Memorandum by Mr. Douglas W. Overton of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs to the Acting Director of That Office (Johnson)
Subject: National Police Reserve (Tokyo’s despatches no. 896, Jan. 4, 1951, and 919, Jan. 9, 1951)1
These two despatches contain the latest available information on the National Police Reserve. No. 919 is particularly interesting in that it is based on authoritative information received by Mr. Sebald from Major General Fox,2 who is charged with over-all policy direction for the formation of the Reserve. The present status of the Reserve may be summed up as follows:
- Organization. Under the direct supervision of the Civil Affairs Section, GHQ, SCAP. Units vary from 1000 to 5000 men. Officer Candidate School for men selected from ranks is in operation at Etajima.
- Support. Japanese Government provides pay, allowances, lodging, transportation, and other needs that can be locally met. Civil Affairs Section provides American officers as instructors as well as necessary ordnance, ammunition, communications and technical equipment which cannot be manufactured or procured in Japan.
- Personnel. To some extent the officer cadre includes former officers of the Japanese Army who have been depurged during the past, six months. Relatively competent officers are available only as far as battalion level, with the result that so far it has not been possible to organize the Reserve on a regimental or divisional basis. SCAP is contemplating depurging, with some exceptions, regular army and navy officers who entered the service subsequent to the Manchurian, Incident of 1931. This would provide a substantial reservoir of younger officers, previously employed below policy levels, to man the higher echelons of the Reserve. SCAP has also orally advised Yoshida that the Occupation has no objection to doubling the Reserve if the Japanese Government deems such action necessary or advisable.
- Armament. At present only carbines. Plans have been made to provide light and heavy machine guns and 2.5 bazookas. It is hoped that eventually artillery and tanks can also be provided. GHQ has requested the Department of the Army to place procurement for the Reserve on an equal basis of priority with the ROK Army.
- Morale. Excellent. Screening against communist infiltration considered effective.
- Disposition of forces. Present plans call for stationing of 16,000 men in Hokkaido, with units at Obihiro, Engaru, and Penmoi (?).
- Political implications. Soviet Member has not yet raised objections in the ACJ.3 However, Mr. Sebald has no doubt that they will eventually raise the issue, probably when a more definitive point in equipment [Page 809] and training has been reached. He believes that it is essential at this stage to lay the groundwork for countering the anticipated Soviet charges, which in the light of the facts set forth above can be rebutted only with considerable difficulty.