The Taiwan Islands of Japan (Nippon-Koku)
Japan (Nippon-koku) has always been a unitary state that implements mainland extensionism. This system is different from the Western countries’ multi-state system, where a suzerain allows its colonies (Commonwealths or confederations) to exercise self-governance. Before World War II, the Empire of Japan acquired Taiwan through the Treaty of Shimonoseki (also known as the Treaty of Maguan). After 50 years of rule (providing education for all children and modern infrastructure), Emperor Showa finally promulgated an edict on April 1, 1945 that Japan grant suffrage to the residents in Taiwan region. Meanwhile, due to the implementation of the amended Military Service Law, people with households in Taiwan were obliged to perform military service; in other words, the Constitution of the Empire of Japan was implemented in Taiwan region. Therefore, under public international law, the Taiwan Islands had officially become the inherent territories that were extension of the Empire of Japan.
The Division and Occupation After World War II
Nevertheless, the U.S. military dropped two atomic bombs on Japan to end World War II. After the war, according to the division and occupation by the Allied Powers, the U.S. Armed Forces, in the position of the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Allied Powers, occupied the Japanese archipelago. Besides, the U.S. Armed Force, also in the position of the U.S. Military Government (USMG) of the Ryukyu Islands, occupied the Ryukyu Islands before the end of World War II. As to the Taiwan Islands of Japan, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, issued General Order No. 1, ordering Chairman Chiang Kai-shek to accept the surrender of the Japanese troops in Taiwan. In addition, due to the United States’ taking of an anti-Communism stance, the U.S. government authorized the Republic of China, which at that time still had diplomatic relations with the United States, to be a proxy to occupy Taiwan. A few decades later, in 1979, the United States established diplomatic relations with China and terminated the original diplomatic relations with the Republic of China. At the same time, the Republic of China, through the domestic law of the Taiwan Relations Act, was downgraded to be the governing authorities on Taiwan. Since then, such occupation continues (continuation of the division and occupation by the United States under Articles 2(b) and 23(a) of the Treaty of San Francisco).
The Governing Authorities on Taiwan
Chiang Kai-shek, who in the beginning believed himself to be the only representative of China, established in Taiwan of Japan the Taiwan Provincial Administrative Executive Office to serve as the civil government of the Republic of China, which was restructured into the Taiwan Provincial Government on May 16, 1947. Besides, the Taiwan Provincial Garrison Command was established to serve as the military government of the Republic of China, which was later restructured into the Coast Guard Administration of the Ocean Affairs Council of the Republic of China. These were the reforms that Chiang Kai-shek’s Republic of China later carried out on the departments occupying Taiwan under international laws of war. They were not so much reforms as distortion. This was because Chiang Kai-shek’s Republic of China (R.O.C.) lost its stance to represent China in 1949 after his being expelled by the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) and leaving the territory of China, so the Republic of China became a government in exile that fled to another country (Taiwan of Japan). Meanwhile, Chiang Kai-shek represented the Allied Forces to accept Taiwan of Japan, and thus had a bizarre dual identity (a government in exile that was defeated in the Chinese Civil War, as well as a representative of the Allied Forces of the victorious countries in World War II to accept Taiwan of Japan), and hitherto such identity still exists. Therefore, up to now, the so-called Olympic model still applies to Taiwan in which the name Chinese Taipei (Chinese exile government in Taipei) instead of Taiwan is used when participating in important international events.
Origin of the Taiwan Civil Government
On October 24, 2006, a group of Taiwanese people led by Roger C.S. Lin(林志昇) sued the United States government in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. (simply referred to as the first lawsuit against the United States, hereinafter). This was a lawsuit to address the normalization of Taiwan’s international status as well as the protection of the human rights of all the Taiwanese people (Case No. 1:06-cv-01825-RMC), with the purpose to force the United States to publicly recognize and resolve the issue of Taiwan’s international status. During the period of the lawsuit, many exchanges of information with the court proceeded. Finally, a factual statement was determined for the judgment made by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. on April 7, 2009 for the first lawsuit against the United States (Case No. 08-5078), “The people of Taiwan are stateless; Taiwan has no internationally recognized government; and the people of Taiwan live in political purgatory ...” Also because of this, Taiwan obtained liaison and assistance from the relevant departments of the United States. On February 2, 2008 the Taiwan Civilian Government (later renamed as the Taiwan Civil Government) was officially established at the Howard Civil Service International House in Taipei, and the first international conference was held in Taipei on April 25, 2010. The first chairman of the Taiwan Civil Government, Mr. Cheng Chung-mo(城仲模), was elected; and the second chairman was Mr. Sone Kensho(曾根憲昭).
