POSSIBLE SOVIET USE OF JAPANESE PRISONERS OF WAR

Created: 8/4/1950

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM

SUBJECT: Ponnlhlo Soviet Use of Jcpanooo Prioonors of War

1. Tbe USSR vould like to obtain control of Japan and Japan Is nov exceptionally vulnerable to attack. It is not likely, however, that the Soviet Union will attempt to use the Japanese prisoners of war under its oontrol for action against Japan. Evenroopa had been convertedeliable military foroe for the purposean assumption which is unlikely and unsupported by evidencethey would be unable to gain permanent possession of Japan for the USSR. Inaamueh as it would be impossible for the POM'a to Invade Japan without Soviet consent and Soviet aid, it would bo extremely difficult for the USSR to dissoaiato itself from tho aet as was done with Korea. An Invasion would mean an Increase in the present drain on US military power, bat it would also accelerate OS mo bill rat ion (or provoke totalnd would greatly inoreaao the risk of global war. The Japanese people would resist the invasion and vould be strongly united against Coaainlsn and the USSR. Conversely, they would be ready for an active ratherassivewith the West. The USSR would also have to take into account the possibilityS eotmternove would be the immediate rearndng of Japan.

2* Aocording to official Japanese Governmentapanese POV'a and civilians still remain unaccounted for In Soviet territory. Reports indicate that atnd probably as nany, have died Taking further Into account the civilians in tho group and thooe who moat now be too old for military eorvioe. It la probablo that leosould be used effeotlvely for militaryddition, an undetermined numberre attached to tbe Chinese Coranunlat army and night be detached for service in Japan.

Rotei This oatimote of the possibility that tho OSSR will employ Japanese prisoners of war In hostile acta against Japan was undertaken at the request or the Department of Defense.

This memorandum has not been coordinated with theof the Departments of State, Amy, Pavy, andForce.,

Ccoramlat indoctrination of tbe POW's has been undertakenatter of routine, but there lo insufficient ovidenco to show that the group, or any large part of it, has been given military training,

4.. Japanese Cosnunist Party plans ere not known. The Party'sto SCAP's recent "purge" of its leaders end suspension of its principal newspapers have been unexpectedly weak; tho Perty'e failure to take advantage of the opportunity for sabotage offered through DS involvement in Koreaine when the Japanese police force is still not strong enough to cope with the situation, is unexplained. (The Japanese police force is to be lnoroeaed0 but Uie new force will not be recruited, trained and readyinimum of three nontha.) Although there ia no evidence to indicate that the Party plans to take violent action In the near future or to use the Soviet-held POW'a in conjunction with it, the Coccmniats do possess potential for sabotage which haa not been utilized to dote.

5* On the unlikely assumptionarge proportion ofrs had been trained and equipped and could be transported to Japanby the USSR, which could provide tho necessaryt would probably be possible for the POW's to secure some of the islando but not to hold them for morehort tine. Hokkaido would aeem the moat likely target for direot attack or Halted infiltration bo cause it is the island most accessible from Soviet territory. It io also the least well defended and is an area in which the Camn inlets have shown considerable Interest. The Japanese people would uniteoviet-inspired invasion by the POW'a, and, if armed, could soon organise themselvesorce probably capable of repelling it. Small, highly-trained groups of PGV'e could be landed ln Japan clandestinely and could be used effectively against tho Government and the Occupation.

6* Little con bo said about the possible timing ofassumed Soviet novo beyond the foot that the next two or three months will probably be the tine of Japan's greatest military vulnerability to thie type of attack and therefore the most favorable tine for an Invasion if one Is contemplated.

Original document.

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