Relations With Japan

May 11, 1955

Report Outline
Strains on Japan's Ties with United States
Trends in Japan Since End of Occupation
Defense Commitments and Obligations
Special Focus

Cooperation given the allied authorities by the leaders and people of Japan helped to make the occupation of that country, under the command of Gen. MacArthur, an extraordinarily successful undertaking. It helped also to nourish the feeling—general in the United States since termination of the occupation three years ago—that Japan had become a stable and potentially sturdy ally that could be more or less automatically counted upon to see eye to eye with this country on matters of mutual concern. Differences that have been cropping out recently, however, indicate that such an assumption may have been too easy. Present developments in Japan, though less spectacular than events in Indo-China or the Formosa Strait, may well be of equal long-range importance to free world interests in the Far East.

Since the new Hatoyama government assumed office in Tokyo last March, following a general election at the end of February, Japan has been taking stock of its position in Asia, reappraising its relationships with the United States and other nations, and making moves toward re-establishing political and trade relations with Soviet Russia and Red China. The government was returned to power after promising the Japanese people to pursue a “more independent national policy” based on friendly relations with all countries. Its campaign pledges obligated it to make every effort to strengthen Japan's bonds with other Asian nations while cooperating with the free world in general, and to maintain close relations with the United States while making peace with the Soviet Union and lowering barriers to trade with the Chinese Communists.

Initial action to implement the campaign promises was taken last month. In line with its pledge to keep Japan in close step with the United States— “without blindly following America”—the government came to a number of understandings with this country on mutual defense problems, including the controversial question of Japanese rearmament. And in the hope of normalizing relations with Russia, it agreed to open negotiations with the Soviet Union in London on June 1 to end the state of war which technically still exists between the two countries. In the meantime, however, the Hatoyama government's pursuit of an independent policy has been bringing to the surface various underlying strains in Japanese-American relations.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Jul. 26, 2002  Japan in Crisis
May 31, 1991  The U.S. And Japan
Apr. 09, 1982  Tensions in U.S.-Japanese Relations
Jul. 01, 1977  Japanese Elections
Mar. 04, 1970  Emergent Japan
Jun. 25, 1969  Okinawa Question
Jan. 05, 1966  Rising Japanese Nationalism
Jun. 02, 1960  Japan: Disturbed Ally
Nov. 18, 1959  Japanese Competition in International Trade
May 11, 1955  Relations With Japan
Nov. 03, 1954  Japan's Economy
Jan. 09, 1952  Trade with Japan
Feb. 28, 1951  Japan and Pacific Security
Sep. 19, 1947  Peace with Japan
Aug. 14, 1945  Emperor of Japan
Nov. 03, 1944  Russo-Japanese Relations
Dec. 09, 1939  The United States and Japan's New Order in Asia
Dec. 05, 1938  Japan and the Open Door Policy
Apr. 29, 1935  Japanese Foreign Trade Expansion
May 11, 1934  Japanese Policy in Asia
Oct. 12, 1932  Japanese-American Relations
Mar. 17, 1932  Boycotts and Embargoes
Feb. 10, 1932  Militarism Vs. Liberalism in Japan
Diplomacy and Diplomats
Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific