THE United States has now signed four major treaties with Pacific nations. One of these is the Treaty of Peace between 48 Allied Powers and Japan. The other three are security treaties, one with the Philippines, another with Australia and New Zealand and the third with Japan.

The Treaty of Peace with Japan has two great purposes. It is first of all designed to close an old war on terms which will not provoke another war. To that end, the victors have made a treaty of reconciliation, eliminating from it all trace of hatred and vengefulness. They sought, both in the manner of their negotiation and in the substance of their terms, to avoid the humiliations and the discriminations which victors usually impose upon the vanquished either because passion supplants their reason or because they think that is the way to discourage a defeated nation from going to war again. History shows that such a course in fact spurs the vanquished to seek revenge.

The Treaty of Peace with Japan is designed to break the vicious cycle of war, victory, peace and war. Whether it will do so no one can say surely, because no single act of itself is sufficient to guarantee future peace. One can prophesy with confidence, however, that nothing in the peacemaking will cause Japan to turn against the victors, as Germany did after the First World War.

It is something to have made a peace which avoids grievous blunders. There was, however, a second and even more difficult task. That was to translate Japan from a defeated enemy into a positive contributor to collective security in the Pacific as against the new menace of aggression which had arisen even before the old war was formally ended.


Japan's strategic position and her human and industrial potential are such that there can be no adequate security for anyone in the West Pacific unless the Japanese sincerely desire to be sustaining members of the free world. That, happily, is now the case.

The Japanese people have known the magnanimity coupled with strength shown by the Occupation under General MacArthur. They have seen Western leadership, and Soviet obstruction, in the matter of peace. They received consideration and courtesy in the peace negotiations and at the San Francisco Conference. And the terms of the peace have revealed to them that the free world has an unexpected capacity to exercise control over the evil emotions; to forgive those who, when they gained victories, did not themselves exercise such control; and to extend a hand to lift the fallen to a place of dignity and equality in the family of nations.

The United States has considered it axiomatic that no position that Japan took and no promises that Japan gave would have durability except as they grew out of the free will of the Japanese people. When I was in Japan in February 1951, I pointed out to the Japanese people that the principal deterrent to armed aggression now lay in the power of the United States. I said that we did not propose to use that power merely to protect ourselves but were prepared to combine it with that of others in mutual committals in accord with the U. N. Charter, so that the power which protects us will also protect others. Japan, I said, if she wishes, can share collective protection, but, I went on to say, "That is not a choice which the United States is going to impose upon Japan. It is an invitation. The choice must be Japan's own choice."

The Occupation authorities have scrupulously abstained from exerting any pressure whatsoever upon the Japanese nation in relation to the Treaty of Peace or the Security Treaty. These treaties have been fully and critically examined and lengthily debated in Japan in the public press, at public meetings and in the Diet. The Diet has now ratified both treaties by a vote which was overwhelming. The votes in opposition came principally from a handful of Communist deputies and from members of the Socialist Party. As a matter of pacifist and neutralist Party principle, the Socialists voted against the Security Treaty; but most of them voted in favor of the Treaty of Peace, despite the fact that the Party line had been against a "separate" peace, i.e. a peace not participated in by the Soviet Union and Communist China.

It is possible to proceed on the assumption that the Japanese nation genuinely wants to be a sustaining member of the free world. The United States is proceeding on that assumption.


The Treaty of Peace contemplates that Japan will promptly apply for membership in the United Nations, and each of the 44 United Nations members who signed the Treaty can be counted on to support that application. However, delays may intervene and it seemed prudent to provide, by the Peace Treaty itself, that in security matters Japan would have privileges and responsibilities similar to those of members. So Japan undertakes, by Article 5 (a) of the Treaty, "to give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the Charter and to refrain from giving assistance to any State against which the United Nations may take preventive or enforcement action."

In return, the Allied Powers, by Article 5(c), recognize that Japan, "as a sovereign nation possesses the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense referred to in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations and that Japan may voluntarily enter into collective security arrangements." Article 6 goes on to provide for the ending of the Occupation, but it further stipulates that: "Nothing in this provision shall, however, prevent the stationing or retention of foreign armed forces in Japanese territory under or in consequence of any bilateral or multilateral agreements which have been or may be made between one or more of the Allied Powers, on the one hand, and Japan on the other."

The provisions of Article 5(a), dealing with assistance to the United Nations, were given concrete content by an exchange of notes of September 8, 1951, between the United States and Japanese Governments, whereby the Japanese Government gave assurance that "if and when the forces of a Member or Members of the United Nations are engaged in any United Nations action in the Far East after the Treaty of Peace comes into force, Japan will permit and facilitate the support in and about Japan, by the Member or Members, of the forces engaged in such United Nations actions." This, of course, has particular relevancy to Korea.

A further foundation for international security in the Pacific area is the provision of Article 3 of the Treaty of Peace which authorizes the United States to propose to the United Nations a trusteeship of the Ryukyus, with the United States as administering authority. The Ryukyu Islands include Okinawa, where the United States presently maintains an important naval and air establishment, and, under trusteeship, the United States would be obligated "to ensure that the trust territory shall play its part in the maintenance of international peace and security." (U. N. Charter, Article 84.)

As a result of these Peace Treaty provisions, Japan, although not yet a member of the United Nations, will cooperate in any U. N. action of a preventive or enforcement character and will in important ways contribute "facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security." (U. N. Charter, Art. 43.) Also, Japan gains the right to collective self-defense, so that, though now disarmed, she need not be a vacuum of power which would attract aggression.


By making its bilateral Treaty with the United States, Japan at once exercises her right of collective self-defense. Under this Treaty, United States sea, air and land forces and Japanese facilities will be combined for the maintenance of international peace and security in the Far East and for the security of Japan.

This Security Treaty is described in its Preamble as a "provisional arrangement." That is because, as I explained in Tokyo on February 11, 1951, the United States does not make "definitive" security arrangements with other countries unless they undertake to provide "continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid" in accordance with the basic policy laid down by the "Vandenberg" Senate Resolution of June 11, 1948.

The Japanese Government felt that, while it could provide "facilities" for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security, it could not at the present time commit itself to "continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid" in the form of military force. That was partly because of economic considerations, partly because Japan's first security task is to create internal security through an adequate police force and coastal patrol and partly because of the provisions of the Japanese Constitution which, in renouncing war, states that "land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potentials, will never be maintained."

There is divided opinion in Japan as to the correct interpretation and application of this provision. Many Japanese believe that their Constitution does not prevent Japan from exercising what the U. N. Charter calls the "inherent right of individual or collective self-defense" and that Japan could contribute to collective security forces called for by the United Nations or created pursuant to authorization of the U. N. Charter, particularly if this Japanese contributon, by reason of its composition and the nature of its responsibilities, could never be an instrument for national aggrandizement or aggression. However, this is a matter which the Japanese must decide for themselves.

In view of the Japanese position, the United States was not disposed to assume obligations which Japan could not now reciprocate. Therefore the United States assumes no treaty obligation to maintain land, air and sea forces in and about Japan or to guarantee the security and independence of Japan, although this will be a practical result of the exercise by the United States of its right to station its forces in Japan.

The Security Treaty between the United States and Japan contains a clause which assimilates "large-scale internal riots and disturbances in Japan, caused through instigation or intervention by an outside Power or Powers" to "armed attack from without." The United States forces in Japan are authorized—but not required—"at the express request of the Japanese Government" to assist to meet such indirect aggression.