Transformation of the Taiwan Civil Government
Ever since the establishment of the Taiwan Civil Government in 2008, many events and changes have taken place. Many core cadres were expelled for having led the so-called Taiwan Independence Movement in Washington, D.C. on April 25, 2013. The most serious case involved the leader, Roger C.S. Lin(林志昇), and his wife, Julian T.A. Lin(林梓安). Mixing public and private funds as well as having unclear financial accounts, they were charged with money laundering and fraud, and were both arrested on May 10, 2018 (indirectly abandoned by the relevant U.S. departments originally offering assistance). This event severely damaged the public image of the Taiwan Civil Government. The biggest change was that after the accidental death of Roger C.S. Lin(林志昇), his wife, Julian T.A. Lin(林梓安) and their supporters, using the excuse of inheritance of private properties, ignored the structure and rules of the basic regulations of the organization, and attempted to seize power. Consequently, the Director General of that time, Mr. Tsai Tsai-yuan, led the Taiwan Civil Government to cut its tie with Julian T.A. Lin(林梓安)’s power-seizing scam group on November 23, 2019. This act also obtained trust and guidance from the motherland Japan, and accordingly, facilitated a number of corrections and assistance for the future policies of the internal Taiwan Civil Government.
The two most important corrections were the following ones:
- All the books written by Roger C.S. Lin(林志昇) advocate that “the territories of Taiwan are the Japanese emperor’s (Tenno’s) private properties”, and this advocacy is a very serious mistake. The emperor is the national symbol of the Japanese nation as well as the representative of the Japanese nation in foreign matters. Therefore, the signing of treaties, such as cession or sale of territory, by the emperor who represents Japan as a nation and by the representatives of other countries should be a matter of transfer of title to territory between countries under public international law, instead of a matter of transfer of the land ownership between individuals under private international law. In short, title to territory belongs to countries, instead of the private property rights of the emperor himself; and what is signed between countries is called a treaty. In the event of a dispute, it should be resolved through the International Court of Justice. What is signed between people or groups in different countries is called a contract or agreement, and the institution for resolving disputes is the domestic court of the relevant country.
Therefore, as far as the Shimonoseki Treaty (Treaty of Maguan) signed between Japan and the Qing Dynasty was concerned, it should be regarded as a matter of transfer of title to territory between Japan and the country of Qing under public international law, instead of a matter of transfer of the land ownership between Emperor Guangxu of the Qing empire and Emperor Meiji of Japan under private international law. Since the Taiwan Islands were at that time the Qing empire’s settlements (i.e. the outland of the Qing empire, where “the birds did not sing and the flowers were not fragrant”, and the country of Qing had only administrative power but no title to territory, so the territories could be ceded under public international law), Japan conquered the various tribes on the eastern hills of Taiwan in accordance with public international law, and implemented the Japanization of Taiwan Islands. As from April 1, 1945, the Constitution of the Empire of Japan was completely implemented in Taiwan, and Taiwan became an indivisible and inherent territory of Japan (the principle of territorial integrity is applied so that the territory shall not be ceded). Since Japan has administrative power and possession rights in Taiwan, Japan for the first time established the territory ownership of Taiwan.
- Roger C.S. Lin(林志昇) had an incorrect claim regarding the term “normalization of Taiwan’s international status”, which would be considered that “the normalization of Taiwan’s status is to let Taiwan become a country that is on an equal footing to other countries in the world.” In other words, it implies the pursuit of becoming a self-governing country with a confederation system, just like Japan, or preparing for the independence of Taiwan. Therefore, it should be revised to “normalization of the legal status of Taiwan”.
The above explanation is the most important guidance and correction. After that, on January 1, 2020, Mr. Tsai Tsai-yuan(蔡財源), as the first chief executive of the Taiwan Civil Government, following the example of Ryukyu’s return to Japan, has been leading all the members to address the normalization of the legal status of Taiwan, and helping Taiwan’s return to its motherland, Japan.
