Category Territorial sovereignty
Sub-Category End of
Question What was the ending date of Japanese sovereignty over Taiwan?
Answer A 1949 CIA report confirms that Taiwan is territory under military occupation, awaiting further disposition in a peace treaty. Looking at the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT), it is clear that the date when Japanese sovereignty over Taiwan ended was April 28, 1952.

In Chapter 2 of Formosa Betrayed, author George H. Kerr noted that "The immense sweep of global events in mid-summer 1945 obscured one technical point of importance. Japan was surrendering her empire to the Allies and not to China alone. Formosa was Japan's sovereign territory, and sovereignty could not be transferred until a peace treaty could be worked out, agreed upon, and signed."

(source: Formosa Betrayed, published in 1965 by Houghton Mifflin, and republished in 1992 by the Taiwan Publishing Co., Irvine, Calif.)

Many media reports on Taiwan are based on the mistaken assumptions that WWII in the Pacific ended in 1945, and Taiwan was "awarded" to China as a result of the Japanese surrender ceremonies. In fact, both of these assumptions are false.

The surrender ceremonies only mark the end of hostilities, and the beginning of the military occupation. The end of the war occurs with the coming into force of the treaty. For the SFPT, that is April 28, 1952.

Before that date, Taiwan remained as sovereign Japanese territory. It had not been incorporated into the national territory of China.

Further References and Links
CIA report shows Taiwan concerns

Taiwan's Legal Status: Taiwan's Legal Status: An Overview of the San Francisco Peace Treaty

Areas Conquered by U.S. Military Forces and therefore under USMG Jurisdiction -- with later "new disposition" by peace treaty