Tokyo Post Files: 320.1 Peace Treaty

Memorandum of Conversation, by the United States Political Adviser to SCAP (Sebald)

Subject: Audience with the Japanese Emperor.

Participants: Emperor Hirohito
Ambassador and Mrs. John Foster Dulles
Ambassador and Mrs. W. J. Sebald
Mr. Y. Matsudaira
Mr. T.Mitani
Mr. A. Matsui (Interpreter)

Pursuant to arrangements made this morning, Ambassador and Mrs. Dulles, Mrs. Sebald and I proceeded to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo for the purpose of having audience with Emperor Hirohito. The audience was held in a private room and was conducted informally and in an atmosphere of sociability and cordiality.

After some conversation on non-political matters, at my suggestion, Ambassador Dulles briefly explained the accomplishments during his visit, and commented upon the type of treaty which it is hoped can be concluded between the United States, its Allies, and Japan. Ambassador Dulles also commented briefly upon the bilateral agreement, in accordance with which, at the request of Japan, United States armed forces will be stationed in and about Japan as a provisional measure, and pending such time as Japan will be able to provide for its own defense. In response to this explanation, the Emperor expressed wholehearted agreement and appreciation to the United States for the friendly manner in which the “negotiations” had been carried out between the Dulles Mission and the Japanese Government.

Ambassador Dulles said that he hoped the Emperor would lend his support, if necessary, to the proposed treaty, as, in his opinion, it is desirable that the Japanese people as a whole support the treaty which we believed to be fair and reasonable. The Emperor again expressed his concurrence and said that he was fully in accord with the concepts mentioned.

During the course of the conversation, the Emperor said that he was fully aware that Japanese troops had committed many misdeeds [Page 874] in other countries, and that for this reason the peoples of Asia probably were not friendly to the Japanese. He hoped that Japan, by its example, could overcome the bad reputation so made, and that the peoples of Asia would live peacefully side by side with Japan. He also said that he was very sorry not to have had the power to prevent Japan from making war against the United States, but that under the existing circumstances there was little that he could do.

In concluding the audience, Ambassador Dulles said that he hoped the Emperor would have no objection if he were to extend the Emperor’s greetings to President Truman. The Emperor asked that Ambassador Dulles by all means do so, and to say that he also expressed the wish that Japan and the United States would always live side by side in peace.

W. J. Sebald