A History of Postwar Okinawa (戦後沖縄史) - by John Michael Purves
Basically Chapter 2 of my 2002 doctoral dissertation. I tried to combine a discussion of the socio-economic development of Okinawa in the broad with Kin Village (later a town) in the narrow.
01. Establishing Control
02. Treaty Development: Okinawa and the Emerging Cold War in Asia
03. Economic Policy: Separating Okinawa from Japan and Endaka
04. Land Issues: The Legality of Land Acquisitions
05. The Power of Eminent Domain and the Shima Gurumi Toso
06. The Price Recommendations and the Unravelling of an Alliance
07. Towards a Settlement of the Gunyochi Problem
08. Constructing a Base, Building a Town (the case of Kin Village)
09. GOJ Aid, Defence Procurements, and Economic Change
10. Civilian Urbanisation: Shinkaichi and the Sumiyoi Mura Project
Postwar Okinawa (戦後沖縄) - More Readings
Reconstruction out of Chaos
Such was the utter devastation at the conclusion of war that the US military government did what it could to alleviate suffering and to try to get some kind of economic activity up and running. The military government directive was to get the local people economically self-sufficient and politically self-governing as swiftly as possible.
Cairo Communique, 1st December 1943
The Yalta Agreement - 11th February 1945
Nimitz Proclamation (No. 1), April 1945
Potsdam Declaration (United States, China, and the United Kingdom), 26th July 1945
Enclosure to Dispatch No. 1293, 22nd September 1947
Emperor of Japan's Opinion Concerning the Future of the Ryukyu Islands, 22nd September 1947
Multilateral Treaty of Peace With Japan, 8th September 1951 (Selected Text)
John Foster Dulles on "Residual Sovereignty", 8th September 1951
Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, 8th September 1951
マイケル・シャラー著；立川京一、原口幸司、山崎由紀訳、 アジアにおける冷戦の起源 : アメリカの対日占領. 東京:木鐸社、1996. 本館閲覧室図書 - 319.5301/SC
Michael Schaller, The American Occupation of Japan: The Origins of the Cold War in Asia. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. 本館閲覧室図書 – 319/SC
Arnold G. Fisch Jr (アーノルド・G・フイッシュ二世 [著]); 宮里政玄訳、Military Government in the Ryukyu Islands: 1945-50 - 琉球列島の軍政1945-50. 那覇:沖縄県教育委員会、2002.
儀部景俊, 安仁屋政昭, 来間泰男著、 戦後沖縄の歴史 (Sengo Okinawa no rekishi. A History of Postwar Okinawa). 東京:日本青年出版社、1971. 本館沖縄資料室 - 201/GI
Ota, Masahide. (1981). 'The Occupation of Okinawa and 'Postwar Reforms' of Japan.' Ryukyu Daigaku Hobungakubu Kiyo 24.
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department. (1944). Civil Affairs Handbook: Ryukyu (Loochoo) Islands. OPNAV 13-31, 15th November.
Establishing Control and Building Bases - More Readings
Washington may have had no solid plans for Okinawa in 1946, but by 1948 the development of communism in Eastern Europe and in Asia encouraged it to move towards permanent control of the area and the swift conclusion of a peace treaty to set Japan up as ally in the fight. Japan agreed to pass Okinawa over to US exclusive control and so, in 1952, Japan once again became independent and Okinawa under long-term military occupation.
Base-building was the primary economic strategy implemented, the idea being that a vibrant economy beyond the bases could be stimulated in parallel and that infrastructure built for the bases could also serve the civilian community. The exchange rate in Okinawa was set at 120 yen to the dollar while in Japan it would be 360 yen to the dollar. One area would be ready to import goods and services and the other export. In terms of employment the strategy worked well when major base-building began from the early- to mid-1950’s right through to Okinawa’s reversion in 1972, but rather than see much economic activity develop beyond the bases the dependency grew ever stronger.
Base-building soon set the military government in conflict with the local people. A significant amount of land on Okinawa had been seized by the US Army and Navy in 1945 but more land was now required and had to be taken by force. The so-called ‘Military Land Problem’ was at its height in 1955 and 1956, bringing world media attention on the tiny island. A settlement with most of the Okinawan landowners was reached by the latter part of the 1950’s but by then Washington had realized that it could not go on being focused on by certain parts of the media as a colonial power.
比嘉幹郎, 沖縄:政治と政党 (Okinawa: seiji to seitou. Politics and Parties in Postwar Okinawa) 東京:中央公論社, 1965.
Higa Mikio, Politics and Parties in Postwar Okinawa. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1963.
宮里政玄, アメリカの沖縄統治 (Amerika no Okinawa touchi. America’s Administration of Okinawa). 東京:岩波書店、1966.
