Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 p。ーicy papers was the anxiety 。ver the

Issue Date
The Soviet-Japanese Normalization in 1955-6 and USJapanese Relations
Tanaka, Takahiko
Hitotsubashi journal of law and politics, 21: 65-93
Departmental Bulletin Paper
Text Version publisher
Hitotsubashi University Repository
Hitotsubashi Journal of Law and Politics 21 (1993), pp. 65-93. C The Hitotsubashi Academy
Introd uction
On 19 October, 1956, Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama lchiro and Soviet Premier
N.A. Bulganin signed a Joint Declaration in Moscow to normalize Soviet-Japanese relations.
The Joint Dedclaration finally terminated the state of war between the two countries, which
had continued for moer than ten years since shortly before the end of the Pacific War. Now
the postwar Soviet-Japanese diplomatic relations started.
The Soviet-Japanese normalization of diplomatic relations was basically a bilateral
issue between the Soviet Union and Japan. But in the era of the cold war, the relations
between the leading state of the Communist bloc and Japan certainly involved the United
States. The U.S. government perceived the Soviet-Japanese rapprochement in the context
of cold war power struggles against the Soviet Union, and vice versa.
This essay is intended to describe the development of US-Japanese relations with
regard to the Soviet-Japanese normalization. The Soviet-Japanese negotiations commenced
for normalizing dip]omatic relations, in June 1955 in London. It took a year and half for
the two countries to conclude the Joint Declataion. The main cause for this prolongation
of negotiations was the difficulty in solving the territorial questions. The territorial ques-
tions were also a focus of attention of the U.S. government, which pressed the Japanese to
take a tough negotiating position towards the Soviets. This American attitude undoubtedly
affected Japanese negotiating attitude and the process and results of the negotiations. This
essay places, therefore, a special emphasis on the US-Japanese relations on the SovietJapanese territorial disputes.
U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Japan Before Hatoyama
Since the San Francisco Peace Treaty having been ratified in Apri] 1952, the United
States government had prepared several versions of general framework of its foreign policy
towards Japan. Before Hatoyama replaced Yoshida in December 1954, the National Security Council made two important policy papers : NSC 1 25/2 in August, 1952, and NSC
125/6 in June, 1953. NSC 125/2 was made by the Truman administration, and its basic
elements were substantially inherited by the Eisenhower administration.
One of the most important elements of US attitude to Japan expressed in these two
policy papers was the anxiety over the increasing nationalistic and neutralist tendencies
emerging in Japan. NSC 125/2 observed that Japan had started to adopt the foreign policy
more independent of American influence. The US government feared that Japan might
attempt to take advantage of US-USSR rivalry in order to promote her own national
interests.1 This anxiety seemed mainly caused by the fact that the occupation of Japan
had been over and that, therefore, she was expected to take more independent course.
NSC 125/6 placed more emphasis on this point and expressed more serious anxlety over
the rising Japanese nationalism and neutralism. The Eisenhower administration found neutralist and nationalist tendencies growing stronger in Japan and NSC 125/6 proposed that
the United States government attempt to wipe out these tendencies through psychological
Both of the Truman and Eisenhower administrations realized that the military security
of Japan was vital to American security interests in the far east and regarded Japan as one
of the most important allies to the United States in that region. Both of the policy papers
suggested that Japan should be rearmed and be offered the US military assistance.3 The
US government was in dilemma. It had to press Japan for more intensive rearmament.
but had to be extremely careful to avoid forcing her so hard as to induce the existing nationalistic feelings in Japan to anti-Americanism.
Political development in Japan in 1954 proved the American concern. In March, the
fifth Lucky Dragon, a Japanese fishing boat, was poliuted by the nuclear fallout caused
by the US Hydrogen-bomb experiment in the Bikini atoll and some of the fishermen died.
This Fifth Lucky Dragon incident evoked anti-American feelings in the Japanese public_
The Yoshida government also inclined to adopt more independent foreign policy. On
l I August, Ikeda Hayato, the secretary-general of the Liberal Party, issued a statement of
new Japanese foreign policy. It stated that the termination of Indochina war at the Geneva
Conference had proved the American 'roll-back' policy to have failed and that though
it was not the time for Japan to choose whether she should join the Eastern or Westerrr
bloc, Japan should carefully decide her action in view of the conducts of both blocs.4
On I September, the committee of policy investigation of the Liberal Party published
its new comprehensive policy programme. It contained two major foreign policy goals.
The first was to exalt the spirit of independence of the Japanese people through efforts to
bring about reversion of the former Japanese territories such as the Kuriles and the Bonins.
The second was to enhance trade with Communist China and the Southeast Asia.
Nine days later, the party committee for investigation of foreign policy also issued a new
foreign policy programme. This suggested that Japan should promote her trade relations
with Communist China though she did not intend to recognize her in the near future.6
Faced with this development, the US government did not hide displeasure. For in-
l Forel n Relations of the United States (hereafter, cited as FRUS.) 1952-54, Vol. 14, China and Japan.
Part 2, pp. 1302J .
Ibid., p. 1450.
8 Ibid., p. 1307 and pp. 145C l.
4 Hiwatari Yumi, Sengo Selji to Nichibeikanke i (Politics in Postwar Japan and US-Japanese Relations)
Tokyo, 1990, pp. 96-7.
5 Asahi 'Shimbun, 2 September 1954.
e Asahi Shimbun, 1 1 September 1954.
stance, the Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs proposed to take a tough position towards lkeda's
statement. John Alliosn, the American ambassador to Tokyo, also strongly criticized
the statement.7
From 1952 to 1954, the United States government became increasingly alarmed by the
independent and nationalist tendencies of Japan, Under these circumstances, Prime Minister
Yoshida was replaced by Hatoyama who had been known for being more positive for improving Japan's relations with the communist neighbouring countries.
Advent otfthe
Hat Administration and Its Announcement
of Normalization Policy
After the downfall of the Yoshida administration, Hatoyama lchiro, the president of
the Democratic Party, came into office as the prime minister in December 1954.
This change in Japanese political leadership evoked a serious anxiety in the U.S. government. Although the government was not completely satisfied with Yoshida, he was much
more favourable to the U.S. interests than the other influential Japanese political figures.
At latest in the middle of October 1954, the Department of State had already perceived the
decline of Yoshida's political influence and started to estimate the alternatives to him.
Herbert Hoover, the undersecretary of state in charge of the Asian affairs, considered that
Hatoyama would replace Yoshida but be less conductive to U.S. interests, particularly in
the fields of economics and international cooperation. Hoover was more critical about
Shigemitsu Mamoru and Kishi Nobusuke.8
Immediately after the inauguration of Hatoyama, the 228th meeting of the National
Security Council was held in Washington. At the meeting, Allen W. Dulles, the director
of the Central Intelligence Agency, discussed political situations in Japan. According to
his observation, though Hatoyama was regarded as pro-American, his tendencies to favour
increased trade between Japan and the communist countries was a source of anxiety.9
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles also expressed his suspicion that Japan would become more assertive in promoting her trade with Communist China;o
Thus, the main elements of the American concern about the Hatoyama government
were at least the following three. First of al], the Department of State felt uncertain as
to whether the Hatoyama administration would continue as cooperative relations with the
United States as Yoshida did. Secondly, the department state seemed to doubt the ability
of the new Japanese administratlon to adjust Japan's domestic politics to the U.S. eco-
nomic and security interests. Finally, the new administration was expected to demand
more strongly the promotion of Japan's trade with the communist countries.
After the first meeting of the Hatoyama Cabinet on 10 December, the prime minister
stated at a press conference his desire to improve Japan's relations with the USSR and
Communist China and expand her trade with them in order to avoid another major war.n
' Hiwatari, op. cit., p. 97.
' FRUS. 1952-54, vol. 14, china and Japan, Part 2, p. 1744.
* Ibid., p. 1796.
' Ibid., p. 1797.
'* Asahi Shimbun, Il Dec. 1954.
The next day, Foreign Minister Shigemitsu Mamoru issued a statement to outline the foreign
policy of the new cabinet. He explained the desire to restore Japan's normal relations
with the Soviet Union and Communist China on mutually acceptable conditions based on
the principle that Japan would maintain cooperative relations with the free world.12
Both Shigemitsu and Hatoyama expected that their new policy towards the communist
countries would irritate the Americans. They attempted, therefore, to wipe the possible
American suspicion. On 27 December, Shigemitsu remarked in his conversation with
Ambassador Allison that his statement on 1 1 December had been designed to show a positive attitude towards Communist China in order to satisfy and calm down rising nationalistic and anti-American sentiments in Japan,13 He intended to assure the Americans that
the Japanese government's approach was positive not towards the Soviet Union but towards
Communist China and that this primarily for election purposes. Moreover, on 6 January,
when he met Allison, Admiral Arthur W. Radford, the chirman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, and General John B. Hull, the commander in chief in the far east, Shigemitsu emphasized in the strongest possible manner his belief that the fundamental basis of Japanese
policy was close and friendly cooperation with the United States.14
Hatoyama was also anxious about American responses. He sent Matsumoto Takizo.
the deputy chief cabinet secretary, who enjoyed close relations with Hatoyama, to the US
Embassy on 31 January 1955. Matsumoto suggested to George A. Morgan, the counsellor
at the Embassy, 'the prime minister's talk of normalizing relations with the communist
b]oc was almost entirely for election purposes.'15 Hatoyama emphasized that the new
policy towards the USSR was for the domestic purposes and that the basic principle of
foreign policy of his cabinet was to keep cooperative relations with the United States. The
prime minlster and foreign minister equally perceived the necessity to avoid inflicting any
damages to US-Japanese relations.
Dulles Memorandum and Japanese Policy Making
The US government quickly responded to the change in Japanese foreign policy. On
10 January, John Foster Dulles prepared a policy guideline on the Soviet-Japanese rapprochement, based on a preliminary study by Robert McClurkin, the director of Office
of Northern Asian Affairs. Accordlng to the guideline, Dulles stated that no immediate
reaction of the US government to the question of Japan's reopening relations with the
USSR and Communist China would be taken, because Shigemitsu had assured that Japan's
basic policy principle was to promote cooperative relations with the US.16 In this sense,
the efforts to mitigate the American suspicion by the foreign minister and the prime minister
were successful. But Dulles felt that it was necessary to provide the Japanese some policy
guidance in order to prevent possible future problems which would be caused by Japan's ap12 Mainichi Shimbun, 17 Dec. 1954.