This is a novel provision which has met with some criticism on the ground that there might be a conspiracy on the part of the United States and Japanese Governments to keep political power against the will of the Japanese people. However, in her present disarmed condition Japan is not in a position herself to deal with large-scale internal riots which might be caused through the instigation or intervention of an outside power. That is a known and proclaimed Communist threat, and not an empty one, as we can see in several Pacific and Asian countries. It is particularly a threat to Japan, for the Soviet Government has withheld many Japanese prisoners of war for indoctrination and possible secret introduction into Japan for revolutionary activity. Where such a danger exists it should be faced frankly and dealt with adequately. That may involve dispositions which are capable of abuse; but all power is subject to abuse. In this case the risk of abuse is demonstrably negligible. If the United States had wanted to be in a position to rule Japan, it need only have refrained from exerting itself to end the powers which it possessed under the Surrender Terms.

The dangerous conditions of our time require that those in common peril place trust in each other's integrity of purpose. There can be confidence that the United States will live up to the provisions of the Treaty of Peace which recognize that, hereafter, Japanese sovereignty resides in "the Japanese people" and not in foreign bayonets.

The United States-Japan Security Treaty is, indeed, necessary to give reality to that sovereignty. Forty-eight Allied nations recognized that by signing a Peace Treaty which authorized the Security Treaty. Sovereignty which is not defensible is an empty husk. Japan, disarmed physically, legally and psychologically, is not now in a position to defend herself. Left alone, she would be surrounded and menaced by a Great Power of demonstrated aggressiveness and she would not, in that position, be able to lead an independent existence.

Of course, collective security and interdependence always and everywhere involve sovereign adjustments. But these are a small price for Japan to pay for security worked out with a nation of her own choosing, which has amply demonstrated respect for Japan's sovereignty and which, to a unique degree, possesses power to deter aggression.


At the same time that it was negotiating peace with Japan, the United States also negotiated security treaties with Australia and New Zealand and with the Philippines. These two security treaties are much alike. The parties to each treaty declare that "an armed attack in the Pacific area on any of the parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety." This language goes back to the classic language of the Monroe Doctrine. It differs from the language of the North Atlantic Treaty which provides that "an armed attack against one . . . shall be considered an attack against them all." This language of the North Atlantic Treaty gave rise to an extended constitutional debate in the United States Senate, a debate in which I participated. Many Senators felt that if the United States by treaty determined that an attack upon Western Europe would be the same as an attack upon the United States, the President would then be under an affirmative duty to use our armed forces for an area defense of Western Europe just as for the defense of the United States itself. Some Senators felt that this unduly enlarged the responsibility and authority of the President as against that of the Congress.[i]

It seemed unnecessary and unwise to revive this domestic constitutional issue in connection with the Pacific security treaties. Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, with good reason, were quite satisfied with the security which would result from a treaty declaration, in Monroe Doctrine language, that an armed attack upon them would be considered by the United States as dangerous to itself and that it would act to meet that danger "in accordance with its constitutional processes."

Both the Security Treaty with Australia and New Zealand and the Mutual Assistance Treaty with the Philippines bind the parties, in accordance with the Vandenberg Resolution, "separately and jointly by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid" to "maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack."

The United States-Philippine Treaty is primarily significant in converting a unilateral relationship into one of mutuality. The historic relationship between the peoples of the Philippines and of the United States is such that, as President Truman said in his statement of April 18, 1951, "the whole world knows that the United States recognizes that an armed attack on the Philippines would be looked upon by the United States as dangerous to its own peace and safety and that it would act accordingly." However, the time had come to put that relationship into a treaty of mutuality, which would be responsive to the dignity of the Philippines' newly attained sovereignty.

Both the Australia-New Zealand and Philippine Treaties define an armed attack to include an attack upon any land under the jurisdiction of the parties in the Pacific and also an attack on its "armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific." For the purposes of the treaties, then, there would be an armed attack on the United States if there were an armed attack upon Okinawa, which the United States is administering, or an attack on the American armed forces stationed in or about Japan under the Security Treaty with that country. In this practical sense the three security treaties and the Japanese Peace Treaty interlock.


