【PART 4】 The Mystery of Security Treaty Village (2): The UN Charter and the Postwar World

 

13】 Trickery used to ensure continued occupation (Article 6 of the Treaty of San Francisco)

 

Why is Okinawa still under U.S. military occupation now, in the 21st century? Also, in the mainland, why is the whole airspace above the Tokyo metropolitan area still controlled by U.S. forces, so that Japanese aircraft cannot fly there freely? How have such unbelievable circumstances continued?

The reason for starting the history series Rediscovering Japanese History after World War II in the first place was in order to find a clue to answering such questions. The answer to these questions first became clear when I published Vol.2 of the series, Introduction to the “Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement,” Which Is Actually More Important than the Constitution (by Hiromori Maedomari). It was because of the following “trickery” performed in the Treaty of San Francisco.

Originally, the Potsdam Declaration, which urged Japan to surrender, clearly stated as follows.

The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government. (Article 12)

Under these conditions it’s completely natural that they–as an occupying force–should do that. As I mentioned, the Allies had united so many countries based on the principle of “no territorial expansion” in the Atlantic Charter, so of course they would leave the country after their goals had been accomplished. Therefore, the Treaty of San Francisco, which came into effect in 1952, also stated as follows.

All occupation forces of the Allied Powers shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as possible after the coming into force of the present Treaty, and in any case not later than 90 days thereafter. (first half of Article 6-a)

In truth, however, occupation by U.S. Forces has continued as we examined in PART 1 and PART 2. Why is this? The answer can be found in the second half of the same article, below (refer to the notes for the full quote).(*)

Nothing in this provision shall, however, prevent the stationing or retention of foreign armed forces [U.S. Forces] in Japanese territory under or in consequence of any bilateral or multilateral agreements [Japan-U.S. Security Treaty] …” (second half of Article 6-a)

In short, this single article said two contradictory things. On the one hand, it proudly upheld the principle of “no territorial expansion” that dates back to the Atlantic Charter, while on the other hand it claimed that the stationing of U.S. Forces based on the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty was an exception. As a result, the article does not alter the condition of U.S. Forces presence in Japan as an “occupation.”

 

* ・・・ Treaty of San Francisco (Treaty of Peace with Japan), Article 6 (a):
All occupation forces of the Allied Powers shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as possible after the coming into force of the present Treaty, and in any case not later than 90 days thereafter. Nothing in this provision shall, however, prevent the stationing or retention of foreign armed forces in Japanese territory under or in consequence of any bilateral or multilateral agreements which have been or may be made between one or more of the Allied Powers, on the one hane, and Japan on the other.