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

 

14】 Trickery used to transform Okinawa into a military base (Article 3 of the Treaty of San Francisco)

 

Let me give another example of trickery.

Despite the same basic principle of “no territorial expansion,” another great violation of international law has continued to take place. It is the “transformation of the main island of Okinawa into a military base.” Why has this been possible? The answer also lies in a trickery in the Treaty of San Francisco, in Article 3. (*)

This article is rather obscure, but I will do my best to explain it. Firstly, observe its first half, quoted below.

Japan will concur in any proposal of the United States to the United Nations to place under its trusteeship system, with the United States as the sole administering authority, Nansei Shoto south of 29Knorth latitude (including the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands), Nanpo Shoto south of Sofu Gan (including the Bonin Islands, Rosario Island and the Volcano Islands) and Parece Vela and Marcus Island. (first half of Article 3)

This part basically states that Japan must unconditionally accept in the case that the U.S. should propose to the U.N. that certain places such as Okinawa and the Ogasawara islands be placed under the trusteeship system. The trusteeship system is a system where non-self-governing territories (in this case, Okinawa, Ogasawara, etc.) are entrusted to a country (in this case, the U.S.) by the U.N. It is a system established in the UN Charter, so naturally, it is based on the principle of “no territorial expansion.” Its purpose is to govern such territories under the jurisdiction of the UN for their future independence or autonomy.

However, similar to Article 6-a (discussed above), the latter half of Article 3 contained trickery as well.

Pending the making of such a proposal and affirmative action thereon, the United States will have the right to exercise all and any powers of administration, Iegislation and jurisdiction over the territory and inhabitants of these islands, including their territorial waters. (second half of Article 3)

To have “all and any powers of administration, legislation and jurisdiction” clearly means complete dictatorship. And the extremely simple yet effective trickery performed in Article 3 was this: the U.S. never once made such a proposal until Okinawa was returned to Japan in 1972.

What this means is the following. The U.S. was supposed to be able to hold the powers of administration, legislation and jurisdiction in Okinawa for an extremely short period, until it was placed under the trusteeship system. However, that never happened, so that the U.S. could keep holding all powers indefinitely. This legal trickery made it possible for the U.S. to continue such illegal military control of Okinawa in the postwar period, without being regulated by anything.

Even now, many people mistakenly believe that Okinawa had been placed under UN trusteeship until 1972, but this is a complete misunderstanding. Had that been the case, Okinawa would’ve been placed under the jurisdiction of the UN General Assembly and Trusteeship Council based on the UN Charter, and therefore would’ve been treated better than it was in reality.

 

* ・・・ Treaty of San Francisco, Article 3:
Japan will concur in any proposal of the United States to the United Nations to place under its trusteeship system, with the United States as the sole administering authority, Nansei Shoto south of 29deg. north latitude (including the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands), Nanpo Shoto south of Sofu Gan (including the Bonin Island, Rosario Island and the Volcano Islands) and Parece Vela and Marcus Island. Pending the making of such a proposal and affirmative action thereon, the United States will have the right to exercise all and any powers of administration, legislation and jurisdiction over the territory and inhabitants of these islands, including their territorial waters.