Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan

Japan / United States Security Treaty


Treaty signature page
Type Military Alliance
Signed 19 January 1960
Location Washington, D.C.
Effective 19 May 1960
Parties  Japan
 United States
Citations 11 U.S.T. 1632; T.I.A.S. No. 4509
Language English, Japanese
Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America at Wikisource

The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan (日本国とアメリカ合衆国との間の相互協力及び安全保障条約 Nippon-koku to Amerika-gasshūkoku to no Aida no Sōgo Kyōryoku oyobi Anzen Hoshō Jōyaku), also known in Japan as Anpo jōyaku (安保条約) or just Anpo (安保) for short,[1] was first signed in 1952 at the San Francisco Presidio following the signing of the Treaty of San Francisco (commonly known as the Peace Treaty of San Francisco) at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House. Then, the Security Treaty was later amended further on January 1960 between the US and Japan in Washington.

When the Treaty was first signed, it contained provisions that permitted the United States to act for the sake of maintaining peace in East Asia and even exert its power on Japanese domestic quarrels. The latter part mentioned has been deleted in the revised version of the treaty. In the amended treaty, articles that delineate mutual defense obligations, the US obligations to pre-inform Japan in times of the US army mobilization were included to alleviate unequal status suggested in the treaty signed in 1952.[2] The treaty established that any attack against Japan or the United States perpetrated within Japanese territorial administration would be dangerous to the respective countries' own peace and safety. It requires both countries to act to meet the common danger. To support that requirement, it provided for the continued presence of U.S. military bases in Japan.

The treaty also included general provisions on the further development of international cooperation and on improved future economic cooperation.[3]

The treaty has lasted longer than any other alliance between two great powers since the 1648 Peace of Westphalia.[4] The treaty had a minimum term of 10 years. However, it provided that it would remain in force permanently unless one party gives one year's notice that it wishes to terminate it.


Major US military bases in Japan
US military bases in Okinawa Prefecture

The earlier Security Treaty of 1951 provided the initial basis for the Japan's security relations with the United States. It was signed after Japan gained full sovereignty at the end of the allied occupation.

Bilateral talks on revising the 1951 security pact began in 1959, and the new Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security was signed in Washington on January 19, 1960. When the pact was submitted to the Diet for ratification on February 5, it became the subject of bitter debate over the Japan-United States relationship and the occasion for violence in an all-out effort by the leftist opposition to prevent its passage. It was finally approved by the House of Representatives on May 20. Japan Socialist Party deputies boycotted the lower house session and tried to prevent the Liberal Democratic Party deputies from entering the chamber; they were forcibly removed by the police. Massive demonstrations and rioting by students and trade unions followed. These outbursts prevented a scheduled visit to Japan by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and precipitated the resignation of Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, but not before the treaty was passed by default on June 19, when the House of Councillors failed to vote on the issue within the required thirty days after lower house approval.The bad sentiment against the treaty or the US as a whole was based on the argument that the article 6 of the treaty threatens the sovereign power of Japan. The article 6, as further explained below, contains a Status of Forces Agreement, and how the US may use military forces and facilities deployed in Japan for combat bases for other than for the defense of Japan.

Beginning with Article 1, the treaty established that each country would seek to resolve any international disputes peacefully. The treaty also gave prominence to the United Nations in dealing with aggression. Article 5, which dealt with armed attacks by a third party, required that the United Nations Security Council be involved and that any measures taken by the U.S. and Japan be ceased "when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security." Further, Article 10 allowed for the abrogation of the treaty if both parties agreed that the United Nations has made satisfactory arrangements to provide for the stability of peace and security in the Japan area, i.e. if and when the United Nations System of Collective Security is in effect.

Under the treaty, both parties assumed an obligation to maintain and develop their capacities to resist armed attack in common and to assist each other in case of armed attack on territories under Japanese administration. It was understood, however, that Japan could not come to the defense of the United States because it was constitutionally forbidden to send armed forces overseas (Article 9). In particular, the constitution forbids the maintenance of "land, sea, and air forces." It also expresses the Japanese people's renunciation of "the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes". The scope of the new treaty did not extend to the Ryukyu Islands, but an appended minute made clear that in case of an armed attack on the islands, both governments would consult and take appropriate action. Unlike the 1951 security pact, the new treaty provided for a ten-year term, after which it could be revoked upon one year's notice by either party.

Article 6 of the treaty contains a Status of Forces Agreement on the stationing of United States forces in Japan, with specifics on the provision of facilities and areas for their use and on the administration of Japanese citizens employed in the facilities.

The Agreed Minutes to the treaty specified that the Japanese government would be consulted prior to major changes in United States force deployment in Japan or to the use of Japanese bases for combat operations other than in defense of Japan itself. Also covered are the limits of the two countries' jurisdictions over crimes committed in Japan by United States military personnel.

The Mutual Security Assistance Pact of 1954 initially involved a military aid program that provided for Japan's acquisition of funds, materiel, and services for the nation's essential defense. Although Japan no longer received any aid from the United States by the 1960s, the agreement continued to serve as the basis for purchase and licensing agreements ensuring interoperability of the two nations' weapons and for the release of classified data to Japan, including both international intelligence reports and classified technical information.

There were more widescale protests in Japan when the pact was renewed in 1970, but they died down thereafter.

Further, there was a shift in Japanese domestic politics. Nobusuke Kishi had to resign his post as the prime minister, succumbing to widespread demonstrations against the treaty and further the US. Kishi was succeeded by Hayato Ikeda, known for his election pledge of income doubling plan [5] by the end of a decade, preferably emphasized on economy than on domestic politics divisions.


1960 protests against the United States-Japan Security Treaty

A central issue in the debate over the continued US military presence is the concentration of troops on the small Japanese prefecture of Okinawa. US military bases cover about one-fifth of Okinawa that serve around 75 percent of the US Forces in Japan (Packard, 2010)(Sumida, 2009), and although this has left many Okinawans feeling that while the security agreement may be beneficial to the United States and Japan as a whole, it is burdensome on the residents of the small subtropical island.

Another contentious issue to many Okinawans is the noise and environmental pollution created by the US Forces in Japan. Excessive noise lawsuits in 2009 filed by Okinawa’s residents against Kadena Air Base and MCAS Futenma resulted in awards of $59 million and $1.3 million to residents, respectively (Sumida, 2009). Also, environmental pollution is a major issue; the tourist attraction of Okinawa's coral reef have suffered from continuous runoff from live fire exercises from the military bases (JCP, 2000). The most powerful opposition in Okinawa, however, stemmed from criminal acts committed by US service members and their dependents, with the latest example being the 1995 kidnapping and molestation of a 12-year-old Okinawan girl by two Marines and a Navy corpsmen (Packard, 2010). In early 2008, the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, apologized after a series of crimes involving American troops in Japan, including the rape of a girl of 14 by a marine on Okinawa. The U.S. military also imposed a temporary 24-hour curfew on military personnel and their families to ease the anger of local residents.[6] Some cited statistics that the crime rate of military personnel is consistently less than that of the general Okinawan population.[7]

In a 2006 agreement between the Bush administration and the Japanese government, MCAS Futenma was to be relocated to the northern Okinawa city of Nago, and 8,000 Marines and their dependents were to be relocated to Guam (Packard, 2010). This agreement, however, received very little support from Okinawans. After spending several months deliberating over where the base would move to, Hatoyama conceded to allow the original agreement to go forward and immediately resigned after stating he failed to fulfill one of his promises.

Support for agreement

Despite strong Okinawan opposition to the US military presence on the island, there is also strong support for the agreement. Due to fear of a new imperialistic Japan, Japanese lawmakers forbade itself from maintaining more than a self-defense-sized armed forces when drafting the post-War Constitution. As a result, Japan has never spent more than one percent of its GDP on military expenditures (Englehardt, 2010). In return for allowing the US military presence in Japan, the United States agrees to help defend Japan against any foreign adversaries, such as North Korea. In addition to military support, the military presence in Okinawa contributes to the economy of Japan’s poorest prefecture. As of 2004, 8,813 locals worked on bases, in addition to numerous others who work in shops and bars where the main customer base is US service members. Altogether, the US presence accounts for about 5 percent of the Okinawan economy (Fukumura, 2007).

According to a 2007 Okinawa Times poll, 73.4% of Japanese citizens appreciated the mutual security treaty with the U.S. and the presence of the USFJ.[8]


In 2012, the United States clarified in a statement over the dispute over the Senkaku Islands that the US-Japan Security Treaty does cover the islands, and obliges the US to defend them.[9]

In April 2014, US President Barack Obama declared unequivocally that the Senkaku islands would be covered by the bilateral Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security in the event of an armed attack on them. This was the first time a sitting president had made America’s commitment explicit and was intended to reassure the government of Japan.

See also

Wikisource has original text related to this article:


  1. Ryan Holmberg, "Know Your Enemy: ANPO," Art in America, Jan 2011.
  2. Gordon, Andrew (2003). A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa times to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press.
  4. Packard, George R. "The United States-Japan Security Treaty at 50". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
  5. G.C, Allen (1958). Japan’s Economic Recovery. London: Oxford University Press.
  6. Justin McCurry (February 28, 2008). "Condoleezza Rice apologizes for US troops behavior on Okinawa as crimes shake alliance with Japan". The Guardian. UK.
  7. MICHAEL HASSETT (February 26, 2008). "U.S. military crime: SOFA so good?The stats offer some surprises in wake of the latest Okinawa rape claim". The Japan Times.
  8. 自衛隊・防衛問題に関する世論調査, The Cabinet Office of Japan
  9. "Panetta tells China that Senkakus under Japan-U.S. Security Treaty". THE ASAHI SHIMBUN. September 21, 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013.


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