Skip to main content
×
Home

The U.S. Role in the Sino-Japanese Dispute over the Diaoyu (Senkaku) Islands, 1945–1971*

Abstract

In 1996, the Sino-Japanese conflict over the Diaoyu (Senkaku) Islands intensified to the point where the American mass circulation periodical Time asked: “Will the next Asian war be fought over a few tiny islands?” That such a question could be asked seems incredible given that the Diaoyu Islands, which lie north-east of Taiwan and west of Okinawa, consist of only five small islands and three rocky outcroppings with a total landmass of no more than 7 square kilometres or 3 square miles. Apart from their miniscule size, the islands are uninhabited, are incapable of supporting human habitation for an extended period of time and are unlikely to support any economic life of their own from indigenous resources.

Copyright
References
Hide All

1. “In an ocean of controversy,” Time, 7 10 1996, p. 30.

2. Dzurek Daniel J., “Effect of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute on maritime delimitation,” paper presented at the IBRU Conference on Borderlands Under Stress, University of Durham, 16 07 1998, pp. 19. The islands are Diaoyu (Uotsurishima), Huangwei (Kubashima or Kobishō), Chiwei (Taishōjima or Akao-Shō), Beixiao (Kitakojima) and Nanxiao (Minamikojima). The rocks are Dabeixiao (Okino Kitaiwa), Dananxiao (Okino Minamiiwa) and Feilaidai (Tobise). From 1945 to 1971, the U.S. referred to the Diaoyu Islands in several ways: Sakishima Cuntō (which represents the collective name for the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands); the Yaeyama Islands (which included Senkaku Rettō); Senkaku Rettō (which included Uotsurishima, other islands and Sentō Shōshō); and the Sentō Shōshū or Diaoyu islets. Office of the Language Aid, HCRI, A Gazetter of the Ryūkyū Islands, pp. 1418, Map 5, RG 260 (USCAR), Records of the Office of HCRI, Box 6, National Archives—College Park.

3. Ma Ying-Jeou, “The East Asian seabed controversy revisited: the relevance (or irrelevance) of the Tiao-Yu-T'ai (Senkaku) Islands territorial dispute,” in Chiu Hungdah (ed.), Chinese Yearbook of International Law and Affairs, Vol. 2 (1982) (Taipei: Chinese Society of International Law, 1983), pp. 2833, 4344.

4. Lautenschutz Raul, “Japan, China, and the Senkaku Islands,” Swiss Review of World Affairs, 07 1979, p. 32.

5. Ibid. pp. 32–33; Ma Ying-Jeou, “The East Asian seabed controversy revisited,” pp. 24; Kristof Nicholas D., “Would you fight for these islands?” New York Times, 20 11 1996, http://www.mtholoyoke.edu/acad/intrel/diaoyu.html; and Dzurek , “Effect of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute on maritime delimitation,” p. 1. Ma presents a legal analysis that rejects the notion that the islands convey any continental shelf/EEZ rights. “The East Asian seabed controversy revisited,” esp. pp. 2833, 4344.

6. Suiter Robert G., “East Asia: disputed islands and offshore claims – issues for U.S. policy,” Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, 28 07 1992, p. CRS7; and Guoxing Ji, “Maritime jurisdiction in the three China seas: options for equitable settlement,” gopher://gopher-igcc.ucsd.edu.

7. Lautenschutz , “Japan, China, and the Senkaku Islands,” p. 33; and Deans Phil, “The Diaoyutai/Senkaku dispute: the unwanted controversy,” http://snipe.okc.ac.uk/international/papers.dir/deans.html. This also is implied by Er Lam Peng's analysis of Japan's involvement in the South China Sea dispute, “Japan and the Spratlys dispute: aspirations and limitations,” Asian Survey, Vol. 36, No. 10 (10 1996) (online). For background on the aforementioned disputes, see respectively Heyer Eric, “The South China Sea disputes: implications of China's earlier territorial settlements,” Pacific Affairs, Vol. 68, No. 1 (Spring 1995), pp. 3454; and Hara Kimie, “Hoppō, Ryōdō Mondai (The Northern Territories problem): a territorial issue between Japan and Russia,” in Grundy-Warr Carl (ed.), Eurasia: World Boundaries, Vol. 3 (London: Routledge, 1994), pp. 163182.

8. Hereinafter I use the term Diaoyu Islands to refer to the disputed islands.

9. Quoted in Niksch Larry A., “Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands dispute: the U.S. legal relationship and obligations,” PacNet Newsletter, No. 45 (8 11 1996), http://www.csis.org/html/pac45.html. This is an U.S. Congressional Research Service analysis.

11. Niksch , “Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands dispute.” Apparently, an earlier Congressional Research Service Report came to the same conclusion. This is reported in Kristof , “Would you fight for these islands?” A copy of the 1960 agreement appears in Grenville J. A. S. and Wasserstein Bernard, The Major International Treaties Since 1945: A History and Guide with Texts (London: Methuen, 1987), pp. 124–26. In an agreed minute to the 1960 treaty, Japan stressed its residual sovereignty in the Okinawa chain and expectations of consultations and discussions with the U.S. in the event the islands were threatened or attacked. The U.S. stated it intended to take measures for the defence of the islands.

