Legation in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 836 WASHINGTON, 24 September 1945, 1.48 a.m.


The text of the White House announcement on policy in Japan.

The following is a statement of the general initial policy relating to Japan after surrender, prepared jointly by the Department of State, the War Department and the Navy Department and approved by the President on September 6th. The document in substance was sent to General MacArthur by radio on August 29th and after approval by the President, by messenger on September 6th. The text follows:


Purpose of this document This document is a statement of general initial policy relating to Japan after surrender. It has been approved by the President and distributed to the Supreme Commander for the allied powers and to the appropriate United States departments and agencies for their guidance. It does not deal with all matter relating to the occupation of Japan requiring policy determinations. Such matters as are not included or are not fully covered herein have been or will be dealt with separately.

Part I. ULTIMATE OBJECTIVES The ultimate objectives of the United States in regard to Japan to which policies in the initial period must conform are:

(a) To insure that Japan will not again become a menace to the United States or to the peace and security of the world.

(b) To bring about the eventual establishment of a peaceful and responsible government which will respect the rights of other states and will support the objectives of the United States as reflected in the ideals and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The United States desires that this Government should conform as closely as may be to principles of democratic self-government but it is not the responsibility of the allied powers to impose upon Japan any form of government not supported by the freely expressed will of the people.

These objectives will be achieved by the following principal means:

(a) Japan’s sovereignty will be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor outlying islands as may be determined in accordance with the Cairo Declaration and other agreements to which the United States is or may be a party.

(b) Japan will be completely disarmed and demilitarized. The authority of the militarists and the influence of militarism will be totally eliminated from her political, economic and social life. Institutions expressive of the spirit of militarism and aggression will be vigorously suppressed.

(c) The Japanese people shall be encouraged to develop a desire for individual liberties and respect for fundamental human rights, particularly the freedoms of religion, assembly, speech and the press. They shall also be encouraged to form democratic and representative organizations.

(d) The Japanese people shall be afforded opportunity to develop for themselves an economy which will permit the peacetime requirements of the population to be met.


1. Military occupation There will be a military occupation of the Japanese home islands to carry into effect the surrender terms and further the achievement of the ultimate objectives stated above. The occupation shall have the character of an operation on behalf of the principal allied powers acting in the interests of the United Nations at war with Japan. For that reason, participation of the forces of other nations that have taken a leading part in the war against Japan will be welcomed and expected. The occupation forces will be under the command of a Supreme Commander designated by the United States.

Although every effort will be made by consultation and by constitution of appropriate advisory bodies to establish policies for the conduct of the occupation and the control of Japan which will satisfy the principal allied powers in the event of any differences of opinion among them, the policies of the United States will govern.

2. Relationship to the Japanese Government The authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government will be subject to the Supreme Commander who will possess all powers necessary to effectuate the surrender terms and to carry out the policies established for the conduct of the occupation and the control of Japan. In view of the present character of Japanese society and the desire of the United States to attain its objectives with a minimum commitment of its forces and resources the Supreme Commander will exercise his authority through Japanese governmental machinery and agencies, including the Emperor, to the extent that this satisfactorily furthers United States objectives.

The Japanese Government will be permitted, under his instructions, to exercise the normal powers of government in matters of domestic administration.

This policy however, will be subject to the right and duty of the Supreme Commander to require changes in governmental machinery or personnel or to act directly if the Emperor or other Japanese authority does not satisfactorily meet the requirements of the Supreme Commander in effectuating the surrender terms. This policy moreover does not commit the Supreme Commander to support the Emperor or any other Japanese governmental authority in opposition to evolutionary changes looking toward the attainment of United States objectives. The policy is to use the existing form of government in Japan, not to support it.

Changes in the form of government initiated by the Japanese people or government in the direction of modifying its feudal and authoritarian tendencies are to be permitted and favoured. In the event that the effectuation of such changes involves the use of force by the Japanese people or government against persons opposed thereto the Supreme Commander should intervene only where necessary to ensure the security of his forces and the attainment of all other objectives of the occupation.