From our standpoint, the arrangements which we have been considering add up to a determination—with the concurrence and help of the peoples concerned—to make safe the offshore island chain which swings south through Japan, the Ryukyus, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, the President has declared that the United States will not permit the status of Formosa, now the seat of the National Government of China, to be changed by force, and the Pacific Fleet has been instructed accordingly. That sum total is an impressive development of United States policy and a formidable deterrent to the domination of the Pacific by Communist imperialism. It may be asked why the result has been brought about by a series of separate treaties, rather than by a single treaty which would define the offshore island chain as a security zone in much the same way that the North Atlantic Treaty and the Rio Pact define a specific geographical area for common security purposes.

There were several reasons against doing that. A present reason—though we hope only a temporary one—is that the Australian, New Zealand and Philippine peoples have memories of Japanese aggression which are so vivid that they are reluctant to create a Mutual Security Pact which will include Japan. They fear Japanese aggression, which they know as an actuality, more than Russian or Chinese aggression, which they have never experienced. They want to see the United States share responsibility for the security of Japan and keep a sea and air base at Okinawa. But they want this not primarily because of Russia but because they believe that this provides a shield between them and Japan. Also, they hope that the United States will permanently assume the principal responsibility for sea and air defense of the Japan area, so that any future Japanese force would be landbound and unable, by itself, to be aggressive overseas. Thus while they welcome our participation in the defense of Japan, and recognize that if our forces there were attacked that would be a danger to themselves, they hesitate at the present time to engage themselves directly in what their people might misinterpret as a sort of "alliance" with Japan.

Another reason against defining the offshore island chain as a distinct geographical area for security purposes is that the dimensions of the area are not adequate. There are significant areas in East Asia not included and we do not want to increase the danger to which they are exposed by drawing a line which leaves them out. That might seem to imply that while it would be dangerous to an aggressor to cross the line, he need not fear so long as he does not cross it.

On the other hand, it is not at this time practicable to draw a line which would bring all the free peoples of the Pacific and East Asia into a formal mutual security area. As we have seen, even such countries as Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines do not as yet desire contractual security arrangements which include the Japanese Government. The future of Korea, as an independent, united and free nation, is obscure, and there is need for further United Nations action before Korea could be brought into a regional security pact. Those Asian nations such as Indonesia and Burma which have just won liberation from Japanese aggression and political freedom from Western colonialism have hesitated to assume security relationships either with Japan or with the Western Powers. As a practical matter, in Indo-China and Malaya assistance must be given largely through France and the United Kingdom, a procedure which many in Asia find repellent, as promoting "colonial imperialism." Some countries are as yet unable or unwilling to qualify for definite security arrangements under the "Vandenberg formula" of "continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid." Lastly, but perhaps not least, is the fact that the United States should not assume formal commitments which overstrain its present capabilities and give rise to military expectations we could not fulfill, particularly in terms of land forces. The security treaties now made involve only islands, where security is strongly influenced by sea and air power.

All of the parties to the present Pacific security treaties have, however, made it clear that they do not regard the present situation as adequate or final. The Australia-New Zealand Treaty and the Philippine Treaty both refer to "the development of a more comprehensive system of regional security in the Pacific area." The United States-Japan Security Treaty is not only described as "provisional" but it will expire when "there shall have come into force such United Nations arrangements or such alternative individual or collective security dispositions as will satisfactorily provide for the maintenance by the United Nations or otherwise of international peace and security in the Japanese area."


But treaty words in themselves have little power to compel action. Treaties of alliance and of mutual aid mean little except as they spell out what the people concerned would do anyway.

The Rio Pact reflected a sense of common destiny as between the Americas which had existed for 125 years before it was formalized. The North Atlantic Treaty reflected a sense of common destiny as between the peoples of the West, which grew out of a community of race, religion and political institutions, and it had been tested in two world wars before it was formalized. The security treaties which we have now made with Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Japan reflect the fact that the historical events of the recent past have developed a sense of common destiny between our nation and each of those others. But that element does not clearly exist as yet elsewhere in the Pacific area.

