Maruyama: I received your list of questions two or three days ago, and after looking through them, I can't help but think that I would like a bit more room to maneuver. To tell you the truth, I haven't even read the "K. B. Thesis." I am just at the point where I was thinking that I would like to look over the "K. B. Thesis" again, so it would be nice if you could give me some leeway with that issue.
Also, I came to the Japan Defense Agency (JDA) after Nakasone left the directorship, so the things that I know abut him are only second-hand knowledge. I looked through the other documents you sent me and most of them are things that I was familiar with but there are a few of the more detailed questions that I think it would be best if you asked to someone like the JDA director general or vice-director general. The second defense program was completely done by Mr. Kaibara. People like me wanted to know things about the second program as well, and what we learned, we learned directly from Kaibara. Wouldn't it be best to ask him about that yourselves?
The third defense program was the realm of Administrative Vice-Minister Miwa Yoshio.... he is currently running a law firm and is still extremely healthy. I believe his recollection of the period is still very clear so I think it would be very beneficial for you to speak with him.
When we got to the fourth program, Kubo was really in charge so if he were alive, he would be the best person for you to speak with, but Mr. Shimada Yutaka was the director general of the Defense Bureau during the third and fourth programs, and by the end of the fourth, he was the administrative vice-minister, so maybe it would be best to speak with him. Mr. Natsume has had the Defense Relief Dissemination Council chairmanship transferred to him, but I hear that he is also available sometimes. He was the administrative vice-minister during the tenures of ministers Shimada, Masuhara, and Yamanaka, and had previously been Minister of Transportation. He was also a JDA bureau director for a while so he is very knowledgeable about this topic.
I was only in the JDA for seven years total. To put it precisely, I had come from the Home Office and I worked in the National Police Agency from then on. When I first arrived at the JDA, after the Home Office was dissolved in July, Showa 41 (1966), I was the secretary general in the Home Bureau secretariat. From September of 42 (1967) to May of 43 (1968), I was on the secretariat council for defense deliberations. Therefore, in the Home Bureau, I served as the personal secretary for the minister. I was aware of many things, but when it came to specific knowledge of the atmosphere surrounding the events, and so on, I was not one of the experts in any particular field so I'm afraid that I don't know much.
When I finished that assignment, I returned to the National Police Agency and remained there until November of 48 (1973), when I returned to the JDA as secretary general from the Police Agency secretariat. From June, 49 (1974) I was a JDA bureau director for about two years, and from July, 51 (1976) I became the JDA administrative vice-minister. I served in that capacity for a little over two years and then I retired in November of 53 (1978).
Therefore, the latter period was five years and the first period was two, so I was in the JDA for about seven years. The amount of time that I actually had influence in the Agency was short, but the thing that I put most of my efforts into, the "Guidelines" still remain today. At just that time, the JDA Director was Mr. Sakata Michita. I served under him, we created the U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Committee, and we set up the Schlessinger-Sakata meetings when Schlessinger was the U.S. Secretary of Defense. I'll speak about this more later, but the situation at the time was characterized by top-down communication, where the top leaders advanced the conversation. At the time, these things were usually done by bottom-up communication, so this top-down case led to a fairly rapid conclusion of the issue.
Before Schlessinger arrived, Miki, who was Prime Minister at the time, had held summit meetings in the U.S. with President Ford. In the joint communiqué that was issued after the meetings, it was decided that an organization should be made through which U.S.-Japan cooperation could become closer. Additionally, the U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Committee was formed, and just before I retired, the "Guidelines" were completed. It was introduced before the U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Committee which approved it about one month after I left. I felt like it had been the main reason that I had been at the JDA.
Incidentally, after I left the JDA, on June 15, 1979, I received a medal from Defense Secretary Harold Brown for extremely notable contributions to U.S.-Japan cooperation. Mansfield was the U.S. ambassador to Japan at the time.
Tanaka: According to what you have just said, I think that the setting of the policy concerning the "Guidelines" was the most important, but let's start with a discussion of the "Outline" that preceded it.
Maruyama: You showed me the record of your interview with Mr. Nishihiro. There are two or three places where I think that his appraisal of the situation is mistaken.
I think that there has been one general period since the time of Nakasone in the JDA. I never worked for Nakasone, but I have heard stories from many who did that make me feel this way. Nishihiro was quite correct when he said that Nakasone was a politician who concentrated on performance. I definitely think that he was that way, as evidenced by his behavior during the fourth defense program. When the fourth defense program was about to begin and its continuation along the lines of previous programs had to be decided, I don't think it went far enough to satisfy the politician pride of Nakasone. This is something that cannot be completely known without asking him directly, but what we heard was the "Nakasone Plan" that he put forward.
Some phrases that related to the situation of a conventional, local war were included in the second program, but especially in the third program, these were emphasized. Within that, though, there was little specific instruction in the third program about how long Japan would have to wait before turning over control of the situation to U.S. forces. Kaibara used to say often that the second program allowed for a one month stockpile of ammunition in Japan. Kaibara had been an accounting officer.... or at least had been in the Ground Defense Forces so he concentrated on the question of ammunition. In effect, it was not just a written document, but an important outgrowth of the current situation. This overcame an important weakness of the Imperial Army in World War II, the Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces already had their feet on the ground they were to defend.
The one month stockpile of ammunition relates to the time that it would take for the U.S. forces to mobilize and take over the situation. I don't know what degree of crisis Nakasone was considering, but without a considerable strengthening, I doubt that he felt that Japan had the ability to independently repel an invasion. At the time, Japan was clearly watching the soviet Union, and when he thought about trying to repel a Soviet invasion, he must have realized that up to the third defense program, Japan's defenses were not strong enough.
At that point he used the phrase "independent defense (jishu boei)", when what had been used before was, "necessary defense capability (shoyo boeiryoku)." As Mr. Kubo held to his ideal of "necessary defense capability," the difference between the defense capability goal and the actually defense ability continually widened. In actuality. This made the building of defense plans lose its meaning. Mr. Kubo argued that holding to the ideal of "necessary defense capability" would continuously widen the difference between the amount of defense capability that was in reach at that point, and the amount necessary to confront the actual threat level. He stressed that it would be necessary to consider how much Japan could do rather than "how to deal with threat," when considering meaningful and feasible defense forces.
This was not looked upon favorably by those in the armed forces who gave it the nickname of "Mr. Kubo's beyond-threat-theory theory." Up to that point, the idea of threat repulsion was like the ABC's of defense preparation. There was a lot of criticism saying that if Japan lost its footing with regard to this fundamental component, the future of its defense capability would be in jeopardy. I assume that Nakasone thought about defense capability was as "necessary defense," in other words, the idea of threat repulsion.
Because of that, the "Nakasone Plan" was one of considerable expansion. The previous plans were not actually realized and now that Nakasone's plan tried to expand defense spending even much further, many in the Diet responded by striking back. I thought for a moment that Nakasone might be able to withstand the attack, but instead, the plan was quickly withdrawn. I know now that this is Nakasone's first method of operation.
I'm not sure of the exact circumstances, but according to what Nishihiro said, when the press found out about the large proposed increases in troop strength, there was a general attack on the plan in the mass media. At this time, though, there was a reshuffling of the cabinet and there were rumors that Nakasone would be given a different post. Nonetheless, Nakasone stayed where he was. He stayed in office even while being attacked on all sides and in a month or two became the Policy and Research Council Chairman.
The next minister was Mr. Masuhara. Over a one year period the position changed from Mr. Masuhara, to Mr. Nishimura, to Mr. Ezaki. Next came Masuhara again, and he said that the reputation of the Nakasone Plan was so bad that it would be done away with, and that he would like to make the fourth defense program run along the same lines as the third plan. With that, I think the Nakasone Plan was extinguished, never to appear again.
The fourth plan was faced with many difficulties, partly because of the process of its emergence. The fourth plan was a five-year plan that extended from Showa 47 (1972) through 51 (1976), but by the end of 46 (1971), it still had not passed the Diet. The "five-year plan outline" was passed by the National Defense Conference on February 7, of 47 (1972) and the next day, February 8, it was decided by the Cabinet Conference. The "principle clauses" were decided upon in both the National Defense and Cabinet Conferences later that year in October. The "interpretation of the current situation (josei handan)" was also decided upon at that time.
