When did China regain Taiwan?

Q1 What is the general attitude of the Japanese government towards the Senkaku Islands?

  • A1 There is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are an integral part of the territory of Japan, both according to historical facts and according to international law. In fact, the Senkaku Islands are under effective control of Japan. As a result, there are no unanswered questions regarding territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands.

Q2What are the foundations for Japan's territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands?

  • A2
    • The Senkaku Islands are not among the areas Japan renounced under Article 2 of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, which legally defined the territory of Japan after World War II. According to Article 3 of this treaty, the islands were placed under the administration of the USA as part of the Nansei Shoto Islands. The Senkaku Islands are part of the area over which Japan regained administrative sovereignty through the Okinawa Return Treaty between Japan and the United States, which came into effect in 1972.
    • Historically, the Senkaku Islands have always been an integral part of the Nansei Shoto Islands, which were and are part of the territory of Japan. Since 1885, in-depth studies of the Senkaku Islands have been made by the government of Japan through the authorities of Okinawa Prefecture and otherwise. These investigations confirmed that the Senkaku Islands were not only uninhabited but also showed no signs of control by the Chinese Qing dynasty. On the basis of this confirmation, the government of Japan passed a cabinet resolution on January 14, 1895, according to which markings were set up on the islands in order to officially incorporate the Senkaku Islands into the territory of Japan. These measures were carried out in accordance with the internationally recognized means of properly taking over territorial sovereignty under international law (taking possession of no man's land, terra nullius). The Senkaku Islands are not part of Formosa (Taiwan) and the Pescadors, which were ceded to Japan by the Qing Dynasty under Article 2 of the Treaty of Shimonoseki of April 1895.

【Appendix: Article 2 of the San Fancisco Peace Treaty】

(b) Japan waives all rights, titles, and claims of Formosa and the Pescadors.

【Appendix: Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty】

Japan agrees to all US proposals to the United Nations, the Nansei Shoto Islands south of the 29th degree north latitude (including the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands), the Nanpo Shoto Islands south of Sofu Gan (including the Bonin Islands, the Nishinoshima Island and the Volcano Islands) as well as the Okinotorishima Island and the Minami-Torishima Island under the sole mandate of the USA. Until such proposals are made and adopted, the United States has the right to exercise all administrative, legislative and judicial power over the territory and the inhabitants of these islands, including their territorial waters.

【Appendix: Article I of the Okinawa Returns Agreement between Japan and the United States of America】

2. In this Agreement the term “Ryukyu Islands and Daito Islands” means all territories and their territorial waters for which the United States of America has the right to exercise all administrative, legislative and judicial powers under Article 3 of the Peace Treaty with Japan with the exception of those territories for which these rights have already been returned to Japan under the Agreement on the Amami Islands and the Agreement on the Nanpo Shoto Islands and other islands and those of Japan and the United States of America on December 24th 1953 and April 5, 1968 respectively.

【Reference: Article II of the Agreement between Japan and the United States of America Concerning the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands】

It is confirmed that treaties, conventions and other agreements concluded between Japan and the United States of America, including, but without limitation, the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America signed at Washington on January 19, 1960 and its related arrangements and the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between Japan and the United States of America signed at Tokyo on April 2, 1953, become applicable to the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands as of the date of entry into force of this Agreement .

【Annex: Okinawa Returns Agreement between Japan and the United States of America (Agreed Minutes)】

Regarding Article I:
The territories defined in Paragraph 2, Article I, are under the administration of the United States of America under Article 3 of the Peace Treaty with Japan and, according to Civil Administrative Decree No. 27 of December 25, 1953, include all islands, islets, atolls and rocks within the straight line Lines that connect the following coordinates in the order listed:

North latitude / East longitude
28 degrees / 124 degrees 40 minutes
24 degrees / 122 degrees
24 degrees / 133 degrees
27 degrees / 131 degrees 50 minutes
27 degrees / 128 degrees 18 minutes
28 degrees / 128 degrees 18 minutes
28 degrees / 124 degrees 40 minutes

Q3What specific examples of Japan's effective control of the Senkaku Islands can be given?

