Impressions and Appraisals in Japan


Impressions and Appraisals in Japan

May 8 - May 19, 1962

Albert Wohlstetter

D(L)-10391-ISA

August 27, 1962


I am putting the following note of explanation at the head of each of the accounts of various segments of my recent trip through the Far and Middle East and Europe:

This is one of a series of impressions gleaned during a long trip. As will be evident, the series combines a wide variety of matters: reports on conversations with American or foreign military or diplomatic officials, meetings with reporters, encounters with refugees, judgments on personalities and the immediate environment, half-formed surmises on strategic and political issues, tentative judgments as to useful topics for research, etc., etc. I have not attempted to sort these out, since to do this would probably preclude my getting much of it down. Rather, the impressions and offhand appraisals are put down nearly raw. I expect to exploit this near-raw material myself. It might conceivably be of interest to others, and in this hope I am circulating it. But it is closer to a diary than the conventional trip report. Hence the title, "Impressions and Appraisals."

The circumstances of the trip, the rather extensive preparation for it, and the time at which it occurred, made it a most stimulating and useful one from my own point of view. The timing was nearly pure luck. John Dewey remarks somewhere that "when there is any thinking going in, there is something definitely wrong." There was a good deal definitely wrong in Asia and the Middle East this spring, and I found many thoughtful people pondering the troubles. Trouble was popping all over; a mass exodus from China into Hong Kong, the movement of American forces into Thailand, protests against this movement in Japan, similar protests in Malaya about the movement of British units, war in South Vietnam, the West Irian madness at its peak in Indonesia, the worst financial crisis since the early 1950s in Iran, a six-week cabinet crisis in Turkey, etc., etc.

It was particularly useful to be pursuing several basic questions sequentially through a succession of countries affected by these questions. Nonetheless, the things I learned in various countries are partially separable, and to make it easy to get these impressions out, they are being published country by country, though not always in the sequence in which I made the trip.

One final note: many senior military and foreign service officers spoke to me with great candor and in confidence. Their remarks therefore should not be quoted and these reports are limited in circulation.

IMPRESSIONS AND APPRAISALS IN JAPAN

I arrived very late at night on May 8. I spoke to Professor Kei Wakaizumi and to Dr. Iwao Ohyama. Professor Wakaizumi is on the staff of the National Defense College. Dr. Ohyama is the Director of the National Policy Research Institute (which in Japanese is Soogoo Kenkyusho). Professor Wakaizumi indicated that he had set up a considerable number of the appointments that I had wanted and had some additional suggestions. Going over the schedule that Wakaizumi had prepared was a sobering experience. I had been a little worried about the efficient use of my time, so I had written Wakaizumi to ask him whether he minded juggling my various appointments. His response was overwhelming. My time had been subdivided morning, afternoon, and night. I noticed weakly that on the ninth day, for example, my next to last, I was allowed, after seeing Ambassador Reischauer and several other people in the Embassy, an hour and a half, beginning at 10:30, for "Shopping." The hospitality of the Japanese is, even more than I had heard, intricately solicitous and carefully orchestrated. I noted at the time that they appeared as hosts in squadron formation. It was like being bombed with flowers. (The hour and a half for shopping turned out to be enough. Days were spent in lining things up for me, and I rolled from store to store and counter to counter on oiled wheels. I made it in an hour and 20 minutes. In time for the lunch which had been placed inexorably next.)

My first appointment was with Shigeharu Matsumoto, the managing director of International House of Japan. This appointment was the first thing the following morning. This had its drawbacks since when I managed to get to bed, it was then 10 a.m. Los Angeles time -- my time. And pretty late in Tokyo. There had been a succession of comic errors in Customs. The meeting with Matsumoto, however, was a useful preliminary. Paul Langer had mentioned that he was an extremely influential man, and Wakaizumi and Minister Leonhart at the Embassy both confirmed that he was one of the most important intellectuals in Japan with influence extending from the left to the right.

Matsumoto's politics seemed to be Democratic Socialist. However, Ambassador Reischauer later remarked to me that it was difficult to say just what Matsumoto's own views are as he holds them rather close to the vest. Reischauer mentioned he felt this despite the fact that he was a relative of Matsumoto through his wife. (Matsumoto later said to me that Mrs. Reischauer was one of his "good" cousins.) At the meeting it was immediately clear that Matsumoto was an extremely impressive man. He is very personable, very tall for an oriental, in his 60's, I would guess, pipe-smoking, English tailor. He is a former foreign correspondent and had about half a dozen years in China before the war. He is regarded, among other things, as an expert on China. His interests, however, are very wide ranging as is suggested by his friendship with Professor M. G. White, Chairman of the Department of Philosophy of Harvard, who was the one who sent a letter of introduction to Matsumoto for me. He has interests in the arts as well as philosophy and politics.

He began by introducing me to the other man present besides Professor Wakaizumi, a Mr. Michio Rooyama, whose title is Secretary, Research Projects, International House of Japan. Rooyama, whose politics also are evidently Democratic Socialist, is the son of a famous Professor at Tokyo University, who is extremely active in public affairs, also Democratic Socialist. Leonhart regards the elder Rooyama also as a key figure in Japanese affairs. The younger Rooyama is an extremely lively, intelligent fellow who has spent three years up to either 1957 or 1958 at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy in the United States. He is now extremely interested in defense policy and arms control. Matsumoto led off by saying that Rooyama had already written an article which dealt with my work and was in the process of writing another. I couldn't tell whether this was an example of Japanese courtesy, which is even more fabulous than I had expected from a reading of such works as "The Honorable Picnic," or whether, in fact, Rooyama was writing something about my work. The weight of evidence seemed to fall on the side of the courtesy hypothesis, as Matsumoto proceeded very smoothly, at one point to refer to Kei Wakaizumi as the "future Albert Wohlstetter of Japan." I murmured the appropriate "I hope he does better than that," and we passed on to other things. Matsumoto mentioned "The Delicate Balance" and said a few polite things, which did indicate that he'd read it. We discussed a rather wide range of things, including Japanese politics and opinions on questions like the test ban. I mentioned that Japanese opinion showed a rather larger contrast between those privately expressed and those publicly stated than I had ever been familiar with. And Matsumoto said that this was not just a function of the particular emotional regard in which the test ban was held and military matters in general, but there had always been this sort of double character to the Japanese communications. He indicated that he thought that Robert Butow, in his well known book of a few years ago, had missed this point when he took the communications of the Japanese General Staff quite literally.

