Japanese Sovereignty

At the end of WWII the Japanese unconditionally surrendered to the American Government. At that moment Japan had no sovereignty or control over their territory as time went on the Americans slowly returned most of their sovereignty but I’m curious what control the American government could exercise or does exercise over Japan if they chose to do so. I know we wrote some stuff into their constitution and made it very difficult for them to change those provisions but ultimately could the Japanese people decide to, for example, proclaim their emperor to be a God again and go down the path to militarization and empire? Does the United States still have any real or pretended power over the Japanese government to prevent them from taking certain actions?

They still depend on the US for defense against China and that carries a lot of weight. Japan spends a miniscule amount on defense but gets grade A protection from our forces. Its a pretty good deal for both sides and it encourages cooperation. And besides, if any country in the world actually loves America it’s the Japan and it’s people.

Japan is very poor in natural resources so I suppose we could throw up an effective blockade. Might piss off their trading partners though.

Japan is a sovereign country today and could change its Constitution at any time to say whatever it wants; see Chapt. IX here: http://japan.kantei.go.jp/constitution_and_government_of_japan/constitution_e.html

As Si Amigo notes, the U.S. is a close ally and I doubt the Japanese would do anything to seriously piss it off for the foreseeable future.

Leading this discussion away from the more factually based considerations of Si Amigo and Saint Cad towards the situation under international law: Japanese sovereignty was restored in 1951 with the Treaty of San Francisco between Japan on the one hand and the Allied Powers (a whole bunch of them, actually) on the other. In this treaty, the Allied Powers recognised the sovereignty of Japan over its territory and people.

Coincidentally, the parallel return to full sovereignty for Germany didn’t take place until much later, the Two Plus Four Agreement of 1990. The reason for that was that no accord between all teh Allied Powers (mainly, the United States on the one side and the Soviet Union on the other) could be reached as long as the Cold War was ongoing and Germany divided.

Did we impose any conditions on them in the treaty of san Francisco?

You could read the damn thing http://www.taiwandocuments.org/sanfrancisco01.htm

etc. etc. etc.

Interesting, from my reading Japan must give most favored nation status to any allied nation.

Not so much. They are either 6th or 7th ( dueling cites ) in the world in terms of military budget, ahead of such NATO stalwarts as France and West Germany, as well as well-off nations in a prolonged military standoff, i.e. South Korea. They have approximately 4x the military budget of a country like Spain.

They certainly aren’t in the U.S. or China’s class to be sure, but relative to most of the world they certainly pull their own weight.

What’s “West” Germany grandpa? :smiley:

Yeah, yeah - damn smartass whippersnappers with your rock and/or roll music and your unified Germanys oozing all over the place…


France is a NATO stalwart? You must be from a parallel universe.

France is a full member, under the unified command system.

You are probably referring to the fact that France refused to back the US in invading Iraq in 2003 and that whole “Freedom fries” bullshit. NATO is a defensive treaty and the invasion of Iraq cannot in any way be called defensive. Iraq had not attacked any NATO member and France had no obligation under NATO to help the US in its war of aggression that was based on false intelligence.

Japan is

Wouldn’t surprise me if he was talking about the 80s Paris Tank incident.

True, but that has been superseded by subsequent treaties, which means that provision from San Francisco is without practical relevance. For instance, both Japan and the U.S. are WTO members, and the WTO treaty system obliges all members to grant MFN treatment to each other.

Japan is ranked 7th in the world in defence spending with 42 B $ in 2015. They also have the 4th largest navy. I don’t call that miniscule, except maybe in comparison to the US.

And saying that Japan’s military is minuscule compared to the US is really more a statement about the US than it is about Japan. Everyone’s military spending is minuscule compared to ours.

My guess is that Flyer could have been referring to the fact that for many years, after 1966, France was a member of NATO only on the political level, but did not participate in the unified command system on the military level. That is a thing of the past, however, and France returned to the unified command in 2009.