On this day 70 years ago the occupation of Japan by the USA ended. When the Second World War began in Europe on 01.09.1939, Japan had already been at war for some time. The Second Japanese-Chinese War had been raging since 07.07.1937, after the nationalist empire had already annexed Taiwan and Korea in previous conflicts. Japan fought against China and its ally the Soviet Union. Hoping for support, Japan approached the German Reich. As a result, Adolf Hitler, in preparation for an attack against the Soviet Union, initiated the “Three Power Pact.” As part of the “Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis”, the Empire launched a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base “Pearl Harbor” in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. This event is considered the beginning of the Pacific War and moved the pacifist-minded USA to join the war.

After major losses against the USA and two dropped atomic bombs, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s unconditional surrender in a radio address on August 15, 1945, which was officially signed on September 2, 1945.
Barely six years later, a peace conference of the conflicting parties began in San Francisco, at the end of which the “San Francisco Peace Treaty” was signed. The content of the treaty was the restoration of Japan’s full sovereignty over its current territory, while the claims to Korea, Taiwan and the Kuril archipelago had to be relinquished. The treaty came into force on 28.04.1952. Accordingly, the occupation of Japan ended exactly 70 years ago today. Since then, the state has once again become an independent nation and the Pacific War has also ended in diplomatic terms.

A total of 49 countries signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty. However, the agreement was refused by China and the Soviet Union. Also on April 28, 1952, Japan therefore concluded the “Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty” with China. A look into the present shows that a peace treaty with Russia does not exist until today. This accounts for the ongoing dispute between the two nations over the islands of the Kuril archipelago for over 70 years now.