1st Edition

The Crafting of the Postwar Peace Treaty with Japan, 1945-1951

By Seung Mo Kang Copyright 2025
    232 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines how the Treaty of Peace with Japan, a momentous agreement that delineated postwar order in the Pacific, was negotiated between Japan and 48 other nations in 1951.

    Even though the treaty was created to legally end the state of war between Japan and its Pacific War enemies, many other considerations - some of which had hardly anything to do with the Pacific War - were involved. The US-Soviet rivalry was the most representative, but this was not the only factor. For instance, the decision to invite Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam as signatories was determined based on French colonial interests, Indochinese yearning for independence and the need for French contribution in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Similarly, German reparations settlements after the First and Second World Wars impacted Japanese reparations settlement. Meanwhile, the commercial terms of the treaty were informed by the Great Depression and its legacies. This book addresses these aspects of the peace treaty that are hitherto not sufficiently elaborated upon in existing studies.

    Highlighting the importance of the treaty for shaping postwar East Asia and international relations in the region to the present day, this book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of post-war Japan, International relations, and the Cold War.

    1. The Early Attempt for a Peace Settlement and Its Failure, 1945-1947

    2. The Transitional Years, 1948-1949

    3. The Formative Years and the Japanese Peace Treaty, 1950-1951

    4. The Treaty Signatories

    5. The Most-Favored-Nation Treatment Conundrum

    6. The Reparations Clause 

    Chapter 7. The High-Seas Fisheries Question

    Chapter 8. The Territorial Terms and Undefined Ownership

    Chapter 9. The San Francisco Peace Conference


    Seung Mo Kang works as an official historian at the South Korean Defense Ministry’s Institute of Military History. His research interests include diplomatic history (especially US foreign and security policy) from the late 19th century onwards, grand strategy and maritime security.