  • A3
    • A resident of Okinawa Prefecture, who had been fishing around the Senkaku Islands since about 1884, applied to lease the islands. This request was granted by the Meiji government in 1896. After the approval, he sent workers to the island and undertook the following activities: collecting bird feathers, producing dried bonito, collecting corals, rearing cattle, producing canned food and collecting mineral phosphate guano (bird droppings). The fact that the Meiji government gave its consent to the use of the Senkaku Islands by a private individual, who was then able to conduct the above-mentioned business activities publicly, demonstrates the effective control of Japan over the islands.
    • Prior to World War II, the central government and Okinawa Prefecture conducted on-site investigations in the Senkaku Islands.
    • After World War II, when the Senkaku Islands were placed under the administration of the United States as part of the Nansei Shoto Islands under Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, Japan could not exercise direct control over the islands until administrative rights were granted on Sept. May 1972 returned to Japan. Even during this time, however, the islands remained part of the territory of Japan. The legal status of the islands was that no foreign state was entitled to them, with the sole exception of the administrative rights which the United States authorized to exercise under the Peace Treaty of San Francisco was ensured by the effective control of the United States over the Ryukyu Islands and the Ryukyu Islands authorities.
    • The following are some examples of effective control after the return of administrative rights over Okinawa, including the Senkaku Islands, to Japan.
      • (1) Patrols and law enforcement (e.g. law enforcement in the event of illegal fishing by foreign fishing vessels)
      • (2) Collection of taxes from the owners of privately owned islands (Cuba island).
      • (3) Administration as state-owned land (Taisho Island, Uotsuri Island, etc.)
      • (4) Cuba Island and Taisho Island were made available to the United States as facilities and territories in Japan from 1972 by the government of Japan in accordance with the Japan-US Agreement on Military Facilities.
      • (5) Investigations by the central government and the government of the Okinawa Prefecture (e.g. use and development research by the Okinawa Development Authority (construction of a makeshift helicopter landing pad, etc.) (1979), fishery investigations by the Okinawa Prefecture (1981), studies on albatrosses on behalf of Environment Agency (1994)).

Q4Where are the Senkaku Islands located?

  • A4 The Senkaku Islands belong to the city of Ishigaki in Okinawa Prefecture and are about 170 km north of Ishigaki Island and about 150 km north of Yonaguni Island. The distance to Taiwan is approx. 170 km and to China approx. 330 km.

The Government of Japan's Position on China (and Taiwan) Claims

Q5What is the attitude of the government of Japan regarding China (and Taiwan) claims to their territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands?

  • A5
    • None of the arguments put forward by the Chinese government and the Taiwanese authorities as historical, geographical or geological evidence provides sufficient grounds under international law to support their sovereignty over the islands.
    • In addition, the Chinese government and Taiwanese authorities did not begin to file claims of their own in the Senkaku Islands until the 1970s, after an investigation by the United Nations in the fall of 1968 revealed that there may be oil reserves in the East China Sea and as a result attention turned to the Senkaku Islands. Up to that point, neither of them had previously raised any objections, including the fact that the islands were part of the area over which the United States was exercising administrative rights under Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. China has not yet explained why it has not raised any objection.
    • There is a description of "Senkaku Islands, Yaeyama District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japanese Empire" in a letter of appreciation from the Consul of the Republic of China in Nagasaki dated May 1920 regarding an emergency in which Chinese fishermen from Fujian Province near the Senkaku Islands were advised. Furthermore, an article in the newspaper Renmin Ribao from January 8, 1953 under the heading "Struggle of the people of the Ryukyu Islands against the US occupation" made it clear that the Ryukyu Islands consist of 7 island groups including the Senkaku Islands. In addition, a world atlas published by a Chinese map publisher in 1958 (second edition 1960) contains a clear description of the Senkaku Islands as "Senkaku Islands" and treats them as part of Okinawa. In addition, from the 1950s onwards, the US military used some of the Senkaku Islands (Taisho Island and Cuba Island) for gunnery and bombing exercises while under US administration. However, there is no record of China making any protest during this period.

【Appendix: Background to China (and Taiwan) Claims】

In the fall of 1968, a scientific study carried out by experts from Japan, Taiwan and the Republic of Korea with the support of the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) revealed the possibility of oil deposits in the East China Sea, drawing attention to the sinkaku Islands was steered.

【Attachment: Letter of thanks from the Consul of the Republic of China in Nagasaki】 (preliminary translation)

In the winter of the 8th year (1919) of the Republic of China, 31 fishermen from Hui'an country, Fujian Province, were disturbed by stormy winds and were found on Wayo Island, Senkaku Islands, Yaeyama District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japanese Empire , washed ashore.
Thanks to the tireless rescue work of the people of Ishigaki Village, Yaeyama District, Empire of Japan, they were able to return safely to their homeland. With deep respect and esteem for the people of the village, who provided generous and selfless help, I convey my thanks with this letter. Consul of the Republic of China in Nagasaki 馮 冕
on May 20 in the 9th year (1920) of the Republic of China

【Attachment: The article in the Renmin Ribao newspaper with the headline “The People of the Ryukyu Islands Struggle Against the USA Occupation” from January 8, 1953】 (excerpt, preliminary translation)

“The Ryukyu Islands are scattered in the sea between the northeast of Taiwan in our country (note: China, hereinafter also) and the southwest of Kyushu, Japan. They consist of 7 island groups: the Senkaku Islands, the Sakishima Islands, the Daito Islands, the Okinawa Islands, the Oshima Islands, the Tokara Islands and the Osumi Islands. Each of the archipelagos consists of a number of smaller and larger islands, with more than 50 islands having names and around 400 islands without names. In total, they cover 4,670 square kilometers. The largest of them is the Okinawa Island of the Okinawa Islands, which covers 1,211 square kilometers. The second largest island is the Amami Oshima Island of the Oshima Islands (Amami Islands), which covers 730 square kilometers. The Ryukyu Islands extend over 1,000 kilometers, with our East China Sea (in Chinese "East Sea") on the inside and the open sea of ​​the Pacific on the outside.