13 Memorandum from McClurkin to Robertson, 7 January 1955, 661.941/1-755, the National Archives
in Washington D.C., the United States. (Hereafter cited as N.A.).
la FRUS. 1955-1957, Vol. 23, Japan, p. 2.
15 Memorandum of conversation by Morgan, 2 Feb. 1955, 794.00/2-955, N.A.
16 FRUS. 1955-57, Vol. 23. Japan, p. 5.
proach to her communist neighbours.
According to the guideline, the State Department was anxious that the Soviet-Japanese
normalization would strengthen the hands of the Socialists and divide the Conservatives
in Japan. But it considered that the US government could not strongly oppose the
Japanese efforts for normalization because the United States had the normal relations with
the Soviet Union. On the other hand, the Department was determined to oppose possible
Sino-Japanese normalization. The State Department regarded Communist China as
more serious menace to the US interests in the far east. McClurkin did not consider that
the Soviets would force the Japanese to change their existing relations with the United
States, but that Communist China had clearly shown that she would not 'accept any
arrangement which left Japan's relations with Nationalist China undisturbed.u7 Dulles'
policy guideline reflected McClurkin's apprehension. Dulles also said that Communist
China have every evidence of continuing aggressive policies and that the Sino-Japanese
normalization could have dangerous effect on the rest of Asia and its will to resist the com-
munist expansion;B
A significant fact was that the State Department was aware of a possible linkage between Soviet-Japanese and Sino-Japanese relations. It assumed that one of Soviet objectives was to 'play upon the difficulty in establishing the relations with Communist China
and thus to exacerbate Japan's internal political situation.' In other words, if the United
States opposed too strongly Japan's effort for normalization, the Japanese public would
realize that it would be more difficult to improve her relations with Communist China because
ofthe US pressure. As a resu]t, Japanese public opinion would streng then itsanti-American
tendencies. Thus, the US government was in a serious dilemma. If Japan could succeed
in normalizing her relations with the USSR, it would certainly stimulate the Japanese hope
to improve their relations with Communist China. It cannot, however, oppose too strongly
Japan's efforts for normalization for at least the two reasons mentioned above. In these
circumstances, the US had to take an extremely cautious policy towards Japan. Otherwise,
the U.S. would be put in the position of suffering 'major public diplomatic defeat prejudical
to the basic US-Japanese security alignment.'19 This dilemma logically led the US government to take a subtle policy. It should not explicitly oppose Japan's efforts for normalizing
her relations with the USSR, but if Japan showed any move to recognize Communist China,
the U.S, government should intervene the negotiations more explicitly to prevent it,ao
As for the territorial issue, the guideline recommended that the U.S. support the Japa-
nese claim for the sovereignty of the Habomais and Shikotan.21 The U.S. government
had continued to take this position since the San Francisco Peace Conference. Dulles,
who had been an author of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, had enunciated at the conference that the Habomais were the inalienable territory of Japan. He knew that the possible
maximum Japanese demand which could be legally supported was the reversion of the
17 'United States Attitude Toward The Opening of Diplomatic Relations Between Japan and the Communist Bloc' from McClurkin to Robertson, 7 January 1955, 661.941/1-755, N.A.
rs FRUS. 1955-57, Vol. 23, Japan, p. 5.
le lbid.
20 Ibid.
21 Ibid., p. 6.
Habomais and Shikotan. In addition, the secretary may have expected that Japan's territorial demand on those islands would be an effective instrument to make the Soviet-Japanese normalization talks difiicult enough for the Japanese to give up taking a next step to
normalize Sino-Japanese relations.
Thus, the basic policy of US State Department on the issue of the Soviet-Japanese
normalization can be summarized as follows. The US government should not explicitly
obstruct the normalization between the ,USSR and Japan. But it 'should put some subtle
pressure on Japan in order to make it difficult and to prevent more serious future menace :
Sino-Japanese normalization.
This policy principle of the U.S. government was translated into more specific expression
ofthe conditions acceptable to the US government and of its hope towards the Japanese. On
26 January, 1955, a memorandum prepared by Secretary Dulles was sent to Allison, which was
designed to be orally informed to the Japanese leaders. The Secretary Dulles memorandum
aimed to exert implicit influence on Japanese negotiating policy. The significant, points was
contained in it are as follows. Firstly, the memorandum suggested that the United States
could not allow the existing relations established by the San Francisco Peace Treaty and
Japan's treaty with the Nationalist China to be altered as a result of Soviet-Japanese normalization. Particularly, the US government could not accept participation of Communist
China in the negotiations.22 This was a clear warning against Japan's neutralization
and Sino-Japanese normalization. Secondly, Dulles expressed that the US govemment
hoped for Japan to obtain significant concessions from the Soviet Union on the following
issues: the repatriation of the Japanese detainees in Russia, the Soivet unconditional sup-
port for Japan's admission to the United Nations, and fishery arrangements. Then,
he added in the memorandum that his government expected Japan to prevent the Soviets
from extending the espionage subversion and propaganda network in Japan. As a whole,
Dulles urged in the memorandum Japan to take a tough position during the normalization
talks with the USSR.23
On the territorial issue, the memorandum said, 'any arrangements Japan makes with
[the] Soviets should not be inconsistent with [the] San Francisco Peace Treaty.' Then it
continued that the US would continue to support Japan's claim that the Habomais and
Shikotan were not part of the Kuriles and remained the territory of Japan.24 In other
words, the US government would support the Japanese territorial claim which was consistent with the San Francisco Peace Treaty. More specifically, given the fact that Japan
had renounced the Kuriles in the Peace Treaty, the US could support her claim only for
the territories which could not be regarded as part of the Kuriles. Because the Habomais
and Shikotan were not considered as part of them, she would support Japan's demand.
It must be noted that the US government did not intend to endorse the further territorial
claim by Japan, such as the restoration of Kunashiri and Etorofu.
This American attitude was a cautious one. The reasons for it were at least the following two. First, the Americans tried not to press the Japanese to take too a hard nego-
tiating position. It was difficult at that time to suppose that the Russians would make
22 Ibid., p. 12.
23 Ibid., pp. 11-12.
2d lbid., p. 11.
any concessions to Japan's territorial demands even on the restoration of the Habomais
and Shikotan. In March, Dulles said that 'it would be contrary to experience to expect
the Soviets to return any of their present possessions to the Japanese.':5 The same impression was shared by some of Japanese leaders. Hatoyama and his foreign policy advisers such as Sugihara Arata, seem to have considered that the Japanese government should
try to achieve normalization even if the territorial questions could not be solved in the
negitiations.26 Under these citcumstances, if the United States insisted that Japan take a
tougher territorial demand than that on the Habomais and Shikotan, the normalization
talks with the Soviets would be stuck and the US government would have to take the responsibility for the failure in the negotiations. This would cause stronger anti-Americanism
in Japan. Moreover, Dulles must have thought that the US support for Japan's claim
to the Habomais and Shikotan was a sufficient political instrument to make the SovietJapanese normalization difficult to achieve and to prevent the Japanese from holding a posi
tive prospect for improving Sino-Japanese relations.27
Secondly, the US attitude was influenced by her consideration regarding Sino-US
relations. In September 1954, Communist China had attacked Quemoy and Matsu and
the Formosa crisis had been opened up. Supporting the Nationalist China, the United
States was extremely sensitive to any events which could be damaging to the status of
Nationalist China. Japan had renounced Formosa in the San Francisco Peace Treaty
as well as the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin. But the Peace Treaty had not decided the
country to which those territories finally would belong. If the United States supported
further Japanese territorial claim to the islands which should be regarded as part of the
Kuriles by asserting invalidity of Soviet possession of the sovereignty over those islands.
the legal validity of Nationalist China's rule over Formosa would inevitably be in question.
Dulles seemed to realize this. On 28 January, at the meeting with lguchi Sadao, the Japa-
nese ambassador to the US, Dulles referred to the Habomais and Formosa problems. The
details about Dulles' remarks are not recorded. Nevertheless, in view of the fact that Iguchi responded to Dulles by emphasizing the distinction between those two issues, it can
be assumed that Dulles may have contended as above.28
On the same day, the contents of the Dulles memorandum was conveyed by Allison to
Tani Masayuki, a consultant of the Foreign Ministry. Although Tani said to Allison that
its contents were identical with what Shigemitsu and he had already had in their minds,29
the Du]les memorandum undoubtedly was to influence the negotiating policy of the Japanese
government. Perhaps, the foreign minlster and his close colleagues were so sensitive to
the US attitude as to formulate their negotiating policy by predicting the possible US attitude. At any rate, the Japanese negotiating policy could not be formulated without taking
the US response into account.
The Soviets favourablly responded to the new foreign policy announced by the Hato-
25 Ibid., p. 29.
26 Hatoyama lchiro, Hatoya,na lchiro Kaikoroku (Memoirs of Hatoyama lchiro) Tokyo, 1957, p. 176;
'HOppO Ryodo Mondai O Saiko Suru' (Reexamining the Northern Territories Questions). Sekai, February,
1992, pp. 203 L
s7 Wada, op. cit., p. 225.
28 FRUS. 1955-1957. Vol. 23, p. 13.
29 Allison to Dulles, 28 Jan. 1955, 661.941/1-2855, N.A.
yama government in December 1954. On 25 January 1955, the former Soviet Mission
for the Allied Council for Japan proposed to start the negotiations. The Japanese govern-
ment finally decided to agree with the Soviet proposal on 4 February. The Japanese
government seemed to define its territorial demand against the Soviets around that time.
On the day, Shima Shigenobu, the minister of the Japanese Embassy in Washington, visited
the Department of State and told that the Foreign Ministry wished to maintain the posi-
tion that the minimum acceptable condition would be the restoration of the Habomais
and Shikotan, with the hope that the Soviets would agree to reconsider later the Japanese
claim to the Kuriles.30
The Foreign Ministry clearly defined Japan's minimum condition for normalization
was to restore the Habomais and Shikotan. Here can be seen the influence of the Dulles
memorandum of 26 January. The Foreign Ministry knew, through the Allison-Tani
conversations on 28 January, that the US government would support Japan's claim for
those islands and that Japan could rely on the US at least in demanding against the USSR
the restoration of the Habomais and Shikotan.