The "principle clauses (shuyo komoku)", such as those regarding the remodeling of the T-2 advanced practice aircraft to make the FS-T2, and later the F-1 fighter, were taken into the custody of the Speaker of the Lower House and they passed in October.
This happened because of the "problem of taking the defense estimate in advance (boei yosan no sakitori mondai)." At the time, Mr. Kaibara was the director general of the National Defense Conference (kokubo kaigi) secretariat. Before the fourth plan could be passed, the order of operations was reversed and it ended up going to the National Defense Conference last. Despite Kaibara's insistence that these provisions be cleared first by the National Defense Conference, because of the Conference's relations with the Diet, they ended up coming before the Conference only after they had already cleared the Diet. In effect, they were passed prematurely. Because of this, the Diet added attacked the parts of the bills that the National Defense Conference only approved in part, and many of them ended up being shut out of the bill. The result was that the bill was not approved in full until it had gone back and forth for about ten months.
I was given the role of preparing the funeral of the fourth plan. At the time of the first oil shock of Showa 48 (1973), the JDA director general was Mr. Yamanaka, and the JDA itself put forward a large clause which included the DDH (ship-to-ship missile-loaded destroyer.) With the DDH as the focus, it included a large increase in Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) warships, but the increase ended up being shut out of the fourth defense plan as it neared its completion.
The final funeral came during the National Defense Conference of December of 50 (1975). At that time, the Ground Self-Defense Forces (GSDF) wanted 31 tanks, 60 armored vehicles (73 style), and 18 helicopters, and the GSDF didn't even have one of the larger requests. The MSDF asked for 17 warships, and five of those were destroyers. Among those five, one was a DDH. It also wanted two submarines, ten other ships, and 17 tactical aircraft. The Air Self-Defense Forces (ASDF), in turn, desired a battery of NIKE missiles and 42 FS-T2 support fighters. These were all shut out of the legislation.
I dealt with the Legislative Bureau and the Finance Ministry regarding this problem, and it seems to me that what happened was that the original plans returned to their starting point and the principle clause was changed at that point. We, of course, were extremely dissatisfied with that outcome. The Legislative Bureau had previously handled these things just as it would have handled a road construction or the like. With road construction, things move forward only after the funding for the road has been secured, but in the case of the defense plans, first an estimate was made, and then we had to come up with a plan in which the defense equipment would match the estimate by the date specified. Considering the character of the defense plan, we complained that it would not be proper to return to the way things had been done in the first plans. We argued that going into the past like this had never been required before, but we had no power against the allied forces of the Legislative Bureau and the Finance Ministry, and they had their way.
At the time, you see, we were thinking about the fifth defense program that was to succeed the fourth. Therefore, even though there were things left over from the fourth plan, we felt that we needed to include those into the new plan that would address future needs. Unfortunately, though, this happened too late. At that point, we settled a desperate measure: the "Outline (taiko)."
The truth is, that the word "outline" had been used a bit in the third plan, the phrase "Defense Plan Outline (boei keikaku no taiko)" had been at the head of the section of the third plan that dealt with the jurisdictional matters concerning the National Defense Conference. It said that the "National Defense Conference should establish these things in succession (kokubo kaigi wa tsugitsugi no koto o sadameru)," and the words "Defense Plan Outline" were written at the top of that line. When it came to explaining exactly what this phrase meant, the issue had never been brought up in the National Defense Conference, and the explanation given by the Legislative Bureau was somewhat lacking.
So it was just perfect. The things that had not yet been decided, the "Defense Plan Outline," would be decided by the National Defense Conference. With this, instead of setting strict five-year plans, the five-year, three-year, or whatever period plans were called "outlines" and what to do in each particular situation was all mapped out. This also, however, didn't happen soon enough. So it was necessary to take the things that got left out of the fourth plan and put together a plan of some period of years, Nishihiro suggested that we do 10 year plans. I was asked before the Diet what length of time we were considering, and I told them that shorter times were better because of organizational constraints, but that we were not considering any specific times periods. However, most people felt that we had to achieve our goals at least within a period of ten years, but even that proved impossible.
Either way, when things changed during the fifth plan, the word "Outline" began to be used.
Tanaka: Did you think that it would be politically impossible to create a long-term fifth plan?
Maruyama: Yes, I thought it would be impossible and that there would not be enough time to do it. For example, the evaluation that was made on equipment that had been acquired and equipment that had been left out, and the subsequent conclusions and "situation outlook (josei no mitoshi)" that were drawn from that evaluation would take a considerable period of time. Even at the most fundamental level, the function of each piece of equipment, and how many of each was necessary had to be determined. At that level, there were different meanings of the word "outline" that were each deemed suitable. Things weren't all packed into one plan like they had been with the customary five-year plans.
Tanaka: You have just described the "Outline" as a decision tool of the National Defense Conference, who actually made the decision to utilize this policy?
Maruyama: Myself, Vice-Minister Kubo, and Minister Sakata. Other than that, of course, there was the chairman of the uniformed general staff, at the time it was Mr. Samejima of the MSDF. It was Mr. Kurisu of the GSDF, Nakamura of the MSDF, and Hirano of the ASDF.
Tanaka: How much influence did Prime Minister Miki have on these matters at about this time?
Maruyama: Miki wasn't as intrusive as many describe him, but he did place considerable importance on this kind of security guarantee. The National Defense Conference met frequently during his administration, but because Miki was very conscious of portraying his position of being pro-peace and harmony, he tended to avoid several matters relating to defense issues. There were instances of this but I wouldn't say that Miki was prejudiced against us.
The interesting thing is that Miki attended the first summit meetings in Rambouillet, and when he returned, I met him by chance at the official residence. When he saw me, he stopped me and said, "Maruyama, all we talked about at the summit meetings were security guarantee issues." You see, after the agenda had already been determined, the issue of the allocation of the SS-20 became hot and many countries involved in NATO became concerned about it, so when any international meetings took place, there would often be discussions about it. This was the first summit, so even the Foreign Ministry was unable to instruct Miki on what kinds of things would be discussed. When he attended these meetings and had to listen to this nonsensical discussion about defense issues from all sides, he was very surprised, and said to me that "all they did was talk about defense issues." I think that from this experience Miki realized that this subject was one that the leaders of Europe and America were interested in and also that it was a very important topic to understand. He continued to come across at home as a champion of peace, but I think that he began to think about these issues as well.
Tanaka: Mr. Nishihiro told us that most of the "Defense Plan Outline" was written by him quite a bit earlier when he worked with Nakasone. Is this true?
Maruyama: He did say that didn't he. He did compose it so I guess that is definitely possible. I don't see any problem with that statement.
I haven't read the "K.B. Thesis" but Nishihiro wrote the original of the "Outline" and passed it on to Kubo, who revised it and created the document that eventually passed in the Conference of Councilors. This conference was a meeting of everyone below the councilor level in the Agency. The staff directors all attended and it was like a ministry council in a regular ministry. It was a meeting where things would usually be decided upon. The minister and parliamentary vice-minister would not attend. So, basically, it was the main meeting for the general agency staff and was held frequently in the vice-minister's room.
Tanaka: How frequently did it meet?
Maruyama: About three times a week. When it was necessary, there would be a summons, and the Defense Facilities Administration director, the investigative department director (chohoncho), and the technical department director (gihon no hombucho) would also come. The only ones who were not called and did not attend these meetings were the Defense University and Defense Medical University directors, other than them, everyone attended.
Tanaka: So they were substantial meetings, weren't they.
Maruyama: Yes, that was where we would all argue about new bills and decide which would be presented.
Tanaka: In this process, did the various offices criticize the fundamental defense capability that was determined by Mr. Kubo, as you just mentioned?
Maruyama: Yes, as you might imagine, there was a lot of criticism. It seemed to smack of détente a little bit too much so the rhetoric favored making considerable, across the board changes. In essence, though, it really wasn't changed much. Anyway, the government systematically suppressed the things that it was most dissatisfied with. At the last National Defense Conference, the bill that was taken to the Prime Minister reduced the requested MSDF fleets from five to four, and the JDA accepted it at four, although it would have preferred five. In the end, Mr. Ohira kept it at four. However, at the time, the chairman of the general staff was Mr. Samejima of the MSDF, and he refused to agree with this solution. Since it was the decision of the Prime Minister, I figured that there was nothing more to be done about it, and it was settled at four new fleets.
