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50 Years from San Francisco: Re-Examining the Peace Treaty and Japan's Territorial Problems

Kimie Hara
Pacific Affairs
Vol. 74, No. 3 (Autumn, 2001), pp. 361-382
DOI: 10.2307/3557753
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3557753
Page Count: 22
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50 Years from San Francisco: Re-Examining the Peace Treaty and Japan's Territorial Problems
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Abstract

The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty with Japan left various problems unresolved. Japan's territorial problems are no exception. The treaty did not specify to which country Japan renounced its former territories, nor did it define the precise limits of these territories. This article concerns the origin of the disputes between Japan and its neighbors about the "Northern Territories," Takeshima and Senkaku. Close examination of post-war territorial disposition of Japan suggests that these problems were seeded under strong influence of the regional cold war in the Asia-Pacific. Lying on the U.S. cold war defense line of the Western Pacific, the so-called "Acheson Line," these territorial problems were "wedges" to defend Japan from communist expansion. The time shift to the "post-cold war" era does not negate the significance of the cold war origins of these problems. It seems reasonable to remember their common origin and consider the possibility of achieving their solutions in a multilateral context.

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