The July 3 editorial “Show restraint over Senkaku Islands” states that Japan’s claim to sovereignty over these islands is clearly legitimate under international law. Is this true?
I think Japan unilaterally incorporated the islands around the time Japan annexed Taiwan, after the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95). When Japan relinquished Taiwan after World War II, I wonder if it shouldn’t have also abandoned the Senkakus, in accordance with the 1945 Potsdam Declaration.
One promising fact is that Japan has the world’s sixth-largest exclusive economic zone at its disposal, which resource-hungry China envies. By contrast, Germany ceded a huge area to neighboring countries to the east after the war.
I wish that Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, instead of being keen on buying the Senkakus, some 2,000 km away from Tokyo, would consider how to recover the U.S.-occupied Yokota Air Base and its air space in western Tokyo. An untold number of Japanese passengers who fly into and out of Tokyo are greatly inconvenienced because of the commercial airline detours required to accommodate U.S. military air traffic.
Japan depends on foreign trade for its very survival, and China is Japan’s greatest trade partner by far. China can live without Japan, but the Japan of today cannot live without China.
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.
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