An interesting fact is, however, that Shima also requested the US government to endorse Japan's claim to the Kuriles. He told that taking such a firm position against the
Soviet Union over the territorial issue was very important to gain support from tha Japanese public which was showing strong nationalistic sentiments. Then, he requested the
US government to imply in some form that it had been wrong in :agreeing to offer the Kuriles to the Soviet Union in the Yalta Agreement.31
The resurgence of the nationalistic sentiments in Japan was widely observed at that
time. For instance, John Coulson, the assistant under-secretary of the British Foreign
Office, stated in a Foreign Office minute that there was a hysteric nationalistic mood in
Japan.32 Hence, Shima's account about the public sentiments in Japan was well-evidenced.
There was also strong anti-normalization factions in the conservatives in Japan, scuh as
the Yoshida faction. The Hatoyama government needed hadly to deter and tame the antinormalization forces.
More importantly, the Japanese must have realized the necessity to show the US government their intention to be tough against the Soviet Union. As mentioned above, the
Japanese leaders had feared that the US might regard Japan's efforts for normalization
with Russia as a sign of her neutralist orientation. Although the Foreign Ministry had
to make it clear that it did not intend to erode the substance of the San Francisco Peace
Treaty, it also had to show that Japan wouid propose the strongest territorial demand
against the Soviets in order to wipe the American suspicion.
Responding Shima's request, McClurkin asked Conrad Snow, the assistant legal adviser of the State Department, if the US could support Japan's claim for the Kuriles.
Snow's answer was negative. He contended that, because Japan had irrevocably renounced
the Kuriles in the San Francisco Peace Treaty, the disposition of the islands must be decided
by some future international action, 'such as an accord among the Allied powers, including
30 Hoover to Tokyo, 4 Feb. 1955, 661.491/2-455, N.A.
31 Ibid.
32 Foreign Ofiice Minute by Coulson, 7 Feb. 19S5, F0371 I15239, FJI061/2. Public Record Office in Kew,
UK. (Hereafter, cited as P.R.O.)
the Soviet Union.' With regard to the Habomais and Shikotan, Snow confirmed that because those islands were not part of the Kuriles, Japan had never renounced them. The
United States government could, therefore, only support Japan's claim for them.33 The
Department of State had to continue to follow the policy guideline made by Dulles on 10
January .
NSC 5516/1 and Sebald Memorandum
At the end of February, Hatoyama's Democratic Party won the general election. Now
that his administration was no longer a care-taker government, the US government started
to re-examine its overall policy framework towards Japan. On 7 April, the National Security Council formulated NSC 5516/1 as a basis of US policy towards Japan. Regarding
the Soviet-Japanese relations, this NSC paper contained the following paragraphs :
42. Take the position with Japanese government that the United States does not object to the establishment of diplomatic relations with the USSR, but does oppose establishment of diplomatic relations with Communist China and would object strongly
to political association by Japan with Conununist nations in such actions as non-aggression pacts or efforts to facilitate entry of Communist China into the UN.
43. Support Japan's claim against the Soviet Union for sovereignty over the Habomai
Islands and Shikotan; do not concede the Soviet Union's claim to sovereignty over
the Kurile Islands and Southern Shakhalin.34
In fact, these two paragraphs contained almost all of the basic principles of US policy to-
wards Japan which had been examined since the beginning of January. After NSC 5516/1
was approved by President Eisenhower, these principles were constantly followed by the
government until the end of the normalization talks.
An interesting fact was that NSC 5516/1 was a result of a minor amendment of NSC
5516. On 7 April, at the 224th NSC meeting, Secretary Dulles requested to amend paragraph 44 of NSC 5516, which read 'Support Japan's claim against the Soviet Union for
sovereignty over the Habomai Islands and Shikotan; treat as legally invalid the Soviet Union
claim to sovereignty over the Kurile Islands and Southern Sakhalin.'35 Criticizing that,
Dulles argued that the US government could not state that the Soviet claim to the Kuriles
was invalid, because 'the Soviet claim to the Kuriles and Southern Sakhalin was substantially the same as our claim to be in the Ryukyus and the Bonin Islands.' He realized that
the Ryukyus were much more important to the US than the Kuriles were to the USSR.
The US government could, therefore, not sacrifice the Ryukyus for gaining the Kuriles on
behalf of the Japanese.
One of Dulles' main concerns regarding US-Japanese relations was treatment of Okinawa and the Bonins. He was fully aware of the irredentism intensified by rising nationalistic sentiments in the Japanese public. On 10 March, when Allen Dulles suggested
s3 FRUS. 1955-57, Vol. 23, pp. 1 1-12.
3 Ibid., p. 59.
35 Ibid., p. 43.
that 'there was some slight chance that the Soviets might return the Habomais,' the secretary of state professed his fear that, in case of Soviet returning the Kuriles, 'the US would
at once experience heavy Japanese pressure for the return of the Ryukyus to Japanese con-
trol.'36 From the viewpoint of Dulles, the Kuriles problem was inseparably connected
to the Okinawa problem. If the US government implied the legal invalidity of Soviet
occupation of the Kuriles, the nationalistic Japanese public opinion would, Duiles supposed,
take advantage of it. He had to avoid it. The US government was, to stick to its principle that it could speak out only its support for Japan's claim for the Habomais and
On the basis of NSC 5516/1, the Department of State started to formulate more specific
policy. On 20 April, William Sebald, the deputy assistant secretary of state for far eastern
affairs, prepared a detailed memorandum on the policy position to be taken by the US
government. The Sebald memorandum clearly figured that the US government was anxious
about the Soviet-Japanese normalization itself. It defined Soviet broad objectives as weakening US-Japanese alliance, establishing mission and consular offices in Japan, and confirming
of their territorial position in the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin. These objectives were
undoubtedly against the US vital interests in the far east. The US policy on the SovietJapanese normalization was in the broader context designed to prevent these objectives from
being achieved. As mentioned above, the US government regarded Sino-Japanese rapprochement as more serious menace than the Soviet-Japanese one. But this does not mean that
the latter was not perceived as a menace to the US.
For that purpose, Sebald suggested that the government should avoid appearance of
its involvement in the negotiations, but that, US interests being directly affected, the gov-
ernment should make its views known to the Japanese and the Soviets. He added that
'it will also to be our advantage to exploit serious differences between Japan and the USSR
as showing Soviet intransigence.'37
Then, Sebald moved to the substantive issues. As for the territorial issues, he expected the Japanese to demand all or part of the Kuriles as well as the Habomais and Shi-
kotan. He recommended that the US government continue to support Japan's claim for
the Habomais and Shikotan, 'on the theory that they are not part of the Kuriles.'38
That was a clear devlation from the previous position of the department. It must be now
remembered that Conrad Snow had clearly contended that the US could not support Japan's
for the Kuriles because Japan had irrevocably claim renounced them in the San Francisco
Peace Treaty. Sebald recommended to sacrifice Snow's legal interpretation for a political
purpose to obstruct the Soviet objectives.
Sebald assessed that the Kuriles were 'strategically important to the free world' and
argued that Japan's claim for those islands and US support for it would prevent Japan's
tacit recognition of the Soviet occupation. But he also recognized that the US could not
announce her support too strongly because that sort of US support might affect her occupation of Okinawa and the status of Formosa. Moreover, he considered that 'the hostile
presence of the Soviet Union on Japan's northern border will serve as a constant irritant
38 Ibid,, pp. 28-9.
37 Ibid., pp. 65-6.
38 Ibid., p. 66.
in their relations,' which the US had to take advantage of. In other words. Sebald thought
that the Soviet-Japanese territorial disputes should be remained as a wedge between the
two countries.
Hence, he recommended a less explicit support.
On balance, however, it would appear desirable that as a minimum we offer no objection to efforts on the part of Japan to get all or part of the Kuriles, either as part
of a deal whereby Japan might recognize a valid Soviet claim to South Sakhalin. . . . ,
or even on the basis of a Soviet recognition of Japan's residual sovereignty over all
or part of the Kuriles, comparable to our position in the Ryukyus and the Bonins.
Sebald also seemed to rely on the possibility that the International Court of Justice would
legally interpret some islnads which had been supposed to be part of the Kuriles were in
fact, not part of them. He wrote, 'We should also support any proposal by Japan to refer
territorial issues to the International Court of Justice.'39 If the ICJ decided as above, the
US government could become able to support more openly Japan's claim for the Kuriles.
Apart from the terrirotial issue, the Sebald memorandum also referred to the possibility
of linkage between the Soviet-Japanese normalization and Sino-Japanese rapprochement.
The memorandum recommended that the government tell the Japanese not to allow the
Soviets to press Japan to recognize Communist China for the purpose to impair Japan's relations with Nationalist China.40
Sebald aimed to influence Japan's negotiating policy making and reconunended to
sent his memorandum to Matsumoto Shunichi, who had been appointed the plenipotentiary
of the normalization talks.
'Instruction No. 16' and Te,・ritorial Question
From February to late May, the Japanese government was engaged in formulating a
general policy guideline for the negotiations with Russia. Sugihara Arata, a foreign policy
adviser to Hatoyama, and Tani were assigned to the policy making. At latest before 24
May, they accomplished the policy guideline, which was called 'Instruction No. 16.'41 It
seems that the Sebald memorandum had some effects on the guideline. The memorandum
was, in fact, sent to A1lison, and on 10 May, he informed Tani of the US positions. On 25
May, Tani said at his meeting with Allison that Japanese position was substantially in line
with US thinking.42
'Instruction No. 16' indicated the following policy principles. First of all, the
Japanese negotiators should proceed with normalization within the limitation set by the
San _Francisco Peace Treaty and the US-Japanese Security Pact. Instruction No. 16
8, Ibid.
a. Ibid., p. 67.
'* Wada Haruki, Hoppo Ryodo Mondai O Kangaeru (Examining the Northern Territories Questions) Tokyo, 1990, p. 145. As for the contents of the Instruction No. 16, see Kubota Masaaki, Kuremurin eno Shi-
setsu-Hoppo Ryodo Kosho 1955 3 (Mission to the Kremlin-negotiations on the Northem Territories
Question) Tokyo, 1983, pp. 32-34, and p. 74. The substace of 'Instruction No. 16' seerned to be communicated to the Department of State on 2 June. See Robertson to Hoover, 2 June 1955, 661.94/255, N.A.