12. Even though an agreed minute to the 1971 reversion treaty incorporated the Diaoyu Islands as part of the Ryūkyū Islands being returned to Japan, the U.S. government took the position that “this treaty does not affect the legal status of those islands at all.” See United States Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Okinawa Reversion Treaty. Hearings, 92nd Congress, first session, Ex. J. 92–1, October 27–29, 1971 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1971), p. 11.

13. Niksch , “Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands dispute”; Kristof , “Would you fight for these islands?” and Deans , “The Diaoyutai/Senkakus dispute.”

14. This does not imply that the Japanese do not have a valid legal claim.

15. See, for example, Suganuma Unryū, “The Diaoyu Islands according to Chinese record of Ming times,” Chinese Historians, Vol. 9, No. 16 (1996), pp. 7596 and the works identified in nn. 1–9, 21, 22, 25, 26.

16. On China's efforts to develop a blue-water navy, see Ji You and Xu You, “In search of blue water power: the PLA Navy's maritime strategy in the 1990s,” The Pacific Review, Vol. 4, No. 2 (1991), pp. 137149; Wortzel Larry M., “China pursues traditional great-power status,” Orbis, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Spring 1994), pp. 157175; Labrousse Henri, “Les ambitions maritimes de la Chine,” Defense Nationale, Vol. 50 (Autumn 1994), pp. 131141; and Ji You, “A blue water navy: does it matter?” in Goodman David S.G. and Segal Gerald (eds.), China Rising: Nationalism and Interdependence (New York: Routledge, 1997), pp. 7189.

17. Ma Ying-Jeou, “The East Asian seabed controversy revisited,” pp. 24; and Dzurek , “Effect of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute on maritime delimitation,” p. 5.

18. As Ma notes, it is fallacious to claim that the dispute began at this time since Chinese and Japanese nationals visited and used the islands after U.S. administration began and both sides claimed the islands as their own. It is more accurate to assert that the discovery of energy “activated” the dispute. “The East Asian seabed controversy revisited,” pp. 2526 n. 80.

19. Deans , “The Diaoyutai/Senkaku dispute.”

20. In Article I of the 1971 reversion treaty, the U.S. relinquished all special rights and interests in the Ryūkyūs it acquired pursuant to Article III of the 1951 Treaty of Peace with Japan and returned to Japan full responsibility and authority for the exercise of administration, legislation and jurisdiction over the islands. An agreed minute to the treaty provides the territorial definition of the Ryūkyūs that includes the Diaoyu Islands. The agreement is printed in U.S. Department of State Bulletin, Vol. 65, No. 1672, 12 07 1971 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1971), pp. 35, 37.

21. Niksch , “Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands dispute”; Dzurek , “Effect of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute on maritime delimitation,” p. 6 n. 18; and Lautenschutz , “Japan, China, and the Senkaku Islands,” p. 33. In June 1971, the ROC informed the U.S. that the Diaoyu Islands belonged to them by reason of location, geological structure, historical association and use. It asserted that it had continuously informed the U.S. and Japan that the islands belonged to it. Kao Ting Tsz, The Chinese Frontiers (Aurora: Chinese Scholarly Publishing Co., 1980), p. 98.

22. United States, Department of the Army, 7th Psychological Operations Group, “Oil in troubled waters: the Senkakus,” 22 05 1972, p. SR 8–3.

23. Deans , “The Diaoyu/Senkaku dispute.”

24. The 1978 treaty appears in Grenville and Wasserstein , The Major International Treaties Since 1945, p. 306. Among other provisions, the accord called for both sides to oppose hegemony in Asia, to develop economic and cultural relations, and to maintain relations on the basis of principles such as respect for each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.

25. Tretiak Daniel, “The Sino-Japanese Treaty of 1978: the Senkaku incident prelude,” Asian Survey, Vol. 18, No. 12 (12 1978), pp. 1235–49; Lautenschutz , “Japan, China, and the Senkaku Islands,” p. 32; and Deans , “The Diaoyutai/Senkaku dispute.”

26. This draws extensively from Downs Erica Strecker and Saunders Phillip C., “Legitimacy and the limits of nationalism: China and the Diaoyu Islands,” International Security, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Winter 1998/1999), pp. 127131.

27. “Law passed claiming Spratly Islands,” Agence-France Presse, 26 02 1992; Hong Chang, “NPC enacts law on territorial waters,” China Daily, 26 02 1992, p. 1; and Xinhua Domestic, 25 02 1992 all in Foreign Broadcast Service Daily Report – China (FBIS-CHI)-92–038, 26 02 1992, pp. 1920. For an analysis of China's view of its maritime rights pursuant to the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, see Dushu Su, “Lüe tan hanwei woguo haijiang wenti” (“Some notes on problems concerning defence of China's coastal areas and territorial seas)”, Zhongguo bianjiang shi di yanjiu (China's Borderland History and Geographic Studies) No. 1 (1992), pp. 7581.

