Telegram No.100 (from Norman)

OCCUPATION 46-48 50061-40 pt 3


REFERRED TO: G.G., J.J.S., London, Washington, Mr. Pearson, Heeney, Nat. Defence.
TO SEE: Mr. Reid, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Watkin, Mr. Riddell, Mr. Wallis. and FILE (A.R. Menzies, Am. Divn.)



TOKYO, March 22nd, 1948.
No. 100

No. 100. March 22nd. Top Secret. Following for Pearson from Norman, Begins:
My telegrams No. 76 of March 6th and No. 85 of March 12th.
1. Mr. Kennan returned unexpectedly to Japan on his way back from the Philippines to the United States. After some effort, I succeeded in interviewing him yesterday shortly before he left. He was friendly and talked freely. […] [The] line of his thinking [is] set forth below, […]
2. In Europe, Soviet timetable is much more drastic and tight than in Asia, since Russians feel they must complete their consolidation before the United States and Western Europe can effect effective counter measures. In Asia, Russians feel they can afford to wait, and their policy is comparatively passive. Important factor for United States is that in Europe there is large industrial potential greater than that of the United States and it must not fall into hands unfriendly to the United States. In Asia, only significant industrial potential is in Japan, which is definitely within United States sphere. As for China, even though things are going badly for the Nationalists, Russians do not appear to be intervening directly and United States must be careful not to act in such a way as to create ill will.


5. Post-war era is now definitely over. This era was characterized by marked swing towards the left, social unrest and confusion. (It was in this period that Soviets were able to make their gains in Europe. They have over-played their hand and now have to pay the price for their behavious [sic] by the loss of their administration. In Japan, as in other parts of the world, it is time for universal reconsideration of the whole post-war settlement in light of the fact that the period of change and reform following any great war is now ending. What was once desirable in the occupation policy in Japan right after the war might not continue to be so indefinitely. In view of the continual drain on the United States to keep Japan it is highly important that Japan be made self-supporting as soon as possible. United States concern in Japan now is primarily economic recovery and social stability. This does not mean that United States policy will necessarily control the Japanese policy and it would be well to take stock of these now rather than to go on blindly making mistakes. Sanctioning of the reparations problem was a great blunder and the United States was responsible for this. It is quite ridiculous to believe that claimant countries will make adequate use of the industrial equipment earmarked for reparations. There is such a thing as frustration of an industry and to tear factories out of Japan and put them in other parts of Asia is not only uneconomic but impractical. It is time to cut through the knots and make a fresh start.
6. It would have been a mistake to have had a peace treaty last year because Japan is not prepared politically or militarily to be left alone to face Soviet pressure. Before there is a peace treaty, or before the occupation ends, it must be ascertained how Japan can be made strong enough to withstand such pressure.
7. […] Mr. Kennan expressed wish to consult more closely and informally with us on matters relating to Far Eastern Affairs. He said that he would be very happy to visit Ottawa himself with Mr. Butterworth of the State Department to discuss frankly with our officials the economic and political problems of the Far East. He wished to lay his cards on the table and tell our government frankly that certain aspects of United States policy had been wrong and to seek a sympathetic hearing of the government’s radical change of United States policy in Japan along lines indicated above. I assured him that you would certainly welcome him and be happy to have informal interchange of views. He said even if he himself could not, he hoped Mr. Butterworth would go for such informal talks within next few months.


Source: Library and Archives Canada, R.G. 25, Vol. 4729, 50061-40. pt. 1, Norman, E.H., Telegram No.100 (from Norman), March 22, 1948, 3

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