Japan’s stance on the Senkaku Islands

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

In response to an Oct. 13 letter to the editor (“Senkakus part of China, not Japan,” Letters to the Editor), I would like to present Japan’s official stance regarding the Senkaku Islands. The Senkaku Islands are the inherent territory of - and under the valid control of - Japan.

First, the Japanese government decided in January 1895 to incorporate the islands formally into its territory after surveys confirmed that the islands had been uninhabited and showed no trace of having been controlled by China. Nor were the islands part of Taiwan, which was ceded to Japan from China in accordance with the Treaty of Shimonoseki that came into effect in May 1895.

Accordingly, the Senkaku Islands are not included in Taiwan or any other territory that Japan renounced under the San Francisco Peace Treaty. The administrative rights over the islands had been exercised by the United States until they were returned to Japan in 1972. Neither China nor Taiwan expressed objection to the status of the islands being under U.S. administration until the latter half of 1970, when the question of the development of petroleum resources on the continental shelf of the East China Sea came to the surface.

Furthermore, in light of international law, none of the points raised by China and Taiwan as “historic, geographic or geological” evidence provide valid grounds to support their arguments regarding the Senkaku Islands. In fact, a letter issued in May 1920 by the Chinese Consulate in Japan refers to the Senkaku Islands as part of Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture. An article in the People’s Daily dated Jan. 8, 1953, as well as a Chinese map issued by the most authentic map publishers of China in 1960, also describes the islands as part of Okinawa.


Minister/Director of Public Affairs

Embassy of Japan


© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts