Okinawa: Irredenta on the Pacific

By David Wurfel. In Pacific Affairs, Vol. XXXV, No.4 (Winter 1962-63). University of British Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada.

THE OKINAWANS, LIKE MANY OTHER ASIANS, had great expectations of President John F. Kennedy. Some were impossibly optimistic, others realistically cautious. Certain Okinawans in positions of responsibility recognized that a change in top U.S. leadership changed neither the character of the bureaucracy in Okinawa nor the Far Eastern military situation, which is the official justification for both U.S. bases and U.S. civil administration in the Ryukyus. But at least one top official of the Government of the Ryukyu Islands (GRI) privately voiced a hope that there would be a proclamation from Washington of intention to return Okinawa to Japanese administration, plus the beginning of steps leading toward that eventuality. Though he recognized that it was not official policy, his hopes were clearly based on the Conlon Report.1 Others, less sophisticated, tended to consider that report official-though the section on Okinawa was written by Professor Robert Scalapino, a scholar considerably more sensitive to Okinawan opinion than Washington policymakers-and expected even more rapid steps toward reversion.

In the first two years of the Kennedy administration few of these expectations have been realized: none but the most cautious ones. Politically aware Okinawans of nearly all persuasions feel more or less “let down.” In retrospect, given the magnitude of the military establishment in Okinawa, the Defense Department’s predominant role in the policy process, and the military man’s general satisfaction with the existing political arrangements, frustration of these expectations seems practically inevitable.

But the expectations were built on more than just an overevaluation of the importance of the Conlon Report. After a brief visit to Okinawa in November 1960, Senator John Sparkman reported to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that, though the political situation seemed stabilized for the moment and the economy was prospering, the existing political arrangements could be considered only temporary. A responsible and well informed journalist had remarked shortly before that “Okinawa’s [military bases] vulnerability in a brushfire war must be considered fairly high.”2 Such reports seemed to Okinawans like straws in the wind of changeon the eve of the Kennedy administration.

Hopes were raised again after Kennedy took office by announcement of a survey to determine the usefulness of existing U.S. bases throughout the world, but were dashed within a few months. At the end of March 1961 the Department of Defense announced that fifty-two overseas bases had been classified “obsolete” and would be closed or deactivated.3 No Okinawan bases were in this list. Press reports at the same time emphasized the great importance of Okinawan bases, especially for limited war purposes. Leaders of both government and opposition parties in the GRI Legislature expressed “great disappointment.” Indefinite continuation of U.S. civil administration seemed to be implied.

But hope springs eternal, and it rose again during preparations for the Ikeda-Kennedy talks in .Washington. In February 1961, Ikeda had told the House of Councillors Budget Committee that he “would like to see” Okinawa returned to Japan “as soon as possible.”4 But he would make no promise to put pressure on Kennedy in order to help make a reality of his wishes. Despite a visit from a delegation of Okinawan party leaders,5 student demonstrations in Tokyo and Naha,6 and other Okinawan efforts to draw attention to the reversion issue, the Foreign Office announced that Ikeda would not put emphasis on Okinawan reversion in his talks with Kennedy.7

The greatest concession to come out of the Washington meeting between President and Prime Minister — though not included in the joint communique — was permission to fly the Japanese flag over public buildings on official holidays.8 (Display on private homes had previously been allowed.) To the observer unacquainted with Okinawa the question may seem even more trivial than it actually was. The “flag question” had frequently erupted into a major public debate in the previous two years. The Okinawa Teacher’s Association had led the fight to fly the Rising Sun at public schools, believing it to be a necessary part of education for patriotism. (Okinawan teachers are decidedly more nationalistic than their Japanese counterparts.) USCAR (U.S. Civil Administration in the Ryukyus), where military thinking dominates, had steadfastly resisted any such move on the grounds that it would appear to be a diminution of exclusive U.S. administrative rights and would stimulate sentiment for reversion to Japanese rule. State Department officials had a different interpretation; theirs finally predominated. The new policy was introduced in the Washington press as “a gesture recognizing Japan’s latent sovereignty,” but USCAR officials, fighting the interpretation they had feared, insisted that the flying of the flag had no relation to the return of Okinawan administration to Japan.

Despite this small concession on the flag, there was considerable dissatisfaction with press reports from Washington which made clear that Prime Minister Ikeda had not even asked Kennedy for reversion. Speaker Nagamine of the GRI Legislature, member of the conservative, pro-American government party, expressed regret that Ikeda was “still clinging to U.S. coattails.”9 Okinawan leaders were disappointed not only in the U.S., but in Japan also.

Within six months, however, Okinawan hopes were again rising. In September 1961 the White House appointed a survey mission to go to Okinawa, headed by a former Harvard professor, Dr. Carl Kaysen.10 Though the mission was officially advertised as being concerned with social and economic conditions, it was generally believed to have wider interests. Speculation was rife about the political changes that might come about as a result of the mission’s findings.

Because it was well known that important policies were in the process of being made, concerned groups on all sides increased their activity in hopes of influencing that process. Understandably the first action was taken by the GRI Legislature. On February I, 1962, the legislators appealed by unaminous vote, as they had several times before, for return of Okinawa to Japanese administration. This year, however, they directed their appeal not only to Japan and the U.S., as before, but also to all 104 members of the U.N.: “In view of the December 1960 declaration of the General Assembly assuring the right of independence to all dependent peoples, we request the member states to comply with this resolution in respect to Okinawa.” The clear implication that Okinawa was a colony became the major focus of controversy. Chief Executive Ohta himself denied that it was, but Okinawa Liberal Democratic Party leaders met shortly thereafter to endorse the Legislature’s appea1.11 Foreign Minister Kosaka, when questioned in the Diet, explained in great detail that the December 1960 U.N. declaration did not apply to Okinawa.12

But despite these criticisms, the Okinawan Legislature’s action undoubtedly provided some stimulus to the Japanese Diet. Between February 10 and 15, 1962, the Socialist, Democratic Socialist and Liberal-Democratic Parties, in that order, all presented drafts of resolutions calling on the government to demand the return of Okinawa.13 (Three such resolutions had been adopted in previous years with no appreciable results.) In 1961 the Socialist Party had also presented such a draft but it was not adopted because the Liberal Democratic Party’s cooperation was not forthcoming. The Liberal Democrats had wanted to include reference to the Kuriles and thus would not support the Japan Socialist Party draft, which included no such reference;14 the Socialists had steadfastly refused to include one. There were apparently changes in the views of both parties during the intervening year for in 1962 a compromise was possible. On March 7 the House of Representatives Steering Committee agreed on two resolutions to be supported by all three parties, one relating to Okinawa and the other to the “northern territories.”15 These were adopted by the full House a few days later.

