Senkaku Islands

The Senkaku Islands ( Senkaku-shotō, variants: 尖閣群島 Senkaku-guntō[7] and 尖閣列島 Senkaku-rettō[8]) are a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. They are located roughly due east of Mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island, and north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands. They are also known as the Diaoyu Islands or Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands[1] (Chinese: 钓鱼附属岛屿; pinyin: Diàoyúdǎo jí qí fùshǔ dǎoyǔ; also simply 钓鱼岛) in Mainland China, the Diaoyutai Islands (Chinese: 釣魚; pinyin: Diàoyútái liè yǔ) in Taiwan, and the Pinnacle Islands.[9][10][11][12][13]

As a result of the discovery of potential undersea oil reserves in 1968 in the area and the 1971 transfer of administrative control of the islands from the United States to Japan, the latter's sovereignty over the territory is disputed by both the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (also known as Taiwan).[14][15][16][17][18]

China claims the discovery and ownership of the islands from the 14th century, while Japan maintained ownership of the islands from 1895 until its surrender at the end of World War II. The United States administered the islands as part of the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands from 1945 until 1972, when the islands returned to Japanese control under the Okinawa Reversion Agreement between the United States and Japan.[19]

The islands are disputed between Japan and China and between Japan and Taiwan.[20] Despite the diplomatic stalemate between mainland China and Taiwan, both governments agree that the islands are part of Taiwan as part of Toucheng Township in Yilan County. Japan administers and controls the Senkaku islands as part of the city of Ishigaki in Okinawa Prefecture. It doesn't acknowledge the claims of China nor Taiwan and has not allowed the Ishigaki administration to develop the islands.

As a result of the dispute, the public is largely barred from approaching the uninhabited islands, which are about a seven-hour boat ride from Ishigaki. Vessels from the Japan Coast Guard and the China Coast Guard patrol the waters around the islands in what one visiting journalist described in 2012 as "an almost cold war-style game of cat-and-mouse," and fishing and other civilian boats are prevented from getting too close to avoid a provocative incident.[21]

Senkaku Islands
Disputed islands
Other names:
Japanese: 尖閣諸島 (Senkaku Islands)
Chinese: 釣魚台列嶼 (Diaoyutai Islands)
or 钓鱼岛及其附属岛屿 (Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands[1])
Pinnacle Islands
Diaoyutai senkaku
Location of the islands (yellow rectangle and inset).
Location of Senkaku Islands
LocationPacific Ocean
Coordinates25°44′41.49″N 123°28′29.79″E / 25.7448583°N 123.4749417°ECoordinates: 25°44′41.49″N 123°28′29.79″E / 25.7448583°N 123.4749417°E
Total islands5 + 3 rocks
Major islandsUotsuri-shima / Diaoyu Dao
Taishō-tō / Chiwei Yu
Kuba-shima / Huangwei Yu
Kita-Kojima / Bei Xiaodao
Minami-Kojima / Nan Xiaodao
Area7 square kilometres (1,700 acres)
Highest point
  • 383 metres (1,257 ft)
Administered by
Japan Japan (November, 2013)
CityIshigaki, Okinawa[2][3]
Claimed by
China People's Republic of China
CountyYilan County, Taiwan Province[4]
Taiwan Republic of China
TownshipToucheng, Yilan County, Taiwan Province[5][6]


Seconde partie de la carte d'Asie contenant la Chine et partie de la Tartarie (Senkaku)
An extract from a map of Asia (China and Tartary) drawn by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville in 1752.

Early history

Records of these islands date back to as early as the 15th century when they were referred as Diaoyu in books such as Voyage with a Tail Wind (simplified Chinese: 顺风相送; traditional Chinese: 順風相送; pinyin: Shùnfēng Xiāngsòng) (1403) [22] and Record of the Imperial Envoy's Visit to Ryūkyū (simplified Chinese: 使琉球录; traditional Chinese: 使琉球錄; pinyin: Shĭ Liúqiú Lù) (1534). Adopted by the Chinese Imperial Map of the Ming Dynasty, the Chinese name for the island group (Diaoyu) and the Japanese name for the main island (Uotsuri) both mean "fishing".

