Documents with Commentaries

1-13 Joint Chiefs of Staff, "Basic Initial Post-Surrender Directive to Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers for the Occupation and Control of Japan," November 1, 1945

 This is the official order (JCS1380/15=SWNCC 52/7) sent to General Douglas MacArthur regarding the occupation of Japan. It was approved by the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee on November 1, 1945 and by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on November 3. It was based on the U.S. government policy for Japan "United States Initial Post-Surrender Policy for Japan" (SWNCC 150/4) and parts on the purge of public officials and economic reform were added. With the exception of the problem of the continued existence of the Emperor system, which required prior consent of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, MacArthur was given the supreme authority to take any steps deemed advisable and proper to achieve the aims of the occupation, including direct action "as a last resort" if necessary. At the same time, it made clear that MacArthur would exercise his powers through the Emperor or the government.

 The order, along with "Message to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Concerning the Authority of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (JCS1380/6=SWNCC181/2)" was later used as the rationale upon which MacArthur possessed the authority to handle the problem of revising the Constitution.

Actual Title of Source Basic Initial Post Surrender Directive to Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers for the Occupation and Control of Japan (JCS1380/15)
Date 3 November 1945
Document Number GHQ/SCAP Records, Top Secret Records of Various Sections. Administrative Division Box No. GS-1(11) "1)Relaxation of Purge Restrictions, 2)De-Purging of Japanese Ex-Officers" <Sheet No. TS00304-00306>
Repository (reproduction) National Diet Library
Repository U.S. National Archives & Records Administration (RG331)
Note Microfiche
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