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Digital National Security Archive (DNSA): Japan and the United States: Diplomatic, Security, and Economic Relations, 1960–1976

About this Collection

This collection pulls together more than 2,000 primary source documents detailing the relationship between the United States and Japan during the formative years of their modern alliance.

The documents, most of which appear here for the first time, include records of historic U.S.-Japanese summit meetings; communications between heads of state; top-level internal deliberations, including Nixon and Kissinger memoranda of conversation; memos, cables and studies concerning U.S. diplomatic relations with Japan; records concerning the U.S.-Japan security relationship; documents related to trade and international monetary relations with Japan; and intelligence estimates and studies concerning Japan's foreign policy objectives, military capabilities, economic policies and internal situation.

Research Value of the Collection

Japan and The United States: Diplomatic, Security, and Economic Relations, 1960-1976, documents the critical early period of modern U.S.-Japan relations. This era began with the signing of the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, the keystone of the U.S.-Japan security alliance today. The Nixon Shocks of the early 1970s later fundamentally reshaped this era and the alliance, setting the U.S.-Japan partnership on a new course that still guides the relationship as the new century unfolds.

In the 1960s, Tokyo and Washington navigated a series of treacherous issues, including the future of Okinawa, the presence of U.S. forces in Japan, disagreements over the Vietnam War, relations with China, Japan's security role in Asia, and the emergence of frictions over trade and monetary policies. These disagreements only grew more intense. In the 1970s, the Nixon and Ford presidencies instituted new directions in U.S. foreign policy that marked a historic turning point in relations with Japan. These changes — détente with the Soviet Union, the opening to China, and the dismantling of the post-war Bretton Woods international monetary regime — set security and economic relations with Tokyo on a new and often far more difficult course.

The issues that framed this critical shift — the return of Okinawa to Japan, the future of the U.S. military presence in Japan, the need to coordinate engagement with Beijing, the push for a greater Japanese contribution to the security relationship, and the intertwined problems of trade deficits and yen-dollar diplomacy — continue to set the agenda for policy makers in Washington and Tokyo today.

This collection, gathered from so many disparate locations, will permit scholars to refer directly to primary documents of central importance in researching U.S.-Japan relations, including but not limited to policy reviews, intelligence estimates of various aspects of Japan's foreign, military and economic policies, as well as memoranda of conversation and diplomatic cables that provide an intimate view of key issues and events in the U.S.-Japan relationship. Thus, the documents will be of great relevance to scholars in a variety of fields, including:
  • U.S.-Japan relations
  • Japan studies
  • U.S.-Asia policy
  • Security studies
  • International relations
  • International economic policy
  • U.S. policy making
  • The Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon and Ford presidencies
  • The Kissinger years