Japanese Government Orders Okinawa Prefecture to Conduct the Senkaku Islands Survey
Feb 17, 2015
The Japanese government first ordered Okinawa Prefecture to conduct a survey of the Senkaku Islands. Home Minister Yamagata Aritomo required the prefecture to make a report on "Kumeakashima Island and two other uninhabited islands scattered between Okinawa and Fuzhou in China." Nishimura Sutezo, the governor of Okinawa, submitted a report on September 22, 1885, along with the September 21 report (Ref. 1) by fifth rank councilor Ishizawa Heigo, based on questioning of Oshiro Eiho. The report stated that the islands were uninhabited and located near Kumejima Island, Miyakojima Island, and the Yaeyama Islands, and that they were part of Okinawa Prefecture. The report also showed that there was a possibility they might be the same as the islands called Diaoyu Tai, Huangwei Yu, and Chiwei Yu in Qing China's Zhong Shan chuanxin lu (Records of Messages of Zhong Shan), and that if they were, the Chinese envoys had used them as landmarks along their route. The report went on to request that sovereignty markers be erected on the islands when the ship, the Izumo Maru, visited the following month. (Ref. 2)
Ref.1 ："Kumeakashima, Kubashima, Uotsurishima santo torishirabesho" (Report on the Three Islands of Kumeakashima Island, Kuba Island, and Uotsuri Island), 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 ："Kumeakashima hoka nito torishirabe no gi ni tsuki joshin" (Report on Kumeakashima Island and Two Other Islands), in Kanbo ko 38, besshi (annex) ko 315, 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" (The Senkaku Islands), in Kikan Okinawa (Okinawa Quarterly) 56 (March 25, 1971), pp.113-114 Kikan Okinawa is the journal of Nanpo Doho Engokai (Assistance Association for Okinawa and Ogasawara Islands).