In 1171 (in the Southern Song Dynasty), Wang Dayou, who guarded Fujian Province, established a military camp in Penghu, and sent his generals to control the islands. Taiwan and its affiliated islands, including Diaoyu Island, were under the military jurisdiction of Penghu and administered by Jinjiang, Quanzhou, Fujian Province.[23]

In the 1470s (early Ming Dynasty), China had implemented effective jurisdiction over the Diaoyu Islands and other islands, and patrolling the sea could be a strong proof of the actual jurisdiction. In the fifth year of Hongwu (1372), the Ming Dynasty specifically ordered Zhejiang and Fujian to build sea boats to prevent Japan. The Records of Ming Taizu recorded that Zhang He and Wu Zhen, both voyagers of Jinghai, had led boat divisions to the "Ryukyu Ocean".[24]

The Qing court not only incorporated the Diaoyu Dao Islands into the scope of China's coastal defense as the Ming court did, but also clearly placed the islands under the jurisdiction of the local government of Taiwan. Official documents of the Qing court, such as A Tour of Duty in the Taiwan Strait (Tai Hai Shi Cha Lu) and Annals of Taiwan Prefecture (Tai Wan Fu Zhi) all gave detailed accounts concerning China's administration over Diaoyu Dao. Volume 86 of Recompiled General Annals of Fujian (Chong Zuan Fu Jian Tong Zhi), a book compiled by Chen Shouqi and others in 1871 (the tenth year of the reign of Emperor Tongzhi of the Qing Dynasty), included Diaoyu Dao as a strategic location for coastal defense and placed the islands under the jurisdiction of Gamalan, Taiwan (known as Yilan County today).[25][26]

Historically, the Chinese had used the uninhabited islands as navigational markers in making the voyage to the Ryukyu Kingdom upon commencement of diplomatic missions to the kingdom, "resetting the compass at a particular isle in order to reach the next one".[27]

The first published description of the islands in Europe appears in a book imported by Isaac Titsingh in 1796. His small library of Japanese books included Sangoku Tsūran Zusetsu (三国通覧図説 An Illustrated Description of Three Countries) by Hayashi Shihei.[28] This text, which was published in Japan in 1785, described the Ryūkyū Kingdom.[29] Hayashi followed convention in giving the islands their Chinese names in his map in the text, where he coloured them in the same pink as China.[30]

In 1832, the Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland supported the posthumous abridged publication of Titsingh's French translation.[31]

The name, "Pinnacle Isles" was first used by James Colnett, who charted them during his 1789-1791 voyage in the Argonaut.[32] William Robert Broughton sailed past them in November 1797 during his voyage of discovery to the North Pacific in HMS Providence, and referred to Diaoyu Island/Uotsuri Island as "Peaks Island".[33] Reference was made to the islands in Edward Belcher's 1848 account of the voyages of HMS Sammarang.[34] Captain Belcher observed that "the names assigned in this region have been too hastily admitted."[35] Belcher reported anchoring off Pinnacle Island in March 1845.[36]

In the 1870s and 1880s, the English name Pinnacle Islands was used by the British navy for the rocks adjacent to the largest island Uotsuri-shima / Diaoyu Dao (then called 和平嶼 hô-pîng-sū, "Peace Island" in Hokkien); Kuba-shima / Huangwei Yu (then called Ti-a-usu); and Taishō-tō / Chiwei Yu.[37]

A Japanese navy record issued in 1886 first started to identify the islets using equivalents of the Chinese and English terms employed by the British. The name "Senkaku Retto" is not found in any Japanese historical document before 1900 (the term "Senkaku Gunto" began being used in the late 19th century), and first appeared in print in a geography journal published in 1900. It was derived from a translation of the English name Pinnacle Islands into a Sinicized Japanese term "Sento Shoto" (as opposed to "Senkaku Retto", i.e., the term used by the Japanese today), which has the same meaning.[38]

One islet of the group – Uotsuri

The collective use of the name "Diaoyutai" to denote the entire group began with the advent of the controversy in the 1970s.[39]

Control of the islands by Japan and the US

As the uninhabited islets were historically used as maritime navigational markers, they were never subjected to administrative control other than the recording of the geographical positions on maps, descriptions in official records of Chinese missions to the Ryukyu Kingdom, etc.[27]

Senkaku bonito
Japanese workers at a bonito fishery processing plant on Uotsuri-shima sometime around 1910[40]

The Japanese central government annexed the islands in early 1895 while still fighting China in the First Sino-Japanese War.[30] Around 1900, Japanese entrepreneur Koga Tatsushirō (古賀 辰四郎) constructed a bonito fish processing plant on the islands, employing over 200 workers. The business failed around 1940 and the islands have remained deserted ever since.[40] In the 1970s, Koga Tatsushirō's son Zenji Koga and Zenji's wife Hanako sold four islets to the Kurihara family of Saitama Prefecture. Kunioki Kurihara[41] owned Uotsuri, Kita-Kojima, and Minami-Kojima. Kunioki's sister owned Kuba.[42]

The islands came under US government occupation in 1945 after the surrender of Japan ended World War II.[40] In 1969, the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) identified potential oil and gas reserves in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands.[43] In 1971, the Okinawa Reversion Treaty passed the U.S. Senate, returning the islands to Japanese control in 1972.[44] Also in 1972, the Republic of China (Taiwan) government and People's Republic of China government officially began to declare ownership of the islands.[45]

