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Commentary on themes by historical period
Classification by historical periods II
From the time of the investigation conducted by Okinawa Prefecture, until the incorporation of the Senkaku Islands into Japan's territory (1885 to 1895)
(2) Growing activities by Japanese fishermen around the Senkaku Islands, and the second application from Okinawa Prefecture
i. Second application from Okinawa Prefecture to the central government
Several years after the 1885 investigation, fishermen began to increasingly advance into the waters around the Senkaku Islands. In December 1889, the head of the Yaeyama Islands Public Office (Tsunenori NISHI) presented a petition to the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture (Kanji MARUOKA) to place Kuba Island and Uotsuri Island under the jurisdiction of the Yaeyama Islands Public Office for the regulation of fishing activities. After Okinawa Prefecture inquired with the Yaeyama Islands Public Office on the regulation of fishing operations, it filed an application to the Minister of Home Affairs (Aritomo YAMAGATA) in January 1890 to incorporate Kuba Island and Uotsuri Island into the jurisdiction of the Yaeyama Islands Public OfficeNo.7.
ii. Actual situation of growing fishing activities around the Senkaku Islands
Our research has confirmed that more than 70 fishermen from Ishigaki Island and Yonaguni Island was conducting their operations around Kuba Island and Uotsuri Island around 1890. In reply to the inquiry made by Okinawa Prefecture to the Yaeyama Islands Public Office on the regulation of fishing activities, the latter made mention of a “Joint Fisheries Company”No.8.
This “Joint Fisheries Company” was an organization established in February 1889 for the purpose of encouraging fishing in the Yaeyama region, and, in our research in FY2019, we found a related article in the newspaper, Jiji ShimpoNo.9.
iii. Attempt at provisional management
Although the incorporation of the islands was not approved at this time, fishermen continued their activities in the waters around the Senkaku Islands. As a result, there continued to be a need to control their activities. According to our research, Okinawa Prefecture prepared a draft instruction in December 1891 to place the Senkaku Islands under the provisional jurisdiction of the Yaeyama Islands Public OfficeNo.10. It was also confirmed that the Senkaku Islands were placed under the provisional jurisdiction of the Yaeyama Police Station on December 11 of the same yearNo.11.
Summary: It has become clear that, while making an application to the central government for the incorporation of the Senkaku Islands, Okinawa Prefecture had sought to manage the growing fishing activities by provisionally placing the islands into its jurisdiction prior to their official incorporation into Okinawa Prefecture in 1895.