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Japan, Peace Treaty with

Japan, Peace Treaty with (1952).With the advent of the Cold War, and more especially the Sino‐Soviet alliance and the Korean War, the U.S. and Japanese governments moved toward an agreement concerning the role of Japan in the struggle against communism in Asia. Earlier, Tokyo had sought to exclude U.S. bases from Japan (although not Okinawa) when the occupation of Japan ended. But by 1950, Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru was driven to accept U.S. bases even on the home islands by increasing Communist threat not only in the USSR, China, and Korea, but within Japan in the form of a larger, more militant Communist Party.

Negotiating in 1951 with PresidentHarry S. Truman's envoy, John Foster Dulles, Yoshida agreed to the U.S. bases in return for American protection, but refused U.S. pressure for Japan itself to rearm. The result was two treaties. A multinational peace treaty, signed in San Francisco 8 September 1951 (with the Communist nations abstaining), was extraordinarily generous, providing for an end to the occupation, recognizing Japan's “full sovereignty,” and mandating no Japanese reparations to its wartime victims. The same day, the United States and Japan signed a bilateral agreement for U.S. troops to remain indefinitely, even allowing their use against domestic disturbances. On 8 February 1952, both parties signed another treaty authorizing the United States to maintain military bases in Japan and Okinawa.

Tensions led to a new U.S.‐Japan security agreement in 1960 providing for more mutual consultation on defense, but many Japanese still feared that Washington's policies might drag Japan into an unwanted war.
[See also Japan, U.S. Military Involvement in; World War II: Military and Diplomatic Course.]


Michael Schaller , The American Occupation of Japan: The Origins of the Cold War in Asia, 1985.
Roger Buckley , U.S.‐Japan Alliance Diplomacy, 1945–1990, 1992.
Michael Barnhart , Japan and the World Since 1868, 1995.

Michael Barnhart

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