The further steps require, first of all, not more treaties, but more will to act together. This calls for a dissipating of unreasoned fears which now divide the free nations, negate their sense of common destiny and jeopardize continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid.

One disrupting fear is that felt by the peoples whom Japan assaulted that Japan will again be an aggressor. These peoples are not yet aware of the change of mood in Japan nor do they appreciate that the best insurance against a possible renewal of aggression is cooperation between Japan and others along the lines of the United States-Japan Security Treaty.

To do away with the present fear, the Japanese must exert themselves to win the good will of those they have injured.

They will have the opportunity under the Treaty of Peace to make certain amends to the nations they occupied and damaged—for example, the Philippines and Indonesia. In commercial and fishing arrangements contemplated by the Treaty of Peace, and in the observance of "internationally accepted fair trade practices," the Japanese Government and people will have ample opportunity to show that they can and will be good neighbors.

Another corroding fear is felt by the Japanese themselves. They fear that the loss of all their colonies makes the economy of their homeland so precarious that they will not be able to do anything substantial by way of just reparation or develop their own capacity for defense. This fear the free world, which made the Japanese peace, can dissipate. I do not mean that the United States should go on subsidizing Japan as during the Occupation, when in five years we put up $2,000,000,000. But Japan should be given the opportunity to earn her living in the free world by means of what the Potsdam Surrender Terms promised, namely, "access to raw materials" and "participation in world trade relations."

Japan has trained manpower and a large though now somewhat obsolete industrial capacity. The country can be a useful workshop, not only in relation to the war in Korea, where Japan has been earning about $25,000,000 a month, but when the time comes eventually to rehabilitate Korea. Also, trade between Japan and Southeast Asia and Pacific countries can be mutually advantageous. The Philippines, Malaya and Indonesia can provide food and raw materials needed in Japan, and she in turn can manufacture capital goods needed by these countries for their development. There also are many overseas markets where the type of consumer goods which Japan is equipped and accustomed to produce will be welcome. But if she is to continue politically independent of the Communist world she must have the opportunity within the free world to get essential food and raw materials and the markets—perhaps on a quota basis—which will produce the kind of money needed to pay for these imports. She should be encouraged to rebuild a merchant marine sufficient to carry more fully her exports and imports. The fact that only about 20 percent of these have been carried in recent years in Japanese bottoms accounts largely for the unbalance in Japan's economy which the United States has had to meet during the Occupation. This is a time of economic hazard for everyone, but there are no insuperable obstacles to Japan's development of a robust economy.

Many Orientals fear that Westerners are incapable of cooperating with them on a basis of political, economic and social equality, and this fear divides the East and West. It has a long background of growth, and Communist propaganda in Asia concentrates on keeping it alive and whipping it up. The Communists scream that there cannot be a genuine "Asia for the Asiatics" until every vestige of Western influence has been driven out of Asia—leaving, of course, "Asia for the Russians."

The future relationship between Americans and Japanese will provide a crucial test, with all of Asia watching. In Japan, our soldiers will have to shift from the rôle of conquerors to one of cooperation in friendly association with the Japanese as sovereign equals. It would be hard to devise a more difficult test. To pass it will require an extraordinary effort, unique in history.

Much of Asia is skeptical that the effort will be made or if made can be successful. India does not believe in the possibility of Americans having friendly cooperation on this spot with Japanese as equals. That was a principal reason why the Indian Government wanted the Japanese Peace Treaty to require that United States forces be wholly withdrawn from Japan and from the Ryukyus; and it refused to sign the treaty when its views in this respect were not met.