It was not only the Okinawans and Japanese who were attempting to influence the outcome of deliberations in Washington. Others were more successful. On March I High Commissioner Caraway told the press that “the Okinawa people’s right of self-determination could be considered as being adequately assured under present conditions.”16 He strongly implied thereby opposition to any change in the Executive Order. It is perhaps no mere coincidence that Caraway’s statement was made on the same day that Attorney General Robert Kennedy returned to Washington. The latter had remarked when he left Japan that he had been particularly impressed by the widespread opposition among Japanese youth to continued American administration in Okinawa. Since he also said that he would attempt to inform administration leaders in Washington about what he had learned during his trip, his remarks were another cause for optimism among those expecting significant changes. On March 2, Kennedy conferred with Secretary Rusk; and at the same time the State Department announced that General Caraway had been given no prior clearance for his remarks.17 The Attorney General thereafter joined the panel reviewing the Kaysen Mission’s findings.

But judging from the results of the review, neither the President’s brother nor the State Department were as influential as the General and his military friends.

After the Mission had returned to Washington, “informed sources” variously reported that it would recommend: appointment of a civilian High Commissioner (including mention of persons of Okinawan descent now in the U.S.)18 GR1 jurisdiction over all matters not directly involving defence19 and direct election of the chief executive.20 Though other reports were more cautious, warning that “not too much can be expected,” appointment of a civilian High Commissioner is almost impossible,21 or “American administration over Okinawa will not undergo any substantial change,”22 the more optimistic vein seemed to be dominant. Even those who had personally conferred with Mission members were in this latter category. One Washington Kyodo dispatch predicted “the first sweeping reform of U.S. policy in Okinawa.”23 Expectations were such that the Okinawa Times,24 which had been partly responsible for encouraging them, commented quite accurately after the issuance of a presidential statement that “so much was reported about the new policy beforehand that people who looked for substantial reform were greatly disappointed at the actual announcement.”

President Kennedy released his official statement on March 19. At the same time he signed an executive order amending Executive Order No. 10713, which is the closest thing that Okinawa has to a constitution. These were the political results of the Kaysen group’s survey, apparently embodying only the most cautious of its findings-which are still secret. Though the manner of their implementation will be crucial, the statement and the “constitutional amendment” do not add up to any substantial change in U.S. political policy. There are some indications that there may be the beginning of a trend in tho direction of greater civilian participation in policy-making and less American interference in purely Okinawan affairs. Though these indications are commendable, those who were prepared to measure progress with a yardstick have been forced to switch to a micrometer.

Perhaps the most notable phrase in Kennedy’s statement was the following: “I recognize the Ryukyus to be a part of the Japanese homeland and look forward to the day when the security interests of the Free World will permit their restoration to full Japanese sovereignty.”25 The President studiously avoided the use of any terms which have precise meaning in international law, but psychologically his wording was effective. In essence he said nothing more than Dulles did ten years ago when he coined the term “residual sovereignty” to describe Japanese rights in Okinawa. But to say “I recognize the Ryukyus to be a part of the Japanese homeland” has a more positive flavor; this part of the statement was well received. The most cautious hopes were realized. He also referred to “the anticipated eventual restoration of the Ryukyu Islands to Japanese administration.” But making “restoration of full sovereignty” contingent on “the security interests of the Free WorId” merely seemed to confirm existing policy and was less palatable to the Japanese. At the same time he reemphasized “the importance the U.S. attaches to its military bases in the Ryukyu Islands.”

Kennedy’s statement announced action, and policies to be the basis of future action, designed in a spirit of “reconciling the military imperative for continued U.S. administration with the desires of the Ryukyuan people to assert their identity as Japanese and obtain the economic and social welfare benefits available in Japan, and to have a greater voice in the management of their own affairs, [as well as] the desire of the Japanese people to maintain close contact with their countrymen in the Ryukyus.” The amendment to the executive order was apparently the U.S. compromise with the Okinawan desire “to have a greater voice in the management of their own affairs.” It was a compromise very heavily weighted for “military imperatives,” probably a substantial modification of the Kaysen recommendations.

In fact, the amendments issued failed to meet Okinawan expectations on three crucial points. While most observers had predicted a revision of the requirement that the High Commissioner must be a military officer on active duty, it was not revised. Only the Civil Administrator — not mentioned at all in the original Executive Order — who previously was also a military officer, was designated as a civilian. But the Civil Administrator has only such powers and duties “as may be assigned to him by the High Commissioner.” In all official duties he is subject to the command of a military officer. Gen. Caraway has described him as “an assistant to the High Commissioner .”26

This is certainly not the “civilian administration┬╗ proposed in the Conlon Report, though even this step was opposed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington and the incumbent High Commissioner in Naha.27 Under this arrangement-and in this atmosphere-any civilian will have extreme difficulty in making significant changes in either policy or the spirit of its execution, even though he is appointed in the same manner as the High Commissioner himself. All that can be said at this point is that the first civilian Civil Administrator appointed, Dr. Shannon McCune, is a person who can probably make the most out of the limited opportunities available to him. He has an intimate knowledge of the Far East — as well as considerable administrative experience in government, not to mention his high posts with the University of Massachusetts and UNESCO. But if a truly civilian administration is a “necessary transitional stage prior to any Japanese administration,” as claimed by the Conlon Report, present policy is clearly not a step in a process of “gradual reversion.”

The more serious disappointment to those Okinawans looking forward to greater autonomy came in the failure of the amendments to permit the popular election of the chief executive. The method for selection of the top official of the GRI was changed, but only to bring the Executive Order into congruence with a practice inaugurated nearly two years ago. The chief executive continues to be appointed by the High Commissioner, though the GRI Legislature may make a nomination. Such a nomination does not constitute a restriction on the High Commissioner’s appointive power, however, for if the Legislature “does not make an acceptable nomination within a reasonable time as determined by the High Commissioner, or if by reason of other unusual circumstances it is deemed by the High Commissioner to be necessary, he may appoint a Chief Executive without a nomination.”28 As pointed out in the Conlon Report, the U.S. stand on this issue is politically vulnerable. “Having established Okinawan democracy, we are now saying that we do not trust it.”29

Greater autonomy for the GRI, through restraining the heavy hand of the High Commissioner, had been expected by many. The President’s statement itself reported that the High Commissioner’s veto power had been restated “to emphasize its restricted purposes.” This meant, in effect, that one phrase, “The High Commissioner shall give all proper weight to the rights of the Ryukyuans,” was added. But there was no change in the statement of the High Commissioner’s power: to promulgate laws, ordinances or regulations, to veto any bill of the GRI Legislature or portion thereof, to annul any law or any portion thereof within forty-five days of enactment, to remove any public official from office, and to assume full authority in the islands if necessary for security reasons.30 Whether the added phrase acquires any meaning at all will depend largely on the High Commissioner. So far the incumbent has usually given priority to military, not Ryukyuan, interests.

