Documents with Commentaries

1-11 Message to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur concerning the Authority of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, September 6, 1945

 The memorandum (JCS1380/6 = SWNCC 181/2) contained orders relating to the authority of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, General Douglas MacArthur, who had been appointed as SCAP on August 14, 1945. It was approved by President Truman and was sent from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. These orders gave MacArthur "supreme" authority over the occupation of Japan. The memorandum indicated that control of Japan would be exercised through the Japanese government, but that MacArthur could employ such measures as necessary, including "the use of force." It also clearly stated that the Potsdam Declaration did not have the constraints of contractual relationship with Japan and that the basis of relations was an unconditional surrender. These orders gave MacArthur complete authority over the occupation of Japan. MacArthur wanted to these orders to be made public, and had the approval of the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee on the understanding that Presidential approval should be obtained and that the governments of the U.K., the Soviet Union and China be informed of their contents prior to its publication. The material presented has President Truman's signature of approval dated September 17.

Actual Title of Source Memorandum for the President, Subject: Authority of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers
Date September 13, 1945
Document Number State Department Records Decimal File, 1945-1949 "740.00119 CONTROL (JAPAN)/9-1345"<Sheet No. SDDF(A)00445>
Repository (reproduction) National Diet Library
Repository U.S. National Archives & Records Administration (RG59)
Note Microfiche
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