Since 1972, when the islands reverted to Japanese government control, the mayor of Ishigaki has been given civic authority over the territory. The Japanese central government, however, has prohibited Ishigaki from surveying or developing the islands.[40][46] In 1979 an official delegation from the Japanese government composed of 50 academics, government officials from the Foreign and Transport ministries, officials from the now-defunct Okinawa Development Agency, and Hiroyuki Kurihara, visited the islands and camped on Uotsuri for about four weeks. The delegation surveyed the local ecosystem, finding moles and sheep, studied the local marine life, and examined whether the islands would support human habitation.[42]

From 2002 to 2012, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications paid the Kurihara family ¥25 million a year to rent Uotsuri, Minami-Kojima and Kita-Kojima. Japan's Ministry of Defense rents Kuba island for an undisclosed amount. Kuba is used by the U.S. military as a practice aircraft bombing range. Japan's central government completely owns Taisho island.[42][47]

On December 17, 2010, Ishigaki declared January 14 as "Pioneering Day" to commemorate Japan's 1895 annexation of the Senkaku Islands. China condemned Ishigaki's actions.[48] In 2012, both the Tokyo Metropolitan and Japanese central governments announced plans to negotiate purchase of Uotsuri, Kita-Kojima, and Minami-Kojima from the Kurihara family.[42]

On September 11, 2012, the Japanese government nationalized its control over Minami-kojima, Kita-kojima, and Uotsuri islands by purchasing them from the Kurihara family for ¥2.05 billion.[49] China's Foreign Ministry objected saying Beijing would not "sit back and watch its territorial sovereignty violated."[50]

In 2014, Japan constructed a lighthouse and wharf featuring Japanese flag insignia on the islets.[51]


20100915Senkaku Islands Uotsuri Jima Kita Kojima Minami Kojima
A cluster of islets – Uotsuri-shima (left), Kita-Kojima and Minami-Kojima (right)
Uotsuri-shima geo 1900
A geological map of Uotsuri-shima drawn by Japanese geologist Hisashi Kuroiwa in 1900.

The island group are known to consist of five uninhabited islets and three barren rocks.[52] China has identified and named as many as 71 islets that belong to this group after the Japanese Cabinet released names of 39 uninhabited islands.[53][54]

These minor features in the East China Sea are located approximately 120 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan, 200 nautical miles east of the Chinese mainland and 200 nautical miles southwest of the Japanese island of Okinawa.[55]

According to one visitor, Uotsuri-shima, the largest of the islands, consists of a pair of rocky gray mountains with steep, boulder-strewn slopes rising almost straight from the water’s edge. Other, nearby islands were described as large rocks covered by low vegetation.[56]

In ascending order of distances, the island cluster is located:

Diaoyutai senkaku detail
The five islands and three rocks, numbered for the table below.
Islands in the group
No. Japan Japanese name ChinaTaiwan Chinese name Coordinates Area (km2) Highest elevation (m)
1 Uotsuri-shima (魚釣島)[58] Diàoyú Dǎo (钓鱼岛/釣魚島) 25°46′N 123°31′E / 25.767°N 123.517°E 4.32 383
2 Taishō-tō (大正島)[59] Chìwěi Yǔ (赤尾屿/赤尾嶼) 25°55′N 124°34′E / 25.917°N 124.567°E 0.0609 75
3 Kuba-shima (久場島)[60] Huángwěi Yǔ (黄尾屿/黄尾嶼) 25°56′N 123°41′E / 25.933°N 123.683°E 1.08 117
4 Kita-kojima (北小島)[61] Běi Xiǎodǎo (北小岛/北小島) 25°45′N 123°36′E / 25.750°N 123.600°E 0.3267 135
5 Minami-kojima (南小島)[62] Nán Xiǎodǎo (南小岛/南小島) 25°45′N 123°36′E / 25.750°N 123.600°E 0.4592 149
6 Oki-no-Kita-iwa (沖ノ北岩)[63] Dà Běi Xiǎodǎo (大北小岛/大北小島) 25°49′N 123°36′E / 25.817°N 123.600°E 0.0183 nominal
7 Oki-no-Minami-iwa (沖ノ南岩)[64] Dà Nán Xiǎodǎo (大南小岛/大南小島/南岩) 25°47′N 123°37′E / 25.783°N 123.617°E 0.0048 nominal
8 Tobise (飛瀬)[65] Fēi Jiāo Yán (飞礁岩/飛礁岩) 25°45′N 123°33′E / 25.750°N 123.550°E 0.0008 nominal

The depth of the surrounding waters of the continental shelf is approximately 100–150 metres (330–490 ft) except for the Okinawa Trough on the south.[66]