宮里政玄, アメリカの沖縄政策 (Amerika no Okinawa seisaku. America’s Okinawa Policies) 那覇：ニライ社、1986.
中野好夫編、戦後資料沖縄 (Sengo shiryou Okinawa. Data on Postwar Okinawa). 東京:日本評論社、1969.
牧野浩隆、再考沖縄経済 (saikou Okinawa keizai. Reconsidering the Okinawan Economy) 那覇：沖縄タイムス社、1996.
儀部景俊, 安仁屋政昭, 来間泰男著、 戦後沖縄の歴史 (Sengo Okinawa no rekishi. A History of Postwar Okinawa). 東京:日本青年出版社、1971.
桑江朝幸、土がある明日がある:桑江朝幸回顧録 (Tsuchi ga aru, ashita ga aru: Kuwae Choukou kaikoroku. As Long as There’s Land, There is a Tomorrow: The Memoirs of Kuwae Choko). 那覇:沖縄タイムス社、1991.
Military Land-Related Readings:
On differing perspectives of land and its value held by the local Okinawan farmers and the US administration: Arnold G. Fisch Jr, Military Government in the Ryukyu Islands, 1945-1950. Washington DC: Army Historical Series, Centre of Military History, US Army, 1988, pages 167-178.
For an excellent overview of the first phase of the so-called “military land problem”: HIGA Mikio, Politics and Parties in Postwar Okinawa. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1963, pages 40-56.
The Hague Convention - Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The Hague, 18 October 1907. Especially Section III: Military Authority over the Territory of the Hostile State (articles 42-56).
Covers the early military land problem phase from the perspective of the Okinawa Engineer District (OED) but extends the discussion through to the transfer of Okinawa to Japan in 1972: L. Eve Armentrout Ma, 'The Explosive Nature of Okinawa's "Land Issue" or "Base Issue," 1945-1977: A Dilemma of United States Military Policy,' The Journal of American-East Asian Relations 1, (1992). (Not held in the Ryudai library - ask me for a copy [Ryudai students only]).
沖縄県軍用地等地主会連合会（Okinawa-ken Gunyochito Jinushikai Rengokai），土地連三十年のあゆみ - 通史編 (Tochiren 30 nen no ayumi - tsushihen). 那覇：土地連三十周年記念誌編集委員会 (Naha: Tochiren 30 Shuunen Kinenshi Henshu Iinkai), 1989.
沖縄県軍用地等地主会連合会（Okinawa-ken Gunyochito Jinushikai Rengokai），土地連三十年のあゆみ - 資料編 (Tochiren 30 nen no ayumi - shiryouhen). 那覇：土地連三十周年記念誌編集委員会 (Naha: Tochiren 30 Shuunen Kinenshi Henshu Iinkai), 1985.
沖縄県軍用地等地主会連合会（Okinawa-ken Gunyochito Jinushikai Rengokai），土地連三十年のあゆみ - 新聞集成編 (Tochiren 30 nen no ayumi - shinbunshuuseihen). 那覇：土地連三十周年記念誌編集委員会 (Naha: Tochiren 30 Shuunen Kinenshi Henshu Iinkai), 1984.
沖縄県軍用地等地主会連合会（Okinawa-ken Gunyochito Jinushikai Rengokai），土地連五十年のあゆみ - 新聞集成編I (Tochiren 50 nen no ayumi - shinbunshuuseihen I). 那覇：土地連五十周年記念誌編集委員会 (Naha: Tochiren 50 Shuunen Kinenshi Henshu Iinkai), 2004.
沖縄県軍用地等地主会連合会（Okinawa-ken Gunyochito Jinushikai Rengokai），土地連五十年のあゆみ - 新聞集成編II (Tochiren 50 nen no ayumi - shinbunshuuseihen II). 那覇：土地連五十周年記念誌編集委員会 (Naha: Tochiren 50 Shuunen Kinenshi Henshu Iinkai), 2004.
US Occupation Period Land-Related Documents:
Special Proclamation No. 36 - "Certification of Land Title" - 14th April 1950
Civil Administration (Hereafter CA) Ordinance No. 91 - "Authority to Contract" - 1st November 1952
CA Ordinance No. 109 - "Land Acquisition Procedure" - 3rd April 1953
CA Ordinance No. 110 - "Procedure for Payment of Compensation for Land Acquisition" - 10th April 1953
CA Proclamation No. 26 - "Compensation for Use of Real Estate Within Military Areas" - 5th December 1953
CA Ordinance No. 120 - "Compensation for Use of Real Estate Within Military Areas" - 9th December 1953
CA Ordinance No. 105 - "Authority to Accomplish Execution of Leases..." - 23rd March 1955
The Melvin Price Report (Report of a Special Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee, House of Representatives Following an Inspection Tour, October 14 to November 23, 1955), 8th June 1956
CA Ordinance No. 171 - "Authority to Enter Upon Lands for Investigation and/or Survey Purposes" - 25th June 1957
High Commissioner (Hereafter HICOM) Ordinance No. 18 - "Acquisition of Leasehold Interest" - 13th Jan 1959
HICOM Ordinance No.19 - "Establishment of the United States Land Tribunal for the Ryukyu Islands" - 21st January 1959
HICOM Ordinance No. 20 - "Acquisition of Leasehold Interest" - 12th February 1959
Okinawa as a ‘Showroom of Democracy’
The decision to pour more funding into Okinawa to improve the economic and social welfare of the local people was seen as a necessary first step and began in 1960. Full democracy was a little slower in coming. Simultaneously, US policy planners were looking at ways to able to keep Okinawa as a base area but pass the administration back to Japan. The reversion of Okinawa to Japan was a hot political issue in Japan and was an objective that Tokyo would gently put to Washington at regular intervals.