Our talk ranged over a rather wide subject matter, including Daisetz Suzuki, and the recent fashion for Zen in the United States, and Matsumoto was witty and knowledgeable on all. He quoted Suzuki's deadpan crack in response to somebody who had asked about Japanese pacifism. Suzuki had responded, "Why all Japanese have always been pacifists." It was clear that Matsumoto was more or less feeling me out and having discovered that we had a considerable overlap in interests, he advised me on where to stay in Kyoto and said that in all the years of his living in China as a foreign correspondent he had picked up one undeniably useful piece of knowledge, namely how to order a Chinese meal, and that he would like to entertain me at lunch when I returned from Kyoto.

After leaving Matsumoto, I talked for a while with Rooyama, who said that he and Matsumoto had hoped that I would be able to lecture at the International House in Japan when I returned. I indicated a considerable doubt because of the crowded schedule I had, and Rooyama then said that he had hoped in particular that I might say something about the recent series of articles by P.M.S. Blackett in which he had talked about the thesis of "The Delicate Balance." That did it. I said that it would be a great pleasure to talk at the International House of Japan on this subject and that I was sure I'd be able to find the time. Wakaizumi, who was taking care of my schedule, suggested that he and Rooyama might get together and try to work it out. That afternoon I spent time with Wakaizumi going over my schedule for the following ten days, giving his help on arrangements where I needed a translator, and then in discussing Japanese attitudes towards national defense and arms control.

Wakaizumi has spent three years in the London School and one year at Paul Nitze's Johns Hopkins Institute of Foreign Affairs. He seems to me to be extremely intelligent and dedicated, and quite hard-headed. He spoke briefly of the general irresponsibility of the intellectuals in Japan. Wakaizumi felt that the Japanese intellectuals were basically naive and that their main problem was that they seriously believed that there was no communist threat, that the main problem was American imperialism. The position of the intellectuals in the political left called for a "naked neutralism." That is, it calls for an end to the alliance and the American guarantee, and at the same time it does not recognize that neutrality of that sort has to be defended, as in Switzerland or Sweden. He said that he thought that a talk on Blackett was extremely important because Blackett had been taken up by the leftists as a kind of bible and was frequently quoted by them.

May 9, so far as the working day was concerned, ended shortly after, late in the afternoon, and as is clear from my description, consisted mostly of preliminaries. There had to be quite a few preliminaries, however, as Wakaizumi had laid out my schedule so that most of the evenings were taken up as well.

On May 10, I had an appointment with William Leonhart, the Minister of the Embassy. I had had a letter to Leonhart from Henry Owen about my coming and he was extremely cordial. He turned out to be a fellow member of the Institute for Strategic Studies, and I found him very intelligent and good to talk to. He is more interested in military affairs than most State Department people I know and very much more knowledgeable. This is his second tour in Japan, and he is, of course, knowledgeable about it as well. Our talk dealt briefly with Japanese defense, the problem of our bases in Japan, and attitudes towards the recent American test series.

The Japanese-American Mutual Security Treaty ends in 1970 along with NATO, and, Leonhart remarked, is likely to involve a good deal of evaluation by us as to what functions we assign to these alliances. Meanwhile, he felt that in developing strategy there had been no genuine analysis of what the threat is in Japan, that much of the military program had proceeded simply by inertia. He felt that this was true not only of the Japanese but of ourselves. That is, he thought our own views on the defense of Japan were largely inert.

He discussed a bit Japanese defense forces and their technological base. Like Savvy Sides in Honolulu, he thought that the forces were rather lopsided and genuinely did depend on the Seventh Fleet. However, he thought that they were a very competent bunch in many respects. Like Sides, he also mentioned the recent exercise. However, he went further than Sides and said that some of their ASW forces had really performed better than our own, that our navy had had to make a few excuses for itself, basically the fact that new forces had just been rotated into the United States.

He said that the basic technical skills in Japan were enormously impressive and that this stuff about the Japanese being simply imitators of the West was now clearly cockeyed. He referred to the two technologies: nuclear technology and computer technology in which they were really excelling. On the first, the nuclear power program, of course, is important in Japan. Japan is probably one of the first geographical areas in which nuclear power will be economic, competitive with other sources of power. Their nuclear power program is going very well, as was their work on nuclear propulsion. In fact, he thought that just about every shipyard had some sort of study on nuclear propulsion. On computer technology, as an illustration of the great Japanese skill, he referred to the quantum-mechanical tunnel diode patents that had just been granted Sony in the United States; on the newspaper accounts as well as Leonhart's, this is a very important advance over transistors. It was clear that the Japanese had the basic technologies which underlie military power. What was lacking was the political will after the tremendous revulsion from Japanese militarism. And, of course, the initial American encouragement to adopt a kind of pacifist position.

He said that discussions with the Japanese on military responsibility were extremely difficult. Kissinger, he indicated, when he had been here in Japan, had evoked an extremely bad response. As Leonhart indicated, he had, with all the subtlety of a sledge-hammer, told the Japanese that either they'd better sign a treaty or, in all honesty, they had to develop nuclear weapons and go for an independent national deterrent themselves.

The national self-defense forces actually have internal purposes as well. He thought that some sorts of internal revolution were likely enough to require a back-up by defense forces of the police. The May Day riots illustrated this. He said that there is some suspicion that the police may not have been trying very hard; perhaps to justify an increase in their size and capability. But the Lucky Dragon riots, the anti-Eisenhower riots, were all quite impressive in their way. They were extremely carefully organized. It is true that Tokyo is a big city and it's not hard to recruit an extremely large mob out of so large a source. Nonetheless, the riots were impressive, for one thing, in their organization. All things conspired to help. There was the U-2 incident, student riots in Korea and in Turkey, Kishi's adventures with the Mutual Security Treaty. In any case 25,000 police could not handle it.