【Annex: "World Atlas" (1958 (second edition 1960))】

The map was published by a Chinese map publisher in 1958. It uniquely identifies the Senkaku Islands as "Senkaku Islands" and treats them as part of Okinawa. China claims that this atlas contains a note stating: "In part, the state border with China is based on an atlas from the time before the war against Japan (that is, when Taiwan was a Japanese colony)". The content of this atlas, published in 1958, does not support the argument that the then Chinese government recognized Japan's control over the Senkaku Islands. The original text of the note reads only: “The state border of China in this atlas is based on the atlas of the Shen Bao Daily (Chinese newspaper of the time) before the liberation from the Japanese occupation (Chinese text: 本 図 集 中国 部分 的 国 界線 根据解放前 申報 地 図 絵 制). ” It is unclear which part exactly is the pre-liberation part. In this atlas, Taiwan is identified as part of the "People's Republic of China", while the Senkaku Islands are referred to as the "Senkaku Archipelago". It seems unnatural if China were to refer the expression from the time when Taiwan was a colony of Japan only to the Senkaku Islands, which, according to the Chinese representation, belong to Taiwan.

Q6The government of China claims that the Senkaku Islands were not a no man's land (terra nullius) as claimed by Japan. Instead, the islands have been an integral part of China's territory since ancient times. They were discovered, named and used by Chinese nationals long before anyone else. According to historical documents, Chinese fishermen have been fishing and other productive activities in the area, and people along the southeastern coast of China have used Uotsuri Island as a navigation mark. It is further alleged that the islands were discovered during the time of the Ming Dynasty and were known to the imperial plenipotentiaries of China and belonged to Taiwan, which was part of China's maritime defense zone. What is the view of the Government of Japan on this?

  • A6
    • The islands were incorporated into Okinawa Prefecture by Japan after extensive research began in 1885. It was carefully confirmed that these islands were not only uninhabited, but also showed no signs of any control by other states, including China.
    • None of the arguments put forward by the Chinese government or the Taiwanese authorities as a historical, geographical or geological rationale is valid under international law to support China's claims to territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands. According to international law, for example, discovery or geographical proximity alone is not enough proof of a claim to territorial ownership. More recently, based on numerous historical documents and maps that exist in China, China claims that the Senkaku Islands were historically in its possession (meaning it was not a no man's land). However, an examination of these documents shows that their contents are completely inadequate as evidence to support China's claims. Specifically, China claims the following:
      • (i) In the records of the Imperial Title-Bringing Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi liu qiu lu) (1534), a title-carrying embassy of the Ming Dynasty, written by Chen Kan, it is clearly stated that “The ship passes Diaoyu Dao, Huangmao Yu, Chi Yu ... Then Mount Gumi comes into view, this is where the land of Ryukyu begins ". Since" Mount Gumi "is today's Kume Island, this means that the Senkaku Islands, which are located west of Kume Island, belonged to the territory of China.China also claims that Xu Baoguang states in his book The Chong-shan News Record (Zhong shan chuan xin lu) (1719): “姑 米 島 琉球 琉球 西南 方 界 上 鎮 山” (Note: Mount Gumi is the mountain which protects the southwestern border of Ryukyu), and this is the reason for the claim that the area west of the island of Kume belongs to China. Although these documents show that Kume Island belongs to Ryukyu, they do not contain any information that the Senkaku Islands, which are located west of Kume Island, belonged to the Ming or Qing dynasties.
      • (ii) China also claims that the Illustrated Compendium on Maritime Safety (Chou hai tu bian) (1561) compiled by Hu Zongxian includes the Senkaku Islands on the "Map of Coastal Mountains and Shores" (Yan hai shan sha tu) and that these island groups belonged to the maritime defense zone of the Ming Dynasty. However, the book by no means makes it clear whether these archipelagos actually belonged to the maritime defense zone of the Ming Dynasty or not. The mere fact that these islands were indicated on the map does not mean that they were generally considered to be the territory of China at the time.
    • In contrast, studies in Japan have confirmed the existence of examples showing that China considered the Senkaku Islands as a territory of Japan in the 20th century even into the 1950s and 1960s. Examples:
      • (i) Beginning in the 1950s, while the islands were under US administration, the US military used parts of the Senkaku Islands (Taisho Island and Kuba Island) for gunnery and bombing exercises. However, there is no record of any kind of protests from China during this period.
      • (ii) A letter of thanks from the Consul of the Republic of China in Nagasaki, dated May 1920, regarding an emergency plagued by Chinese fishermen from Fujian Province, near the Senkaku Islands, describes the “Senkaku Islands District Yaeyama, Okinawa Prefecture, Japanese Empire ”.
      • (iii) The Renmin Ribao newspaper wrote in an article on January 8, 1953 under the heading "The People of the Ryukyu Islands Struggle Against the United States Occupation" that the Ryukyu Islands consist of seven archipelagos including the Senkaku Islands.
      • (iv) In addition, the "World Atlas" published by a Chinese map publisher in 1958 (second edition 1960) clearly identified the Senkaku Islands as "Senkaku Islands" and treated them as part of Okinawa.

Q7The government of China claims that maps made in China and other countries including Japan before the 1800s show that the Senkaku Islands belonged to China. What is the view of the Government of Japan on this?

  • A7
    • Maps are made for different purposes and by different authors, and the very existence of a map does not constitute evidence of a claim to territorial sovereignty. Since 1885, in-depth studies of the Senkaku Islands have been made by the government of Japan through the authorities of Okinawa Prefecture and otherwise. These investigations confirmed that the Senkaku Islands were not only uninhabited but also showed no signs of Qing Dynasty control. On the basis of this confirmation, the government of Japan passed a cabinet resolution on January 14, 1895, according to which markings were set up on the islands in order to officially incorporate the Senkaku Islands into the territory of Japan. So far, no reason under international law has been put forward to prove that China had territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands before Japan incorporated the islands into its territory in 1895. It was only in the 1970s that the Chinese government began to make its own claims on the Senkaku Islands.
    • Hayashi Shihei's Illustrated Map of the Three Lands (1785), which China uses as an example in support of his claims, does not clearly show whether it was used to represent the recognition of territories at the time. However, it shows that the knowledge at that time was not exact, which is borne out by the fact that the size of Taiwan on the map is only about a third the size of the main island of Okinawa. (Note: Taiwan is actually thirty times larger in area than the main island of Okinawa.)

Q8The government of China claims that Japan stole the Senkaku Islands during the Sino-Japanese War. The Chinese government also claims that Taiwan, all of its islands and the pescadors were later ceded to Japan and annexed to the territory of Japan under an unjust treaty called the "Treaty of Shimonoseki" after the Sino-Japanese War. What is the view of the Government of Japan on this?

  • A8
    • The Shimonoseki Treaty does not clearly define the geographical boundaries of the Formosa Island and the islands belonging to Formosa, which were ceded to Japan by the Qing Dynasty. However, the course of the negotiations, among other things, does not give any indications that would allow the interpretation that the Senkaku Islands belong to Formosa and the associated islands according to Article 2b of the Treaty.
    • In addition, Japan had been making preparations since 1885, before the Sino-Japanese War, to officially annex the Senkaku Islands to the territory of Japan, carefully ensuring that no other state, including the Qing Dynasty, had control of the islands would have. In accordance with the cabinet decision of January 1895, taken before the conclusion of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, the government of Japan incorporated the Senkaku Islands into Okinawa Prefecture and continuously treated the islands as part of Okinawa Prefecture and not as an area under the jurisdiction of the Governor General of Taiwan, which was ceded to Japan after the Sino-Japanese War.
      • These facts make it clear that neither before nor after the Sino-Japanese War did the Japanese government treat the Senkaku Islands as part of the Taiwan Island or its islands, which were previously part of the Qing Dynasty. This proves that the Senkaku Islands were never part of an assignment under the Shimonoseki Treaty.
      • In addition, the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty * recognized that Japan waived all rights, titles and claims to Taiwan, the Pescadors and other islands under Article 2 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. In light of the above, there were never any discussions about the territorial sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands in the course of the negotiations on the Sino-Japanese peace treaty. This means that the legitimate assumption was made that the Senkaku Islands were already territory of Japan before this time.
        * The Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty was signed in 1952 between Japan and the (then) recognized Republic of China.

Q9The government of China claims that the Meiji government recognized the Senkaku Islands as territory of China before they were incorporated into Okinawa Prefecture. This refers to a letter from the then Japanese foreign minister to the then interior minister of Japan in 1885. What is the view of the government of Japan in this regard?

  • A9
    • The Foreign Minister's letter of 1885 is a document in the process of incorporation of the islands and it is correct that it refers to the attitude of the Qing Dynasty. However, it cannot be interpreted as confirmation that the government of Japan recognized the Senkaku Islands as Qing Dynasty territory. Instead, the document shows that Japan was very careful in the process of incorporation, assuming that the Senkaku Islands did not belong to the Qing Dynasty. The fact that the Foreign Minister supported an on-site investigation in his letter clearly shows that Japan did not regard the Senkaku Islands as Qing Dynasty territory.
    • In addition, in his letter to the Foreign Minister from 1885, the Interior Minister stated that the Senkaku Islands showed no signs of being under the control of the Qing Dynasty.