Washington (correctly) judged that Japan would be prepared to give the US in large part what basing rights it required in return for being able to satisfy the national clamor for Okinawa’s return. In 1962. President Kennedy made the first statement hinting at reversion and from that point both governments began rolling forward positively. The US agreed to allow greater cultural ties between Japan and Okinawa and liberalize transport to and fro. Tokyo was allowed to inject ever greater amounts of funding into the Government of the Ryukyu Islands budget. Reversion would finally take place in May of 1972.
Postwar Economy-Related Readings:
The best books on the postwar Okinawan economy are in Japanese. Resources in English are more period-specific and typically embedded within other resources.
The most comprehensive source of information on occupation period economic (and other) policies from 1952 onwards in English can be found within the annual United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands reports:
United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands, Civil Affairs Activities in the Ryukyu Islands (RCS CSCAMG-5). Naha: USCAR.
For the most comprehensive information on Washington-level occupation period policy developments towards Japan and Okinawa from Presidents Roosevelt through Johnson (Nixon under construction) see the multiple volume:
United States Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS). US Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.
For some actual online FRUS content as well as volume listings and contents see:
The two readings directly below were written by those who had served in the military administration of Okinawa during the immediate postwar period (Weiss) or during the latter part of the 1960’s closer to reversion (Klein).
For an overview of conditions at that juncture: Leonard Weiss, “US Military Government on Okinawa,” Far Eastern Survey, 31st July, 1946, p. 234-238.
For an overview of the Okinawan economy throughout the occupation period (despite the title): Thomas M. Klein, “The Ryukyus on the Eve of Reversion,” Pacific Affairs, Vol. 45, No 1, Spring, 1972, pp 1-20.
Klein, T.M. (1968). 'Kichi to keizai: sore wa ikani kankeishiteiruka?' Konnichi no Ryukyu 2.
Klein, T.M. (1968). 'Kokusai kin kyoko, 1968.' Konnichi no Ryukyu 4.
Klein, T.M. (1968). 'Ryukyu no sangyo kaihatsu.' Konnichi no Ryukyu 3.
Naya, Seiji. (1971). 'The Vietnam War and Some Aspects of its Economic Impact on Asian Countries.' Developing Economies 1.
For an excellent overview of the initial postwar period of military administration by a journalist and former US Navy Japanese and intelligence specialist see: Daniel Karasik, “Okinawa: A Problem in Administration and Reconstruction,” Far Eastern Quarterly, Vol. 7, No 2, February, 1948, 254-267.
For the so-called “double use of the dollar” policy (see Chapter 8 section on "Regional Economic Integration", pages 141-148): Michael Schaller, The American Occupation of Japan: The Origins of the Cold War in Asia, Oxford University Press, New York, 1985.
The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes (1919)
United States House of Representatives, Committee on Armed Services, Report to Accompany H.R. 1157, Providing for Promotion of Economic and Social Development in the Ryukyu Islands, 14th April, 1960.
John K. Emmerson, Arms, Yen and Power: The Japanese Dilemma, Charles Tuttle Company, Rutland, Vermont, 1972.
The Road to Reversion and the Impact of the Vietnam War in Okinawa
Kishi-Eisenhower Joint Communique, 21st June 1957
Sato-Johnson Communique, 13th January 1965
Sato-Nixon Communique, 21st November 1969
(Secret) Agreed Minute to the Sato-Nixon Communique, 21st November 1969
The Okinawa Reversion Agreement, 17th June 1971
南方同胞援護会編、沖縄復帰の記録 (Okinawa fukki no kiroku. A Record of Okinawa’s Reversion) 東京:南方同胞援護会、1972.
河野康子、沖縄返還をめぐる政治と外交：日米関係史の文脈 (Okinawa henkan o meguru seisaku to gaiko: nichibei kankeishi no bunmyaku. Politics and Diplomacy in the Administrative Return of Okinawa to Japan in the Context of the History of Japan-US Relations). 東京: 東京大学出版社、1994.
