Initial Post-Surrender Policy for Japan
Part 1: 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
These objectives will be achieved by the following principal
(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
(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.
If you are interested, please see the recent comparisons of the
the Japan experience with what we may be anticiapting with Iraq
should the U.S. invade in order to topple Sadddam Hussein (or effect
a "regime change" I think they like to call it).
As Dower and Herbert Bix show, behind these objectives was a
subtle plan--code-named "Operation Blacklist"--designed by
MacArthur's friend and subordinate, Brigadier General Bonner F.
Fellers, a psychological warfare expert. His aim was to "drive a
wedge" between the military and the emperor, and utilize the emperor
to bring about "a great spiritual transformation of the Japanese
people." (Bix, Hirohito, p. 545) With this in mind, it became
essential to establish Hirohito's innocence before the machinery of
the war crime trials got up and running, for there were many who
thought Hirohito should/would be indicted.
For example, although the emperor DID in fact know all
about the Pearl Harbor attack in advance and "had personally taken
great pains to ensure that the attack would be a surprise,"(Bix, p.
546), MacArthur and his staff worked diligently to see that Hirohito
was never held accountable. MacArthur cabled Eisenhower in January of
1946 to say that he could uncover no evidence connecting Hirohito
with political decisions and that his connection to the affairs of
state was largely ministerial and responsive to the advice of his
councillors. He cautioned that the US could ill afford to indict this
man for it would convulse the nation and cause it to disintegrate,
leading to riots and violence in the streets. A million troops might
be needed to keep the Japanese people down, he warned, for years to
Ironically, the same kind of scare tactics that convinced people
that the US needed to drop the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima--accompanied
by equally inflated figures--are now used to preserve the emperor's
position on the throne, and to keep the kokutai in tact.