U.S. recognizes Japan sovereignty over Okinawa

The United States recognizes Japanese sovereignty over Okinawa, a Department of State spokesman said Thursday.

Patrick Ventrell, the department’s acting deputy spokesman, made the remark after the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, on Wednesday carried an article by a researcher that questions Japan’s sovereignty over the southernmost island prefecture.

At a news conference, Ventrell also said his country “does not take a position on the underlying question of the ultimate sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands.”

China claims the uninhabited East China Sea islands, part of Okinawa Prefecture, as its own.

Ventrell did not say whether the move by the People’s Daily represents a unilateral provocative act.