London Post Files: 350 Japan

The First Secretary of the Embassy in the United Kingdom (Ringwalt) to the Head of the Japan and Pacific Department (Johnston) in the United Kingdom Foreign Office


(Dear Charles:) As you are aware, the Department of State during the past few days, has suggested a number of changes, the substance of which has already been communicated to you orally, in the June 14 draft of a Japanese peace treaty.

I now propose to put these changes in writing in as nearly an authoritative form as I can, together with the Department’s explanations, where given, for the various changes:

Article 1:

At the end, change the period to a comma and add “as provided for in Article 23”.

Reason: The coming into force of the treaty is already controlled by Article 23 but we believe that an express cross reference would be useful.

Article 3:

The first sentence should read as follows: “Japan will concur in any proposal of the United States to the United Nations to place under its trusteeship system, with the United States as the sole administering authority, the Ryukyu Islands south of 29° north latitude, the Nanpo Shoto south of Sofu Gan (including the Bonin Islands, Rosario Island and the Volcano Islands) and Parece Vela and Marcus Island.”

Reason: It is desired to emphasize the exclusive United States administering position and to make clear that the trust territory covers all the islands and reefs which might be included in the South Nanpo Shoto area.

Article 6(a):

The opening sentence should begin “All occupation forces …”

Reason: “Occupation” forces includes more than “armed” forces but the emphasis is on the ending of occupation as such.

[Page 1169]

Article 8(a):

The first sentence should read as follows: “Japan will recognize the full force of all treaties now or hereafter concluded by Allied Powers for terminating the state of war initiated on September 1st, 1939, as well as any other arrangements by Allied Powers for or in connexion with the restoration of peace.”

Reason: Without the additions suggested, Japan might be bound to recognize the arrangements made by the Soviet Union with East Germany, for example, even though the Soviet Union is not an Allied Power for the purposes of the Japanese peace treaty. We would prefer to omit wholly the first sentence of 8(a) as vague and without clear practical significance but would retain it subject to the amendment proposed.

Article 8(b):

In the second line add an “s” to the word “convention”.

Reason: This would cover the liquor convention,1 as desired by the United Kingdom.

Article 12(d):

The final few lines of this paragraph should read: “… or on the need to safeguard that party’s external financial position or balance of payments (except in respect to shipping and navigation) or in the need to maintain its essential security interests, and provided such measure is proportionate to the circumstances and not applied in an arbitrary or unreasonable manner”.

Reason: This would meet the United Kingdom desire that the balance of payments and foreign exchange conditions should not be available as a basis for according preferential treatment to national shipping. We are extremely reluctant to make this concession but in view of Mr. Morrison’s personal message to Mr. Dulles of June 22nd2 and to expedite agreement on an unqualified text we are prepared to meet Mr. Morrison’s view.

Article 14(a):

The first line should read: “It is recognized that, although Japan should …”

Reason: To meet the feeling that Japan should share recognition of the principle of reparation.

Article 14(a) (1):

The second sentence should read as follows: “Such arrangements shall avoid the imposition …”

[Page 1170]

Reason: The original phrase, taken from the Italian Peace Treaty is not so necessary in the case of Japan where there has been much more time for reconstruction. It could be misused politically in the Philippines and other areas occupied by Japan to indicate greater concern for Japanese reconstruction than with occupied areas reconstruction.

Article 15(a):

The first two lines on page 13 of the draft3 should read: “Power and its nationals which was within Japan on December 7, 1941, unless the owner has freely …”

Reason: It is believed that neither of our governments intended that compensation legislation should cover claims for looted Allied property brought to Japan during the war and then consumed or lost.

Article 16:

This Article should read as follows: “As an expression of its desire to indemnify those members of the armed forces of the Allied Powers who suffered undue hardships while prisoners of war of Japan, Japan will transfer its assets and those of its nationals which were, on September 2, 1945, within countries which were neutral during the war, or which were at war with any of the Allied Powers, or the equivalent of such assets, to the International Committee of the Red Cross which shall liquidate such assets and distribute the resultant fund for the benefit of former prisoners of war and their families on such basis as it may determine to be equitable those categories of assets which are excepted from seizure in the jurisdiction of Allied Powers pursuant to the provisions of Article 14(a)2(II) of the present treaty, and the 19,770 shares of the Bank for International Settlements presently owned by Japanese financial institutions, shall be excepted from transfer”.

Reason: As now expressed, Article 16 would only speak as from coming into force of the treaty and the assets removed before then would be exempted. We understand the International Committee of the Red Cross is the proper body for a task of this character. It is also assumed that assets exempted from seizure by the Allied Powers themselves should be exempt under Article 16 with further exemption to shares of the Bank for International Settlements because of the international and quasi-extraterritorial character of the institution and the special circumstances surrounding the disposal of Japanese shares.

[Page 1171]

Article 21:

This Article should read: “… China shall be entitled to the benefits of Articles 10 and 14(a) 2 …”

Reason: If China got the benefits of Article 14(a)1, Japan would be obliged “promptly” to enter into negotiations concerning services to be rendered to China. It is intended to make automatic only those provisions which could be carried out without inter-governmental dealings.

First Declaration:

In the final paragraph insert an “(a)” before the words “the Convention of International Civil Aviation”; change the final period to a comma and add “and (b) the Convention of the World Meteorological Organization signed at Washington under date of October 11, 1947”.

(Sincerely yours,)

(Arthur R. Ringwalt)
  1. For text of the Convention relating to the Liquor Traffic in Africa, signed at St. Germain-en-Laye, September 10, 1919, see TS No. 779 or 46 Stat. (pt. 2) 2199.
  2. Not printed, but see footnote 2, p. 1167.
  3. Reference is to the first sentence of Article 15(a).