Noboru Hoshuyama Oral History Interview

Conducted by Koji Murata, Makoto Iokibe


Akihiko Tanaka (University of Tokyo)

April 19, 1996

Murata: First of all, I would like to ask you some questions about the 1970s, or from then on. The General Principles of Defense plan was outlined in 1976. At that time, were you the assistant to the director of the defense section of the Defense Agency (JDA)?

Hoshuyama: Yes, that is correct.

Murata: From what year of Showa did you work in that position?

Hoshuyama: Before that, I returned to the JDA in November of Showa 42. It would be right to say that I started as a staff member of the JDA from April of 43.

Murata: So you went to the defense section as a staff member at that time?

Hoshuyama: I think I actually began working in the defense section in June of 43.

Murata: So you became involved in the defense bureau and defense department at about the time of the Kubo plan and its successor, the General Principles of Defense Plan?

Hoshuyama: That is correct. I wasn't in the direct service of the director general, though, but for a long time I was about one level removed from that.

Murata: We have heard Washington's side of the story of these events, but in order to clarify the record, we would like you to tell us briefly about those things that related to your service during this time.

Hoshuyama: I returned to the JDA in November of 42, at the end of the third defense plan. It was very soon after it was established and I was put to work on its arrangement and adjustment. I worked in the government planning office but since I was scheduled to move to the new defense section in June of 43, I actually helped in its creation. The concept was to try to fuse together planning and policy.

In April of 43 I became a staff member of the JDA as the assistant to the director; I had responsibility for the office and the operations research center for the Ground Self Defense Forces. Operations Research was the central strategy-making unit for the ground, sea, and air defense forces. Previously, it had been called the PPBS and I have read accounts that suggest that in MacNamara's time it functioned as a tool for basic operations.

During the first part of my time in the JDA, I worked on a planning department study about the third defense plan. I looked at what kind of thinking processes led up to the third plan and considered what to do about the fourth plan. During that time, I gained much instruction from Defense Director General Kubo, Mr. Kaneyama, Mr. Nishihiro, and those in Mr. Ikeda's class who worked closely with me.

Mr. Nakasone opened things up with the large issue of an autonomous defense plan and, using the opportunity afforded by the troubles of Shizukuishi, it went forward quickly. Following that, the course followed by Chief Secretary Ezaki, although it would be an exaggeration to say he hardly said anything, changed very little in the fourth defense plan compared to the third.

Following that course, the JDA strongly felt the gap between its views and world-wide public opinion. I think the negative public opinion was directed mainly at Nakasone's plan, but I think it is correct to take it as a repulsion directed toward the supporters of that plan.

This was the time that the Kubo paper came out. Mr. Kubo had just moved from the transportation bureau of the Police Agency to the defense bureau and I think he warmed to the new position, writing "KB" on the papers that he produced.

I wasn't directly involved in the debates on this subject, but there was considerable criticism inside the agency and people thought that he was going to ignore it and move ahead anyway. The Nakasone plan was looked at as excessively "soft" by some but I think it is fair to say that those in uniform wanted to accept it. That is what I think about it.

Iokibe: Do you think this was because the Nakasone plan welcomed those in uniform?

Hoshuyama: Yes, that is my understanding.

Iokibe: So the Nakasone plan was supported by those in uniform, but that support was overshadowed by the Shizukuishi trouble and the gap with public opinion. Was that opinion outside of those in uniform?

Hoshuyama: Mr. Kubo came from the Police Agency and was not uniformed. He was a product of the Home Office and a representative of the civil service. From that position he could better squash Nakasone's plans and, when they failed, write papers using the things that he learned from those plans. It was not obvious, but he wasn't well received into the group that advocated the Nakasone autonomous defense plan.

Murata: Was there a also group of Nakasone supporters inside the bureau?

Hoshuyama: It was difficult because this had to do with the relationship between the chief of the JDA and other officials but I think it is correct to say that his support was strong. Because JDA Secretary General Nakasone's head secretary, Mr. Ikeda, did a good job of fulfilling his function as a pipeline between the Nakasone and the rest of the agency, one could say that there was support for Nakasone's plan in the bureau and in the agency in general.

Murata: So, Mr. Nishihiro put some distance between himself and the group that supported the Nakasone plan?

Hoshuyama: No, I don't think that was quite it because he, himself, was actually part of that group. I don't know if being part of the group was disagreeable to him, but we all participated in the plan. I think that it is fair to say that he was very close to the plan.

Murata: As you saw in the interview we did with Nishihiro, Professor Tanaka asked if Nishihiro thought that Nakasone's appearances in the JDA were "epoch-making." Nishihiro responded that he did not think so. He said that Nakasone's performances were strong, but really did not do all that much. From that negative answer, I wondered if there had been some distance between the two.

Hoshuyama: There may well have been personal distance between them but I think that he was involved in all aspects of the debate process.

Although there were other main causes, the influence of this group on Japan's defense policy making process was to crush it. Nakasone and his group ended up having the opposite effect from what they intended and I think the its results were negative overall.

I'm talking about making a huge leap from, say, 5 to 10 here. Normal officials cannot make that leap but Nakasone did. Normally, the first jump would be from 5 to 7 or even to 6.5. This plan called for an immediate jump to 10. However, because of the flaws in the plan and other problems, public opinion went against the plan and it never even made it to 6.

Tanaka: What would you say was the core of the Nakasone plan? It seems that the previous three defense plans were designed to strengthen Japan's ability to defend against a local conflict while Nakasone's plan focused more on air and sea power. Is that a fair analysis?

