chapter  26
Asakai Kōichirō and Occupied Japan
Pages 7

IN THE CONFUSED weeks which followed Japan’s acceptance of unconditional surrender her Foreign Ministry received two unprecedented American demands. First, during the Manila negotiations, which arranged the procedure for Douglas MacArthur’s arrival in Honsh , American representatives demanded that the Japanese Government establish an organisation which would provide diplomatic links between the existing Japanese administration and the allied occupation forces. By 26th August 1945, four days before MacArthur landed at Atsugi airfield, the Sh sen Renraku Jimukyoku-loosely translated as the Central Liaison Office-was established according to ordinance 496, in what Yoshida Shigeru described as ‘a corner of the Foreign Office’. Legally speaking this new administrative entity was to deal with ‘the ending of hostilities and relations with the allied powers’, but these bland phrases hardly suggest the complexity of its operations, and the changes which it was to undergo in the following weeks and months. Its work was much expanded and embroidered with the coming to office of Yoshida as Foreign Minister in the Shidehara cabinet in September 1945. Yoshida determined to enlarge the Office’s functions and on 1st October the status of its chief was raised to Sosai (President) by ordinance 500. Yoshida took over this position in the following spring.