【Appendix 1: Letter from Foreign Minister Inoue to Interior Minister Yamagata dated October 21, 1885】

“With regard to the above-mentioned islands (note: Senkaku Islands), these are located near the state border with the Qing Dynasty, their extent turns out to be smaller than that of the Daito Islands after the investigation on site, and their names in particular were derived from the Qing Dynasty given. Recently, Qing newspapers and others have been spreading rumors, including one that our government intends to occupy the islands belonging to the Qing Dynasty near Taiwan, which arouses suspicion and suspicion of our country Qing government is vigilant. If we were to take measures such as publicly setting up territory marks, it would arouse suspicion in the Qing Dynasty. So we should examine the islands and the details - such as the construction of ports and the prospect of land development and local production - should be reported, but no more. We should wait until later with the establishment of area marks, land development and other undertakings. "

【Explanation: Letter from Interior Minister Yamagata to Foreign Minister Inoue dated October 9, 1885】

"[...] Regarding the preliminary report to the Grand Council of State on the investigation of the uninhabited Kumeakashima Island and two other islands that are scattered between Okinawa Prefecture and Fuzhou of the Qing Dynasty, the governor of the prefecture submitted a report according to the attached document (Note: a report from the Governor of Okinawa to Secretary of the Interior Yamagata dated September 22, 1885, Appendix 2). The above-mentioned islands are apparently identical to the islands mentioned in the recording of the news from Chong-shan, but they are only mentioned there as a guide on the route and show no particular evidence that they are under the control of the Qing dynasty, where the islands have different names with them and with us. They are among the uninhabited islands near Miyako, Yaeyama, and other islands under the control of Okinawa. So there should be no problem with the prefecture examining them and setting up area markers on them. "

Q10Did Japan conduct extensive research when the Senkaku Islands were incorporated in 1885?

  • A10
    • Since 1885, in-depth studies of the Senkaku Islands have been made by the government of Japan through the authorities of Okinawa Prefecture and otherwise. These investigations confirmed that the Senkaku Islands were not only uninhabited but also showed no signs of Qing Dynasty control. On the basis of this confirmation, the government of Japan passed a cabinet resolution on January 14, 1895, according to which markings were set up on the islands in order to officially incorporate the Senkaku Islands into the territory of Japan. These measures were carried out in accordance with the internationally recognized means of properly taking over territorial sovereignty under international law (taking possession of no man's land, terra nullius).

【Investment】

Other key facts regarding the preparation of Japan for pre-Sino-Japanese pre-Sino-Japanese pre-Sino-Japanese pre-Sino-Japanese pre-Sino-Japanese pre-Sino-Japanese pre-Sino-Japanese war planning: Okinawa Prefecture. This included an investigation trip with the ship "Izumo Maru" at the end of October 1885, which had been chartered by the shipping company Nippon Yusen. The report was then forwarded to the central government. (2) According to reports on the departure and arrival of the liner "Kongo" from 1887, the ship sailed from Naha in the direction of the Sakishima archipelago (in the direction of the Senkaku islands) in June of that year. Captain Kato, head of an investigation group in the waterways department, was also on board. "Nihon Suiro Shi" (Japanese Waterways Journal) (published 1894) and other publications produced descriptions of Uotsuri Island and others based on Lieutenant Captain Kato's records of investigations in 1887 and 1888 (these records were based on on-site investigations).

Q11 Is it true that the government of Japan never published the Cabinet resolution of 1895 but kept it secret?

  • A11
    • It is true that the Cabinet decision of 1895 was not made public. However, this was generally true of all cabinet decisions of the time. Following the cabinet decision mentioned above, Japan openly exercised territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, including the granting of land lease approvals and on-site investigations by the central government and Okinawa Prefecture. This also made it known to the outside world that Japan intended to exercise territorial sovereignty over the islands. Under international law there is no obligation to inform other states of a government's intention to leave no man's land (terra nullis) take possession.

Q12The government of China claims that as a result of Japan's recognition of the Cairo Declaration of 1943 and the subsequent Potsdam Declaration of 1945 as islands belonging to Taiwan, the Senkaku Islands were returned to China along with Taiwan. She also claims that the Senkaku Islands were not part of the Nansei Shoto Islands, which were placed under US administration following the San Fancisco Peace Treaty. The contract was concluded excluding China. When the US government returned the administrative rights for Okinawa to Japan in 1971, including the Senkaku Islands in the territory returned to Japan, it unilaterally declared the "geographical boundaries of the Ryukyu Islands" to be extended to include US jurisdiction in December 1953 to go out. The Chinese government also states that it has never recognized the Senkaku Islands as a territory of Japan. What is the view of the Government of Japan on this?