The existence of the back-arc basin complicates descriptive issues. According to Professor Ji Guoxing of the Asia-Pacific Department at Shanghai Institute for International Studies,

BAB of the World -Converted-
The Okinawa trough in context of back-arc basins of the world.
  • China's interpretation of the geography is that

...the Okinawa Trough proves that the continental shelves of China and Japan are not connected, that the Trough serves as the boundary between them, and that the Trough should not be ignored ....[67]

  • Japan's interpretation of the geography is that

...the trough is just an incidental depression in a continuous continental margin between the two countries ... [and] the trough should be ignored ....[67]

Flora and fauna

Permission for collecting herbs on three of the islands was recorded in an Imperial Chinese edict of 1893.[68]

Uotsuri-shima, the largest island, has a number of endemic species such as the Senkaku mole (Mogera uchidai) and Okinawa-kuro-oo-ari ant. Due to the introduction of domestic goats to the island in 1978, the Senkaku mole is now an endangered species.[69]

Albatross are observed in the islands.[70] Amongst all islands, Minami Kojima is one of the few breeding places of the rare short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus).

Rich marine biodiversity adjacent to the islands has been recognized but poorly studied. Seemingly, varieties of larger fish and animals inhabit or migrate through the area, including tunas, sharks, marlins, critically endangered hawksbill sea turtles, dolphins, pilot whales, sperm whales, and humpback whales.[71]

Sovereignty dispute

Kitakojima and Minamikojima of Senkaku Islands
Two of the disputed islets – Kita-Kojima (left) and Minami-Kojima (right)

Territorial sovereignty over the islands and the maritime boundaries around them are disputed between the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), and Japan.

The People's Republic and Taiwan claim that the islands have been a part of Chinese territory since at least 1534. China acknowledge that Japan took control of the islands in 1894–1895 during the first Sino-Japanese War, through the signature of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. China assert that the Potsdam Declaration required that Japan relinquish control of all islands except for "the islands of Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine", and China state that this means control of the islands should pass to Taiwan, which was part of China at the time of the first Sino-Japanese War as well as of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Both the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) respectively separately claim sovereignty based on arguments that include the following points:

  • Discovery and early recording in maps and travelogues.[47]
  • The islands being China's frontier off-shore defence against wokou (Japanese pirates) during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368–1911).
  • A Chinese map of Asia, as well as the Sangoku Tsūran Zusetsu map compiled by Japanese cartographer Hayashi Shihei[48] in the 18th century,[47] showing the islands as a part of China.[47][49]
  • Japan taking control of the islands in 1895 at the same time as the First Sino-Japanese War was happening. Furthermore, correspondence between Foreign Minister Inoue and Interior Minister Yamagata in 1885, warned against the erection of national markers and developing their land to avoid Qing Dynasty suspicions.[15][47][49][50]
  • The Potsdam Declaration stating that "Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine", and "we" referred to the victors of the Second World War who met at Potsdam and Japan's acceptance of the terms of the Declaration when it surrendered.[49][51][52]
  • China's formal protest of the 1971 US transfer of control to Japan.[53]

Japan does not accept that there is a dispute, asserting that the islands are an integral part of Japan.[72] Japan has rejected claims that the islands were under China's control prior to 1895, and that these islands were contemplated by the Potsdam Declaration or affected by the San Francisco Peace Treaty.[73]

The stance given by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs is that the Senkaku Islands are clearly an inherent territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law, and the Senkaku Islands are under the valid control of Japan. They also state "there exists no issue of territorial sovereignty to be resolved concerning the Senkaku Islands."[13][62] The following points are given:

  • The islands had been uninhabited and showed no trace of having been under the control of China prior to 1895.[63]
  • The islands were neither part of Taiwan nor part of the Pescadores Islands, which were ceded to Japan by the Qing Dynasty of China in Article II of the May 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki,[63] thus were not later renounced by Japan under Article II of the San Francisco Peace Treaty.[64]
  • A resident of Okinawa Prefecture who had been engaging in activities such as fishery around the Senkaku Islands since around 1884 made an application for the lease of the islands, and approval was granted by the Meiji Government in 1896. After this approval, he sent a total of 248 workers to those islands and ran the following businesses: constructing piers,[65] collecting bird feathers, manufacturing dried bonito, collecting coral, raising cattle, manufacturing canned goods and collecting mineral phosphate guano (bird manure for fuel use). The fact that the Meiji Government gave approval concerning the use of the Senkaku Islands to an individual, who in turn was able to openly run these businesses mentioned above based on the approval, demonstrates Japan's valid control over the Islands.[66]
  • Though the islands were controlled by the United States as an occupying power between 1945 and 1972, Japan has since 1972 exercised administration over the islands.
  • Japanese allege that Taiwan and China only started claiming ownership of the islands in 1971, following a May 1969 United Nations report that a large oil and gas reserve may exist under the seabed near the islands.[67][68]

