【PART 5】 The Last Mystery Voluntary slavish obedience and its historical origin
【3】 Rule No.3 of the Security Treaty Village
The next rule of the Security Treaty Village is that Okinawa is not the “inherent territory” of Japan.
Konoe plays a role in this story as well. Four months after the memorial to the Emperor, in early July 1945, there was a plan to send an envoy to the Soviet Union, with which Japan had a neutrality pact, to ask them to arrange peace talks with the U.S. This was due to the deteriorated war situation. Konoe was selected as the envoy, and the Showa Emperor summoned him on July 12 to confirm that he would be sent to Moscow.
In the end, since the Soviet Union had by then already decided on joining the war against Japan in the Yalta secret agreement, this plan was not carried out. But the actual conditions that the Japanese government had determined for starting peace talks included this relevant statement: “Efforts should be made to retain as much territory as possible, taking the future re-establishment of Japan into consideration, but in the worst case, it is acceptable as long as we keep our ‘inherent territory.’” What did they mean by “inherent territory”? The statement continued: “We can drop Okinawa, the Ogasawara Islands, and Sakhalin, and as for the Kuril Islands, it is acceptable as long as we retain the southern half.”
On June 23, a month before these conditions were determined, the garrison forces in Okinawa had been annihilated, bringing an end to the war in Okinawa. It had been a horrific war in which one out of four locals perished. Even though Okinawa had fought so fiercely to be a breakwater preventing attacks on the mainland, the Emperor and rulers of Japan–a mere month later–were planning to drop it. This belief by the Showa Emperor that Okinawa was not inherent Japanese territory was one factor accounting for his Okinawa message, which I introduce below.