Treaty of Taipei
The Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty (Chinese: 中日和平條約; Japanese: 日華平和条約), commonly known as the Treaty of Taipei (Chinese: 台北和約), was a peace treaty between Japan and the Republic of China (ROC) signed in Taipei, Taiwan on April 28, 1952 and took effect on August 5 the same year, marking the formal end of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45). This treaty was necessary, because neither the Republic of China nor the People's Republic of China was invited to sign the Treaty of San Francisco due to disagreements by other countries as to which government was the legitimate government of China during and after the Chinese Civil War. Under pressure from the United States, Japan signed a separate peace treaty with the Republic of China to bring the war between the two states to a formal end with a victory for the ROC. Although the ROC itself was not a participant in the San Francisco Peace Conference due to the resumption of the Chinese Civil War after 1945, this treaty largely corresponds to that of San Francisco. In particular, the ROC waived service compensation to Japan in this treaty with respect to Article 14(a).1 of the San Francisco Treaty.
Summary of Treaty
Treaty of Taipei largely correlates itself to the terms of the Treaty of San Francisco, recognizing that in the Treaty of San Francisco (which entered into force April 28, 1952) Japan renounced all right, title, and claim concerning Taiwan, the Pescadores, the Spratly Islands, and the Paracel Islands.
- Article 2
- "It is recognized that under Article 2 of the Treaty of Peace with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco in the United States of America on September 8, 1951 (hereinafter referred to as the San Francisco Treaty), Japan has renounced all right, title and claim to Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores) as well as the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands."
- Article 3
- "The disposition of property of Japan and of its nationals in Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores), and their claims, including debts, against the authorities of the Republic of China in Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores) and the residents thereof, and the disposition in Japan of property of such authorities and residents and their claims, including debts, against Japan and its nationals, shall be the subject of special arrangements between the Government of the Republic of China and the Government of Japan. The terms nationals and residents whenever used in the present Treaty include juridical persons."
- Article 4
- "It is recognized that all treaties, conventions and agreements concluded before December 9, 1941, between China and Japan have become null and void as a consequence of the war."
- Article 9
- "The Republic of China and Japan will endeavor to conclude, as soon as possible, an agreement providing for the regulation or limitation of fishing and the conservation and development of fisheries on the high seas."
- Article 10
- "For the purposes of the present Treaty, nationals of the Republic of China, shall be deemed to include all the inhabitants and former inhabitants of Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores) and their descendents who are of the Chinese nationality in accordance with the laws and regulations which have been or may hereafter be enforced by the Republic of China in Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores); and juridical persons of the Republic of China shall be deemed to include all those registered under the laws and regulations which have been or may hereafter be enforced by the Republic of China in Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores)."
Relationship with the San Francisco Treaty
In two articles, the Treaty of Taipei makes direct references to the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which was the treaty signed and ratified by most Allies with the government of Japan in 1951 and 1952.
Article 2 is a confirmation of the renunciation of Japan's claims to Taiwan and the Pescadores as well as to the South China Sea island chains of the Paracels and Spratlys.
The San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed on September 8, 1951 and ratified on April 28, 1952. The date of the ratification of the San Francisco treaty is the same date that the Treaty of Taipei was signed, that being April 28, 1952. However, the Treaty of Taipei did not enter into force until August 5, 1952 with the exchange of instruments of ratification between the two governments in Taipei. While there is no explicit provision for the transfer of sovereignty over Taiwan from Japan to the Republic of China, Article 10 is taken by many scholars as an implicit transfer. However, Ng Yuzin Chiautong, Chairman, World United Formosans for Independence (WUFI), writing in the 2nd edition (1972) of his book Historical and Legal Aspects of the International Status of Taiwan (Formosa) maintained that Article 10 is not an affirmative definition of the Chinese nationality of the Taiwanese people, but merely an agreement reached for the sake of convenience on the treatment of the Taiwanese as ROC nationals, because otherwise they would be considered stateless and be ineligible for documentation to enable them to travel to Japan. He further points out that the Treaty of Taipei does not call the Taiwanese "Chinese nationals" but instead employs the term "residents".
Moreover, Japan formally surrendered its claim to sovereignty over Taiwan on April 28, 1952, thus calling into serious doubt the authority of Japan to formally make such an assignment regarding the status of Taiwan over three months later on August 5, 1952. Indeed, British and American officials did not recognize any transfer of Taiwan's sovereignty to "China" in either of the post-war treaties.[nb 1][nb 2][nb 3]
Political status of Taiwan with respect to the ROC
Article 10 of the Treaty states that "for the purposes of the present Treaty, nationals of the Republic of China shall be deemed to include all the inhabitants and former inhabitants of Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores) and their descendants who are of the Chinese nationality in accordance with the laws and regulations which have been or may hereafter be enforced by the Republic of China in Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores)."
