208. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Robertson) to the Secretary of State1


  • Follow-up Actions on Kishi Visit

Attached for your information is a report on the actions taken and present status of the various matters raised during the course of Prime Minister Kishi’s visit.

[Page 444]



1. Intergovernmental Committee–On July 12 you wrote to Secretary Wilson2 requesting Department of Defense concurrence in the establishment of an Intergovernmental Committee in Tokyo, headed by Ambassador MacArthur. Mr. Quarles replied to your letter on August 33 concurring in the designation of Ambassador MacArthur as Chairman of the Committee, and designating CINCPAC as a member and principal military and defense adviser on the Committee with COMUS Japan as his alternate. A simultaneous press release4 was issued by the Japanese Foreign Office and Embassy Tokyo on August 6 announcing the establishment of the Committee to be called the “Japanese-American Committee on Security”. The American membership is as indicated above and the Japanese are represented by the Foreign Minister and the Director General of the Defense Agency, with other cabinet members participating when deemed necessary. The terms of reference of the Committee correspond to the three points mentioned in the Joint Communiqué. Working arrangements for the Committee were approved by the Departments of State and Defense on August 13. The first meeting was held on August 16.

2. Ryukyu Islands–Flag Question–State–Defense agreement has been reached that the United States should not, at this time, agree that the Japanese flag be flown in the Ryukyu Islands. Ambassador MacArthur has been informed of this decision but will delay informing the Japanese until a more propitious time.

3. Ryukyu Islands–Real Estate–A letter was sent from Mr. Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary FE, to Assistant Secretary Sprague on July 165 requesting Defense to provide general statistics resulting from the FEC land assessment which could be used in a statement to the Japanese [Page 445] on land utilization in the Ryukyus. A reply has not yet been received from the Department of Defense.6

4. Ryukyuan Emigration–The question of allowing Ryukyuan emigration to the Trust Territories is now under consideration in the Department.

5. Bonin Islands–Repatriation, Compensation and Visits–Mr. Robertson wrote to Assistant Secretary Sprague on July 137 recommending the following action with regard to the foregoing: (1) that an urgent survey be made to determine how many persons Haha Jima and other unoccupied islands in the Bonins could support so that this information will be available before arriving at a final decision on repatriation to the Bonins; (2) that we inform the Japanese that the United States is prepared to compensate those former residents whose property has been expropriated or used by United States military forces, and requesting the Japanese to present evidence of private property holdings in the Bonins and (3) that the Department of Defense concur in permitting some sort of organized visits to the Bonins of properly cleared former residents who desire to visit ancestral graves.

Mr. Sprague’s letter of reply, dated August 8, 1957,8 argued against repatriation and visits to graves on military and security grounds and said that consequently, a survey to determine the capacity of the islands to support Japanese repatriates would serve no useful purpose. The position outlined in this letter, however, was superseded by the discusssion in which Mr. Robertson, Admiral Radford and Mr. Sprague participated at the State–JCS meeting on August 9.9 An understanding was reached in that meeting that the Department of Defense would advise the Department of the results of a survey to determine the number of people the Islands can support and of possible arrangements for visits by Japanese to ancestral graves. Defense agreed generally with the approach to the compensation problem outlined in Mr. Robertson’s letter and suggested that representatives of the two Departments meet to seek agreement on a recommended course of action. Mr. Robertson concurred in this suggestion in a reply to Mr. Sprague’s letter dated August 16, 1957.10

6. United States Force Levels in Japan–A press release regarding the withdrawal of the First Cavalry Division was made on August 1 and a further release on the redeployment of the elements of the Third Marine Division now in Japan to Okinawa was made on August 7. Mr. [Page 446] Robertson wrote to Assistant Secretary Sprague on July 11 requesting to be informed of plans regarding the timing and numbers of withdrawals of United States forces from Japan in the coming months.11 No reply has been received.12

The Department of Defense, with our concurrence, has sent an instruction to CINCPAC,13 the Chief of MAAG in Japan and COMUS Japan informing those military commands that the United States should not offer advice on Japanese force levels or composition thereof unless so requested by Japan.

7. War Criminals, Class A–The concurrence of the Clemency and Parole Board has been obtained to a course of action providing for reduction in sentence to time served or termination of parole supervision with regard to the Class A parolees. This course of action is presently under consideration by the Japanese.

8. Textile Laws–On July 25 you sent letters to the Attorney General and the Secretary of Commerce requesting continued efforts to obtain repeal or invalidation of the Alabama and South Carolina State textile laws.14 On August 2 the Assistant Secretary of Commerce reported to the Acting Secretary that from a practical viewpoint it appears that it will not be possible to obtain voluntary repeal of these laws for two or three years since a reversal of the position of the proponents of these laws cannot be obtained so soon after their enactment. The Acting Secretary urged and it was agreed that the matter would be further explored by the Commerce Department and would be reviewed again in the fall.15 Both the Secretary of Commerce and the Deputy Attorney General have made cooperative replies to your letter of July 25.16

9. Japan’s Financial Position–Approval has been given for short term Export-Import Bank loans to japan of $115 million for grains and [Page 447] cotton.17 An Export-Import Bank commercial credit of $60 million for cotton, in line with similar cotton credits in previous years, is assured. The Export-Import Bank has also announced a loan of $10.3 million to Fuji Iron and Steel Company and $7.3 million to Tohoku Electric Company. Still pending before the Export-Import Bank are about $70 million in other Japanese loan applications.

Japan is expected to seek an “impact” loan from the IBRD in the neighborhood of $300 million in order to maintain liquidity of foreign exchange reserves.

One-half of Japan’s quota of $250 million has been drawn from the IMF.