The only significant step taken in the direction of greater autonomy for Okinawans was the repeal of Civil Administration Ordinance No. 145, not part of the President’s executive order. By this Ordinance USCAR, following an investigation by CIC, gave or withheld final approval for the registration of labor unions. (Unregistered unions were then denied collective bargaining rights.) Though USCAR officials explained that their investigation was undertaken to determine whether union officers were likely to “serve the interests of the employees,” unionists, pointed out that the political orientation of union leaders was usually the main point in issue. USCAR’s power to deny registration had been challenged by the daring opinion of three GRI judges who declared the ordinance to be in conflict with the Executive Order.31 The ordinance had also frequently been the subject of protests by ICPTU representatives in Okinawa. Its repeal is the removal of a major barrier to the freedom of association in Okinawa.

Nevertheless, for those who were looking for changes in U.S. policy which might either modify Okinawa’s international status or increase its local autonomy, March 19 was truly an anticlimax. Though there were significant developments in the field of economic and social policy which will be discussed later, Kennedy’s political stance was wholly unsatisfactory to Okinawans seeking reunion with Japan. It was, in fact, widely believed that this reunion had actually been delayed.31 This view had also characterized the Japan Socialist Party’s reaction to the permission granted for flying the Japanese flag on public buildings. They charged that the new order was merely aimed at tempering the anti-American feelings of Okinawans and thus permitting the prolongation of American rule. This is probably a fairly accurate interpretation of American motives. Some experienced observers of the Okinawan scene do, in fact, believe that granting one of the symbols of unity with Japan, official display of the flag, will relieve pressure for the granting of the administrative substance of that union — but only for a while. In the long run this concession may actually tend to solidify the determination to demand the substance.

The desire for reversion to Japan is almost universal in Okinawa; though surface manifestations may fluctuate, feelings run deep. Okinawa is in many respects a classic example of European irredentism, caught in the political riptides of the contemporary Pacific. Because irredentism is the basic issue, therefore, the salutary effect-from the U.S. point of view — of a concession such as freer flag-flying can at best be short-lived.

In the midst of widespread sentiment for reversion among politically conscious Okinawans, we must recognize differences in social status and occupation which provide variations on the basic theme. Among all status groups the intensity of the sentiment varies in response to American policy. In sum, we can say that desire for reversion is an attitude determined basically by the common cultural experience of these island people, with social and economic factors contributing contrapuntal elaboration.

Though Okinawan group experience in the last three generations has, for the most part, had the effect of developing their sense of identification as Japanese, their cultural tradition up until that time had already created in them an Okinawan consciousness unparalleled in intensity by any regional feeling in other parts of Japan.32 Several centuries under a peculiar dual suzerainty of both China and Japan tended to produce a certain ambivalence toward each. The Japanese educational system, introduced in the 1890’s, gradually erased Chinese influences but it did not succeed in eliminating the ambivalent attitude toward Japan. While the schools taught Okinawan children to be patriotic Japanese, bureaucrats and businessmen from the mainland often treated Okinawan parents as second-class citizens. The reaction was, in some cases, the ultra-patriotism of the insecure; in others, quiet resentment. (Some persons harbored both attitudes simultaneously.) The youth, for whom a rapidly modernizing Japan was the only path to progress, were frequently patriots; the older generation, feeling a threat to their traditional way of life in the influences from Tokyo, more often exhibited the second reaction. To some extent this pattern continues and the postwar experiences have, in a different way, served to reinforce this ambivalence. For several years after 1945 Okinawans were separated almost completely from their cultural homeland, ruled by a people whose traditions were utterly unfamiliar. Travel to Japan was severely restricted; the flow of literature was limited; in certain respects school curricula were altered. Again there were two reactions, a revival of “Okinawa culture” as indicated, for example, by the increased use of hogen (the Okinawan dialect) and an intense thirsting after the forbidden elixir, reunion with Japan. Both were a search for cultural identity.

Quite naturally the attraction of Japan has been much greater than that of local tradition. In the last few years cultural contact with the main islands has greatly increased. Travel is more frequent; more than two-thirds of all monthly and weekly periodicals are imported from Japan;33 and the school curriculum has been revised again so that it is practically identical with that prescribed by the Ministry of Education in Tokyo. More students are attending Japanese universities than the University of the Ryukyus, which has an enrollment of over 2,000. Added to all this is the now popular media, television. A majority of programs come from Tokyo; the recently completed micro-wave relay system permitting direct broadcast to Okinawa will draw Japan even closer. (Insofar as baseball and sumo wrestling retain their present high viewing rate, however, TV’s political influence may be negligible!) In the long run, cultural integration with Japan through education and the mass media will serve to draw attention to Okinawa’s “unnatural” political separation.

But even as Okinawa is inevitably drawn closer to Japan, criticism of Japan is revived. Okinawan Legislator Kiyonori Shinzato recently described Okinawan-Japanese relations in romantic simile: “As two lovers conceive deeper affection for each other when they are forcibly separated … , so Okinawa, separated from Japan, cherishes deeper affection for Japan.”34 He might have added that the greater Okinawa’s affection, the greater her expectation of affection from Japan. Thus when Okinawans are treated with lack of respect or even indifference, Japanese are the object of bitter criticism. This criticism seems to be growing.35 An end to separation may cool the affection.

We have already noted Speaker Nagamine’s criticism of Ikeda in 1961. The failure of this year’s U.S. policy to make significant changes was also partly blamed on the lack of Japanese government pressure. (Japanese newspapers also gave this interpretation.)36 An incident like that reported by a legislator visiting Osaka is even more galling to the Okinawans. At a professional meeting he was handed a program in English; when he asked for an explanation, he was told that “Okinawans are foreigners.” He lamented that “the people of the mainland have little understanding of the actual state of affairs in Okinawa, despite the fact that they say Okinawa belongs to Japan.”37 Some Okinawans also express concern about the possibility of the Okinawan economy again being dominated by men from Tokyo and Osaka.

Even technicians sent by the Japanese government at the request of the GRI have not always contributed to friendly relations. The Okinawan Teachers Association, a leader in the reversion movement, was largely instrumental in bringing Japanese “teacher consultants” to Okinawa in 1959. But by 1960 Okinawan teachers, for the most part appreciative of the consultants’ work, would sometimes admit in private an irritation at the superior attitude which some Japanese teachers showed. Japanese doctors sent to Okinawa under a similar program returned home within a year because of such problems.38 The strong psychological need for acceptance into the larger national community makes Okinawans especially sensitive to Japanese slights.

