Lot 56D527

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


Minutes—Dulles Mission Staff Meeting February 7, 9:30 A M

Military Understandings

Mr. Johnson said that the Defense members of the Mission had met with Japanese representatives the previous morning and that the latter had accepted our proposals practically without change. The thing that sold them was the concept that while the Diet would approve the treaty the administrative agreement would be a Cabinet action only. The only changes which the Japanese requested were deletion of the reference to the surrender terms in the treaty,1 and qualification of the reference in the administrative agreement to internal riots and disturbances by the phrase “through instigation or intervention by outside Power or Powers”.2 Both requests were accepted. Ambassador Dulles said that it would seem that the reference to riots and disturbances in the main treaty could well be deleted since they were contained in the bilateral.


Ambassador Dulles mentioned his meeting the previous afternoon with the lady members of the Diet and with the Ryokufukai leaders. He said that the latter had appeared to be a more level-headed group than some others. Referring to his meeting the previous evening with General MacArthur, he said that the Prime Minister had apparently been in to see the General during the morning. General MacArthur [Page 864] seemed to think things were going very well. Ambassador Dulles had raised the question of whether he should make a courtesy call on the Emperor and General MacArthur, after some thought, had said that he thought he should. Ambassador Dulles commented that in thinking the matter over there seemed little doubt that the visit would make a good impression in Japan but that the Mission had done enough in that line and the task in the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand would probably be rendered more difficult if he were to call on the Emperor before peace had been concluded, instead of the Emperor calling on him. General MacArthur did not seem to feel any compelling reason for the visit from the Japanese standpoint. Ambassador Dulles said that with matters in Japan pretty well cleared up we had better think first of the Allies.

Ambassador Sebald said that he agreed that it would probably be best for Ambassador Dulles not to call on the Emperor, noting that he had already gone further in meeting Japanese than any leading official since the occupation. Mr. Johnson inquired whether the Emperor would probably sign the treaty, saying that General MacArthur seemed to envisage his doing so. Ambassador Dulles said that he did not think the Emperor would have any role in the treaty-making process, and Mr. Spinks3 said that as far as he could recall the Emperor never signed treaties even under the old system. Colonel Babcock said that the Australians were especially sensitive about the Emperor. Ambassador Dulles said that General MacArthur had said that the call would be desirable from the Japanese standpoint but that the effect upon our Allies would have to be evaluated by the Mission. It was decided that the call would not be made.

Meeting with Mr. Yoshida

Ambassador Dulles said that it might be possible to wind things up during the meeting that morning with Mr. Yoshida. As to the Japanese comments on the treaty paraphrase, Ambassador Dulles said that we could of course accept their proposal that the phrase “and their elected representatives”4 be deleted. As regards their request that a clause be inserted putting an end to the prosecution of new war crimes cases, it was decided to inform Mr. Yoshida that we expect all of these cases will have been completed by the time the treaty comes into effect but that if this is not the case we will be willing to consider inclusion of the requested clause.


Ambassador Dulles said that General MacArthur had again expressed himself as very strongly opposed to Japan’s being required to [Page 865] pay yen compensation for damage to Allied property in Japan. He agreed that payment would probably not have any serious effect on Japan’s economy, but held that the provisions would place the US in a morally indefensible position vis-à-vis the Philippines and some other countries which had received little reparations. It would look as though the United States and England were feathering their own nest at the expense of these other countries. Ambassador Dulles had pointed out that the payments would in effect be in blocked yen and would probably be used for the most part for local investment. The payments would thus be entirely different from the exaction of further reparations involving the removal of assets from Japan. Ambassador Dulles commented that it was probably best to ask for this compensation as far as Japan was concerned, though we may wish to give it back. We would probably wish to consider the matter when the Mission returned to Washington. General Magruder stated again that yen used for the payment of compensation would not be available for rearmament.

Ambassador Dulles said that the British Ambassador had left a memorandum5 with him in which the British Govt had contended that Japan with only ⅓ of its present shipbuilding capacity could build up its merchant marine to 4 billion tons in 10 years. When asked who would destroy or dismantle the “excess” capacity, Sir Alvary replied that he had no instructions on the point.6 Reverting to the question of compensation claims, Ambassador Dulles said that this was perhaps the toughest problem we have. Colonel Babcock mentioned a recent newspaper report that the Philippines planned to submit an $8-billion reparations claim to the FEC. Mr. Johnson noted that the Philippine government was in a highly unstable position and that its reparations position undoubtedly derived from internal political factors. Ambassador Dulles said that the question of the position which the United States should take on the compensation issue would not be finally settled until the Mission had returned to Washington.

Support of Korean Operation

Ambassador Dulles said that there was one thing he wished to raise with the Defense members. In September when the United States decided to go ahead with a treaty it looked as if the Korean conflict would be favorably resolved. When the United States resumed treaty discussions a while ago, it looked as if it would be unfavorably resolved. Now it looks as if the Korean war might carry on into the post-treaty period. There might be a stalemate in Korea which [Page 866] would still require a considerable contribution from the Japanese economy and Japanese facilities. Ambassador Dulles wondered whether sufficient thought had been given to the transition from an occupation to a peace status if the Korean hostilities were still going on.

General Magruder said that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had expressed themselves as unwilling to have the treaty ratified while the Korean operation was still going on. Ambassador Dulles said that there was a chance that this position would have to be reversed. If the Japanese think the treaty is being held up by their contribution to the Korean campaign, they would probably very quickly cease that contribution. Thought should be given to what assurances or undertakings we need to get from the Japanese to insure that we can move from an occupation to a treaty basis without adversely affecting the Korean operation if it is still on.

General Magruder said that he did not think there would be any particular difficulties. Ambassador Dulles agreed but said that the question should nevertheless be looked into. It needed to be thought of not just from the time of ratification of a treaty but from the time of signing. He said that it was his understanding that General MacArthur planned to wave good-by as soon as the treaty was signed, and he wondered whether the occupation might not largely fall apart after General MacArthur had left. He asked General Magruder whether the occupation was a personal organization heavily dependent on General MacArthur’s presence, to which the General replied that he did not think that it was. He thought that the principal effect of General MacArthur’s leaving would be to expedite the reduction of personnel. Ambassador Dulles commented that it seemed probable that the U.S. would get more help out of Japan after a treaty than if it were to block a treaty because of Korea. It was decided that the Defense members would raise the question with Mr. Yoshida in general terms before the Mission’s departure and after learning exactly what Korean operations were involved and might be affected by the treaty.

  1. Reference is apparently to the document of February 5 which was the forerunner of the bilateral security treaty, but which was still officially styled an “agreement”. For text, see p. 856.

    For the mentioned change, see Annex II to the letter of February 10 from Ambassador Dulles to Secretary Acheson, p. 875.

  2. An apparent error: both requested changes pertain to the first document cited in footnote 1 above. (No draft of the administrative agreement dated prior to that printed as Annex IV to the letter mentioned in footnote 1 above has been found in Department of States files.)
  3. C. Nelson Spinks, First Secretary of Mission.
  4. From the fourth paragraph of the “Provisional Memorandum”. See Annex I to the letter cited in footnote 1 above.
  5. Not printed. Attached to the memorandum cited in footnote 6 below.
  6. In his notes on this conversation held February 6, Mr. Fearey had written in part that when asked this question, “Sir Alvary replied that, speaking on a purely personal basis, he believed his government contemplated that it would be done by SCAP.” (Tokyo Post Files: 320.1 Peace Treaty)