Sun, Aug 12, 2012 - Page 8
This month is the 60th anniversary of the 1952 "Treaty of Taipei" between Japan and the Republic of China (ROC), and it is time to reflect on the treaty's significance ("Treaty clear on Taiwan, Ma says," Aug. 6, page 3).
It was certainly a critical first step in normalizing post-World War II relations between Japan and Taiwan, resolving the nationality status and the disposition of properties of Japanese and Taiwanese, and laying the legal groundwork for future fisheries, travel, civil, air, maritime and commercial interactions between the two countries.
The Treaty of Taipei played an important role in keeping Taiwan integrated within the community of non-communist Asian nations in the early Cold War era.
However, let's acknowledge what the Treaty was not. It was not an instrument of territorial disposition. And the Treaty's language is clear that it, in no way, recognized Republic of China authority over any part of China not actually under the control of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government.
The scope of the treaty was delimited by a letter from then-Japanese prime minister Shigeru Yoshida to the senior US peace negotiator, former US secretary of state John Foster Dulles, on Dec. 24, 1951, in which Yoshida acquiesced to Dulles' recommendation that Japan conclude a treaty with Taiwan that covered only the territories under the actual control of the KMT government in Taipei.
On Jan. 28, 1952, Yoshida said: "Japan is prepared to write a treaty to establish good-neighbor relations with Taiwan on the basis of the reality that the Taiwan Government is at present in control of certain territories."
Japan subsequently limited the scope of the treaty to "Taiwan and Penghu," a formula that the Taipei side expanded in an exchange of notes to read: "all the territories which are now, or which may hereafter be, under the control of [the ROC] Government."
Note: Persons without a solid background in "laws of war studies" often assume that "jurisdiction equals sovereignty." However, the two concepts are not necessarily equal.
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