" FRUS. 1955-57, Vol. 23, Japan, p. 68, footnote 2.
clearly provided that the main goal of the normalization talks was limited to concluding a
peace treaty with the USSR, and it excluded the possibility of a neutrality pact and of disarming Japan. Secondly, Instruction No. 16 defined the restoration of the Habomais and
Shikotan and the repatriation of Japanese detainees in Russia as conditions prerequisite to
the conclusion of a peace treaty.
On the territorial issue. Instruction No, 16 read as follows:
C. Territorial problems.
(1) the return of the Habomaisfand Shikotan;
(2) the return of the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin;43
Thus, it instructed the Japanese negotiators to demand the reversion of the Habomais,
Shikotan, the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin; in other words, all of the territories Japan
had lost to the Soviet Union at the end of the Pacific War. But Instruction No. 16 clearly
divided those islands into two categories : those territories which could be given up during
the negotiations, and those that should be demanded to the last as a condition prerequisite
to normalization. The latter contained the Habomais and Shikotan, and the former the
Kuriles and southern Sakhalin. The Japanese government intended to show the toughest demand against the Russians first, and to retreat from it to the minimum condition
This Instruction No. 16 was merely a basic guideline. The Foreign Ministry later
prepared a more specific additional guidance on the territorial issue. Shimoda Takezo,
then the director of the Treaties Bureau of the Ministry, recalls in his memories:
. . . , before Plenipotentiary Matsumoto left for London, we examined within the Foreign Ministry how to proceed with the negotiations. At that time, the following plan
which consisted of three stages was discussed : (1) To assert that the Kuriles and southern
Sakhalin, the Northern Territories are Japanese territories, (2) To make the restoration
of Kunashiri, Etorofu, the Habomais and Shikotan the condition for normalization,
(3) To demand the reversion of the Habomais and Shikotan. As a result of examination of these, the first option was adopted as the policy of the government, because
it was considered reasonable to put forward the maximum demand.44
Matsumoto also made it clear that he was instructed as above, in his interview with the
American scholar, Donald C. Hellman.45 As shown above, Japan's negotiating tactics was to
retreat from the strongest demand to the minimum one through the three stages.
A significant fact is that the additional guidance was possibly made under the influence
of the Sebald memorandum. The memorandum suggested that the United States government would not object Japan's claim for all or part of the Kuriles. Shigemitsu and the
Foreign Ministry executive offlcials who faced the memorandum must have considered
that the US government might support Japan's claim for the Kuriles and that it insinuated
that Japan should demand ,the southern Kuriles before retreating to the minimum condi43 Kubota, op. cit., p. 74.
44 Shimoda Takezo, Sengo Nihon Gaiko No Shogen (Witness to Diplomacy of Post war Japan) Part I ,
Tokyo, 1984, p. 142.
45 Donald C. Hellman, Japanese Foreign Policy And Domestic Politics : The Peace Agreement with the
Soviet Union, Berkeley, 1969, p. 59.
tion. In addition, they considered it was desirable to delay the progress of the negotiations
until the result of the Geneva Conference in July became clear, and to tame the nationalistic
sentiments in Japan. It is not unlikely that they took advantage of the Sebald memorandum
to support their own gradual retreating tactics.46
The First London Talks
The normalization talks started between Matsumoto and Yakob Malik, the Soviet
plenipotentiary, on I June in London. At the early stage of the negotiations, it soon became clear that the Soviet negotiating attitude was tough and rigid. During the first two
months, the negotiations focused the territorial issue and the question of repatriation of
Japanese detainees. As expected before their starting, the negotiations stagnated over
those issues.
Early in August, however, the Soviets suddenly softened their attitude. They proposed to retun the Habomais and Shikotan on condition that Japan recognize Soviet sovereignty over the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin.47 Perhaps, the Russians may have desired
to settle the negotiations as soon as possible by making significant concessions. But they
may also have intended to disturb US-Japanese relations. A US-Japanese foreign minister's
meeting was to be held in Washington at the end of August.
Plenipotentiary Matsumoto, who was close to Hatoyama, was delighted by the Soviet
proposal. But the Foreign Ministry responded quite differently. It wondered what kind
of compensation the Soviets would demand in return for their territorial concesstion.48
Moreover, the Japanese could not recognize the Soviet sovereignty over the Kuriles and
southern Sakhalin, because of domestic and external pressure. The Japanese must have
realized that, if they accepted the Soviet proposal, it would mean a deviation from the San
Francisco Peace Treaty, which the US government had continuously warned against. It
must be noted that at the time of ratification of the Peace Treaty in the US Congress in 1952,
the Senate had declared that the Peace Treaty should never provide the Soviet Union with
any territorial gain, in particular over the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin.
Under these circumstances, the Foreign Ministry formulated a new territorial demand
responding the Soviet concession, on around 18 August.49 This new demand was embodies in the following instructions.
(a) The delegates ought to make the utmost effort to obtain the restoration of the
Hamobais and Shikotan unconditionally and should attempt to regain Kunashiri
and Etorofu.
a6 Memorandum by Morgan, the counselor of the American Embassy, to the Department of State, 2 June,
1955, 661.94/6L255, N.A.
a7 Shigemitsu Akira, Hoppo Ryodo Mondai To Soren Gaiko (The Northem Territories Questions and Soviet
Foreign Policy) Tokyo, 1983, p. 82 ; Matsumoto Shunichi, Mosukuwa Ni Kakeru Nlji-Nisso Kokko Kalfuku
Hiroku (Rainbow Bridge with Moscow : Secret Records of Soviet-Japanese Normalization), Tokyo, 1964, p. 43.
(8 Minute by C.T. Crowe, 29 August, 1955. F0371 1 IS234 FJI0338166, P.R.O.
a, Kubota, op, cit., pp. 79 ;O; Shigemitsu Mamoru, Zoku Shigemitsu Mamoru Shuki (Diary of Shigemitsu Mamoru, vol. 2) Tokyo, 1980, pp. 731-2; Wada op. cit., pp. 164-5.
(b) The delegates should contrive to reach an agreement to convene an international
conference to discuss the territorial disposal of the northern Kuriles and southern
These new instructions were sent to London on 27 August and shown to the Russians, three
days later.
From the Soviet viewpoint, the return of the Habomais and Shikotan was the maximum
concession. Malik could not, therefore, accept the new Japanese proposal and Soviet attitude
became tougher. On 6 September, Malik added new conditions for return of the Habomais
and Shikotan : that is, non-fortification and non-militarization of those islands.51 These new
Soviet conditions were not acceptable to the Japanese government. Now the London Talks
reached a stalemate.
It is not yet entirely clear what role the US government played during the first London
talks. But there are several facts to be mentioned. Firstly, the Japanese government
tried to derive some US support for its territorial claim, in June. The Japanese sent the
State Department a questionnaire containing the following two questions.
(1) Should the Yalta Agreement, which was not known to Japan at the time of its
acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration and which was not referred to in the said
Declaration, be considered the determination by the Allied Powers as envisaged
in paragraph 8 of the said Declaration?52
(2) Does the American government consider that the Soviet Union can singly and
unilaterally decide the disposition of the sovereignty over the Kuriles and southern
The answer from the Department of State was sent as a telegramme from Dulles to the Embassy of Japan, on I July. According to this, the US government reconfirmed its support
for Japan's claim to the Habomais and Shikotan. Then, the State Department answered the
first question favourably to the Japanese. It defined the Yalta Agreement merely as a
statement of common purpose arrived at by heads of the three Great Powers, but not as
the determination referred to paragraph 8 of the Potsdam Declaration. As for the second
question, the answer was also favourable. It said that though Japan had renounced the
Kuriles and southern Sakhalin in the San Francisco Peace Treaty, the Treaty did not transfer
these islands to any country, and concluded that the ultimate disposition of southem Sakhalin and the Kuriles should be decided by a future international agreement.54
This telegranune was handed over to Tani on 4 July.55 It was clearly intended to encourage the Japanese to continue to take the tough territorial demand against the Russians.
With this support from the US, the Japanese continued to take a tough stance.
Due to the lack of documents available, it is extremely difficult to clarify how the US
50 Matsumoto, op, cit,, p. 49.
51 Minute by Allen, 7 Sept. 1955, F0371 1 15234, FJI0338/68, P.R.O.
5z Lord Reading to Ambassador Nishi, 23 July 1956, F0371, 121080, FJI0338/35, P.R.O. No US document regarding this questionnaire could be found, but this British document includes an English version of
the frst part of the questionnaire.
5B Matsumoto, op. cit., pp. 6( 1, Any official documents of the questionnaire could not be found.
s4 FRUS. 1955 7. Vol. 23. Japan, pp. 74-5.
55 Ibid., p. 75, footnote 7.
government reacted to the sudden change in Soviet attitude in early August. As mentioned
before, the Foreign Ministry made the new territorial demand on around 18 August. According to Shigemitsu Diary, he met Allison on the day before, but there is no indication of their
talks on the territorial issue.56 It is difficult to say definitely that Shigemitsu made the new
territorial demands against Russia under US influence. But we cannot dismiss that possibility, either.
An interesting fact is that the Department of State seemed to predicted Japan's reaction
in case of Soviet territorial concession. A position paper was prepared on 22 August for
the forthcoming Shigemitsu-Dulles conversation which was to start on 29 August, and
it expected the Japanese to request the US during the conversations to endorse Japan's claim
to the Habomais and Shikotan and for Kunashiri and Etorofu. Also, Japan was supposed
to ask to support convening an international conference in order to determine the territorial status of the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin.57
Based on these predictions, the position paper recommended that the US should support Japan's claim for the Habomais and Shikotan. According to this paper, however,
the US could not fix her position regarding Etorofu and Kunashiri because of the lack of
information and investlgation. Added to that, the paper clearly rejected the idea of holding
an international conference, on the ground that the Soviets would never participate and
that such an attempt would be interpreted by the other signatories to the San Francisco
Peace Treaty as evidence of Japan's ambition for overall alteration of the peace treaty,
especially reversion of Formosa.
