Japan's actions over Diaoyu Islands defy facts, draw protests

19:17, September 21, 2010      

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Japan's latest decision to prolong the illegal detention of a Chinese trawler captain has kept the dispute over Diaoyu Islands under spotlight, as such defiance against facts and international norms continued to draw strong protests from the Chinese government and people.


The Diaoyu Islands, 120 nautical miles northeast of China's Taiwan Province, have been China's territory ever since ancient times.

All records, whether in historical books, academic research or on old maps, have well proved China's undeniable sovereignty over these islands.

The name Diaoyutai Island appeared in 1403 in a Chinese book "Voyage with the Tail Wind." By 1534, all the major islets had been identified and named in the book "Record of the Imperial Envoy to Ryukyu."

"'Record of the Imperial Envoy to Ryukyu' clarified the boundaries between China and Ryukyu and attested to the fact that the Diaoyu Islands are part of China's territory, which was acknowledged by scholars in China, Japan and Ryukyu as well as the governments of China and Ryukyu in later centuries, " Mi Qingyu, a professor at China's Nankai University wrote in a history book about the Diaoyu Islands.

On a map published by Japan between 1783 and 1785, the Diaoyu Islands were marked as within China's borderlines.

A recently discovered book written during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912)called "Record of Ocean Nation" has again proved the islands have always been part of China.

Kiyoshi Inoue, a renowned Japanese historian, confirmed in his book titled "The Diaoyu Islands and Its Adjacent Islands" that historical facts as early as the 16th century attest, the Diaoyu, in the East China Sea between China and Japan, have been an intrinsic part of China's territory.

"It is a well-known fact that the Diaoyu Islands have been part of China's territory since the Ming Dynasty," he wrote in Chapter Three of the book.

His viewpoint was based on documents such as sea charts, logbooks and exploration records about South China, Taiwan region and the Ryukyu Islands found in the library of British Admiralty Board, as well as many Japanese historical records.

Though the Diaoyu Islands were ceded to Japan after China lost the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 and signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki, the Cairo Declaration in 1943 stipulated that Japan should return all China's territories it occupied including these islands.

These provisions were later reinforced in the Potsdam Proclamation in 1945. In the same year, Japan announced its unconditional surrender while accepting the proclamation in its entirety.

With all these powerful evidence, China's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands is undisputed.

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