Monday, June 9, 2014

The Mystique of the Treaty of San Francisco



The Mystique of the Treaty of San Francisco

By Enju Aihara
The Daily Magi
October 20, 2071

The Treaty of Peace with Japan (commonly known as the Treaty of San Francisco, Peace Treaty of San Francisco, or San Francisco Peace Treaty), between Japan and part of the Allied Powers, was officially signed by 48 nations on September 8, 1951, at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, United States. It came into force on April 28, 1952. This treaty served to officially end World War II, to formally end Japan's position as an imperial power, and to allocate compensation to Allied civilians and former prisoners of war who had suffered Japanese war crimes. This treaty made extensive use of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to enunciate the Allies' goals.

This treaty, along with the Security Treaty signed that same day, is said to mark the beginning of the "San Francisco System"; this term, coined by historian John W. Dower, signifies the effects of Japan's relationship with the United States and its role in the international arena as determined by these two treaties and is used to discuss the ways in which these effects have governed Japan's post-war history. This treaty also introduced the problem of the legal status of Taiwan due to its lack of specificity as to what country Taiwan was to be surrendered, and hence some supporters of Taiwan independence argue that sovereignty of Taiwan is really still held by the Allies (particularly the US).

Of the 51 participating countries, 48 signed the treaty; Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Soviet Union refused. The signatories to the treaty were: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Ceylon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam and Japan.

The Philippines ratified the San Francisco Treaty on July 16, 1956, after the signing of a reparations agreement between both countries in May of that year. Indonesia did not ratify the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Instead, it signed with Japan a bilateral reparations agreement and peace treaty on January 20, 1958. A separate treaty, the Treaty of Taipei, formally known as the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty, was signed in Taipei on April 28, 1952, between Japan and the ROC, just hours before the Treaty of San Francisco went into effect. Neither Korea nor its derivatives South Korea and North Korea signed either the Treaty or a separate peace arrangement with Japan.

The document officially renounces Japan's treaty rights derived from the Boxer Protocol of 1901 and its rights to Korea, Formosa (Taiwan) and the Pescadores, Hong Kong (then a British colony), the Kuril Islands, the Spratly Islands, Antarctica and Sakhalin Island. Article 3 of the treaty left the Bonin Islands and the Ryukyu Islands, which included Okinawa and the Amami, Miyako and Yaeyama Islands groups, under a potential U.S. trusteeship. Whilst the treaty suggested that these territories would become U.S. trusteeship, at the end that option was not pursued. The Amami Islands were eventually restored to Japan on December 25, 1953, as well as the Bonin Islands on April 5, 1968. In 1969 U.S.-Japan negotiations authorized the transfer of authority over the Ryūkyūs to Japan to be implemented in 1972. In 1972, the United States' "reversion" of the Ryūkyūs occurred along with the ceding of control over the nearby Senkaku Islands. Both the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) argue that this agreement did not determine the ultimate sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands.

By Article 11 Japan accepted the judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and of other Allied War Crimes Courts both within and outside Japan and agreed to carry out the sentences imposed thereby upon Japanese nationals imprisoned in Japan. The document further set guidelines for repatriation of prisoners of war and renounces future military aggression under the guidelines set by the UN Charter. The document nullifies prior treaties and lays down the framework for Japan's current status of retaining a military that is purely defensive in nature.

There is also some ambiguity as to over which islands Japan has renounced sovereignty. This has led to both the Kuril Islands dispute and the Senkaku Islands dispute. The Treaty of Taipei between Japan and the ROC acknowledged the terms of the San Francisco Treaty but added that all residents of Taiwan and the Pescadores were deemed as nationals of the ROC.

Some supporters of Taiwan independence argue that the language in San Francisco Peace Treaty proves the notion that Taiwan is not a part of China, for it does not explicitly state the sovereignty status of Taiwan after Japanese renunciation. In 1955, U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, co-author of San Francisco Peace Treaty, affirmed that the treaty ceded Taiwan to no one; that Japan "merely renounced sovereignty over Taiwan". Dulles said that America "cannot, therefore, admit that the disposition of Taiwan is merely an internal problem of China." This legal justification is rejected by both the PRC and ROC governments, both of which base their legal claims on Taiwan on the Instrument of Surrender of Japan which accepts the Potsdam Declaration and the Cairo Declaration. In addition, in more recent years supporters of Taiwan independence have more often relied on arguments based on self-determination as implied in the San Francisco Peace Treaty and popular sovereignty.

No comments:

Post a Comment