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John Foster Dulles on the Status of Okinawa

8th September, 1951


Article 3 deals with the Ryukyus and other islands to the south and southeast of Japan. These, since the surrender, have been under the sole administration of the United States.

Several of the Allied Powers urged that the treaty should require Japan to renounce its sovereignty over these islands in favor of United States sovereignty. Others suggested that these islands should be restored completely to Japan.

In the face of this division of Allied opinion, the United States felt that the best formula would be to permit Japan to retain residual sovereignty, while making it possible for these islands to be brought into the U.N. trusteeship system, with the United States as administering authority.

You will recall that the Charter of the United Nations contemplates extension of the trusteeship system to "territories which may be detached from enemy states as a result of the Second World War" (article 77). The future trusteeship agreement will, no doubt, determine the future civil status of the inhabitants in relation to Japan while affording the administering authority the possibility of carrying out article 84 of the Charter, which provides that "It shall be the duty of the administering authority to ensure that the trust territory shall play its part in the maintenance of international peace and security.



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