The nuclear weapons issue has particularly revealed Okinawan ambivalence toward Japan, as well as the mixed quality of Japanese attitudes toward Okinawa. The decision to introduce Mace-B missiles into Okinawa, with nuclear warheads, was made in 1960.39 By the spring of 1961 construction on launching sites had begun and in March the GRI Legislature passed a unanimous resolution demanding an immediate halt.40 The Defence Department reaction was that the whole thing was “cleverly inspired” by Communists or Socialists.41 But for Okinawan political leaders, right as well as left, nuclear bases were most unwelcome, in part because of the likely delay they would cause in reversion to Japan.

If Japan maintains its strict policy against the introduction of nuclear weapons, then reversion of Okinawa without removal of U.S. bases would become impossible unless the U.S. were willing to withdraw its nuclear missiles, a most unlikely prospect. This dilemma which Okinawans feared in 1961, must now be faced as a reality. When asked in the Diet in March what he would do about the nuclear armament of Okinawa, Prime Minister Ikeda answered, “That is America’s business.”42 Meanwhile he and other cabinet members confirmed that the government was standing firm in its policy against nuclear weapons on Japanese soil. On March 20 Foreign Minister Kosaka drew the necessary corollary: if Okinawa should be returned to Japan it would have to be without nuclear bases.43 Okinawan’s have justifiably suspected that the Japanese government is treating the Ryukyus as a sacrificial lamb on the altar of Japanese nuclear purity. The more candid Japanese officials will admit this privately. They believe that the maintenance of U.S. nuclear bases in Okinawa will relieve pressure on Japan to allow them in the main islands, a most explosive political issue. The more conscientious among those who realize the true nature of the situation have a guilt complex toward Okinawa.

Differing interpretations of the “Tanaka slip” in February gave another indication of the gap between Okinawan and Japanese points of view. In a meeting with Robert Kennedy, Kakuei Tanaka, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party Policy Board apparently asked: “What do you think of the United States’ asking Japan, in order to return Okinawa, to revise its Constitution and to rearm itself, and to suggest that if the request is not actually met, it will not return Okinawa?”44 Tanaka went on to say that it would not be possible for Japan to accept a U.S. proposal to return the Ryukyus under the prevailing situation because the Japanese constitution bans Japan from possessing arms, especially nuclear arms.”45 These statements caused a political uproar in the Diet which was not quieted until Tanaka apologized.46

Japan Socialist Party critics emphasized the impropriety of making such a proposal to the U.S. They also attacked the statement as revealing the government’s true attitude on constitutional revision, an attitude contrary to the public statements of the Prime Minister. When asked about the implications for the government’s Okinawa policy, Prime Minister Ikeda — avoiding direct reference to the Tanaka statement — said that “the return of Okinawa was a cherished desire of the Japanese people and that the demand for its return should have no bearing on rearmament.”47 He added that Japan was seizing every opportunity to ask the U.S. for the return of Okinawa, a statement few informed observers took at face value.

From the Okinawan’s point of view Tanaka simply revealed the Liberal Democratic Party’s willingness to delay return of Okinawa until after revision of the Constitution. Said Speaker Nagamine, “this would mean sacrificing the Ryukyus for the Japanese mainland.”48 It was thus surprising to find a leading Japanese weekly maintaining that “Okinawans are probably more sympathetic to the Tanaka statement than we imagine.”49

Though U.S. observers have sometimes misunderstood criticism of Japan to signify a desire for separation,50 it should now be clear that it is, in fact, an outgrowth of the desire for reversion, a corollary of the wish to be wanted, and respected, by the Japanese.

Irredentist feeling, as we have noted, varies considerably among different social status and occupational groups. Some American officials in Okinawa have characterized the reversion movement as simply an elite phenomenon. Of course, in any political movement the articulate elements are at the top. The Okinawan economic elite, however, are clearly not reversionists, at least in the normal political usage of the term. They have in some sense “reverted” already. They make frequent trips to the naichi” (mainland); many have houses in Tokyo. Their children go to university, or sometimes even high school, in Japan. One oil company executive who might be placed in this category frequently warns his American friends of the dangers of Communism should Okinawa revert to Japan. Such persons, prospering under American rule, do not feel the same psychological separation from Japanese national culture as do their less affluent countrymen.

Marxists analysts consider “reversion” a sentiment voiced, and a movement supported, only by the “masses.” But if one were to succumb to a class analysis of the reversion movement at all, the best case can be made for a middle-class base. Even within the middle class, however, distinctions must be made. The only tenable generalization is that those persons who feel most strongly a dimunition of economic and social status as a result of the American administration are the leaders for reversion.

The clearest example of this general rule is the case of government workers. People’s Party leader Hiroshi Senaga himself admits the economic motivation of their political discontent in Chapter IV of his recent book, Report from Okinawa.51 Using government figures, he claimed that the take-home pay of Okinawan school teachers (including fringe benefits and adjusted for differences in price levels) ranged from 65 per cent of the Japanese scale for junior high school to 51 per cent for high school teachers, with those in elementary schools getting 50 per cent of the Japanese rate. The differences between other GRI salaries in 1958 and comparable government employment in Japan was, he claimed, about the same. Though Senaga’s interpretation of government statistics may be somewhat exaggerated, no one has attempted to challenge his basic point. Both USCAR and GRI officials recognized the discrepancy. It is no mere coincidence that government employees’ unions provide a large part of Senaga’s organized support. This, in Okinawan terms, is for the most part middle class, not “mass,” backing.

Ryukyuan employees of U.S. forces — about four times the number of GRI employees, or 13 per cent of the total Ryukyuan labor force — fared even worse in comparison with their Japanese counterparts. In 1959 U.S. forces employees in Japan got a take-home pay more than 15 per cent higher than Japanese government employees, while in Okinawa military employees received an average wage nearly 20 per cent lower than that paid by the GRI. The average wage of U.S. forces’ Okinawan employees was $52.00 a month; wages among base workers in Japan averaged 55 per cent higher, even when not including the much more generous Japanese fringe benefits.52 But reversion activity by military employees is curbed by a well-grounded fear of being dismissed from their jobs. Though some may believe, as their employers tell them, that administrative reversion would necessarily mean abolition of their positions, their lack of political activity does not generally reflect their true sentiments.

There are, of course, some occupations which clearly would not benefit from reversion, even if it would not mean withdrawal of bases.53 Many small manufacturing enterprises which have been fostered by a preferential tax system would suffer from the unrestricted entry of Japanese goods unless they develop greater efficiency of production than they now display. Both owners and workers have cause for concern. Other small Okinawan businesses fear increased competition from branches of large Japanese firms which would undoubtedly accompany reversion.

