Readings

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.

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.

Deciphering Island Issues from a Sinocentric Perspective

China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea are rooted deeply in historical factors, such as a drive to accomplish its “manifest destiny” of recovering sway extending to the borders of its former empire. A three-year research program examined East Asian maritime security and concluded that “selective confrontation” with China is called for today. Defense specialist Akimoto Kazumine, an OPRF senior research fellow, gives an overview of the project’s findings and their relevance to regional nation’s relations with China.

Research on the Senkaku Islands: Background and Beginnings

In a dialogue with defense studies specialist Takai Susumu, the international legal scholar Okuhara Toshio traces the history of his involvement with the Senkaku Islands issue, including his research trips to Japan’s southern islands just before the time of Okinawa’s reversion to Japanese rule. Looking to the future, he discusses whether Japan and China can return to the wise approaches taken in the past to address territorial issues and looks at prospects for oil extraction in the seas near the islands.

The Debate on Island Issues at International Conferences

A number of international scholarly gatherings in recent years have taken up such subjects as delimitation of maritime boundaries, ocean governance, and maritime jurisdictional disputes. Here Terasaki Naomichi Hiro, a legal specialist and senior fellow at the Ocean Policy Research Foundation, gives an overview of three conferences he attended, presenting information on ways in which participants referred to Japanese islands including Okinotorishima Island, Takeshima, and the Senkakus—at times even when those islands were not the topic of the gathering in question.