大浜信泉、私の沖縄戦後史:返還秘史 (My History of Postwar Okinawa: An Anecdotal Reversion History). 東京:今週の日本、1971. 本館沖縄開架B - 302/O27.
伊藤善市、坂本二郎集、沖縄の経済開発 (Okinawa no keizai kaihatsu. Okinawa’s Economic Development). 東京: 潮新書、1970.
我部政明、沖縄返還とは何だったのか:日米戦後交渉史の中で (Okinawa henkan to wa datta no ka: nichibei sengo koshoshi no naka de. Okinawa’s Reversion to Japan within the context of the History of Postwar Japan-US Negotiations). 東京:日本放送出版協会、2000.
Nakano, Yoshio., editor (1969). Sengo shiryo Okinawa. Tokyo: Nihon Hyoron Sha.
Nakano, Yoshio., editor (1968). Okinawa mondai o kangaeru. Tokyo: Taihei Shuppan Sha.
Taira, Koji. (1970). '[Ryukyujin] wa uttaeru: anina [fukki] ron, taimanna [hondonami] shiso o haishite, dokuritsu kuni Ryukyu no fukken o setsuni shuchosuru.' Chuo Koron November.
西野照太郎 （Nishino Terutaro）. (1970). 'Amerika no Pueruto Riko seisaku: Okinawa no fukki junbi tetsuzuki ni kansuru sanko toshite.' Refurensu 234.
西野照太郎 （Nishino Terutaro）. (1969). 'Taibei shiseiken henkan yokyu no ichi jirei: Panama kyowakoku no unga chitai henkan yokyu.' Refurensu 225.
西野照太郎 （Nishino Terutaro）. (1968). 'Kichi keizai kara no tenkan katei: shimakuni maruta no keizai kaihatsu.' Referensu 215.
西野照太郎 （Nishino Terutaro）. (1971). 'Kokusai kankyo kara mita Okinawa fukki: tosho jumin no jiketsuken to jichiken,' in Okinawa fukki no kihon mondai: 1970 Okinawa chosa hokoku. Tokyo: Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan Chosa Rippo Kosakyoku.
比嘉幹郎 (Higa Mikio). (1971). 'Okinawa jichishu kosoron: Okinawa no shorai o ketteisuru no wa kyukokuteki ni wa Okinawa jumin de shikanai. Jichiken kakuritsu no arigata o kangaeru.' Chuo Koron December.
比嘉幹郎 (Higa Mikio). (1974). 'Okinawa no fukki undo.' Kokusai Seiji 2.
比嘉幹郎 (Higa Mikio). (1968). 'Okinawa no seito to seisaku.' Sekai October: 46-49.
Horitsu Jiho Tokushu. (1971). 'Okinawa kyotei: sono hihanteki kento' Horitsu Jiho Rinji Zokan March.
Horitsu Jiho Tokushu. (1968). 'Okinawa hakusho: genjo to fukki no tenbo', Horitsu Jiho Rinji Zokan March.
Chiiki Kaihatsu Tokushu. (1971). 'Okinawa kaihatsu shimpojiumu hokokusho.' Chiiki Kaihatsu 85.
Daniel, Mann, Johnson and Mendenhall, and Japan Economic and Engineering Consultants Ltd. (1968). Economic Development Study: The Ryukyu Islands. Conducted for the US Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands and Ryukyu Seifu (Government of the Ryukyu Islands).
Daniel, Mann, Johnson and Mendenhall. (1969). Industrial Estate and New Town Study: Okinawa. Conducted for the US Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands.
Advisory Committee to the High Commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands. (1970). The Final Report by The Advisory Committee to the High Commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands on its Recommendations for the Period 1st March 1968 to 30th April 1970. Naha: Advisory Committee to the High Commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands.
Advisory Committee to the High Commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands. (1968). A Report by The Advisory Committee to the High Commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands on its Progress during the Period 1st March to 18th October 1968. Naha: Advisory Committee to the High Commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands.
Ryukyu Seifu. (1970). Choki keizai kaihatsu keikaku. Naha: Ryukyu Seifu.
Ryukyu Seifu. (1968-1970). Documents Covering the 189 Meetings of the Advisory Committee to the High Commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands (AdCOM), Okinawa Prefectural Archives, Arakawa, Okinawa.
Ryukyu Seifu. (1971). Okinawa fukki taisaku yoko - 1. Naha: Ryukyu Seifu.
Ryukyu Seifu. (1971). Okinawa fukki taisaku yoko - 2. Naha: Ryukyu Seifu.
Ryukyu Seifu. (1971). Okinawa shinko kaihatsu tokubetsu sochi hoan yoko. Naha: Ryukyu Seifu.