He talked a bit about the 700,000 man Korean minority which is largely sympathetic to North Korea. All as an illustration of the genuine possibilities of subversion in Japan. He stressed that he did not mean to suggest that this was a probable event, but that it was a significant enough likelihood to make it an important contingency to think about.

The conversion of the four large divisions of the defense force into thirteen divisions to increase this mobility was partly in response to the necessities of internal order.

Like Wakaizumi, he spoke about the neutralist feeling. He said that it was not clear to a good many of the Japanese intellectuals that putting up a "no trespassing sign" was not quite enough for defense. On the other hand, he said that the reaction to the tests that we were conducting in the atmosphere at the time had been much less than the Embassy had expected. While I was there I read four or five papers in the Tokyo English language press which included a good many quotations in translation from the Japanese press, and this seemed to be so. This in spite of the fact that there was a little Pugwash meeting held by a group of prominent scientists, including the Nobel Laureate, Yukawa, in Kyoto during the same ten days that I was in Japan.

Leonhart discussed with me the National Defense College talk and the International House talk. He said that they would be very happy to lend me a translator for the International House talk, but that he thought that I was doing it the right way, in coming under Japanese sponsorship, and that if there were a translator there from the Embassy it would give it an official character which would be undesirable from my own point of view. We then discussed the political roles of the various people who were sponsoring my visit and he brought in an expert to go over the list of some of the people. He and the expert had a high opinion of Saeki. Saeki was a graduate of Todai university, had been a member of the Economic Stabilization Board and was regarded as extremely able. They had files on others of the people I was to meet, including Hidejiro Kotani, also on the faculty of the National Defense College. Kotani is the other member of the Institute for Strategic Studies besides Bill Leonhart in Japan.

In the next ten days that I was in Japan the problem of the use of Japanese bases became a hot political issue. It kept both Leonhart and Ambassador Reischauer hopping. A general officer in the Fifth Air Force announced to the papers that certain of our forces were being moved to Thailand when some of the units left. This in connection with the administration moves after the fall of Nam Tha. This naturally stirred up a storm in Japan. Not only the Socialists, but the Democratic Socialists protested. And the government had to make a great show of making formal inquiries to the United States as to the meaning of these movements, etc. This has a considerable political interest because much the same thing happened during the same week in Malaya. The Malayan government announced that it would not permit the British forces that the British had announced they were going to send to Thailand in conformity with the policy announced by the Kennedy Administration, to go to Thailand. The forces in question were the British units stationed in Malaya.

It's become quite clear that the significance of bases like Japan for deterring a central war has lessened, though this may not have been formally recognized in our planning for the use of these bases. Aside from possible counterforce uses, the increasing utility of the bases is likely to come in connection with local wars in the Pacific. Enormous distances are involved. Like the English coaling stations in the 19th century, these bases are likely to be of tremendous value logistically for both initial movements and steady-state operations in the event of sizable local wars. In fact, the policies for the use of our bases and our MAP programs for these countries have not been re-evaluated in these terms. The political difficulties suggested by the Malayan and the Japanese actions or questions do not suggest of course that the bases will not be useful. Rather, these difficulties suggest that not all of the bases may be usable in any given crisis and so that the necessity for having a rather large number may be very great as a statistical insurance matter. In fact, we handled the Japanese crisis, after the first booboo of the announcement, with a rapid and skillful bit of mumbojumbo. Quite a few words came out which, spoken very fast, sounded plausible. The units weren't going to Thailand, they were just being moved to several other areas in the pacific. From there, of course, they might be going to Thailand, in fact, were, but this was naturally beyond the scope of the Japanese-U.S. Mutual Security Treaty and would hardly be controlled by the Japanese, etc., etc.

In conformity with Matsumoto's characterization of Japanese double speaking on this subject it's quite probable that, aside from the Communist Party, only the Socialist Party was completely literal in its protests. The Socialist Party, as Mao Tse-tung is supposed to have said, "is a very queer Socialist Party." Although it's a member of the Second International, it's as close to a Communist Party as any such has become in recent times. It seems likely that the Democratic Socialist's protests were in good part public demonstrations of virtue and the skirmishings of the Ikeda government were also demonstrations that they were "doing the Right thing and No Nonsense," and their hearts were in the right place. On the other hand, the comments in the Japanese English language dailies almost uniformly suggested a much more clear-headed position on the Laotian crisis than was current in the United States. Almost none was impressed with the thin rationalizations of our Western policy about a "truly neutral Laos," coming out of negotiations, that would stably balance the Phoumi, Souvanna, and Souphanavong factions. These Japanese English versions of the Japanese dailies are not evidently an entirely reliable guide to what the Japanese dailies are saying themselves, as I verified by comparing the English language Yomiuri and the quotations from the Yomiuri Shimbun, appearing in a box in the English language version. Nonetheless, it appears that on the subject of Laos the Liberal Democrats (that is, the conservative party) and a good many Democratic Socialists were really clearer than might appear offhand from the statements about the use of our bases in connection with the crisis.

One other subject came up during the conversation with Bill Leonhart which kept turning up for the rest of my stay: Dave Riesman's recent visit. I had told Leonhart about the talks that had been scheduled for me in Japan, and I mentioned that there was some desire on the part of some of my sponsors that I give a more public talk. I had felt myself that it would be better, on the contrary, to limit the meeting at International House to a very small group of experts. Leonhart said that he thought that it was very probable that what I had to say would be useful but, on the other hand, he agreed that the Japanese, at the time, with the atmospheric tests going on, and with the crisis in Thailand, were in a rather sensitive mood. He thought that on the whole my decision was probably a wise one. He then mentioned Dave Riesman's month-long visit to Japan, which had evidently had a very bad effect. Reisman appeared, as I learned later, as a missionary of the "peace movement" and had received very wide publicity. Front page headlines. Leonhart just mentioned, puffing it out between drags on his pipe, that Reisman had "not been helpful." I gathered later from Wakaizumi and others that this was the understatement of the year.

