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November 11, 1945

Telegram via VcH from Stalin to Cde. Molotov

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[handwritten: store (in the classified

archive). ?M. Mayorov?]




from Sochi    to Cde. MOLOTOV

11 November 1945 for the five


I am sending you a draft reply to the US Government reply about our changes of 9 November. Please examine it carefully and make the necessary corrections since I am not completely confident in the accuracy of the draft.


“The Soviet Government has considered the reply of the Government of the United States to the Soviet Government’s changes to the US proposals concerning the question of the control body for Japan and the Far East Commission presented by V. M. Molotov to Mr. Ambassador Harriman on 9 November.


1. As is evident from the reply of the US Government the latter does not want to see the difference between the situation in Japan during the disarmament of the Japanese armed forces (August-September), when the Supreme Commander acted without any supervision and an Allied control body, and the situation after their disarmament, when the need to create an Allied control body appeared. Proceeding from this concept, the US Government evidently intends to basically keep all the rights and privileges of the Supreme Commander which he enjoyed in August and September unchanged, when he created and changed the regime with respect to Japan, and to create and dismiss the Japanese government as he sees fit. But such a concept excludes the need for the creation of some control body deserving to be called a control body. The Soviet Government cannot agree with such a concept, for it cannot fail to take into account the fact that a new situation was created after the completion of the disarmament of the Japanese armed forces in Japan and new questions of a political, economic, cultural, administrative, and financial nature arose, the correct resolution of which is impossible with a simplified, purely military approach to the matter and without the existence of a control body.


2. The information of the US Government about the position of the Soviet Government and Generalissimo Stalin contains inaccurate elements.


Stalin recognized and continues to recognize that the US bears more responsibility in Japanese affairs than the remaining Allies, but he never agreed that only the US bore responsibility, for he thinks that responsibility is also borne by those Allied powers whose troops took an active part in defeating the Japanese armed forces.


Stalin recognized and continues to recognize that the Supreme Commander, as permanent Chairman of the control body, is left the last word when deciding the majority of questions, but Stalin never agreed that the Supreme Commander retains such a right in all questions without exception, for he thinks that in all cases of disagreement the Supreme Commander enjoys the last word, with the exception of those few cases when it is a matter of question of principle like questions of changing the mode of control over Japan, a change of the composition of the Japanese government, etc. That is why in the conversation with Mr. Harriman Stalin rejected the example with the Consultative Commission in Italy and recommended being guided by the example of the Control Commissions in Hungary and Romania, meaning the position of the Control Commissions in these countries established after the surrender and disarmament of Germany.


The Soviet Government is solidly with Stalin in all this.


The reference of the US Government to the fact that such questions of principle will be discussed in the Far East Commission, and not in the Control Council, that the Control Council will deal only with the implementation of the directives of the Far East Commission, cannot be considered convincing since, in the opinion of the Soviet Government, control has great importance not only in the drafting of directives, but especially in the matter of the implementation of these directives on the scene, in Japan.


3. The Soviet Government considers it advisable that the control body be named a Control Commission or a Control Council since such a name correctly reflects the [handwritten: functions] and substance of the work of this body as a control [body]. The problem is not that this body will consist of military [people], but that it will exercise control over Japan, both in military questions, as well as in all other questions of a political, economic, cultural, administrative, and financial nature.


4. The Soviet Government also considers it advisable that the principle of the unanimity of the main powers  be preserved in deciding questions in the Far East Consultative Commission. This principle has been successfully employed in the European Consultative Commission. It is based on the voting procedure in the Security Council. It would be correct to also preserve it for the Far East Consultative Commission.


5. It is evident from the above that the US Government has no grounds to fear that in the event of the adoption of the Soviet changes “it will be paralyzed in giving the Supreme Commander any directives”. The US Government can be confident that the Soviet Government has no intention of reducing the preemptive rights of the US in Japanese affairs. The Soviet changes pursue only the following simple and elementary goals: a) to seek that the participation of the Soviet Union in control over Japan not be seen as decorative; b) to ensure such conditions in the control over Japan in which the Soviet Government could also bear responsibility; and c) to promote the assurance of an agreed system of measures free from random factors and meeting the overall interests of the Allies in the matter of control over Japan”.




11 November 1945


Sent by Poskrebyshev.

Received by Petrova

at 2240

11 November 1945


Stalin asks Molotov for edits on reply to the American rejection of proposed Soviet changes to the control mechanism and Far East Commission for Japan.


Document Information


RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 98, ll. 0102-0105. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and translated by Gary Goldberg.


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