No. 573
Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs (Young) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison)

top secret


  • Proposed Agreement Between The United States and Japan to Establish Measures For The Combined United States-Japanese Defense in Japan

I. The Problem

Mr. Sullivan of the Defense Department left with me the attached cable (C 69362) from CINCFE and a copy of a proposed oral communication1 to appropriate Japanese officials on the above subject. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have requested approval by the Secretary of Defense of the attached agreement.2 However, Mr. Nash and Mr. Sullivan have requested State’s comments before authorizing the agreement. They would like our reaction as soon as possible.

Part I of the agreement cites the Security Treaty as the basis for the establishment of measures for the combined United States-Japanese defense of Japan. Part II proposes Japanese agreement to two contingencies, namely:

Immediate Steps
Appropriate officials of the Japanese Government and representatives of the Commander in Chief, Far East, will initiate combined planning designed to promote complete mutual understanding on the defense of Japan should hostilities occur.
Among other things, such planning will proceed on the basis of our agreement that in the event of an enemy attack on Japan, which is of such a nature as to preclude the timely definition of command responsibility, the Japanese defense forces will immediately come under the temporary operational control of United States commanders.
Initial planning will also establish liaison procedures between United States and Japanese defense forces, the structure of command, and all necessary measures to preclude divergence of United States and Japanese military efforts should hostilities occur.
In Event of Hostilities or Imminence of Hostilities Against Japan. [Page 1275]
All United States forces in Japan and all Japanese organizations, excepting local and national rural police, having military potential would be placed under unified command.
A supreme commander for the combined United States-Japanese forces would be designated by the United States after consultation with the Japanese Government.
The Supreme Commander will have authority to use, for the strategic and tactical disposition of the combined forces, such areas, installations and facilities in Japan as he deems necessary.

Part III provides that as Japanese security forces develop their capabilities, the foregoing arrangements will receive continuing review to the end that these forces may increasingly assume responsibility for the defense of Japanese territories against external aggression.

CINCFE in his CX 68274 [C 69362] takes the position that the matter pertains directly to his responsibility for the defense of Japan, is specifically authorized as a CINCFE function by paragraph 1d (1) of the President’s memorandum of April 23, 19523 on principles governing the relationship between the Ambassador and CINCFE in the post-treaty period, and therefore, should be negotiated by him. This is contrary to General Ridgway’s position as CINCFE. CINCFE states that he has discussed this subject with Ambassador Murphy who concurs in his views.

II. Background


RuskOkazaki Understanding on Defense Measures Over and Above Final Provision in Administrative Agreement

Informal discussions between Rusk and Okazaki in the course of determining the final wording of Article XXII (present Article XXIV) brought to light the general attitude of the Japanese Government on the problem of the combined command under a United States commander and joint United States-Japanese defense measures in the event of hostilities or threatened hostilities. Okazaki and the Prime Minister agreed in principle as to the necessity of establishing a combined command in the event of hostilities or threat thereof, the commander of which would be designated by the United States, but they were unable to make such an agreement public in that it was of major political importance, would sound the “death knell” of the Liberal Party, and mean certain defeat of the Government in the coming general election. (See Annex for more detailed discussion of RuskOkazaki conversation[s].4)

[Page 1276]

The substance of the proposed agreement appears to be consistent with the informal and highly confidential exchange of views between Minister Okazaki and Ambassador Rusk. NA recognizes the military necessity of reaching an agreement in the near future with the Japanese Government on combined strategic planning for the defense of Japan, and having reviewed this issue in the light of other negotiations such as the status of United Nations forces in Japan and present political events in Japan (the coming general election and possible creation of a conservative coalition government), concludes that the present time is as good as any to approach the Japanese Government on this matter. However, NA feels strongly that these conversations be kept on a highly confidential and oral basis. Any hint of Japanese Government concessions on this matter might mean its downfall, and would be very likely to have adverse effects on US-Japanese relationships.