Certain categories of bureaucrats would also become casualties in the event that Japanese administration were reestablished. In some cases, the GRI organization does not parallel the governmental structure of a Japanese prefecture. Personnel of superfluous agencies, e.g., certain courts or the office controlling immigration from Japan, could not easily be absorbed into the ken government. Only a portion of the remainder could be given national government posts. Furthermore, civil servants of the top three ranks would face competition for appointment from the mainland; though their employment would probably be secure in the event of reversion, their present positions would not be. Officers in these ranks are not members of the pro-reversion Kankoro (Council of Government Employees).

The causes of Okinawan irredentism include a feeling not only of economic disadvantage but of diminished social status as well. This is a factor which works most strongly among the political elite and among those who work under Americans. Americans not only receive, from the Okinawan point of view, fantastic salaries, but they are in command, directly for military and USCAR employees and indirectly for the GRI. This inevitably breeds a sense of frustration within the psyche of the person in a subordinate position. Subordination, so some extent inevitable, would be more acceptable to Okinawans if it were inside the framework of Japanese culture. But now it is clearly outside that framework and is alien-imposed.

Economic interest creates distinct attitudes toward reversion among different social groups; economic policy produces fluctuation in those attitudes within each group. A comparison of election results in March 1958 and November 1900 reveals an example of this pattern. In 1958 U.S. commandeering of Okinawans’ land without adequate compensation was still a burning issue. The Okinawan People’s Party was able to link oppressive land policies to the necessity for reversion. By 1900, however, new land acquisition had been nearly stopped and payment terms had been greatly liberalized. In the intervening two and one-half years more than $17 million was actually paid in rentals to landowners,54 but the Okinawan People’s Party continued its anti-American immediate-reversion refrain. Its popular vote dropped from nearly 28 per cent in 1958 to less than 17 per cent (together with the allied Socialist Party) of the total in 1960. But the drop was not evenly distributed. While the Okinawan People’s Party held its own or even gained strength in most parts of urbanized Naha, its decline was most spectacular in legislative districts 10 and 11.55 It was precisely in those two districts that the volume of cash payments to landowners had been highest. This and other evidence seems to indicate that, though this was not the only factor, solution of the land question was the most important element in the voting shift from 1958 to 1960. Nor has any other economic issue arisen which is an equal stimulus to reversion sentiment, either in Okinawa or Japan. Other economic policies, however-while incapable of exciting such human sympathy as does forcible expropriation of the land — can continue to create the discontent which provides support for the reversion movement.

In the last few years there has been increasing recognition by American officials of the affect of economic and social policy on reversion sentiment. This recognition culminated in the social and economic portions of President Kennedy’s statement of March 19, 1962. In that statement he promised to ask Congress to amend the Price Act so as to remove the present $6 million ceiling on annual assistance to the Ryukyus, to submit to Congress plans for the support of higher wage levels for GRI and U.S. military employees, and higher levels of public health, educational and welfare services, and to request an increase in loan funds to develop the Ryukyuan economy.

In the field of government wages and social welfare benefits Kennedy was willing to admit as proper a goal which the Okinawans had long been proclaiming, to reach a level “obtaining in comparable areas in Japan.” Even though “comparable areas” is a term pregnant with many meanings and can be used to U.S. advantage, the President was not willing to apply this goal in the area of general economic development. Actually Okinawa is already “comparable” with the poorest Japanese prefectures. Though this is only one of the indices which might be used, the per capita real annual income56 of Okinawans in 1957 was $166. This put Okinawa third from the bottom among Japanese prefectures:57 only Miyazaki-ken, with a per capita annual income of $161, and Kagoshima, with $149, were lower; no other prefectures were recorded with less than $180 per capita and only four with less than $190. The Japanese average for that year was $250; thus if this were the basis of comparison, the task of catching up would be formidable.

The gap between Okinawa and the Japanese average has not been significantly narrowed since 1957 because of Japan’s phenomenal growth. It could widen in the future, depending on future growth rates. While Japan expects an annual average growth rate of at least 9 per cent in the next decade, GRI economic planners in 1961 were figuring in terms of 6 per cent for the Ryukyus. Such a discrepancy would clearly have resulted in an accentuation of the difference in economic levels. Recently, however, sights have been raised and an Okinawan growth rate of 13.6 per cent is now planned.58 Even this may not be sufficient to catch up with the Japanese average, if the Japanese economy weathers its present slump and returns to the growth rates of 1960 and 1961. But perhaps it would be more “comparable” to cite growth rates of the more backward Japanese prefectures. Even they have been growing at faster rates than the past record of Okinawa, and nearly as fast as the projected rate. For example, Kagoshima in 1959 grew 8,5 per cent over the previous year, Yamanashi, 11.9 per cent, and Miyazaki, 13.0 per cent.59

At any rate, there is no doubt that if the Okinawan economy is to progress rapidly enough to give Okinawans a sense of advancement in relation to Japan, massive economic assistance is necessary. U.S. aid to the Ryukyuan economy, only $.8 million in FY 1957, had grown to $5.37 million by FY 1962. This was still a small amount, however, in comparison to the magnitude of dislocations in Okinawan life caused by the U.S. presence, or in comparison with the task of economic development. The first step to recognize the need for expanded aid was passage of the Price Bill in 1960, authorizing $6 million for economic assistance-though Congress did not appropriate the full amount. This was an insignificant increase, however, in comparison with the proposal of the Kaysen Mission. Soon after the President’s March 19 statement, the Defense Department asked Congress to authorize an annual appropriation of $25 million for development loans and economic aid.

President Kennedy not only recommended increased economic aid but also announced a plan to work more closely with Japan in coordinating Japanese and U.S. economic and technical assistance program in the Ryukyus. Japanese-American cooperation in these fields was not new; it had been going on for nearly three years and had been discussed by Kennedy and Ikeda in Washington last year, but it is henceforth to be much expanded. In the State Department’s view administrative cooperation, as well as the economic impact of the programs, should help stave off pressure for reversion. As a result of a Japanese survey mission which went this spring to Okinawa to study the economic picture and confer with USCAR officials, it was revealed that plans were being drawn up for a five-year development program costing $4014 million, with the U.S. to underwrite 30 per cent of the cost, Japan 10 per cent and GRI the remainder.60 This would amount to annual assistance from the outside of about $34 million. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had estimated in 1961 that annual assistance of $30 million would be necessary to treat Okinawa like comparable Japanese prefectures; thus this would seem to be rather generous:61 Since Japan is now allotting less than $3 million a year in aid for Okinawa, this would also mean more than a 100 per cent increase in her contribution. In fact, however, for 19l>3 Japan has still budgeted only slightly more than $5 million. for this purpose, despite USCAR prodding.62

