Admission to the United Nations


United Nations

13 March 1970

Peace Bell

In a typical Japanese structure of cypress wood, the Peace Bell in the garden of United Nations headquarters was presented to the United Nations in June 1954 by Japanese people with a prayer for world peace. Since then, it has become a tradition to ring the bell twice a year. The beautiful sound of the bell, which was made from coins and other metals collected from all over the world, reminds us of what the United Nations represents. Japan was admitted to the United Nations on 18 December 1956 and a commemorative stamp was issued by this country the year after, i.e. on 8 March 1957.


Japan's admission to the UN

8 March 1957

Official emblem of the UN†surrounded by the initials of ten UN Agencies (including ICAO at the top right)

The beginning of the war in the Pacific in December 1941 profoundly affected Japanese commercial aviation; a month after the start of hostilities, the Japanese government suspended all commercial operations of Greater Japan Airways (GJA, i.e. the single national monopoly airline) and its services were completely geared to support military operations in the Pacific. Thus, in 1941, the first era of Japanese commercial aviation effectively ended, and it would not be until well after the war, in 1952, that Japan would again resume civilian air transport by forming what is today known as Japan Air Lines (JAL). For the length of the occupation of Japan, i.e. from defeat in 1945 to the return of sovereignty in 1952, the skies belonged to the Allies. Commercial airline companies in Japan resumed their operations in 1952, coinciding with the Peace Treaty which came into effect in that same year. The Treaty of San Francisco or San Francisco Peace Treaty, between the Allied Powers and Japan, was officially signed by 49 nations on 8 September 1951 in San Francisco, California, and came into force on 28 April 1952.


From that date, Japan started building up its air services, both domestic and international. The year 1952 was also used to calculate the anniversaries of Japanís civil aviation. JapanĎs election to admission in ICAO took place in June 1953 during the Seventh Session of the Assembly, in Brighton, England. On 8 October 1953, Japan became the sixty-first Member of ICAO.


The postmark on the following first day covers show: 32. 3. 8. With the year 1873, the Gregorian calendar was introduced to Japan. While the Christian way of numbering years is commonly used in Japan today, a parallel numbering system was also frequently applied for years according to the reigns of emperors. The year 1957, which happened to be the 32nd year of reign of the emperor Hirohito, also known as Emperor Shōwa (his reign started in 1926), was called Shōwa 32. As regards, the last first day cover related to the 50th anniversary of Japanís civil aviation, the year 2002 corresponds to Heisei 14; Akihito is the 125th Emperor according to Japan's traditional order of succession; he acceded to the throne on 8 January 1989 and his reign bears the name Heisei.


It is to be noted that Japan had already celebrated the 50th anniversary of its aviation in 1960, as this year commemorates the successful flight by Captain Yoshiroshi Tokugawa in a Farman III aircraft.


Japan - 8 March 1957 - Admission to the UN

Souvenir card showing the United Nations flag

Shōwa 32 corresponds to the year 1957.


Japan - 8 March 1957

First day cover - Admission to the UN

UN emblem and flags of the members


Japan - 8 March 1957

First day cover - Admission to the UN

UN headquarters in New York and Japanese flag in the background


Japan - 6 September 2002

First day cover commemorating the 50th anniversary of civil aviation.

Heisei 14 corresponds to the year 2002.


Prior to 2002, Japan had already celebrated the 50th anniversary of its aviation in 1960, as this year commemorated the successful flight, on 19 December 1910, by Captain Yoshitoshi Tokugawa in a Farman III aeroplane at Yoyogi, Tokyo.

Shōwa 35 corresponds to the year 1960.