U.S. Senkakus Return in ’72 upset Beijing, Taipei

The raging controversy over ownership of the Senkaku Islands in southern Okinawa Prefecture is a long brewing issue, stemming all the way back to the U.S. Reversion of Okinawa to Japan in 1972.

Declassified U.S. documents just released show that Taiwan and China had opposed the islands being handed back 40 years ago.  A 1971 diplomatic note from the Taiwanese government “requested the United States to exclude the Senkaku Islands from the reversion of Okinawa to Japan”, according to documents just released by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.  They had recognized Japan’s administrative rights over the Senkakus, but withheld status of sovereignty out of consideration to China and Taiwan.

Documents show that the U.S. position was that Taiwan, China and Japan sovereignty “should be settled by the parties themselves.”  Based on the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, the U.S. had held Okinawa under trusteeship until reversion took effect in 1972.

China and Taiwan did not begin claiming sovereignty rights to the islands until after United Nations studies in 1968 suggested there could be potentially vast and valuable oil reserves in the seabeds surrounding the Senkaku islets.  According to the U.S. documents, China began claiming sovereignty over the Senkakus in December 1970, while Taiwan did the same in February 1971.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.sanchezjr.7 Alexander Sanchez Jr

    Further proof that both China & Taiwan could have cared less about those islands until they became valuable. Granted they mentioned them, but now the push is more about who gets the benefits from resources, and who they deprive from them. Japan would no doubt be willing to share, but China’s recent behavior in the South China Sea, makes it obvious what would happen, all for China, none for anyone else. China is going to push the situations in both The Senkakus & South China Sea into a military confrontation with their constant pushing against other countries, and given they are making all the same land grab moves that Japan did back in the 1930’s. So China before they call Japan out for it’s military past, they need to look at how they are doing the same thing. Obviously China hasn’t learned a thing except to be a bully itself.

  • 90RECON94

    Nice post – I learned something today … ^ . ^