Overall increases in aid are helpful, of course, but in the fields of social security and wage policy there is still much to be done. The great discrepancy in wage-rates between military employees in Japan and in Okinawa has been noted above. This situation was improved somewhat in February 1961 when the Army-Air Force Wage Board decided to raise wages by an average of 11 per cent.63 Nevertheless, though the differential has been reduced, the basic relationships have not been changed. The new average wage of $58 a month still places U.S. forces Okinawan employees in a position substantially below that of GRI workers, and Japanese base employees still receive an average nearly 40 per cent above that of their Okinawan confreres. It was unlikely that such a modest raise could long divert Okinawan attention from the discrepancies which remain. Recognizing this fact-having been reminded by a large demonstration of the military employees unions-the Kaysen Mission apparently recommended an additional raise. Another Wage Board survey mission is to be sent to Okinawa soon. In the meantime “language differentials,” i.e., bonuses for English-speaking Okinawans, were increased. (Some union members viewed this, however, as an attempt to buy off union leaders.) It was apparently recommended that GRI salaries should be raised also, which is certainly in line with the policy of “catching up” with a Japanese prefecture, but the only recent change in this respect has been the distribution of $1 million to teachers out of Price Act funds in May and June. Amounts varying from $50 for low-ranking primary school teachers to more than $400 for high ranking professors at the University of the Ryukyus have been paid out (educational administrators received nothing). If the increase does not become permanent, its political effect will be worse than no increase at all.

Okinawan social security measures are far below the level of those in Japan. While Japan has the most extensive social security coverage in Asia, Okinawa has only an unemployment insurance scheme begun in 1960. As contact between Okinawa and Japan grows, an understanding of what this difference means to the average family grows also. The demand for comprehensive social insurance is rising. Nearly two years ago a few top USCAR officials, analyzing the reversion movement primarily from the standpoint of economic motivation, were calling social security the most important political issue facing USCAR.

To most Okinawan politicians, however, USCAR has appeared to be blocking establishment of a social security system. A bill in the GRI Legislature for the establishment of a comprehensive medical insurance plan was sidetracked in 1960 because of USCAR disapproval. The major grounds for objection were rational enough, i.e., the insufficient number of doctors in Okinawa to implement the promises which the bill makes to the people, but USCAR has thereby gained the reputation of being “opposed to medical insurance’” The unfavorable propaganda which this incident produced was considerable.

Other social security proposals emanating from GRI have been frowned on by US CAR for the reason that the cost would be too great given the current level of GRI resources. Here U.S. officials are on shaky ground for the immediate Okinawan response is, “Then why don’t you give us more aid?” GRI officials hasten to point out that a large portion of the land and other taxable property has been removed from Okinawan jurisdiction thus narrowing the local tax base.

Fortunately, since the Kaysen survey the Kennedy administration has taken the position that more adequate social security programs are necessary and the U.S. can afford to help put them into operation. It is to be expected that GRI legislative proposals will receive more sympathetic USCAR consideration in the future. U.S. aid for a GRI employees’ retirement system is contemplated for FY 1964.

The major controversies over land were settled in 1959, as has been mentioned. But one issue remained undecided, i.e., payment for the use of and damage to land by U.S. forces before the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Claimants formed the Association to Acquire Compensation for Damages Prior to the Peace Treaty and hired the services of an experienced American lawyer and former State Department official, Noel Hemmendinger.64 After years of hearings and negotiations a joint U.S.-Ryukyuan Committee was appointed in April 1961 to examine and review claims, then report back to the High Commissioner. In October 1962 the Committee’s report, recommending payment of $21.9 million, was officially transmitted to Washington,65 and should be presented to Congress with a request for appropriations sometime this year.

There is thus ground for belief that most of the economic issues which could provide major stimuli to the reversion movement are in the process of being solved. 1Dere are still remaining danger spots, however, e.g., the large number of landowners who received approximately $9 million in nine-year and ten-year lump-sum advanced rentals during FY 1959, 1960 and 1961. This is not a recurring outlay. Since most of this has not been invested, as it was supposed to have been, but was spent on non-durable consumption items, there is thus a danger of economic slump — and consequently of political unrest — in the next few years in the towns and villages most affected if there is no compensating increase in aid from some other source.

It must be reiterated, however, that the reversion movement is not purely economic in origin. Activity of Communist propagandists is also, of course, a contributing factor. The Okinawan Peoples Party leaders, speaking informally, admit by implication that some of their members are Communists. This factor has already been frequently exaggerated, however, by American officials and journalists, and need not be stressed here.

Irredentism is most basically a search for cultural identity of a people cut off from the nation to which they feel they belong. Deputy Under-Secretary of State Johnson seems to have recognized this, calling it the “psychological problem.” It is not accurate to say, as Brig. Gen. Ondrick, then Civil Administrator, did two years ago: “The feeling for return to Japan is being replaced by the strong argument of rising economic opportunities in the Ryukyus.”66 Economic satisfaction cannot replace irredentism; they are two different categories of human motivation. It can, at most, delay its active political expression. This distinction seems to have been ignored in much of the thinking behind recent U.S. policy changes.

There is considerable evidence for the conclusion that the growing politicocultural attraction of Japan is stronger than economic trends which might exert opposite influences. Unquestionably economic conditions have improved in the last five years. Nevertheless, despite some fluctuation, the reversion movement is stronger than it was five years ago. Once the special badge of the radicals, reversion is now a slogan of conservatives as well. The only differences which remain are on timing. As Joseph Harbison of the Defense Department told Congressmen, “You cannot say any party is a reversionist party. They all are.”67 The Reversion Council, including a broad spectrum of social, as well as political, organizations, is now more active than ever before.

In the last two years reversion has also become a more significant issue in Japanese politics. Though the vast majority of Japanese, if asked, would favor reversion, this sentiment is not entirely the result of spontaneous mass concern, but also of calculated opposition party strategy. Other clubs with which the opposition may swing at the government have been scarce recently. Still the Japanese government has not attempted to put pressure on the U.S. for return of administrative rights.

The reasons for the Japanese government’s reluctance are numerous. The dilemma involved in nuclear weapons policy has already been mentioned. There is also a strong Tory desire not to rock the political boat. They fear that a strong effort for the return of Okinawa could do just that. The policy of the Japan Liberal Democrats — as well as the Okinawa Liberal-Democrats — ostensibly favors the return of administrative authority to Japan, even though U.S. bases remain. The vast majority of Okinawans recognize that total U.S. withdrawal now would mean economic disaster, and thus oppose it. But conservatives, in both Japan and Okinawa, are not willing to accept the “all or nothing” argument that, if U.S. forces in Okinawa were brought under the terms of the Japan-U.S. Bases Agreement, their usefulness would be so drastically reduced that, on purely military grounds, withdrawal would be advisable, though this is the position taken by many U.S. military officers. The more imaginative Okinawan leaders are now thinking in terms of the possibility of a separate bases agreement for Okinawa-giving U.S. forces greater freedom of operation than in the main islands, and longer tenure. Now would seem to be the most propitious time for such an agreement, for as the Japan Socialist Party grows in power — its popular vote expands steadily at each election so that, according to the present growth curve, in ten or twelve years they should achieve a majority-concessions for the U.S. over and beyond the present bases agreement will become more difficult. Yet Japanese government leaders, with the bitter struggle over the “improvement” of the Japan-U.S. Security Pact still fresh in their memory, do not relish the thought of trying to push a special bases agreement through the Diet. Their attitude toward Okinawa might be characterized as one of letting sleeping dogs lie. They believe that any formal revision of Japan’s “no nuclear weapons” policy (even for Okinawa, and even though sugar-coated with the prospect of reversion) would generate intense political controversy with unpredictable consequences.

