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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1949. The Far East and Australasia (in two parts)

Northeast Asia: Japan,   pp. 601-939 PDF (132.7 MB)

Page 601

 894.OOB/1-349: Telegram
   The Acting Political Adviser in Japan (Sebald) to the Acting
                         Secretary of State
 CONFIDENTIAL                               Toiyo, January 3, 1949.
   2. For Lovett.2 Complying with instructions contained in Depart-
 ment's telegram December 31,3 1 have discussed the matter in reference
 with General MacArthur 4 who has authorized me to transmit to you
 his general views as follows:
   "From a political standpoint, I do not regard the immediately po-
 tential Communist threat to Japan as much more than a nuisance
 factor. The Communist representation in the National Diet must in-
 crease many fold before its voice in legislative affairs becomes politi-
 cally effective, an increase not likely at least in the foreseeable future.
 Traditionally, the Japanese are conservative and they have long held
 the Russian in dislike and the Chinese in contempt, and are not likely
 voluntarily to follow the ideological leadership of either. In addition,
 from a sociological standpoint, the threat of the spread of Com-
 munism through the farm masses, once hinging upon the feudalistic
 system of farm tenancy, has now been effectively removed through
 the land reforms which have elevated the individual farmer families
 to the dignity of proprietary ownership and worked out an effective
 system of farm cooperatives, leaving no fertile ground for the
 Communists to work upon in this large and powerful rural area of
 Japanese society comprising approximately one-half of the popula-
 tion. Other areas, save that of industrial labor, are similarly fortified
 against Communist invasion, either through natural and traditional
 conservatism or through advantages now held which stand up against
 anything which the Communists offer. With industrial labor, the
 situation is different. Its very immaturity in organized reform renders
 it easy prey to leadership which offers a wealth-sharing panacea to
 existing impoverishment, however unsound the promise. The potential
 danger to every other segment of Japanese society from a Communist-
 "Continued from Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. vi, pp. 647-107&
 2 Robert A. Lovett Under Secretary of State, was Acting Secretary in the
 absence of Secretary George C. Marshall, who resigned January 3.
 'General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander, Allied
Powers, Japan, at Tokyo.

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