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Luo Yuan: Do Ryukyu Islands belong to Japan? (2)

(People's Daily Online)

16:40, July 27, 2012

Third, the Ryukyu Islands used to be a vassal state of China, not belonging to Japan. The Ryukyu Kingdom had always been an independent kingdom directly under the Chinese imperial government before it was seized by Japan in 1879. It resumed independence after the surrender of Japan in 1945. In 1971, the United States decided to transfer executive power rather than sovereignty over the Ryukyu Islands to Japan, so it could maintain its military bases there. Unable to change the U.S. decision, inhabitants of the Ryukyu Islands could only gather and vow to expel Japanese aggressors. A referendum in March 2006 showed that 75 percent of the voters on the Ryukyu Islands wanted to gain independence and resume normal relations with China. Therefore, it is questionable whether the Ryukyu Islands belong to Japan.

Fourth, the supplementary provision on article 8 of the Potsdam Declaration states that the terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be implemented and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands the related countries (the United States, Britain and China) determine. It clearly shows that after the Second World War Japan’s territory did not cover the Ryukyu Islands, not to mention the Diaoyu Islands. Japan has no choice but to abide by the terms of Potsdam Declaration.

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