Okinawa -1957 (Getty Images)
Okinawa - "War's been over for 12 years. We'd like our island back, if you udon't mind". (Getty Images)

May 29, 1957 – Washington Anticipates Japanese Premier Nobusuke Kishi – And The Word Is Okinawa.

Okinawa -1957 (Getty Images)

Okinawa – “War’s been over for 12 years. We’d like our island back, if you udon’t mind”. (Getty Images)

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May 29, 1957 – News for this day in 1957 came by way of Commentator Cedric Foster who reported on the upcoming State visit by Japanese Premier Nobusuke Kishi to Washington. The visit was expected to take place in the middle of June. Kishi, who was something of a controversial figure during World War 2 was nonetheless welcomed with open arms for his visit which was seen as a political move with relation to Cold War overtures on the part of the Soviet Union and Communist China and was looked at as a move in solidifying a friendly relationship with the former adversary. Kishi was expected to address a joint session of Congress and engage in serious talks with President Eisenhower over several issues which had already been brought up with Ambassador MacArthur in Tokyo in an extremely frank manner, and even though he did not expect that his visit to the United States would in itself bring about solutions to all of the problems which existed in Japanese-American relations. He did, however, want to build a basis for future good relations, and wanted to enumerate several of the outstanding problems in order to assist in their understanding.

According to sources close to Kishi, the first problem, was that of defense and the Security Treaty.

Next, was the issue of territorial problems. In the north Kunashiri and Etorofu were occupied by the Soviet Union. In the south Okinawa and the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands were occupied by the United States. These four places constitute a territorial problem. Regarding the northern islands, during negotiations in 1956 with the Soviet Union the United States made clear its interpretation of the San Francisco Treaty concerning these islands. Kishi intended to press on this point until Japan got a final treaty with the Soviet Union.

Okinawa was a powerful base for the United States, and Japan was not opposed to its being a base because they knew that it was for the security of the Far East. The Japanese did not understand, however, why there was a need for the United States to hold political and administrative power in Okinawa just because it was a military base. They understood that Okinawa would ultimately be returned to Japan, but the United States had administrative power on an indefinite basis and it was not clear when the return would be.

That was the gist of the upcoming visit and commentary by Cedric Foster for Mutual on May 29. 1957.





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