CIVIL

Summary of US initial post-defeat policy to Japan-1945

SUMMARY OF UNITED STATES INITIAL POST-DEFEAT POLICY RELATING TO JAPAN

DATE: 11 June 1945

A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

I. OBJECTIVES

The general objectives of the United States in regard to Japan are:

1. The unconditional surrender or total defeat of Japan;
2. The stripping from the Japanese Empire of territories, including the Mandated Islands, in harmony with the Cairo Declaration and such other pertinent agreements as may be reached by the United Nations, and to which the United States is a party;
3. The creation of conditions which will insure that Japan will not again become a menace to the peace and security of the world;
4. The eventual emergence of a government in Japan which will respect the rights of other states and Japan’s international obligations; and
5. The eventual participation of Japan in a world economic system on a reasonable basis.

II. UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER OR TOTAL DEFEAT

Immediately upon the unconditional surrender or total defeat of Japan, the supreme allied commander will exercise supreme authority over the domestic and foreign affairs of the Japanese Empire. Simultaneously, the constitutional powers of the Emperor shall be suspended. All instrumentalities which participate in the formulation or consideration of national policies shall be suspended, pending the achievement of the objectives of military government, and their functions shall be assumed by military government.

B. POLITICAL

I. SUCCESSIVE PERIODS IN THE TREATMENT OF JAPAN

In order to achieve these general objectives the policies of the United States should be considered separately for three successive periods of Japan’s post-war development.

The first of these periods will be that during which the terms to be imposed on Japan as a result of its surrender or its total defeat will be enforced by military occupation. In this period the Japanese will undergo stern discipline, as they cannot escape responsibility for what they have brought upon themselves.

The second period will be one of close surveillance; restrictions will be progressively relaxed as Japan demonstrates its willingness and ability to live at peace with other nations. Military government might be replaced by some other supervisory agency.

The third period will be one which will look toward the ultimate aim of the United States, namely, a Japan properly discharging its responsibilities in the family of peaceful nations.

The duration of the occupation and the treatment of the Japanese throughout the three periods will depend in large measure on the behaviour of the Japanese.

II. THE POLITICAL OBJECTIVES OF MILITARY GOVERNMENT

The immediate objective of military government in Japan shall be the strict enforcement of the terms imposed upon Japan. Within such frame work, the general political objectives of the military government are:

1. The abolition of militarism;
2. The strengthening of democratic tendencies and processes;
3. The encouragement of liberal political elements and the creation of conditions in Japan which will facilitate the emergence of a government with which the United Nations can deal.

III. MILITARY GOVERNMENT AND MILITARY OCCUPATION

1. Security

Japan’s ground, air and naval forces are to be disarmed and disbanded; military and naval materiel, vessels and installations are to be surrendered or destroyed; industries primarily military in character are to be eliminated. All measures taken in this connection shall be designed to accomplish to the extent possible the permanent disarmament and demilitarization of Japan.

2. Character of Military Government

The measures of military government should be stern but just.

3. Administrative Functions and Machinery

Military government should utilize the Japanese administrative machinery and, so far as practicable, Japanese public officials, making these officials responsible for the carrying out of the policies and directives of the military government. Military government should in no circumstances allow persons to hold public office or any other position of responsibility or influence in public or private enterprise, who have been flagrant exponents of militant nationalism and aggression. The administration of affairs in Japan should be directed toward the development of local responsibility.

4. Some of the Initial Tasks of Military Government

Among the important tasks to be early undertaken by military government are:

(1) Nullification of Obnoxious Laws

Laws, ordinances and regulations which conflict with the purposes and policies of the military government shall be suspended or repealed. Agencies charged specifically with the execution of such laws, ordinances and regulations shall be abolished or appropriately modified.

(2) Political Parties or Agencies

Existing political parties, including totalitarian, political and quasi-political organizations and ultra-nationalistic societies, shall be dissolved.

(3) Freedom of Worship

Freedom of religious worship shall be proclaimed promptly on occupation.

(4) Media of Public Information

The military government will aim to terminate the dissemination of ideas subversive of the purposes of the United Nations, and to substitute therefor information and knowledge of the ideals and concepts in which the United Nations believe.

(5) The Educational System

Control shall be established over the educational system for the purpose of eliminating Japanese militarism and ultranationalism, including para-military training, and making possible the development of democratic ideas.

(6) The Administration of Justice

The military government shall supervise the administration of justice, and, so far as practicable, the civil courts will continue to function as an instrumentality of military government. All persons unjustly or illegally held in custody shall be released.

(7) War Criminals and Other Dangerous Persons

War Criminals shall be arrested, brought to trial and punished. Japanese leaders and other persons who have been flagrant exponents of militant nationalism and aggression and any other persons manifesting open hostility to the objectives of military government shall be arrested and interned.

C. ECONOMIC

I. DEMILITARIZATION

Military government shall enforce a program to demilitarize industry with the aim of preventing Japan from again developing an economic war potential. There shall be developed and established a system of controls that can be continued after occupation has ceased and which will assure the continued economic disarmament of Japan over a longer period. Japan shall be permitted to retain no specialized facilities for the production or repair of implements of war or aircraft of any type and shall be deprived of the heavy industry capacity in excess of normal peacetime requirements and those key industries upon which an extensive war industry could be redeveloped. Pending decision on disposition either by transfer abroad, use in Japan or scrapping, there should be no destruction of facilities readily convertible to civilian production except in emergency situations.

II. CONTROL OF JAPANESE ECONOMY

In order to meet the needs of the occupation forces and to prevent starvation and such disease and civil unrest as would interfere with the operations of military government, military government shall take such steps as may be necessary with respect to (a) essential national public services; (b) finance and banking; (c) production and distribution of essential commodities; and (d) exports and imports. No steps shall be taken by the military government which would raise the standard of living of the Japanese people to a standard out of line with that of neighboring peoples.

III. REPARATIONS, RESTITUTION AND RELIEF

In accordance with decisions by the appropriate authorities, military government shall arrange for relief to the United Nations and to liberated areas, for restitution of identifiable looted property and for reparations. The first charge on the proceeds of all approved exports, for reparations or otherwise, shall be a sum necessary to pay for approved imports. Reparations or relief for liberated areas shall not constitute a ground for the restoration or development of Japanese industries which might contribute to the rearmament of Japan or whose expansion might promote dependence by other countries on Japan for strategic products.

IV. PROMOTION OF DEMOCRATIC FORCES

Military government shall encourage the development of democratic organizations in labor, industry, and agriculture, and shall favor a wider distribution of ownership, management and control of the Japanese economic system.

V. CONTROL OF FOREIGN ASSETS AND CREDIT

No credit shall be extended Japan or any Japanese person by foreign persons or governments, except with approval of military government. Military government shall hold for subsequent disposition title to all foreign assets of the Japanese government, of Japanese citizens and of Japanese corporations domiciled in the main islands. No Japanese person shall be permitted to acquire foreign assets except by specific approval of the military government.


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