28. Dzurek Daniel, “The Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute,” 18 10 1996, (mailbaseadmin@mailbase.ac.uk) (a revised and updated version of this paper appears at www- ibru.dur.ack.uk/senkaku.html); Dzurek , “Effect of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute on maritime delimitation,” pp. 14; and Downs and Saunders , “Legitimacy and the limits of nationalism,” pp. 131–35.

29. The Chinese case is made in Dushu Su, “Some notes on problems concerning defence,” p. 81; and Zhongguo zhoubian guanxi yu anquan huanjing (China's Relations with Its Neighbours and Its Security Environment) (Shaanxi: People's Education Press, n.d.) in Joint Publications Research Service-China (JPRS-China)-93–037, 8 06 1993, pp. 2526. For official comments, see “On Diaoyu Islands issue,” and “History proves Diaoyu islands are China's territory,” both at http://www.china-embassy.org. Other important statements of the Chinese positions appear in Inoue Kiyoshi, “Japanese militarism and Diaoyutai (Senkaku) Island – a Japanese historian's view,” http://www.interlog.com/~yuan/diaohist.html; and Zhong Yan, “China's claim to Diaoyu Island chain indisputable,” http://ss5.ihep.ac.cn/ins/Book/Bjreview/November/96-45-10.html. The Inoue article originally appeared in Beijing Review, Vol. 15, No. 19 (12 05 1972) while the Zhong piece appeared in Beijing Review, Vol. 39, No. 45 (4–10 11 1996).

30. A copy of the treaty is included in Israel Fred L. (ed.), Major Peace Treaties of Modern History, 1648–1967 (New York: Chelsea House and McGraw-Hill, 1967), Vol. II, pp. 1101–10, esp. p. 1102.

31. These declarations appear in Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), Government Section, Political Reorientation of Japan: September 1945 to September 1948 (Grosse Pointe: Scholarly Press, 1968), pp. 411, 413.

32. Pursuant to Article II of the 1951 Treaty of Peace, Japan renounced all claims to Korea, Formosa, the Pescadores, the Kuriles, part of the Sakhalin peninsula, the Antarctic, the Spratlys and Paracels, and numerous mandated territories. Article III changed the administrative status of various Japanese islands. For the treaty, see Israel , Major Peace Treaties, Vol. IV, pp. 2641–56.

33. On Japan's claims, see “The basic view on the sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands,” http://www.mofa.go.jp/ja/Senkaku.html. See also Ma Ying-Jeou, “The East Asian seabed controversy revisited,” pp. 3132; Prescott J. R. V., The Maritime Political Boundaries of the World (London: Methuen, 1985), pp. 244–46; Dzurek , “Effect of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute on maritime delimitation,” p. 5; and Guoxing Ji, “Maritime jurisdiction in the three China seas.”

34. On Japan's acquisition of the Ryūkyūs, see Akagi Roy Hidemichi, Japan's Foreign Relations, 1542–1936: A Short History (Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1936), pp. 5874; Watanabe Akio, The Okinawa Problem: A Chapter in Japan-U.S. Relations (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1970), pp. 48; Peattie Mark R., “The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895–1945,” in Duus Peter (ed.), The Cambridge History of Japan: Vol. 6: The Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988) (hereinafter CHOJ: Vol. 6), p. 224; Kao Ting Tsz, The Chinese Frontiers, pp. 9198; and Reischauer Edwin O., Japan: The Story of a Nation, 4th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing, 1990), p. 127.

35. A SCAP map shows that the Ryūkyū chain is not associated with Japan proper and also that it is not part of Taiwan. At this time, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and SCAP defined “Japan” to include the four main islands of Japan (Hokkaido, Honshū, Kyūshū and Shikoku) and the approximately 1,000 smaller adjacent islands, including the Tsushima Islands and the Ryūkyū (Nansei) Islands south of 30° North latitude (excluding Kuchinoshima Island). “Memorandum for the Imperial Japanese Government from General Headquarters, SCAP,” 29 01 1946, in SCAP, Political Reorientation of Japan, p. 477.

36. Shiels Fredrick L., America, Okinawa, and Japan: Case Studies for Foreign Policy Theory (Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1980), pp. 53, 56; and Coox Alvin D., “The Pacific War,” in CHOJ: Vol. 6, p. 367.

37. “Directive No. 2,” 3 09 1945, in SCAP, Political Reorientation of Japan, p. 447. See also “GHQ FEC Opns Instns No. 2,” 1 02 1948, which charged SCAP with an extensive programme of mapping and the procurement of terrain intelligence of Korea, Japan and the Ryūkyūs. Reports of General MacArthur, MacArthur in Japan: The Occupation: Military Phase, Vol. 1. Supplement (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1966), p. 84, n. 16.

38. “Memorandum from the Deputy Commander for Military Government to Commandant, Naval Base, Okinawa, and Chief Military Government Officer, Ryūkyūs,” 1 07 1946, RG 260 (U.S. Civil Administration of the Ryūkyū Islands or USCAR), Records of the Office of the High Commissioner of the Ryūkyū Islands (HCRI), Activity Reports of the U.S. Naval Military Government of the Ryūkyū Islands (April 1945-July 1946), Box 38, National Archives—College Park.