Meeting with Brigadier General Washington, the Chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group, MAAG

My next appointment was with General Washington. Cables had been sent from OSD to Major General Turner C. Rogers, who was then head of MAAG. Meanwhile, Rogers had left, and Worthington had taken his place. He had been at his new job all of one week. This dismayed me at first. However, Worthington had spent some 9 months in MAAG in Japan as head of the Army section just before taking over as MAAG chief, and he showed both knowledge of the routine military problems in the area and an interest in fundamentals sometimes (though not always) associated with getting a new job at the top.

Worthington turned out to be a very modest and very cordial man. We began by my asking questions as to how he viewed the threat which the MAAG program in Japan was helping to meet. He responded that he thought that Japan was the primary target of the Communist bloc in Asia, that the Japanese themselves were being extremely unrealistic on the whole about this, but that we were ourselves in good part to blame for it. We did a nice job in making them pacifists, Worthington said. Both MacArthurs, the general and the diplomat, he thought had not been very helpful in this respect. It seems that the former Ambassador MacArthur, he suggested, had rather disliked military men, and military affairs completely. Worthington felt that military men in general regarded Reischauer as a very great improvement.

I asked about the Hokkaido straits and the Korean straits. he said that Japanese regard the Hokkaido straits as the major threat so long as the U.S. is serious about Korea. The bulk of their ground forces, three divisions, are in Hokkaido.

We talked a bit about the ambiguity of the word "division." The Japanese division is, in particular, pretty far from the NATO organization of the same title. Divisions are supposed to average about 8,000, that is there are some 7,000 and some 9,000-man divisions. However, this is authorization rather than actuality. In fact, the Japanese divisions are at some 62% of authorization, meaning that their "division" amounts now to something like 5,000 men, or roughly what we would consider a good sized brigade.

As for their preparation, he thought that the Japanese could fight for perhaps about 30 days, there were no reserves or logistic back-up authorized.

He commented on the fact that they had a very good ASW force and that they had been better than the U.S. in the last exercise. On the Air Force, he said that the Fifth Air Force still runs the show, but that JSDAF, the Japanese self-defense air force, was very good. In fact, JSDAF runs the GCI now -- not only for themselves but for us too. He said the ground forces, however, were not up to snuff and they are at very low strength.

On ASW, he said they are very good operationally, but had quite a small force. Moreover, they were using our equipment, much of it World War II equipment. They are, however, building some. We furnish Sonar, the Tartar missile, and P2V7, which last is financed on a 50-50 basis. They are training a hunter-killer team but have not yet developed any great skill at it.

I asked in what contingencies it was expected such forces as the ASW force would be used. Was it in the central war only that it was being considered or would they also be talking about various less-than-central war contingencies?

On the subject of less-than-central war, he felt that Japan wasn't very likely to have one because of the water barrier and because of our help -- the Seventh Fleet. However, he didn't think that the Japanese could handle it themselves. At the present time they would have to really shape the force differently if they were to prepare to defend themselves against conventional attack.

I asked about the role of Japan in the big war. I agreed that a less-than-central war contingency was not the probable one at this point. On the other hand, I thought that this was not any conclusive indication that the big war contingency was one in which Japan would be important. He said, while it was expected that in a big war Japan would provide us with air bases and naval bases and a century series wing base, the MAP program was concentrating largely on providing the Japanese with F-104s, Hawk, and NIKE-Ajax. The F-104s are the major item, making up about $75,000,000, and have been virtually paid for. We discussed very briefly just what the F-104s in Japan would do, either for us or for the Japanese, in the event of a big thermonuclear war. We agreed that it was not very clear. In addition, MAP is providing two battalions of Hawk and two battalions of NIKE-Ajax. The surface-to-air missiles will be the biggest effort in the next few years. As in many things, the supplying of SAMS to Japan is very much affected by the widespread pacifism. Ajax had to be supplied rather than Hercules precisely because Hercules has a dual capability. Even though its conventional capability is better than that of Ajax, the fact that it also has a possibility of being used with nuclear warheads makes it inappropriate. They are installing Ajax with a "universal system." With a few adjustments in the ground equipment it will be possible to handle Hercules missiles as well. However, no Hercules missiles are intended to be sent to Japan.

The Japanese are not completely consistent about dual capabilities. The 8-inch howitzers, for example, had been accepted even though they have a dual capability, but the Ajax-Hercules distinction illustrates this problem.

On the cost sharing for MAP, he said this used to be 50-50, but they are now paying the bulk of even U.S. production costs, not to say, of course, the operation costs. They take all of the local costs.

The word "missiles" is associated with the word "rockets" which in turn is associated with the word "bomb," and this has been very hampering in planning the defense. Yet the Japanese have been working hard on "peaceful rockets." I brought the subject up since this had been mentioned also by Leonhart in my discussion with him.

On the subject of air defense, I asked about the ground environment. He said that semi-automatic ground environment is the kind of thing that is being considered. A GPA-76 is being talked about. All three leading ground environment manufacturers have been briefing the Japanese. The three, he recalled, are Lytton, Hughes, and G.E. He was less certain of G.E. He said that a high-powered Japanese team is coming to the United States in the fall to investigate the subject of the ground environment for air defense. We discussed briefly the role of semi-automatic ground environment in a World War III. We also discussed the possible roles in lesser wars. It seemed very little attention had been given to the sorts of problems that would really be relevant for World War III, such as surveillance against possible sneak attacks.

The MAP program for Japan seems basically to follow with a large time lag our own continental air defense programs for a most hypothetical World War III. These were always extremely questionable but are now obviously obsolete, abandoned -- especially by their former most vociferous advocates -- who have switched from pushing for a near perfect defense against an improbably foolish straight mass attack over the pole to opposing defense altogether -- minimum deterrence.

Much the same can be said for the transfer of obsolete ground force concepts. As an illustration of this, it seems that the Japanese have just shifted from a triangular organization to the pentomic organization! I think we're generally unaware of the persistence of our errors. Long after their demise in the United States, we appear to export them to our allies. The dead hand of our old enthusiasms continues to weigh on the living in the provinces.

