Okinawa Contents | Biographical Essays | Chronology | Photos | Annotated Bibliographies
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April 1
Battle of Okinawa begins. Tenth Army lands on Higashi beach unopposed.

April 4
XXIV Corps of the Tenth Army makes first contact with Japanese defensive fortifications in southern Okinawa.

April 18
Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper columnist Ernie Pyle killed on Ie Shima.

April 20
III Marine Amphibious Corps finishes taking northern Okinawa.

May 11
Kamikaze crashes the aircraft carrier Bunker Hill.

May 13
Kamikaze plunges straight down into the flight deck of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

May 21
Marines take Sugar Loaf Hill, which guards the entrance to Shuri and headquarters of the Japanese 32nd Army.

May 24
Marines enter Naha, capital of Okinawa; largest city ever taken by the Marines up to that point in time.

June 10
Lt. Gen. Simon B. Buckner, Jr., commanding Tenth Army, offers surrender terms to Lt. Gen. Ushijima Mitsuru, commander of 32nd Army. Americans never receive response.

 June 15
Coordinated Japanese resistance ends; effective death of 32nd Army.

June 18
Japanese artillery barrage kills Buckner. Maj. Gen. Roy Geiger (United States Marine Corps) assumes command of Tenth Army; first Marine officer to command a field army in combat.

June 21
Geiger announces island secured.

June 23
Ushijima and Lt. Gen. Cho Isamu, chief-of-staff of 32nd Army, commit suicide. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell assumes command of Tenth Army.

July 2
Mop up campaign finished. Stilwell announces Ryukyus campaign terminated.

August 6
Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

August 9
Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

August 15
Japan announces acceptance of allied surrender terms.

September 2
Surrender ceremonies held on U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

September 7
Japanese forces in the Ryukyus surrender at Kadena air base (location later renamed Stilwell Park).

March 6
Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, chief of naval operations, proposes that Army assume administrative responsibility for Ryukyu Islands.

March 22
Gen. of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, chief-of-staff, U.S. Army, accepts Nimitz proposal.

April 24
Shikiya Koshin named first Okinawan civilian Chief Executive.

May 8-9
Eisenhower visits island.

July 1
U.S. Army assumes administrative responsibility for Okinawa.

October 22.
President Harry S. Truman decides the U.S. will request United Nations trusteeships for Japanese Mandated Islands. No decision made on Okinawa.

March 5
George F. Kennan of the State Department meets with Gen. of the Army Douglas MacArthur in Tokyo. After this conversation State Department opposition to retention of Okinawa ends.

May 6
President Truman approves NSC 13/3 separating the Ryukyu Islands from Japan.

September 7-8
Undersecretary of the Army Tracy Voorhees visits the island. Afterwards he initiates many reforms and personnel moves that lead to massive development of the island.

May 22
University of Ryukyus established.

June 17-30
Joint Chiefs of Staff, and John Foster Dulles, representing the State Department, make trips to Tokyo to meet with Gen. MacArthur about a peace treaty for Japan. MacArthur supports a treaty without qualification.

September 7
Secretary of State Dean Acheson and Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson sign memo establishing U.S. goals for a Japanese peace treaty. The two agree that the final document should "secure to the United States exclusive strategic control of the Ryukyu Islands."

September 8
President Harry S. Truman approves the State-Defense agreement.

September 14
John Foster Dulles appointed to negotiate a peace treaty with Japan.

December 15
U.S. Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands established.

September 4-8
Japanese peace treaty signed at the San Francisco peace conference. Dulles publicly announces that Japan will have "residual sovereignty" over the Ryukyu and Bonin Islands.

December 25
Anami Oshima island group returned to Japan.

January 7
President Dwight D. Eisenhower gives his State of the Union address.  During this speech, he declares "We shall maintain indefinitely our bases in Okinawa."

August 12
U.S. v. Shiroma court decision reaffirms that Okinawans are Japanese nationals.

July 3
Marines return to Okinawa. Forward elements of the 3rd Marine Division arrives on the island, beginning a relocation from Japan that will continue on into 1956.

October 24-25
Price Commission, a sub-committee of the House Armed Services Committee, holds hearings in Naha to determine form of rental the American military should pay Okinawan land owners.

June 13
Price Report released. It recommends that Okinawan land owners receive a lump-sum payment equal to the value of the land.
June 14-July 8
Rallies protesting the Price Report in Okinawa draw one-sixth of the population. Entire legislature and Chief Executive threaten to resign. Rallies also held across Japan. Popular agitation continues to remain strong until Diet elections on July 8.

July 30
Japanese Foreign Minister Shigemitsu Mamoru goes to Moscow to negotiate final peace settlement with Soviet Union.  He accepts Soviet insistence that Japan give up claim to northern Kurile Islands.

August 19
Dulles warns Shigemitsu that if Japan concedes sovereignty of the Kurile Islands to the Soviet Union, the U.S. will use language in the peace treaty which accords the same status to the these islands and the Ryukyus to claim sovereignty over Okinawa.

