176. Telegram From the Embassy in Japan to the Department of State0

4138. Embassy telegram 4127.1 As Fujiyama was tied up with cabinet this morning I met with Yamada to discuss further President’s visit. I told him that before talking about any details re this matter, I would like to say few words about implications of yesterday’s demonstration at Haneda as it related to President’s visit along lines I took with Fujiyama last night (penultimate para Embtel 4129).2

I said GOJ has heaviest imaginable responsibility re visit. If anything should happen to President or there should be bad incident it would be major disaster. I therefore assumed that in light of yesterday’s event GOJ is now giving most grave and serious restudy as to its ability to assure President’s security. Additionally and in light of yesterday’s incident both Hagerty and I pointed out that eyes of world would be more than ever focused on Japan when President comes here with many new implications which would have to be taken into account in order to be certain that visit would advance interests of Japanese-American friendship. It was inevitable that any incident, no matter how trivial, would be greatly exaggerated and blown up by press.

[Page 350]

Yamada said he agreed and that GOJ and competent security authorities were re-examining problem having in mind same type of considerations I had raised.

One of Yamada’s subordinates asked on personal basis whether helicopter could be used to transport President from Haneda to Tokyo so as to avoid long drive from airport. I said that if government could not assure President’s security in motorcade from airport and therefore should propose helicopter, I felt personally that it would be better for GOJ to ask for postponement of visit. For inevitably, making trip by helicopter would be portrayed in some quarters at least as indication that neither safety of Emperor nor President could be assured in Japan. This it seemed to me would create a deplorable image of Japan in eyes of world and would damage Japanese-American relations. Yamada said he personally agreed wholeheartedly.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.11–EI/6–1160. Confidential; Priority.
  2. Document 173.
  3. In the penultimate paragraph of telegram 4129 MacArthur stated that he would report separately on his “long and extremely frank discussion” with Fujiyama on the implications of the airport incident. (Department of State, Central Files, 794.00/6–1060) See Supplement.