3. Publicity as to policies The Japanese people and the world at large shall be kept fully informed of the objectives and policies of the occupation and of progress made in their fulfilment.


1. Disarmament and demilitarization Disarmament and demilitarization are the primary tasks of the military occupation and shall be carried out promptly and with determination. Every effort shall be made to bring home to the Japanese people the part played by the military and naval leaders and those who collaborated with them in bringing about the existing and future distress of the people.

Japan is not to have an Army, Navy, Air Force, Secret Police organization or any civil aviation. Japan’s ground, air and naval forces shall be disarmed and disbanded and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, the general staff and all secret police organizations shall be dissolved. Military and naval material, military, naval and civilian aircraft shall be surrendered and shall be disposed of as required by the Supreme Commander.

High officials of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and General Staff, other high military and naval officials of the Japanese Government, leaders of ultra-nationalist and militarist organizations and other important exponents of militarism and aggression will be taken into custody and held for future disposition. Persons who have been active exponents of militarism and militant nationalism will be removed and excluded from public office and from any other position of public or substantial private responsibility. Ultra-nationalistic or militaristic social, political, professional and commercial societies and institutions will be dissolved and prohibited.

Militarism and ultra-nationalism in doctrine and practice, including para military training shall be eliminated from the educational system. Former career military and naval officers, both commissioned and noncommissioned, and all other exponents of militarism and ultra-nationalism, shall be excluded from supervisory and teaching positions.

Laws, decrees and regulations which establish discriminations on grounds of race, nationality, creed or political opinion shall be abrogated. Those which conflict with the objectives and policies outlined in this document shall be repealed, suspended or amended as required and agencies charged specifically with their enforcement shall be abolished or appropriately modified. Persons unjustly confined by Japanese authority on political grounds shall be released. The judicial, legal and police systems shall be reformed as soon as practicable to conform to the policies set forth in Articles 1 and 3 of this Part III and thereafter shall be progressively influenced to protect individual liberties and civil rights.

2. War Criminals Persons charged by the Supreme Commander or appropriate United Nations agencies with being war criminals including those charged with having visited cruelties upon United Nations prisoners or other nationals shall be arrested, tried and if convicted punished. Those wanted by another of the United Nations for offences against its nationals shall, if not wanted for trial or as witnesses or otherwise by the Supreme Commander, be turned over to the custody of such other nation.

3. Encouragement of desire for individual liberties and democratic processes Freedom of religious worship shall be proclaimed promptly on occupation. At the same time it should be made plain to the Japanese that ultra-nationalistic and militaristic organizations and movements will not be permitted to hide behind the cloak of religion.

The Japanese people shall be afforded opportunity and encouraged to become familiar with the history, institutions, culture and the accomplishments of the United States and the other democracies.

Association of personnel of the occupation forces with the Japanese population should be controlled only to the extent necessary to further the policies and objectives of the occupation.

Democratic political parties with rights of assembly and public discussion shall be encouraged subject to the necessity for maintaining the security of the occupying forces.


1. Economic Demilitarization The existing economic basis of Japanese military strength must be destroyed and not be permitted to revive.

Therefore a programme will be enforced containing the following elements: among others the immediate cessation and future prohibition of production of all goods designed for the equipment, maintenance or use of any military force or establishment, the imposition of a ban upon any specialized facilities for the production or repair of implements of war including naval vessels and all forms of aircraft, the institution of a system of inspection and control over selected elements in Japanese economic activity to prevent concealed or disguised military preparation, the elimination in Japan of those selected industries or branches of production whose chief value to Japan is in preparing for war, the prohibition of specialized research and instruction directed to the development of war making power and the limitation of the size and character of Japan’s heavy industries to its future peaceful requirements and restriction of Japanese merchant shipping to the extent required to accomplish the objectives of demilitarization.

The eventual disposition of those existing production facilities within Japan which are to be eliminated in accord with this programme as between conversion to other uses, transfer abroad and scrapping, will be determined after inventory. Pending decision facilities readily convertible for civilian production should not be destroyed except in emergency situations.

2. Promotion of Democratic Forces Encouragement shall be given and favour shown to the development of organisations in labour, industry and agriculture, organised on a democratic basis. Policies shall be favoured which permit a wide distribution of income and of the ownership of the means of production and trade.