We discussed briefly also the Bomarcs. And I found that the Japanese, like the Canadians, were caught by the cancellation of our Bomarc program. They had counted heavily on it. Another illustration of the same. The Bomarc cancellation illustrates another point I've become very conscious of, after talking with foreign military men: it is hard for us to realize how hard on R & D failure in today's soaringly expensive competition is for the smaller countries. We airily cut off the Navaho, the Snark, the B-58 and proceed along other branches of our many branched R & D tree. The smaller countries lean heavily on one of our developments or one of their own and never quite recover from the fall when the limb is sawn off. So the British with their Blue Streak, the Canadian with their interceptor and our Bomarc.

We talked about some of the political problems of the selection of the surface-to-air missile sites. These had to be located on existing Japanese bases; (a) because the land problem is serious and there are no condemnation proceedings by which the Japanese Self Defense Force can acquire land; (b) because of the expense (same arbitrary false economy as affected our own SAC base locations); and (c) to reduce political protests. Yet there was a big fuss at the location of the first four Ajax. The technical requirements were heavily watered down. They are located at sea level mostly, rather than on hills. There are four Ajax ringing Tokyo to the North, South, East and West. The first Hawk will be coming in next fall. The units are in training now at Fort Bliss. All of this illustrates the severe wraps under which the Japanese military have to operate. There is no Japanese draft, but this is just one of the most obvious limitations.

The talk with General Worthington was a very fruitful one, and stimulated a good many thoughts. One of the many by-products of the political wraps under which defense has to be dealt with in Japan is that there has been very little, almost no, local strategic discussion and therefore, partly for this reason, our own thinking on basic strategy for the area has been even less self-critical and coherent than it was in Europe. An analysis of the role of Japan (a) in a big war; (b) in a local war involving Japan; (c) in local wars elsewhere in the Pacific would be a most fruitful thing to do. It seems quite likely to me that on our present policy we have managed to get the worst of all worlds. For example, the one subject that is anathema in Japan is, of course, nuclear warfare. Nonetheless it appears that our policy is to prepare Japanese bases and the strategy for their use and to prepare the Japanese Self Defense Forces only for the contingency of a big nuclear war. Moreover, this is a contingency in which it seems very doubtful that the Japanese could play a very significant role from our point of view. Or, for that matter, from the standpoint of the Japanese. On the contrary, our presence and the design of our forces and theirs for use in the big war makes Japan a much more tempting target, and when this is understood should further feed the fires of unilateralism in Japan, which hardly need much feeding. In our Base Study ten years or so ago, we found the Japanese bases did of course have a refueling function. However, it's apparent that with the phasing out of the B-47s, even though there are very large distances involved, this function has been diminishing. If the Japanese are ever to acquire some sorts of realistic view of the necessities for self-defense, it appears that we ourselves are going to have to take a realistic view as to just what threats we are helping Japan defend itself against. All this should be the subject of some fruitful exploration in the Third Area Conflicts program.

It was then the week end. I went off to Kyoto, from which I had to return early on Monday, earlier than expected, because of a fever. Appointments in Kyoto canceled. On the 16th of May I met with Kiichi Saeki, who had by that time returned from the United States, and met with Wakaisumi on the morning of the 16th and again on the evening of the 16th. On the 17th I continued talks with Wakaizumi and went to the National Defense College where I gave a lecture on the test ban as a test. It described various issues of the test ban and how it had tested the seriousness of various functions, not only in the United States and in the United Kingdom, but also in other allied and neutral powers. Following Paul Langer's advice (invaluable throughout the trip), I gave the talk in near unison with Wakaizumi. He translated it nearly sentence by sentence as I went along. Wakaizumi had been afraid that the talk was going to be excessively technical, assume too much on the part of the students at the Defense College who are roughly on the level, he indicated, of our own Defense Colleges. They are Senior Colonels, Majors, and so on, and some members of the foreign service, etc. By luck as well as by dint of Wakaizumi's warnings, I seemed to have hit the right level of difficulty, and the talk went well. There were a great many questions at the end, especially from Saeki, who is extraordinarily acute. His questions were always on essentials and revealed how much he had absorbed on his recent trip to the United States, not only in Santa Monica but in various parts of Washington, D.C. (Among other notables in Washington D.C. he met with Harry Towen, General LeMay, and General Freddie Smith.)

Just before the lecture I met with Saeki and Mr. H. Kotani, the member of the National Defense College faculty who is also a member of the Institute of Strategic Studies. Kotani is writing something at the present time on the role of the small powers in arms control. He had been asked to do this, as I recall, by Amy Leiss of the Carnegie Endowment, possibly also by the Institute, which has had some Carnegie financing. I am not clear as to just which organization he is doing it for. We agreed to have a discussion of some of the substantive points that he was making at a later time, and did during my last evening in Japan.

Next on my schedule for the 17th was a meeting at Dr. Ohyama's home. The question period had lasted longer than was expected, and when I arrived at Dr. Ohyama's home the other guests were there. They were a Mr. K. Takaya, a specialist on Soviet affairs, and Dr. T. Kuwabara, a specialist on Chinese affairs. In the discussion at Ohyama's house Takaya explained that he himself had been a member of the Communist Party in Russia for some 13 years, and lived in Russia some 42 years ago while Lenin was still alive, and spoke Russian as well as Japanese. He had much to say about Japanese and U.S. policy and some things about Laos. In general he felt that not only the Japanese but the U.S. was unrealistic about the Russians. It was very clear that he was not one of the wishful Japanese. He is definitely a hard-line type. I understand from Abe Halpern that Ohyama, who it seems came from a wealthy and powerful Japanese family, is a reconverted former Communist related, Abe thinks, to the Nabeyama Mitamura group of people, former Communists who still have some sources among Communist dissidents and who are pushing for a realistic recognition of the nature of the Communist threat.

Kuwabara gave a similar 20-minute discussion of China and his experience there. He had lived in China for many years and spoke Chinese as well as Japanese. And, according to Wakaizumi, is one of the most highly respected experts on China in Japan. He, among other things, is a consultant to the Union Research Corporation in Hong Kong. He talked about the present critical difficulties of China and emphasized that he thought that they were quite extreme -- worse trouble than they had ever been in. He also stated, though he asked me to keep it in complete confidence, that he had had some second-hand contacts with officers in the Peoples' Liberation Army for the first time and that a great deal of demoralization had been spreading there in spite of the fact that they are the best-fed segment of the population. Nonetheless, the many family connections with the peasantry had made the general demoralization spread to them, and they were extremely disillusioned. I talked of this with several other people later on my trip, and what he said up to this point was pretty well confirmed in Hong Kong by our own Chinese experts as well as by others whom I met. He suggested that the purpose of these contacts was in part to see if there could be any Japanese help for the dissidents. This struck me as being extremely far-fetched. I can think of no less likely source of support. He indicated that some of the people who had had the first-hand contact were going to be coming to the united States and that he was going to ask them to visit me. I indicated that this would be most interesting.

