Senkaku Island Dispute

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The Japan-USA mutual security pact has been called by China recently following criticism from USA about the presence of Chinese coast guard vessels in Japanese claimed territorial waters.

Geopolitical Considerations of the Senkaku Island

Main Highlights

  • As per the 1960 Japan-USA mutual security treaty, in case there is an outside attack on Japanese forces or territory, the USA would come to the support of Japan.
  • China was criticised by the US as its ships have been repeatedly encroaching the Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku island.
  • USA has been accused by China of maintaining a “Cold War mentality” .
  • The Senkaku Island dispute concerns a territorial dispute related to a group of uninhabited islands namely Senkaku Islands in Japan, Diaoyu Islands in China, and Tiaoyutai Islands in Taiwan.
  • Both Japan and China claim that the island belongs to them.
  • In the East China Sea, eight uninhabited islands lie with a total area of about 7 sq. km lying northeast of Taiwan.

Japan՚s Claim

  • Japan post-World War II, reiterated claims over several territories and islands which also included Taiwan in the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco.
  • The Nansei Shoto islands after the treaty between Japan and USA came under USA trusteeship and were returned to Japan in 1971.
  • According to Japan, Senkaku islands are part of the Nansei Shoto islands.
  • In the recent development, a bill has been approved by a local council in southern Japan suggesting change in the name of an area containing Senkaku Islands to Tonoshiro Senkaku at present known as Tonoshiro.

Claims from China

  • Senkaku islands have been part of its territory since ancient times.
  • It also serves as an important fishing ground administered by the province of Taiwan.
  • According to China, with the return of Taiwan in the Treaty of San Francisco, the islands belonging to it should also have been returned.

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