Treaty of Peace with Japan
The Treaty of Peace with Japan (Japanese: 日本国との平和条約), between the Allied Powers and Japan, was officially signed by 48 nations on September 8, 1951 in San Francisco, California. Therefore this treaty is popularly known as the Treaty of San Francisco. It entered into force 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 enunciate the Allies' goals for the treaty and rest Japan's fate in the hands of the international community.
The document officially renounces Japan's treaty rights derived from Boxer Protocol of 1901 and its rights to Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), the Kuril Islands, the 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 justify Taiwanese self-determination according to Article 77b of the Charter of the United Nations.
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 led to the Kuril 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 in 1952, which basically acknowledged the terms of the San Francisco Treaty.