Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1970


Special Functions

The Army is executive agent for the nation in several special functions in the fields of international and civil affairs, in addition to the civil defense and public works responsibilities covered in other chapters of this report. Among them are administration of the Ryukyu Islands, administration of the Panama Canal, sea level canal affairs, and supervision of a national program for rifle practice.

Administration of the Ryukyu Islands

The United States continued to administer the Ryukyu Islands under the provisions of Article 3 of the Treaty of Peace with Japan. The islands include Okinawa, where the U.S. maintains a large military base. The administration of the Ryukyus has been assigned by the President to the Secretary of Defense, who has delegated this responsibility to the Department of the Army. The field responsibility for governing this area is vested in the U.S. Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands (USCAR), headed by a high commissioner, who is appointed by the Secretary of Defense with the concurrence of the Secretary of State and the President's approval. An indigenous government exercises broad legislative, executive, and judicial authority in performing day-to-day governmental functions under the leadership of a popularly elected chief executive.

A historic meeting at Washington between President Nixon and Prime Minister Eisaku Sato of Japan during November 19-21, 1969, culminated in a decision to begin immediate negotiations for the reversion of the Ryukyus to Japan in 1972, after almost three decades of postwar separation. This planned territorial adjustment, which has few precedents in world history, will effectively fulfill the long-standing U.S. promise to return to Japan all of the islands acquired by Article 3 of the 1952 peace treaty. The other islands acquired thereby have already been returned.

The joint communiqué issued on November 21, 1969, to announce this co-operative decision stated that the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security would be continued and would be extended to the Ryukyus without modification when reversion takes place. The United States would thus continue to maintain its military base on Okinawa for the mutual security of both countries


and to help the United States fulfill its treaty commitments in the Far East.

To pave the way to reversion, the President and Prime Minister also agreed that the two governments would consult closely and co-operate on measures to ensure a smooth transfer of administrative rights, and that the U.S.-Japan Consultative Committee at Tokyo would undertake over-all responsibility for this preparatory work. They further decided to establish at Naha a preparatory commission (which was inaugurated on March 24, 1970) to consult and co-ordinate locally on reversion arrangements, including necessary assistance to the local government. The High Commissioner represents the United States on this commission, while Japan has a representative with ambassadorial rank; the Ryukyuan Chief Executive assists it in an advisory capacity. The formal reversion negotiations at Tokyo were initiated in April to prepare the detailed agreement covering the return of administrative rights.

To give Ryukyuans an opportunity to participate in Japanese national affairs even before reversion, the United States and Japan worked out an agreement whereby elected Ryukyuan representatives would be permitted to sit in the Japanese Diet-five in the House of Representatives and two in the House of Councillors. Japanese legislation to this effect was passed early in 1970, and Ryukyuan legislation on the related electoral arrangements was being readied for enactment as the period ended.

Despite the fact that the Ryukyuan economy is heavily dependent upon the large U.S. military base on Okinawa and that a great number of Ryukyuan workers depend upon it for their livelihood, the Ryukyuan people are perennially sensitive to certain military activities around them. However, local feelings on these issues were somewhat quieted by the Nixon-Sato reversion understanding. Furthermore, Ryukyuan concern about the recurring visits of nuclear submarines was largely allayed by the co-ordinated public-safety efforts of American and Ryukyuan authorities in various sophisticated radioactivity-monitoring programs. Deep Ryukyuan concern about the storage of chemical munitions on Okinawa was tempered by U.S. assurance that these munitions would be removed from Okinawa at an early date.

There was a notable expansion of commercial air travel to the Ryukyus, reflecting an increased appreciation on the part of tourists and commercial travelers for Okinawa's key location in the crowded western Pacific air corridors. Trans World Airlines added an Okinawa stop to its worldwide service for the first time, and Flying Tiger considerably expanded its existing service. Okinawa


is now served by eight airlines, one of which provides interisland service. The volume of air passengers passing through the Civil Air Terminal at Naha increased from 186,662 in 1965 to 583,948 by the end of 1969. To accommodate this burgeoning activity, steps were initiated to expand the commercial facilities at the Naha Civil Air Terminal. Specifically, design and construction of new facilities, costing an estimated $25 million, was undertaken by the U.S. government in collaboration with the government of Japan, which will defray almost all of the cost. The new facilities will include additional aircraft loading and maneuver areas, a new terminal building with 21,000 square meters of floor space, extensive parking facilities, and the usual accessories of modern air passenger traffic. Travel-control procedures were streamlined during the period as a means of facilitating travel between the Ryukyus and Japan. Most of the approximately 300,000 persons who visited the Ryukyus during the year came from Japan.

U.S. financial expenditures in and contributions to the Ryukyu Islands, which reached the level of $288 million during this period (as compared to $271 million in fiscal year 1969), not only contributed substantially to Okinawa's economic development but also helped to offset much of its import-export gap. Of the U.S. input $34.6 million was in the form of outright grants—$17.5 million directly appropriated by Congress and $17.1 million allocated from the proceeds of various business activities of the U.S. Civil Administration. The latter included the purchase and resale of petroleum products, the operations of certain public utility corporations (such as the Ryukyu Electric Power Corporation and the Ryukyu Domestic Water Corporation), and investment loans by the Bank of the Ryukyus. These extensive grants financed important programs in the fields of education, electric power, highway, construction, sewage disposal, public health, technical training, water supply, public safety, and public housing.

