I HAVE today signed an amendment to Executive Order 10713 dated June 5, 1957, providing for the administration of the Ryukyu Islands. The amendment 1 to the Executive Order, as well as a number of other measures set forth below, are the result of recommendations of the interdepartmental Task force appointed last year to investigate current conditions in the Ryukyu Islands and the United States policies and programs in force there.
1 Executive Order 11010 (27 F.R. 2621 ).
The work of the Task force underlines the importance the United States attaches to its military bases in the Ryukyu Islands. The armed strength deployed at these bases is of the greatest importance in maintaining our deterrent power in the face of threats to the peace in the far East. Our bases in the Ryukyu Islands help us assure our allies in the great arc from Japan through Southeast Asia not only of our willingness but also of our ability to come to their assistance in case of need.
The report of the Task force examines in detail the problem of reconciling the military imperative for continued United States administration with the desires of the Ryukyuan people to assert their identity as Japanese, to obtain the economic and social welfare benefits available in Japan, and to have a greater voice in the management of their own affairs. The report has also considered in the same context the desire of the Japanese people to maintain close contact with their countrymen in the Ryukyus.
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. In the meantime we face a situation which must be met in a spirit of forbearance and mutual understanding by all concerned. I have directed that a number of specific actions be taken to give expression to this spirit by the United States, to discharge more effectively our responsibilities toward the people of the Ryukyus, and to minimize the stresses that will accompany the anticipated eventual restoration of the Ryukyu Islands to Japanese administration. These actions consist of:
1. Asking the Congress to amend the Price Act (Public Law 86-629) to remove the present $6 million ceiling on assistance to the Ryukyu Islands.
2. Preparing for submission to the Congress plans for the support of new programs in the Ryukyus to raise the level of compensation for Ryukyuan employees of the U.S. Forces and the Government of the Ryukyu Islands and the levels of public health, educational and welfare services so that over a period of years they reach those obtaining in comparable areas in Japan.
3. Preparing proposals for the Congress to provide over future years a steady increase in loan funds available for the development of the Ryukyuan economy.
4. Entering into discussions with the Government of Japan with a view to working out precise arrangements to implement a cooperative relationship between the United States and Japan in providing a cooperative relationship between the United States and Japan in providing assistance to promote the welfare and well-being of the inhabitants of the Ryukyu Islands and their economic development, as discussed between Prime Minister Ikeda and myself during his visit to Washington last year.
5. Carrying on a continuous review of governmental functions in the Ryukyu Islands to determine when and under what circumstances additional functions that need not be reserved to the United States as administering authority can be delegated to the Government of the Ryukyu Islands.
6. Carrying on a continuous review of such controls as may be thought to limit unnecessarily the private freedoms of inhabitants of the Ryukyu Islands with a view to eliminating all controls which are not essential to the maintenance of the security of the United States military installations in the Ryukyus or of the islands themselves.
The amendments to Executive Order 10713 are designed to accomplish the following purposes:
1. Provide for nomination of the Chief Executive of the Government of the Ryukyu Islands by the legislature.
2. Restate the veto power of the High Commissioner, to emphasize its restricted purposes.
3. Lengthen the term of the legislature from two to three years.
4. Permit the legislature to alter the number and boundaries of election districts.
5. Provide that the Civil Administrator shall be a civilian.
6. Make certain technical changes in the provisions for criminal jurisdiction over certain Americans in the Ryukyus.