36. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense McElroy0


  • Japan Security Treaty
In the American Embassy, Tokyo, telegram No. 948 to the Secretary of State, dated 3 November 1958,1 Ambassador MacArthur has proposed changes in the State–Defense approved draft wording of a new “U.S.–Japanese Mutual Cooperation and Security Treaty”.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff note that this change would limit the area covered by the agreed draft to only the home islands of Japan and the Ryukyus and the Bonin-Volcanos. The Joint Chiefs of Staff further note that Ambassador MacArthur bases his proposed change on the expectation that Prime Minister Kishi and Foreign Minister Fujiyama will make a request to exclude all U.S. administered territories except the Ryukyus and Bonins. He believes satisfaction of this anticipated request will reduce confusion in the Japanese public mind and help Kishi and Fujiyama in justifying inclusion of the Ryukyus and Bonin-Volcanos before the Diet on grounds of Japan’s residual sovereignty. Additionally, [Page 105] the Joint Chiefs of Staff have noted that the Ambassador accounts for the failure on the part of the Japanese as yet to have made this request, to their fear that it might not be granted.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff agree that, in developing a U.S. position for negotiations, it is wise to consider all possible positions of the other side. It does not follow in this case, however, that the U.S. position should be changed to conform to this new prediction of the Japanese position. Indeed, Japanese reluctance to accept the responsibility attendant upon mutuality was duly considered in setting forth the present wording that either party will act “in accordance with its constitutional provisions and processes”; this in effect would relieve Japan of the necessity of taking anything but passive action to defend any of the territory covered by the treaty. Passive Japanese support in the defense of the Ryukyus, Bonins and Volcanos would be a foregone conclusion, hence the United States would gain nothing by the inclusion in the Treaty of these islands per se. Such an inclusion would, on the other hand, be useful to the Japanese as a political lever toward reestablishment of Japanese administrative control over the islands.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff are therefore opposed to the proposed change in the wording to Article V of the agreed draft, and while understanding and appreciating the reasons persuading the Ambassador to suggest it, recommend that the United States adhere to the position that a mutual treaty should involve the application of whatever commitments the Japanese may undertake to U.S. as well as Japanese “territories and areas”. The phrase “in accordance with its constitutional provisions and processes” should be recognized as providing the necessary differences to accommodate Japanese political and physical limitations. If it becomes impossible to include any U.S. sovereign territory, then the Article III peace treaty islands should not be included in Japanese responsibility for so long as the U.S. retains administrative, legislative and jurisdictional control over them.
It is recommended the above views be transmitted to the Department of State.
For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
N.F. Twining
Joint Chiefs of Staff
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Records, CCS. 092 Japan (12–12–50). Secret.
  2. See footnote 5, Document 43.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.