18. Telegram From the Embassy in Japan to the Department of State 0

223. Passed COMUS/Japan by other means. CINCPAC for POLAD. Embtel 129.1 I met with Fujiyama July 30 for initial discussion preparatory to his visit to Washington. Discussion yesterday was exclusively on security question and in view great importance this subject I am cabling this full report.

Fujiyama opened discussion by pointing out that in recent election, although domestic political issues existed such as education and labor policy, LDP and Socialists were widest apart in fields of foreign affairs and defense. Election results gave clear evidence of majority support for government policies in these fields. Elections reaffirmed that public supports maintenance of joint Japanese-US security ties as integral part of US-Japan partnership. Questions relating to operation of US-Japan security ties which require very serious review at this time.

Fujiyama recalled that PriMin Kishi prior to his visit to Washington in 1957 raised two main points: 1) adjustment of security treaty in view of changing circumstances, specifically–a) arrangement that use and disposition of US forces based on Japan be determined in principle by agreement of both governments; b) clarification of relationship between treaty and UN Charter; c) establishment of time limit for treaty. 2) Second point made by Kishi was hope US would reduce its forces in Japan as far as possible in light of self defense force buildup. Both points were discussed fully in Washington. As result, Japanese-American security committee was established to handle problems relating to treaty and, as regards second point, US reduced its forces considerably and withdrew all its ground combat forces.

Fujiyama said that looking back at year’s developments since Kishi’s visit, there have been encouraging signs and much progress. Reduction of US forces has stimulated sense of Japanese responsibility for defense of own country and Japanese-American Security Committee has had very favorable effect on US-Japan efforts in security field. However, during same time USSR has announced success in development of missiles and satellites and has launched major psychological offensive [Page 44] aimed at creating doubts regarding advisability of depending on US deterrent power. Soviets have also fostered idea that local war is impossible and therefore non-nuclear arms are meaningless. These and other factors and problems remaining in US-Japan security relations require current review of our security ties.

[3 paragraphs (1 page of source text) not declassified]

In further discussion designed to clarify for US Japanese views on security adjustments, Fujiyama made following points:

Basic position of Japanese Govt is that some form of long term security ties with US are, under present circumstances, essential given huge power of Sino-Soviet Bloc. This was Kishi’s view last year and there has been no change since then.
Existing security treaty is worded so as to give impression that it is entirely one-sided in favor of US. There are various expressions in treaty indicating US can act entirely at its own discretion with respect to use of its forces in Japan. These aspects of treaty were developed at time when Japan had no defense power and were quite logical at that time. However, circumstances have changed.
Japan desires that its security relationship with US now be placed on durable, dependable and mutually acceptable basis.
There are various alternative methods to accomplish this objective:
If at all possible, it would be most desirable to replace existing treaty with new mutual security treaty. However, under its constitution Japan cannot dispatch its self defense forces abroad to US or other non-Japanese territory. If, as in past, US continues to insist that to enter a mutual security treaty Japan must obligate herself to send her troops abroad, then such a mutual security treaty is not feasible at this time.

For this reason, FonOff had looked into other possibilities. One alternative is adjustments of existing security arrangements (not change in text of treaty) discussed in above paper, which in effect would accomplish de facto revision of treaty to provide for full equality and consultation, meaning mutual agreement, on all major decisions affecting Japan’s defense and security interests.

Fujiyama felt that objections to existing treaty could be to considerable extent removed by such adjustments placing US-Japanese security relations on de facto equal basis.

Other possible step at present juncture which has received some consideration in FonOff is mutual security treaty not requiring Japan send its forces outside “Japan area”. Such treaty would not seem to pose constitutional difficulties for Japan and would be in many respects desirable alternative. Fujiyama stated that, due previously expressed US views on mutual security treaty, (i.e., Japan must commit itself to send its troops abroad) FonOff hesitated put forth this alternative in any formal sense.

[Page 45]

I thanked Fujiyama for very frank and full expression of Japanese views on security matters and said that I thought this would be very helpful to Washington.

I said I was glad to hear GOJ believed long-term and durable security arrangements with US were in Japan’s interests and I said in my opinion security of free world would be greatly strengthened by such arrangements. I said I would report at once to my Govt views which he had expressed but one of things I felt sure it would wish to know was which of two alternatives for adjusting existing US-Japan security arrangements PriMin Kishi and FonMin Fujiyama really preferred (i.e., adjustments without changing present security treaty or new mutual security treaty for “Japan area”). I said while I did not have instructions which would enable me to discuss these alternatives with him and did not know what Washington’s reactions would be to specific suggestions he had made, I was sure Kishi’s preference re suggested alternatives would be important. Fujiyama said he would be absent from Tokyo next week but would be discussing this matter with Kishi and would pass on to me later any comments or observations latter might have.

We agreed that in view of extreme sensitivity of entire problem of security arrangements, info on our discussion now and in future would be limited on both sides on a need-to-know basis, since any premature airing of these problems in press could only create major and adverse repercussions.

Comment: I will send my preliminary reactions to Japanese presentation shortly.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.94/7–3158. Secret; Limit Distribution. Transmitted in two sections and repeated to CINCPAC.
  2. In telegram 129 from Tokyo, July 19, MacArthur reported on his July 18 meeting with Fujiyama and the latter’s wishes regarding the date and agenda for discussion of his visit to Washington. (Ibid., 033.9411/7–1958) See Supplement. Fujiyama visited Washington September 11–12 on his way to the U.N. General Assembly.