Ceremony to mark ’52 return to sovereignty

by Reiji Yoshida

Staff Writer

An official ceremony commemorating the 61st anniversary of the date the San Francisco Peace Treaty, officially ending World War II, came into force will be held on April 28, government officials said Thursday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe revealed the government’s plan during a Lower House Budget Committee session. Later in the day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the Cabinet will soon formalize the decision.

Because Article 1 of the treaty spells out that the “Allied Powers recognize the full sovereignty of the Japanese people over Japan and its territorial waters,” the plan may be another effort by Abe to foster nationalistic sentiment. On that date last year, his Liberal Democratic Party revealed a draft of a brand-new Constitution. The LDP also campaigned on a pledge to push the government to hold an event marking the treaty.

“On April 28, 1952, Japan’s sovereignty was restored and it rejoined the international community,” Suga told a news conference. “That’s the day to remember, as Japan made a start toward postwar reconstruction.”

The Cabinet decision only concerns holding the ceremony this year.