39. U.S. Department of State, Administrative Subdivisions of Japan: Atlas and Gazetteer, and Appendix, RG 59 (State Department), Records of the Geographer, Series 007 331/A/08/05, National Archives—College Park.

40. Reports of General MacArthur, MacArthur in Japan, p. 87.

41. “Liuchiu Islands (Ryūkyū)” (secret), 2 07 1943; and “Japan: territorial problems: Liuchiu (Ryūkyū) Islands” (secret), 14 12 1944, both in RG 59 (State Department), Reports on World War II Topics, Box 1, National Archives—College Park. The state seemed reluctant to recommend losses of territory in other island cases as well. See e.g. “Japan: territorial problems: Bonin and Volcano Islands” (secret), 23 10 1943, pp. 23; and Japan: territorial problems: Bonin and Volcano Islands” (secret), 11 10 1943, pp. 23 both in RG 59 (State Department), Japan Mandated Islands and Territorial, Box 1, National Archives—College Park.

42. See Kai-Shek Chiang, China's Destiny (New York: Roy Publishers, 1947), p. 36.

43. This is noted in Shiels , America, Okinawa, and Japan, p. 57.

44. Dunn Frederick S., Peace-Making and the Settlement with Japan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963), pp. 5657; and Shiels , America, Okinawa, and Japan, pp. 5663.

45. See, e.g., “Memorandum by the Political Adviser in Japan (Atcheson) to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur,” 20 03 1947, in U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), 1947: Vol. VI: The Far East (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1972) (hereinafter FRUS, 1947: Vol. 6), p. 452; “The Political Adviser in Japan (Atcheson) to the Secretary of State,” 28 07 1947, p. 476; and “Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Northeast Asian Affairs (Borton) to the Counselor of the Department (Bohlen),” 6 08 1947, p. 478, both in FRUS, 1947: Vol. 6.

46. “Memorandum by Rear Admiral E.T. Woolridge, Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Politico-Military Affairs, Navy Department, to the Chief of the Division of Northeast Asian Affairs (Borton),” 18 08 1947, p. 495; and “General of the Army Douglas MacArthur to the Secretary of State,” 1 09 1947, p. 512, both in FRUS, 1947: Vol. 6.

47. “Memorandum by the Director of the Policy Planning Staff (Kennan)” (PPS 10), 14 10 1947, in FRUS, 1947: Vol. 6, pp. 538540. The map used in PPS 10 seems to indicate that the Diaoyu Islands are part of Nansei Shotō, but is difficult to read. See p. 539.

48. “The Ambassador in China (Stuart) to the Secretary of State,” 2 06 1948, in U.S. Department of State, FRUS, 1948: Vol. 1: The Far East and Australasia (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1974) (hereinafter FRUS, 1948: Vol. I), p. 800; and U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, “The Ryūkyū Islands and their significance,” 6 08 1948, cited in Shiels , America, Okinawa, and Japan, pp. 6869.

49. “Recommendations with respect to the U.S. policy toward Japan,” NSC 13/1, in FRUS, 1948: Vol. I, pp. 877–78; and “Report by the National Security Council on recommendations with respect to United States policy toward Japan,” NSC 13/3 (6 05 1949), in U.S. Department of State, FRUS, 1949: Vol. VII: The Far East and Australasia, Part 2 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1976) (hereinafter FRUS, 1949: Vol. 7, Part 2), p. 731.

50. “The Acting Political Adviser in Japan (Sebald) to the Secretary of State,” 9 09 1949, p. 857; “Memorandum of conversation, by Mr. Robert A. Fearey, of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs,” 2 11 1949, p. 894; and “Memorandum by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense (Johnson),” 22 12 1949, p. 923 all in FRUS, 1949: Vol. 7, Part 2.

51. Dean Acheson commented on the role of the Ryūkyūs during his famous/infamous address to the National Press Club on 12 January 1950. U.S. Department of State Bulletin, Vol. 22, No. 551 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1950), pp. 115–18.

52. Buckley Roger, U.S.-Japan Alliance Diplomacy, 1945–1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 29, 37.

53. “Memorandum of Conversation, by the Special Assistant to the Secretary (Howard),” 24 04 1950, in U.S. Department of State, FRUS, 1950: Volume VI: East Asia and the Pacific (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1976) (hereinafter FRUS, 1950: Vol. 6), p. 1181.

54. Shiels , America, Okinawa, and Japan, p. 70. For a masterful analysis of the Korean War, see Christensen Thomas J., Useful Adversaries: Grand Strategy, Domestic Mobilization, and Sino-American Conflict, 1947–1958 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).

55. “Memorandum by the Secretary of State to the Ambassador at Large (Jessup),” 22 08 1950, and “Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense,” 22 08 1950, pp. 1278–82, both in FRUS, 1950: Vol. 6. For a copy of the relevant provisions in the draft peace treaty, see p. 1298.

56. Dunn , Peace-Making and the Settlement with Japan, pp. 110–13.

57. “Memorandum approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” 4 10 1950, in FRUS, 1950: Vol. 6, p. 1313.

58. “Memorandum by Mr. Robert A. Fearey of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs to the Deputy Director of that Office (Johnson),” 14 11 1950, pp. 1346–47; and “The Supreme Commander for Allied Powers (MacArthur) to the Department of the Army,” both in FRUS, 1950: Vol. 6, pp. 1344–45.

59. “Memorandum by Mr. Robert A. Fearey of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs to the Deputy Director of that Office (Johnson),” p. 1347.

60. “The Secretary of State to the Secretary of Defense (Marshall),” 13 12 1950, in FRUS, 1950: Vol. 6, pp. 1364, 1367.

61. “The Commander in Chief, Far East (MacArthur) to the Department of the Army,” p. 1384; and “Report by the Joint Strategic Survey Committee to the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” 28 12 1950, pp. 1391–92, both in FRUS, 1950: Vol. 6.

62. “The United States Political Adviser to SCAP (Sebald) to the Secretary of State,” 6 01 1951, in U.S. Department of State, FRUS, 1951: Volume VI: Asia and the Pacific, Part 1 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1977) (hereinafter FRUS, 1951: Vol. 6, Part 1, p. 786.

63. “Memorandum by Mr. Robert A. Fearey of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs to the Consultant to the Secretary (Dulles),” 25 01 1951, in FRUS, 1951: Vol. 6, Part 1, p. 811.

64. “Undated Memorandum by the Prime Minister of Japan (Yoshida),” 1951, in FRUS, 1951: Vol. 6, Part 1, p. 833.

65. The National Archives, The End of the War in the Pacific: Surrender Documents in Facsimile (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1945); and the Potsdam declaration of 26 July 1945, in SCAP, Political Reorientation of Japan: September 1945 to September 1948, p. 413.

66. “Memorandum by Mr. Robert A. Fearey of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs,” 31 01 1951, in FRUS, 1951: Vol. 6, Part I, p. 836.

67. Buckley , U.S.– Japan Alliance Diplomacy, pp. 3437.

68. “Memorandum by Mr. Robert A. Fearey of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs,” 19 03 1951, in FRUS, 1951: Vol. 6, Part I, p. 933.

69. “Provisional Draft of a Japanese Peace Treaty,” 23 03 1951, in FR US, 1951: Vol. 6, Part I, p. 945. Japanese negotiators hoped that the U.S. would not implement the trusteeship clause. Prime Minister Yoshida and others told the Japanese Diet that the peace treaty did not require Japan to renounce sovereignty over these islands. Watanabe , The Okinawa Problem, pp. 2425.

70. “Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense,” 17 04 1951, p. 991; and “Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense,” 26 06 1951, p. 1157, both in FRUS, 1951: Vol. 6, Part I. The British concurred in this separation. Dunn , Peace-Making and the Settlement with Japan, p. 138.

71. “Memorandum by the Central Intelligence Agency” (NIE-19), 20 04 1951, in FRUS, 1951: Vol. 6, Part I, p. 999.

72. “The United States Political Adviser to SCAP (Sebald) to the Secretary of State,” 4 04 1951, in FRUS, 1951: Vol. 6, Part 1, p. 961.

73. “The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Offices,” 18 07 1951, in FRUS, 1951: Vol. 6. Part I, p. 1200.

74. Israel , Major Peace Treaties, Vol. IV, pp. 2641–56, esp. pp. 2642–43.

75. United States Senate, Okinawa Reversion Treaty, pp. 90, 147.

76. Conference for the Conclusion and Signature of the Treaty of Peace with Japan: Record of Proceedings (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1951), pp. 8897.

77. Shiels , America, Okinawa, and Japan, p. 127.

78. International and Civil Affairs Directorate, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations, Department of the Army, “Okinawa Reversion: A Study of the Administrative Aspects” (secret), 1 04 1969, pp. 12, RG 260 (USCAR), Records of the HCRI, HICOM Administrative Files 1969–1972, Reversion Agreements to Pre Comm 1971–72, Box 2, National Archives—College Park.

79. “Memorandum by the Consultant to the Secretary (Dulles),” 27 06 1951, in FRUS, 1951: Vol. 6, Part I, pp. 1152–53.

80. Conference for the Conclusion and Signature of the Treaty of Peace with Japan, pp. 8897. During the Okinawa reversion hearings, Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard confirmed that the U.S. had not taken sovereignty from Japan. United State Senate , Okinawa Reversion Treaty, p. 57.

81. “The United States Political Adviser to SCAP (Sebald) to the Department of State,” 17 01 1952, in U.S. Department of State, FRUS, 1952–1954: Volume XIV, Part 2 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1985) (hereinafter FRUS, 1952–1954: Vol. 14, Part 2), pp. 1089–92.

