Aftermath of War: Americans and the Remaking of Japan, 1945-1952

By Howard B. Schonberger | Go to book overview

8 JOHN FOSTER DULLES
American Bases, Rearmament, and the China Questions in the Making of the Japanese Peace Treaty

The reintegration of Japan into the American-dominated postwar global order found its formal expression in the peace and security treaties signed by delegates to the San Francisco Conference on 8 September 1951. John Foster Dulles was the principal figure in negotiating these accords. Brought into the State Department on 6 April 1950, Dulles hurdled many hazardous obstacles along the road to San Francisco. The most formidable of these were the security issues of American base rights and Japanese rearmament as well as the question of the future of Sino-Japanese relations. The Pentagon resisted any movement towards a peace settlement that compromised the unilateral control it exercised over bases under the Occupation; the Japanese government tenaciously fought against pressures by Dulles for extensive base rights and immediate, rapid, and large-scale rearmament; and the British government, aided by the Japanese, opposed Dulles's plans to link Japan in the post-treaty era to the rump Nationalist Chinese regime on Taiwan and thereby restrict Japanese trade with the Chinese mainland. In each instance, Dulles used his diplomatic acumen or American might to prevail over his opponents.

Publicly, Dulles and other American officials proclaimed that the U.S.- Japan Security Treaty deepened and broadened cooperation between Washing- ton and Tokyo. They also maintained that the Japanese decision to establish diplomatic relations with the Nationalist Chinese on 28 April 1952 was in the best interests of the entire "free world" and was voluntarily entered into by the Japanese. Yet, contrary to Dulles's public expectations, the security treaty became the most consistent and serious source of friction in U.S.-Japanese relations during the 1950s, culminating in the bitter Diet debates and riots of

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