The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, under the direction of the General Editor, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. This documentary editing proceeds in full accord with the generally accepted standards of historical scholarship. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg first promulgated official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 established a new statutory charter for the preparation of the series, which was signed by President George H.W. Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102–138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records from all relevant departments and agencies needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. The statute also confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded. The editors are convinced that this volume, which was compiled in 1995–1997, meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a sub series of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the 5 years (1964–1968) of the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. [Page IV] The subseries presents in 34 volumes the documentary record of major foreign policy decisions and actions of President Johnson’s administration. The editors of the volume sought to include documentation illuminating the foreign policymaking process of the U.S. Government, with emphasis on the highest level at which policy on a particular subject was determined. The documents include memoranda and records of discussions that set forth policy issues and show decisions or actions taken as well as key recommendations and analysis from the Embassy in Japan. The emphasis is on the development of U.S. policy and on major aspects and repercussions of its execution rather than on the details of policy execution.

Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, Volume XXIX, Part 2

This volume documents U.S. policy toward Japan during a period of increasing change in the relations between the two allies. Japan was fast becoming a major economic power while still relying on the United States for its security. A theme of the coverage, in fact, is the ongoing U.S. effort to encourage Japan to assume a greater role in its own military defense and to play a greater role on the world stage, especially in terms of the economic development of the rest of Asia. Another major theme is U.S. efforts to encourage the continuation of a moderate, pro-Western Japanese Government. The creation of a joint U.S.-Japanese economic planning group sought to coordinate the two economies. The eventual reversion of U.S. administered-Ryukyus to Japan was a goal of Japanese Governments, but it played out during this period in the successful effort by Japan to regain control in 1968 from the United States of the much less strategically significant Bonin Islands. A related theme was domestic Japanese opposition to the war in Vietnam and the use of U.S. bases in Japan to support the U.S. campaign in Vietnam. A final theme is the successful U.S. discouragement of closer Japanese-People’s Republic of China relations.

Lyndon Johnson usually made the major foreign policy decisions during his Presidency, and the editors sought to document his role as far as possible. In the case of Japan, President Johnson only became engaged in 1965 when he established a close personal working relationship with Japanese Prime Minister Sato. In 1967, Johnson and Sato again worked together to finalize the agreement on reversion of the Bonins. The United States was represented in Japan in 1964-1968 by two strong Ambassadors, Edwin O. Reischauer and then U. Alexis Johnson. Their policy recommendations and analysis was given great weight in Washington.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Memoranda of conversation are placed according to the [Page V] date and time of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents in the limitations of modern typography. The editors have supplied a heading for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the source text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type, an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that discusses an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed by headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. The amount of material omitted from this volume because it was unrelated to the subject of the volume, however, has not been delineated. All brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The first footnote to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This note also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates whether the President or his major policy advisers read the document. Every effort has been made to determine if a document has been previously published, and, if so, this information has been included in the source footnote.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts has been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

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Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. Although the Advisory Committee does not attempt to review the contents of individual volumes in the series, it does monitor the overall process and makes recommendations on particular problems that come to its attention.

The Advisory Committee has reviewed this volume.

Declassification Review

The Office of Information Programs and Services, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12958 on Classified National Security Information and applicable laws.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments. The declassification review of this volume began in 1995 and was finally completed in 2005. It resulted in the decision to withhold 18 documents in full, excise a paragraph or more in 4 documents, and make minor excisions of less than a paragraph in 5 documents.

The Office of the Historian is confident, on the basis of the research conducted in preparing this volume and as a result of the declassification review process described above, that the documentation, annotation, and editorial notes presented here provide a broadly accurate account of U.S. policy toward Japan, with the understanding that some material remains classified. Additional insights are provided in the memoirs of the two ambassadors serving in Japan during the Johnson administration: Edwin O. Reischauer, Japan: The Story of a Nation (New York, 1981, Third Edition); Reischauer, My Life Between Japan and America (New York, 1986); and U. Alexis Johnson, The Right Hand of Power (New Jersey, 1986).


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library of the National Archives and Records Administration, [Page VII] especially Regina Greenwell and Charlaine Burgess, who provided key research assistance and access to the Johnson Presidential Tape recordings. The editors also wish to acknowledge the assistance of historians at the Central Intelligence Agency, especially Gerald Haines and Scott Koch, who facilitated access to the records of the Central Intelligence Agency. Karen Gatz selected and annotated the volume under the supervision of Edward C. Keefer, then Chief of the Asia and America’s Division, and now General Editor. Susan C. Weetman coordinated the declassification review. Vicki E. Futscher, Florence M. Segura, and Carl Ashley did the copy and technical editing. Juniee Oneida prepared the index.

April 2006

Marc J. Susser
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs