Senkaku Islands

Legal Status of Uninhabited Islets and Small Islands—Relationship Between Customary Law and Treaty Law―

As the Senkaku Islands are Japanese territory, Japan has jurisdiction over the territorial sea and EEZ pertaining to them. China also claims the islands, though, which superficially presents competing jurisdictional claims. In this paper, the legal specialist Miyoshi Masahiro examines aspects of the law governing Japan’s response to foreign governmental ships in its territorial sea and EEZ. He also explores the causes of the overlapping claims problem from an international law perspective.

The Positions of the United States and the United Kingdom regarding the Senkaku Islands at the time of the Okinawan Reversion

Japan, after its defeat in World War II, signed the Treaty of San Francisco with the prevailing nations, The Allies, and thus transitioned to an international relationship with these countries recognized under peacetime law. Article 3 of the treaty stipulated that the Nansei Shoto south of 29° north latitude, the Nanpo Shoto south of Sofu Gan and Parece Vela and Marcus Island would be placed under the trusteeship of the United States as sole administering authority. After this region was placed under the administration of the United States, Washington D.C. enacted a number of decrees, such as The Law Concerning the Organization of the Gunto Governments, Provisions of the Government of the Ryukyu Islands, and Civil Administration Proclamations. The geographical boundaries of the Ryukyu Islands were delineated by latitude by the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands (USCAR), which included the Senkaku Islands within USCAR’s administrational jurisdictions. Japan maintained territorial rights, including the power of disposition (i.e. jus disponendi), and residual sovereignty over these islands, despite the United States’ administering authority.

The Reversion of Okinawa as the Origin of the Senkaku Islands Issue – Chiang Kai-shek and his Turbulent Seeds in East Asia –

Based on a study of the Chiang Kai-shek Diaries, this paper traces the changes made by the top leader of the ROC government in his policy toward the Senkaku Islands. The following describes how Chiang Kai-shek’s assertions regarding Senkaku originated in his assertion of a territorial claim to Okinawa, following which his main objective turned to ensuring oil titles.

Japan’s Island Territories and the Three Manners of Warfare

Prussian general and military theorist Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz characterized war in his work Vom Kriege, i.e. On War, as “An act of force to compel our enemy to do our will. ” Clausewitz, in his own words, masterfully distills the essence of war from a political science perspective. Meanwhile, French politi-cal philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau defined war sociologically, asserting that “…the effect of a mutual, steady and manifest disposition to destroy the enemy State, or at least weaken it, by all means possible. This disposition reduced to actions is war properly so called; so long as it remains without consequences, it remains nothing but the state of war. ” As such, war is a dynamic expression of a country’s will to fulfill its national interests through any assortment of means it has at its disposal.

Protest and Acquiescence in Territorial Acquisition: In relation to the Senkaku Islands

This article focuses on the acquisition of title to territories in general in terms of international law, and then to discuss its implication for the Senkaku Islands problem in particular. And in the process, the article examines a number of questions; specifically, what significance protest has in international law, what significance an absence of protest (i.e. silence) has, whether the fact of territorial possession has notoriety, to what extent must a fact be known to achieve notoriety, what the possessing state must do to achieve notoriety, and whether third states are responsible for not knowing the fact.

International Law and Japan's Territorial Disputes

Although Japan renounced its claims to these lands, the San Francisco Peace Treaty(SFPT)failed to declare a successor State. Thus, five of the highly contentious territorial disputes that plague Asia-Pacific today have their roots in the SFPT, three of which involve Japan—Kurile Islands/Northern Territories, Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo/Takeshima) and Pinnacle Islands (Diaoyu/Senkakus). Over the years, these disputes have intensified as a result of rising nationalism and a growing demand for living and non-living ocean resources. In particular, the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which were designed to accommodate the interests of the developing States in exercising exclusive resource rights out to two hundred nautical miles (nm), have had the unintended consequence of intensifying resource competition and rekindling these longstanding territorial disputes.

Japan's Island Territories

Northern Territories Facts & Figures

The Senkaku Islands as Viewed through Chinese Law

China claims sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands and is engaged in maritime territorial disputes with several of its neighbors. The country’s domestic laws are a valuable lens for understanding its approach to these issues. Sakamoto Shigeki, a professor of international law specializing in maritime policy and legal affairs, presents a detailed examination of Chinese legal claims with respect to the Senkakus, as well as to disputed waters in the South China Sea, concluding that Japan needs to review its own legislation and to communicate closely with China to avoid an escalation.

Notes on David Helliwell's "The Clashing Rocks"

On his blog Serica, Dr. David Helliwell—curator of Chinese collections at Oxford’s Bodleian Library—penned an entry on two Chinese documents in the library’s holdings. One of these, Shunfeng xiangsong (Voyage with a Tail Wind), was completed after 1573 and is the first text to refer to the Senkaku Islands. In this essay, the Chinese classical literature specialist Ishiwi Nozomu addresses Helliwell’s treatment of this text and critically analyzes Chinese claims that it dates to 1403 and represents proof of China’s ownership of the islands from antiquity.

The clashing rocks

For sure, Diaoyutai(Senkaku) is the earliest recorded name of the islands, and the reason the matter finds itself in this blog is because by an extraordinary coincidence, the first textual references to them appear in two documents of entirely different provenance in the Bodleian Library.

China's "Diaoyu Dao White Paper" and Territorial Claims

In September 2012, the People’s Republic of China published a white paper titled “Diaoyu Dao, an Inherent Territory of China,” along with a report going into greater detail on the country’s claim to the Senkaku Islands. In this essay, the defense specialist Takai Susumu spells out the historical facts that counter these documents’ claims. The Ming- and Qing-era maps and texts presented as evidence for China’s historical ownership of the islands are not convincing proof in accordance with international law, and the postwar disposition of the Senkakus shows them to be Japan’s alone.

Topography of Kitakojima Island

B. Topography and geology

Pre-World War II Surveys (1939: Masaki)

Decision to Incorporate the Senkaku Islands Into Japanese Territory (Cabinet Decision to Construct Sovereignty Markers)

January 12 and 14, 1895

Topography of Minamikojima Island

B. Topography and geology

Active Response to Taiwanese Workers Dismantling Wrecks (Minamikojima Island)

1967–1968