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

1115. Exclusive for Admiral Felt and POLAD for information. Exclusive for General Burns for information. Exclusive for Deming and General Booth for information. For the Secretary. I met secretly with Fujiyama late November 26 at his request for further discussion of new security treaty.

Fujiyama said he and Kishi are determined to continue negotiations and have not changed their intention to submit new treaty to Diet during next regular session. However, experience with police bill has taught them importance of marshaling public and party support before government makes final decision. Obviously government cannot seek such support except in broadest terms until we have had meeting of minds on basic elements of new treaty. Therefore, he wished to discuss those elements with me on highly confidential basis before there is publicly announced negotiating session. Such session can be held when we know that basic elements are agreed and when Kishi has been able to inform party factions in more concrete terms of scope and substance of treaty. I agreed.

[Page 101]

Fujiyama then said the most critical point of the treaty revision for Japan is the treaty area. With respect to US proposal that all US and Japanese ministered territories in Pacific be included in treaty area, Fujiyama said it was now clear that inclusion of US island possessions in Pacific would raise major questions of interpretation of Japanese constitution and would not be approved by either Japanese public opinion or the Diet. GOJ had originally thought well of the idea of including the Japanese home islands and Article III Peace Treaty islands (Ryukyus and Bonins). However, as result of discussion within Conservative Party as well as private discussions with principal newspaper editors and other leaders of public opinion, it now seemed clear that GOJ would be unable to obtain necessary support for inclusion of Article III islands. This is not only because their inclusion would place major weapon in hands of Socialists, as explained further below, but also because of serious arguments advanced within Liberal Democratic Party itself:

Some members of majority party as well as influential public figures, Fujiyama said, feel that if Article III islands were to be included, then Japan should strongly insist upon return of administrative control of those islands to Japan. This they feel would be only way to overcome opposition to inclusion of Article III islands. Kishi and Fujiyama fully understand that we cannot return such administration at this time. They do not wish to be forced into raising this issue with us but feel that pressure within party and with the public would strongly increase if Japan were to propose inclusion of islands.
On other hand, Fujiyama continued, there is also important element within Conservative Party, centering around such respected figures as Admirals Nomura and Hoshina and former Prime Minister Ashida, who are opposed to including Ryukyus and Bonins in treaty area not only because they do not desire administration over those islands to be returned. (Such persons favor continued American administration of Okinawa and are opposed to inclusion of Ryukyus and Bonins in treaty area because it might result in efforts to limit our ability to introduce nuclear weapons into Okinawa. Such leaders consider it essential for Japan’s security that US nuclear capability in Article III islands be not limited and they oppose their inclusion in treaty area because they do not want to see that question raised.)
Finally, Fujiyama said, it is GOJ assessment that Socialist opposition arguments against inclusion of Ryukyus and Bonins could win widespread popular support. Their principal argument is that if those islands were included, this would, contrary to constitution, in effect bring Japan into multilateral security treaty with Republic of China, ROK and the Philippines, etcetera, (because Ryukyus and Bonins are covered by our treaties with those countries) and that Japan would be committed to hostilities to which any of those treaties applicable. For example, [Page 102] if US and Nationalist China became engaged in hostilities with Communist China over Quemoy and Matsu the US would probably be obliged to use Okinawa as a base to attack Communist forces. This might lead to an attack on Okinawa by Communist China which, by the terms of the new treaty, would bring Japan into the conflict if Article III islands are included in treaty area.

He was fully aware, Fujiyama said, that there are weighty arguments in favor of inclusion of Article III islands, not least of which from point of view of GOJ is desire of Okinawans themselves who have petitioned GOJ in this respect. But Kishi and he had come to conclusion that it would be wiser both from Japanese and American viewpoint to limit treaty area to the Japan home islands and he wanted you to know reasons and hoped earnestly this would be sympathetically and urgently considered in Washington.