82. Ibid. p. 1092.

83. In 1951, Dulles told the Indian Ambassador to the U.S. that he could not accommodate Japanese demands about the Ryūkyūs for reasons of resolve and determination. “Memorandum of Conversation, by the Officer in Charge of India, Nepal, and Ceylon Affairs (Whitman),” 14 08 1951, in FRUS, 1951: Vol. 6, Part 1, pp. 1269–70.

84. “Memorandum by Myron M. Cowen, Consultant to the Secretary of State, to the Secretary of State,” 25 01 1952, in FRUS, 1952–1954: Vol. 14, Part 2, pp. 1116–20. This plan was communicated to Sebald in February. “The Acting Director of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs (McClurkin) to the United States Political Adviser to SCAP (Sebald),” 20 02 1952, in FRUS, 1952–1954: Vol. 14, Part 2, pp. 1184.

85. “The Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Rusk) to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Nash),” 29 10 1951, in FRUS, 1951: Vol. 6, Part I, pp. 1388–89.

86. USCAR, Ryūkyū Islands: Preliminary Notes on the Use, Distribution, and Adaptability of Native and Introduced Tree Species (11 1952), RG 260 (USCAR), Records of the HCRI, HICOM Administrative Files, Box 7, National Archives-College Park.

87. “Memorandum of the Substance of Discussion at a Department of State-Joint Chiefs of Staff Meeting,” 2 April 1952,” in FRUS, 1952–1954: Vol. 14, Part 2, pp. 1224–27. Watanabe believes the importance of the Ryūkyūs as a backup in case of the loss of bases in Japan was greater than their importance as a staging area for the Korean War. The Okinawa Problem, p. 27.

88. “The Deputy Secretary of Defense (Foster) to the Secretary of State,” 29 08 1952, in FRUS, 1952–1954: Vol. 14, Part 2, pp. 1318–27. To prevent the State Department from exploiting any divisions in the military, the JCS ordered General Mark Clark, who followed Ridgway as head of FEC, not to make any concessions regarding the political control of the islands. “The Ambassador in Japan (Murphy) to the Department of State,” 13 10 1952, in FRUS, 1952–1954, Vol. 14, Part 2, p. 1342.

89. Watanabe , The Okinawa Problem, pp. 3133.

90. “Memorandum of conversation, by the Deputy Director of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs (McClurkin),” 22 09 1952, pp. 1333–35; and “Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs (Young) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison),” 12 01 1953, pp. 1376–78 both in FRUS, 1952–1954: Vol. 14, Part 2.

91. “Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison) to the Secretary of State,” 18 03 1953, in FRUS 1952–1954: Vol. 14, Part 2, pp. 13971400.

92. “The Commander in Chief, Far East (Clark) to the Department of the Army,” 20 05 1953, in FRUS, 1952–1954: Vol. 14, Part 2, pp. 1424–26.

93. “Memorandum of Discussion at the 151st Meeting of the National Security Council,” 25 06 1953, in FRUS, 1952–1954: Vol. 14, Part 2, pp. 1440–44. Around this period, there were rising concerns about Japan's reliability as an ally. Buckley , U.S.—Japan Alliance Diplomacy, p. 74.

94. “The Ambassador in Japan (Allison) to the Embassy in Korea,” 4 08 1953, in FRUS, 1952–1954: Vol. 16, Part 2, pp. 1468–69.

95. “Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs (Young),” 13 08 1953, in FRUS, 1952–1954: Vol. 14, Part 2, pp. 1481–82.

96. Ibid. p. 1482.

97. “Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Robertson) to the Under Secretary of State (Smith),” 29 10 1953, in FRUS, 1952–1954: Vol. 14, Part 2, pp. 1543–44.

98. “Memorandum of Discussion at the 177th Meeting of the National Security Council,” 23 12 1953, in FRUS, 1952–1953: Vol. 14, Part 2, pp. 1568–71.

99. U.S. Department of State Bulletin, 1 01 1954, quoted in Watanabe , The Okinawa Problem, p. 34.

100. See USCAR Facts Notebook (various years), RG 260 (USCAR), Records of the HCRI, HICOM Administrative Files, Boxes 8, 16, National Archives—College Park. In my view, this was done because the Amami reversion required that the U.S. and Japan decide where the Amami Islands end and the Ryūkyūs began and ended.

101. “Draft Directive for the United States Civil Administration of the Ryūkyū Islands,” 11 01 1954, in FRUS, 1952–1954: Vol. 14, Part 2, p. 1586.

102. “U.S. Policy toward Japan” (NSC 5516/1 ), 9 04 1955, in U.S. Department of State, FRUS. 1955–1957: Volume XXIII, Part 1, Japan (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1991) (hereinafter FRUS, 1955–1957: Vol. 23, Part 1, p. 60.

103. Watanabe , The Okinawa Problem, p. 35.

104. “A position paper on Ryūkyū and Bonin Islands,” (secret), 22 08 1955, RG 59 (State Department), General Records of the State Department Executive Secretariat Conference Files 1949–1963, Box 82, National Archives-College Park. Yet in a report from the State Department's Division of Research for the Far East, it was noted that Japan would drift away from the West unless it was treated equally and the Ryūkyūs and Bonins were returned. Buckley , U.S.—Japan Alliance Diplomacy, pp. 7677.

