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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 April 24 - May 7  > April 28 is the day of ‘insult’ and ‘subordination’: Shii
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2013 April 24 - May 7 [POLITICS]

April 28 is the day of ‘insult’ and ‘subordination’: Shii

April 30, 2013
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo in a rally held on April 28 referred to this day as a day of “insult” and “subordination” and protested against the ceremony held on the same day at a different location to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the San Francisco Peace Treaty.

The ceremony hosted by the government celebrated the coming into force of the treaty that separated Okinawa, Amami, and Ogasawara islands from Japan and abandoned Japan’s claim to the Chishima Islands.

More than 600 JCP members, union workers, and activists in various grassroots-based groups took part in this rally.

Pointing out that the San Francisco Treaty contains provisions enabling the U.S. to continue stationing their forces not only in Okinawa but throughout Japan, Shii said, “Today is a day of humiliation for Okinawans and a day of subordination for all the people in Japan. I strongly protest the ceremony praising such a treaty.”

Shii explained that the 1875 Karafuto-Chishima (Sakhalin-Kuril) Exchange Treaty peacefully drew Japan-Russia boundaries, and that the entire Chishima archipelago from north to south became the territory of Japan under this treaty.

Shii emphasized the need to hold negotiations with Russia to demand the return of the Chishima Islands to Japan based on the Karafuto-Chishima Exchange Treaty or St. Petersburg Treaty.

* * *

The San Francisco Peace Treaty came into force on April 28 in 1952. Under this treaty, Japan became an independent country on the surface but a U.S. subordinated country in reality.

It was not an overall peace treaty because Japan did not conclude it with all the countries with which Japan had engaged in warfare. The treaty was concluded only between Japan and countries which had no objection to the U.S. plan.

Representatives of China and Koreas, the countries which were badly damaged by militarist Japan, were not invited to attend this peace conference. Three countries, including the Soviet Union, refused to sign the treaty.

The San Francisco Treaty made no mention of the need for reflection on Japan’s responsibility for the war and colonial rule. Article 11 is the only part mentioning that “Japan accepts the judgments of the International Military Tribunal for Far East.” The treaty as a whole blurs Japan’s war responsibility.

The 1943 Cairo Declaration specified territorial non-expansion as a major principle of postwar disposition, saying that victorious countries should seek “no gain for themselves and have no thought of territorial expansion”. The 1945 Potsdam Declaration accepted this principle. The San Francisco Treaty, however, inserted provisions contrary to the principle stated in the former declarations.

Article 3 of the San Francisco Treaty separated the islands of Ryukyu (Okinawa), Amami, and Ogasawara from Japan and stipulates, “[T]he 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.” In April 1953, following the land expropriation order issued in Okinawa, local people in the Isahama district (Ginowan City) and Ie-jima island were deprived of their land with the force of bayonets and bulldozers.

Furthermore, Clause C of Article 2 stipulates, “Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Kurile Islands, and to that portion of Sakhalin and the islands adjacent to it.”

Before that, the U.S., Britain, and the Soviet Union had summit talks in Yalta in February 1945. During the talks, Stalin demanded that the Chishima Islands (Kuriles) be handed over to the Soviet Union in exchange for the country’s entry into the war against Japan. The other two countries accepted his demand. In this way, they secretly made a promise regarding the Chishimas. Based on this secret agreement, Stalin occupied the Chishima archipelago and the islands of Shikotan and Habomai which are part of Hokkaido.

Article 6 of the San Francisco Treaty calls for the early withdrawal of all occupation forces of the Allied Powers. At the same time, it leaves room for the continued stationing and retention of U.S. forces in Japan by adding, “Nothing in this provision shall, however, prevent the stationing or retention of foreign armed forces in Japanese territory under or in consequence of any bilateral or multilateral agreements which have been or may be made between one or more of the Allied Powers, on the one hand, and Japan on the other.” In conjunction to this additional provision, the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty was established in 1951.

The earlier security pact of 1951 violated Paragraph 12 of the Potsdam Declaration which states, “The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government.” The pact provided the basis for U.S. forces to continue to stay in Japan, and this basis exists in the present Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.
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