The Department, subject to the lending criteria of the IBRD and Export-Import Bank and any special policy considerations, should support the remaining Japanese loan applications. Thereafter, this question should be withdrawn from the category “Kishi visit follow-up” and revert to normal status with continuing interest in Japan’s balance of payments problem.

10. GARIOAThe United States did not raise with the Prime Minister the question of a GARIOA settlement, owing to Japan’s difficult balance of payments position. On the United States side, the Interdepartmental Committee under Kenneth Young’s chairmanship has been requested to explore possible ways in which the GARIOA claim could be settled in a manner which would promote increased unity among Free Asian countries.

The question should not be raised with Japan until after the first of the year, if then, depending upon financial and political developments. As soon as the Japanese financial position would tolerate new obligations, and if there is no political obstacle such as the imminence of a general election, an appropriate GARIOA settlement should be requested, taking account of possible collateral benefits to regional economic development.

Hereafter this matter can be treated as one requiring normal, continuing action and removed from the “Kishi visit follow-up” category.

11. Southeast Asian Economic Cooperation–Prime Minister Kishi’s proposals were referred to the interagency committee under the chairmanship of Mr. Kenneth Young for an early report. The Department has now received this report.18 The Department should consider the Committee’s recommendations and prepare an early and appropriate response to the Japanese.

[Page 448]

12. Japanese Vested Assets–Nothing specific has been done with respect to Japanese vested assets. However, just prior to and since the Prime Minister’s visit there have been the extensive discussions regarding German vested assets and United States war claims against Germany with which you are familiar. These discussions resulted in the White House announcement of July 31, 1957 concerning vested German assets. The final paragraph of this announcement indicates that an effort will be made to present to the next session of Congress a plan for dealing with Japanese vested assets. FE believes we should give full consideration to the limited return to former Japanese individual (natural person) owners specified in the Administration bills introduced in the last and the present Congress.

13. China Trade Controls–Japan aligned CHINCOM with COCOM controls effective July 30.

In the recent IL/II quota discussions in Paris the Japanese initially took an independent line and made unrealistically high quota demands for items in which they are particularly interested. However, within the limitations of their position which called for the abolition of the CHINCOM differential, they responded to United States requests for support and cooperated in keeping 1957 quotas at a level to which the United Sates could agree. Japan should again be requested to cooperate in keeping quotas low when COCOMCHINCOM meets to set 1958 levels for the European Soviet Bloc and Communist China.

14. Offshore Procurement–This question was not discussed with the Prime Minister, although he did express appreciation of this type of assistance. The Department decided, however, that it should support the continuation of the offshore procurement program in Japan at a substantial level. No specific action has been deemed necessary so far. The Defense Department presentation of the proposed FY 1958 MDAP aid programs indicated that a substantial proportion of worldwide offshore procurement was contemplated for placement in Japan. Hereafter, this can be treated as a subject of normal continuing action and removed from the category of “Kishi visit follow-up”.

15. Temporary Agricultural Labor–Mr. Murphy has arranged to hold a meeting on August 19 with Secretary of Labor Mitchell and General Swing of the Immigration and Naturalization Service at which the Department of State will attempt to obtain concurrence in expanding the program to a fixed ceiling of 3,000 persons.

16. Disarmament Developments–The United States delegation in London was requested to continue to supply detailed background information to the Japanese, especially as regards the United States position on nuclear tests.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 794.13/8–1657. Secret. Drafted in NA and cleared with Reinhardt.
  2. Not printed. (Ibid., 033.9411/7–1257)
  3. In his letter, Quarles asked that CINCPAC (rather than COMUS as proposed by Dulles) be the principal military adviser: “Since Japanese security and defense matters cannot be considered in isolation from the problems of the Far East as a whole CINCPAC as the Unified Commander appears to be the appropriate designee. In addition, such a designation, with COMUS Japan as his representative and alternate would make it clear that COMUS Japan would be speaking with the voice of CINCPAC rather than as a local commander. Finally this would be in accord with the command structure in the Pacific whereby COMUS Japan performs only the functions of coordination of a Unified Commander in Japan as the designated representative of CINCPAC.” (Ibid., 794.5/8–357)
  4. For text, see Department of State Bulletin, August 26, 1957, p. 350.
  5. See footnote 2, supra.
  6. The reply, supra, was not received in the Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs until August 19.
  7. Not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 033.9411/7–1357)
  8. Not printed. (Ibid.,FE Files: Lot 59 D 19, Sprague, Mansfield D.)
  9. See Document 204.
  10. Not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 794C.0221/8–1657)
  11. Not printed. (Ibid., 794.5/7–1157)
  12. On August 2, the joint Chiefs of Staff recommended to the Secretary of Defense withdrawal of certain U.S. units in Japan to accomplish a reduction of 40 percent in the total. On August 14, Wilson approved the recommendations and set June 30, 1958, as the target date for achievement of the goal. On October 14, 1957, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robertson decided that the First Marine Air Wing, previously scheduled to leave Japan as part of the reduction, was to remain in Japan until further notice. Documentation on redeployment schedules as set in the summer of 1957 is in National Archives and Records Administration, JCS Records, CCS 092 Japan (12–12–50).
  13. DEF 927589, August 16, not printed. (Department of Defense Files)
  14. Neither printed. (Both in Department of State, FE Files: Lot 59 D 19, Proposed State Legislation)
  15. Memorandum of conversation between Herter and Henry Kearns, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Affairs, by Thelma E. Vettel, Assistant Officer in Charge of Economic Affairs in NA, not printed. (Ibid., Central Files, 411.9412/8–257)
  16. Neither found in Department of State files.
  17. The Export-Import Bank and the Bank of Japan reached this agreement on August 16. Details are in telegram 427 to Tokyo, August 21. (Department of State, Central Files, 894.10/8–2157)
  18. See vol. XXI, p. 356.