Economic interests of the Japanese elite constitute another important factor in the Japanese government’s hesitancy in pushing for reversion. A Japan hard-pressed to maintain its dollar reserves welcomes the approximately $75 million earned every year in Okinawa. This makes Okinawa second only to the U.S. itself as a dollar-earning area, the source of nearly one seventh of Japan’s annual dollar credits. It is the large firms with political influence which are the main dollar earners — and users. They are understandably opposed, therefore, to any move which might reduce Japan’s dollar earnings. Thus conversion from “B Yen” to dollars three years ago, which was justified in terms of its effects within Okinawa, has increased Japanese reluctance to request reversion by assuring dollar credits from sales in the Ryukyus.

Furthermore, because Okinawan bases are physically so intertwined with civilian life in Okinawa, any attempt to create a separate “bases area” to remain under U.S. jurisdiction might entail considerable expense in relocating facilities. Thus U.S. military officials are opposed to any such plan, apparently with Congressional backing.68 It has been given the respectability of “an alternative to be considered” in the State Department, however.

Thus both Japanese and U.S. government leaders favor a maintenance of the status quo. What will the consequences of this policy be twelve years from now in the event the Socialists should achieve power? “Then it will no longer be possible to use bases in Japan and the utility of U.S. administration in Okinawa will be proven,” answer the Joint Chiefs. From the military standpoint this is an understandable view. Yet is the military prepared to maintain its position in Okinawa despite frequent protests and constant pressure from the Japanese government? Such a position would ultimately become untenable.

Clearly none of the choices are easy ones. We should remember, however, that if Okinawan reversion is an important political issue which the Socialists can use against the Japanese government, then maintenance of the present status quo can actually contribute to the materialization of this future impasse.

In the meantime increased cultural and political contacts with Okinawa reinforces sentiment for reversion. One might then argue that these contacts must be reduced. But the time when such a policy was feasible — whether or not desirable — has passed. The political consequences of any attempt to turn back the clock — especially after Kennedy’s more open commitment to ultimate reversion — would be disastrous.

We must conclude that the question of reversion cannot be permanently avoided. Carefu1 planning and the development of workable political strategy cannot be postponed until that mythical day when there is no longer “stress and tension in the Far East.” European history shows that irredentism is a political problem which ultimately has only one solution. This fact must be faced squarely in the formulation of New Frontier policy in Asia.

If Okinawa’s ultimate disposition is not to be decided now, there are numerous pitfalls on the path of present policy which should be avoided. The record since March 1962 is not good, however. The President’s statement itself bred discontent, because of its failure to meet growing expectations. Even the implementation of the March policy has been inconsistent, primarily because of Congress’s refusal to cooperate. Not only were requested appropriations for economic aid of $12 million cut to seven, but in the course of the hearings Representative Passman produced comments that could scarcely have been more effective in infuriating Okinawans.69 The electoral results in Okinawa in November were predictable: the relatively pro-American Okinawa Liberal Democratic Party lost five of its 22 seats in the GRI Legislature.70

Though the figure of $34 million of economic aid annually, calculated as essential for an economic growth rate that would enable Okinawa to catch up with Japan, has not yet been met, the Administration has presented a budget request of nearly $20 million for Okinawan economic development in fiscal year 1964. If Congress, confused by the unfortunate fact that this request is presented together with the foreign aid bill, should cut drastically again, intensified Ryukyuan criticism would inevitably result. Failure to provide funds for pre-treaty land claims would bring an even sharper reaction. Political peril awaits if expectations which Americans have created are not adequately fulfilled in policy.

Irredentism is a phenomenon with which U.S. policy-makers are not familiar. But if they will not meet its demands, they must expect eventually the classical consequences.

University of Missouri, December 1962

The author wishes to thank Professors Kuni Shimabukuro and Kanwa Hokama of the University of the Ryukyus, as well as Mr. Isamu Shimoji, for invaluable assistance to his research in Okinawa.


1 U.S. Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Foreign Policy: Asia. By Conlon Associates, Ltd. Committee Print. Washington, 1959. The brief section on Okinawa recommended “gradual and ultimate reversion of Okinawa to Japan” and a civilian U.S. civil administration in the meantime (pp. 104-109).

2 Dennis Warner, “Our Fire Brigade on Okinawa,” The Reporter, Oct. 13, 1960, pp. 37-38. Though he hastened to add that military leaders did not consider this vulnerability sufficient cause for evacuation.

3 New York Times, March 31, 1961.

4 Japan Times, February 17, 1961.

5 Ibid., May 12, June I, 1961.

6 Ibid., May 19, 1961.

7 Ibid., May 15, 1961.

8 Ibid., June 25, 1961. For text of Ikeda-Kennedy joint communique, see New York Times, June 23, 1961.

9 Japan Times, June 24, 1961. Whereas the Eisenhower-Kishi joint communique of 1957 stated that “The Prime Minister emphasized the strong desire of the Japanese people for the return of administrative control over the Ryukyu … Islands to Japan,” the Kennedy-Ikeda communique included no such provision.

10 New York Times, September 4, October I, 1961.

11 Asahi, February 8, 1962, in Daily Summary of the Japanese Press (DSJP), U.S. Embassy, Tokyo.

12 Japan Times, February 13, 1962.

13 For texts see Yomiuri, February 11; Nihon Keizai, February 13, February 16, 1962, in Daily Summary of the Japanese Press.

14 Japan Times, May 12, 16, 17, 1962.

15 Ibid., March 8, 1962. The Japan Socialist Party and Democratic Socialist Party resolutions originally made no reference to the Kuriles, while the Liberal Democratic Party specified a demand for Habomai, Shikotan, Kunashiri and Etorofu. The Liberal Democratic Party made no reference in its draft, however, to support the GRI Legislature’s resolution, whereas the Socialists did. The compromise referred to the GRI resolution without specifically supporting it; at the same time, the vague phrase “northern territories” was substituted for the names of islands since the Japan Socialist Party does not believe Japan should demand Kunashiri and Etorofu.

