US Occupation of Japan

There is one entire country under the United States collecting umbrella that has issued hundreds of stamps, which is popular on two continents, and which is completable by even collectors of modest means. The country is the Ryukyu Islands which were captured during WWII by the United States at an enormous loss of life and which were administered by us as a territory until 1972. The stamps of the Ryukyu Islands have a Japanese flavor and are avidly collected in Japan. There is one great rarity, Scott #17, which is a provisional that was issued due to a rate change. Considering its rarity and that the stamp is from a country that is popular in both Japan and the United States, it sells for far less than it should even though its selling price NH is above $1,000. I have always found the political and philatelic history of the Ryukyu Islands interesting. When Jimmy Carter negotiated a treaty which returned sovereignty of the Canal Zone to Panama in 1979, he was excoriated for giving away American property and capitulating to political correctness. But when several years before in 1972 the Nixon administration negotiated the return of the Ryukyu Islands to the Japanese, the same people praised it as a reasonable return of territory to an ally. Perhaps it was all in a name. The Ryukyu Islands are called Okinawa by the Americans, and we suffered over 62,000 casualties capturing them in WWII, just twenty-seven years before we gave them back. Good thing Nixon called them the Ryukyus.
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