  • A12
    • The Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Declaration were documents which laid down the main lines of the post-war agreements between the Allied powers. There is no evidence that the Allied powers, including the Republic of China, recognized that the Senkaku Islands were included in the "Formosa (Taiwan) Islands" as they were named in the Cairo Declaration.
    • In any case, the whereabouts of territories as a result of war are finally regulated by international agreements such as peace treaties. In the case of World War II, the San Francisco Peace Treaty legally defined the territory of Japan after the war. Neither the Cairo Declaration nor the Postdam Declaration were final and legally binding with regard to the decision on the territory of Japan.
    • In accordance with Article 2 (b) of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, Japan renounced territorial sovereignty over Formosa (Taiwan) and the pescadors ceded by China after the Sino-Japanese War. However, the Senkaku Islands do not belong to "Formosa and the Pescadors", as they are named in the treaty, because the US exercised the actual administrative rights over the Senkaku Islands as part of the Nansei Shoto Islands. They are also specifically included in the area for which administrative rights were returned to Japan when Okinawa was returned to Japan in 1972.
    • When the San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed, the Senkaku Islands were left as the territory of Japan. None of the allied powers involved - the United States, Great Britain, France and China (the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China) - raised objections. Instead, in an article in the newspaper Renmin Ribao with the headline “Struggle of the people of the Ryukyu Islands against the US occupation” on January 8, 1953, China criticized the US for the occupation of the Ryukyu Islands, for which neither was declared in the Cairo declaration The Potsdam Declaration provided that they should be placed under trusteeship against the will of the local population. The article states that the Ryukyu Islands are made up of seven archipelagos including the Senkaku Islands, thereby recognizing that the Senkaku Islands are part of the Ryukyu Islands. Although China was not a signatory to the San Francisco Peace Treaty, Japan signed the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty with the Republic of China (Taiwan), which Japan recognized as the government of China at the time. The Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty states that Japan waives all rights, titles, and claims to Taiwan, the pescadors, etc., under Article 2 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. During the negotiations for this treaty, the Senkaku Islands, whose status as Japanese territory remained intact, were never discussed.This means that it was considered a legitimate assumption that the Senkaku Islands were part of the territory of Japan even before that time.
    • As a result of an investigation carried out by a United Nations agency in the fall of 1968 which revealed the possibility of oil deposits in the East China Sea, attention turned to the Senkaku Islands. It was not until the 1970s that the Chinese government and the Taiwanese authorities began to make their claims. Before that, they never questioned the fact that the Senkaku Islands belonged to the area that was placed under the administration of the United States under Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. So far, the Chinese government has never clearly stated why it did not object to this fact.

Q13Has not Taiwan (Republic of China) alone, but also China (People's Republic of China) opposed the inclusion of the Senkaku Islands in the San Francisco Peace Treaty?

  • A13
    • The treatment of the Senkaku Islands after the conclusion of the San Francisco Peace Treaty was well known internationally and the People's Republic of China can in no way claim that it was unaware of it at the time. In fact, the article in the Renmin Ribao newspaper, an organ of the Communist Party of China, of January 8, 1953, under the heading "The People of the Ryukyu Islands' Struggle Against the US Occupation," expressly includes the Senkaku Islands in the Ryukyu Islands, which were under the administration of the USA. Consequently, until 1970 the People's Republic of China did not object to the fact that the area placed under the administration of the United States under Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty also included the Senkaku Islands. China has in no way explained why it did not object.

【Annex: Relevant parts of the Cairo Declaration (1943)】

The aim of the participating countries (note: United States of America, Great Britain and the Republic of China) is to take all of the islands in the Pacific from Japan that it has seized or occupied since the beginning of World War I in 1914, and all areas of Japan from the Republic of China who stole it from the Qing Dynasty, such as Manchuria, Formosa (Taiwan) and the Pescadors.

【Annex: Article 8 of the Postdam Declaration (1945)】

8. The conditions of the Cairo Declaration must be implemented and the sovereignty of Japan must be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and to smaller islands that we have to designate.

【Appendix: Article 2 of the San Fancisco Peace Treaty】

(b) Japan waives all rights, titles, and claims of Formosa and the Pescadors.

【Appendix: Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty】

Japan agrees to all US proposals to the United Nations, the Nansei Shoto Islands south of the 29th degree north latitude (including the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands), the Nanpo Shoto Islands south of Sofu Gan (including the Bonin Islands, the Nishinoshima Island and the Volcano Islands) as well as the Okinotorishima Island and the Minami-Torishima Island under the sole mandate of the USA. Until such proposals are made and adopted, the United States has the right to exercise all administrative, legislative and judicial power over the territory and the inhabitants of these islands, including their territorial waters.

【Appendix: Article I of the Okinawa Returns Agreement between Japan and the United States of America】

2. In this Agreement the term “Ryukyu Islands and Daito Islands” means all territories and their territorial waters for which the United States of America has the right to exercise all administrative, legislative and judicial powers under Article 3 of the Peace Treaty with Japan with the exception of those territories for which these rights have already been returned to Japan under the Agreement on the Amami Islands and the Agreement on the Nanpo Shoto Islands and other islands and those of Japan and the United States of America on December 24th 1953 and April 5, 1968 respectively.

