It is remarkable to see the investment now being made by the Chinese government to influence even international public opinion regarding its claim to the Senkaku Islands. The recent purchase of a two-page full color advertisement in the opening section of the Los Angeles Times illustrates my point.
In my opinion, the status of the islands seems to have been distilled to one aspect: that the islands were transferred as the spoils of war to Japan in a 19th-century peace agreement. This may be an irritant, but territorial concession is often the result of being on the losing end of a conflict, as unfortunate as that may be.
The global map would be altered beyond recognition if boundary disputes were reopened because past accords were simply disliked.
Moreover, if China’s reasoning were to prevail, I gather that it could then be persuaded to return Tibet in short order to the Dalai Lama, as that annexation is viewed by many as a land grab that no legitimate Tibetan leader agreed to or put his signature to.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.