Hoshuyama: That is correct about all of the plans except the first. Like you just said, each was concerned with building the capability to repel a small local invasion, but in reality, there were budget limitations, etc., and up until the third operation, the focus was on a very inexpensive defense plan. During this time, a large group accumulated behind those who actually participated in the operation and this group was dissatisfied with its progress and wondered why the JDA did not publicly show its goals to fully equip its defense forces over the long term. To borrow the words of Mr. Kubo, Japan only had a defense capability of "threat opposition."

I don't know exactly how much, but there was the fundamental fact that at least 60 percent of what those in uniform depicted that they would need for threat opposition never happened in the third operation. Nakasone's attitude was that we should publicly state our goals in the area of equipping the defense forces in order for them to become an opposition to any threat to Japan. I think that this was the essence of his autonomous defense plan.

I think Nishihiro told you this as well, but during this time, it was obvious that five years was too short to accomplish this task and consensus was reached in the JDA to set a goal to achieve an autonomous defense force in ten years, and this was the precursor to the fourth defense plan. An analysis of that plan shows that most of the emphasis was put into sea and air defense. These were expensive things to emphasize, but Japan's economic strength was picking up in the Showa 30s and Nakasone must have thought about this background of the growth of the Japanese defense industry when he decided to try to make Japan's defense autonomous.

Murata: In Nishihiro's interview, he spoke of a press conference that Nakasone gave. Supposedly, Nakasone announced the original bill that had come up from the branches of the military, a bill in which the numbers given were indiscriminately raised, and it resulted in a huge clamor. Do you know if that is what really what happened?

Hoshuyama: I wasn't actually there so I can't say anything about that relationship. However, first, they worked out how much defense capability the land, sea, and air forces would have. Adjusting those numbers was the responsibility of the defense bureau and I can say that nothing would have gotten to the Secretary General of the JDA without going through that adjustment in the defense bureau.

Thus, although the results might have been as you say, if it had not been checked by both the defense director general and the defense director before going to the Secretary General, they would have seriously neglected their responsibility. Also, the numbers did reflect goals for ten years in the future so it seems logical to me that they would be somewhat high.

Finally, not long after Nakasone arrived, he asked us to work out defense capability estimates for both a nuclear weapon-equipped force and a conventional force. I remember being told "it is a request from the Secretary General, so lets see how it works out." We, of course, were in no position to say anything to Nakasone himself but we responded that we could not comply with that request.

We had very strong leadership above us and we would give anything that we could not do to the staff officers below us. Then, we would evaluate the finished products that came back up to us and there may have a few times where the findings were reported in a press conference, but it was not done by the conventional means.

Iokibe: So, for example, in order to oppose the Soviet threat, even though Japan had no nuclear capability, it would have a standard of conventional military force that was a deterrent comparable to nuclear weapons?

Hoshuyama: The question given us was how much conventional deterrent would be necessary should Japan decide to have such a force.

Iokibe: What presuppositions were associated with the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty?

Hoshuyama: The treaty itself was a presupposition. I was told that we were doing this, "to determine how much merit should be placed on nuclear weapons." It was very hard, however, to come up with a practical analysis. We tried to figure it out but eventually had to come back with the answer that we just didn't know.

Murata: In our interview with him, Mr. Nishihiro said that Nakasone led an examination of the possibility that U.S. bases would mostly revert back to Japan eventually and that Japan would create an emergency response force instead. He told us in detail how it was an extremely difficult task. Did you have a similar experience?

Hoshuyama: The Democratic Socialist Party had long talked about only having a U.S. emergency response force... it was a point of much debate between us. Whether Nakasone's requests came down through Nishihiro or not, I have no idea, but it is true that this topic was often discussed.

Murata: Was the conclusion that it would be difficult to only have an emergency response force?

Hoshuyama: More than difficult (and this may have been a subject of the next U.S.-Japan summit meeting), it was a matter of Japan not yet being mature enough for it. It may have been possible to have a productive study about what to do in a 10 year study, but the only possible answer to questions about whether an emergency response force could be included in the forth defense plan was, "it is impossible." It was impossible because the most that could be done was to hold up some of the many factors involved and try to achieve an understanding on them. However, the emergency response force was another way to express the principle of an autonomous Japanese defense capability so it did enjoy a strong core of support.

Iokibe: Was that support among uniformed groups?

Hoshuyama: Yes, because it was still the period when the older military controlled the central sections of the staff officer's office.

Iokibe: So, it gave independence to....?

Hoshuyama: That is the way I understand it.

Iokibe: Was there much support among the uniformed groups about points of view similar to the KB paper?

Hoshuyama: I doubt that there was any at all. Because there was none, there was a continuing period of time when it was basically ignored.

Murata: So, during that time, Director General Kubo kept repeating arguments like his KB paper and was continually preparing the way for the future?

Hoshuyama: Mr. Kubo was not one to excel in preparing for future events.(nemawashi) I think it may be more accurate to say that despite being ignored over and over, he persisted anyway.

Tanaka: Can you think of any other examples of personal theses inside the JDA? Were there other cases of policy making being influenced by the mechanism of people circulating their personal theses?

Hoshuyama: I don't think there were any before then, but I used one when I was preparing the General Principles of Defense. For example, if it was circulated as an opinion of the defense section, it became very difficult to argue against it. However, I also used it when policy makers from the three defense force branches, the general staff headquarters, and the Home Office would meet for a discussion and when they needed something to discuss. I told them that it was a personal opinion that could be discussed and torn apart in a frank discussion. This is conjecture on my part, but it seems that this was looked at as material that could be used to build a policy that could fill the void left by the collapse of the Nakasone plan.

The Kubo paper came to the foreground because it was material that could be used to reflect the process of breaking down the fourth defense plan and he thought that the paper would help him gain broader support. There was a period of time when Kubo's plan had little support in the JDA, but then Mr. Sakata appeared, Kubo became the vice secretary, and he was again pulled up.

Murata: Because he had been the defense director general , it was not very strange that he should become the vice secretary next, but the thesis that he wrote had been ignored for a long time in the JDA. Was it routine that he became the vice secretary? It was not the wish of Secretary General Sakata was it?

Hoshuyama: Kubo was moved to become head of the Defense Facilities Administration Agency (DFAA) and he was replaced by his classmate Mr. Tajiro but Kubo continued to concentrate all of his energy on the defense section. At that point, Mr. Sakata came aboard and during many discussions, I do think that they came to be on the same wavelength.

In Sakata's memoirs, he writes that it was a great help to have a critic like Kubo around. Sakata also arranged a deliberation between Kubo and the uniformed groups in front of the Minister. Sakata was in command and would let each side make a point and then let the other argue a counterpoint and so on. Usually, the debates in front of the Minister are considered an opportunity for the Secretary General to train up the junior staff members with his own hands, but Sakata's style was different.

Murata: Recently I had the opportunity to read the record of the things that defense director general Kubo said and I noticed that he often discussed building consensus among the citizens of Japan. Militarily speaking, he made the point that even if Japan reached a 90 percent level of military preparedness, if there was no public consensus, it would really only be 60 percent effective. Conversely, if Japan only prepared at a 60 percent level but had the public consensus behind it, it would be like 90 or 95 percent.

Would you say that it is correct to assume that, more than being on the same wavelength as far as specific military issues were concerned, Kubo and Sakata saw eye to eye on this subject of gaining public consensus?

Hoshuyama: Kubo was saying that kind of thing well before he ever met Sakata. He was governed by the desire to have the entire public work together (and he was repulsed by those who said things without the desire to persuade the public that way). But that was not the only reason that the two saw eye to eye; more than that, Sakata was an intellectual and in the process of following his course at the University, he had realized the importance of like-minded allies. I think he brought that mind-set to the JDA so his approach and Kubo's may have been similar but I think there was more to it than just that.

Murata: He was in German literature, right?

Hoshuyama: While saying things like, "I cannot fathom Goethe," he announced the "three pillars" in an effort to clarify the U.S.-Japan defense capabilities and gain the support of the public. More than influence from Kubo, I think this had to do with Sakata's experiences from when he was young. As close as I can get is to say that the things he learned from his experiences during his education guided him.

Tanaka: We have talked about how the KB thesis was ignored to some extent, there is talk, though, that after the decision was made in the fourth defense plan about how much defense capability to have during peacetime, the opposition party said that it would not accept the decision and asked for it to change. When I look at the way of thinking about Japan's peacetime defense at that time, it seems to be exactly the same as Kubo's thinking. Is it correct to think that?

Hoshuyama: Well, Kubo said that his plan was based on that assumption, so I think you are correct. However, during the debate process, he was unable to put together a consensus that included those in uniform about the numbers that his plan used.

Tanaka: So, when this was reported to the Diet, he said that he wanted a certain level, but when he took that back to the JDA, when he used it as a base and began to accumulate more plans, was it a vague situation in which he had no idea what would happen?

Hoshuyama: Well, it was not as if we were going to take advice from all of the defense force branch's general staff offices so I think in its reply, the defense bureau seemed like it had washed its hands of it.

Tanaka: But, the opposition refused to accept it so it was withdrawn and made to seem like nothing had happened.

Hoshuyama: That's how it happened. However, Sakata appeared again after the process had been made a bit more elaborate.

Tanaka: After reading the KB paper and things like it inside the JDA, it seems that Mr. Kubo was a quite logical person, doesn't it? It seems like he went out of his way to come up with this concept, followed it in an effort to justify Japan's defense power, and painted a very nice picture with it. Don't you think, though, that his way of thinking itself seems out of place?

Mr. Sakata and Mr. Kubo put forth theories about the fundamentals of defense capabilities. Those in uniform were often opposed to these theories, but when they were opposed, did a specific opposing ideology ever present itself?

Hoshuyama: I think that those symbolized Mr. Kubo's threat escape theory and his threat opposition theory that came before it. Those in uniform had set their goal on the threat opposition theory of the third defense plan and those before it. I think they had the attitude that if we were in the middle of a five year plan, it would be best to ignore the things that had happened to that point and keep going to the end of the time period.

However, the threat escape theory made most forget about the goals set in the threat opposition theory and say, "we've come far enough." Within the five years, even with the mutual agreement on the equipment industry, there was still much debate over how far to drop the future restriction level goals. That debate came before Sakata over and over again. Kubo said the same thing and even those in uniform said basically the same thing from the different perspectives of the air, land, and sea force general staff offices.

Tanaka: So the logical examination of the threat opposition theory fostered Nakasone's view on the subject, right?

Hoshuyama: Yes, that is correct.

Tanaka: Using the threat opposition theory, first, one would determine what defenses had to be improved in order to meet the threat and how much time there was before they were necessary. The next task would be to decide how many years it would take to accomplish the improvements. How did those theories that opposed Kubo's theory of threat opposition work?

Hoshuyama: At that point, I think that those theories did no more thanthink about the fact that they opposed the Kubo theory. These were people who had made compromises over and over since the first five-year defense operation after the war, and more than all of the goals that had been made in the past, they sought to remove this concept. They said that those who supported Kubo should go away to a world in which there was no threat. I think they got hung up on the words, "threat escape."

This is when the argument began regarding whether defense capabilities were necessary in an area where threats had been "escaped" from. It was countered by saying that "escape" did not imply that the threat would disappear, and the argument was not particularly successful when argued in front of the Minister. It was relegated to a small scale, limited argument there.

Murata: So, in the General Principles of Defense plan, the threat escape theory played a part because of the details of the fourth defense operation, the domestic political situation, and the fact that a budget restriction was placed on defense spending. Is it correct to say that the understanding of the international state of affairs was to be added later?

Hoshuyama: It is true that the General Principles were the product of compromise. Our usage of the phrase "we presuppose" was obviously a retreat on our part. With that phrase, though, we lightened the baggage carried by the JDA.

Along with that, we changed our explanation from talking about the defense capability that came about from the threat opposition theory and the balance goals set in the General Principles, to an explanation of political risk. Political risk meant that we didn't let the uniformed groups say yes or no to it. I don't know whether this was good or bad, but at least it placed the responsibility within the bureaus of the JDA. The process of creating the General Principles was one of saying that the others had no entrance to the decision process.

Within the second instructions from the Secretary General, these things were clearly spelled out. The phrase "presuppose" was also material that could be used by the uniformed groups. It meant that when there was no presupposition, they had no responsibility.

I think you have seen the graph... the graph was something that we had constructed to underline the things that Mr. Sakata was saying. We had inserted the phrase "political risk" somewhere in it if I remember correctly. We drew the graph as a time line.

Tanaka: The words "political risk" are written right here.

Hoshuyama: We inserted the concept of time here so we used that phrase to represent this part of the graph. I think we inserted "political risk" around this area. It was acceptable for the government to yield to the question of whether or not it would become suddenly strong.

Tanaka: You mean that if it was decided that policy decision makers were necessary, the government would shift according to that necessity?

Hoshuyama: Through using "political risk," it became difficult for those within the JDA to oppose us. Then, we didn't paint the picture of threat escape, but of a threat on a very small scale. There has been much discussion over exactly what constitutes a limited threat. Basically, it is a threat to one's presupposition of the make up of the international situation. It is an abstract theory and one that is very difficult to argue against.

Murata: Specifically, what do you mean when you say the threat was "limited," and "small-scale?" For example, later on in the Diet question and answer session, was it made clear how many army divisions or what level of invasion capability speed fit into these categories?

Hoshuyama: Yes, after a long period of intensive debate those things were spelled out. Basically, each individual military division would have to have hundreds of potential attack ships and planes.

Murata: Was that actually said in the Diet?

Hoshuyama: Yes. It was asked by the Diet. Various case studies were being performed by Operations Research. Those studies were backed by details from Operations Research that have not been made public. There were case studies of two military divisions, three, and more. Conversely, like we wrote in the General Principles, how long Japan could hold out before the U.S. military came to its aid was very dependent on how many divisions it was up against. I think there was also the question of what would we do if there were more than five divisions, but that would not happen because there weren't that many divisions capable of attacking Japan.

Tanaka: There is a clause here that is similar to the one in the fourth defense plan that says "Regarding the Defense Plan." Why was that put in here?

When I checked things out, like you said before, the third and fourth defense plans' General Principles had exactly the same clause. The General Principles of the fourth defense plan were written in the spring, and when the final decisions were made the international understanding and the defense plan were made separately. With the plan, there was a clause that was very similar to the limited, small-scale clause. Is that correct?

Hoshuyama: You see, the fourth operation was never fully implemented. As I understand it, the main thrust of the government was directed toward the Okinawa reversion. Within that situation, the budget had to be worked out. We tried to make a model for this, but we couldn't find one that would cover the figures that we were given. Basically, it couldn't be decided within the government. We were stuck in the situation of not being able to decide how many ships to build, how many fighters to obtain, and how much money to spend. Within that, the figures always came out as one or three so we decided to settle it there.

As a result of doing this separately, and because we got rid of many of the mechanisms that fostered this previously secret world, it was a situation in which we wanted to immediately show any new thing that we came up with to the outside world. Thus, by trying to include that secret world, this plan was fundamentally different from those before it.

Tanaka: In that case, would you say that confusion reigned at the end of the fourth defense plan?

Hoshuyama: Exactly. It was the same with relationships between people at the time as well.

Murata: I seem to recall that Kaneyama said that "the fourth defense plan was the funeral for the General Principles.

Hoshuyama: Either the funeral of the fourth defense plan or even the funeral of the 20 years preceding the fourth defense plan. I think that he meant that it was the funeral of the necessity for defense capability plans.

Tanaka: The next defense white paper was also like this, but it seems like this thesis and others at the time were much more clearly defined about the fundamental defense capabilities than the General Principles had been. Given this, what kind of influence did the enlarged understanding of the Soviet threat have on these theories?

Hoshuyama: I think that this was at the center of the process between the bureau personnel and uniformed groups of whittling the necessary defense capability down to one that met the "limited, small scale" requirement. The necessary defense capability plan, for example, listed recommended troop postings, distribution of aircraft and ships. There was consensus in the defense capability plan to look at Russia and the Soviet Union as a whole, subtract Europe, and concentrate only on the Far East. Atomic weapons were, of course, a different story, but those weapons that could be easily moved could be separated from the rest for Japan's purposes. For example, if we assumed that about one third could be moved, then we could establish a plan from there. Anyhow, the result of this analysis of nuclear weapons made many of us feel that defense capabilities were basically hopeless against that threat. From then on we began to speak of "limited" defense, rather than the defense of a "small-scale invasion." We basically followed the concept, "without the need for undue preparation."

Normally, assuming a country intends to launch an invasion, there is an increase in the readiness of that country's troops and weapons. But the concept of limited, small-scale defense assumed that the force would be at its current, non-wartime level. Also, from an international situation perspective and based on the premise of a Sino-Soviet cooperation, those who wished to hold back China even within Asia could turn the country from looking toward China to excluding it. There would obviously be some strain associated with that. The subject of whether these assumptions were correct or not could lead to a limitless argument and I think that that fact made everyone calm down some about it.

Tanaka: With that we are up to the General Principles of Defense. From roughly that year on, the Soviet naval and air forces began to be much more active. What influence did that activity have on the opinions of those who were in the JDA at the time?

Hoshuyama: Besides the period immediately following the plan, the height of this activity happened in 1979, I think, with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It was not called the required defense capability plan, but, because the defense capability outlined in the General Principles was deemed insufficient, an argument evolved that the General Principles should be changed.

At that time, Nishihiro, who had come up with the General Principles, was in a position that was separated from the defense bureau. Ikeda, who was Chief Secretary Nakasone's head secretary, and people like him went to the defense bureau. Mr. Okazaki also joined the international council and Mr. Sasa was in the JDA as well.

With that the decision came down the instruction to revise the General Principles. It wasn't a head on collision with us but we answered back. I think Kubo felt as we did that why should we try to attain a higher goal when we had yet to achieve the lowest limit level of peacetime defense capability called for in the General Principles. We must have fought for a year saying that we should first meet the lowest level requirements outlined in the General Principles before we jumped ahead of them to something new.

Iokibe: Were there also guidelines established regarding finding answers to the questions of Japan's limited national resources, and the status of the Soviet threat?

Hoshuyama: As I understood them, the guidelines were very much tied to the Nixon Doctrine. Other than the economic components, of course, number three or so says, simply put, that the U.S. will not come to the aid of countries that do not make an effort to contribute to their defense. The guidelines were about this policy.

Against the background of the Nixon Doctrine, this may be my interpretation but I think most would agree, many countries involved with the U.S. began to realize that its relative power had dropped significantly and that it was being much more prudent about using its power away from home. One different policy point was that the U.S. would try its best to have each country supply the funding for defensive support; it is a policy that continues today. America explained that this was an effort to rationalize and make more efficient its military forces. While it was not an effort to have each country gain war capabilities, I think that this U.S. policy was intended to allow for continued U.S. influence in the region by requiring support for its forces from the local countries.

In this situation with Japan, whether it was with regard to military bases, preparation, or troop support, in all these areas America went about rationalizing its forces in Japan, although the naval forces remained the same, depending upon support from Japan. Up to now, whenever the U.S. military has made a move in the region, it has planned what it would do alone, but couldn't have done anything without this help from each country. I believe that this is what has put U.S.-Japan military cooperation on a stage.

Iokibe: So this was something that mainly came out of America's necessity, right?

Hoshuyama: It compensated for the loss of U.S. military power.

Iokibe: Was this something that began on the initiative of the Pentagon as it realized that this was necessary?

Hoshuyama: Yes, I think it is correct to think of it that way. There was a time when Mr. Sakata explained this very clearly another way, but I think that came later.

Murata: It is often said that Ueda Tetsu of the Japan Socialist Party said in the Diet that there is a secret dialogue between the governments of Japan and the U.S. Chief Secretary Sakata received that and although it was no good from a civilian control standpoint, he decided that it was too important to ignore. In 1975 when Schlessinger came to Japan via Korea, the discussion focused on the mutual consent clause discussed in their meetings. But, according to what you have told us, the impetus for this came first from the Americans?

Hoshuyama: In the process of several discussions with the defense bureau director general during his comings and goings, it seems that they developed that kind of atmosphere. If you ask which side was the first to approach this subject, as I mentioned before, it seems to me that the United States was first to speak of this in some form.

Originating in the U.S.-Japan security treaty, Japan had agreed to support the U.S. security arrangement and participate in mutual cooperation, but in reality, it did not. I gave a lecture at the Defense Research Association that argued that now was the time when Japan must protect the arrangement. I seem to remember writing a draft manuscript that was requested by my superior. In order to cleanly explain things, we would explain our individual conceptions of things. As to whether this was something that came from Japan or not, I don't think that you could say that it all did. In the process, I think that the way of thinking that concerns the roots of the Nixon Doctrine becomes blurred.

Tanaka: The joint annual defense plan is made every year and I have heard that up to this point, Japan had always said that it would rely on America in an emergency. Was there ever a time when there were arguments presented that this would not go well?

Hoshuyama: I can remember exactly when it was, in the process of making the General Principles, when it seemed like we were about to hit the ceiling of allowed defense equipment, we entered the period of détente, the power of the U.S. military slackened, Japan's defense capability was adjusted so all of it could be used, and power was concentrated in weak areas to bring them up to strength. We tried to implement a system that dealt with all kinds of defense scenarios. This came out a bit late, but it was happening at the same time that the General Principles were being drawn up.

The use plan was called the Fiscal Year Defense Plan and underneath it were the use plans for each of the three branches of the defense force so it is correct to look at it as a total plan and it was a plan that was made without the usually necessary coordination with the United States. It was decided that if a certain level of emergency happened the U.S. would probably come to the aid of Japan and that issue was left with that vague understanding. By saying that, Japan risked the anger of the U.S., but this was a period of time (a time when Japan was still weak) when Japan could get away with that sort of insincere sentiment.

At this point, Japan had an arrangement with the United States wherein in this type of situation, when a situation occured where the United States was needed, Japan would try to hold out a little longer until America could join in. With that, for the first time, the function of deterrence was fulfilled. The guidelines were to research this function and the guidelines and the various plans were occurring together.

Murata: So, at first there was research about emergency scenarios in Japan, and after that you also researched the possibilities of an emergency in the Far East, right? It is right to assume that the research was practical and specific?

Hoshuyama: The guidelines were split into three clauses.

The first clause set up the prevention structure, I think that it was mainly decoration, though. It said that we would work together to keep up our defense capabilities. It was basically word for word out of the Security Treaty, although we did research it. This was not about fighting, as I understood it, it was an effort to show a strong emphasis on the prevention of conflict.

The clauses that were mainly targeted were the second and the third. The second was about a Japanese emergency, and the third clause, put shortly, was about a Far Eastern emergency. We did the most research about the second clause. This will be a repeat of what I already said, but we thought about the many things that could happen when Japan finally started to stand on its own two feet, now that the time had come for it to do so.

Murata: The principal concern of the Americans, and the aspect that they wanted to develop jointly with us, involved scenarios concerning a Far East emergency. In this, the Americans had their intentions and aberrations. Japan wanted to focus primarily on the Japan emergency scenario and America wanted to study the Far East emergency scenario so there was a gap between the two, wouldn't you say?

Hoshuyama: I don't think that the U.S. placed much significance on starting with the second clause, but when we started to get into the third clause, it turned into a situation where the U.S. would not lose to the JDA. This is where we enter the world of the JDA cooperative researchers. For Japan, the Foreign Ministry was the main actor, but with the Foreign Ministry, the JDA became one of its cooperative agencies. Cooperation from the other ministries was also needed, but coordination proved difficult and it is true that the Americans became irritated.

However, things that cannot be moved will not be moved no matter how irritated one becomes. From then, Japan sought a drop in America's relative power to it. Especially in financial affairs following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Japan tried to reach a point where it was depended upon much more on the spot than it had been before. This is an expected theme of this coming summit conference.

Murata: In either the scenario of the Japan or the Far East emergency, when it came down to a specific scenario, is it correct to assume that central discussions on the matter were conducted between government officials of Japan and the United States? Were the details discussed at the U.S.-Japan government levels?

Hoshuyama: I think it is more correct to say that it was discussed by middle level bureaucrats and below.

Murata: This is simply one episode, but recently, when Mr. Jim Auer came and spoke briefly in Hiroshima, former Chief Secretary Ikeda, whose name you've mentioned, said, "researching this topic is good for building morale in the government, but if you really want to deal with substantive issues, America should speak with those in the defense bureau, not the government." Soon after that, He met the Foreign Ministry Security Treaty Department Chief (his name was Tanba or something like that) and was told, "doing that kind of thing is fine, but if you really want to seriously think about U.S.-Japan security issues, you need to speak with the Foreign Ministry." I guess you could say that the issue really wasn't being seriously tackled. There was meaning behind jointly training with Japan and I wonder if anyone in the bureau had the level of understanding necessary to see that.

Hoshuyama: Exactly who would be dealing with Washington was a problem for a long time. The old "two plus two" system in which the U.S. Ambassador and the standing commander-in-chief of the U.S.-Japan forces would meet with the Foreign Minister and the JDA Chief Secretary was continued and I think that it had an influence in this as well.

One time when I talked with a defense director, we couldn't communicate about the technical aspects of war or even about normal study or air travel. Until we had set up a framework for discussions, everything was the job of the defense bureau, we couldn't get into the narrower contents of the discussion. It became a problem of facilities. When I said that we needed a tens of thousands square meter facility here, (not something that the defense section could accomplish at that time) I think now that it was a case where we needed to have set up a framework to discuss the matter.

I don't know if this was made public, but a high ranking official said that if a war came, there was nothing that we could do except get the uniformed groups to act for us. This was the same as a step of the plan. Mr. Jim Auer has a lot of experience in that area, the range of his experience is very close to the sea. Washington, of course, also has policy protocals, and it would be found out if the person in charge of dealing with the Foreign Ministry dealt directly with the JDA so I think that there is also the aspect of practicing caution. But, as to how America understands the situation, when it has produced a framework, it has access to the Foreign Ministry, but when it tries to also deal with the JDA and the government all at once, the results are unwieldy. I have been to conferences where the Foreign Ministry was discussing the Far East emergency scenario, etc., and no results were achieved. I should be able to give you an accurate estimate of the situation.

Foreign Ministry conferences, of course, include the embassy. Accordingly, the Washington branch embassy was there and the U.S.-Japan military representative also came. The more I was there, the more I felt alienated.

Tanaka: The invasion of Afghanistan happened just after you became the second investigative director in November of Showa 54. What kind of feelings did you have at that time?

Hoshuyama: It happened right when I started there, and I wrote a report calling for unity in the free world's camp. The report went up to Mr. Okazaki and from there went all the way up to the minister. I was, of course, the second investigative director so I was in charge of analyzing and sending out the data concerning the situation of the nearby military camps, and I wrote the report thinking that it would not go beyond being material for making decisions.

