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Historical documents

170 Embassy in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 1435 WASHINGTON, 17 October 1946, 8.52 p.m.


F.E.C. 257.

1. F.E.C. 17th October adopted provisions for review of the new
Japanese Constitution. The Second paragraph as in F.E.C. 031/39.

First paragraph as follows:

'The new constitution which will, in due season, after
promulgation, become the legal successor of the present
constitution with such changes as have been made or may be made as
a result of consideration and policy decision of the Far Eastern
Commission, shall be subject to further review by the Diet and the
Far Eastern Commission in terms of the following paragraph.'
2. The paper was adopted with the U.S. reservation that the
Commission will ascertain the views of the Supreme Commander
before deciding on the time and manner of its publication.

However, the directive to MacArthur will be issued immediately.

3. Makin said that adoption of the paragraph and the question of
publication should be dealt with separately (see your 1409 of 3rd
October). [1] He said that the paper should be published as soon
as possible, and, at any rate, not later than the date of
promulgation next month. He said that the Japanese were reported
to be planning big ceremonies in connection with the promulgation
and that the Allies could be charged with lack of frankness and
with creating misunderstanding in Japan if news of the
Commission's decision were withheld. Since it became clear that
the U.S. would not yield, Makin suggested immediate consultation
with S.C.A.P. Berendsen strongly supported Makin.

4. S.C.A.P.'s views on publication are being sought immediately by
F.E.C., and he is being informed of contents of Makin's statement.

5. After the vote was taken General McCoy said in the meeting that
he wished Makin to convey to Dr. Evatt personally his
congratulations on the adoption of this paper which the American
Government regarded as a notable contribution on his part to
Allied policy in Japan.

1 In this cablegram, repeated to Wellington, Evatt stated that the
U.S. desire to suppress publication of the proposed F.E.C.

decision on review of the Constitution was 'unsatisfactory' and
that Makin should endeavour to secure in the first place F.E.C.

decision in favour of review.

[AA:A1067, ER46/13/22]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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