49 suppressed, and exploited by the latter in pre-war Japan.

In document Japanese attitudes towards the Okinawa problem : 1945-1965 (Page 134-139)

35 year during his second visit to Japan»

49 suppressed, and exploited by the latter in pre-war Japan.

The personal background of Tokuda, the Seerteary-General

of the JCP, as an Okinawa-born Japanese apparently 50

contributed to this line of thinking. Under these

circumstances, a small group of people who were devoting themselves to the cause of the return of Okinawa to Japan were regarded by the Communists, and by the Okinawa!in Remmei under their influence, as "reactionary and

dangerous" .^ ^

The Cominform’s criticism of Nosaka's theory of

"peaceful revolution', however, urged the Party to a


radical departure from its previous strategy. This had

no small effects on the Party's position on the

territorial questions vis-a-vis the Soviet Union and, in a more inconspicuous way, on its Okinawa policy as well.

In the debate over the Yalta Agreement opened up by the Government p a r t y , the Communists took a firm p o s i t i o n in defence of the Soviet Union, condemning the Government’ s

“5 3

a t t i t u d e as 5 f a s c i s t - l i k e i r r e d e n t i s m ’ 0 This was the f i r s t time t h a t the Japanese Communists firmly committed


themselves to the support f o r the Yalta Agreement. I t took a few years, however, for the Party to

formulate a new Okinawa policy in l i n e with the Cominform's c r i t i c i s m . The slowness of t h i s change can be explained in terms of the aftermath of the theory of n a t i o n a l

minority as i t was applied to Okinawa’ s r e l a t i o n s with Japan. For example Okinawan a f f a i r s together with Korean

and Chinese (Taiwan) problems were d e a l t even in t h i s period by the P a r t y ’ s Minzoku Taisakubu (Division of Minority A f f a i r s ) . ^

A feat ure of the P a r t y ' s Okinawa policy of t h i s period was the growing emphasis on the need to f i g h t

agai nst the m i l i t a r y use of Okinawa by the United S t a t e s , while avoiding a d e f i n i t e commitment on the problem of Okinawa’s p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s . :Ve demand’ , a document of the Party in March 1951 said, 'withdrawal of a l l m i l i t a r y forces from Okinawa. I t should be for the Okinawa people

5 6

f r e e l y to decide t h e i r p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s . ’

The e a r l i e s t sign, as f a r as can be a s c e r t a i n e d , of a change of the P a r t y ’ s Okinawa p o l i c y i s found i n the Action Programme in October 1953» This recognized ’ the

l i b e r a t i o n of the Okinawan people as an insepar abl e and highly important p a r t of the l i b e r t a i o n of the Japanese


finally endorsed at the central level of the Party in 58

April I9 5^ and again in January 1955»

In conclusion a few points deserve mention» In the

first place Japanese politicians were conspicuously slow to form opinions on the Allied decisions regarding

Japanese territory» Passivity and apparent indifference

prevailed and lasted, for half a decade among them. It

was not until 19.50-.5 1 when Dulles sought the ideas of Japanese leaders that the Japanese political parties

began to seriously consider the matter. A superficial

explanation of this slow response is that they were

preoccupied with the immediate tasks of the economic and

social rehabilitation of Japan. This does not explain,

however, why the Japanese were particularly slow as 59

compared with the Germans and the Italians. Two factors,

one psychological, and other economic, contributed to the

Japanese attitude. Japan suffered a national defeat for

the first time in her history. This unprecedented

experience was such a great shock to the Japanese people that they temporarily lost their sense of direction.

They were not accustomed to taking a subordinate position and asserting their rights under the most favourable

circumstances. In addition to this psychological

consideration, the territorial problems were not regarded as vitally relevant to the economic recovery of the

nation which was the matter of utmost concern at the time. Another characteristic of the Japanese attitude

towards the territorial problem was the initial

different from the situation in post-war Germany where the Social Democratic Party took the initiative in

advocating' the return of the S a a r 0^ In connection with

this 3 attention should be directed to the fact that the

JCPhs position on the territorial problem vis - a-vis

“the Soviet Union presented an interesting contrast to

that of the Italian Communists who came out openly in defence of the Italian character of Trieste against the


Yugoslav claim. In Japan it was the ministerial

party that opened up the debate on the territorial problems by launching an attack on the Yatla Agreement. If this tactic was useful for the purpose of attacking the Soviet Union and the Japanese Communists, it also

endangered the political and moral concepts upon which the war-time international agreements concerning Japan were

based. The American position on Okinawa seemed to the

Japanese eye no less shaky than the Soviet claim to

Chishima. While the ministerial party was not in a

position to push the Okinawa problem too far, the Democrats and the right-wing Socialists presented

themselves as loud champions of the cause for the return

of both Chishima and Okinawa. It was only when the

problem of American bases in Okinawa loomed large to the Japanese that the left-wing began to be deeply concerned

with the matter. Thus Japanese attention to the

territorial, problems moved politically from the right to the left and geographically from the north to the south.

It is also important that the Japanese Government was free from pressure from the ultra-rightists (cf. irredentist sentiment advanced by Neo-Fascists who were dissatisfied

^ 2 w i t h the I t a l i a n P e a c e S e t t l e m e n t a l t e r W o r l d W a r I I ). T h e l a c k of s t r o n g o p p o s i t i o n f r o m the r i ght as w e l l as f r o m the left m a d e the tone of the c u r r e n t J a p a n e s e a r g u m e n t s for t e r r i t o r i a l p r o b l e m s r e l a t i v e l y m o d e r a t e .


In document Japanese attitudes towards the Okinawa problem : 1945-1965 (Page 134-139)