The Abe government made a cabinet decision March 12 to mark the date April 28 as a Day of Recovery of Japanese Sovereignty after the 7-year US occupation of the country following the surrender to the Allied Forces on August 15, 1945. An official ceremony is planned with attendance of Emperor and Empress. The idea was presented first as a pledge of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) for the general elections held in December 2012. Many citizens show indignation against the decision as it 'instigates patriotism' which ignores sufferings brought about by the politics after 1945.
THE DAY MEANS DISGRACE AND DECISION IS ERROR
The decision links to the LDP's announcement made last April of a draft of new constitution compiled by the party. The LDP took advantage of an occasion to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Recovery of Sovereignty.
According to the government, the date April 28 marks a day when Japan regained independence from the occupation of the Allied Power in compliance with the Peace Treaty which took effect in 1952. However, many facts are concealed behind the scene, which have badly hindered post-war developments of the country which proclaimed the Peace Constitution.
Peace Treaty and Security Treaty
The United States and the United Kingdom took initiative to conclude the Peace Treaty in the background of growing Cold War hostility, while the Soviet Union did not sign, India did not attend the ceremony and China was not invited. The treaty was a unilateral peace treaty. In the domestic context Japanese people earnestly demanded a full peace treaty, but the government and the ruling party pushed their position forward.
Simultaneously, a security treaty was concluded between the United States and Japan (the older version). From the Japanese side only Premier Yoshida Shigeru attended the ceremony to sign the treaty and all the consigned committee members were excluded. Since then Japan has been a designated military point of the United States in the condition of almost forever. The nation has been incorporated into the US world strategy. The security treaty took effect on the same day, April 28, 1952.
The administrative right of Japan over the territories of Okinawa, Amami and Ogasawara was deprived and the areas were put under the jurisdiction of the US military in the context of the unilateral peace accord and security treaty. The Amami Islands returned to Japan in the following year, 1953, due to relative scarcity of US military presence and residents' fierce movements for home-return. The Ogasawara Islands were turned back to Japan in 1968.
Emperor Wanted US Occupation over Okinawa
As for the Okinawa Islands, the deal was savage.
According to the US archive, 'the Japanese Emperor wants the US to continue occupying militarily the Okinawa Island and other Ryukyu islands and he believes the presence may last for 25 years, or over 50 years in the form of a long lease' and 'according to Emperor, the occupation favors the United States and it will be broadly welcome by Japanese people who fear of a threat of Russia'. The comments were sent by Emperor's advisor, Mr. Terasaki, in the memorandum addressed to General MacArthur. In the US documents Mr. Terasaki's opinion is found, too, which says 'the United States should obtain the right to station military bases in Japan not by the peace treaty but by the bilateral treaty'.
The message of Emperor was dated September 20, 1947. It was a moment when Japan had proclaimed the Peace Constitution, and Emperor was not entitled to claim to the United States.
Day of Humiliation
People of Okinawa were again betrayed. The peace treaty did not cover the islands. The territory did not return to Japan and was put under the US military regime in compliance with the bilateral security treaty. It was in 1972 when Okinawa was backed to Japan, twenty years after the peace treaty took effect.
During the period Okinawa was controlled by bulldozers and bayonets. The land was occupied, people were victimized in the accidents and crimes and women were raped, while US soldiers were protected by the Status of Forces Agreement. Even now, 74% of the US military function in Japan is concentrated in the Okinawa Islands. 'Sovereignty' of Japan cannot reach the vase areas of ground bases and air space above. The US military continues occupation, stations controversial aircraft, Ospreys, and intends to build a new base in Henoko.
Okinawa people call April 28 Day of Humiliation, a reflection of harsh experiences of residents. How will the Abe government celebrate the day?
April 2, 2013