August 28
Dulles makes his warning public at a press conference.

October 19
Soviet Union and Japan announce a limited agreement, terminating the state of war between the two countries, exchanging ambassadors, returning prisoners of war, and endorsing Japan's admission into the United Nations.

December 21
Japan admitted into the United Nations.

December 25
Senaga Kamejiro, president of the Okinawa Peoples Party, the Communist party on the island, is elected mayor of Naha with one-third of vote. Election leads to many embarrassing stories and editorials about defeat for U.S. in fair election. CIA begins funneling money to conservative Okinawan politicians.

January 29
Douglas MacArthur II becomes the U.S. ambassador to Japan.

June 5
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs Executive Order 10713 providing for administration of Ryukyu Islands. The order creates the post of High Commissioner to be filled by a three-star general, directly responsible to the Department of the Army.

June 17
Naha city council votes no confidence in Senaga.

August 4
Okinawa Peoples Party doubles seats on city council in Naha municipal election, making two-thirds quorum for removal of Senaga impossible to convene.

November 24
Lieutenant General James E. Moore, High Commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands, changes ordinances and regulations for municipal administration on removal of an elected official. He makes it possible to remove an individual with a simple majority vote of city council.

November 25
Naha city council removes Senaga as mayor on 16-10 vote.

January 12
Kaneshi Saichi, a Socialist, elected mayor of Naha.

February 1
Ambassador MacArthur begins writing a series of letters to Dulles and Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs Walter Robertson on Okinawa that cause major reassessment of American presence in the Ryukyus.

April 9
In a phone call with Eisenhower, Dulles suggests that the United States return Okinawa and challenge the Soviet Union to do the same with the Kuriles.  The President agrees, but wants a Joint Chiefs of Staff study on the issue, before he will commit to such an action.

April 11
General Moore announces that the U.S. will reconsider lump-sum payments.

May 23
President Eisenhower learns of U.S. Army plans to convert B-Yen based economy on Okinawa to dollar based one, and orders a halt.

June 4
Eisenhower declares that currency conversion can only take places with consent of Japanese Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke.

June 18
Ambassador MacArthur meets with Kishi and obtains consent to currency substitution.

July 30
General Moore announces new program of rental payments; will not include lump-sum.

August 23
General Moore announces dollars will replace B-Yen as currency in the Ryukyu Islands.

September 11
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and Japanese Foreign Minister Fujiyama Aiichiro agree to begin negotiations on revision of the U.S.-Japan security treaty. Fujiyama and MacArthur negotiate new treaty in September and October.

September 16-21
Currency conversion implemented.

April 13
Dulles informs Eisenhower he is resigning as Secretary of State

May 24
Dulles dies from cancer

November 30
Eisenhower receives report from Joint Chiefs of Staff strongly opposing any action that would weaken American authority on Okinawa.  Eisenhower ends efforts to seek a resolve the status of Okinawa

January 19
Kishi and Secretary of State Christian Herter sign new security treaty in Washington. Minutes and notes also signed that day exclude Ryukyu and Bonin Islands from the area the new treaty is to cover.

May 19
Kishi forces ratification of treaty through the Diet using a number of parliamentary maneuvers. This actions provokes daily demonstrations, riots, and strikes in Tokyo that last until final Diet ratification.

June 16
Kishi cancels Eisenhower's official state visit to Japan.

June 19
Automatic Diet ratification of the treaty.  President Eisenhower visits Okinawa. Roughly one-fourth of the population greets him.

June 22
The U.S. Senate ratifies the treaty 90-2.

June 23
American and Japanese diplomats exchange instruments of ratification and new treaty goes into effect.

June 20-23
Prime Minister Ikeda Hayato meets with President John F. Kennedy. The president agrees to appoint a commission to investigate social and economic conditions on the island.

August 11
President Kennedy signs National Security Action Memorandum 68 creating a White House task force under the leadership of Carl Kaysen to investigate economic and social conditions in the Ryukyu Islands.

October 5
Kaysen Commission arrives on Okinawa, and spends three weeks investigating.

February 1
Okinawan legislature unanimously passes resolution accusing U.S. of colonialism in violation of United Nations ordinances. Resolution requests that U.N. investigate Okinawa's status.

March 5
Kaysen commission presents final report to President Kennedy, and he signs National Security Action Memorandum 133 instructing various cabinet officers to implement recommendations of Kaysen commission: increase in economic aide and appointment of a civilian civil administrator.

March 19
President Kennedy states "I recognize the Ryukyus to be a part of the Japanese homeland, and look forward to the day when the security interests of the free world will permit their restoration to full Japanese sovereignty."  He issues Executive Order 11010, instructing the High Commissioner to appoint the Chief Executive after consulting the legislature.

June 27
Sato Eisaku resigns his government post to run for the president of the LDP and, given the party's control of the Diet, Prime Minister. He releases "The Fight for Tomorrow," a campaign pamphlet in which he calls for Okinawa reversion within the context of the U.S.-Japanese security alliance.

