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Historical documents

341 Saltzman to Makin

Note (extract) WASHINGTON, 8 July 1948


The Government of the United States notes that the proposed
reduction of the Australian contingent would leave a token British
Commonwealth Force which would be inadequate for the occupation of
the British Commonwealth Occupation Force Area. This area
comprises 20,000 square miles and contains a Japanese population
of over 10,000,000 persons. The proposed reduction would
necessitate redeployment of United States forces now in Japan.

It is appreciated that the MacArthur-Northcott Agreement provides
that the British Commonwealth Occupation Force may be withdrawn,
wholly or in part, upon agreement between the United States and
Australian Governments or upon six months' notice by either party.

However, in view of the fact that the United States is unable to
provide additional troops to the Supreme Commander for the Allied
Powers in Japan to take over the occupation of the British
Commonwealth Occupation Area, it is requested that the Australian
Government give favorable consideration to maintaining in Japan a
British Commonwealth Force equivalent to one United States
Infantry Division (less one Regimental Combat Team) plus necessary
service troops, at least until such time as it may be determined
that a substantial reduction may be made in the occupation forces.

[AA:A1838/283, 481/1, iii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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