Thus, the US government was not prepared to support openly all of the new Japanese
territorial demands. In the Shigemitsu-Dulles conversations in Washington at the end
of August, Dulles expressed his satisfaction with Japan's careful handling of the negotia-
tions and encouraged Shigemitsu to take continuously a tough negotiating stance. But
no detailed discussion on the territorial issue seems to have held, except that the secretary
of state referred to Article 25 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty implying that the USSR
should not gain the sovereignty over the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin.58 No documents
were found describing what Shigemitsu and Dulles talked about Kunashiri and Etorofu. It
is not yet clear whether Shigemitsu informed the US of the Soviet territorial concession
made on 9 August and the new demands of Japan. At any rate, however, Dulles was not
in the position to support Japan's claim for those islands. As already mentioned, the US
government could not openly endorse Japan's efforts to restore the Kuriles. Unless Kunashiri and Etorofu were defined as not part of the Kuriles by such a legal authority as the
ICJ, the US government could not support the Japanese claim to those two islands.
More important was the State Department's reaction against the new Russian proposal
of 6 September against the new Japanese demands. On 18 September. Walter Robertson,
the assistant secretary of state for far eastern affairs, observed that while the influence of
Shigemitsu, who had been regarded by him as 'the most outspoken advocate of hard bargaining with the Soviets,' was declining, the Hatoyama government might well decide to settle the
*' Zoku Shigemitsu Mamoru Shuki, p. 731.
5, A position paper prepared by Pfeiffer, entitled 'Foreign Minister Shigemitsu Visit, Wasnington, August
25 September 1, 19S5; Japan-USSR Negotiations' SHV D12, 22 August, 1955. FE File. Lot 60 D330, 56D225, 56D256, Box 7, N.A.
" FRUS. 1955-57, Vol. 23, pp. 90-6.
negotiations with the Soviets.60 The Americans clearly became increasingly worried that
the Japanese would settle the negotiations on the Soviet terms. The US government could
not tolerate this.
Robertson recommended, then, to advise the Japanese leaders of the US views on the
following three points:
(a) we hope Japan will do nothing implying recognition of Soviet sovereignty over
the Kuriles and south Sakhalin and we believe disposition of these territories
should be left for future international decision.
(b) the Soviet proposal to prohibit entry into the Japan Sea by warships of non- riparian powers violates international law and would virturally nullify the naval
aspects of the US-Japanese Security Treaty, and
(c) the Soviet proposal for demilitarization of the Hanomais and Shikotan would
appear to be an unjustifiable derogation of Japanese sovereignty over these islands.Gl
Robertson's message was clear: Japan should not recognize Soviet sovereignty over the
Kuriles and Sakhalin but continue to be tough. The US had kept insisting that Japan
could not conclude with the USSR a peace treaty contradictory to the San Francisco Peace
Treaty. {If Japan recognized Soviet sovereignty over the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin,
it would be a clear violation of the Peace Treaty, which the US could not accept. Robertson
feared that Shigemitsu's decline would result in relative increase in Hatoyama's influence
in the Japanese cabinet and in the Soviet-Japanese normalization on the Soviet terms.
Robertson's recommendation was implemented. On 22 September 1955, Allison
communicated the abovementioned US position to Tani and Shigemitsu.62 Shigemitsu
responded it, stating emphatically that the Japanese government did not intend to change
its previous position vis-a-vis Soviet negotiations.63 On 15 September, Shigemitsu met
Ashida Hitoshi, one of the Party leaders, and Shigemitsu made it clear that he intended
to conclude the negotiations by restoring the Habomais and Shikotan. He may have considered that Japan should continue to take tough stance against the Soviets in order to make
the Soviets retreat from the position expressed on 6 September and to conclude the peace
treaty on condition that the USSR return the Habomais and Shikotan with hoping that
the Soviets and Japan would reconsider the status of the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin
later. At this stage of the negotiations, the US position seemed quite identical with Shigemitsu's. But his conversation with Ashida shows that he still considered that the minimum
condition for normalization was to restore the Habomais and Shikotan.
Hatoyama was much more inc]ined to accept the Soviet term. On 5 October, Allison
met him in Tokyo and discussed the territorial issue. The prime minister stated that the
Soviet-Japanese negotiations would be settled soon and that Japan had already relinquished
her rights to the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin at signing the San Francisco Peace Treaty.
Although he was determined to get back the Habomais and Shikotan unconditionally,
Hatoyama was reluctant to continue to demand the reversion of the Kuriles and southern
lbid., p, 122.
Ibid., p, 123.
Perhaps, there was a struggle between Shigemitsu and Hatoyama over how to proceed
with the negotiations with Russia. Shigemitsu may have desired to continue to take a
tough position in order to satisfy the United States. From his viewpoint, Japan could
accept the Soviet terms later, but she should continue to be tough until it became clear
that she had done everything to resist the Soviet claim. On the other hand, Hatoyama
was in a hurry to settletthe negotiations.
Shigemitsu probably attempted to deter Hatoyama by obtaining a clear support from
the US for Japan's claim for Kunashiri and Etorofu. [On 12 October, Shigemitsu met
Allison and handed him a note explaining the Japanese government's opinion that Kunashiri and Etorofu were not part of the Kuriles. In addition, he probably handed Allison
a questionnaire including the following two questions as to:
(1) Whether the leaders of the AIlied Powers participating in the Yalta Conference
recognized the following historical facts when they adopted the words 'the Kuriles' in
the Yalta Agreement: that Kunashiri and Etorofu which are direct]y adjacent to Hokkaido were inalienable Japanese territories where Japanese people had lived in large
numbers, that those islands had never belonged to any foreign countries, and that in
the St. Petersburg Treaty of 1875 'the Kuriles' were defined as only 18 islands located
northward from Etorofu.
(2) Whether the United States government who played the main role in drafting the
San Francisco Peace Treaty understood that 'the Kuriles, in Article 2 (c) did not include
Kunashiri and Etorofu.65
The Department of State's reply to this questionnaire was conveyed to Tani by Allison
on 21 October. The substance of the reply was interestingly almost identical with the
Sebald memorandum of 20 April and can be summarized as follows. First, neither the
Yalta Agreement nor the San Francisco Peace Treaty contained no definition of the range
of the Kuriles. The territorial definition of the Kuriles was not made at the Yalta Conference or in the drafting process of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Second, therefore,
the disposition of the Kurilesfand southern Sakhalin should be subject to a future international decision. But such a settlement could not be expected at this moment.
Then, the Department's reply moved to some recommendations. It said:
As an alternative, the US government has no objection to Japan's efforts to persuade
the Russians to return Kunashiri and Etorofu on the ground that those islands are
not part of the Kuriles. Considering the Soviet position which has so far been announced, however, it is unlikely that the Japanese demands would be successful. In
case of failure, it is advisable for the Japanese govenunent to assert that the questions
about 'the Kuriles' should be submitted to the ICJ by both the ir^terested countries.
As another alternative, the US government has no objection to the Japanese and the
Soviets reaching agreement that the Soviet Union would return those two islands to
Japan in exchange for the latter's confirmation in a Soviet-Japanese peace treaty that
" Ibid., p. 128.
'* Matsumoto, op. cit., p. 62
she renounced the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin.66
The State Department's reply showed that the US refused to support the Japanese idea of
holding an international conference to decide the disposition of the Kuriles and southern
Sakhalin. As for Kunashiri fand Etorofu, the reply expressed that the US government
would not positively support Japan's claim for Kunashiri and Etorofu, but that it would
not oppose Japan's efforts. In this sense, the US government tried to avoid backing openly
Japan's claim for those islands. The reason for this cautious American attitude was that
those two islands could not yet legally defined as not part of the Kuriles. That is why con-
sulting the ICJ was recommended. As the last sentence of the above paragraph shows.
however, it seemed that the Department of State encouraged the Japanese to continue to
demand the reversion of those islands in their negotiations. The Japanese government
failed in obtaining clear US support for its claim to Kunashiri and Etorofu. But it could
not stop demanding those islands. It seems that the Americans caught this opportunity
to use Japan's claim for Kunashiri and Etorofu as an effective instrument to prevent SovietJapanese normalization from being achieved. At any rate, the US reply, though ambiguous.
could be used to deter Hatoyama.
On 15 November, the so-called Conservative Merger was achieved and the Liberal
Democratic Party was established. The newly born Liberal-Democratic Party issued a
new foreign policy platform on the same day, which included a policy formula regarding
the territorial issue. The policy formula of the Party contained the very same contents
as the counter proposal against the Soviet territorial concessions made in early August.
The Party formula insisted that Japan should demand the reversion of Kunashiri and Etorofu and submit the problems of the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin to an international
conference. Interestingly, Shigemitsu issued, however, a strong critical statement against
the Party policy formula. Faced a draft of the formula, he stated on 8 November that
the Party should not get involved too much in the negotiations by making a specific negotiating policy.67 Having followed his original three-stage negotiating factics, he wanted
to proceed with the negotiations flexibly enough for him to be able to retreat from the pre-
sent Japanese demand to the minimum one. But the new Party foreign policy formula
certainly shackled him. Perhaps, the anti-normalization factions in the former Liberal
Party may have exerted a great influence on the making of the policy formula which had
an effect to make the Japanese territorial demand rigid against the Russians.
It can be argued that the Party formula reflected the influence of the State Department's reply on 21 October. In fact, the contents of the reply was leaked to the press and
the conservative leaders, in particular, those of anti-normalization factions, must have
known that the United States had no objection to Japan's efforts to restore Kunashiri and
Etorofu. Perhaps, some of them must have assumed that the real intention of US government might be to use Kunashiri and Etorofu as a wedge to prevent normalization. r
so, the State Department's reply played a significant role in depriving the Japanese negotiating policy of flexibility by supporting indirectly anti-normalization factions in Japan.
The IJ S government seemed to welcome the Conservative Merger. McClurkin stated
that 'the majority conservative government will be more responsible than the present Hato66 Ibid., pp. 62-3.
"' Mainichi Shimbun, 9 Nov. 1955.
yama minority regime and will be more capable of getting things done.' 'With Liberals
sharing the responsibility,' he continued, 'there will be less flirtation with the communist
orbit and a clearer affirmation of Japan's ties with the Free World.'68 This estimation
must have been an indirect indication of American favourable response to the new negotiating policy made by the new Liberal-Democratic Party.
