About 3.2 million pages of documents and photographs related to the U.S. Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands, which governed Okinawa between 1950 and 1972, will be made public beginning this fall.The National Diet Library and the Okinawa Prefectural Archives announced that the documents will be released on microfilm and made public at the two sites. The U.S. last year began making public USCAR-related documents, but this will be the first time such materials will be available in Japan. It is expected to take more than four years to compile all of the documents.Most of the USCAR documents were moved to the U.S. when Okinawa was returned to Japanese rule in 1972. The documents are expected to shed light on the years of U.S. rule in Okinawa and the events that preceded its reversion to Japan.So far, studies on postwar Okinawa have been based mainly on documents left by the Ryukyu Government, which was an autonomous organization run by the Okinawan people. Etsujiro Miyagi, head of the Okinawa Prefectural Archives, said that from now on, studies on postwar Okinawa can be based on both USCAR and Ryukyu Government documents.He said his organization is hoping to collect materials left by the U.S. military stationed in Okinawa. Around 1977, the Okinawa Prefectural Government asked the National Diet Library to collect documents from USCAR. When the Okinawa Prefectural Archives were opened, the institution put priority on obtaining the documents.Miyagi also pointed out that since the USCAR was an organization that only executed policies worked out by the U.S. government, it is more important to collect Okinawa-related documents from the State Department, the Defense Department and the U.S. military that are left in the U.S. National Archives.USCAR was established on the orders of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, supreme commander of the Allied Powers, which occupied Japan after it surrendered at the end of World War II. It was above the Ryukyu Government.According to a list at the U.S. National Archives, the records include documents on an advisory council for the USCAR high commissioner established in 1968 following an agreement between then Prime Minister Eisaku Sato and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson. Also included are records on the preparation committee established in 1970 for discussions by Japan and the U.S. on the reversion of Okinawa’s administration to Japan.
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