The one percent ceiling on defense expenditures continually caused problems. Mr. Sakata and Mr. Ohira, in fact, got into a huge argument about it. At the end of it, Mr. Ohira said, "Sakata, even if you say things like that, the only group that will support the JDA is the Finance Ministry. The Finance Ministry sympathizes with it the most, so it will cut down any other opinion about it. I think we have to look at the big picture and realize that it will never be settled if we don't set a ceiling of one percent." In the end, Prime Minister Miki decided that the Finance Minister's position was appropriate.
The bill was designed to "correspond to the medo (goal, prospect) of a one percent limit." The phrase "not exceed this limit" was added later, so the word "medo" remained in the bill at the time. At that point, either Nishihiro or Watari said to me, "vice-minister, there is no such word in Japanese as this!" What flashed across my mind at that time was that this was a very unnatural way to say it but, at the same time, it was necessary to keep it this way. The result was a very strangely worded document. In November of Showa 51 (1976), the National Defense Conference that took place at about the same time as the decision regarding the "Defense Plan Outline," determined that, "the total amount required for the equipping of the defense forces each year will not, as a medo, exceed one percent of GDP." In effect, "will not exceed" was strong enough wording and the fact that more was added later is just history.
However, the problem was that at this time, the growth forecast that the Finance Ministry put out for the country was seven percent. It had to adjust it soon afterwards, though, so there was plenty of defense money even under the one percent ceiling. Because of that, we insisted that it was unnecessary to adjust it further down. However, the Finance Ministry disagreed saying that the situation was bad enough that they could not guarantee a number as high as seven percent growth. If that was the case, we wondered why we couldn't make the budget after the new forecast came out. We argued that if we did that, we could find a way to estimate the budget before it was actually decided upon. Anyway, the side that receives the money is always the weaker, so the system was decided upon by the Prime Minister.
Tanaka: Politically speaking, this was about the time of the "Miki overthrow (Miki oroshi)," right? What influence should we attribute to the one percent ceiling on the political strife and defense plan formation process of the time? One way to look at it is that the politicians were so absorbed in the political strife of the time, that they were not very interested in the one percent ceiling problems, is that accurate?
Maruyama: It was the time of the National Defense Conference, so Economic Planning Agency Director Fukuda and MITI Minister Komoto were there. During the roughest point of the storm to "overthrow Miki", the people concerned all got together, right. Coincidentally, no one put forward a proposal that touched on the "Miki Overthrow" issue. There have been many theories espoused about the one-percent ceiling issue, but looking at the results, it is hard to tell how the events fit together. Mr. Fukuda kept himself aloof from the whole affair.
Tanaka: There was considerable criticism from the uniformed members of the JDA concerning the whole issue of coming up with a fundamental defense capability in the "Defense Plan Outline." Were there some members of the government at the time that had come up through the military?
Maruyama: There were not many. At the time it was only Mr. Genda, and frankly, Genda by himself wielded absolutely no military influence. (Laughter) The lower house cabinet members would always read foreign language books directly, and really had nothing to do with these proceedings. Therefore, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Minowa was right in saying that "General Genda has no real military influence."
In fact, I actually sometimes used Genda to my advantage. Kurisu and I had been high school classmates and it was very hard on me when he was fired, but sympathy for him became very great and I was called before a general session of the party to explain things. At the time there was a person there from Wakayama named Mr. Tamaki who said that Kurisu's argument was sound and that it had been a failure for JDA Director General Kanemaru to dismiss him. They wondered what Mr. Genda was thinking and he said that he had received orders from me and that in the military, orders are kept absolutely. He said that questioning them was not an option. After saying that this attitude was necessary of all soldiers, he was silent. (Laughter)
Tanaka: Next, I'd like to ask some questions about some of the problems that came up during the "Guideline" formation process.
In Mr. Sakata's book, he said that he took the questions asked him of Diet member Ueda and used them for his own good, is that the way..... ?
Maruyama: Yes, that was what happened with that episode. In that way, it took place in a top-down manner.
The year before, Mr. Sakata became the director general of the JDA and that December, set up the Combined Annual Plan (CAP) for the JDA that covered how to deal with any problems, such as an invasion, that might occur during the coming year. It was more than just a plan to improve physical preparations, it covered questions about which armed divisions would handle each foreseeable emergency and how the DEFCON would be raised as the situation worsened. Basically, it dealt with the issue of what kind of defense Japan could muster at its current strength. Obviously, it was clear that the JDA and SDF forces could not handle every situation and would have to call upon U.S. forces for help in certain situations.
A long time ago, during the "Yoshida one man" period (the period when Yoshida basically controlled everything), this kind of plan would certainly have gone to his desk for approval. The U.S.-Japan forces commander at the time was in a similar situation, and he had this same kind of plan that the American side had asked him to endorse. This had happened for quite some time.
The first time that I had to deal with the CAP was when I was a bureau director in the JDA. The first problem I had with it was that there was no concrete procedure for contact between the JDA and the U.S. forces. Despite this lack of communication, it was obvious that Japan needed to rely on U.S. help in an emergency. So, we decided to pool our defense equipment into a few locations, for example, if it was in Hokkaido, we would take some things there from the mainland, and so on. It was a plan to expand up front the number of armed divisions that Japan maintained as well as come up with the different inventories of the ammunitions stockpiles. We established this plan, and our first order of business was to figure out how many divisions of armed and airborne troops the Soviet Union had from shore to shore. Japan had at one time claimed that it could provide adequate countermeasures for these by itself, but that did not last long. When the idea of self-sufficiency ended, the focus shifted to deciding exactly how many divisions could be relied upon to come to Japan's aid from America. We also looked at the amount of ammunition that we had stockpiled and tried to determine how long we could expect to fight in different situations before we would need to obtain more.
We informed the U.S. side of all these plans through the commander of the U.S. forces in Japan and we received his consent, so the next question was figuring out exactly what kind of support we could expect from America, where it would come from, and when it could arrive in an emergency. It was a question of deciding the procedures that would be necessary for Japan to receive this help. Of course, once decided, these details were sent to the U.S. side and it agreed to them. At first, I had some concerns over whether or not simply trusting the U.S. side to deliver would be adequate protection and I frankly raised that question when I met with Mr. Kubo. During my service as defense bureau director, Mr. Kubo was still the Defense Facilities Administration Agency (DFAA) director general. His vice-director general was Mr. Tashiro, who had come from the Finance Ministry.
Tanaka: You became Defense Bureau director in June of 49 (1974), so are you saying that this all happened around the winter of that year?
Maruyama: Yes, that is correct. Before that, I accompanied Mr. Yamanaka to America where he met with Mr. Schlessinger. At the time, the deputy assistant secretary of the Defense Department named Abromowitz, and he had severely criticized Japan for its poor handling of self-defense matters.
When Mr. Sakata first heard this he asked me if the current state of affairs was adequate. I had some large problems with the state of affairs, however, and I told him as much and we talked about the fact that something had to be done. In March of that year, Mr. Ueda's question was asked.
Ueda's question happened when a member of the NHK staff or someone like that went to America to listen to a CINCPAC briefing. At that time, Japan's sea borders were meticulously explained. In essence, the NATO method that was used to divide up the sea borders of England, France, Germany, and the other European countries was used to decide which area of the Pacific would be controlled by America, and which by Japan. After hearing this, Diet member Ueda's question suggests that administrative and exclusive control of sea territory was probably against the Japanese constitution.
Really, though, this was not the case and Ueda was caught in his own trap. He had said that above and beyond the signing of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, there should have been specific talks about this subject of who would control what sea territory. Therefore, the natural and logical result of the lack of such an agreement was numerous calls for one. At that point, I consulted with Sakata and we decided that just as Ueda had said, the U.S. and Japan should develop a specific policy that would answer these specific questions, and that is what it happened.
When one looks at what really happened though, it becomes clear that there was not ever a clear decision reached. It seems strange. Just at the point when it was agreed that these things needed to be decided, the JDA's posture was, "Of course we will eventually need to firm up the specifics of this issue in U.S.-Japan relations. Nonetheless, in reference to doing this quickly, at the present time that does not seem necessary, but whatever is decided will be fine."