At the time, Mr. Ikeda was the defense director and I asked him what was going to happen. If the free world unified against its actions, the Soviet union would have to retreat. I wrote that if the world gave a weak answer to this invasion, the existing situation would continue in Afghanistan. The invasion, though, was unexpected.

Tanaka: At the time, Prime Minister Ohira said that originally, the USSR seemed to be a defensive state, didn't he?

Hoshuyama: The U.S. president said the same thing.

Tanaka: So, Carter was really shocked when it happened?

Hoshuyama: As were we all.

Tanaka: Except, you didn't go as far as to admit that you needed to look at the Soviet Union in a whole different way, did you? You basically just said that if the free world would unite, everything would be all right.

Hoshuyama: The Soviet pattern of operation had been basically unchanged since the Brezhnev Doctrine so the surprise was only that the invasion happened where it did. My argument was just that we had to stop this from advancing any further than it did.

At that time, after much effort, I was allowed to put the word "league" (doumei) into the report. There were no word processors at the time, so it was all written out and I seem to remember that I wrote it in where something had been cut out.

Tanaka: Mr. Ohira first used that word, "league", but are you saying that the original idea was your own?

Hoshuyama: I don't know about that. After I became the second investigative director, in the midst of the several military situations, someone at the official residence wanted me to make sure that the state of affairs of the military was included in a report that I was to write. I was designated as the doorway for the military information and was told that it was not necessary for it to be perfectly neat and clean. Apart from the times when it was necessary to put in a chart or graph, I was limited to two sheets of paper about this size and I submitted one report per week. The report that we're discussing was one of those reports. I went there in November, but by the first of the new year, when the Afghanistan invasion took place, everyone else came out as well. At times like that, I wrote an "extra" report.

Tanaka: Did you think in the report that you wanted somehow to use the word "league" in reference to the need for the free world to unite against the Soviet invasion?

Hoshuyama: Yes, I used it with that intention.

Tanaka: When Okazaki came as a councilor of the JDA, he expressed his surprise that everyone involved in the investigative section was told to assist him. Was this a fairly unique arrangement?

Hoshuyama: Councilor Okazaki had jurisdiction over the first and second investigative sections so those in analysis were given primary responsibility for him and the rest of us also had broad instructions to help.

Tanaka: What were the circumstances involving Suzuki's problems regarding the part of the report that said "league"... ?

Hoshuyama: We had the results that were used by Mr. Ohira so those who attended to Suzuki had an easy time of it, I think. They were written because Ohira had already used the word "league" with the words "national defense."

Murata: Wasn't there an interview article in the Yomiuri newspaper about this? During Suzuki's time, something about them at MITI or somewhere... ?

Tanaka: Mr. Hatakeyama.

Hoshuyama: I read it with much interest and got an emotional feeling from it. When you read this "national defense," and look at the progress that has been made, it seems clear that Mr. Suzuki was on the losing side of things, doesn't it? The decision also was troublesome [painful] for [to] Ito and the Foreign Ministry.

Tanaka: So, did Mr. Hatakeyama think that he had to somehow speak in defense of Prime Minister Suzuki?

Hoshuyama: I think so. I don't know whether he would have used those words, but as I read them, I thought they were a bit harsh.

Murata: I would like to return to something we discussed earlier. I think that Japan first attended the RIMPAC in 1980. According to Mr. Kaneyama, Japan was actually supposed to attend beginning in 1978 and the preparations had been made while Kaneyama was the vice-minister, but because the preparations had not been thorough enough, there was not enough time, and Japan didn't make it by 1978. Therefore, it was decided to attend the next one in 1980. Is this the same as what you recall?

Hoshuyama: That I don't know. The fundamental way that it would have happened is that in order to achieve the guiding principle of defense cooperation, the host country would be supported by the most efficient demonstration of its own power. It was impossible for Japan to have an aircraft carrier at the time, but it would have been the best situation if it could have been capable of at least guarding an aircraft carrier. It would not be enough to start a battle, but others would listen to what Japan said. It would become a problem when others did not listen to what Japan said, but that was still the best situation from America's point of view.

Much is said about the RIMPAC, but it was just defense practice and in 1978 the "guidelines" still didn't exist. Except for things in it that were not routine, that kind of thing took about two years to research and an adjustment period was also necessary. Within all of that preparation, it is possible that there was a lack of preparation, but I am not specifically aware of any of that.

Tanaka: Regarding the oldest talk on the subject, which threats were thought of most seriously in the 1960? I don't know much about the subject. China developed nuclear capability and had the Cultural Revolution; this was the first threat spoken of by Nakasone when the talk of autonomous defense first came out, wasn't it? According to the discussion we've had, most threat appraisals seemed to focus on the Soviet threat, does that mean that the fundamental threat was the Soviet Union?

Hoshuyama: The Soviet capabilities were the highest. In contrast, China's ability to operate outside of China and attack Japan was extremely small. Even if they temporarily took the Senkakus, it would be very difficult for them to attack Okinawa or Kyushu. There was a feeling that even if China did make it that far, Japan would be in a very good position to fight back the invasion. Thus, regardless of whether they made it to Okinawa or not, the main discussion points were what level of defense to put there, and how to respond to an invasion by a small, guerrilla-type force. The type of plans that were provided at the Okinawa reversion continued for quite some time.

Tanaka: The Three Arrows Exercise also involved the Korean Peninsula crisis, right? When you thought about possible threats from the Soviet Union, did you have to consider both an attack by way of the Okhotsk Sea and by way of the Korean Peninsula?

