やしの実通信 by Dr Rieko Hayakawa


Why Free Association is so different between the US and NZ 米NZの自由連合の違い



Currently, there are five countries that have the political status of a free association in line with the 1960 UN resolution Declaration Granting Colonial Independence: the Cook Islands, Niue, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.
However, the response of the respective signatories, New Zealand and the United States, is as different as heaven and earth.

The states of Hawaii and Guam, for instance, complain about the Micronesian population that is pouring in, demanding social welfare. New Zealand, with four or five times the population of the Cook Islands, hears no such complaints.

When I launched the Micronesian Maritime Security Project in 2008, the US Embassy Counsellor told me that "Micronesian countries cannot stand on their own, despite decades of US support. It is useless for Japan to come." I will never forget what he said to me.

Small island states cannot be completely self-reliant for a number of reasons, including economic scale, population and geographical isolation.
President Whipps of Palau said at the US hearing that he was shocked that the US recognised the Micronesian region as if it were Tonga or Samoa. He had proposed the establishment of a US office to understand the region as a signatory to the Agreement on Free Association, and this is precisely right.

Indeed, the Cook Islands have transitioned to a free association while retaining their NZ citizenship. But its constitution does not prevent full independence. To date, there is no indication that the Cook Islands are willing to relinquish their NZ citizenship.

Why did the Micronesian states not choose US citizenship, while the Cook Islands retained NZ citizenship?
Micronesia has no history of being a US state. As President Whipps also stated at the hearing, the relationship between the US and Micronesia begins with World War II.

US policy during the Trusteeship period was not held in high regard by the American people. This was because the US's primary objective was to turn the Micronesian region into a military-security stronghold, a strategic area. 'Strategic area' is even described in the UN Charter. The main objective should have been the welfare and education of the people living on the islands.
Incidentally, NZ is responsible for the defence of the Cook Islands, but not on condition that military facilities are located there.

The relationship between the Cook Islands and NZ spans 200 years. They share the same Maori and Polynesian culture and history. London missionaries entered the Cook Islands in the 1820s, followed by NZ protectorates, which became NZ territory and citizenship from 1901.

Sixty-five Japanese Liberal Democrat MPs have recently entered Palau. What about the US? Japan does not see Palau as a strategic area. It may feel that it is a place where its ancestors colonised and developed its economy and welfare, and a part of its homeland that it was trying to protect from the US.

Palau and Micronesia should be protected by the US-Japan alliance. This is my philosophy behind the launch of the Micronesian Maritime Security Project in 2008.







なぜミクロネシア諸国は米国市民権を選ばず、クック諸島はNZ 市民権を維持したのか?







五十嵐正博 「提携国家の研究―国連による非植民地化の一つの試み」 1995

Igarashi, Masahiro "Associated Statehood in International Law" 2002 

"Pacific peoples' constitution report."  Wellington, N.Z. : Ministry of Justice : Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, 2000.