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BehindJapan’sSenkakustrategy

2020-08-13 00:19 来源:http://www.04nsb.com 栏目:通讯物流

<>When Shintaro Ishihara, governor of Tokyo, said he wanted to buy three of the Senkaku Islands a couple of months ago, the Japanese government frowned on the ultra-nationalist maverick, who is one of the few remaining incorrigible Cold Warriors. Ishihara doesn't like the People's Republic of China and fears if his Tokyo metropolitan government doesn't buy the Uotsuri-shima and its nearby Kita Kojima and Minami Kojima, Japan can't defend them against a possible Chinese takeover.

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<>While Ishihara is raising a needed fund for the purchase by asking for contributions from across Japan, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced last week the intention of the Japanese government — which now leases the land of the three uninhabited islets from its private owners — to preempt the governor of the capital city. This comes as Noda's ruling Democratic Party of Japan is near mortally weakened by the rebellion led by Ichiro Ozawa, its first leader who left the party, together with 48 members of the Diet to form a new party.

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<>Why should Noda nationalize the three islets of the small archipelago called the Tiaoyutais in Taiwan and the Diaoyutais in China, with both nations claiming sovereignty against Japan? Noda knows full well that his departure from the blue movement would make Tokyo's bad relations with Beijing worse and good relations with Taipei sour.

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<>But he is convinced that it's the best way for his ruling party to survive a snap general election that is expected to come this fall after the passage by the Diet of the deficit-covering bond bill, which is necessary to execute a large portion of the fiscal 2012 budget. Ozawa's Kokumin no Seikatsu ga Daichi , with the support of its ally Kizuna Party and the LDP, is certain to pass a no confidence vote on Noda who would be forced to call the election.

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<>Japan is the weakest of the three claimants. It annexed the kingdom of the Ryukyus as a Japanese prefecture of Okinawa in 1879, but Qing China, the suzerain of the island kingdom which also paid tribute to the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo, didn't recognize the annexation, and a treaty was signed between Beijing and Tokyo which decided that the chain of Ryukyu islands north of Okinawa would belong to Meiji Japan and those south of it, the Tiaoyutai archipelago among them, to the Great Qing Empire. The treaty wasn't ratified and the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-95 broke out.

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<>In 1885, the Japanese governor of Okinawa, Sutezo Nishimura, petitioned the Meiji government for taking formal control of the islands, but Kaoru Inonue, the foreign minister, opposed the annexation on grounds that Beijing would be suspicious if Japan erected a landmark staking its claim to them, and Aritomo Yamagata, the minister of the interior, turned down the Nishimura request.

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<>It was on Jan. 14, 1895, while the war was still going on, that Japan incorporated the Senkaku Islands under the provincial administration of Okinawa, stating that it had conducted surveys since 1884 and that the islands were terra nullius, or no man's land, given that there existed no evidence to suggest that they had been under Chinese control. The incorporation, however, wasn't made public until 1950 after World War II.

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<>After the Sino-Japanese war, the Qing court ceded “the island of Formosa and together with all the islands appertaining or belonging to the said island of Formosa” to Japan under the Treaty of Shimonoseki of 1895. The treaty was nullified after World War II by the Treaty of San Francisco of 1951.

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<>Neither the Republic of China nor the People's Republic was a signatory to the 1951 treaty. Although Tokyo signed a peace treaty with Taipei in 1952 and a treaty of amity with Beijing in 1974, nothing was mentioned about the sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands, with both Taipei and Beijing believing the islets belonged to “the islands appertaining to the said island of Fomorsa” that were restored to the Republic of China by the peace treaty of 1952, whereas Tokyo holds a different view. The Japanese government argues that the disputed islands were terra nullius, while Taipei and Beijing dispute the claim by citing Yamagata's reasons and decisions to turn down the Nishimura request.

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<>When the United States, which occupied the Ryukyu Islands toward the end of the Pacific War, expressed its intention to end its postwar occupation of Japan, Taipei and Beijing reasserted sovereignty over the Tiaoyutais. But the United States ended its occupation of the Ryukyu Island chain, which includes the Senkakus, on June 11, 1971.

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<>The transfer, however, is disputed because the Potsdam Declaration which Japan accepted in surrenduring to the Allies in 1945 states that the “Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine,” and “we” refers to the victors who included the United States, the United Kingdom and the Republic of China, but Taipei and Beijing were not consulted in the unilateral American “determination” to return the Senkakus to Japanese rule.

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<>In September 2010, Jeff Bader, special assistant to U.S. President Barack Obama and senior director for Asian affairs, said: “we do not take a position on the respective territorial claims of China and Japan toward the Senkaku Islands. But . the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty covers all areas administered by Japan, and since the reversion of Okinawa from the U.S. to Japan in 1972, the Senkaku Islands have been administered by Japan.” That means the Japan-U.S. Ryukyu Islands Reversion Agreement of 1971 did not affect the determination of sovereignty over the disputed islands, but the American inclusion of the islets in geographic definition of the Ryukyu Islands clearly supports Japan's contention that these islets were associated with Okinawa.

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<>All Noda wants is to ensure the American commitment to the protection of the Senkaku Islands by purchasing the land Ishihara is planning to buy and nationalizing it so that the United States may be led to change its neutral position vis-a-vis the disputed islets to recognition of Japan's ultimate sovereignty over them.

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<>On the other hand, the ultra-nationalist Tokyo governor is trying to ally with another ultra-nationalist, Toru Hashimoto, mayor of Osaka, whose Ishin no Kaiparty is in preparation for the snap general election, where their candidates are likely to win over young voters fed up with the blandness and failure of politicians to get Japan out of the two-decade-long economic doldrums and are hopeful of a restoration like the one accomplished in 1868 in the name of Emperor Meiji. Noda wishes to stop an election bandwagon of Ozawa, Ishihara and Hashimoto.

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