This is a slightly different time period, but when I went to America with Mr. Yamanaka, there was a conference between Schlessinger and Yamanaka. Just like the other times that I had visited America, this was played down as a simple courtesy visit, but Yamanaka was very serious about it and asked many questions about different problems and situations that might arise. JDA director general's did not visit America more than once every few years, and some never went at all, so we took many pictures of him shaking hands and standing next to the American officials and used the pictures in the elections that were scheduled soon after we returned. Everyone is familiar with that process because everyone uses it. Nonetheless, he was very serious about asking his questions.
The U.S. Secretary of Defense had hardly ever come to Japan. Saying that it was also necessary for American officials to visit Japan, Yamanaka asked Schlessinger to please come to Japan for a visit. Sakata took the invitation over when he came in. This time he called Schlessinger and talked about how the U.S. would react to different situations. With that as a background, he said that in order to move forward with the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, it would be necessary to nail down the specifics of the arrangement between the two countries to control different sea areas. One way to do this, he said after discussing it with Schlessinger, was to have the U.S. and Japanese officials meet at least once a year and negotiate their different opinions about the situation. Also, Yoshida told commanders of the U.S. forces in Japan that Japan had some plans, and asked them to handle those plans.
What happened was that they decided to work on the parts of the arrangement that were not proceeding well. Beginning in March, I was called upon to explain things before the Diet and became extremely busy. Looking at these minutes from those meetings was very nostalgic for me.
After this, there were some vicious assaults from the opposition parties but the reason that we were able to muddle through was that, in effect, the Security Treaty had already been decided upon. All that was lacking was the means to implement the treaty. The plan that we put together to promote the treaty had the advantage of being difficult to oppose. Afterwards, Mr. Narazaki Yanosuke said, "Your plan of attack was very skillful. You used the Security Treaty as your foundation and it was very difficult to find a way to attack that. A new program would have been different, but you were smart to simply try to implement the treaty that had already been decided."
Prime Minister Miki also took great interest in this kind of thing. During August of that same year, Miki went to Washington and had a summit meeting with President Ford. I had often prepared briefs for Miki, but this time, I was told by him, "Let's not present anything new. Let's stick with the framework provided by the Security Cooperation Committee and not step foot outside of it." I said, "of course." It was decided that, "the way to ensure the smooth and effective use of the treaty was to have close cooperation from the start. Both countries would cooperate with each other inside the framework established by the Security Cooperation Committee." This statement was placed in the August 6 communiqué issued by Miki and Ford.
In reality, the Security Cooperation Committee at the time did not consist of the secretary of defense and the director general of the SDF. Rather, it fell short of that goal and the U.S. representatives were the U.S. Ambassador to Japan and the Commander of the Pacific Command and the Japanese representatives were the Foreign Minister and the director general of the JDA.
That was changed to the current system of more equal representatives of each government meeting together. It is now that way with meetings with all countries so it seems natural, but much effort was put into changing it at the time.
There were some other problems that we had with the Foreign Ministry after this happened because we had basically gotten to where we were at their expense. Schlessinger stopped by here on the way home from his meetings in Korea, and met with Sakata on August 29 and agreed, as I discussed earlier, to meet at least once a year. The two leaders also established an location where research on U.S.-Japan defense relations could be done, and decided to set up a sub-committee for this purpose.
The sub-committee was established the next year on July 8th at the 16th meeting of the Security Cooperation Committee and it was attached as a sub-unit of the committee.
Meanwhile, the early preparations by the Foreign Ministry were not going well. The minutes from Diet meetings show that Foreign Minister Miyazawa often answered questions in a disinterested way.
Tanaka: In that case, are you saying that the Foreign Minister really didn't know the details we've been discussing?
Maruyama: More than not knowing, the lower level information just never got to the Minister. I thought at the time that the Foreign Ministry was a scandalous place. This wasn't something that began in their meetings so it moved at a very dull pace. You see, the defense section director at the time was Natsume, so I ordered him to do the Foreign Ministry's nemawashi both above and below me. Anyway, it was too late to work on it.
Tanaka: So, are you saying that the Foreign Ministry's Security Treaty section felt that this should have been handled by them and.... ?
Maruyama: In reality, yes. We did it first, and originally I felt like it should be the JDA's responsibility. That was what bothered the Foreign Ministry. The Foreign Ministry's basic premise was that the JDA should be exclusively concerned with Japan's SDF and not say anything about Japan's foreign relations or its relationship with the United States. I had been in the Foreign Ministry a long while before so I understood this position, but at this point in time, the positions of the JDA and Foreign Ministry had become reversed. Thus, their respective movements were extremely uninteresting. It was a case of dragging them in later by the tail.
Meanwhile, I was responsible for answering questions before the Diet. The parts of the agreement that really caused problems regarding U.S.-Japan defense cooperation were both the 5th and 6th clauses. The 5th clause said that when Japan was attacked, U.S. and Japanese forces would join together to deal with the problem. This was clearly the exclusive area of the JDA, this would not have hurt the Foreign Ministry and, up to that point, they hadn't had any complaints. The 6th clause regarded the use of bases in Japan and the Far East and this one remains a problem today. This is handled not by the JDA, but by the Japanese government whose representative in these matters is the Foreign Ministry. Therefore, we could not go so far as to thrust our hands into those matters. However, because we were affected by the way that the Foreign Ministry handled these affairs, we slowly began to exert influence here as well.
I have not heard any specifics about this, but I gather that the issue of being able to say "yes" or "no" had the effect of poking at a beehive in the Foreign Ministry. The vice-minister at the time was Mr. Togo. He was my junior high upper classmate so I had dealt with him many times before and just before he took his new post of ambassador to the United States, he came to my office when I was defense bureau director and said, "consensus at the Foreign Ministry is far from solidified on this issue. I am very worried about it."
The America bureau director at the time was Yamazaki. He was also a government appointee, so he often spoke before the Diet. He knew a lot about the circumstances and he intended to support me as the American bureau director, but there were so many opinions about this in the Foreign Ministry that they could not be integrated. Thus, it was a very half-baked relationship. One day, Yamazaki came running into my office and said, "the vice-minister is angry with me!" Yamazaki and Matsunaga were one year younger than me in our high school so we knew each other well. When I asked him what was wrong he told me that the vice minister had said, "Maruyama is trying hard to improve the Foreign Ministry's actions in this area. If Maruyama does nothing and things fall apart, he will never revive them." So, Yamasaki came to help me. I told him that I had already asked for his help to unify the opinions of the Foreign Ministry, and he agreed that there were several problems of that sort.
I really don't want to get into this, but even inside the JDA there were similar problems, like the fact that Kubo was often in the dark about things. What I mean is that Kubo was the director of the Defense Facilities Administration Agency. He was my superior in the JDA and we often talked. It may have been better to bring what I talked about with Sakata to Kubo, but I was in such a hurry that I skipped over Kubo. It seems that he was annoyed by this, and stopped looking for problems after that. There were other related problems but that isn't a very interesting topic.
It seems that while I was away at a Diet session, Yamazaki came to see me because Togo was angry with him. Because I was gone, I guess he appealed to Kubo instead. I had just returned from a Diet session when I was called to the vice-minister's office and Kubo asked me, "is there any purpose to this thing that you're doing concerning U.S.-Japan defense cooperation?" I thought about what I should tell him and said, "It increases the feelings of trust within the framework of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. It will also help the policy of deterrence." He then replied, "Yes, I can see how it would help with deterrence." Later Yamazaki attended a meeting as Togo's representative and I said, "as I have told you over and over, I want you to unify the opinions in the Foreign Ministry." He replied," but this is a big task. It will be difficult to proceed effectively in the matter but I will try my best."
After that, Togo came to my office before he left for America and told me that the opinions in the Foreign Ministry would be in this direction and Minister Miyazawa confirmed that. However, he also made it clear that opposition still existed. Therefore, it would have been fine to get opinions from inside the Foreign Ministry while Mr. Togo was vice-minister, but that's not what happened. There was some anxiety though, and Togo told me to give him a call if there were any problems with the Foreign Ministry getting in the way of things. I was very grateful for his candor and help but in the end, I didn't ever need to ask for his help.