16 Japan Times, March 2, 1962.

17 Ibid., March 3, 1962.

18 Tokyo Shimbun, February 16, 1962. Sankei Shim bun, February 19, 1962, DSJP.

19 Sankei Shimbun, March 9, 1962, DSIP. A Kyodo-Reuters dispatch from Washington (Japan Times, February 9, 1962) claimed Kaysen recommended “complete jurisdiction over civil affairs” for the GRI.

20 Tokyo Shimbun, March 16, 1962, DSJP.

21 Nihon Keizai, March 9, 1962, DSJP.

22 Asahi, March 11, 1962, DSJP.

23 Japan Times, March 20, 1962

24 March 22, 1962.

25 USIS, Tokyo, March 20, 1962.

26 House of Representatives, Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee No.2, Hearings, May 9, 1962, p. 52-54.

27 Caraway was officially quoted as having said be “saw no advantage to changing to acivilian civil administrator.” Ibid., p. 5255.

28 See. 8 (B).

29 Op. cit, p. 108. 10 Sec. II.

30 GRI, Central Circuit Court, Case of Makishi, Yoshida, et aI., Oct. 24, 1959.

31 Under-Secretary of the Army Stephen Ailes testified on Capitol Hill that the Kaysen task force recommendations were designed “to put our military position on a more stable basis.” House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations, Hearings on Ryukyu Islands, Department of the Army, August 8, 1962. p.852.

32 See George Kerr, Okinawa (Tokyo: Tuttle, 1958).

33 USCAR, Office of Plans and Programs, Ryukyu Islands Facts Book (Oct. 1960) pp. 135-6.

34 Quoted in Mainichi Shimbun, March 26, 1962. DSJP.

35 Perhaps the strongest outburst was four years ago, however, when Mayor Kaneshi of Naha, a political maverick., asked a visiting Japanese mayor, “What has Japan ever done for Okinawa? Japan pawned Okinawa in return for independence [in 1952].” Japan Times, November 26, 1959.

36 E.g. Kahaku Shimpa, March 21, 1962; “It is very regrettable that the Government does not seem to have been endeavoring for the solution of the Okinawan question with any great enthusiasm,” Takya Shimbun, March 21,1962, DSJP.

37 Mainichi, March 26, 1962. DSJP.

38 Asahi Journal, February 18, 1962, in Summary of Selected Japanese Magazines, US Embassy, Tokyo; Japan Times, December 28, 1962.

39 Japan Times, June 7. 1961.

40 Ibid., April I, 1961.

41 Ibid., April 2, 1961.

42 Yomiuri, March 9, 1962. DSJP.

43 Okinawa Times, March 21,1962. in Okinawa Press Summary.

44 Tokyo Shimbun, February 8, 1962. Tanaka later challenged this version of his statement.

45 Japan Times, February 7, 1962.

46 Ibid., February 10, 1962.

47 Japan Times, February 8, 1962.

48 Ibid., February 9, 1962.

49 Asahi Journal, February 18, 1962, Summary of Selected Japanese Magazines.

50 The Ryukuan Nationalist Party, advocating separation, gained 1.19 per cent of the votes in the 1960 election. (Figures from USCAR, Liaison Office). Deputy Under-Secretary of State Alexis Johnson made it clear in testimony to the House Armed Services Committee, however, that the State Department is now wdl aware of the insignificance of Ryukyuan nationalism. Hearings, p. 5227.

51 Tokyo: Iwanami, 1959. (Translated in part by USCAR, Office of Public Affairs.)

52 See Central Committee, USCAR Employees Labor Union, Resolution, Dec. 9, 1960. Also USCAR, Labor Dept., “Memorandum: Labor Statistics,” Sept. 15, 1960, p. 8.

53 For a somewhat exaggerated analysis of the disadvantages of reversion. see interview with Chosoku Ogimi, Nationalist Party leader, Japan Times, Nov. 9, 1960.

54 USCAR, OfIice of Public Mairs, Press Release No. 1537. Dec. 23. 1960.

55 Chuo Senkyo Kanri Iinakai, Rippain Sosenkjo Kekka Shirabe, 1958, 1960.

56 Adjusted for price level differences. See GR!, Department of Planning and Statistics, “Nihon Ken to Okinawa to no Hitori Atari Kokumin Shotoku Hikaku” (Comparison of Per Capita National Income in Okinawa and Japanese Prefectures), January 1961.

57 In terms of “expenditures for consumption,” however, Okinawa was at the bottom of the list. Okinawa Press Summary, March 4. 1961.

58 According to Deputy Chief Executive Senaga, Okinawa Times, May 13, 1962, in Okinawa Press Highlights.

59 Economic Planning Agency, 1960 Kokumin Shotoku Hakusho (“1960 National Income White Paper”), pp. 190-1. This is increase in personal income, not adjusted for price. But price levels rose less than 1 per cent in the same period. See Committee on Armed Services, Hearings, pp. 5225, 5229.

60 Japan Times, June 24, 1962.

61 Okinawa Press Summary, May 3, 1961.

62 For a detailed breakdown of the 1961 Japanese budget for the Ryukyus, see North and South (Published by Nampo Doho Engokai), Tokyo, January 15, 1962. See also Japan Times, December 28, 29, 1962.

63 Okinawa Press Summary, February 10, 1961.

64 For the details of the claims and the legal arguments behind it, see the comprehensive brief, “The Pre-Treaty Ryukyus Land Claims: Petition and Brief submitted to the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,” December 19, 1958, Stitt and Hemmendinger, Attorneys.

65 USCAR, Press Release No. 27, October 16, 1962.

66 House, Committee on Armed Services, Hearings, p. 5224. 88 Asahi Evening News, November 23, 1960.

67 Committee on Appropriations, Hearings, p. 879.

68 Rep. Rhodes asked Army Under-Secretary Ailes, “If we can make proper agreements with Japan as to the rights for bases, why do we not let the islands revert to Japan?” Ailes replied, “The answer is that they could not perfect the proper agreements for bases under the current situation.” House Committee on Appropriations, Hearings, p. 878. The sense of Congress is probably expressed in House Report No. 1684 (1962), of the Committee on Armed Services. p. 15, “U.S. administrative control of the Ryukyus and the continued maintenance and operation of the U.S. bases there are inseparable.”

69 Passman’s comments included: “I think a lot of people in the Ryukyus are getting along a lot better than some people are in the States”; “They have learned to like the taste of caviar, pink champagne and fillets and do not want to go back to hamburger…” Elsewhere he accused Okinawans of “diplomatic blackmail.” See House, Committee on Appropriations, Hearings, pp. 852-3, 876, 878.

70 Japan Times, November 13, 1962.

Categories Japan, Foreign policy