6 Minter to Makin

Letter CANBERRA, 3 January 1946

I have the honor to refer to my note of October 8,1945 [1] and, acting under instructions from my Government, to extend to the Government of Australia on behalf of the Governments of the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom, and China an invitation to participate in the Far Eastern Commission [2] on the basis of the following terms of reference:

1. Establishment of the Commission.

A Far Eastern Commission is hereby established composed of the representatives of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom, China, France, The Netherlands, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and The Philippine Commonwealth. [3] 2. Functions A. The functions of the Far Eastern Commission shall be:

(1) To formulate the policies, principles and standards in conformity with which the fulfilment by Japan of its obligations under the terms of surrender may be accomplished.

(2) To review on the request of any member any directive issued to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers or any action taken by the Supreme Commander involving policy decisions within the jurisdiction of the Commission.

(3) To consider such other matters as may be assigned to it by agreement among the participating governments, reached in accordance with the voting procedure provided for in Article 5 (2) hereunder.

B. The Commission shall not make recommendations with regard to the conduct of military operations, nor with regard to territorial adjustments.

C. The Commission in its activities will proceed from the fact that there has been formed an Allied Council for Japan and will respect existing control machinery in Japan, including the chain of command from the United States Government to the Supreme Commander and the Supreme Commander's command of occupation forces.

3. Functions of the United States Government.

(1) The United States Government shall prepare directives in accordance with policy decisions of the Commission and shall transmit them to the Supreme Commander through the appropriate United States Government agency. The Supreme Commander shall be charged with the implementation of the directives which express the policy decisions of the Commission.

(2) If the Commission decides that any directive or action reviewed in accordance with Article 2.A (2) should be modified its decisions shall be regarded as a policy decision.

(3) The United States Government may issue interim directives to the Supreme Commander pending action by the Commission whenever urgent matters arise not covered by policies already formulated by the Commission provided that any directive dealing with fundamental changes in the Japanese constitutional structure or in the regime of control or dealing with a change in the Japanese government as a whole will be issued only following consultation and following the attainment of agreement in the Far Eastern Commission.

(4) All directives issued shall be filed with the Commission.

4. Other methods of consultation.

The establishment of the Commission shall not preclude the use of other methods of consultation on Far Eastern issues by the participating governments.

5. Composition.

(1) The Far Eastern Commission shall consist of one representative of each of the states being party to this agreement. The membership of the Commission may be increased by agreement among the participating powers as conditions warrant by the addition of representatives of other United Nations in the Far East or having territories therein. The Commission shall provide for full and adequate consultations as occasion may require with representatives of the United Nations not members of the Commission in regard to matters before the Commission which are of particular concern to such nations.

(2) The Commission may take action by less than unanimous vote provided that action shall have the concurrence of at least a majority of all the representatives including representatives of the four following powers: United States, United Kingdom, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and China.

6. Location and organization.

(1) The Far Eastern Commission shall have its headquarters in Washington. It may meet at other places as occasion requires including Tokyo if and when it deems it desirable to do so. It may make such arrangements through the Chairman as may be practicable for consultation with the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.

(2) Each representative on the Commission may be accompanied by an appropriate staff comprising both civilian and military representation.

(3) The Commission shall organize its Secretariat, appoint such committees as may be deemed advisable and otherwise perfect its organization and procedure.

7. Termination.

The Far Eastern Commission shall cease to function when a decision to that effect is taken by the concurrence of at least a majority of all representatives including the representatives of the four following powers United States, United Kingdom, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and China. Prior to the termination of its functions the Commission shall transfer to any interim or permanent security organization of which the participating governments are members, those functions which may appropriately be transferred.


1 Volume VIII, Document 298.

2 On 9 January, the U.S. Legation informed the External Affairs Dept that in the view of the U.S. Govt the Far Eastern Commission succeeded the Far Eastern Advisory Commission on 27 December 1945, the date of the Moscow Communique and that no formal procedures were necessary to implement the succession.

3 The United States seems to have been inadvertently omitted from this copy.

[AA:A1838/2, 483/1/7]