I really think that it would have been smart to try to raise the 6th clause to a new level at that point, but we did have to recognize the initiative of the Foreign Ministry. Thus, this was done in the spirit of cooperation between the JDA and the Foreign Ministry. Also, the "Guidelines," which was the compass needle of defense cooperation, set up a cooperative relationship regarding the 5th clause, but the 6th clause was entirely reserved for the Foreign Ministry. If we had immediately introduced it at that time.... Even that would have contradicted the authority to practice collective defense; it would have been very difficult to break through that, but I think we could have at least come up with something that went as far as the next ACSA revision.
I think that it's unfortunate that even though we made it so far, the JDA never followed up on our achievements. Later on, I was told by an American that this was the only time that the Japanese side had ever made any positive progress toward a security guarantee. After this, everything we did was in response to the U.S. posture. The Security Sub-Committee (SSC) was a vice-ministerial level meeting and during the tenure of Mr. Shimada, he went to Washington to open the first one, but they didn't convene very often.
The Security Consultative Committee (SCC) was the highest level venue for the discussion of Japan's cooperation in the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, and the first U.S. participants were the Ambassador and the CINCPAC commander, but in December of Heisei 2 (1990), the U.S. sent the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense and the participants became more reflective of each other in rank.
Underneath this committee was the SSC that I just mentioned which was opened on the next level down but was not used very often. What always bothered me at the time was that we had no direct channel to the State Department. The only way to contact State was through the local avenues of the Embassy and the U.S. forces headquarters in Japan. The people at these locations, of course, had contact with those above them and were instructed on many specific matters, but I think that their sense of the situation was somewhat different than that at the Pentagon. My wish was that we could open a direct channel of communication with the Pentagon.
Whenever an American government group in charge of Japan or Asia came to Japan during this period, they always stopped at the JDA, but there still was not a good channel of communication between us. It seems like it would have been logical to open up those lines of communication like they are today, but at the time it was managed with the attitude that we would look into it in the future. However, that was not soon enough for me and I pushed for the opening of direct communications. There was talk that things might work better if the there were more talks at the ministerial level and much more frequent meetings involving lower level personnel on both sides. That winter I happened to take a trip to America and things got moving in the right direction as a result of a joke. During snow storms, Washington, DC shuts down and I suggested that it would be best to have a meeting in Hawaii in the wintertime. We met in Showa 53 (1978) on January 16 and had free discussions where we talked about these issues.
According to this information, these were held every year after that first meeting, but an interesting development took place. During the SSC meeting the U.S. side presented some requests of the Japanese side and as the Japanese side began to answer them, we changed our minds. This should have been a place for free discussion, not confrontation.
One experience surrounding these meetings that convinced me that America was a remarkable thing happened when Ambassador Mansfield decided that the meetings looked interesting and that he would like to attend. At that point Mansfield's close political friend Senator Humphrey passed away.
Tanaka: You mean the Humphrey that had been the Democrat presidential candidate, right.
Maruyama: He was a very important person. He passed away and Mansfield went to his funeral, but even though he was absent for the first day of the discussions, he arrived on the 17th and participated in the talks.
The biggest topic at that meeting was the discussion of whether the force that moved the United States government was really the Congress or the President. They debated this in front of us. Mansfield said, "you say that the Congress is most important, but it's not. I have been a Congressman and I know that it is really the President that moves America." Through this process of free discussion, we could gain an understanding of the other side's thought processes and I thought that this was very useful. After that first meeting, though, it changed as I said to a place where the U.S. would make demands and Japan would have to say "no."
Other than this committee, there was also the Security Defense Committee (SDC) which consulted about specific defense issues, and, before that, the Security Consultative Group (SCG) had met frequently. The Foreign Ministry deliberations director, the North America bureau director, the JDA defense bureau director, the Defense Facilities Administration Agency director, and the chairman of the general staff had been meeting since before this time to consult about military matters, but when the Foreign Ministry America bureau director answered questions abut this in front of the Diet, he said that these were merely lower level communications meetings and that they were not consultations on military matters. If that was the case, then there were absolutely no forums for the official discussion of military issues. Therefore, it was decided that such a forum should be created and the result was the SDC.
Because of its purpose, I felt that the SDC would now take on many discussion topics, but a month after I left, the "Guidelines" were approved by mutual consent. From that point on, the SDC was only rarely used. It wasn't the case of not meeting because there was nothing to talk about, when we did hold meetings there were plenty of discussion topics. When we began to only meet when there were specific items to discuss, however, the process began to be neglected all together. This forum that we had worked hard to construct was thus killed by the meetings that were stipulated in the "Guidelines." I am dissatisfied with the fact that as the people involved changed, they refused to use this forum in the way that it was intended.
Tanaka: You have explained in great detail about this U.S.-Japan cooperation, and I think I understand. This next question relates to the understanding of the Outline that you have described. In 1974 and 1975, about the time you became defense bureau director, what was your estimate of the level of threat that Japan perceived from the Soviet Union? In other words, how closely linked were the perception of the Soviet threat and the desire to cooperate more closely with the United States in defense policy?
Maruyama: Kubo would have felt the same way, the Soviet threat was surely the largest perceived threat in the Far East. Military intelligence, the G-2 Annex, and various other sources concentrated on the Soviet presence in the Far East. Most important information that we received from America also related to the Soviet threat. Looking at these telegram documents, it seems correct to say that in the close U.S.-Japan security relationship at this time, the largest topic of discussion was the Soviet threat.
Tanaka: But, looking at the replies given before the Diet, this period could be classified as one of détente where Japan.....
Maruyama: No, I don't think so. Rather, I think that the talk of détente was a result of Kubo's overconsciousness of the situation. You see, the reason that the "K.B. Thesis" was unpopular at the time was that it focused too much on détente. Therefore, in the "Outline" section on the "Interpretation of the Current Situation," the issue of détente was de-emphasized.
Tanaka: So, are you saying that other than Kubo, officials in the JDA mostly felt that emphasizing détente with the Soviet Union was the wrong thing to do?
Maruyama: Many felt that way. The nuances that came out of the Councilor's meeting seemed strong to many. An extreme way to look at it is that there were many who held the opinion that it was a stretch to look at the current situation as one of détente.
Tanaka: But, for example, it doesn't seem to me that the decision to create a close U.S.-Japan security organization was based on the fact that the Soviet Union's influence was increasing.
Maruyama: No, that wasn't necessarily the only reason.
Tanaka: It seems that the fact that there was no mechanism to execute the system in place for cooperation was a more important reason for.....
Maruyama: U.S.-Japan defense cooperation can be looked at in that way. U.S.-Japan defense cooperation and the defense plan outline can be seen as two separate things; I personally place more weight on the former.
The problem is that a large part of defense preparedness relates to rhetoric. In reality, each branch of the SDF was to accumulate their requests for equipment. A decision had to be made about which things were the most important to accumulate; which should be kept and which should be thrown away. With that in mind, when the details are analyzed, the big differences seem to disappear. For example, during times of peace, there is no question that the model for defense power was found in the "Defense Plan Outline." The reason that this "Defense Plan Outline" was announced to the public was that this was a strategy of Mr. Sakata.
What I mean is, that during that time of peace, if one looks at détente as consenting to the demands of the opposition party, it seems that Japan would have been content to keep things the way they were, and at least maintain the status quo. When Mr. Kubo was the defense bureau director, that is what he tried to do. He made it this way, and then when the director general of the JDA tried to explain it..... wait a minute. What the other side understood well was that if it listened to that explanation, it would recognize the existence of defense forces in Japan. With that, the fundamental position of the Socialist party would crumble, so it never happened.
With that, it was never realized, but things did happen according to Sakata's intentions. This is what made it impossible for the opposition parties to oppose the "Defense Plan Outline."
Tanaka: Thank you very much for you time.
Murata: You were an administrative vice-minister from 1976 to 1978, and after that, the defense cooperation "Guidelines".....
Maruyama: The "Guidelines were prepared so that they would be completed while I was still in office. I had worked on them ever since I began at the JDA, and completing them was like a personal gift to me. I resigned on November 1, and that was recognized at the committee conference at the end of the month, so today I have discussed the events between the birth of the SDC and the time that the "Guidelines" came into existence.
Murata: I am very sorry that I was delayed and arrived only after you had spoken for a long time. Would you mind if we discussed a few more simple matters?
Maruyama: That would be fine. Please go ahead.
Murata: First, I would like to you to answer some questions about personnel. Up to the time that you became administrative vice-minister of the JDA, most holders of that position had been bureaucrats that began in the Home Ministry, but the administrative vice-minister that followed you, Mr. Watari, transferred from the Finance Ministry, and from then on, that trend seems to have continued. Was this change in recruitment conspicuous while you were at the JDA?
Maruyama: Actually, the National Police Agency (NPA)was a factor in this change. I began at the Home Ministry in Showa 21 (1946), and it was abolished in 22 (1947). So there were new recruits that entered the Home Ministry in both the first and last part of 22 (1947) but that was the end of new recruits. After that, there was no Home Ministry. It was dismantled and the Ministry of Health and Welfare was quickly spun off of it. Also, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Construction Ministry, and others scattered from the remains of the Home Ministry. Many were scattered to the NPA What I mean by that, is that the NPA had become organized nationally and its majority was swept along with this scattering. I didn't want to be left out so I went along with the NPA.
The Home Ministry was dismantled because General Headquarters (GHQ) regarded many Home Ministry members as war criminals. The Home Ministry had acted as the center of many war activities, and there was a large number of former special police that were seen as war criminals. I think that for these and other reasons, the Americans looked at the Home Ministry as an institution that had to be purged in order to end Japan's tendency toward war. With this began the taboo of university students not wanting to join country's regional police force after they graduated. In effect, college graduates who held degrees that would have made them eligible for employment in management ceased to apply. In the years 23 (1948) and 24 (1949), the NPA did its own recruiting, but in the meantime, they were under severe instruction by GHQ. The country gained independence again in 27 (1952), and the first management personnel were hired by the NPA in 28 (1953) . After 28 (1953), they began to recruit management-track employees every year and I think they now pick many new recruits each year. Because of these events, though, there were no degree-holding recruits hired at the Home Ministry from the year 23 (1948) to 28 (1953). Therefore, they had to stop the practice that you mentioned; in effect, there was no one that they could send to the JDA. Out of that necessity, the Finance Ministry began to send vice-ministers instead.
Therefore, the only other vice-minister that was brought in from the NPA was Mr. Yorita. He had been in the Diet and was brought to the JDA in Showa 34 (1959), after the recruitment started again in 28 (1953).
Murata: I understand much better now that you explained that. It seems to us that the defense estimate budget increases at this time stopped increasing by two times each year as they had in the past and things became much tighter. It would seem that vice-ministers from the Finance Ministry would be the logical choice to curtail those budget increases. Do you think that there was any of this kind of careful planning at the time?
Maruyama: I don't think so. That seems to be a theory that only looks at the results, after the fact. Tashiro, who preceded Kubo, who had preceded me, was the first to come from the Finance Ministry. After that, Watari, Yoshino, and the others were all from there. During that period, Natsume and Nishihiro were employed at the JDA itself.
Murata: Mr. Natsume was in procurement, correct?
Maruyama: He had originally been in the Defense Facilities Administration Agency and was transferred to the Procurement Agency.
Murata: Before the "Outline" was completed, the general staff chairmen of the land, air, and sea defense forces had come up with their own middle and long-term estimates in an unorganized way, without integration. Through the "Outline", however, a business estimate became necessary which required the approval of the agency director and was called the "Mid-term Business Estimate (chuki gyomu mitsumori)." There are some scholars who say that one result of the "Outline" was that the branches of the SDF became much more unified. What do you think about that opinion?
Maruyama: I think that the JDA moved that direction from about the time of the third defense plan, but when exactly did the joint estimates begin to be created? What you say may be true.
Murata: So, each branch made their own estimate and the bureaucratic officials came up with the names, "Integrated Mid-term Defense Estimate (togo chuki boei mitsumori)," and "Integrated Long-term Defense Estimate (togo choki boei mitsumori)"?
Maruyama: I'm having trouble remembering exactly how things happened, was that the first time these names were used? You may be correct, but let's try to confirm it and see.
Murata: For example, was the procedure to have military officers create the "Mid-term Defense Estimate" and the "Long-term Defense Estimate" and then to have the government officials check the contents of those plans?
Maruyama: Yes, that is correct.
Murata: So, during the various policy-making steps, the government officials would never provide any input and would always wait until the final step to do so?
Maruyama: That is the way things worked. During the preparation step, the branches would come up with an original estimate. However, for the mid-term estimate that would become the foundation for the others, one cannot say that it was completely original. The general staff headquarters had a "Integration Director (tocho)" who would, of course, provide the foundation for the mid-term plans. Therefore, individuals may have come up with informal long-term estimates on their own, but these were not authorized.
According to this memo, "Each branch's situation estimates were drawn up using information about the "order of battle" regarding each target country. Using this order of battle as a foundation, the estimate group in the investigative department of each branch prepared each year's annual situation estimate. The situation estimate prepared by the J2 (Central Intelligence) was merely the product of stapling together the different estimates brought to it by the SDF branches. It was not a closely scrutinized document.
Murata: Did that remain true even after the "Outline" came out?
Maruyama: No, I'm speaking of long ago.
Murata: Regarding the Kubo plan that became the foundation for the "Outline", in Showa 47 (1972), when Kubo was the defense bureau director, he was surrounded by people like Mr. Kusuda (who had been the personal secretary to Prime Minister Sato), and Professor Kosaka of Kyoto University. These people helped him think through his defense view or defense policy in a sort of round table discussion format. There is a memo that Kusuda has left from those meetings. Looking at that memo, what Kubo talks about over and over is not that he is making a defense theory, but that it is very important to gain the consensus of the Japanese public on the matter. For example, he says that even if a plan is only 70 percent effective from a purely defense standpoint, public support of the plan can make it 95 percent effective. On the other hand, a plan that is 95 percent effective from a logical standpoint, without public support would only be 60 or 70 percent effective. For that reason, he says that broad public consensus is the thing that he thought about most when deciding on a defense plan.
I think that this was also the reason behind the route taken by Director Sakata when he came up with the "Defense Problem Study Group (boei mondai o kangaeru kai)", appointed various intellectuals, and tried to find the best way to build consensus among the Japanese public. When you were in office, did you also pay a great deal of attention to this social instruction or need to build a public consensus?
Maruyama: After Sakata arrived, consensus building and the "Defense Problem Study Group" became the areas that required our closest attention. At the time, the one percent ceiling was one of the theories that came out of the study group. As I mentioned to Mr. Tanaka, later on, Director Sakata and Finance Minister Ohira had a big argument about the problem of revenue sources and the one percent ceiling goal. The prime minister backed Ohira's argument so the idea of not exceeding one percent of GNP for defense stuck with us.
Murata: Because the "Guidelines " were officially recognized at the end of November, this will be a subject that happened after you retired, but recently, I spoke with Mr. James Auer who was the director of the Japan department in the Pentagon for many years. He was originally in the U.S. Navy and said that although the "Guidelines" were very important, for example, the MSDF and the U.S. Navy had had very close relations for a long time and in that sense, the "Guidelines" were clearly not the turning point in the closeness of the relationship. Rather, he said that the "Guidelines" were very important for helping the GSDF, etc. move toward that same type of close relationship. He gave the impression that unless one looks at each branch of the SDF separately, it is not clear what changed after the 1978 "Guidelines" were announced. Do you feel the same way?
Maruyama: Yes, that is true. The MSDF did have a closer relationship from the start. In my opinion, there were good and bad aspects to that relationship. Recently, the older members of the MSDF, for Admiral Burke, who was.....
Murata: He has passed away, hasn't he?
Maruyama: He was like a parent to the postwar Japanese MSDF. When he passed away, Mr. Ishida, who was an admiral long ago, went to his funeral service. The theory of why Admiral Burke put so much effort into building up the MSDF is a strange one. The Imperial Navy paid a great price for resisting the U.S. advances until the very end of the Pacific War. Therefore, there was much sentiment that it would be wrong to extinguish that great tradition. People say that Admiral Burke felt a personal responsibility to do what he could to bring up a new naval force in Japan.