We spent a good deal of time discussing what the effects of the present crisis in China would be on their ability to wage war of any great intensity in Laos. And what, in turn, the effects of the strain of war might do for intensifying the crisis. Both Kuwabara and Takaya were convinced of the inadequacy of Chiang's efforts and the sorts of efforts that Chiang intended, if there were no U.S. backup, and if there were no war strain. They were less certain about what could be done in the event that the Chinese were involved in a war in Laos, but Takaya, in particular, felt that it was essential that the United States extend the war to mainland China.

The crisis in Laos and Thailand makes this a very appropriate time to be traveling in the Far East. A lot of rather basic issues are being raised for the first time, or raised again in a new light. Together with the three-year deterioration in China, the most important basic issue that was raised is that of the stability of communist regime in China and the extent and kinds of support to indigenous protests which the United States might offer.

On the 18th of May, Friday, I met with Matsumoto, Kotani and Wakaizumi at the International House of Japan, and we then proceeded to a Chinese restaurant where Matsumoto demonstrated very well his skill in ordering a Chinese meal. Rooyama was late in joining us because he was off trying to track down one of Blackett's earlier books which I had mentioned I wanted to quote from for the sake of contrast with Blackett's present dogmas in the lecture. Japanese hospitality being what it is, Rooyama set out almost at once. Wakaizumi had been off getting another document, and I was able to start the lecture with a bundle of Blackett's best contradictions.

At lunch we talked of a good many things. Matsumoto spoke some of China, again asking questions rather more frequently than he made observations. He asked me, as a favor to him, to check with our experts when I came to Hong Kong on a point that had been bothering him for some time. He said that he would like to know just what the experts there estimated the number killed in the course of the red takeover in 1948-49 had been. He had seen figures ranging from 6 or 7 or 8 million up to as high as 30 million. He was rather skeptical of these figures. I said that I'd be very happy to ask the experts there, though I didn't know how fruitful my inquiry would be. Chinese statistics on much less sensitive matters such as the production of grain and pig iron seem to have been rather faulty. I had no feeling at all for the numbers myself. I had noticed that there frequently were mentions in news dispatches of numbers of dead in the millions whenever there was a drought or a very heavy rain in China. Matsumoto's question suggested to me that his skepticism here was largely directed at some of the incautious critics of the red Chinese rather than the red Chinese themselves. He also mentioned that he would rather like to visit Peking again to make some observations on his own, but had hesitated to do this for fear that even a visit for the purpose of reporting and observation might in the present atmosphere beget some sorts of suspicion of a leaning towards communism or sympathy with Chinese.

Wakaizumi had told me before that while he himself is very friendly with Matsumoto and regards him highly, and is in fact a co-author with Matsumoto of a book that's coming out (or at least the contributor of a chapter of a book that Matsumoto is editing), he had during the course of a recent visit had a number of discussions with Matsumoto which had suggested that Matsumoto had a very exaggerated notion of Riesman's worth, and grouped him among the three or four great sociologists of the last hundred years or so.

Wakaizumi had several brushes with Reisman, including an hour long conversation at International House. Wakaizumi said that he had just found Reisman extremely unclear. That the sentiments that Riesman expressed were never stated in anything except very abstract terms, and that when he had tried to pin Riesman down he had found no satisfaction. Matsumoto had later told him that Riesman had referred to Wakaizumi and a friend of Wakaizumi who had taken part in the 3-man discussion as "sons of the Samurai." I told Wakaizumi that it was clear to me that Riesman had developed a form of the Argumentum ad hominem which was salable in Japan.[1] He used analogous methods in the United States.

Since I had known Riesman many years ago quite well and intended dealing with some of Reisman's statements in my lecture, I thought I would explore this subject tentatively with Matsumoto. I described to him some of Riesman's anti-intellectual comments of the last couple of years, and indicated that I thought that there had been two indications, (1) in his recent contributions for the Committee of Correspondence and (2) in a revision of an article he had done originally for Commentary with Michael Maccoby and which is now included in the Liberal Papers, (published as a paperback under the editorship of James Roosevelt). The indications in these two recent publications were that Riesman was becoming rather aware that he may have opened Pandora's box in his attacks on "the cold, cruel, polished rationality of game theory," and his cracks at the "icily strategic style" of the RAND Corporation. Riesman in these publications recently added, for example, in the Liberal Papers, that of course he was not opposed to all rationality, but to just this icy style of rationality. A rather feeble attempt to suggest that there are several types of rationality varying in temperature. In a recent issue of the Committee of Correspondence, if I recall correctly his statement, Riesman mentions that "It's not enough to hate Herman Kahn." Matsumoto looked very thoughtful at these evidences of Riesman's recent anti-intellectualism and partial withdrawal. He did not rise to Riesman's defense. We discussed some the irrationalism among students in Japan -- the slogans and mass marches, and so on. On the whole, Matsumoto seemed quite sensible about this. There's no doubt in my mind, however, that he fulfills the conventional description of the "inscrutable oriental." He sustained my scrutiny, in any event.

At the lecture at the International House, drunk with the success of my attempts to use some of my recently acquired Japanese at the National Defense College, I decided to go a little further in my talk at the International House. At the National Defense College I had led off with some of my laundry Japanese. Aware that my subject -- banning nuclear explosions -- was the tensest of subjects in Japan, I began by saying that I was going to give an unexciting talk on the test ban, neither mizu, cold water, nor oyú, hot water, but namanurui oyú, sort of lukewarm. The title of the talk was "In Defense of Thinking about Defense." I had found that "Sin and Games," the original title was untranslatable to Japanese. In the talk I described the recent attacks on systematic thinking in defense and arms control in England and in the United States. And the basic beliefs that I felt such attacks stemmed from: that what was needed in our time was not coolness, detachment, calculation, but warmth, commitment, and intuition; that this was because the issues were really simple, not complicated ones; they were moral issues, clear to all decent men; they were simple because there was an overriding interest between the East and West in avoiding World War III. The key word there being "overriding" rather than "common."

