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Basic Position of the Government of Japan
There is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are clearly an inherent part of the territory of Japan, in
light of historical facts and based upon international law. Indeed, the Senkaku Islands are under the
valid control of Japan.
There exists no issue of territorial sovereignty to be resolved concerning the Senkaku Islands.
Japan will act firmly and calmly to maintain its territorial integrity. Japan continues to strive for peace and stability in the region, which is to be established through the observance of international law.
Function of Maps in Territorial Disputes ― Treatment of Maps by International Tribunals ― （Tetsuya NAKANO）
（ Published on April 22, 2022 ）
Understanding the Senkaku Islands through the Materials on the Senkaku Islands Archives Portal （Jun Tsuruta）
（ Published on April 22, 2022 ）
Commentary on themes by historical period
on the document research project
on the document research project
Classification by historical periods I
The period before Okinawa
Prefecture conducted the investigation on the Senkaku Islands in 1885
The Ryukyu people have had specific knowledge of the Senkaku Islands from the past.
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)
(1) Investigation of the Senkaku Islands by Okinawa Prefecture, and proposal to the Government for incorporation
In 1885, the Okinawa Prefectural Government carried out surveys of the Senkaku Islands at the instruction of the Ministry of Home Affairs, and submitted an application for the incorporation of the islands under the jurisdiction of Okinawa Prefecture.
(2) Growing activities by citizens on the Senkaku Islands, and repeated proposal from Okinawa Prefecture
The Okinawa Prefectural Government submitted another application to the Central Government for the incorporation of the Senkaku Islands under Okinawa Prefecture, in view of the growing activities of private persons there. At the same time, Okinawa Prefecture had been attempting to manage the Senkaku Islands prior to their incorporation under the Prefecture in 1895.
(3) Growing economic activities around the Senkaku Islands by people from all quarters, and third application by Okinawa Prefecture
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.
Classification by historical periods III
From the Cabinet decision to
incorporate the Senkaku Islands into Japanese territory until the end of World War II
The third application by the Okinawa Prefectural Government was approved by the Central Government, and in 1895, the incorporation of the Senkaku Islands under the jurisdiction of Okinawa Prefecture was finally realized.
Japan has undertaken valid control of the Senkaku Islands through the exercise of administrative authority and other means after the incorporation of the islands into Japanese territory, and no protests were lodged by any country.
Both the Japanese government and private sectors have been involved in the Senkaku Islands, such as through the surveys and management of the Senkaku Islands by administrative agencie and implementation of academic surveys by the private sector.
The government has supported the development of the Senkaku Islands, and products acquired from the business activities on the Senkaku Islands have been actually used.
Classification by historical periods IV
Post-WWII period until the
emergence of developments leading to the Okinawa reversion (from 1945 to the end of the 1960s)
The United States (U.S. Forces) had consistently included the Senkaku Islands within the scope of the Ryukyu Islands even during WWII, and had placed the Islands under its administration after the occupation of Okinawa.
The United States (U.S. Forces) had placed the Senkaku Islands under its administration and used Kuba Island and Taisho Island as firing and bombing ranges. It also had recognized pre-WWII property rights and assets relating to the islands during its administration.
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.
The Ryukyu police had placed the Senkaku Islands under its administration, and exercised policing rights through conducting patrols around the islands.
Administrative agencies and research institutions conducted surveys and investigations on the Senkaku Islands after WWII just as they had done before the war, and have deepened their knowledge and insights about the islands.
Classification by historical periods V
Developments before and after
the Okinawa Reversion (Around 1972)
At the end of the 1960s, the Government of the Ryukyu Islands took counter measures against illegal intruders on the Senkaku Islands in consultation with USCAR. Around the same time, groups from mainland Japan began conducting surveys on the Islands. It is only since the 1970s that China and Taiwan began their own assertions over the Senkaku Islands against the backdrop of potential oil resources in the waters around the islands.
With the growing attention to the seabed resources around the Senkaku Islands, the Government of Japan conducted surveys on the Senkaku Islands as well as submarine geological surveys on the waters around the islands.
Analysis of claims by other countries
Column How were the waters and islands of Senkaku used in premodern times? (Satoshi Hirano)（Published on December 18, 2020）
The South China Sea and East China Sea
- Expert commentaries on the various issues
- Archive of documents and materials
- An archive of documents and materials prepared under the document research project commissioned by the Government of Japan
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