The Purchase of the Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands by Japan

1635 WordsJan 28, 20187 Pages
Since their purchase by the Japanese government from their private owners in September 2012, the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands have been a topic of protest and discontent in the East China Sea and its surrounding area. While current conflicts have arisen because of skirmishes with patrol boats and sightings of Chinese drones flying over the islands, disputes over sovereignty of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands have existed since the cession of Chinese territory in the Treaty of Shimonoseki following China’s defeat in the Sino-Japanese War. Original ownership of the islands was never officially settled between China and Japan, but after the establishment of several more international treaties in the twentieth century, jurisdiction over the islands became unclear and practically undeterminable. While conflicts were set aside during the latter half of the twentieth century in order to improve Sino-Japanese relationships, the purchase of the islands and military activity renewed tensions between the two nations. Present-day territorial disputes over the sovereignty of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands are a result of the multiple cessions and reversions of control in twentieth century treaty laws between China and Japan. Although the Senkaku/Diaoyu are uninhabited, they still play an important part of each nation’s economy; they are rich fishing grounds (fishermen have been known to frequent the area both in the Ming Dynasty and the present), and are close to trade routes and shipping lanes.

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