Senkaku Island Dispute

Topics: Taiwan, Japan, East China Sea Pages: 11 (4227 words) Published: June 12, 2013
Toma, Carlo
Prof. Slantchev
Spring 2013
Senkaku Islands Dispute
Executive Summary
The following essay lays out the problem of the dispute over the Senkaku islands. It begins with a detailed background of the dispute, tracing back to the early 14th century up until modern times, and the three separate claims to the islands from China (People’s Republic of China), Taiwan (Republic of China) and Japan. This is then followed by four different policies on what the United States can do in response to problem at hand. The following options range from full-scale military invention and completely tactical warfare to economic joint development of the disputed areas. The conclusion of the essay will list the faults within three of the polices put in place and argue why only one policy will be the best possible outcome for the United State of America. Background of the Problem

The Senkaku Islands are a series of eight islands in the East China Sea, these islands consist of five islands that are uninhabited and the remaining three are small desolate rocks. The dispute over theses eight islands is between main land China (People’s Republic of China), Taiwan (Republic of China) and the island of Japan. Currently Japan holds “residual sovereignty” over the islands, according to the United States. Each of the three countries have different reason for claiming the islands but, no matter who is the rightful owner, the US must come up with a policy to stop the dispute. Currently the US is in the mists of this crisis because of the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan, and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, these basically stating that Japan has administrative control over the islands and that the US would come to the aid of Japan if any country attacks, tries to occupy, or take control of the islands. Mainland China and Taiwan’s claim to the islands can be traced back to the early 14th century with the their initial discovery, and can been seen as part of the Chinas territory in records tracing back to the Qing Dynasty and even into the Ming Dynasty. The China argues that Japan gained control of the island as a consequence of the First Sino-Japanese War, because the Treaty of Shimonoseki gave Japan control of “The island of Formosa, together with all islands appertaining or belonging to the said island of Formosa”. The Chinese nor the Japanese claim the islands were given to the Japanese in this treaty but both the Chinese and Taiwanese claim that because of the Sino-Japanese war China eventual had to relinquish control of Taiwan and the Pescadores and this is were the inclusion of the islands fell, granting Japanese control. On the other hand Japan argues that the islands we not given to them in the treaty and that it claims to have discovered and conquered the islands in the late 19th century before their victory in the Sino-Japanese war. Japan claims that the islands were uninhabited and that there was no sign of the Qing Dynasty ownership of the islands, which according to maritime law leaves them available to whom ever claims them. In the early years the dispute was not as motivated as it is today, it has caught a lot of attention by all countries participating because the May 1969 report by the United Nations stating, “that one of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves may exist under the seabed near the Senkakus” , this is Japan major argument to why China and Taiwan are claiming the islands because their position did not rise until 1971, clearly in response to the report release by the United Nations. Since the early period of Japanese control of the islands chain the ownership has switched hands multiple times, beginning with the lease of the islands to the Koga Family as early as 1896 eventually selling the islands to the Koga in the 1930’s. From the period of 1953-1971 the U.S. held administrative control over Taiwan, the Pescadores, the...

Bibliography: FlorCruz, Michelle. China And Japan At War? Australian Academic Predicts It Could Happen Next Year. 27 Dec. 2012. <>
Ito, Masami
[ 6 ]. FlorCruz, Michelle. China And Japan At War? Australian Academic Predicts It Could Happen Next Year. 27 Dec. 2012. <>
[ 7 ]
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