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Pro-independence supporters point out that the Nationality Law of the Republic of China was originally promulgated in February 1929, when Taiwan was argued to be a de jure part of Japan. The Nationality Law was revised in February 2000; however, there were no articles addressing the mass naturalization of Taiwanese persons as ROC citizens. Hence, the conditions of Article 10 of the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty in regard to "in accordance with the laws and regulations which have been or may hereafter be enforced by the Republic of China in Taiwan…" was argued to have yet to be fulfilled.
Furthermore, it must also be noted that independence supporters point out that neither the San Francisco Treaty nor the Treaty of Taipei specifically provide for a transfer of sovereignty over Taiwan from Japan to China. Both have provisions for the renunciation of Japan's claims of sovereignty, yet neither provides for a mechanism of transfer to China.
Significantly, as the ROC officially announced the total abrogation of the Treaty of Shimonoseki on more than one occasion, supporters of the ROC would argue that China's sovereignty over Taiwan was never in dispute. Moreover, Japan and the ROC by the Treaty of Taipei further "recognised that all treaties, conventions and agreements concluded before December 9, 1941, between Japan and China have become null and void as a consequence of the war". It was therefore argued that the ROC Nationality Law which was promulgated in February 1929 would have applied to the residents on Taiwan, and it was unnecessary to address any nationality issues in the February 2000 revision.
However, Professors Lung-chu Chen and W.M Reisman, writing in the Yale Law Journal in 1972, maintained that the title to Taiwan territory vested in Japan at the time of, and/or because of, the Treaty of Shimonoseki, as the language of the Treaty clearly indicated. Such title, insofar as it is title, ceases to be a bilateral contractual relationship and becomes a real relationship in international law. Though contract may be a modality for transferring title, title is not a contractual relationship. Hence once it vests, it can no longer be susceptible to denunciation by a party to the treaty. Professor Y. Frank Chiang, writing in the Fordham International Law Journal in 2004, expanded upon this analysis to state that there are no international law principles which can serve to validate a unilateral proclamation to abrogate (or revoke) a territorial treaty, whether based on a charge of being "unequal," or due to a subsequent "aggression" of the other party to the treaty, or any other reason.
Application of the Treaty
Japanese lawyers have made the argument that the provisions of the Treaty of Taipei and the subsequent Sino-Japan joint communique waived the right of Chinese nationals to seek compensation from the Japanese government or corporations based in Japan.
End of the Treaty
The Treaty of Taipei was abrogated by the Japanese government on Sept. 29, 1972, upon the establishment of formal diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China via the Joint Communiqué of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China.
- Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People's Republic of China
- Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45)
- Sino-Japanese relations
- Legal status of Taiwan
- Political status of Taiwan
- San Francisco Peace Treaty
- Japan-Taiwan Relations
Footnotes and references
- Under the Japanese Peace Treaty Japan has renounced all sovereignty and title to Formosa, but the question of sovereignty remains in abeyance.
- Japan did not cede sovereignty over Formosa and the Pescadores to China. Japan renounced its own sovereignty but left the future title undefined.
- Article 2 of the Japanese Peace treaty, signed on September 8, 1951 at San Francisco, provides that "Japan renounces all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores." The same language was used in Article 2 of the Treaty of Peace between China and Japan signed on April 28, 1952. In neither treaty did Japan cede this area to any particular entity. As Taiwan and the Pescadores are not covered by any existing international disposition, sovereignty over the area is an unsettled question subject to future international resolution…
- "Tokyo High Court, June 12, 1980". The Japanese Annual of International Law [No. 25]. 1982. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
(5) . . . . it must be construed that the Treaty of Peace between Japan and the Republic of China should lose its significance of existence and come to an end through the normalization of diplomatic relation between Japan and the People's Republic of China based on the Joint Communique.
- "Treaty of Peace between the Republic of China and Japan". Taipei: Academia Historica Digital Archives Program. 1952. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- Taipei, Taiwan documents.
- "Historical and Legal Aspects of the International Status of Taiwan (Formosa)". World United Formosans for Independence. 1972. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- Parliament (January 30, 1956), Commons Sitting 548, UK: Hansard, pp. cc601–3, retrieved 2010-02-10
- Foreign Relations of the United States, 1955–1957. China, II (1955–1957), USA: Dept. of State, July 1, 1955, pp. 619–20, retrieved 2010-02-10
- "Starr Memorandum". Dept. of State. July 13, 1971. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
- Text of the ROC Nationality Act
- Taiwan's status left unresolved by treaties, Taipei Times, 2003-09-13.
- Lung-chu Chen and W. M. Reisman (1972). "Who Owns Taiwan: A Search for International Title". Yale Law Journal. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
- Y. Frank Chiang (2004). "One-China Policy and Taiwan". Fordham International Law Journal. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
- http://japanfocus.org/products/details/2369 Japan’s Top Court Poised to Kill Lawsuits by Chinese War Victims
- DESIGNATION OF THE CASE, TOKYO HIGH COURT, JUNE 12, 1980, Taiwan documents.