105. “Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State,” 31 08 1955, in FRUS, 1955–1957: Vol. 23, Part 1, pp. 115–16.

106. “Memorandum of a Conversation between Secretary of State Dulles and Foreign Minister Shigemitsu, Ambassador Aldrich's Residence,” 19 08 1956, in FRUS, 1955–1957: Vol. 23, Part 1, pp. 202203.

107. Mendl Wolf, Japan's Asia Policy (London: Routledge, 1995), pp. 3031. For a discussion of U.S. economic relations (and frictions) around this time, see, Schaller Michael, Altered States: The United States and Japan Since the Occupation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), ch. 6.

108. “Memorandum from the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Robertson) to the Secretary of State,” 7 01 1957, in FRUS, 1955–1957: Vol. 28, Part I, pp. 240–43.

10. “Letter from the Secretary of State to the Secretary of Defense (Wilson),” 8 01 1957, in FRUS, 1955–1957: Vol. 23, Part I, pp. 244–45 and pp. 245 n. 2.

110. Memorandum from the Secretary of State to the President,” 12 06 1957, in FRUS, 1955–1957: Vol. 23, Part I, pp. 346–48. Rather than being unsympathetic to Japanese demands, Dulles feared that if anything was renegotiated there was a risk of precipitating such a rash of demands that the entire security treaty arrangement would be endangered. Buckley , U.S.—Japan Alliance Diplomacy, pp. 8185.

111. “Memorandum from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense (Wilson),” 13 06 1957, in FRUS, 1955–1957: Vol. 23, Part 1, pp. 349351.

112. “Memorandum of a Conference with the President,” 18 06 1957, in FRUS, 1955–1957: Vol. 23, Part 1, p. 359.

113. “Memorandum of a Conversation between Secretary of State Dulles and Prime Minister Kishi,” 20 06 1957, in FRUS, 1955–1957: Vol. 23, Part 1, pp. 383–85.

114. (Emphasis added) “Memorandum of a Conversation,” 21 06 1957, in FRUS, 1955–1957: Vol. 23, Part 1, pp. 408410.

115. “Memorandum of a Conversation,” 21 06 1957, in FRUS, 1955–1957: Vol. 23, Part 1, p. 411.

116. Watanabe , The Okinawa Problem, p. 39. On the summit as a whole, see Schaller , Altered States, pp. 132–35.

117. Buckley , U.S.—Japan Alliance Diplomacy, pp. 6999; and Schaller , Altered States, ch. 6.

118. Maga Timothy P., Hands Across the Sea? U.S.—Japan Relations, 1961–1981 (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1997), pp. 417; and Schaller , Altered States, pp. 169, 171.

119. The U.S. confronted problems in Indo-China and was building intermediate range ballistic missile launching sites on Okinawa. Watanabe , The Okinawa Problem, pp. 4748. On USCAR General Paul Caraway's opposition to reversion or the liberalization of the U.S. administration of the Ryūkyūs, see Watanabe , The Okinawa Problem, pp. 5153; Shiels , America, Okinawa, and Japan, p. 178; and Schaller , Altered States, pp. 171–72.

120. Watanabe , The Okinawa Problem, pp. 4648.

121. Apparently, Ikeda and his adviser Kiichi Miyazawa did not want to press too hard because they feared it would result in damage to U.S.—Japan economic relations. Maga , Hands Across the Sea? p. 17.

122. U.S. Department of State Bulletin, Vol. 45, No. 1150 (10 07 1961) (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1961), pp. 5758.

123. According to one source, Kennedy did this not only to improve U.S.—Japan relations, but also to get rid of the “ugly American” image that he thought was damaging U.S. relations with the Third World, a bloc whose support was vital for winning the Cold War. Maga , Hands Across the Sea?, pp. 1820.

124. “Okinawa reversion: a study of the administrative aspects,” enclosure 3.

125. Watanabe , The Okinawa Problem, pp. 5153.

126. Maga , Hands Across the Sea?, pp. 6265; and Schaller , Altered States, ch. 11.

127. Watanabe , The Okinawa Problem, p. 61; and Schaller , Altered States, pp. 189190.

128. Watanabe , The Okinawa Problem, pp. 6265; Buckley , U.S.—Japan Alliance Diplomacy, p. 117; Maga , Hands Across the Sea? pp. 7072; and Schaller , Altered States, p. 196.

129. Shiels , America, Okinawa, and Japan, pp. 79, 178–79.

130. Ibid. pp. 80–81, 177–181; and Schaller , Altered States, pp. 205206. In August and September, the U.S. contemplated asking Japan for a quid pro quo in exchange for returning the islands to Japan. Buckley , U.S.—Japan Alliance Diplomacy, p. 114; and Schaller , Altered States, p. 204.

131. Watanabe , The Okinawa Problem, pp. 6668; Shiels , America, Okinawa, and Japan, pp. 207211; and Schaller , Altered States, p. 207.

