16. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Japan0

2756. For Ambassador. Embtel 32021 and letter April 18.2 As you know from communications from Department, at time you were recommending consideration revision Security Treaty with Japan we were exploring within Department possibility discussing with Prime Minister reversion of administrative rights in Ryukyus with bases being reserved as military enclaves over which US would retain complete jurisdiction.

Both these considerations were directed at a determination of what action US might be advised take to encourage Japanese move toward more satisfactory mutual security relationship with US.

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Following receipt Embtel 27073 we decided that the wide scatter of American bases in Ryukyus and the uncertainty with respect to need for missile-launching sites presented problems which could not be immediately overcome in connection with possible administrative reversion. In this connection I plan talk to Secretary McElroy soon about entire range short and long-run problems in Ryukyus. During conversation I plan raise question base consolidation and more accurate forecast missile-launching sites with view to furthering consideration between two Departments of possibility administrative reversion.4

Meantime Department has also been working on draft security treaty which you forwarded to Department with letter February 18.5 Your draft seemed too closely geared to present political atmosphere in Japan. Accordingly draft language is being modified so that while not inconsistent with present political posture in Japan it would, at same time, permit Japan later on to assume increasing responsibility without necessitating prior revision of the treaty itself. This could be largely accomplished by leaving one or more of the articles “open ended”. Specific changes being telegraphed separately.

In our consideration various problems in US-Japanese relations, Department feels somewhat handicapped by lack complete knowledge Japanese thinking relation to their long-term objectives in security field. We recognize Japan’s defense effort is increasing annually but we are not clear as to how fast and in exactly what direction these moves will take Japan in future. Accordingly before making any firm decisions in Washington as to which of various means might be chosen to stimulate Japan in development firmer alignment with free world and greater participation in defense responsibilities Pacific area you should probe possibilities with Foreign Minister and Prime Minister as they follow-up approach Foreign Minister reported Embtel 3202, and approach Prime Minister reported Embtel 3354.6

In our view moving ahead in security area in Japan is heavily dependent upon Prime Minister’s ability develop support Japanese people for direction which it appears he wishes to pursue. Accordingly his judgment regarding direction and speed Japan’s development in [Page 38] defense area becomes important element in manner in which we as Government handle problems which discussions with him will raise.

Anticipated Mr. Kishi would wish to discuss not only security relations and Ryukyuan problems with you but also Japanese-American trade and economic development Southeast Asia. While there is little that can be added regarding these economic matters present time believe exchange views would be beneficial and you are free enter into exploratory talks on these matters without of course committing the US in any way.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.94/6–558. Secret; Limit Distribution; No Distribution Outside Department. Drafted by Parsons; cleared with S/S, L, G, and E; and approved by Dulles.
  2. Document 15.
  3. Document 11.
  4. Document 9.
  5. Reported in a memorandum of conversation between Dulles and McElroy dated June 30. (Department of State, Central Files, 794C.0221/6–3058) See Supplement.
  6. Document 4.
  7. In telegram 3354 from Tokyo, June 19, MacArthur informed the Department that during his meeting with Kishi on June 18 the latter reminded the Ambassador of Japanese interest in having confidential talks on U.S.-Japanese security arrangements. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.94/6–1958)