Lot 54D423

Memorandum by Mr. Robert A. Fearey of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs


Minutes—Dulles Mission Staff Meeting January 31, 10:00 AM

Ambassador Dulles’ Press Conference

Ambassador Dulles said that he planned to make three main points at his press conference that afternoon:

1. The Mission is in Japan to hold discussions regarding a peace settlement. It is not here to conclude agreements. It is hoped that agreements will follow further consultation with the Allies.

2. The discussions will not re-open matters already settled in the surrender terms.

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Ambassador Dulles explained that the United States might want to re-open the Ryukyus question but if it does so it would be for its own reasons. The Japanese should not be allowed to re-open the issue since they agreed in the surrender terms to the limitation of their territories to the four main islands and such other islands as the Allies might determine.

Ambassador Dulles went on to say that there were aspects of the Ryukyus question in addition to its purely military aspects which needed to be considered. The United States should not lightly assume responsibility for nearly a million alien people thousands of miles from its shores. We do not want another Puerto Rico. It is possible that the civilian aspects of the matter, such as the questions of cost, customs and immigration, may not yet have been given sufficient consideration.

General Magruder commented that the United States will have to have control over the Ryukyus population or the islands cannot be made into a strong fortress. Our principal concern, he said, has been that there should be no tariff barriers between Japan and the Ryukyus after the treaty. The Ryukyus are dependent on trade with Japan; if that trade were cut off the cost of their support to the United States would be increased. The United States could permit free movement of peoples but would have to retain the right to stop or restrict such movement if necessary.

Ambassador Dulles said that his statement today should put an end to Japanese discussion of the issue. He also planned to tell the Prime Minister that the Ryukyus were not open to discussion. It is up to the Allies to decide how they wish the islands disposed of and administered. Mr. Johnson said that he believed there had been a lack of appreciation of certain aspects of the Ryukyus question at the top levels of the United States Government and that the matter would require further high level consideration. Ambassador Dulles agreed but said that we should take up the question at home and not permit the Japanese to build a fire under us.

3. The Mission has nothing to do with the occupation. Such questions as a possible relaxation of the purge are solely within the responsibility of SCAP, the FEC and the Allied Council.

Second Meeting with British Ambassador

Ambassador Dulles said that he would be meeting with Sir Alvary again on Friday at 11:00. The Mission should have its comments on the UK memo1 ready by that time.

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US–Japan Bilateral

Ambassador Dulles said that it might be necessary to handle the security provisions of the treaty in a somewhat different manner from that which had thus far been contemplated. He inquired whether the United States–Japan military bilateral agreement was intended to be a public agreement, filed with the United Nations. General Magruder replied that it was, whereupon Ambassador Dulles said that it might be advisable to be less explicit in the treaty, putting some of the security material now in the treaty into the bilateral. General Magruder said that there was considerable purpose in keeping this material in the treaty itself in order to clear with other nations the restrictions to which they must conform in stationing troops in Japan. Ambassador Dulles said that it would be advisable prior to detailed discussions of the bilateral to have the garrisoning and security problem gone over carefully to see what should go in the treaty, what should go in the bilateral, and what might possibly be a private understanding between the United States and Japan which would not have to be approved by the Diet or registered with the UN.

The Prime Minister’s Paper 2

Ambassador Dulles noted that the points advanced regarding the Ryukyus in the paper had already been discussed. As to the security section, it was suggested that the reference to “equal partners” might open the way to a fifty-fifty cost sharing arrangement. Ambassador Sebald, however, said that he had interpreted the phrase to mean that the United States and Japan would each support their own troops. In discussing Mr. Yoshida’s statement in the Rearmament section that “we have reasons for exercising caution against the possibility of a reappearance of the old militarism”, it was pointed out that the Japanese Government was having trouble securing effective officers for the present police reserve. If it were to expand the reserve or develop an army it would have to dig deeper and deeper into the old militarist class.

In connection with the paragraph on Human Rights Mr. Johnson suggested that it would be a good idea to ease Japan’s transition to post-treaty status by starting now to phase out reforms that experience has proved ill-adapted to Japanese circumstances. Ambassador Sebald approved this suggestion but said that the question of whether it could be followed lay with SCAP. Mr. Allison felt that much depended on how the phasing out was done. Ambassador Dulles recalled Mr. Yoshida’s statement that the government was preparing a list for presentation to SCAP, and said that it was essential that the Mission not place itself in the position of intermediary between the Japanese [Page 838] Government and SCAP on such matters. Mr. Rockefeller said that the paragraph on Cultural Relations seemed a very full and adequate statement. Ambassador Dulles said that our position on the Economic Section would have to be that there are difficult problems involved and that we are under pressure from our Allies. He inquired what excess shipbuilding capacity actually consisted of in physical terms, and it was agreed that the Defense members of the Mission would find out from the responsible SCAP officials. Reverting to the provisions regarding the inhabitants of the Bonin Islands in the Territorial Section, Ambassador Dulles asked if there would be objection to permitting these people to return to the Bonins. General Magruder said that this would probably involve additional expenditure by the United States Government. It was noted that the problem had important humanitarian aspects, since these people and their forebearers had lived in the islands for generations.

  1. No memorandum of United Kingdom origin regarding that government’s position on a peace treaty at this particular time has been found in Department of State files. For citation of British views presented orally to Mr. Dulles on January 29, and for Mr. Dulles’ summary of this presentation, see the editorial note, p. 825, and Mr. Fearey’s minutes of January 30, p. 830, respectively.
  2. Supra.