I had been called up in the student mobilization to serve in the Imperial Navy so while I was administrative vice-minister, I too felt a feeling of closeness to the MSDF, but I also felt that it was not necessarily a good thing to separate all of the SDF branches. When the GSDF and ASDF people were together without the MSDF, they spoke about the MSDF in a disparaging manner, calling them the U.S. Navy, Japanese Fleet. Without doubt, the MSDF had that sort of stigma attached to it, and I felt that a change needed to be made. Although I think that this attitude has become much more rare in today's SDF, Jim Auer had close ties to the MSDF so it doesn't surprise me that he would say such things. It seems that although the MSDF could boast that it had the closest relations with the United States, the GSDF and ASDF probably didn't want that kind of relationship themselves.
The most obvious effect of the implementation of the "Guidelines" was, of course, joint military training. Up to that point, the Diet had to approve each planned joint training exercise, but after this military agreement was reached, joint measures and training became public and the Diet ceased to have any problems with them. That change alone was extremely important, I think. The MSDF had done well. After RIMPAC was created, I think that joint exercises that included the ASDF and GSDF increased rapidly.
Murata: You just mentioned RIMPAC, I think that the first year that the MSDF formally participated was 1980.
Maruyama: Yes, I retired in 1978 so I think it must have been 1980.
Murata: When Japan began to participate in 1980, there was criticism that because it was a multinational exercise, Japanese forces would be placed under the command of the group commanders. While you were in office, was there any thought that Japan's MSDF might participate in training exercises with countries other than the United States? In other words, was the issue studied but not acted upon because of the political situation of the time?
Maruyama: I don't think that there would have been any problem that was just related to the political situation.
Murata: There would have been no legal problem?
Maruyama: There would definitely have been no legal problems, but I just let the scheduling of RIMPAC go by without acting on it. There wasn't enough time to complete the necessary nemawashi for it, I scolded the MSDF leadership because of that. In effect, I think the problems came up as a result of having not enough nemawashi time.
Murata: Was this when you were the administrative vice-minister?
Maruyama: Yes. You see, it was delayed in 1980. That made it one year late, and I retired in November of 1978 so it was supposed to have taken place by then.
Murata: Wasn't this a case of what had been delayed being realized because Prime Minister Ohira and the JDA director coincidentally had a strong desire to do so?
Maruyama: Yes, that is right. If they had pressed hard for it, it could have been worked out by 1978, but the problems came up too late and there wasn't enough time to address them so it was decided to join in on the exercises the next time for sure and preparations were made to that end.
Murata: I appreciate you taking questions from such different time periods. In July of Showa 41 (1966), you worked as the secretary general of the JDA director's secretariat. After that, you left the JDA for a short period. You returned in 1973. During that time, were you completely uninvolved with the Okinawa problems?
Maruyama: I didn't participate in Okinawa issues, but during the time of the Defense Deliberation Council, Ogasawara was returned. It was viewed as a small model of the return of Okinawa and I was asked to be in charge of its coordination. I helped with the coordination of the Maritime, Ground, and Air SDF and traveled continuously between Ogasawara, Minamitorishima, and Iojima.
Murata: However, there weren't any political problems associated with the return of Ogasawara, were there?
Murata: Wasn't it almost not returned at all?
Maruyama: Yes, but there were many small "buds" of problems that were a "mini-type" of what was to come. For example, the problems were less than on Okinawa, but Chichijima's Futamiko had been completely bulldozed like Okinawa, and we didn't know what to use as the basis for land measurement. Each landowner had a set of land measurements and they were used at first to re-draw land boundaries, but we had to completely abolish that system. However, the original property boundary records existed in Tokyo. Using them, we were able to restore the boundaries to their original state. In Okinawa, those records had burned and we couldn't use them at all. Therefore, Okinawa's property disputes remain to this day.
Murata: So, you never served under JDA Director Nakasone, is that right?
Maruyama: No, I never served under him. Like I mentioned before, the positive things that Nakasone did were often ignored because of some of his negative actions. He disrupted things and made a big mess, and left it for later management to clean up. All that was left after things returned to normal were the negative effects. It seems that Nakasone was very unsatisfied that the Fourth Defense Plan was going to be merely an extension of the first, second, and third plans. He put forth his independent "Nakasone Plan" instead which was attacked from all sides and ended up failing. This was because Nakasone abandoned his position. The resulting after effects made up the fourth plan.
Murata: Different people talk about the "Nakasone Plan" and the "Kubo Plan" in very different ways. Some, however, contend that they really weren't very different at all because both adopted a broad view of substantive and quantitative limits. When put into the unique framework of the events of this time period, there weren't really any suppressed results from these plans, were there? Do you agree with those who say that the "Nakasone Plan" and the "Kubo Plan" were not very different? Or, were they fundamentally different?
Maruyama: I believe that they were fundamentally different. I know little about the "Nakasone Plan"; the plan itself was an illusion so I really don't know much about it. I am, however, more interested in the problem surrounding the plan's contents than with the plan as a whole. You see, its contents were all things that the different branches of the SDF would have accumulated anyway, through one of the defense plans or otherwise. Above that system that was already in place, this plan attempted to place a big net that would help with the rhetoric that was being expounded at the time. Nonetheless, it would be a mistake to judge the whole thing by the color of the net that was thrown over it. I think it would be important to analyze exactly what items in the plan were things that needed to be obtained, so I am very interested in this aspect of it. Whether in the form of the "Kubo Plan" or something else, I don't think there was anything here that could be termed a credible theory.
This is a rude way of putting it, but even though the scholars and professors that do analysis on this subject may find it appealing, I don't think that it has much bearing on the problems of today.
Murata: This is not necessarily my opinion, but another researcher has explained this in much the same way as you just did. He contends that the "Kubo Plan", the "Defense Plan Outline" and the term "limited small scale (gentei sho kibo)" and other concepts like them could not, as you said, regulate the actual amount of equipment that each branch accumulated. Thus, if one assumes that there was a measure of civilian control, the only effective way for it to operate would have been in a very loose framework. In his opinion, there was a system for deciding what equipment would be accumulated in each branch of the SDF, but there was no way to regulate or control that system of equipment.
Maruyama: That is a very strict viewpoint, one that looks into things very closely. I agree with it. You can't just look at the rhetoric coming from the JDA, you have to also research what actually happened with the contents of the plans. The big difference between the U.S. military and the Japanese SDF is that most U.S. military specialists are civilians and they use methods agreed upon by most of them to control the equipping of the forces. Japan is still unable to operate in that way.
Murata: This question relates to the personnel matters we discussed first. While you were in the JDA, there were people under you, like Mr. Nishihiro, who had come up through the JDA. Was Nishihiro a section director while you were the administrative vice-minister?
Maruyama: Yes, he was the Defense section director.
Murata: He came into the JDA in about the second year that people were hired after the war. Therefore, during the time that there were still not many people who had come up through the JDA itself, JDA leadership was mostly made up of people who came from the Home Ministry or the Finance Ministry, right? Because of that, is it true that at the time when the "Outline" came out and during the time that you were in office, the argument inside the JDA over specific weapons and equipment practices between those with military experience and those who came from elsewhere had not yet begun?
Maruyama: Yes, I think it hadn't yet gotten as bad as it would. It's very different now, I think. At first, there were a lot of interesting things left over from the very early period of the postwar defense period. What exactly did it mean to have "civilian control?" This was a new style brought in by the Americans, so no one really understood it. Were we to understand that civilian control consisted of men in business suits controlling us? (Laughter) There were really no specific guidelines about what we were to do under this system. It seems stupid now, but at the time, people wondered if civilian control meant that they could put their feet up on the desk and turn up their noses when an important general came into the room. I think we have inherited some of that attitude today.
In effect, we were banished to a place without much action. After the war, defense issues became unpopular and I was there because I had been dragged into it by Mr. Kaibara. In the meantime, the other ministries all became much more important and after quietly serving in the JDA for several years, I was able to return to my old haunts. There were a lot of rumors about whether I had a round trip ticket, or merely one way. At that point, some of them tried to help analyze the essence of the equipment that the JDA branches were accumulating, but I think ascertaining whether this accumulation was at the level it should be for the future was extremely difficult.
Murata: It is often said that things have recently taken a turn for the better, is that correct? Before, it seems that there were many differing opinions that had to be kept in check within the JDA, between the uniformed personnel and other groups, and that the uniformed groups were very frustrated. The criticism was that civilian control reduced the control of the center of the agency. Regarding what you have just said, do you mean that this eagerness to lead the JDA existed even before the staff assembled those who would be in positions of central control?