At the same time, the Soviet attitude became more rigid on the territorial issue. On
21 September, Nikita Khruschhev, the first secretary of the USSR Communist Party, met
a Japanese parliamentary delegation visiting Moscow. There he accused the Japanese
government of intentional]y delaying normalization without being satisfied with Soviet
territorial concessions and implied that the Soviet Union was determined to refuse the territorial demand of Japan. He asserted that the territorial problem had already been solved
with the Yalta Agreement, but that the Soviet government was willing to concede the Habo-
mais and Shikotan, as an indication of Soviet good-will to the Japanese.69 British Ambassador Sir William Hayter in Moscow observed that the Soviet government now adopted
the 'we can wait' attitude.70
Fi,・st Moscow Talks and Shigemitsu-Dulles Conversation
The Second London Talks started in January 1956, Under the circumstances mentioned above, the negotiations could not make very much progress on the territorial issue,
though the two plenopotentiaries reached agreements on most of the other issues. Shortly
after the end of the second London talks, the fisheries negotiations were held in May and
Minister for Agriculture and Forestry Kono lchiro visited Moscow as the plenipotentiary.
During the negotiations, when Soviet Premier Bulganin suggested that the Soviet Union
had no objection to normalization through 'the Adenauer formula.' Kono responded favour-
ably. The 'Adenauer formula' was the method adopted by West German Chancellor
Konrad Adenauer when he established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union in September 1955. West Germany and the USSR only agreed to terminate the state of war and
to exchange ambassadors, while shelving various questions. Hatoyama and his colleagues
were quite keen on this formula since the start of the normalization talks.
The exchange of views between Kono and Bulganin in May 1956 in Moscow certainly
served to intensify the movement towards normalization through the Adenauer formula. In
response to this movement, the Foreign Ministry started searching for a way towards early
normalization by making some concessions to the Soviets.71 But it was clear that the
ministry did not intend to adopt the Adenauer formula. Shigemitsu clung to concluding
a peace treaty. He predicted that if Japan adopted the Adenauer formula, she would have
to give up even the Habomais and Shikotan.72 Shigemitsu planned to conclude the peace
treaty, even by making some significant territorial concessions to the Soviet Union.
The drastic changes in the climate of the negotiations took place in the first Moscow
6B FRUS. 1955-57, Vol. 23, p, 141.
69 Soviet News, No. 3260, 28 Sept. 1955.
70 Hayter to Macmil]an, 30 Sept. 1955, F0371 1 14234, FJI0338178, P.R.O.
71 Asahi Shimbun, 15 May, 1956.
72 Asahi Shimbun, 31 May, 1956.
ta]ks in August. Shigemitsu went to Moscow as the Japanese plenipotentiary and attempted
to conclude a peace treaty through solving the territorial questions. He had already been
determined to settle the negotiations before his visit to Moscow. For this purpose, he
tried to preempt possible future American criticism. He visited Ambassador Allison before
his departure for Moscow and asked whether the US government would approve, it the
Japanese government reached an agreement with the Soviet Union on the territorial issue
on terms which were satisfactory for Japan.73 This suggests that Shigemitsu had already
planned to reach some agreement with the Soviet Union on conditions which would bc inconsistent with American interests : nameiy Japan's recognition, whether implicit or explicit.
of Soviet sovereignty over the Kuriles, including the southern Kuriles, and southern Sakhalin.
The first Moscow talks started at the end of July. From the beginning, Shigemitsu
indicated Japan's willingness to conclude a peace treaty. He suggested at the first meeting
with his Sovlet counterpart, Foreign Minister Dmytri Shepilov, that if the Soviet Union
returned Kunashiri and Etorofu in addition to the Habomais and Shikotan, Japan would
renounce the northern Kulries and southern Sakhalin.74 This position clearly reflected
the State Department's position described in its reply of 21 October to the Japanese ques-
tionnaire. The Soviet foreign minister was, however, determined to make the Japanese
accept the Soviet terms: that is, the USSR would return the Habomais and Shikotan on
condition that Japan recognized the Soviet possession of the Kuriles including Kunashiri
and Etorofu, and of southern Sakhalin.
Then, Shigemitsu proposed not to refer to the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin in a
peace treaty.75 This was intended to show the Soviets that Japan would give her tacit
consent to the status quo over the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin. At the same time, he
tried to secure the Habomais and Shikotan and to open the way to later discussion on the
disposition of the Kuriles and Shakhalin. This was, however, not accepted by Shepilov.
Then, Shigemitsu made a further retreat. He suggested that Japan would clear]y renounce
all claims to the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin in the peace treaty. This was also a great
concession from the Japanese view point. But the Soviets did not move.
Up to this point, Shigemitsu's proposals had been in line with the American posltion.
But he was forced to deviate from this line. On 13 August, he admitted, at last, that he
could not find any other way than to accept the Soviet terms. Shigemitsu might have assumed that the US would feel the necessity to accept Shigemitsu's decision if he, as an ac-
knowledged pro-American leader, came to the view that Japan had no way other than to
accept the Soviet terms.76 Although he insisted that he was authorized by his government
to make any decision by himself, Matsumoto Shunichi, who was also one of the plenipotentiaries to Moscow, strongly recommended that Shigemitsu should request Tokyo for instructions. Persuaded by Matsumoto, the foreign misinter finally decided to request the
instructions from Tokyo. The response from Tokyo was negative. Given the strong
7A Robertson to Hoover, 24 July 1956, 661.941/7-2456 N.A.
74 Information Bulletin, issued by Embassy of Japan in London, entitled 'Special Issue of Japanese-Soviet
Negotiations' 15 August, 1956, F0371 121040 FJI0338/41. P.R.O.
T5 Matsumoto, op. cit., p. 109.
7e Saito Shizuo, Nihon Gaiko Seisakushiron Josetsu (Introduction to History of Japan's Diplomacy) Tokyo, 1981.
opposition within the Liberal Democratic Party and the tough public opinion, Hatoyama
and his cabinet members could not accept Shigemitsu's proposal. The cabinet assembled
on the evening of 12 August and decided to send him to London for the international conference of the users of the Suez canal late in August.
On 19 August, the foreign minister met John Foster Dulles in London, who also participated in the conference. Shigemitsu reported to Dulles the development of his negotia-
tions in Moscow. Dulles responded harshly. He told Shigemitsu that the Kuriles and
Ryukyus were handled in the same manner and that 'if Japan recognized that the Soviet
Union was entitled to full sovereignty over the Kuriles we would assume that we were equally
entitled to full sovereignty over the Ryukyus' on the basis of Article 26 of the San Francisco
Peace Treaty.77 Against that, Shigemitsu requested Dulles to take the initiative to convene
a aonference to discuss the disposition of the Kuriles and the Ryukyus, but Dulles responded
negatively. Instead, Dulles suggested, 'Perhaps in dealing with the Soviet Union the best
way would be to take the position that all the Kuriles enjoy the same status as the Ryukyusi.e., foreign occupation with residual sovereignty resting with Japan. Then he continued,
'Were Japan to ask the United States if the title of Kuriles could be split as between the
southern-northern parts, the United States might reconsider.'78 Dulles clearly suggested
that Japan should not abandon her claim for Kunashiri and Etorofu.
On 24 August, the Japanese foreign minister met Dulles again. Shigemitsu repeated
his desire to open an international conference to discuss the problems of the Kuriles. But
Dulles rejected it by saying that the 'territorial problem is complicated-a conference might
bring in Taiwan as well as the Kuriles.' After refusing Shigemitsu's request, Dulles moved
to discuss the problem of the Kuriles. Dulles argued thatt'it is difiicult to contend that
Etorofu and Kunashiri are not part of the Kuriles' and added that 'if the Soviet Union were
anxious to have a treaty, with consequent diplomatic representation in Tokyo, they might
give in eventually on the territorial question,' but that if the milltary value of the islands
were substantial and the sea passage south of these islands were strategically important,
the Soviets probably owuld not give in.79
Dulles' message was clear. He asserted that Japan should stick to her territorial claim
for the Kuriles or at least the two southernmost islands of the Kuriles and that she should
continue to negotiate with the Soviet Union, though it was almost impossible to expect
the further Soviet concession, or shou]d walk out of the negotiations. He strongly hoped
to obstruct the normalization between the Soviet Union and Japan.
Explicit Intervention of US Government and Aide-Memoire
of State Department
The statement of Dulles made on the linkage between the Kuriles and the Ryukyus
was leaked to the Japanese press and caused a 'furor' in Japan. The United States government had so far tried to avoid any direct and open involvement in the normalization
77 FRUS. 1955-57, Vol. 23, Japan, p. 202.
78 Ibid., p. 203.
?9 Ibid., pp. 208-9.
talks, but now this cautious stance could no longer be continued. On 30 August, Allison
recommended to abandon the previous line of non-involvement and urged the department
to issue a public statement by the US and as many other San Francisco Treaty powers as the
US could round up in brief time, to the effect that the United States supported Japan's inter-
pretation of 'Kurile Islands' in Article 2 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty as excluding
Etorofu and Kunashiri. In addition to that. AIlison recommended that the US government should stated that Etorofu and Kunashiri should be promptly returned to Japan.80
Pethaps he tried to neutralize the impression put by the Dulles statement on the Japanese
public that the United States government tried to obstruct the normalization talks.
There was naother purpose. Allison observed that the Kono faction intended to push
through a cabinet shufFle, including the ouster of Shigemitsu. He said that the recommended
US statement would give some support to Shigemitsu. Thissounds rather odd, for Shigemitsu
had decided in Moscow that Japan should accept the Soviet terms. What the US should have
done to support Shigemitsu was to express her support for the normalization on the Soviet
terms. Considering this riddle, we can make the following two hypothetical answers. The
first is that Shigemitsu had not told Dulles about any detailed information about his Moscow
talks. On 3 September, in his memorandum, Walter Robertson suggested that 'the farthest
they [=the Japanese] have expressed willingness to go is acceptance of treaty language like
that of variant formulas-including a definition of Japanese territory without any definition
of Soviet territory, and including recognition of Soviet sovereignty over the Kuriles and
Southern Sakhalin, Ieaving Etorofu and Kunashiri under Japanese sovereignty (with or without Soviet occupation by analogy to Article 3 arrangements)-but they have not presented
these formally to the Soviet Union because of the adamant Soivet stand.'81 According to
this, Shigemitsu did not tell Dulles anything about the concessions he had made in Moscow.
