【PART 4】 The Mystery of Security Treaty Village (2): The UN Charter and the Postwar World


【18】 Truth about the “postwar mystery” Part 2: UN Charter Article 53 and the two-sided Japan-U.S. Security Treaty


Now, with Article 107 in mind, let us review the other enemy state clause discussed earlier (second half of Article 53-1, p. 214). From what we’ve learned, a crucial hypothesis can be formed. When this article talks about “regional arrangements directed against renewal of aggressive policy” allowed to attack enemies without the permission of the UN Security Council, isn’t it referring to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty?

You might think it’s a ridiculous assumption, but I have a few pieces of evidence.

The first piece of evidence has to do with former U.S. President Truman. When the U.S. ended the occupation of Japan, they originally had a vision to create a multilateral collective security treaty including the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, instead of a bilateral one like today’s Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. In the end this did not work out, but it was often referred to as the Pacific Pact vision. (Reconsidering the “Peaceful Country” of Japan, written by Shoichi Koseki, published by Iwanami Shoten)

The important thing here is in the instructions regarding this treaty that Truman gave to John Foster Dulles (who was in charge of the U.S. side in negotiating the Treaty of San Francisco and the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty).

This arrangement (Pacific Pact) would have two goals. The first is to ensure that member states take collective action to counter external attacks. The second is to ensure that member states take collective action in the case of an attack from a member, for instance, if Japan were to revive its aggressive policies again. (January 10, 1951)

In other words, this Pacific Pact was precisely the kind of “regional arrangement directed against renewal of aggressive policy” mentioned above.

What the U.S. had in mind was to create a collective security system like NATO, and continue to deploy its forces in Japan under that framework. Then it would be able to defend Japan, which would become a military vacuum because of Article 9-2 of the Constitution. At the same time, it would prevent the rise of militarism in Japan, securing the safety of surrounding nations (Countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines strongly wished for the U.S. to stay in Okinawa, in whatever form). In short, Japan was seen as a country that would potentially “be attacked without permission from the UN Security Council” from the members of its own collective security treaty.

It’s a horrible story, but perhaps it couldn’t be helped at that time — after all, these countries had actually been killing each other until five or six years before. As I mentioned, I’m guessing that NATO had the same two-sidedness when Germany first joined.

However, as you know, this Pacific Pact vision was not actually realized. This is because the future members of this treaty, especially Australia and New Zealand, had a strong mistrust of Japan and refused to become its ally. Instead, the U.S. formed the following security treaties one after another.

– U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty: signed on August 30, 1951

– Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty [ANZUS]: signed on September 1, 1951

– (Former) Japan-U.S. Security Treaty: signed on September 8, 1951

These three are basically the aforementioned Pacific Pact broken up into three. Therefore, it’s likely that all three had the role of a “regional arrangement directed against renewal of aggressive policy by Japan” that the original Pacific Pact was going to have.

In fact, the first two security treaties listed above, between the U.S. and the Philippines, and the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, state that they do not only deal with attacks on their “own territories,” but also “its armed forces in the Pacific.”

In other words, if Japan were to take any action that jeopardizes USFJ or their military bases, not only the U.S. Forces but the armed forces of the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand would be able to attack collectively without the permission of the UN Security Council. This was true then, and it is still legally true today.

This solved another mystery that had been puzzling me. On reading the articles of the former Japan-US Security Treaty, the following questions had come to my mind.

– “The United States of America, in the interest of peace and security, is presently willing to maintain certain of its armed forces in and about Japan …” (Introduction)

-> Why is the purpose of this stationing not for “the peace and security of Japan,” but vaguely for “peace and security”? Also, where does  “about Japan” refer to?

– “[The U.S. will maintain its forces in and about Japan] in the expectation, however, that Japan will itself increasingly assume responsibility for its own defense against direct and indirect aggression, always avoiding any armament which could be an offensive threat or serve other than to promote peace and security …” (Introduction)

-> Isn’t it strange that the security treaty states the necessity to “avoid being an offensive threat” only about one party in the treaty?

– “Japan grants, and the United States of America accepts, the right, upon the coming into force of the Treaty of Peace and of this Treaty, to dispose United States land, air and sea forces in and about Japan.” (Article 1)

-> Even if Japan has the authority to permit the deployment of U.S. Forces “in Japan,” it’s not for Japan to allow their deployment “about Japan,” is it?

These questions had come to mind, but now I finally understood the answer. The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty had not been for the peace and safety of “the state of Japan,” but had been for the “region of Japan” in the first place. And ironically, the state of Japan had been regarded as the biggest “offensive threat” that could rise in this region.