On this day in 1951, 48 nations signed the Treaty of San Francisco, formally ending World War II in the Pacific.
The Treaty took effect the following year, on Apil 28th, and also ceased the occupation of Japan by American/Allied forces. It also spelled out all of Japan’s responsibilities for war reparations and compensations, formalized punishments for war crimes committed, ended Japan’s status as an empire, and returned all sovereign Japanese territory gained by American/Allied forces during the war.
In effect, this treaty–along with the Security Treaty (also signed on this day)–congealed Japan’s future relationship with the United States, and dictated how Japan would engage the global arena.
The following countries attended and all but three signed the treaty:
- Ceylon (who actually defended a free Japan, and refused to accept war reparations)
- Costa Rica
- Czechoslovakia (refused to sign)
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Japan (LOL)
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- The Philippines (signed in 1956, after all the war reparations negotiations had been worked out)
- Poland (refused to sign)
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- USSR (who made every possible attempt to stall or derail the Treaty, asserting that is was too lenient and set Japan up as a US proxy state; refused to sign)
- USA (also LOL)
Burma, India, and Yugoslavia were invited, but refused to attend.
Korea was precluded. It was additionally precluded from signing any separate agreements/grievences with Japan. Likewise, neither the PRC in mainland China, nor the ROC on Taiwan, were allowed to participate or sign, due to the then-current civil war.
The lack of Korea’s/The Koreas’, and The Chinas’ attendance, as well as the USSR’s attitude and action, are the causes for the direct effects of damn near *all* territorial disputes and ongoing tensions with Japan.
In terms of reparations, the following countries received the following payments for Japanese occupation between 1941–45:
- Burma – $200,000,000
- The Philippines – $550,000,000
- Indonesia – $223,080,000
- Vietnam – $38,000,000
For a grand total of $1,012,080,000.
That’s a shitload of sushi.
One of the things that boggles my mind is that this stuff was still getting ironed out this long after the war was over. And the last payment was made to the PI in 1976! (Of note, there was a Japanese lieutenant running around the PI who had not surrendered until just TWO YEARS before that payment. 29 years on the ground.)
Also of note, Japan has paid out non-official money to South Korea over the years. The most recent of which was within the last few years. Those payments have adversely affected the two countries’ relationship.
Feature image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.