【Annex: Okinawa Returns Agreement between Japan and the United States of America (Agreed Minutes)】

Regarding Article I:
The territories defined in paragraph 2, Article I, are under the administration of the United States of America under Article 3 of the Peace Treaty with Japan and, according to Civil Administrative Decree No. 27 of December 25, 1953, include all islands, islets, atolls and rocks that are within the straight Lines that connect the following coordinates in the order listed:

North latitude / East longitude
28 degrees / 124 degrees 40 minutes
24 degrees / 122 degrees
24 degrees / 133 degrees
27 degrees / 131 degrees 50 minutes
27 degrees / 128 degrees 18 minutes
28 degrees / 128 degrees 18 minutes
28 degrees / 124 degrees 40 minutes

Q14 The government of China claims that Japan's position and action regarding the Senkaku Islands is a direct denial of the results of World War II and the victory over fascism, as well as a grave challenge to the international order and the goals and principles of the UN Charter represent. What is the view of the Government of Japan on this?

  • A14
    • Japan's takeover of territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands has nothing to do with World War II. The San Francisco Peace Treaty and related treaties that legally define the territory of Japan after World War II do so on the premise that the Senkaku Islands were already part of the territory of Japan. Before the decision was made on the basis of the San Francisco peace treaty, neither China nor Taiwan presented their sovereignty claims over the Senkaku Islands.
    • It was only when the Senkaku Islands drew attention in the fall of 1968, following a scientific investigation into the possibility of oil deposits in the East China Sea, that the government of China and the Taiwanese authorities began to make their own claims in the 1970s to advance territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands. Moreover, in an attempt to justify its own claim, China suddenly began discussing "the results of World War II" as if Japan were disrupting the international order after World War II. Instead, however, it is the actions of China that pose a threat to the international post-war order by challenging decisions based on the San Francisco Peace Treaty - the international framework that established the results of World War II in relation to Japan.
    • The stance of simply linking differences of opinion to past wars is an attempt to divert attention from the real problem. We are of the opinion that such an attitude is not only not convincing, but on the contrary, very counterproductive. Indeed, in the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration, signed by leading statesmen of Japan and China in May 2008, the Chinese side more than "positively assesses Japan's continued efforts toward a peaceful country and that of Japan since World War II 60 years of contribution to peace and stability in the world by peaceful means ”.
    • China cannot simply dismiss the legitimate claims of Japan, which has embarked on the path of a state committed to peace for over half a century since the war, with the argument of "results of World War II," nor can it dismiss its claims regarding the Senkaku Islands justify.

Q15The Chinese government claims that in the process of negotiations that led to the normalization of Sino-Japanese relations in 1972 and the conclusion of the 1978 bilateral peace and friendship treaty, “the leaders of both countries on the issue of the Senkaku Islands reached an important agreement and agreed the common position to postpone this question and leave its solution to the future ”. What is the view of the Government of Japan on this?

  • A15
    • Based on historical facts and international law, there is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are an integral part of the territory of Japan. In fact, the Senkaku Islands are under effective control of Japan. Hence, there is no question of territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands that needs to be resolved.
    • Japan has kept its above position unchanged and it is not true that there was an agreement with the Chinese side to "postpone" the issue of the Senkaku Islands or "maintain the status quo". This is clear from the published minutes of the Sino-Japan summit on the occasion of the normalization of bilateral diplomatic relations. Japan has clearly and repeatedly made its position towards the Chinese side clear.

【Annex: The Japanese-Chinese summit meeting between Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka and Prime Minister Zhou Enlai on September 27, 1972 (already published as a negotiation transcript)】 (provisional translation)

• Prime Minister Tanaka: What is your view on the Senkaku Islands? People keep coming to me with it.
• Prime Minister Zhou: I don't want to talk about the Senkaku Islands this time. It would not be good to discuss this now. They became a problem because of the oil that is there. If there was no oil there, neither Taiwan nor the US would talk about it.

【Annex: The Sino-Japanese summit between Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda and Deputy Prime Minister Deng Xiaoping on October 25, 1978 on the negotiations for the conclusion of a treaty on peace and friendship between Japan and the People's Republic of China (already published as a negotiation transcript)】 (provisional translation)

• Vice Prime Minister Deng: (As if this had just occurred to him) There is one more thing I wanted to say. There are a number of problems between our countries, for example that of the islands called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan. At the moment this is not an issue that needs to be addressed at a meeting like this. As I said to Foreign Minister Sonoda in Beijing, our generation may not have enough wisdom to solve this, but the next generation, sure to be smarter than us, will surely find a solution to the problem. It is important to look at this problem from an overall perspective. (Prime Minister Fukuda made no reply.)

【Annex: Press conference by Deputy Prime Minister Deng on the day of the above meeting with Prime Minister Fukuda on October 25, 1978】 (provisional translation)

Journalist: The Senkaku Islands are an integral part of the territory of Japan, and I find the troubles of recent times regrettable. What is your view on this, Mr. Vice Premier?
Deputy Prime Minister Deng: We refer to the Senkaku Islands as the Diaoyu Islands. Even our nomenclature is different. Undoubtedly, we have different opinions on this matter, but both sides have promised not to raise this issue in the normalization of diplomatic relations between our two countries. We have also agreed to leave this question aside for the time being at this stage in the negotiations on the Treaty of Peace and Friendship. According to the wisdom of a Chinese, this is the only way to go. When we delve into this question, it becomes difficult to say anything unequivocal. Undoubtedly there are people who want to use this question to pour cold water on Sino-Japanese relations. So I think it is better to avoid this question while our countries are negotiating. Even if that means putting this question on hold, I don't mind. I don't mind if it is put on hold for ten years. The people of our generation do not have enough wisdom to regulate this matter, but the people of the next generation will likely be smarter than us. Then a solution will surely be found that everyone can agree to.

