Home Minister Yamagata Aritomo received a report from the governor of Okinawa Prefecture regarding the construction of sovereignty markers on the Senkaku Islands (Kumeakashima Island and two other islands). Before making his own report to the Dajokan (Great Council of State), he requested the opinion of Foreign Minister Inoue Kaoru in a letter dated October 9, 1885. In his draft report, Yamagata stated that the islands seemed to be the same as those mentioned in Zhong Shan chuanxin lu (Records of Messages of Zhong Shan), but that they had only been used as landmarks along the route, there was no evidence that they were part of Chinese territory, and that he thought there should be no obstacle to erecting sovereignty markers. (Ref. 1)
However, Inoue replied in a letter dated October 21, 1885, that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs believed that, in view of the current international situation, it would be better to limit activities to making surveys and to postpone erecting sovereignty markers and developing the islands. (Ref. 2)
Ref.1 ："Okinawa-ken to Shinkoku to no aida ni sanzai suru mujinto no gi ni kanshi iken toiawase no ken, oyobi Dajokan joshin'an" (Request for Opinion Regarding Uninhabited Islands Scattered Between Okinawa Prefecture and Qing China, and Draft Report to the Great Council of State), Kanbo ko 38, besshi otsu (annex 2), in Teikoku hanto kankei zakken (Matters Related to Imperial Territory) 1-4-1-7, from the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
Ref.2 ："Okinawa-ken to Shinkoku to no aida ni sanzai suru mujinto ni kokuhyo kensetsu wa enki suru ho shikaru beki mune kaito no ken" (Response That Construction of Sovereignty Markers on Uninhabited Islands Scattered Between Okinawa Prefecture and Qing China Should Be Postponed), Shinten (Confidential Document) 38, in Teikoku hanto kankei zakken (Matters Related to Imperial Territory) 1-4-1-7, from the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
"Senkaku Retto dai 2 shu" (The Senkaku Islands Second Feature), in Kikan Okinawa (Okinawa Quarterly) 63 (December 31, 1972), pp. 114-116. Kikan Okinawa is the journal of Nanpo Doho Engokai (Assistance Association for Okinawa and Ogasawara Islands).
Japan's Island Territories
Senkaku Islands Facts & Figures
Takeshima Facts & Figures
Northern Territories Facts & Figures