Relationship Between the Ambassador and CINCFE

Paragraph la of the President’s memorandum of April 23 states:

“The Chief of the Diplomatic Mission to Japan, as the representative of the President and acting on his behalf shall be responsible under the immediate supervision of the Secretary of State for all governmental relations in Japan between the United States and Japan, and shall exercise the appropriate functions of a Chief of Diplomatic Mission.”

CINCFE bases his jurisdictional authority for the negotiation of this agreement on paragraph 1d (1):

“The Commander-in-Chief, Far East, is authorized to administer and to deal directly with appropriate representatives of the Japanese Government with respect to:

“(1) All military matters in implementation of agreements reached between the United States and Japan, including matters affecting the security of the Commander-in-Chief’s Forces, the defense of Japan, and, to the extent provided by such agreements between the United States and Japan, the command and deployment of Japanese forces and combined strategic planning.”

NA challenges the jurisdiction of CINCFE in this matter, believing that the negotiation of the proposed agreement is a governmental function and is not “in implementation of agreements reached”, and is, therefore, within the jurisdiction of the Ambassador. It is possible that CINCFE bases his position on the theory that the negotiation of the present agreement is in implementation of Article XXIV of the Administrative Agreement which provides:

“In the event of hostilities, or imminently threatened hostilities, in the Japan area, the Governments of the United States and Japan shall immediately consult together with a view to taking [Page 1277] necessary joint measures for the defense of that area and to carrying out the purposes of Article I of the Security Treaty.”

NA is of the view that such a position is untenable in view of the following factors: (1) Article XXIV applies “in the event of hostilities, or imminently threatened hostilities,” and (2) Paragraph 1d (1) is related to the “implementation of agreements”, not to the negotiation of agreements. The discussion of combined United States-Japanese defense measures is of the highest governmental importance and carries such great political implication that it should be clearly established as a responsibility of the Ambassador to conduct all discussions with the Japanese of basic policy. The determination of policy is a matter for State and Defense, acting jointly. Once determined, the policy should go to the Ambassador, who should be responsible for reaching the basic understandings with the Japanese. Obviously, this is initially a State–Defense problem. Once an understanding is reached, its implementation is the province of the military.

NA recognizes the necessity of reaching such an understanding and assuring that steps are taken at an early stage to coordinate United States-Japanese defense measures. Therefore, NA would propose that agreement be reached with Defense authorizing the Ambassador to approach Okazaki or Yoshida on this matter, referring to the earlier RuskOkazaki understanding, and stressing the highly confidential nature of the matter, and to propose that an agreement or understanding be reached whereby combined planning could be implemented on the technical level. Such a procedure would have the merit of assuring the governmental nature of this agreement, providing Yoshida the opportunity of discussing the political implications of the agreement with the Ambassador, preserving the strictest secrecy, and still permitting full implementation at the technical level.

III. Recommendations

It is recommended that:

in principle the necessity of reaching agreement with the Japanese Government at this time be accepted;
agreement be reached with Defense authorizing the Ambassador under paragraph 1 (a) of the President’s memorandum to initiate discussion with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on this subject;
the attached telegram to Ambassador Murphy requesting his views be approved.5

  1. Neither attached to the source text. Telegram C 69362 from CINCFE, signed Clark, to the Department of the Army for the JCS, is dated Mar. 31. (Department of Defense files)
  2. That is, the draft of a proposed oral communication.
  3. See the attachment to Document 557.
  4. Not printed. This Annex summarizes some of the documentation concerning Article XXII (XXIV) printed ante.
  5. Draft not found attached. It was sent as telegram 540, June 17, not printed. (794.5/6–1752) In telegram 574 from Tokyo, June 18, marked “Eyes only Allison no distribution outside Dept.”, Ambassador Murphy replied in part that he had not previously studied the background of the matter and had thought “off-hand” that the language of the President’s memorandum had entitled CINCFE to deal directly with Japanese officials on an agreement establishing unified command. “It is clear from your message and I believe a close reading of para 1d that negotiation intergovernmental agreement wld not fall within CINCFE’s authority. I shall discuss this further with Gen. Clark and telegraph views re substance proposal, etc.” (794.5/6–1852)