The US Government Position on the Senkaku Islands

Q16What is the position of the US government on the issue of the Senkaku Islands?

  • A16
    • After the end of World War II, the Senkaku Islands were under the administration of the United States of America as part of the Nansei Shoto Islands in accordance with Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. With the entry into force of the Okinawa Return Treaty between Japan and the United States of America from 1972 (Agreement to Return the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands), the administrative rights over the Senkaku Islands were returned to Japan. As is clear from the statement made by Secretary of State Dulles at the San Francisco Peace Conference and the joint communiqué of Prime Minister Kishi and US President Eisenhower of June 21, 1957, the US government overrecognized the retained (or potential) territorial sovereignty of Japan the Nansei Shoto Islands.
    • Furthermore, in connection with the application of Article 5 of the Treaty on Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America (Japanese-American Security Treaty), the US government has made it clear that the Senkaku Islands since their return to Japan as part of the return of Okinawa in 1972 are under Japanese sovereignty and that the Japanese-American Security Treaty also applies to the Senkaku Islands.
    • Even though China has already put forward its territorial claim to the Senkaku Islands, there is no change in the status of these two islands as an institution or area within the Cuba Island and Taisho Island, both of which are part of the Senkaku Islands Japan made available to the US under the Japan-US Agreement on Military Facilities by Japan since the Okinawa Return Agreement came into effect in 1972.
    • In addition to the above, the following facts can be stated:
      • (1) Since fishermen from Taiwan repeatedly violated the territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands and landed on them illegally, on August 3, 1968, the Japanese State Department sent a note verbale to the Ambassador of the United States of America to Japan with a request to the US government to take the necessary steps to control and contain the intruders and prevent the intrusion from recurring. The US replied that the area had been evacuated by the intruders and other measures had been taken.
      • (2) A secret intelligence report prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1971 and released in 2007 stated that the Senkaku Islands "are generally considered part of the long chain of Ryukyu Islands" and that "the Japanese claim to sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands is well founded and the burden of proof of their possession should be on the Chinese ”.

【Annex 1: Excerpt from the statement made by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, head of the US delegation at the 1951 Peace Conference in San Francisco】

“Article 3 deals with the Ryukyu and other islands south and southeast of Japan. These have been under the sole administration of the USA since the defeat. Some Allied powers urged that the treaty require Japan to give up its territorial sovereignty over these islands in favor of US sovereignty. Others suggested that these islands should be returned entirely to Japan. In the face of this divided opinion among the Allies, the US found it the best solution to allow Japan to regain its remaining sovereignty, which would allow these islands to fall under the trusteeship of the United Nations, over which the US is the executive authority .

【Annex 2: Excerpt from the joint communiqué by Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi and President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1957】

“The Prime Minister emphasized the strong desire of the Japanese people to return administrative control of the Ryukyu Islands and the Bonin Islands to Japan. The President reaffirmed the US position that Japan has potential sovereignty over these islands.

The government of Japan acquires ownership of three Senkaku Islands

F17China strongly protested the Japanese government's acquisition of the Senkaku Islands in September 2012. What is the view of the Government of Japan on this?

  • A17
    • There is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are an integral part of the territory of Japan, both according to historical facts and according to international law. In fact, the Senkaku Islands are under effective control of Japan.There are no unanswered questions regarding territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands. The acquisition of ownership of three Senkaku Islands by the government of Japan does not pose any problems vis-à-vis other countries or regions.
    • On the other hand, it is a fact that the Chinese government is making its own claims on the Senkaku Islands. Japan does not accept such claims, and the government of Japan has explained to the government of China from an overriding position that the recent change in ownership was made with the aim of developing the Senkaku Islands in a peaceful and stable manner over the long term and that the change was merely a return of the property right from a private person to the state, which held the property right until 1932. The government of Japan, as a country that shares responsibility for peace and stability in East Asia, will continue to appeal to the Chinese side to act prudently while keeping an eye on the relationship between the two countries as a whole.
    • It is deeply regrettable that violent anti-Japanese demonstrations have broken out in various regions of China, with stones and rubbish being thrown at Japanese diplomatic missions, Japanese citizens injured, and Japanese business establishments being set on fire, damaged and looted. Such violent acts, for whatever reason, should never be tolerated. Any dissatisfaction resulting from differing views must be expressed in a peaceful manner. Japan urges China to guarantee the safety of Japanese citizens and businesses and to adequately pay for the damage caused to Japanese businesses.