Budgetary constraints of the worldwide U.S. economy program necessitated sizable manpower reductions in the Ryukyuan work force of the U.S. forces, and these cuts predictably evoked widespread protests, including several brief strikes and work stoppages. However, employee resentment on this score was notably reduced toward the end of the period due to the satisfactory conclusion of certain collective bargaining arrangements between the joint Services Labor Committee of the U.S. forces and the union representatives of their Ryukyuan employees.

U.S. programs for developing Ryukyuan human resources continued to receive special attention. Some $1 million was allocated


specifically for the advanced education and training of about 300 Ryukyuan exchange visitors in the United States, including graduate and undergraduate students, national leaders, technical trainees, and faculty members of the University of the Ryukyus. In the field of community relations, the Ryukyuan-American People-to-People Program was popular and highly successful. The major part of such activities was carried out co-operatively by personnel of the U.S. forces and Ryukyuan groups in the several communities. Such activities filled genuine local needs by improving school facilities, recreational opportunities, village roads, and water supplies; by promoting measures to further public health and sanitation; and by making volunteer American instructors available to provide English language training.

Administration of the Panama Canal

By authority delegated to him as the personal representative of the President, the Secretary of the Army has special responsibilities for Panama Canal matters, which include operations of the Canal Zone government and Panama Canal Company. The Canal Zone government is administered under the supervision of the Secretary of the Army by the governor of the Canal Zone, who is appointed by the President. Management of the Panama Canal Company is vested in a board of directors appointed by the Secretary of the Army as "stockholder," representing the interest of the United States as owner of the corporation. The Secretary of the Army has appointed the Under Secretary of the Army as a member and Chairman of the Board.

In fiscal year 1970, 14,829 oceangoing ships, including 1,068 U.S. government vessels, passed through the canal. Toll revenues were approximately $100.9 million, which included credits for transits of U.S. government vessels. Panama Canal revenues are applied against operating and capital expenses of the canal enterprise. Detailed financial statements are published in the annual reports of the Panama Canal Company and Canal Zone government. The toll figure for 1970 represented an increase of almost $5 million over 1969.

Interoceanic Canal Studies

Determining the feasibility of building a new sea-level canal to accommodate the increasing number and size of ships desiring to use such a waterway is the task of the Atlantic-Pacific Interoceanic Canal Study Commission. The commission report is scheduled to be forwarded to the President on December 1, 1970. The Depart-


ment of the Army represents the Department of Defense on this presidential commission, with the Chief of Engineers acting as the engineering agent for the commission and directing the engineering feasibility portion of the study.

Field studies, in conjunction with available information, provided the basis for engineering judgment on the alternatives of constructing an interoceanic sea-level canal or modernizing the existing lock canal. Field operations were terminated in July 1969, but data evaluation continued until June 1970. The engineering feasibility study was to be presented to the study commission in August 1970. The entire report was scheduled to be forwarded to the President on December 1, 1970.

As the year closed, a group chaired by the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army (IA) was studying the defense aspects of an interoceanic sea-level canal, its report to be presented to the canal study commission in August 1970.

From an engineering point of view, all the routes considered for conventional excavation are feasible. The preferred one is Route 10, about ten miles southwest of and parallel to the present canal. Second is Route 14, which closely follows the Panama Canal alinement. These routes would cost about $3 billion and take about thirteen years to construct. Other routes are far more costly.

The feasibility of nuclear excavation has not been established because the inability to conduct nuclear cratering tests up into the megaton range has left too many uncertainties. The timetable for conducting such tests cannot be predicted. If nuclear excavation were feasible and could be accomplished as its proponents believe, Route 25 in northwestern Colombia, which is estimated at slightly over $2 billion, might be the preferred route. Most of this expense is for the conventionally excavated section of the route. All-nuclear routes investigated are not considered possible because of safety costs or unsuitable geologic conditions.

Promotion of Rifle Practice

During fiscal year 1970, the reorientation of the Civilian Marksmanship Program toward the support of junior shooters was almost completed. As the year closed, support was being provided to junior shooters between the ages of twelve and nineteen whose period of service participation lies ahead of them.

The number of clubs supported by the Office of the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (ODCM) during fiscal year 1970 steadily decreased because of the requirements for clubs to support junior


shooters. About 3,100 clubs with an individual membership of 220,000 are affiliated with and receive support from the ODCM.

During fiscal year 1970, the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP) sponsored forty-two regional excellence-in-competition matches where civilian and military personnel competed to earn credits toward award of the Distinguished Rifleman or Distinguished Pistol Shot badge. During the year, approximately seventy-five excellence in competition badges and thirty-seven distinguished badges were awarded to civilian participants. Individual services of the armed forces award these badges under rules and regulations administered by the NBPRP.

Army support for the 1970 National Matches, as in 1968 and 1969, has not been granted because of budget austerity and the commitment in Southeast Asia. The decision to support these matches will continue to be made on a yearly basis. Three hundred National Match .30-caliber M1 rifles were authorized for sale to competitive high power rifle shooters in April 1970. These sales will result in a return of $46,000 to the United States Treasury.


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