Territorial dispute with China and its solution

Senkaku islands, or Diaoyu islands in Chinese, have long been disputed between Japan and China since 1960s. Although the problem was shelved by the Former Japanese Prime Minister Tanaka (Excite News, 2012), Japanese government’s purchase of the islands this year triggered reactivation of the dispute. This paper will explain background information of the problem and my idea for solution.

Senkaku islands, or Diaoyu islands, are known as disputed territory between Japan and China. Japanese government annexed the islands after it confirmed that the islands belong to no country in 1895 (Ministry of Foreing Affairs of Japan, 2012). Since then until 1970s, when natural gases were found near the islands, no nation had ever claimed the ownership. However, as natural gasses were found near the islands, Taiwan and China began to claim their sovereignty. While Japan consistently claims that the islands belong to Japan by the international laws, China claims the ownership by historical context (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, 2012). As China and Taiwan claim, in fact, Taiwanese and Chinese had been fishing near the islands long ago.

Although the issue seems to be complicated, it can be solved if we try to understand each other. One obstacle is that most citizens, either in Japan or China, do not know enough about the subject. While Chinese authority officially announces that the islands belong to China in historical context, it announces differently to the Chinese citizens. Also many Japanese citizens do not know deeply about Senkaku islands why this problem was occurred. One thing we should do is to understand the matter correctly.

And there are two more things we should do to solve the issue: to understand the counterpart’s opinion, and to discuss each other deeply. It is important to understand the opponents’ opinion to solve the case. China’s and Taiwan’s claims have a point. And lastly, we should discuss the matter mutually to solve. Currently, Japan and China are out of deep consultations (jijicom, 2012). This is not a good thing for both sides. We should continue discussing to solve the problem.

Recent actions either in Japan and China lead the problem into a hopeless mess. However, the most important thing is communication. Though state level communication seems to be stopped, private level talk should not be stopped. The most important things are to seek truth information by ourselves, understand the other side, and continue communicating. If we continue contacting and try to understand the counterpart, someday the problem can be solved.


Excite News. (2012, 9 26). 棚上げ合意再確認し、エネルギー・漁業資源の共同開発を.

jijicom. (2012, 11 6). 中国首相、対日強硬貫く. Retrieved 12 4, 2012, from 時事ドットコム: http://www.jiji.com/

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. (2012, 9 26). 人民共和国外交部. Retrieved 12 4, 2012, from http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/

Ministry of Foreing Affairs of Japan. (2012). 尖閣諸島に関するQ&A. Retrieved 12 4, 2012, from 外務省: www.mofa.go.jp



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *