I asked in my previous post and in succeeding comments how it possible that the United States could return the Ryukyuan Islands including the Senkakus to Japan in 1972 without taking a position on the ultimate sovereignty over the islands. Thanks to a hyperlink inside a blessedly factual essay by Professor M. Taylor Fravel posted to The Diplomat, I know that the logical impossibility of reverting to Japan control of the Senkakus without taking a stance on sovereignty has annoyed greater minds than mine.
Frankel links to an internal communication of the U.S. National Security Council on the views of the Government of the Republic of China (GRC - i.e., Taiwan). Unsurprisingly, the GRC declares the Senkakus its own, and demands their transfer to the GRC concurrent with the reversion of Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty:
—In view of the expected termination of the U.S. occupation of the Ryukyu Islands in 1972, the U.S. is requested to respect the GRC's sovereign rights over the Senkaku Islets and restore them to the GRC when this termination takes place.Author of the brief John H. Holdridge then provides this comment regarding the State Department's view as to honoring this request:
Comment. As you can imagine, the Japanese Government has a comparable list of apparently offsetting arguments and maintains simply that the Senkakus remain Japanese. State's position is that in occupying the Ryukyus and the Senkakus in 1945, and in proposing to return them to Japan in 1972, the U.S. passes no judgement as to conflicting claims over any portion of them, which should be settled directly by the parties concerned.O.K. so what?
The "so what?" is in footnote #3, reprinting what then NSC chairman Henry Kissinger wrote in the margin in reaction to Holdridge's comment:
“But that is nonsense since it gives islands to Japan. How can we get a more neutral position?”There it is -- straight from Henry the K's brain: the official State Department position is nonsense.