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Commentary on themes by historical period

Classification by historical periods IV
From postwar, until the manifestation of the movement toward the reversion of Okinawa to Japan

(3) Daisan Seitoku Maru Incident

USCAR and the Government of the Ryukyu Islands treated an incident that occurred in the waters around the Senkaku Islands as one under their jurisdiction

1955 Petition(Daisan Seitoku-maru Incident)
1955 Petition(Daisan Seitoku maru Incident)
Repository: Okinawa Prefectural Archives

 The Daiichi (No.1) Seitoku Maru and the Daisan (No.3) Seitoku Maru, both of which were Okinawan ships registered at a port called Baten, were trawling for marlin in the waters near Uotsuri Island of the Senkaku Islands on March 2, 1955 when the Daisan Seitoku Maru was shot at by junk ships with flags of the Republic of China, “Qingtian-bairi-mandihongqi (sun-in-the-blue-sky).”

 Three out of nine crew members of Daisan Seitoku Maru went missing following this attack. (According to the survivors’ statements, two were witnessed to have been shot dead.) The remaining crew members jumped into the sea and were eventually rescued by their sister ship, the Daiichi Seitoku Maru, and escaped from the area.

 Upon hearing this news, the Government of the Ryukyu Islands immediately held talks with the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands (USCAR). Although military airplane patrols were dispatched, they were unable to find the culprits.

 On March 5, considering the seriousness of the incident, the Legislature of the Government of the Ryukyu Islands (Ryukyu Seifu Rippo-in) adopted a resolution (Resolution No.15: Resolution regarding the investigation of the shooting incident against the crew of the Daisan Seitoku Maru and the rescue of the crew) at its fifth meeting (an extraordinary session), and requested that Japan, the United States, and the United Nations investigate and solve the incidentNo.54No.55No.56.

 Via the U.S. Department of State, USCAR requested the Republic of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to conduct an investigation, but the affiliation/nationalities and whereabouts of the criminals were not known. In 1968, the Government of the Ryukyu Islands delivered a temporary relief benefit to the bereaved families.

Summary: In 1955, a fishing vessel from Okinawa Prefecture was fired at near the Senkaku Islands by ships of unknown nationality. USCAR and the Government of the Ryukyu Islands were recognizing Uotsuri Island as islands under their administration and dealt with the incident accordingly.

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