132. See Department of State Bulletin, Vol. 65, No. 1686 (17 10 1971) (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1971), pp. 431–35; Department of State Bulletin, Vol. 65, No. 1690 (15 11 1971) (Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1971), pp. 565–68; Nixon Richard M., RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon (New York: Touchstone, 1990), p. 343; and statements by retired U.S. State Department personnel in “The Okinawa reversion: ending the post-war period,” Foreign Service Journal, 05 1992, pp. 1822. For background on Nixon administration debates over the return of the Ryūkyūs, see Shiels , America, Okinawa, and Japan, pp. 8183; Buckley , U.S.—Japan Alliance Diplomacy, pp. 115, 118120; Maga , Hands Across the Sea? pp. 7884; and Schaller , Altered States, pp. 211220.

133. See n. 20.

134. United States Senate, Okinawa Reversion Treaty, p. 11.

135. Ibid. p. 91.

136. On 19 June 1971, Japanese Foreign Minister Kiichi Aichi publicly stated that the 1971 reversion accord has settled the issue of the Diaoyu Islands as far as Japan and the U.S. were concerned. United States Senate, Okinawa Reversion Treaty, p. 76.

137. United States Institute of Peace, “The South China Sea Dispute: prospects for preventive diplomacy,” 08 1996, pp. 1617.

138. One only has to look at the Navy's obstinate stand with respect to the return of the strategically meaningless Bonin Islands to get a flavour for this thinking. Schaller , Altered States, p. 204.

139. United States Senate, Okinawa Reversion Treaty, pp. 93, 115, 147. See also Schaller , Altered States, pp. 214–15, 229231.

140. This explanation is suggested inter alia by Welfield John, An Empire in Eclipse, Japan in the Postwar American Alliance System (London: The Athlone Press, 1988), p. 310; Schaller , Altered States, pp. 243–44; and Downs and Saunders , “Legitimacy and the limits of nationalism,” p. 125. Despite the appeal of an explanation based on realpolitik, a conclusive answer must await the declassification and publication of more archival material by the U.S. government.

141. For an attempt to conduct analyses of the interests involved in territorial disputes, see Kimura Masato and Welch David A., “Specifying ‘interests’: Japan's claim to the northern territories and its implications for international relations theorizing,” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 2 (1998), pp. 213244; and Downs and Saunders , “Legitimacy and the limits of nationalism.”

142. See nn. 5–7.

143. “Trouble in paradise: maritime risks and threats in the Western Pacific,” Jane's Intelligence Review – Special Report, No. 7 (1995), p. 11; and Kristof , “Would you fight for these islands?”

144. Mendl , Japan's Asia Policy, pp. 51, 81.

145. See East Asian Diplomacy and Defence Review, No. 2 (1997), http://www.eecg.toronto.edu/~syxu/kanwa/e9702.html.

146. Forsberg Thomas, “Explaining territorial disputes: from power politics to normative reasons,” Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 33, No. 4 (1996), pp. 433449; Huth Paul K., Standing Your Ground: Territorial Disputes and International Conflict (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996); Blanchard Jean-Marc F., “Borders as institutions: a new framework for understanding border disputes,” paper presented the 94th Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, MA, 3–6 09 1998; and Blanchard Jean-Marc F., “Borders and borderlands: an institutional approach to territorial disputes in the Asia Pacific,” Ph. D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 12 1998.

147. See, for example, Goldstein Avery, “Great expectations: interpreting China's arrival,” International Security, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Winter 1997/1998), pp. 3673; and Friedberg Aaron L., “Ripe for rivalry: prospects for peace in a multipolar Asia,” International Security, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Winter 1993/1994), pp. 533.

148. The view that economic interdependence will constrain East Asian countries is noted in Segal Gerald, “East Asia and the ‘constainment’ of China,” International Security, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Spring 1996), p. 107; and Goldstein , “Great Expectations,” pp. 6970. On the limitations of the commercial liberal argument, see Ripsman Norrin M. and Blanchard Jean-Marc F., “Commercial liberalism under fire: evidence from 1914 and 1936,” Security Studies, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Winter 1996/1997), pp. 450. The evidence is also lacking that the level of economic interdependence between China and Japan is really that great. For a conceptual treatment of the topic of measuring economic interdependence, see Blanchard Jean-Marc F. and Ripsman Norrin M., “Measuring economic interdependence: a geopolitical perspective,” Geopolitics and International Boundaries, Vol. I, No. 3 (Winter 1996), pp. 225246; and Blanchard Jean-Marc F. and Ripsman Norrin M., “Rethinking sensitivity interdependence: assessing trade, investment, and monetary links between states,” paper presented at the 38th Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Minneapolis, 17–21 03 1998.

* I would like to thank Steven T. Benfell, Daniel Dzurek, Avery Goldstein, Akira Iriya, Walter A. McDougall, Phillip C. Saunders and Allen S. Whiting for their feedback on various drafts of this paper. I also would like to express my appreciation to the staff at the National Archives-College Park, particularly Greg Gluba, Rebecca L. Collier and Dr Ken Heger for their assistance in gathering materials used in its preparation.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 76 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 681 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.