52. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense McNamara1



  • DOD Policy on the Japanese Defense Effort (U)
(U) In response to a memorandum by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (ISA), I–7605/65, dated 12 June 1965,2 subject as above, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have reviewed US military objectives in Japan, the relative priority of the Japanese defense missions and functions, and related modernization requirements. A detailed analysis is contained in the Appendix hereto.3
(U) US military objectives in Japan are included in paragraph 2 of the Appendix.
(S) The Joint Chiefs of Staff conclude that:
Although the Soviet and communist China military forces are capable of undertaking a variety of military actions against Japan, it is considered unlikely that either nation would initiate deliberate military aggression against Japan in any situation short of general war. In this event, the principal military threat is air and naval attack.
The Japanese contribute to the attainment of US military objectives in the Far East in that:
The missions of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) are, in general, to maintain internal security in Japan, counter communist subversion, provide security for US and Japanese military facilities, and, in coordination with the United States, defend Japan against external aggression. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) has assumed the responsibility for the air defense of Japan, owning and operating the ground environment and air defense weapons.
Japan provides real estate for US bases and facilities at no expense to the United States.
Despite constitutional restrictions against the maintenance of “war potential,” Japan, with US guidance and assistance, has made considerable progress since the war in building and modernizing its [Page 101] small Self-Defense Forces. Nevertheless, the Japanese defense capability is limited by the small size of the JSDF, major gaps in equipage, inadequate logistical capability, and restricted budgets. Specific limitations are included in the Appendix. Missions and objective force levels are included in Annexes A and B to the Appendix.4
A relative priority of JSDF defense missions and functions, based upon an analysis of the threat, US military objectives and force posture in Japan, and US strategic requirements in the Far East, can generally be stated as follows:
Air defense, with emphasis on all-weather capability.
Antisubmarine warfare, escort, patrol, and mine warfare capability.
Ground defense capability and follow-on tactical fighter, reconnaissance, and airlift capabilities.
(U) The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend that:
The Government of Japan be encouraged to provide increased defense efforts to improve and modernize its forces and to provide military assistance to other nations.
The list of modernization requirements and other equipment in paragraph 10 of the Appendix, which is an update of a list submitted to you in JCSM-242-63, dated 22 March 1963, subject: “US/Japanese Defense Relationships (U),”5 be used as a basis for future bilateral discussions.
For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
A. H. Manhart 6 Major General, USA
Vice Director, Joint Staff
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD/OASD/ISA Files: FRC 330 70 A 3717, 381 Japan. Secret.
  2. Not found.
  3. Attached but not printed.
  4. Attached but not printed.
  5. Not found.
  6. Printed from a copy that indicates Manhart signed the original.