National / Politics

Government collates archival records bolstering case for Senkakus, Takeshima as Japanese territory


The government has compiled dossiers of hundreds of historical records bolstering Japan’s claims to the islands at the center of friction with China and South Korea, including old official documents and newspaper articles, a Cabinet minister said Tuesday.

The records show the uninhabited Senkaku Islands, controlled by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan, and Takeshima, islets controlled by South Korea, have been under Japanese administration since before World War II, Eriko Yamatani said.

“It is necessary to proactively present materials that verify our country’s stance to spread accurate understanding both at home and abroad,” the state minister in charge of territorial affairs told a news conference.

The report refers to some 1,500 items held in archives, including libraries in Shimane and Okinawa prefectures. They were surveyed by experts in fields such as history and international law.

The Senkaku Islands, known as Diaoyu in China, are administered as part of Okinawa Prefecture, while Japan claims Takeshima as part of Shimane Prefecture. South Korea refers to the pair of outcroppings as Dokdo.

Of the records, roughly 1,000 relate to Takeshima, including regulations on sea lion hunting around the islands issued by the Shimane Prefectural Government in 1905, and around 500 pertain to the Senkakus, including land registration certificates and documents on the exploratory mining of mineral resources.

The government plans to compile a database of about 200 of the items by this summer and open it to the public.