The publication Foreign Relations of the United States constitutes the official record of the foreign policy of the United States. The volumes in the series include, subject to necessary security considerations, all documents needed to give a comprehensive record of the major foreign policy decisions of the United States together with appropriate materials concerning the facts that contributed to the formulation of policies. Documents in the files of the Department of State are supplemented by papers from other government agencies involved in the formulation of foreign policy.

The basic documentary diplomatic record printed in the volumes of the series is edited by the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, Department of State. The editing is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and in accordance with the following official guidance first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925:

There may be no alteration of the text, no deletions without indicating the place in the text where the deletion is made, and no omission of facts which were of major importance in reaching a decision. Nothing may be omitted for the purpose of concealing or glossing over what might be regarded by some as a defect of policy. However, certain omissions of documents are permissible for the following reasons:

To avoid publication of matters that would tend to impede current diplomatic negotiations or other business.
To condense the record and avoid repetition of needless details.
To preserve the confidence reposed in the Department by individuals and by foreign governments.
To avoid giving needless offense to other nationalities or individuals.
To eliminate personal opinions presented in despatches and not acted upon by the Department. To this consideration there is one qualification: in connection with major decisions it is desirable, where possible, to show the alternative presented to the Department before the decision was made.
[Page IV]

Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, Volume XXIII, Part 1

In planning the overall scope of the Foreign Relations volumes for the 1955–1957 triennium, the editors chose to present the documentation on U.S. policy in East Asia in four separate volumes. Volume I is devoted entirely to the record of U.S. policy toward the civil war in Vietnam. Volume XXI presents the record of general U.S. policy toward East Asian security, including the Southeast Asia Treaty Association, and U.S. relations with Laos and Cambodia. Volume XXII documents U.S. relations with Burma, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Malaya, and Thailand. Volume XXIII will be published in two parts; Part 2 covering U.S. relations with Korea will be published at a later date.

This volume, which was initially compiled in 1979, is intended to document major steps in the formulation of U.S. policies toward Japan and main issues in U.S. relations with the Japanese Government. The editors focused on documenting U.S. interest in maintaining its security relationship with Japan; U.S.-Japan relationships in military matters, particularly the financing, status, and behavior of U.S. troops in Japan; U.S. concerns regarding the Soviet-Japanese peace treaty negotiations; U.S. interest in the economic future of Japan; and U.S. policy with respect to the Bonin and Ryukyu islands.

President Eisenhower was frequently personally involved in the formulation of U.S. policy toward Japan. The editors made the most careful effort to utilize all materials available in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, including the memoranda of discussion at National Security Council meetings and other institutional NSC documents included in the Library’s Whitman File. Documents from the Eisenhower Library constitute a major portion of the materials printed in this volume.

The Department of State and the Embassy in Tokyo played continuous and important roles in the policy process. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles made policy recommendations to the President, and he made significant decisions within the lines of established policies. He took a leading role in such matters as U.S. policy regarding the Soviet-Japanese peace treaty negotiations and the renegotiation of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. The Embassy made important recommendations regarding all the leading issues in U.S.-Japan relations, at times bringing about modifications of policies formulated in Washington.

The editors had complete access to all Department of State files including the central decimal files, the special subfiles of the Executive Secretariat, the various decentralized (lot) files originally maintained at [Page V] the Bureau, office, or division level, and the Embassy files as retired to the Washington National Records Center of the National Archives and Records Administration.

The Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were closely involved in such issues as the determination of the balance between U.S. and Japanese funding of U.S. forces in Japan, questions of criminal jurisdiction such as the Girard case, the U.S. attitude toward the pace and character of Japanese rearmament, and modification of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. The editors had access to the records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs), declassified files of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the National Archives and Records Administration, other specified files of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as agreed upon request, and cable files at the U.S. Army Military History Institute.

The editors did not attempt to document U.S. intelligence operations or any significant relationship between foreign policy and intelligence. At the time this volume was prepared, limitations on access by official historians to relevant records made such research impractical. The editors did have access to National Intelligence Estimates and Special National Intelligence Estimates in the files of the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and to the important intelligence documents at the Eisenhower Library, and some key intelligence analyses that contributed to major political or diplomatic actions are included in the volume.

Procedures for expanded access by Department historians to the records of the Central Intelligence Agency were being developed at the time this volume was ready for publication. The Department of State was not prepared to delay the publication of this volume pending the outcome of those developments, but does intend to release in subsequent publications of the Foreign Relations series, or in some other manner, significant declassified documentation obtained from the Central Intelligence Agency files.

A listing of the sources consulted in the preparation of this volume is on pages XI–XV.

The editors of the volume are confident that the documentation presented here accurately illuminates the main lines of U.S. policy toward Japan in 1955–1957. The declassification review process, outlined in more detail below, resulted in the withholding of about 9 percent of the material originally proposed for inclusion in this volume because the requirements of national security necessitated its continued classification and protection.

[Page VI]

The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, in particular David Haight; the National Archives and Records Administration; the Department of Defense; and other specialized repositories who assisted in the collection of documents for this volume.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Incoming telegrams from U.S. missions are placed according to time of receipt in the Department of State or other receiving agency, rather than the time of transmission; memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the Editor in Chief and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Obvious typographical errors are corrected, but other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an omission in roman type. Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate text that has been omitted because it deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or because it remained classified after the declassification review process (in italic type). The amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. All ellipses and brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The first footnote to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. The source footnote also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates if the President and/or his major policy advisers read it. Every effort has been made to determine if a document has been previously published and this information has been included in the source footnote. If two or more different accounts of a meeting or event are available and one or more is already declassified and published, the editors chose to print the still unpublished one and obtain its declassification.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in this volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and summarize and provide citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts has been used when applicable to supplement the official record.

[Page VII]

Declassification Review Procedures

Declassification review of the documents selected for publication was conducted by the Division of Historical Documents Review, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Department of State. The review was made in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and the criteria established in Executive Order 12356 regarding:

military plans, weapons, or operations;
the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
foreign government information;
intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;
foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;
scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to national security;
U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
cryptology; and
a confidential source.

Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and appropriate foreign governments regarding documents of those governments. The principle guiding declassification review is to release as much information as is consistent with contemporary requirements of national security and sound foreign relations.

David W. Mabon prepared this volume under the supervision of former Editor in Chief John P. Glennon. Lynn Chase and Rosa D. Pace prepared the lists of sources, abbreviations, and names. Althea W. Robinson and Rita M. Baker performed the technical editing. Barbara A. Bacon of the Publishing Services Division (Paul M. Washington, Chief) oversaw production of the volume. Max Franke prepared the index.

William Z. Slany
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs

April 1991