In 2012 the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs created a website in support of its claims;[74] in late 2014 the National Marine Data and Information Service, a department under the State Oceanic Administration of People's Republic of China created a website of its own to support its claims.[75][76] In 2016, Chinese fishing, Coast Guard and other vessels were entering the territorial waters around the islands almost daily and in August 2016 the Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida reportedly told China's foreign minister Wang Yi "that the activity represented an escalation of tensions" according to Japanese sources. It was the first meeting of the top diplomats since the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling against China's South China Sea claims[77][78] and was coincident with a three-party meeting (including South Korea) relative to a North Korean submarine-launched missile in the Sea of Japan.[79]

In popular culture

  • Diaoyu Islands: The Truth - A documentary film produced by Chris D. Nebe and J.J. Osbun of Monarex Hollywood Corporation and directed by Chris D. Nebe. Nebe calls on the Japanese Government to cede the islands to China, asserting that Japan has no justifiable claim to the islands, and that the United States of America has turned a blind eye in Japan's favor due to the need of the United States to have a strong ally between it and China. Reception of the film was positive in Chinese media. A 2015 Global Times article reports that Nebe is "regarded by many as a 'Chinese propagandist'," an assertion also made in 2014 on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Correspondents Report.

See also


  1. ^ a b Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Remarks on the Japanese Government Opening a Link about Diaoyu Dao on the Official Cabinet Website
  2. ^ The Guardian (November 23, 2013). "China imposes airspace restrictions over Japan-controlled Senkaku islands". Retrieved December 3, 2013. China imposes airspace restrictions over Japan-controlled Senkaku islands
  3. ^ France24 (November 27, 2013). "US defies China to fly over disputed Senkaku islands". Retrieved December 3, 2013. The zone covers the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands
  4. ^ 中华人民共和国国务院新闻办公室 (September 25, 2012). 《钓鱼岛是中国的固有领土》白皮书 (in Chinese). 新华社. 1871年……将钓鱼岛列入海防冲要,隶属台湾府噶玛兰厅(今台湾省宜兰县)管辖。
  5. ^ 釣魚臺列嶼相關文獻 (in Chinese). Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Republic of China). Archived from the original on October 24, 2013.
  6. ^ 我們的釣魚臺 (in Chinese). Central News Agency (Republic of China).
  7. ^ National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Senkaku-guntō, Japan, retrieved September 20, 2010.
  8. ^ National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Senkaku-rettō, Japan, retrieved September 20, 2010.
  9. ^ Xinhua (September 9, 2013). "Chinese coast guard continues patrol Diaoyu Islands".
  10. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of China. "The Republic of China's Sovereignty Claims over the Diaoyutai Islands and the East China Sea Peace Initiative". Retrieved November 24, 2013.
  11. ^ "Diaoyutai tensions stoked by arrival of China coast guard". August 17, 2013.
  12. ^ "China preparing for Diaoyutai conflict: expert". November 24, 2013.
  13. ^ Lai 2013, p. 208 cites Hagstrom 2005; "The islands are also called 'Pinnacle Islands' for convenience and neutrality sake by Western scholars"
  14. ^ Lee, Seokwoo. Territorial Disputes among Japan, China and Taiwan concerning the Senkaku Islands (Boundary & Territory Briefing Vol.3 No.7). IBRU. p. 6. ISBN 1897643500. The question of the disputed Senkaku Islands remained relatively dormant throughout the 1950s and 1960s, probably because these small uninhabited islands held little interest for the three claimants. The Senkaku Islands issue was not raised until the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (hereinafter 'ECAFE') of the United Nations Economic and Social Council suggested the possible existence of large hydrocarbon deposit in the waters off the Senkaku Islands. ... This development prompted vehement statements and counter-statements among the claimants.
  15. ^ Pan, Junwu (2009). Toward a New Framework for Peaceful Settlement of China's Territorial and Boundary Disputes. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 140. ISBN 9004174281. Obviously, primarily regional interests in oil and gas resources that may lie under the seas drive the two major disputes. The Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands issue did not re-surface until 1969 when the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East of the United Nations Economic and Social Council reported that the continental shelf of the East China "might contain one of the most prolific oil and gas reservoirs of the world, possibly comparing favourably with the Persian Gulf." Then both China and Japan had high expectations that there might be large hydrocarbon deposits in the waters off the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. The Law of the Sea at that time emphasized the theory of natural prolongation in determining continental shelf jurisdiction. Ownership of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands would permit the owner to a large area of the continental shelf that may have rich sources of gas and oil. Such a dispute is obviously related to the awakening interest by the world's states in developing offshore energy resources to meet the demand of their economies.
