- JAPAN ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
- 国際政治 (ISSN:04542215)
- vol.2010, no.160, pp.160_122-136, 2012-03-25 (Released:2012-06-15)
By Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty signed in September 1951, the U.S. could continue to rule over Okinawa and have the exclusive right to maintain military bases there. After the ratification of the treaty in April 1952, people of Okinawa voiced opposition in regard to the use of land by the U.S. military. In June 1956, the U.S. authorities in Okinawa released a Report of the Price Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (hereinafter called the Price Report) that supported the land policy proposed by the U.S. military. The Price Report recommended lump sum payments for fee title and accepted to the planned acquisition of additional land. However, the release of the report inflamed the opposition movement of the people of Okinawa.The purpose of this paper is to analyze the political process over the Price Report in 1956 by focusing on the attitudes of the Japanese Foreign Office and the U.S. Department of State.After the release of the Price Report, Okinawans requested that the Japanese Foreign Office negotiate with the U.S. government to solve the land dispute. During June and July of 1956, Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu requested the U.S. Ambassador John Allison to abandon lump sum payments and to reduce the acquisition of additional land.Following the recommendation of the U.S. Embassy in Japan, the U.S. State Department carefully reexamined the Price Report in regard to the possibility of abandoning lump sum payments in order to improve U.S.-Japan relations. However, shortly before the State Department was due to hold a conference with the Department of Defense (which supported the Price Report), the issue of abandoning lump sum payments was dropped, because the U.S. Consul General in Okinawa strongly recommended that the State Department not retreat from the Price Report. However, the State Department did ask the Pentagon to make some modifications, such as abandoning the acquisition of the fee title, in view of possible damage to U.S.-Japan relations.After this political process revealed the importance of taking into consideration the involvement of the Japanese Foreign Office and the U.S. State Department, it was clear that the U.S. military was not capable of ruling Okinawa on its own. Thereafter, U.S. military control over Okinawa was always considered in the context of Japan-U.S. relations. Therefore, the political process over the Price Report in 1956 marked the start of Japanese Foreign Office and U.S. State Department involvement in U.S. military control of Okinawa. Concomitantly, it also was the starting point of recognizing that the role of the U.S. military in Okinawa was an issue affecting Japan-U.S. relations.