Hoshuyama: In the case of the Korean Peninsula, the Korean War had provided ample case studies that had not yet been considered. It was easy to think of an attack by either China or the USSR by way of the Korean Peninsula. There was a lot of thought put into determining what support we would receive. There was also northern Japan. I divided the possibilities into two group, those that attached importance to an attack from the North, and those that stressed an attack from the Korean Peninsula. The tactics employed in each case were very different. How to split those up was one large crossroads in our understanding at the time.

Tanaka: I also wrote this in a paper that I finished recently, but it seems like the politicians and foreign affairs bureaucrats at the time didn't really think that there were any credible threats to Japan.

Hoshuyama: That is exactly right, and because of that attitude, the truth is that plans about required defense capability were really not taken seriously inside the JDA. A national defense conference was convened at the time, but it couldn't really implement the things that the JDA had arranged and when it tried to deliberate on the subject, I think that there was an atmosphere that it was not very important. I wasn't actually there so I don't know for sure, but I think that it went from the first defense theory to the second to the third and they really had a lot of hard work to do.

What came out at that time was that the JDA should choose actual ability over good intentions. Ability is a tangible quality, and the thing that the JDA possessed the most of in its relations with the United States. The arrangement of that military ability has recently become more open, but at the time, you wouldn't have seen it even by going to the Defense section. Sakata and others suggested in the "General Principles" process that more should be disclosed in this area and this resulted in the second Defense White Paper. There were also people in defense policymaking circles who came out and said that the defense figures should be released.

Tanaka: In that case, in the 1960s, you are suggesting that there was a very large gap between the knowledge of the general public and the knowledge of those who specialized in defense issues in the JDA?

Hoshuyama: Yes, you could say that it was large, I suppose. It was also caused by the lack of information that was disseminated from the JDA to the public.

Tanaka: Is it correct to say that the time when this information dissemination shrunk the most was the early 1980s?

Hoshuyama: Mr. Okazaki was one who contributed much to this shrinking. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the Afghanistan invasion happened and it was viewed as something that had been expected. America also used the Soviet invasion as propaganda. It was a period in which books about the Soviet invasion filled the shelves of book stores.

Murata: Minsk became very polite, didn't it.

Murata: The last thing that we would like to hear your understanding of regards the creation by Nishihiro and several others from the agency of contingency plans concerning the state of Korea before and relating to the Okinawa reversion. According to Nishihiro's interview, these plans were discussed and taken to the highest levels of the JDA but the secretary general and vice-secretary general said as an opinion of the JDA that it would not handle the contingency plans and would transfer them to the council from where they may or may not have gotten to the eyes of the Prime Minister through the channels of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He did make the plans, though, and investigated many angles, making them in a way that would even be useful today. Did you know anything about these, or did you have any role in their creation and dissemination?

Hoshuyama: I have no recollection of the words, "contingency plan" and I wouldn't know about it because at that time I was in a position that was quite separated from the defense section. There were, however, some cases of similar things being put out through Operations Research. However, these were, at most, paper plans. Assuming that there were also things called contingency plans, I doubt that they were actually working contingency plans. They were, most likely, unworkable paper plans.

No matter where the Self Defense Forces (SDF) would have tried to move, there was no plan that included the actual specific authority to control the air and naval bases and there was no legal mechanism to deal with where missiles would be placed, etc. I am unaware of any plan that provided that kind of authority. In the world of Operations Research, if this new way of doing things were to be followed, it would be obvious so it would probably fail. A computer would tell where the damage had stopped.

Tanaka: This also related to the current situation. It seems impossible for a group of several people to come up with a workable plan.

Hoshuyama: You can't do it in a large group. Several people can only together do the framework. Questions like who to put at the center of the facilities system?, and within the system, what facilities do the different branches of the military need?, cannot be settled by one person, and high ranking people are probably not the best. It will spread a lot, so I don't think it is something that will be done. Because of this indecision, the American military did not seem excited about helping in an emergency. As I understand it, the problems regarding North Korea the year before also related to this dissatisfaction.

Tanaka: Recently, the Declaration of U.S.-Japan Cooperation had something about the study of possible emergencies in the region, this takes a lot of effort doesn't it?

Hoshuyama: It is called "research." They do research, give it a legal framework, and try to break it down to a workable program. It is extremely difficult.

To speak further on the subject, two years ago when North Korea was doing this and that, an official said that the kind of system we've been discussing was already in place. He said that "we have investigated it before," but he didn't say it on the actual scene. If he had actually said it on the scene, there is no current system in place like he implied and it would have been a difficult situation.

Officials in other areas at least got the help of those who were knowledgeable regarding the land of the local public bodies and had to clean up the records that related to its ownership. This was a situation where the other side would have become upset if forced into anything. I don't know about when it became an emergency, but it is a case where documentation needed to be made that clearly designated ownership. It is necessary to go so far as to spell out how things will be used, what the compensation will be, and what to do during each period of time. Also, while discussing questions regarding the budget plan, the reserve fund, and whether the reserve funds will be united or not, time will likely run out. Therefore, you must say that "we have decided to unite the reserve funds so from this time on they will be united," or you must explain exactly what things will determine how much is in each reserve fund. One way or the other, Japan has not been doing this since the end of World War II. This is a later step, I think, following the research and building of a legal structure. If this is all not founded on a legal framework and training, when an emergency occurs, the system will not move. In order to properly train, someone must be assigned the duty of scolding those in the areas that need to be scolded. That is a difficult task.

Tanaka: Thank you very much.

Murata: Thank you very much.