  16. ^ Takamine, Tsukasa (2012). Japan's Development Aid to China, Volume 200: The Long-running Foreign Policy of Engagement. Routledge. p. 129. ISBN 0415352037. The islands had temporarily come under American control after the Second World War, but the sovereignty over the islands, was handed over to Japan in 1972 with the reversion of Okinawa.However, the PRC and Taiwan governments both made a territorial claim to the Senkaku Islands, soon after the United Nation Economic Commission issued in 1969 a report suggesting considerable reserve of submarine oil and gas resources around the islands.
  17. ^ Drifte, Reinhard (2012). Japan's Security Relations with China Since 1989: From Balancing to Bandwagoning?. Routledge. p. 49. ISBN 1134406673. The dispute surfaced with the publication of a seismic survey report under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECSFE) in 1968, which mentioned the possibility of huge oil and gas reserves in the area; this was confirmed by a Japanese report in 1969. Greg Austin mentions that Beijing started its claim to the Senkaku Islands for the first time in 1970, after Japanese government protested to the government in Taiwan about its allocation of oil concessions in the East China Sea, including the area of the Senkaku Islands.
  18. ^ Lee, Seokwoo. Territorial Disputes among Japan, China and Taiwan concerning the Senkaku Islands (Boundary & Territory Briefing Vol.3 No.7). IBRU. pp. 10–11. ISBN 1897643500. For a long time following the entry into force of the San Francisco Peace Treaty China/Taiwan raised no objection to the fact that the Senkaku Islands were included in the area placed under US administration in accordance with the provisions of Article of the treaty, and USCAP No. 27. In fact, neither China nor Taiwan had taken up the question of sovereignty over the islands until the latter half of 1970 when evidence relating to the existence of oil resources deposited in the East China Sea surfaced. All this clearly indicates that China/Taiwan had not regarded the Senkaku Islands as a part of Taiwan. Thus, for Japan, none of the alleged historical, geographical and geological arguments set forth by China/Taiwan are acceptable as valid under international law to substantiate China's territorial claim over the Senkaku Islands.
  19. ^ Lee, Seokwoo. (2002). Territorial Disputes Among Japan, China and Taiwan Concerning the Senkaku Islands, pp. 10–13., p. 10, at Google Books
  20. ^ McDorman, Ted L. (2005). "Central Pacific and East Asian Maritime Boundaries" in International Maritime Boundaries, Vol. 5, pp. 3441., p. 3441, at Google Books
  21. ^ Fackler, Martin (September 22, 2012). "In Shark-Infested Waters, Resolve of Two Giants is Tested". The New York Times. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  22. ^ Title: Liang zhong hai dao zhen jing / [Xiang Da jiao zhu].Imprint: Beijing : Zhonghua shu ju : Xin hua shu dian Beijing fa xing suo fa xing, 2000 reprint edition. Contents: Shun feng xiang song--Zhi nan zheng fa. (順風相送--指南正法). ISBN 7-101-02025-9. pp96 and pp253 Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. The full text is available at wikisource.
  23. ^ "Full Text: Diaoyu Dao, an Inherent Territory of China". Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  24. ^ "人民日报:中国自14世纪就对钓鱼岛实施有效管辖-新华网". Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  25. ^ 吴天颖 (May 1, 2018). 甲午战前钓鱼列屿归属考. 崧博 大佳網. ISBN 9787516203712.
  26. ^ "中国对钓鱼岛实行了长期管辖_钓鱼岛是中国的固有领土". Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  27. ^ a b Suganuma, p. 49., p. 49-54, at Google Books
  28. ^ WorldCat, Sangoku Tsūran Zusetsu; alternate romaji Sankoku Tsūran Zusetsu
  29. ^ Cullen, Louis M. (2003). A History of Japan, 1582–1941: Internal and External Worlds, p. 137., p. 137, at Google Books
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  • Belcher, Edward and Arthur Adams. (1848). Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. Samarang, During the Years 1843–46: Employed Surveying the Islands of the Eastern Archipelago. London : Reeve, Benham, and Reeve. OCLC 192154
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Further reading

External links

2010 Senkaku boat collision incident

The 2010 Senkaku boat collision incident (or the Minjinyu 5179 incident) occurred on the morning of September 7, 2010, when a Chinese trawler, Minjinyu 5179, operating in disputed waters collided with Japanese Coast Guard's patrol boats near the Senkaku Islands. There were several Japanese Coast Guard (often abbreviated JCG) boats involved, including Yonakuni and Mizuki, which collided with Minjinyu 5179, plus Hateruma and other JCG boats.