Those forms of economic activity, organisation and leadership shall be favoured that are deemed likely to strengthen the peaceful disposition of the Japanese people and to make it difficult to command or direct economic activity in support of military ends.

To this end it shall be the policy of the Supreme Commander:

(a) To prohibit the retention in or selection for places of importance in the economic field of individuals who do not direct future Japanese economic effort solely toward peaceful ends; and, (b) To favour a programme for the dissolution of the large industrial and banking combinations which have exercised control of a great part of Japan’s trade and industry.

3. Resumption of Peaceful Economic Activity The policies of Japan have brought down upon the people great economic destruction and confronted them with the prospect of economic difficulty and suffering. The plight of Japan is the direct outcome of her own behaviour and the Allies will not undertake the burden of repairing the damage. It can be repaired only if the Japanese people renounce all military aims and apply themselves diligently and with single purpose to the ways of peaceful living. It will be necessary for them to undertake physical reconstruction deeply, to reform the nature and direction of their economic activities and institutions, and to find useful employment for their people along lines adapted to and devoted to peace. The Allies have no intentions of imposing conditions which would prevent the accomplishment of these tasks in clue time.

Japan will be expected to provide goods and services to meet the needs of the occupying forces to the extent that this can be effected without causing starvation, widespread disease and acute physical distress.

The Japanese authorities will be expected, and, if necessary, directed to maintain, develop and enforce programmes that serve the following purposes:

(a) To avoid acute economic distress;

(b) To assure just, impartial distribution of available supplies;

(c) To meet the requirements for reparations deliveries agreed upon by the Allied Governments; and, (d) To facilitate the restoration of Japanese economy so that the reasonable peaceful requirements of the population can be satisfied.

In this connection the Japanese authorities, on their own responsibility, shall be permitted to establish and administer controls over economic activities including essential national public services, finance, banking and production and distribution of essential commodities subject to the approval and review of the Supreme Commander to assure their conformity with the objectives of the occupation.

4. Reparations and Restitution Preparations (a) Through the transfer–as may be determined by the appropriate Allied authorities-of Japanese property located outside of the territories to be retained by Japan.

(b) Through the transfer of such goods or existing capital equipment and facilities as are not necessary for a peaceful Japanese economy or the supplying of the occupying forces.

Exports other than those directed to be shipped on reparation account or as restitution may be made only to those recipients who agree to provide necessary imports in exchange or agree to pay for such exports in foreign exchange. No form of reparation shall be exacted which will interfere with or prejudice the programme for Japan’s demilitarization.


Full and prompt estimation will be required of all identifiable looted property.

5. Fiscal, Monetary and Banking Policies The Japanese authorities will remain responsible for the management and direction of the domestic fiscal, monetary and credit policies subject to the approval and review of the Supreme Commander.

6. International Trade and Financial Relations Japan shall be permitted eventually to resume normal trade relations with the rest of the world during occupation and under suitable controls. Japan will be permitted to purchase from foreign countries raw materials and other goods that it may need for peaceful purposes and to export goods to pay for approved imports.

Control is to be maintained over all imports and exports of goods and foreign exchange and financial transactions. Both the policies followed in the exercise of these controls and their actual administration shall be subject to the approval and supervision of the Supreme Commander in order to make sure that they are not contrary to the policies of the occupying authorities and, in particular, that foreign purchasing power that Japan may acquire is utilised only for essential needs.

7. Japanese Property Located Abroad Existing Japanese external assets located in territories detached from Japan under the terms of surrender, including assets owned in whole or part by the Imperial household and Government, shall be revealed to the occupying authorities and held for disposition according to the decision of the Allied authorities.

8. Equality of opportunity for foreign authorities shall not give or permit any Japanese business organisation to give exclusive or preferential opportunity or terms to the enterprise of any foreign country or cede to such enterprise control of any important branch of economic activity.

9. Imperial Household Property Imperial household property shall not be exempted from any action necessary to carry out the objectives of the occupation.



[AA : A1066, P45/10/33]