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Treaty of San Francisco

The Treaty of Peace with Japan was officially signed by 48 nations on September 8, 1951 in San Francisco, resulting in the popularly used moniker, The San Francisco Treaty. It was enacted on April 28, 1952

The treaty served to officially end World War II and resolve Japan's position as an imperial Asian power. The Treaty makes extensive use of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to annunciate the Allies goals for the treaty and rest Japan's fate in the hands of the international community.

The document officially renounces Japan's rights to Korea, Taiwan (Formosa), the Kurile Islands, Pescadores, Spratly Islands, Antarctica and the Sakhalin Island. The treaty does not formally state which nations are sovereign over these areas, a fact that some supporters of Taiwan independence use to debatably justify Taiwanese self-determination. Opponents of Taiwan independence argue that sovereignty over Taiwan was transferred by the Instrument of Surrender of Japan and that the fact that Taiwan's sovereign is not explicitly stated in the treaty is not legally important.

The treaty further put the Ryukyus (Okinawa) under U.S. trusteeship, which served as an appendage of the United States until a 1971 act of self determination in which the Okinawans voted to become a prefecture of Japan.

The document further set guidelines for repatriation of prisoners of war and renounces future military aggression under the guidelines set by the UN Charter. The document nullifies prior treaties and lays down the framework for Japan's current status of retaining a military that is purely defensive in nature.

There is also some ambiguity as to which islands Japan has renounced sovereignty over. This has lead to the Kurile Island conflict.

Neither the Republic of China nor the People's Republic of China were invited to the San Francisco Peace Conference and therefore neither signed this treaty. The Republic of China, however, enacted a separate Treaty of Peace with Japan in 1952, which basically acknowledged the terms of the San Francisco Treaty.

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