I am cabling you personally about this matter not only because Fujiyama asked me to do so but also because the treaty area is the key to the entire problem and until we reach agreement on the area it is not possible to move forward. We in the Embassy have been considering this problem very seriously since we received Admiral Felt’s (CINCPAC) message 060602Z November1 which in its paragraph E strongly recommended excluding the Article III islands from the treaty area. In light of developments here since that time I strongly concur with Admiral Felt’s recommendation and urge that we limit the area to the Japanese-administered islands on the assumption that we get a satisfactory agreement with the Japanese regarding the other important points, including the use of bases, the formula on consultation and the administrative agreement.

Fujiyama said he would like to meet with me again secretly about the middle of next week to get our reaction to this problem. If you in Washington agree to a treaty area which should include only Japanese-administered territories I would not inform Fujiyama at this juncture that we had agreed but would say to him that although limited treaty area raised serious problems, I thought there was a fair chance of agreeing to such a limited treaty area if, but only if, we could reach satisfactory agreement on other matters including bases, the consultation formula and the administrative agreement. I would then concentrate on these matters. (We have indication that Japanese believe administrative agreement will have to be amended to conform it to text and spirit of new treaty but that they do not seem to have in mind basic change.)

Although Fujiyama did not go into details on consultation formula, he made it clear that Kishi and he fully accept basic principle that US [Page 103] use of bases in Japan is most important contribution Japan can make to give required element of mutuality to new treaty. While Japanese would naturally expect us to continue to keep in close touch with them, as we are now doing, they agree with principle that consultation formula should be confined to introduction of nuclears and military operations outside of Japan. Consequently, I have no reason to expect any substantive difficulties over this most important element from our viewpoint. Fujiyama voiced preference for having consultation formula laid down in form of protocol forming integral part of treaty, but I explained to him that it is not our practice to submit such understandings for congressional ratification although there would of course be no objection whatever to GOJ submitting formula to Diet together with treaty document itself, perhaps in form of exchange of notes.

On private, confidential and personal basis, Foreign Office official showed member of my staff a draft on consultation which he said Fujiyama was considering. It read: “Major changes in the disposition of US forces (including their equipment) in Japan and the use of facilities and areas within Japan as the bases of military operations for purposes other than the defense of Japan shall be effected upon prior consultation with the Government of Japan”. Foreign Office official emphasized that while as at present they would expect to be informed of withdrawal of US forces from Japan, “consultation” would not be expected or required under formula. There thus appears to be no substantive difference at this juncture over consultation formula although in this respect, as well as in others, we may later have some hard negotiating.

[1 paragraph (10-1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]

Major substantive difficulty in talks thus concerns the treaty area. As I have indicated in Embtel 9482 (when there still seemed possibility of treaty area including Article III islands), inclusion of US-administered territories in treaty area does not seem essential to our purposes. As I understand it, our basic and overriding interest lies in creation of reasonably dependable and long-term military security arrangement entered into voluntarily by Japan which will: Align Japan with us and free world in military security field; which will give us use of Japanese logistic facilities and bases in peace-time thus saving us literally hundreds of millions of dollars; and which will at same time give us reasonable expectation of use of bases for logistic support if we become involved in hostilities in the Far East in which Japan is not involved, with possibility of also using them operationally. These objectives can be accomplished regardless of whether Article III islands are in treaty area. As matter of fact, given the situation here and question of continued administration [Page 104] of Article III islands etc., I now believe that there is very substantial advantage to us if they are not so included. (Incidentally the ChiNats and ROK will also be much happier if Ryukyus are not included.) I therefore strongly recommend that we be prepared to have treaty area confined to Japanese home islands.

I have given copy of this message to General Burns and am sending copy to Admiral Felt and General Booth because of their strong interest in this problem.

  1. Source: Department of state, Central Files, 794.5/11–2858. Secret; Limit Distribution. Transmitted in two sections and repeated to Naha, CINCPAC, and COMUS/Japan.
  2. Not found.
  3. See footnote 5, Document 43.