All of us would agree that there are some interests in common. "Overriding" was something else again. It meant that there were basically no issues in conflict between the East and West; none that were not negligible. In fact, the real conflicts on Blackett, Riesman, and Fromm's way of looking at the world turned out to be internal in each country, between those people who insisted on conflict, the cold warriors, and the people like Fromm, Riesman and Blackett, who felt that there were no basic conflicts. Borrowing from terms from the Japanese western movies, it was basically an issue between the yoi or the ii yetsu and the warui yatsu. In short, the good guys versus the bad guys. The question was whether you were yoi or warui. I said that I was a little doubtful that it was possible to make the division so clean. Aren't there some yorui?

I described some of the attacks on game theory and the attribution of all the defects of the strategists to their use of game theory, and then quoted some game theorists and strategists to indicate that as a matter of fact many of the strategists criticized had years ago said they thought that game theory was a long way from practical application to complex problems of policy. Then I quoted some game theorists to suggest that they were aware of the same.

The group of experts that Rooyama and Matsumoto had gathered included, besides Kotani, Saeki, and Wakaizumi, Toshiyuki Toyoda, a professor of nuclear physics at St. Paul's University who I believe was at the last Pugwash conference; Shinjiro Tanaka, a journalist specializing in international affairs, and a left-wing Socialist; Hiroshi Shishido, a left-wing Socialist in sympathy, on the staff of the Kyodo News Agency; Michinobu Shirakawa, whose sympathies are largely Democratic Socialist; and Yoshikazu Sakamoto, an assistant professor of international politics at the University of Tokyo. There was also listed Shinichiro Tomonaga, the President of Tokyo University of Education, who is also a nuclear physicist, but, as I was not aware during my lecture, at the last minute he had been unable to attend.

Toyada, the physicist, to my surprise, came to the defense of game theory. I had to explain that I wasn't attacking it. And then Sakamoto asked a series of questions of such extreme naiveté on the subject of politics that I assumed that he must be the other nuclear physicist who was listed as present. Sakamoto said he was curious about my mention of the existence of conflicts. I had referred to the fact that aside from desiring to avoid World War III, the Russians also had an expansionist foreign policy and that this conflicted with objectives of both the United States and Japan. He wanted to know why I said the Russians had an expansionist foreign policy. I said that I'd be happy to supply a list of the countries that the Russians had absorbed since the war, beginning with Latvia, Esthonia, Lithuania, etc., and also a list of some of the actions it had taken, for example, most recently in Laos where they were making frequent air drops in Chepone in southeast Laos from which the Viet Cong were taking supplies into South Vietnam for the purpose of subverting the government of South Vietnam. There was considerable evidence that Russia had expanded its own power and was interested in the expansion of communist forces. I also suggested that a reading of the program of the 81 communist parties for the meeting that met in Moscow in November and December of 1960 would reveal that Khrushchev and the Red Chinese explicitly avowed they intended to liberate countries that were presently non-communist. This was rather more significant than the enthusiastic reports of communist benevolence that were brought back by non-political physicists from the Pugwash Conference which was going on concurrently. My last barb was made on the assumption that the questioner was a physicist. It proved quite irrelevant.

Sakamoto said that he couldn't see that any of this was expansionism on the part of Russia. It looked to him as if it were expansionism on the part of the United States which refused to face the fact of the movement of history. In the course of the exchange, it became evident that Sakamoto was presenting an Orwellian concept of expansionism. The U.S. was guilty of a kind of negative expansionism, "expanding" into the places the communists hope to hold later. We do this simply by resisting being displaced. We were interfering, so to speak, with the status quo, post bellum. It wasn't until after the meeting that I discovered that Sakamoto had gained his knowledge of international politics not from the study of quantum mechanics but by some even more mysterious means: he was a Professor of International Politics at Tokyo University.

The meeting was a quite lively one and most of the questions were sympathetic. Many grins at the points I scored on the recent anti-rationalists. I had a fairly nice collection of quotations available by the time of the lecture. Once again, however, I would not rely too strongly on the meaning of these grins. I had known that Oriental smiles are supposed to be inscrutable, but evidently the grin may be also. Shishido, who is a left-wing Socialist, was one of those most vigorous in laughing at some of Blackett's absurdities and self contradictions. On the other hand, Wakaizumi assures me that Blackett has become a kind of bible for the left-wing Socialists, so either he didn't understand me or he was about to recant; or more likely, he was inscrutable. Matsumoto's questions, on the other hand, for a change, seemed very definitely to demonstrate both understanding and sympathy to a critique of the anti-rationalism of the self-professed "peace" party.

Rooyama had a great many questions. He and Wakaizumi participated in the translation, or collaborated in translating as I went along. And Rooyama, who was sitting next to me, was taking rather elaborate notes. My glance at them suggested that they were accurate. There's no doubt about Rooyama's being a serious man as far as his interest in these questions is concerned. He is writing on arms control policy now. It's evident that in the current climate of opinion in Japan that writing on arms control is reasonably OK, where writing on defense policy or concerning yourself with national defense is regarded as a resurgence of militarism. Rooyama, however, exhibited none of this sort of prejudice in our discussions. This meeting, too, went on till way past the designated time, with more questions still coming. And Wakaizumi extricated me by explaining that I had recently been ill and had to go on to another meeting. We broke up at about 6:30 at International House. This illustrated a nice concern for my health, but the meeting following it that evening was almost as loaded.

