The documents and materials published on this website were collected, researched, and prepared with advice from experts, as a part of a Government-commissioned project. The contents of this website do not reflect the views of the Government. Links to external sites (domains other than are not under the management of this site. For linked websites, please check with the organization/group that manages the website for the link in question.

Commentary on themes by historical period

Classification by historical periods IV
From postwar, until the manifestation of the movement toward the reversion of Okinawa to Japan

(2) Kuba Island and Taisho Island designated as gunnery and bombing ranges

i. Designation of gunnery and bombing ranges

 There are two gunnery and bombing ranges under the control of the U.S. Forces in the Senkaku Islands. One is the "Kobi Sho Range" No.50on Kuba Island, and the other is the "Sekibi Sho Range" on Taisho Island. The notification from the U.S. Ryukyu Command Headquarters to the Ryukyu Government in April 1948 states that three islands – "Kobi Sho (Kuba Island)," "Tori Shima (Tori Island)" and "Irisona Island" – had been designated as "Permanent Danger Areas" to be used by the 1st Air Division of the U.S. Forces.

 Fishing was prohibited in the areas designated as gunnery and bombing ranges. According to our research up to FY2017, Kuba Island had been designated as a gunnery and bombing range by 1948 at the latest, and on April 9, 1948, notification of the designation was made from the United States Military Government to the Okinawa Civilian Administration, which was the subordinate administrative organization of the Military GovernmentNo.51.In our research in FY2018, we found a document in which the United States Military Government made a notification to the Okinawa Civilian Administration on the areas in which fishing would be prohibited. We also found a document dated April 22, 1948 that the Okinawa Civilian Administration made a notification on the prohibited areas to fishermen nearbyNo.52.

 The United States, administrating Okinawa after World War II, took notice of the usefulness of the Senkaku Islands as a military training area.

 No notification of the use of either Kuba Island or Taisho Island as a gunnery and bombing range has been made by the U.S. Forces after June 1978 because no such exercise has been made since then.

Dated July 27, 1948
Kuba Island [Notice of the continued use of Danger Areas for an indefinite period of time]
Repository: Okinawa Prefectural Archives

ii. Land lease contract between the U.S. Military and the land-owner of Kuba Island

 Kuba Island, designated as a gunnery and bombing range for the U.S. Military, was privately owned by Zenji KOGANo.27. The U.S. Military concluded a land lease contract with Zenji KOGA, via the Government of the Ryukyu Islands, to borrow the island for military purposes. Through our research, documents pertaining to this contract, spanning 1958 to 1970, were found No.53.

Summary: The United States (U.S. Forces) had placed the Senkaku Islands under its administration and used Kuba Island and Taisho Island as firing and bombing ranges. It also had recognized pre-WWII property rights and assets relating to the islands during its administration.

to Pagetop