Taiwan’s Return to Its Motherland Japan
Currently, the political standpoints of the Taiwanese society range from the independent establishment of the state of Taiwan (independence of Taiwan), the independence of the Republic of China in Taiwan (independence of the Republic of China), self-government, reunification with China to becoming a commonwealth or confederation of another country. The reason for such confusion is that after World War II, the United States divided and occupied Japan, and allowed the government of the Republic of China (R.O.C.) in exile to come to Taiwan to act as a proxy to rule its divided and occupied Taiwan region of Japan, thus allowing the government to carry out various types of brainwashing education. Hitherto this practice has been carried out for over half a century (from 1949 to the present), causing people to have a general misconception of the legal status of Taiwan. The government tried to make the people in Taiwan region completely cut off the relations with its motherland Japan. At the same time, the administrative authority, no matter the Chinese Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) or the Democratic Progressive Party, advocated that “Taiwan belongs to the Republic of China”, and the successive presidents of the Republic of China who swore to and implemented the Constitution of the Republic of China also advocated that “the Republic of China is Taiwan”, in an attempt to use the ambiguous policy of locally legalizing and gaining the independence of the Republic of China.
However, there is an important thing to be discussed: the issue of the nationality of the Taiwanese people who were forced to change their nationality from Japan to the Republic of China. As mentioned above, the Republic of China, being the proxy occupying Taiwan, promulgated the Ordinance on Change of Nationality on January 12, 1946, forcibly changing the Taiwanese people’s nationality of Japan to be the nationality of the Republic of China overnight. Therefore, on February 27, 2015 the Taiwan Civil Government, taking the United States and the Republic of China as targets, once again filed the second lawsuit against the United States and the Republic of China (Case No. 1:15-cv-00295-CKK) in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. addressing the revocation of the Ordinance on Change of Nationality. Two years later, on March 30, 2017 the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. made a judgment for the second lawsuit against the United States and the Republic of China (Case No. 16-5149), determining a factual statement that “neither the United States nor the United Nations could remove the statelessness of the Taiwanese people, only the related country (referring to Japan) that did not participate in this lawsuit could”. Such factual determination has largely recognized the claims of the Taiwan Civil Government.
Therefore, after this crucial recognition as well as the aforesaid judgment of “statelessness of the Taiwanese people” in the first lawsuit against the United States, the Taiwan Civil Government has achieved a clear understanding of the future and final status of Taiwan (i.e. normalization of the legal status of Taiwan), which was ambiguous in the past, and obtained the basis and legitimacy of claiming return to the motherland Japan in order to pursue Taiwan’s and the Taiwanese people’s return to the motherland Japan. The Taiwan Civil Government is a task-oriented organization prior to Taiwan’s return to the motherland Japan. It is waiting for the motherland Japan to officially start the return operation and shall follow all the instructions from the relevant departments in the motherland Japan. The division and occupation of Ryukyu (in Okinawa Prefecture) just ended, and Ryukyu had been returned to Japan; but the remaining Taiwan is still under the division and occupation, which still continues. Now, under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan, revisions to the Constitution of Japan and the three security documents (the National Security Strategy, the National Defense Program Guidelines, and the Midterm Defense Buildup Program) are underway. The United States shall be held responsible for ending the ruling of Taiwan by the proxy, which refers to the government of the Republic of China (R.O.C.) in exile (the administrative authority of Taiwan). The Taiwan Islands shall follow the Ryukyu’s reversion to end its division and occupation, and shall return to the motherland Japan.
Important Declaration of the Taiwan Civil Government
- Abide by international laws, including the Law of Nations, international laws of war, and the Treaty of San Francisco.
- Japan retains the ownership of Taiwan’s territories, whereas the United States has the right of occupying Taiwan.
- The United States is obliged to follow international laws to allow the government of the Republic of China in exile to end its occupation of Taiwan.
- The United States has the responsibility to follow international laws to return Taiwan to its motherland Japan, and to achieve the normalization of the legal status of Taiwan.
- According to the judgment of the lawsuits against the United States and the Republic of China, and referring to Okinawa’s return to Japan, the priority is for Taiwanese to restore their Japanese nationality.