The collision and Japan's subsequent detention of the skipper (Zhan Qixiong (Chinese: 詹其雄)) resulted in a major diplomatic dispute between China and Japan. When China's repeated demands for the release of the skipper were refused and the detention of the skipper extended for a further ten days, the Chinese government cancelled official meetings of the ministerial level and above. Though denied by the Chinese government, it was reported that China halted exports of rare earth minerals to Japan.The detained Chinese crew members were released without charge and were allowed to return home. In China the overall event is perceived as a diplomatic victory, while in Japan the Japanese government's "weak-kneed" handling of the issue was criticized.

Air Defense Identification Zone (East China Sea)

The East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (abbreviated ADIZ) is an Air Defense Identification Zone covering most of the East China Sea where the People's Republic of China announced that it was introducing new air traffic restrictions in November 2013. The area consists of the airspace from about, and including, the Japanese controlled Senkaku Islands (which are known as the Diaoyu Islands in mainland China and are claimed by mainland China as well as Taiwan) north to South Korean-claimed Socotra Rock (known as Suyan Jiao in China). About half of the area overlaps with a Japanese ADIZ, while also overlapping to a small extent with the South Korean and Taiwanese ADIZ. When introduced the Chinese initiative was controversial as requirements were imposed that other countries with air defense identification zones do not impose and it included contested maritime areas. Critics said the move escalated the Senkaku Islands dispute between China and Japan.

Baodiao movement

Baodiao movement (Chinese: 保釣運動, literally Defend the Diaoyu Islands movement) is a social movement in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan that asserts Chinese sovereignty over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. The territorial right to the islands is disputed among the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China, and Japan. Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands and China Federation for Defending the Diaoyu Islands are the main representative organizations in the movement.

China Marine Surveillance

China Marine Surveillance (CMS; Chinese: 中国海监; pinyin: Zhōngguó Hǎijiān) was a maritime surveillance agency of China.Patrol vessels from China Marine Surveillance are commonly deployed to locations in the South China Sea and East China Sea where China has territorial disputes over islands with its neighbors. The CMS has played a central role in China's increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea, encountering opposition from Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam in the disputed territories, as China tries to lock up natural resources to meet its demands as the world's largest energy consumer.One senior US naval intelligence officer has suggested that the mission of China Marine Surveillance is to "harass other nations into submitting to China's expansive claims."The agency has been disbanded in July 2013 and has now been merged, along other similar three agencies, with the China Coast Guard.

David Chan Yuk-cheung

David Chan Yuk-cheung (Chinese: 陳毓祥; 14 October 1950 – 26 September 1996) was born in Chaoyang, Guangdong, China. He was a prominent leader of the Baodiao movement in Hong Kong. The movement advocates Chinese sovereignty over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute between China and Japan.

Ganbare Nippon

Ganbare Nippon! Zenkoku Kōdō Iinkai (頑張れ日本!全国行動委員会) (literally: Hang In, Japan! National Action Committee), usually abbreviated to Ganbare Nippon (頑張れ日本), is a Japanese right-wing group founded on February 2, 2010. One of the founders was right-wing filmmaker and playwright Satoru Mizushima.The inaugural chair was former Chief of Staff of Air Self-Defense Force Toshio Tamogami. As of March 2015 he was no longer the head of the group.

Ishigaki, Okinawa

Ishigaki (石垣市, Ishigaki-shi, Yaeyama: Isïgaksï, Ishanagzï) is a city in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It includes Ishigaki island and the disputed Senkaku Islands territory. The city is the political, cultural, and economic center of the Yaeyama Islands. New Ishigaki Airport serves the city.

As of December 2012, the city has an estimated population of 48,816 and a population density of 213 persons per km2. The total area is 229.00 km2.It is also the location of the past-disputed Senkaku Islands (see below in the Geography section).

List of islands of Taiwan

The islands comprising the area of Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), are classified into various island groups. The island of Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, is the largest island and the main component of whole ROC governing territories. Islands that are claimed by the ROC but not administered, such as the Dadeng Islands, Senkaku Islands and most of South China Sea Islands, are excluded from the list.

At the adoption of Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China in the 1990s, these islands collectively became the Free area of the Republic of China, which legally defines the area effectively under the ROC government's control.

Mount Byōbu (Okinawa)

Mount Byōbu (屏風岳, Byōbu-dake) is a mountain located on Uotsuri-jima of Senkaku Islands in Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan. It is the second highest point of the island, after Mount Narahara.

Mount Chitose (Okinawa)

Mount Chitose (千歳山, Chitose-yama) is a mountain located on Kuba-jima of Senkaku Islands in Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan. It is the highest point of the island.

Mount Shinten

Mount Shinten (信天山, Shinten-yama) is a mountain located on Kuba-jima of Senkaku Islands in Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan. It is the second highest point of the island, after Mount Chitose.