July 10
Ikeda defeats Sato in LDP presidential election.

November 9
Ikeda resigns after being diagnosed with cancer, and appoints Sato as his replacement as LDP president, and Prime Minister of Japan.

January 12-13
Sato meets with President Lyndon B. Johnson in Washington, D.C. In a meeting with Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Sato asks that U.S. return all the islands in the Ryukyus other than Okinawa. Americans give no response.

July 29
U.S. Air Force uses Okinawan based B-52s to bomb North Vietnam. Intense protests and rallies on the island force cancellation of further missions.

August 19-21
Sato travels to Okinawa and announces "The postwar era will not end until the return of Okinawa to the homeland is realized." Pro-reversion, anti-Sato riot breaks out in Naha.

December 20
President Johnson Executive Order 11263 allowing legislature to elect Chief Executive.

March 9
Sato declares Japan will consider an attack on Okinawa an attack on Japan.

August 23
Mori Kiyoshi proposes functional reversion of Okinawa. Suggests first step should be assumption of control for education.

September 1
U. Alexis Johnson becomes ambassador to Japan.

January 19
Sato makes Otsu statement, rejecting phased approach to Okinawa reversion. He declares that Japan will seek total restoration of the island.

July 1
Okinawan boats begin flying modified version of Japanese national flag.

October 21
Sato visits Vietnam, becoming first head-of-state, or chief-of-government to visit the country.

October 27-November 12
Sato's secret emissary Wakazumi Kei conducts negotiations with National Security Advisor Walt W. Rostow in Washington, D.C. Sato uses these talks to bypass Foreign Minister Miki Takeo, a political rival.

 November 14-15
Sato meets with Johnson at the White House. Communiqué announces return of the Bonin Islands.

November 27
Sato defeats Miki in election of the President of the Liberal Democratic Party.

January 30
Sato announces as government policy the three anti-nuclear principles (hikaku sangensoku) in which Japan renounces the possession, production, and introduction of nuclear weapons into the country. The anti-nuclear principles were part of a larger, four point nuclear code that Japan would follow.  In addition to the hikaku sangensoku, Japan would work for nuclear disarmament, depend on the American umbrella for protection from hostile nuclear powers, and develop nuclear power sites solely as civilian resources.

February 1
Johnson signs Executive Order 11395 allowing Okinawans to directly elect the Chief Executive.

June 26
Bonin Islands transferred to Japanese administration.

November 5
Richard M. Nixon elected President of the United States.

November 10
Yara Chobyo elected Chief Executive after campaigning on a platform of demanding immediate reversion.

January 20
Nixon sworn in as President of the United States.

January 21
National Security advisor Henry Kissinger orders a NSC study of Okinawa.

February 7
U. Alexis Johnson becomes new Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

March 10
Sato announces in the Diet that Japan's nuclear and anti-nuclear policies will apply to Okinawa after reversion.

May 28, 1969
President Nixon signs National Security Decision Memorandum 13 authorizing negotiations with Japan for the reversion of the Ryukyu Islands.

July 18
The Wall Street Journal reveals in a page one story that chemical and biological weapons are stored on Okinawa.

November 5
Senate approves the Byrd resolution, calling on Nixon to submit Okinawan reversion agreement to the Senate in treaty format, by the vote of 63-14.

November 19-21
Nixon-Sato meeting at the White House. Communiqué announces return of Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands.

December 3
Sato dissolves the Diet and scheduled a general election for December 27.

December 27
LDP wins largest post-war majority in Diet election.

December 19-20
Anti-American, anti-reversion riot breaks out in Naha.

December 22
Louis Harris opinion poll reveals that Americans oppose reversion 50 to 26 percent.

January 13
With much international media attention, U.S. Army removes first 150 tons of chemical weapons.

March 3
Secretary of State William Rogers promises Sen. J. William Fulbright, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that the administration will submit reversion agreement to the Senate as a treaty.

March 15
Another Louis Harris opinion poll conducted in January reveals that Americans support reversion 49 to 39 percent.

June 17
Reversion treaty signed in satellite linked ceremonies at the Prime Minister's residence in Tokyo and the State Department in Washington, D.C.

September 10
Army finishes removing all 10,000 tons of chemical weapons.

September 21
Nixon submits treaty to Senate for its "advice and consent."

November 10 (November 9 in the U.S.)
Anti-reversion riot in Naha. Okinawan policeman killed.

November 10
Senate approves treaty 84-6.

November 19
Anti-reversion rallies and riots across Japan. Police battle a firebomb throwing mob of 78,000 in Tokyo.

November 24
Lower House of the Diet approves treaty 285-73.

December 22
House of Councilors of the Diet approves treaty 131-108.

January 7-8
Sato meets with Nixon in San Clemente, California. The two leaders set May 15 as date for reversion.

May 15
Okinawa reverts to Japanese administration.