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The Diaoyu / Senkaku Islands Dispute
Questions of Sovereignty and Suggestions for Resolving the Dispute

By Martin Lohmeyer

A thesis in fulfilment of the requirements of the Degree of Master of Laws in the Faculty of Law, University of Canterbury 2008

Content Content ....................................................................................................................1 Acknowledgements..................................................................................................9 1. Introduction.......................................................................................................11 1.1. Emergence of the name of the islands ................................................................15 1.2. Location, topography, geological features and vegetation ...............................17 1.3. Legal question arising from this dispute ............................................................21 1.3.1. Domestic Maritime legislation.................................................................................... 22 1.3.2. Legal Effect on national legislation of the Parties of dispute...................................... 22

2. Political Implications of the Conflict ...............................................................24 2.1. Diaoyu / Senkaku relation to oil..........................................................................24 2.2. Diaoyu Islands as a symbol for Sino-Japanese relations ..................................27 2.2.1. Diaoyu / Senkaku island as a proxy conflict ............................................................... 27 2.2.2. Historical rise of nationalism in the countries............................................................. 28 2.2.3. Chinese Nationalism ................................................................................................... 29 2.2.4. Japan’s Nationalism .................................................................................................... 34 2.2.5. Taiwanese Nationalism ............................................................................................... 35

2.3. Impact on disputes over other islands ................................................................37 2.3.1. Okinotorishima............................................................................................................ 37 2.3.2. Kurile Islands Dispute................................................................................................. 39 2.3.3. Takeshima / Dokdo / Liancourt Rocks Islands ........................................................... 40 2.3.4. Torishima / Danjo Gunto ............................................................................................ 41 2.3.5. Spratly– Paracel- Pratas- Macclesfield Islands / Reefs ............................................... 41

2.4. Mutual Economic Dependence............................................................................42 2.4.1. Taiwan – Chinese / mainland trade relation................................................................ 42 2.4.2. Japan – China / Mainland trade relation...................................................................... 43 2.4.3. Taiwanese / Japanese Trade relation........................................................................... 44

2.5. U.S. interests in the dispute .................................................................................44

3. History of the Conflict from 1372 to today.......................................................46 3.1. Missions of the Ming Dynasty to the Ryukyu ....................................................46 Kingdom.......................................................................................................................46 3.1.1. Chen Kan Mission in 1532.......................................................................................... 47 3.1.2. Kuo Ju Lin Mission in...
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