Senkaku Islands dispute

The Senkaku Islands dispute, or Diaoyu Islands dispute, concerns a territorial dispute over a group of uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, the Diaoyu Islands in the People's Republic of China (PRC), and Tiaoyutai Islands in the Republic of China (ROC or Taiwan). Aside from a 1945 to 1972 period of administration by the United States as part of the Ryukyu Islands, the archipelago has been controlled by Japan since 1895. According to Lee Seokwoo, the People's Republic of China (PRC) started taking up the question of sovereignty over the islands in the latter half of 1970 when evidence relating to the existence of oil reserves surfaced. Taiwan (the Republic of China; ROC) also claims the islands. The territory is close to key shipping lanes and rich fishing grounds, and there may be oil reserves in the area.Japan argues that it surveyed the islands in the late 19th century and found them to be terra nullius (Latin: land belonging to no one); subsequently, China acquiesced to Japanese sovereignty until the 1970s. The PRC and the ROC argue that documentary evidence prior to the First Sino-Japanese War indicates Chinese possession and that the territory is accordingly a Japanese seizure that should be returned as the rest of Imperial Japan's conquests were returned in 1945.

Although the United States does not have an official position on the merits of the competing sovereignty claims, the islands are included within the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan, meaning that a defense of the islands by Japan would require the United States to come to Japan's aid.In September 2012, the Japanese government purchased three of the disputed islands from their "private owner", prompting large-scale protests in China. As of early February 2013, the situation has been regarded as "the most serious for Sino-Japanese relations in the post-war period in terms of the risk of militarised conflict."On 23 November 2013, the PRC set up the "East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone" which includes the Senkaku Islands, and announced that it would require all aircraft entering the zone to file a flight plan and submit radio frequency or transponder information.

Senkaku mole

The Senkaku mole (Mogera uchidai), also known as the Ryukyu mole, is a species of mammal in the family Talpidae. It was formerly classified as being the only species in the genus Nesoscaptor. It is endemic to the Uotsuri-jima (Japanese: 魚釣島; hiragana: うおつりじま) of the disputed territory of Senkaku Islands, also known as the Diaoyutai Islands (Chinese: 釣魚台列嶼).

Taketomi, Okinawa

Taketomi (竹富町, Taketomi-chō, Yaeyama: Teedun, Okinawan: Dakidun) is a town located in Yaeyama District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

The town includes all of the islands in the Yaeyama Islands excluding Ishigaki, Yonaguni, and the Senkaku Islands. This includes the islands of Iriomote, Taketomi, Kohama, Kuroshima, Hateruma, and Hatoma. Although Ishigaki is not part of the town of Taketomi, the town hall is located there.

As of October 2016, the town has an estimated population of 4,050 and the density of 12 persons per km2 (31/sq mi). The total area is 334.02 km2 (128.97 sq mi).

Territorial disputes of Japan

Japan is currently engaged in several territorial disputes with nearby countries, including Russia, South Korea, the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of China.


Toucheng Township (Chinese: 頭城鎮; pinyin: Tóuchéng Zhèn) is an urban township in Yilan County, Taiwan. It includes Guishan Island, as well as the disputed Diaoyu Islands, otherwise known as Senkaku Islands.

Yaeyama District, Okinawa

Yaeyama (八重山郡, Yaeyama-gun, Yaeyama: Yaima, Yonaguni: Daama, Okinawan: Yeema) is a district located in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The district covers all of the Yaeyama Islands except Ishigaki and the disputed Senkaku Islands.

As of 2003, the district has an estimated population of 5,579 and the density of 15.37 persons per km². The total area is 362.89 square kilometers.

Yaeyama Subprefecture

Yaeyama Subprefecture (八重山支庁, Yaeyama-shichō) was a subprefecture of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It was abolished in March 2009. Most of its functions were taken over by the Yaeyama Office of the prefecture.

It included the following cities and towns of Yaeyama and Senkaku Islands:

Ishigaki (city on Ishigaki and Senkaku Islands)

Taketomi (town on Iriomote, Taketomi, Kohama, Kuroshima, Hateruma, Hatoma, and others)

Yonaguni (town on Yonaguni)

Yoshihiko Noda

Yoshihiko Noda (野田 佳彦, Noda Yoshihiko, born 20 May 1957) is a Japanese politician who was Prime Minister of Japan from 2011 to 2012. He was a member of the Democratic Party, and a member of the House of Representatives (lower house) in the Diet (national legislature). He was named to succeed Naoto Kan as a result of a runoff vote against Banri Kaieda in his party, and was formally appointed by the Emperor on 2 September 2011.

Following a severe loss for the DPJ in the December 2012 general election, Noda conceded defeat and announced his resignation as party leader. He was succeeded by Shinzō Abe as Prime Minister on 26 December 2012.

Territorial disputes in East, South, and Southeast Asia


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