【PART 5】  The Last Mystery Voluntary slavish obedience and its historical origin


【4】 The Showa Emperor’s “Okinawa message”


In PART 3, I wrote up to the point when GHQ wrote the Declaration of Humanity and the Constitution of Japan, thereby protecting the Showa Emperor from the Tokyo trial. However, since MacArthur made Japan abandon war potential in the Constitution, the relationship between these two men, who had been implementing together the U.S. occupation policy of Japan, a.k.a. the plan for the reconstruction of Japan, began to crumble.

MacArthur insisted that the way to protect Japan was to abandon all war potential. Meanwhile, the Showa Emperor, who was a realist, took into consideration the inevitable failure of the UN to preserve world stability: the Big Five had veto power, and two of those five, the U.S. and Soviet Union, were in conflict. He concluded that he wished to ensure the safety of Japan after it regained independence by having U.S. Forces stationed in mainland Japan. For more on this topic, please read Press Conference of the Showa Emperor and MacArthur and Establishment of the Security Treaty: Yoshida’s Diplomacy and the Emperor’s Diplomacy (both by Narahiko Toyoshita, published from Iwanami Shoten).

The “Okinawa Message” — the first idea on postwar Japan’s security policy proposed directly by the Showa Emperor without government involvement — was issued on September 19, 1947. This was a “policy proposal” made verbally by Hidenari Terasaki, one of the Emperor’s closest aides, to William Sebald, MacArthur’s political advisor. An official American document which recorded its content was discovered by Eichi Shindo, then assistant professor at the University of Tsukuba, and it was published in the April 1979 issue of the magazine Sekai.

Terasaki, the Emperor’s advisor, requested an appointment with me [Sebald] for the purpose of conveying to me the Emperor’s ideas concerning the future of Okinawa.

Terasaki stated that the Emperor hoped that the U.S. would continue the military occupation of Okinawa and other islands of the Ryukyus. In the Emperor’s opinion, such occupation would benefit the U.S. and also provide protection for Japan. …

Next, Terasaki stated that the Emperor further feels that U.S. military occupation of Okinawa (and such other islands as may be required) should be based upon the fiction of a long-term lease — 25 to 50 years or more — with sovereignty retained in Japan. According to the Emperor, this method of occupation would convince the Japanese people that the U.S. has no permanent designs on the Ryukyu Islands … (“Divided Territory,” Sekai, April 1979 issue)

You can’t help but be astonished that the Emperor asked U.S. Forces to occupy Okinawa semipermanently. But what’s even more surprising is that the situation in Okinawa basically remains as the Showa Emperor requested, even now in the 21st century.

Also, notice the fact that the Emperor believed that U.S. Forces should rule Okinawa under the fictional premise that “it’s a long-term lease with the sovereignty remaining in Japan.” In other words, Okinawa would formally be a part of Japan, but it would be lent to U.S. Forces. Under such false premises, U.S. Forces have been able to stay indefinitely. Doesn’t this ring a bell?

Yes, this fiction was being used for the trickery of “residual sovereignty” four years later, in Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty (Signed in 1951), which I mentioned earlier on PART 4. I’ve mentioned how this trickery works before, but let’s review.

First, Japan would agree to the U.S. making Okinawa its trust territory. Then, U.S. Forces would seize all powers over Okinawa under the pretense that it’s only until such trusteeship officially starts. The reason why such obvious trickery went unquestioned was that the Showa Emperor and Japanese rulers had already agreed to the plan.