We must not let this Indian foreboding come true. We can hope that on further reflection India will cooperate to promote friendly association of East and West rather than seem to align herself with those who use fear and hatred to create a disunity which only benefits the new Communist imperialism. Most of the Allied nations in Asia did not endorse the Indian position. Instead they put faith in the ability of East and West to cooperate in Japan. We must do our part to justify that faith. I am confident we shall succeed. We must if we are to avoid being expelled from Japan and seeing all Asia consolidated against us. We usually meet the challenges which are great and apparent.


This analysis of the problem of developing an adequate security system in the area of the Pacific and East Asia may seem to some to prove that where the difficulties are so great no early progress can be made. I believe this conclusion would be false. The difficulties ahead are great, but not nearly as great as those which seemed to be in the way of drawing up a peace with Japan in which 49 nations representing every continent, race and civilization would concur. Nevertheless, in a year after the United States decided to go ahead, that result was achieved. We were successful because we were resolute on reaching a goal which not only was vital to the welfare of the free world but was demanded by considerations of justice and morality. Precisely the same considerations call for the creation in the Pacific area of a more adequate security system. It is true that there is no point in building a superstructure until it has a solid foundation on which to rest. But the elements of a foundation already exist in terms of a common peril; a genuine integrity of purpose on the part of the West; and an opportunity for the economic and social advancement of underdeveloped areas which will continue only if there is a sense of security.

The initial task is to bring about in Asia a clearer understanding by both governments and peoples as to where the true peril lies and how security can be won. As far as the peacetime relations between Japan and the United States are concerned, the crucial test will occur within a matter of months rather than of years. The obstacles are all of a kind which can be overcome by resolution and intelligent effort. Certainly the circumstances amply warrant and require such an effort.

Stalin proclaimed, in 1925, that the "amalgamation" of the Asian peoples into the political orbit of the Soviet Union was a primary goal of Soviet policy; that Asia is "the road to victory in the West;" and that, with Japan, the Soviet Union would be "invincible."

No one can predict with confidence, of course, just what the present plans of the Politburo may turn out to be. However, nothing has happened over the past 25 years to suggest that there has been any basic deviation from the strategy of seeking to consolidate and exploit the vast human and natural resources of Asia and the industrial power of Japan before there is any open assault on the West. That strategy is still taught in the Soviet Communist "bible" of Stalin's selected writings. It is reflected in Soviet Communist conduct.

In Europe, Soviet imperialism seized on the unexpected chance, provided by World War II, to absorb Eastern Europe, and from there it threatens Western Europe. But the threat has not been carried into violent action, despite the great preponderance in military power possessed by the Soviet Union in Europe. In Asia there is violent action. Mao Tse-tung, on returning from Moscow in February 1950, broadcast an appeal to the peoples of non-Communist Asia to rise up in armed struggle in cooperation with the Soviet Union. We have seen that armed struggle in progress in China, Korea, Indo-China, Malaya, Burma, the Philippines and Indonesia. We heard the Soviet Delegation at San Francisco brazenly demand that Japan should be kept virtually disarmed, that all Western power should be permanently withdrawn, and that Japan's surrounding waters and the straits which divide her own home islands should be open, for all times, only to warships based on the Sea of Japan, which means the Red Pacific fleet at Vladivostok.

It is in Asia that Russian imperialism finds its most powerful expression. The countermeasures taken in 1951 have been good, but they are not good enough to justify a mood of relaxation. We must go forward to achieve greater unity and greater strength.

[i] See Missouri v. Holland, 252 U. S. 416 (1920), where the Supreme Court indicated that treaties can alter the Constitutional division of power.

You are reading a free article.

Subscribe to Foreign Affairs to get unlimited access.

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles and a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now
  • JOHN FOSTER DULLES is Special Representative of the President in charge of negotiating the Japanese Peace Treaty and the Pacific security treaties; U.S. Senator from New York, 1949-50; member of the U.S. Delegation at the San Francisco Conference in 1945 and at several meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers and the U.N. General Assembly
  • More By John Foster Dulles