From: Alien spacecraft
As to why the islands were given "back" is simple, during WW2 we stated repeatedly that we were against imperialism and territorial ambitions. This really frightened Churchill by the way, as he was an ardent imperialist. Plus look at all the problems that the Soviet Union had to put up with over its retention of the four (?) northern islands off Hokkaido. Thus they were given back because it was the politically correct thing to do. Additionally, territorial acquisition by force is no longer seen as valid by international law (unless certain parameters are met that are very narrowly defined)!
Its true though that there was a strong anti-imperialistic streak within the US military. FDR wanted to end colonialism, but not simply from the goodness of his heart so much but for pragmatic reasons.....a new world where an economically dominant US would partner with a strong China as the premier powers in Asia. In Churchill's defense, he saw the writing on the wall in regards to the UK's status as a major power. Without colonial possessions, the UK could never be a major power. Not enough territory or resources at home. Countries with a strong domestic economy and resource pool don't need colonialism. I often forget that during WWII the US was the major supplier of oil for the Allied cause. Now the Middle East holds that card.
Post war....i think lack of concern and a desire to not dip into the morrass of territorial disputes motivated US policy when it came to the question of ownership of certain pieces of Real Estate. You say that island was yours before the war? fine....have it back . Ironically, in a way FDR's vision has come to light, only decades after and with a radically different government in power in China. She is a major trading partner, both countries are mutually dependant on each other to keep their economies going. China owns the bulk of our national debt. Fun times ahead really. China, despite their economic saavyness......still has skeletons in their closet about re-aquiring what they consider "lost" territory and prestige....i.e. Taiwan and that island in the East China Sea thats been in the news of late. They want to be the new power in Asia and certainly have a formidable military at their disposal. But there's that Global Economy thing again...... How will it all play out? Who knows, just like back in the 80's none of us truely knew how that power play would develop.
< Message edited by Nikademus -- 9/20/2012 5:14:01 PM >