But it is difiicult to suppose that the United States government did not know Shigemitsu's
decision to accept the Soviet terms, because the Japanese press had already reported the
details about his decision in Moscow. Even if Shigemitsu kept silent what really happened
in Moscow, the Americans could almost precisely guess about the development of the first
Moscow talks from some of the Japanese news reports.82 If the US government did really
not know that, it still considered that Shigemitsu had strongly demanded the reversion
of the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin. If so, Allison's intention to support Shigemitsu is
But what could be said, if Shigemitsu let the US government know the development
in Moscow? As already mentioned, he had been regarded as a most outspoken pro-American statesman in the Hatoyama cabinet. He must have been considered as a leverage to
manipulate the Hatoyama cabinet in the direction of US interests. Perhaps, from the American view point, Shigemitsu was regarded as close to the anti-normalization faction such as the
Yoshida factions. If so, Allison may have thought that the United States government could
save its leverage in the Japanese cabinet by openly supporting the tougher Japanese claim for
the southern Kuriles. Moreover, this means that Allison wanted to prevent the Hatoyama
80 Ibid., pp. 212-3.
81 Ibid., p. 216.
82 For example, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, 12 August, 1956.
factions from achieving the normalization through the Adenauer formula, which was Hatoyama's pet policy.
The Department of State accepted Allison's recommendation. On 3 September,
Robertson recommended in his memorandum that the government should state that
Kunashiri and Etorofu had always been part of Japan proper and should in justice be
acknowledged as under Japanese sovereignty.83 The considerations behind his recommendation were as follows. Firstly, Robertson observed that despite Soviet tough position
on the territorial issue, 'there has been comparatively little public indignation against the
Soviet Union's blackmailing tactics, partly because the Japanese tend to be cowed by Soviet
ruthlessness.'84 Moreover, he argued that 'the Japanese cards, which have not been well
played, are the Soviet desire to have a full diplomatic mission in Japan and the possibility
of daramatizing before Japanese and world opinion that contrast between Soviet "smiling
diplomacy" and Sovlet acts.85 Then he concluded 'Any demonstration of moral support
would be of some value from this standpoint, such as declaration that we believe Japanese
claims to Etorofu and Kunashiri are just.'86 In summary, Robertson tried to make the
Japanese public opinion tougher on the territorial issue by supporting Japan's claim for
thesouthern Kuriles. He considered that, by doing so, the US could make it difficult for
Japan to conclude a peace treaty with Russia on the basis of acceptance of the Soviet terms.
Moreover, Robertson seemed to desire to prevent the Adenauer-type normalization
from being achieved. He wrote that an 'Adenauer formula would give the Soviets one
of the main things they have wanted, however, a mission in Tokyo and full diplomatic
intercourse.' But 'if such a resolution is possible, it is hard to estimate to what extent the
Soviets would accept Japan's desires on prisoners, United Nations entry and fisheries.'87
He clearly admitted that the Adenauer formula was disadvantageous. It must now be
emphasized that his main purpose was to prevent any form of Soviet-Japanese normalization.
As mentioned above, the United States government had been taking the position that
it could not oppose Japan's efforts for normalization with the Soviet Union. But the
development from the end of August to the beginning of September in 1996 shows that the
government abandoned its previous course. One of the most immediate reasons was, as
Allison stated, a furor in Japan caused by Dulles' statement on 19 August. But it seems
that there were other significant background factors.
It must be remembered that the Americans feared that the Soviet-Japanese normaliza-
tion might lead to a Sino-Japanese rapprochement. The Sino-Japanese relations had
been, however, irritated the Americans in 1955 and 1956, and their anxiety was intensified
late in May 1956. As a result of Kono's fishery talks in Moscow, the possibility of Soviet-
Japanese normalization based on the Adenauer formula was regarded as increasing. At
the same time, Communist China strengthened her efforts to normalize her relations
with Japan. On 15 May, Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-lai had suggested that
8* FRUS. 1955-57, voL 23, Japan, p. 221.
8* Ibid., p. 217.
** Ibid.
*8 Ibid., p. 218.
" Ibid., pp. 218-9.
Communist China was willing to welcome a visit by Hatoyama and Shigemitsu.88 A week
later, A1lison held a meeting with Shigemitsu and talked about domestic trends towards
normalization with Cummunist China. In this conversation, AIlison noted that from the
US point of view, the most dangerous result of Kono's activities was the spur it had given
to those who wished to go on and normalize relations with Communist China.89 The American ambassador came to the conclusion that the US government should take more positive
steps to prevent the Sino-Japanese rapprochement and recommended that President
Eisenhower or Dulles send a personal message warning against it. This recommendation did not receive the backing of the secretary of state. But the Department of State did
instruct Allison to inform the Japanese at his discretion that the US government was
concerned that Japan nxight accede to resumption of diplomatic relations with the USSR
without obtaining adequate returns from her.90 The US government evidently intended
to prevent the Sino-Japanese normalization by indicating its anxiety over Soviet-Japanese
It must be noted that the US government did not only oppose normalization on the
Soviet terms, but also normalization on the basis of the Adenauer formula. The US oificials could not positively support any type of normalization, because any kind of SovietJapanese normalization could provide a momentum for Sino-Japanese normalization.
A pressure from the Nationalist China also seemed to play a significant role. In late
June, President Chiang Kai-shek asked the US to intervene in the normalization talks.
Chiang was reported to consider that the Soviet-Japanese rapprochement 'may lead to
"disaster" ' and to hope that the US 'will do everything in its power to render abortive all
efforts in that direction.'91 This pressure from Chiang must havea ccelerated the fear held
by the US officia]s.
The US government was also under the pressure from some influential Congressmen.
On I June, Senator Alexander Smith sent a personal letter to Walter Robertson and suggested that the US government should more positively commit itself to Soviet-Japanese
normalization talks. He said,
It is unnecessary to enlarge upon the consequences to the American position in the
Far East if the fears of our friends in Japan are fulfilled. What dismays these friend
is that, with all this going on, the United States seems to be either ignorant of or indifferent to the potentialities of the situation. They are even considering sending a
group to Washington to inform our government of what is transpiring and to urge us
to manifest our interest in a situation which might well deprive us of an important
'Our friends' in the above pessage must have meant the anti-Hatoyama factions such as
represented by former Prime Minister Yoshida. Smith may have been pressed by some of
the anti-normalization faction leaders in Japan. It must be also remembered that Smith
had most strongly opposed the transfer of the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin to the Soviet
88 Asahi shimbun, 16 May, 1956.
" FRUS. 1955-57, voL 23, Japan, p. 179.
'o lbid.
'* Ambassador Rankin in Taipei to Dulles, 21 June 1956. 66.94/6-2156, N.A.
92 Alexander smith to Robertson, I June, 661.946/6-156, N.A.
Union at the time of the peace treaty making in 1951. His firm opposition had been embodied in an attachment to the instrument of ratification of the San Francisco Peace Treaty
which expressed the Senate's objection to the government offering any benefit to the Soviet
Union over the treatment of the Kuriles, southern Sakhalin, the Habomais and Shikotan.93
Now in 1956, Smith requested the Eisenhower government to get more deeply involved
with the Soviet-Japanese negotiations. Dulles was sensitive to reactions of the Congress.
At the meeting with Shigemitsu on 24 August, he referred to the possible Senate's objection.94 Smith's pressure must have exerted certain influence on the government's attitude.
Thus, the US government departed from its previous non-involvement line because
of its fear for the acceleration of Sino-Japanese rapprochement and under the pressures
from Nationalist China and some Congressmen.
After the first Moscow talks, the influence of Shigemitsu quickly declined and the
Hatoyama faction gained more power on the cabinet foreign policy making. Kono and
Hatoyama carefully planned for normalization through the Adenauer formula and had
a series of secret meetings with the representative of the former Soviet mission in odrer
to clarify the conditions for normalization. The Aide-Memoire of the Department of State
was issued in the middle of this development. This Aide-Memoire was relayed to the American Embassy on 3 September and, with several amendments, handed over to the Japanese
on 7 September. The Department of State also sent A1lison a document called 'Oral Points.'
The Aide-Memoire contained at least the following three main points. Firstly, the
state of war between the USSR and Japan should formal!y be terminated. Secondly, The
Memoire indicated that the United States government understood that Japan did not have
the right to transfer sovereignty over the territories which had been renounced by her in
the San Francisco Peace Treaty and that the signatories to the San Francisco Peace Treaty
would not be bound to accept any actions by Japan like a territorial transfer. Finally, it
enunciated that Kunashiri and Etorofu along with the Habomais and Shikotan which were
part of Hokkaido had always been part of Japan.95 The 'Oral Points,' which was designed
to be communicated orally to the Japanese at Allison's discretion, contained a warning
against the Adenauer-type normalization. According to this document, the Adenauer
formula was not very advantageous for Japan and the Soviet promises on the repatriation
of Japanese detainees, Japan's admission to the UN, and fishery agreement would not be
met 'even if an Adenauer-type formula were adopted.'96 Thus, the Aide-Memoire and
the 'Oral Points' suggested that Japan should conclude a peace treaty, not the Adenauertype of settlement, with the Soviet Union by solving the territorial issue without recognizing
Soviet sovereignty over the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin, but getting back Etorofu and
Kunashiri, not to mention the Habomais and Shikotan.
The Aide-Memoire was published on 13 September in Japan. The anti-normalization
factions seemed to be delighted and try to make use of it. On 12 September, Ikeda
Hayato, who was one of the most influential leaders of the Yoshida faction, issued a statement to the effect that the Japanese should not give up their territorial claims to the Kuriles
"" FRUS. 1951, voL 6, p. 933; FRUS・ 1952-54, vol. 14, Part 2, pp. 1216-7.
" FRUS. 1955-57, voL 23, Japan, p. 208.
9* John Stephen, The Kuril Isiands : Russo-Japanese Frontier in the Paclfic. Oxford, 1974. Appendix A-x,
p. 246.
96 FRUS. 1955-57, vol. 23, Japan, p. 231.
because the most important signatory to the San Francisco Peace Treaty, the US, finally
came to support the Japanese claims. He also criticized the Adenauer formula by saying
that it would result in substantial transfer of the southern Kuriles to the Soviet Union.97
Thus, the US position was identical with the position of the Yoshida faction. In fact, the
timing of publication of the Aide-Memoire also seemed to have been carefully set up.98 It
had been published immediately before the letter from N.S. Bulganin, the Soviet premier,
reached which expressed Soviet acceptance of the conditions for normalization on the basis
of the Adenauer formula. The publication of the Memoire must havet been aimed to pre-
vent Hatoyama's formula from obtaining favourable support from the Japanese leaders
and public.
Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration and American Response
But Hatoyama was not deterred. Rather he tried to make use of the Aide-Memoire.