On Friday, I met with Ambassador Reischauer the first thing in the morning, and he brought in a Mr. Goodyear and a Mr. Osborne and a Mr. Ritchie. We discussed the role of the intellectuals in Japan in discussions of national defense and arms control. Reischauer indicated that he was feeling especially harried at that point because of the recent outcry on the subject of the use of units of the American forces stationed in Japan in Thailand. Reischauer has had a particular interest and mission with the intellectuals in Japan and has engaged in many widely reported talks with them. Our discussion was interrupted in about a half-hour when trouble arose. The Japanese Foreign Minister wanted to meet with Reischauer about the bases and the possible violations of the Mutual Security Treaty. And Reischauer wanted to have a talk with General Jake Smart before he did this, just to be sure that he was completely filled in up to that moment. Smart, however, was flying an airplane at the time. Reischauer excused himself, and I don't know how this issue was resolved.

Ritchie, Osborne, Goodyear and I then went to Goodyear's office where the discussion turned to the defense of Japan. Osborne seemed the best informed of the three. He told me that he had had two years in Hokkaido and as far as the Hokkaido threat was concerned he just doubted that it was very real. He thought it was extremely dubious that the Russians would try to fight their way down from there. The Korean straits, on the other hand, he thought were somewhat doubtful. He felt that a threat across the Korean straits might be a military threat all right if there were no U.S. guarantee, but in that case the Japanese would be ready to give in to demands anyway. That is to say, if they had let the U.S.-Japanese relations lapse that much. In any case, Osborne thought that purely political subversion was more attractive to the communists than a military invasion. I asked whether there was any possibility of completely separating the political and the military threat here. I was sure that the military threat wasn't purely military, but I wondered whether the political threat was purely political. Wouldn't the internal threat be made more dangerous if there were some consciousness of the possibility of external force being applied? With the notable exception of Cuba, the communists had managed to be successful in subversion mostly near their borders where their military power was, at least silently, present. I wondered whether there might not be some possibility of an ascending, accumulating, interacting set of internal and external threats. It might happen the other way. It was possible that the presence of a threat might be just the sort of thing that would react to bring the Japanese to some greater sense of responsibility. It was hard to say. On the other hand, it seemed to me that there was likely to be an interaction of military and political elements, a feedback negative or positive.

Osborne observed that the U.S. presence had contributed to the anti-military feeling in Japan and had identified military forces with occupational foreign forces. He had felt that perhaps the best thing for Japan and the United States would be if the Japanese were deprived of the American umbrella so that they might be forced to be aware of the realities of the threat themselves.

I observed that there were many ways in which it was apparent the Japanese suffered from some of the same sorts of irresponsibility as a rich man's son, say Corliss Lamont. They could afford irresponsibility since they were protected by Pappa. On the other hand, shock treatment wasn't always the right kind of thing in this circumstance. The problem with adolescents is to make them grow, and this means presenting them with some challenges, but not overwhelming ones. The Indians, for example, who were not allied with the United States, and who, in Nehru's words, felt that they would "lose their soul" if they were allied, hadn't developed any notable degree of realism as a result of their neutralism.

I asked what they thought the communist objectives in Japan were. Goodyear responded that he thought that Japan has one of the four major industrial complexes of the world, was an appetizing target, and they would like to "gear it to the bloc," or at least neutralize it if they couldn't mesh it in. I described to them Vera Micheles Dean's recent essay in the Liberal Papers to illustrate what I thought was a rather dangerous view on the defense of Asian countries. It was a view in which the Liberals tend to run in their progressive way, backwards, square into the arms of the old-style massive retaliationists. Vera Micheles Dean suggests that we no longer focus on military aid, discourage these countries from spending much money themselves on military forces, give up our bases, and instead defend these countries by the threat of using long-range U.S. missiles. In brief, massive retaliation. I stated this view simply because it is a highly crystallized form of the current confusion which I rather suspected one or another of those present shared. And, in fact, Jack Goodyear, who seemed on the whole much less informed and thoughtful than Osborne, said he did think there was something in the Vera Micheles Dean view. We discussed this a bit. We also spent some time on the discussion of the effects of Chiang Kai-shek's paradrops and what the possibilities of unrest in China might be in the event of the involvement of China and the United States in Indochina.

I spent my last night in Tokyo with Saeki, Kotani, and Wakaizumi at Daigo -- an extremely pleasant Zen restaurant. I was once more impressed by Saeki's energy, intelligence and enormous absorptiveness. He grinned and said that he intended sopping up everything he possibly could before I left; and was looking forward to my return. He and Wakaizumi thought that both the Defense College lecture and the International House one had been most useful. They wanted to see both published. I indicated that I prefer not to have them published at this time, though I thought it would be a good idea perhaps after I had a chance to revise them during the summer. I indicated that it was all right for them to put out a version of the test ban lecture for internal use in the National Defense College. I said they could use their notes. I explained that both of these were parts of the book that I had been doing for the Council on Foreign Relations.

Kotani outlined briefly the basic concepts of the work that he is doing on arms control and the role of the small powers. In this work he is dealing with (a) the "bystander" role of the smaller powers in quarrels of the big powers, (b) their role as Monday morning quarterbacks in same, and (c) their possibly active role in meeting the threats of nuclear or other weapons in their own area. One of the illustrations he is using is the possible effect of the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Israel in the Middle East.

Wakaizumi met me at my hotel at 7:00 the following morning and rode out to the airport with me on the bus. Interested to the last, he told me of some of his own work and he agreed to get together material on the discussions in Japan on arms control and defense policy, and especially Japanese illustrations of the anti-rationalist sentiments that I had been discussing in the International House lecture.


[1] Wakaizumi has informed me later that Riesman gave eight formal lectures, conducted some thirty-four "discussions" and thirty-two "meetings" at various universities, foreign relations dinners, on the radio, etc. A rather staggering total for less than two months in Japan from early October to the end of November. A sample from Riesman's description of internal forces affecting American policy is this extract: ". . . the Strategic Air Command . . . had a clear sense of mission, an apparently simple task, and a dedicated leadership, a leadership that could in fact be dedicated in part because the task seemed simple: namely, to attack the enemy at home, no matter what happened to your own country or to anything else. . . . what I have said will indicate to you why in domestic politics, the air Force had a certain hegemony also. It drew on the, how should I say, the American cowboy spirit, the feeling of "let's beat 'em." It had a cadre of scientists who were gifted and persuasive, and it had in the Rand Corporation the most creative and capable group of civilian advisers of the military services."


List of Wohlstetter documents