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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)

(3) Growing economic activities around the Senkaku Islands by people from all quarters, and third application by Okinawa Prefecture

i. Third application by Okinawa Prefecture to the central government

 The application made by Okinawa Prefecture in 1890 had not been approved by the central government either. On the other hand, there were growing economic activities around the Senkaku Islands, including those by people from places other than the Yaeyama region. In this regard, in November 1893, the Governor of Okinawa (Shigeru NARAHARA) submitted another application to the Minister of Home Affairs (Kaoru INOUE) and the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Munemitsu MUTSU) for the incorporation of the Senkaku Islands into Okinawa Prefecture and erection of territorial markers due to the presence of people attempting to fish around the Islands in recent years (box shown on the right).

ii. Advance into the Senkaku Islands by people from Kumamoto Prefecture

 The aforementioned application from the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture was made based on the need to manage and control people who had been attempting to fish around the Senkaku Islands in recent years. Our research has confirmed the existence of documents showing plans by parties from outside the Yaeyama region to fish around the Senkaku Islands about this time, including a group of fishery operators led by Tadashi NODA (a former samurai in Kumamoto Prefecture)No.12, as well as newspaper articles reporting their planNo.13.

  A travel journal compiled by Gisuke SASAMORI, who visited Okinawa Prefecture in 1893 and conducted a field survey on the Okinawa Main Island, the Miyako Islands, and the Yaeyama Islands, touches on NODA’s fishing activities based on his own observationsNo.14.

 In addition, according to information provided by the Naha City Museum of History, a letter from a government official of Kagoshima Prefecture (Hisayoshi OMIBARA) requesting the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture to facilitate NODA’s fishing activities has also been confirmedNo.15.

Proposal to the central government for incorporation

iii. Continued attempts by Okinawa Prefecture to manage the growing economic activities

 Amidst the growing economic activities on the Senkaku Islands, a report compiled by the Yaeyama Islands Public Office on the agriculture, forestry, and fishery of the Yaeyama Islands includes descriptions about fishing activities around the Senkaku IslandsNo.16. Furthermore, the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture issued a notification concerning some fishermen who had gone fishing to the islands and were missing, and requested the public to notify the authorities if they found these fishermenNo.17.

 Our research has also confirmed that the Senkaku Islands were included in a list of policing districts drawn up by Okinawa Prefecture in 1893No.18.

Summary: Against the backdrop of growing activities by private citizens on the Senkaku Islands, Okinawa Prefectural Government continued its attempts to manage the Senkaku Islands, and submitted a third application in 1893 for the incorporation of the islands under Okinawa Prefecture.

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