He could persuasively assert that Japan should normalize her re]ations with the Soviet
Union by shelving the territorial question, because of the US support for Japan's claim
for those territories. After all. Hatoyama visited Moscow and started the negotiations
on 13 October 1956. During these second Moscow talks, it seemed that the United States
could do nothing to influence the course of negotiations. On 19 October. Hatoyama
and Bulganin signed a joint declaration to reestablish diplomatic relations between the two
countries. The territorial question was not fully solved but the Joint Declaration provided
that the Habomais and Shikotan would be returned to Japan when a peace treaty between
Japan and the USSR was concluded.
The US government did not show any explicit response to the conclusion of the Joint
Declaration. Allison observed in his telegramme to Dulles dated 23 October that the
press tended to stress the dissatisfaction of US government with the Soviet-Japanese Joint
Declaration. He feared that the silence of the US government would encourage an interpretation that the signature of the Joint Declaration was a diplomatic defeat of the US.
Added to that, he was concerned that the non-response of the State Department would be
interpreted as an indirect support for pro-Yoshida group's efforts to prevent ratification of
the declaration. He suggested, therefore, to the Department of State that Dulles should
issue some statement to the effect that the Joint Declaration was a step in the direction the
United States had long favoured. But his recommendation was not implemented.
In fact, the State Department had a storng negative feelings over the result of the second
Moscow talks. On 24 October, Robertson commented that the Soviet-Japanese agreement would pose the following significant problems:
(1) Normalization of relations with the Soviet Union will lead to increased demands
within Japan for rapprochement with Communist China.
(2) The Soviets will undoubtedly utilize their mission in Tokyo to increase tinternal
subversion and disrupt the alliance between Japan and the United States.
" Mainichi Shimbun, 13 September, 1956; Asahi Shimbun, 12 September, 1956.
98 FRUS. 1955-57. Vol. 23, Japan, p. 223.
(3) the Soviets may attempt to embarrass United States-Japanese relations either by
seeking to champion Japan's UN entry at the excluslon of the United States or by relating Japan's membership application to that of Outer Mongolia.99
Robertson realized that the US government failed in achieving its main and probably the
most significant purpose regarding Soviet-Japanese normalization: to prevent SovietJapanese normalization in order to decrease the future possibility of Sino-Japanese rapprochement. In this sense, the Soviet-Japanese normalization was a diplomatic defeat
from the viewpoint of the US government.
Hatoyama and his delegates visited New York on their way back to Tokyo. They
could not meet President Eisenhower because the president was caught in the middle of
the presidential election campaign. They could not meet Secretary Dulles, either, because
of the uprising in Hungary and Poland. But we cannot dismiss the possibility that the
Americans were showing their displeasure at the Soviet-Japanese normlaization. The
Japanese delegates had to be content with meeting Robertson on 26 October. During
the meeting, Kono lchiro, who had visited Moscow as a member of the Hatoyama delegation, asked Robertson to Issue a statement to the effect that the United States supported
the Joint Declaration. Robertson did not, however, give any assurance.
This clearly shows that the United States government was not satisfied with the result
of the normalization talks. Moreover, its negative attitude seemed to be under the in-
fluence from Nationalist China. J. Lee Rankin, the US ambassador to the Republic
of China, sent a telegramme to Dulles on the next day of the signing of the Soviet-Japanese
Declaration. Rankin reported that Chiang Kai-shek was 'obviously perturbed' by the
Soviet-Japanesea greement in Moscow. The Ambassador suggested that the Joint Declaration was regarded by the Nationalist leaders as harmful to their interests. The visit of
Hatoyama to the US at that time and any indicateion that the US was pleased with the Joint
Declaration would, Rankin argued, make matters even worse from the viewpoint of the
government of Nationalist China,roo The cool reception of Hatoyama's visit, Robertson's
comment mentioned above and the State Department's refusal to implement Allison's recommendation reflected thls consideration about the reaction of Nationalist China.
The Japanese delegation returned to Tokyo on I November. The Yoshida faction
and other anti-normalization group within the Liberal-Democrats furiously critisized the
outcome of Hatoyama's Moscow talks. But the general climate in Japanese political circles
and public opinion was favourable to the Joint Declaration. Although the Socialist Party
accused the Hatoyama government of delaying the normalization, it indicated its support
for the declaration. On 2 7 November, the Joint Declaration was unanimously ratified
by the House of Representatives, even if over 70 dietmen of the Liberal Democratic Party
abstained from voting. In the House of Councillors, it was also ratified on 5 December.
9・ Robertson to Dulles, 24 October 1956, a memorandum by Robertson attached to a confidential document from Howard Furnas, a staff of the Record Group of the National Archives and Record Administration, to Burns, a report and operations staff of the Executive Secretariat of the State Department, dated 13
November, 1 956, 661 .941/1 1-1 356, N.A.
roo Rankin to Dulles, 20 October 1956, TelegramJn 445, 661.94/l0-2056, N.A.
The US attitude to the Soviet-Japanese normalization affected the course of the normalization talks. The Japanese foreign policy makers formulated their negotiating policy
sometimes by following suggestions of the State Department and sometimes by predicting
its possible reaction. The United States government clearly intended to induce the SovietJapanese negotiations in the direction favourable to its national interests by influencing
the Japanese policy makers.
As a whole, the Soviet-Japanese normalization was regarded as a menace to US national
interests. The US officials considered that the Soviet-Japanese normalization would result
in the increase of Soviet influence on the Japanese through intensifying subversive activities
within Japan. They also feared that if Japan succeeded in normalization with the Russians,
she would move to rapprochement with Communist China. In fact, the Americans thought
that Soviet-Japanese rapprochement was less harmful to the US than Sino-Japanese normalization. Hence, the US government had a good reason to oppose strongly Japan's
efforts for normalizing her relations with the USSR. But at least the following two conditions restrained the Americans from taking that course. First, the US had already had
normal diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. Second, the US government was aware
of the danger which the strong US opposition would cause: that is, danger of inducing rising
of nationalistic sentiments in Japan into strong anti-American public feelings.
Under these circumstances, the US government was compelled to adopt subtle policy
towards Japan. The territorial disputes between Japan and the Soviet Union provided
an effective instrument with the Americans. By supporting Japan's territorial claim, the
US government could avoid causing storng anti-American feelings in Japan and simultaneously prevent the Soviet-Japanese rapprochement. In fact, the US government stepped
up the level of endorsement to the Japanese territorial demand. At the early stage of
the negotiations, it only upported Japan's claim for the Habomais and Shikotan. But
when the Soviet-Japanese n'egotiations came to appear to be settled, it came to support
Japan's claim to Kunashiri and Etorofu.
Although the US officials manoeuvred the Japanese by using the territorial issue, the
American officials were extremely careful in dealing with this issue to avoid any appearance
of US involvement in the normalization talks until the summer of 1956. Until then, the
US government could use Shigemitsu as an effective leverage in the Japanese cabinet to
prevent normalization by restraining Hatoyama. In addition, the Americans could use
anti-normalization factions in Japan such as the Yoshida group. But even Shigemitsu was
not a puppet of the US government. In Moscow, the foreign minister completely diverged
from the US Iine and tried to conclude a peace treaty with, Russia by accepting the Soviet
terms. As a result of his failure in Moscow, Shigemitsu's influence declined drastically,
the Department of State decided to intervene openly in the normalization talks by supportJapan's claim for Kunashiri and Etorofu. The US atttitude was also affected by a Chinese
factor. When the possibility of Sino-Japanese rapprochement increased from the springing to the summer of 1956, the US government could no longer hesitate to exert more
explicit pressure on Japan to prevent the Soviet-Japanese normalization.
The US government tried hard to prevent Soviet-Japanese normalization but finally
failed. The diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Japan were restored through
Hatoyama's Adenauer formula. In view of the fact that after the retirement of Hatoyama,
Ishibashi Tanzan, the successor to Hatoyama, was to make Sino-Japanese normalization the
main foreign policy goal of his cabinet, it must be said that the United States was suffered
from a serious diplomatic defeat. But she succeeded in driving a long-lasting wedge between
the Soviet Union and Japan : the territorial disputes. The US pressed Japan not to accept
the Soviet terms for normalization, and this pressure was undoubtedly one of the most
important factors which prevented the Soviet-Japanese territorial disputes from being
solved. Moreover, the US Aide-Memoire issued on 13 September 1956 certainly encouraged
the Japanese to stick to their claim to Kunashiri and Etorofu. It is needless to say that
the territorial issue was to become one of the most intractable obstacles to improvement of
Soviet-Japanese relations even after normalization. In this sense, it must be emphasized
that the US government was greatly responsible for the futile Soviet-Japanese relations in the
postwar era.
The Japanese leaders of the Hatoyama administration considered that they should
maintain cooperative relations with the United States and tried to wipe any American suspicion that Japan would go to the Communist orbit. They were, therefore, extremely sensitive to US attitude on the Soviet-Japanese nounalization. Because the anti-normalization
factions such as the Yoshida group adopted the toughest territorial demand, their negotiating
policy was geherally in line with the US position on this issue. Hatoyama and Shigemitsu
were quite different from them. Both of the two at last deviated from the US Iine. The
foreign minister took a tough position on the territorial issue in order to avoid evoking US
suspicion, but in Moscow he chose to conclude a peace treaty with Russia even by accepting
the Soviet terms rather than to continue to follow the American line. Needless to say,
Hatoyama showed much clearer divergence from the US position throughout the process
of the normalization talks. Both of them can be regarded as nationa]ists. In some way,
the normalization with the Soviet Union must have been perceived by them as a symbol
of the nationalistic 'independent diplomacy'. Both the prime minister and the foreign
minister tried to seek freedom of action from the United States control. Shigemitsu failed,
however, in escaping from the shackle put on by the US and Japanese domestic pressures.
But Hatoyama succeeded by shelving the territorial questions. Although the American
govemment disliked the Adenauer formula, it could effectively neutralize the American
pressure on the territorial issue. But it is clear that Hatoyama failed in solving the terri-
torial disputes between Japan and the Soviet Union. To achieve normalization by shelving
the territorial question, he mortgaged future improvement of Soviet-Japanese relations.
Thus, the US-Japanese relations prevented the Soviet-Japanese normalization from
becoming a strong basis for further improvement of the postwar Soviet-Japanese relations.
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