【PART 2】 The Mystery of Fukushima: Why Japan Cannot Stop Nuclear Power Plants？
【9】 Two official documents revealed in the U.S.
This problem of the legal structure under secret agreements can very accurately be called the darkness of post-war Japan itself. Therefore it is in truth very complicated, but I would like to explain it as simply as I can here. Anyone reading the following two official documents will understand that, even now, 70 years after WW2, Japan is not yet an independent and sovereign nation.
Japan was decisively defeated in WW2 and was occupied by U.S. military forces for six and a half years. Until Japan became independent in 1952, the U.S. Forces were able to act freely in Japan. The domestic laws of Japan didn’t matter at all. The U.S. Forces were the almighty entity. Perhaps that could not be helped owing to Japan’s status as an occupied nation.
However, the point to focus on is Japan’s change after the occupation period. What was the actual state of Japan like after concluding both the Peace Treaty and the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty at once, and regaining its independence in 1952?
The answer is that Japan was as much under U.S. occupation as ever. I’m not only talking about Okinawa, but also the whole country of Japan. Two documents that prove this have been discovered among the official documents revealed in the U.S. (Japan-U.S. Diplomacy Based on “Secret Agreements,” and the People’s Struggle Against It, written by Shoji Niihara, published by Shin Nihon Shuppansha)
The first is a secret report for the U.S. Department of State from the U.S. Embassy to Japan on February 14, 1957. President Eisenhower, who had just been reelected at that time, asked Frank C. Nash, Special Adviser to the President, to make a secret report as an overview of the latest situation overseas. (U.S. Overseas Military Bases Report to the President by Frank C. Nash) The report on the left was made by the U.S. Embassy and sent to the U.S. as basic information for writing the U.S. Overseas Military Bases Report to the President by Frank C. Nash.
It might be difficult to read since it is an official document, but everyone should make the effort to read and understand the following citation. This is one of the most important documents to solve several problems that we Japanese face now.
By the way, the “Administrative Agreement” mentioned in the document is an agreement deciding legal privileges of the U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) under the former Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. The Japan-U.S. Administrative Agreement is an agreement corresponding to the former Japan-U.S. Security Treaty (effective in 1952), and the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) is an agreement corresponding to the present Security Treaty (effective in 1960).
“Secret Report on U.S. Bases Operations in Japan” (Numbering added by author)
In addition to their size, another outstanding feature of American military operations in Japan is the extent of the rights granted to the U.S. bases.
The Administrative Agreement negotiated under (Article 3 of) the Security Treaty preserved for the U.S. a large degree of the autonomy and independence in the conduct of its military activities that it had during the occupation (1). Under the Security Treaty, our forces may be used (“to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security in the Far East”), without consultation of any kind with the Japanese Government (2).
Under the Administrative Agreement, the right to decide upon new base requirements and retain existing bases has been left to U.S. military judgment (3). In addition, there are a host of subsidiary agreements impinging on local sovereignty and interests (4). Uncounted agents of numerous American intelligence (and counterintelligence agencies) operate unhindered throughout Japan (5).
American military units, equipment, dependents, etc., also are authorized to move freely to and from Japan without any local agreement and without even advance notification of the local authorities (6).
Within Japan, maneuvers are held, firing practice conducted, planes flown, and other vital day-to-day military activities carried out — all at the determination of U.S. officials (7).
What should we think of this? This secret report specifies (regarding the Japan-U.S. Administrative Agreement) that it “preserved for the U.S. a large degree of the autonomy and independence in the conduct of its military activities which it had during the occupation (1)” and that “there are a host of subsidiary agreements impinging on local sovereignty and interests (4)”.
Since the U.S. Embassy itself admits this fact in the research document, it doesn’t mean anything if it is strongly denied by either the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) or Japanese scholars. They should be, after all, the ones who would get criticized when this fact were to get revealed. In other words, they have a reason to conceal the truth.
What this secret report makes clear is that the rights of the U.S. military operating in Japan were maintained from the occupation period to after the independence in 1952. By 1957, when the document was written, five years had passed since gaining independence, and it would be three more years before the Security Treaty was written.? However, the state of military occupation had continued. That is what is proven by the secret research document composed by the Special Adviser upon request from the U.S. President.