assure the Japanese that they can be an equal member of our society, but in order to do so we will have to remove discriminations such as those of the present American immigration laws so that the Japanese may know that we are not treating them as an inferior people. In this connection, the policies of the United States, Australia and New Zealand present a problem.

Having in mind all of the above problems, it is now necessary to determine whether or not our overall Pacific strategy can be based upon a dependable relationship with Japan; and that, in short, is the purpose of the forthcoming visit to Japan.

[Here follows the part of this memorandum printed on page 139.]

Mr. Dulles then raised the question of press reports of the talks among the Commonwealth Prime Ministers going on in London and said that it appeared that certain of their conclusions were mutually contradictory. He referred specifically to the press reports that the Commonwealth Prime Ministers desired an early Japanese peace settlement and at the same time demanded that Communist China have a voice in this settlement. From the American point of view it would not be possible to bring in the Chinese Communists at this time while they were still killing Americans in Korea, and Mr. Dulles expressed the hope that the Commonwealth countries would not attempt to bring this issue to a head with the probability that it would make futile all our other efforts connected with speeding up a peace settlement. Sir Oliver agreed that it would be better to postpone any solution of this problem in the hope that the progress of events would make an eventual solution easier.

Sir Oliver was then handed a memorandum2 which gave a somewhat expanded statement of United States ideas of a Japanese peace treaty and was given an opportunity to read it and ask any questions he desired. Mr. Graves raised some questions concerning our ideas about strengthening the Japanese police and whether or not it was our belief that the police reserve should be developed into at least a part-military organization. It was agreed that this is what might take place but it was hoped that in the creation of security forces for Japan we could develop them under international aegis so that there would not be a purely Japanese army acting for purely Japanese ends but rather that any Japanese army would be a part of a collective security force working for the common good.

Mr. Dulles explained the change in the territorial clauses in the present memorandum from that in the previous one handed to the [Page 795] British earlier,3 and pointed out that at present we were only providing that Japan should relinquish its claim to Formosa and that we were not attempting to indicate what the final settlement of the Formosa problem would be. We were also leaving out any mention of Sakhalin and the Kuriles although it is recognized that if Russia should be a party to the treaty provision would be made for turning over these territories to it.

Mr. Dulles also informed Sir Oliver in confidence that he had sent a message to Mr. Malik4 stating that, if Mr. Malik desires, Mr. Dulles would be glad to talk with him prior to his departure to Japan. It was hoped by this means to do what is possible to make clear to the Soviet Union that the United States is attempting to keep it in the discussions and that, at least in the opinion of the United States, the door is still open.

Sir Oliver stated he hoped to have more detailed reports by the first of the week on the results of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ conference and that he would be glad to get in touch with Mr. Dulles again to give him any information which might be received.



In elaboration of the United States seven-point statement of principles regarding a Japanese peace treaty handed representatives of the nations members of the Far Eastern Commission, it is suggested that the treaty would follow these general lines:

It would formally end the state of war between the Allied and Associated Powers which adhered to the treaty and Japan.
It would restore full sovereignty to Japan.
It would bind Japan to apply for membership in the United Nations and the Allied and Associated Powers to support its application.
As regards territory, the treaty would require Japan to renounce all interest in Korea, Formosa and the Pescadores and to accept a United Nations trusteeship with the United States as administering authority over the Ryukyu and Bonin Islands. Japan would accept the establishment of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
As regards security, the treaty would require Japan to accept the obligations of Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations5 and the other parties would undertake reciprocally to be guided by those same principles with relation to Japan. Continuing cooperative responsibility between Japanese facilities and U.S. forces would be provided for as a further guarantee of peace and security in the Japan area. The facilities required, rights of movement of the garrison forces, sharing of costs and similar questions regarding the detailed implementation of the security arrangements would be the subject of a supplementary bilateral agreement between the United States and Japan. Forces of other treaty Powers might also cooperate by agreement with the United States under over-all United States command. The garrison forces would not have any responsibility or authority to intervene in the internal affairs of Japan, except at the request of the Japanese Government to assist in the suppression of internal violence. While the treaty would neither prohibit nor specially authorize the establishment of Japanese defense forces, it is natural to assume that the Japanese will progressively assume a larger part of the burden of their own defense. The treaty security provisions would remain in effect until the Powers providing garrison forces agreed that assumption of responsibility for Japanese security by the United Nations or some other security arrangement could be safely substituted.
In the political and economic fields, Japan would (a) declare its intention to secure the fundamental human rights to all persons under Japanese jurisdiction; (b) agree to adhere to multilateral treaties designed to prevent the misuse of narcotics and to conserve fish and wildlife; (c) agree to the revival of prewar bilateral treaties by mutual agreement of both parties within six months; and (d) renounce all special rights or interests in China. The power to grant clemency, reduce sentences, parole and pardon with respect to war criminals incarcerated in Japan would be exercised jointly by Japan and the Government or Governments which imposed the sentences in each instance and, in the case of persons sentenced by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, by Japan and a majority of the Governments represented on the Tribunal. Pending the conclusion of new commercial treaties, Japan, during a period of three years, would extend most-favored-nation or national treatment, whichever is more favorable, on a reciprocal basis to the trade and business of the Allies, subject to normal exceptions and reservations permitted in the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade.
All parties would waive claims arising out of acts taken during the war prior to September 2, 1945, except that (a) each of the Allied and Associated Powers would retain and dispose of Japanese property within its territories, except diplomatic and consular property and a few other limited categories substantially as set forth in the treaties of 1947; and (b) Japan would restore, upon demand, Allied property in Japan, or, if such property, whether or not taken under the control of the Japanese Government, is not restorable intact, would [Page 797] provide yen to compensate for an agreed percentage of lost value. Japan would waive all claims arising out of the presence of the occupation forces in Japan since surrender.
Disputes concerning the interpretation or execution of the treaty not settled through the diplomatic channel, except disputes arising out of the security arrangements, would be referred for decision to the International Court of Justice, all of the treaty signatories undertaking to comply with the decisions of the Court. A specially established Arbitral Tribunal appointed by the President of the International Court of Justice from nationals of countries which were neutral in World War II would settle claims disputes. Disputes in connection with the security provisions would be settled through the diplomatic channel.

The foregoing outline is only suggestive and does not commit the United States Government with regard to content or language.

  1. Special Assistant for Occupied Areas in the Office of the Secretary of the Army.
  2. See attachment.
  3. A memorandum originally dated September 11, 1950, was handed to all the FEC powers on separate occasions during the fall of 1950. Mr. Dulles apparently handed a copy to Sir Esler Dening, Assistant Under Secretary of State in the U.K. Foreign Office, in New York on September 22. The memorandum was released to the press November 24. For texts of the memorandum and of the memorandum by Colonel Babcock of the conversation held between Mr. Dulles and Sir Esler, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, p. 1296 and p. 1306, respectively.
  4. Yakov A. Malik, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union and Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
  5. Signed at San Francisco June 26, 1945. For text, see Department of State Treaty Series (TS) No. 993, or 59 Stat. (pt. 2) 1031.