Return to mainland


July 5, 2022

Return to the mainland is the Izu Islands, Tokara Islands, Amami Islands, Ogasawara Islands, and Okinawa, which were transferred from the Japanese government to the Allied Forces (mainly the US Army) immediately after Japan's surrender in World War II. It means that the administration of the prefecture was returned to the Japanese government and these areas were returned to the sovereignty of Japan.


All of the areas listed in this section were excluded from the scope of Japan stipulated by GHQ by SCAPIN-677 ordered on January 29, 1946 (Showa 21), so the administration by the Government of Japan Is the area where was stopped. Except for the Izu Islands, which returned to the mainland in a short period of time, they will be placed under the military administration of the U.S. Army. The civilian government, the Yaeyama civilian government in the Yaeyama Islands, and the US military government in the Bonin Islands in the Ogasawara Islands were established in 1946 (Showa 21). The San Francisco Peace Treaty came into effect on April 28, 1952. In Chapter 2, Article 3 of the San Francisco Treaty of San Francisco, if the United States proposes to the United Nations, Japan must agree to place the Southwestern Islands and the Ogasawara Islands south of the 29-degree north latitude under the trusteeship of the United States. Until then, it was stipulated that it would be under the administration of the United States. Japan continues to retain sovereignty (potential sovereignty) over these areas, as these areas do not provide for Japan's waiver of sovereignty, unlike other former foreign lands and Soviet occupied areas as defined in Article 2. I was able to. Therefore, none of the areas listed in this section have become American territories or trusteeship territories, and the inhabitants also maintain Japanese nationality. Returning to the mainland means that the administration has returned from the United States to Japan.

Return before the San Francisco Peace Treaty comes into effect

Izu Islands

Returned on March 22, 1946 (Showa 21). From January 29, the same year, Japan's administration was suspended by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (GHQ) for a short period of time. The San Francisco Peace Treaty excludes areas under the administration of the United States.

Tokara Islands

Returned on February 10, 1952 (Showa 27). The request for a return to the United States was being carried out jointly with the Amami Islands, but in 1951 (Showa 26), the return was decided by a memorandum of understanding of the Allied Headquarters. Therefore, the San Francisco Peace Treaty excludes areas under the administration of the United States.

Return after the San Francisco Peace Treaty comes into effect

Amami Islands

Returned on December 25, 1953 (Showa 28). The period until the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which is a treaty between the Japanese government and the Allied Forces (currently the United Nations), came into effect was exhausted by policies such as the restrictions on autonomy by the U.S. Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands of the U.S. Army and the Battle of Okinawa. The residents of Amami, whose economy was exhausted and even signs of hunger, increased dissatisfaction due to the concentration of funds on the main island of Okinawa and the disruption of sales channels for cash crops and products due to the separation from the mainland. The Amami Islands reversion movement, which started immediately after the separation, became more intense, and 99.8% of the residents aged 14 and over signed a wish to return to Japan. , Elementary and junior high school students also submitted blood certificates. After the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the former Japan-US Security Treaty came into effect, the United States began to give up the rule of Amami, which has few bases and a vigorous reversion movement.19