Maruyama: I think so.
Murata: While you were in office, do you think that the checks placed on the uniformed groups from your central position was severe?
Maruyama: I said over and over that there was no originality in the central bureaucracy of the JDA. Like today, the original bills were sent up by the individual branches. The central bureaucrats prepared opposing opinions and provided a check on those bills. In effect, the only time that the central bureaucrats saw anything was when they requested it in response to a bill that had been sent up. I don't think there were many at this time who had their own philosophy about the way things should be handled.
Therefore, it is a strange way to put it, but it was a situation where data was only assembled when there was a problem, and that data was requested from the branches themselves. They would bring up the data that they had assembled. We were reduced to little more than transmitters of communication and it was said that we were just the speaking voice for others. The problem was, by doing this for a long time, a situation was fostered in which we lost the ability to think originally for ourselves.
Murata: Finally, have you been able to go over the interview with Mr. Nishihiro? Just two weeks after that discussion, Mr. Nishihiro passed away.
Maruyama: Yes, that is what I hear. It seems that the interview wasn't much like Nishihiro; there seem to be several unnatural things about it.
Murata: I would really appreciate it if you could point out some of these places that seem a bit strange to you. There are probably some places that he would like to check himself , but which remain unaltered.
Maruyama: Sometime I would also..... It seems that there is a place where he was mixed up about Minister Sonoda. "We came up with a defense plan estimate and created a stage. I don't think that this had anything to do with it. Was it Foreign Minister Sonoda at the time? I think this was during the Prime Minister Suzuki administration." What is this all about, anyway?
Also, Nishihiro said that "détente was often discussed during the first part of the 1970s, but Japan basically kept the same distance between itself and China and the USSR." I don't really understand what he was getting at with statements like this.
About the Wakaizumi affair, Nishihiro was very close to Wakaizumi so he would probably know about it. He said, "I knew that Wakaizumi often worked with Prime Minster Sato, and I also heard that they had worked on nuclear issues, but he never touched upon the specifics of the work in our conversations. When I asked how nuclear issues were progressing, he said that as the report on it had said, one point, as you know, is the disappearance of the SSN," I don't know which SSN he is referring to. As you know, SSNs are nuclear powered submarines. I don't know why they would disappear.
Also, there is the statement, "missiles loaded onto submarines are steadily increasing." I think the "MSB" that he refers to is the MACE-B missile on Okinawa. America intentionally pulled back its MACE-B missiles due to its improved relations with China. The MACE-B was not a tactical weapon, it was a jet-powered, early-model strategic nuclear weapon. Thus, before Nixon and Kissinger went to China, they pulled out the MACE-B missiles as a gesture of good will. It sent a clear signal to China.
There was also the part about the Hercules transport planes. Essentially, there were nuclear and non-nuclear Hercules and Japan wanted the assurance that the U.S. would remove any nuclear ones from Japan.
Regarding the example Nishihiro gives about the issue between Reischauer and Komori over the introduction of nuclear weapons, it was our understanding that this encompassed all of Japan, including the air bases, and that the nuclear weapons should be removed from them. "Transition" of nuclear weapons meant that the ships would come with the nuclear weapons aboard and without unloading them at all, leave for their final destination. There was a lot of discussion concerning how aircraft carriers fit into this mix, but the problem was really the fear that they would bring the weapons back to Japan and leave them somewhere.
This attitude was not realistic and I believe that what Reischauer said was true.
Murata: Mr. Nishihiro said basically the same thing in this interview.
Maruyama: Yes he did. For example, he said that we couldn't do anything about Soviet nuclear weapons.
Except, the interesting thing about this is that the time that I became defense bureau director was during the period when Prime Minister Miki released the three non-nuclear principles, "Don't have, don't make, don't accept into Japan." He said that the U.S. was just carrying them around (mochimawari), an action that was not against the three principles.
Murata: So he described the "transit" of nuclear weapons as carrying them around?
Maruyama: Just like a politician, he came up with an interesting phrase.
Murata: But, in answering questions from the opposition parties and in the Diet questioning sessions, didn't the government always say that the transit of nuclear weapons fell under the third principle, "don't accept into Japan"? In other words, didn't you always say that because the U.S. was a friendly country, it would respect Japan's three non-nuclear principles and not bring nuclear weapon-loaded ships into Japan without prior consultation?
Maruyama: Yes, that is true. However, that was not explained as specifically as you imply. The third principle did not allow the introduction of nuclear weapons into Japan so it was assumed that if the United States wanted to send a nuclear weapon-loaded ship into a Japanese port, it would use the channels of prior consultation. It was assumed that if the United States said nothing, then it was not bringing nuclear weapons into Japan.
Murata: Yes, but like you said, realistically, they probably never removed all of those weapons from Japan.
Maruyama: That seems to be common sense. However, they never said one way or another. This seems to be an issue of what the United States should or should not have told Japan.
Nishihiro stated that when the Carter administration came to office, it seemed that it tried hard to withdraw U.S. troops from Korea, but soon after Carter won the election there was the problem of the shinguroobu proposal. It proposed that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should go to Korea to dissuade the Korean government from resigning and look at what changes should be made to U.S. troop presence there. He then stopped by Japan on the way back and JDA Director Mihara, let him know that Japan was very much against this proposal. To supplement this message, I explained things to Mr. Brown. After my explanation, Brown made his typical distressed face. I understood perfectly. All he said was that it was, "a public pledge made by the President." Later on, this matter was interrupted and never amounted to much.
The SSC's problem was that it was completely uncoordinated. I mentioned this to Professor Tanaka. In effect, I initiated the idea of holding the SSC in Hawaii, but people's schedules didn't mesh well and it became very difficult to meet.
We had to deal with the problem that even in the "Guidelines," the fifth and sixth clauses were split up. The sixth clause was a matter for the Foreign Ministry, but they didn't want to deal with it. Therefore, we tried to urge them to take control of it, but it never happened. As you know, as with the Security Treaty, nothing seemed to happen until one side or the other got into a pinch. Up to this point there had been no problems, but with the Korean problem, something would have had to give, and it seems obvious that we would run into the collective security problem. We would need to clear these obstacles in order to make any progress.
The SDC was not created only to work on the "Guidelines." At the start of the SDC meetings, we were interested in providing a venue for the discussion of U.S. Japan military affairs, but after the "Guidelines" were completed, the SDC fell into relative disuse. It was like it went out of business just after it opened up. I was very dissatisfied about that. The SSC followed the same course. What had been set up as an arena for free-talking suddenly became a channel for the United States to make requests of Japan. This, in turn, required the JDA to say "No" over and over to the United States. I think it was a very poor use of this forum.
With this, Nishihiro said that it would be good to come up with some guidelines regarding operations, follow-up support, and technique cooperation; I think he was absolutely correct. This was a very good idea.
Today, I talked extensively about the details concerning why there was strange Japanese phrasing in the statement that Japan's defense budget should "Strive not to exceed 1% of GNP (1% o koenai koto o medo to shite)." To the original phrase, "around one percent (1% teido o medo to shi)" was added "not to exceed (o koenai)" and someone pointed out that there was something wrong with that Japanese phrase. I said that we should leave it the way it was and that is what happened. I was upset about a number of things that had happened and that is why I said what I said.
Murata: Thank you very much.
You have mentioned Mr. Kaibara, Mr. Miwa, and Mr. Shimada, but are there any other uniformed personnel that served at the same time as you that would be very familiar with these subjects.... ?
Maruyama: In the MSDF, Oga Ryohei, as the MSDF director at the time, would know about the sea lanes issues. Oga was also the defense section director and helped me prepare for my questioning periods before the Diet. With his help I was able to endure them. One other person, Yada Tsuguo, was the chairman of the general staff later on.
In the ASDF, Takeda Goro would be best. He was also chairman of the general staff at about this time.
In the GSDF, for subjects related to long ago, Nakamura Ryuhei would be best. He also served as chairman.
Murata: At another time, would it be possible to have you introduce us to these men?
Maruyama: Sure. I would be glad to help. It seems that it would be most effective to hear from those who were at the head of each branch of the SDF during this period.
Murata: I'm sorry that I caused problems by arriving late today. I truly appreciate the extensive interview that you have given us. Thank you very much.