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China, S Korea criticize Japan over museum for disputed islands

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"China, S Korea criticize Japan over museum for disputed islands"

Now what a surprise that is.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

What else is new?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

South Korea immediately demanded the closure of the museum as it denounced Japan's "unjustifiable claims" to its "inherent territory".

It would be so much more powerful if they refuted each piece of evidence presented at the museum with detailed counter arguments and evidence. That may actually be the start of an intellectual debate on the subject.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The Government of China has no claim of value to the uninhabited islands of Senkaku" in the East China Sea.

Their fatuous, "inherent territory since ancient times" is to further unmitigated hostile intent, vile bilious larceny. No more no less.

As for the Government of South Korea?

Appeasement for a Dictatorship, led by Kim Jong-un, who is willing to stave his own population to support a nuclear/ballistic missile programme is indefensible, cowardly and gutless.

This museum was unnecessary, there is no reason politically to hammer the point home when in reality there is no legal dispute!!!. The islands of Senkaku, are indigenous to the people of Japan.

It is a mirage, to hide the Government of China feckless fortified sand castles in the south china seas.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Itsonlyrocknroll, so may we assume their is no dispute over the Korean held and Russian held islands either as you say there is no legal dispute?

It should be noted that Japan is also building on some islands so that they do not completely disappear under the waves.

If any country knows the best way to deal with North Korea, it is South Korea. It is certainly not the superpower that specialises in destroying countries and throwing them into chaos, the same country that has been know to support right-wing dictators who lead death squads. Yes, I am talking about the USA. South Koreans have family, relatives in the North and they want want them killed by US bombs. Enough Koreans were killed by US bombs in the Korean war.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

The islands of Senkaku, are indigenous to the people of Japan.

Hard to claim that as they are uninhabited. Would you say the same about Hokkaido?

Actually how does indigenous apply to a collection of minerals?

Appeasement for a Dictatorship, led by Kim Jong-un, who is willing to stave his own population to support a nuclear/ballistic missile programme is indefensible, cowardly and gutless.

And how is that relevant to the disputed island in the sea of Japan with Korean people living on it? Does Kim Jong Un also claim the island known as Dokdo" or "Takeshima"?

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

So if nobody lives there wouldn't that also make SK & China claims invalid?

Same rules should apply to all parties, not so?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Hi gaijintraveller, only the People and Government of South Korea can decide their future.

What is left is opinion.  I will celebrate my 30th birthday this year in October. It is the future not the past, other than a learning experience to prevent cultural, colonial, imperialism.

But his will never ensue from appeasing what I believe to be a ...

The DPRK is the Juche-oriented socialist state which embodies the idea and leadership of Comrade Kim II Sung, the founder of the Republic and the father of socialist Korea."    

http://www.korea-dpr.com/

gaijintraveller, can I ask what this all means to you? Not a trick question.....

Hi simon g, It doesn't, but it prevents change to or for reconciliation.

Along with a Government held to account by political activists hell bent on a agenda of retribution without concourse to dignifying the meaning of recompense through redemption

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is a half-submerged South Korean island called Ieo or Iedo that China is trying to lay claim to, plus all the waters round about. Sssshhhh.... No mention of that by either side here now, though.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Well, South Korea could build counter museums but why bother. Finders keepers, losers weepers. The islands will stay with South Korea and China no matter how many museums the Abe-LDP gang build.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Er, I think Korea built at least one, starting off the trend.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Each country now has their own go-to source/museum to clarify historical facts. Sounds fair.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Sigh..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, South Korea could build counter museums but why bother. 

I believe this Japan's counter for the statues.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Well, South Korea could build counter museums but why bother. Finders keepers, losers weepers. The islands will stay with South Korea and China no matter how many museums the Abe-LDP gang

To claim land you have to fight to keep and occupy it. Otherwise the French, British, and Spanish would still be on the continent. The Native-Americans were driven to Oklahoma and then later that was also taken away. This is the same with the Falkland Islands and Senkaku and Takeshima Islands as well. You have to have the resources to keep it

That said, Japan will not be able to make use of Senkaku without risking war with China imo. Maintaining the status quo is the most peaceful and best option. Let both sides lay clam to it and let it be.

History tells us you take territory from China when it is weak and in decline. This happened with Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mongolia, Northern Vietnam, etc, but not when it is growing and expanding.

If a China in the early 60’s can take land from India by aggression, it will do the same with its current military.

Now is not the time to solve the island disputes. If Japan really wants it, she’ll have to wait until the fall of the PROC and that won’t be for a while.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Politicians love creating tempests in teapots. Doing so helps their egos and keeps the masses distracted from true societal problems. A comfort women statue here, a useless 'museum' there...keeps the plebes on their toes and looking away from more important matters (which are usually those things where politicians prove their impotence).

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If China takes it with a force, What will Abe do?

China would then control the whole South China Sea

Radar Station, Missiles Aimed at Taiwan and Japan?

Troops and make artificial land fill and runways with piers for ships.

Japan should be doing it and let them bark as as others do with their fake islands they stole from the Philippines

That should be a Warning that China see's them as vital military outposts and very close to Taiwan and sooner or later they will take them.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

China said Friday that the Diaoyu islands have been its "inherent territory since ancient times".

Which is abut 1971. PRC maps from the 1950s/1960s show the islands as being Japanese.

South Korea immediately demanded the closure of the museum as it denounced Japan's "unjustifiable claims" to its "inherent territory".

"Inherent" since December 1952.

These two countries are comedians when it comes to making claims.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

KabukiloverToday 08:00 pm JST

Well, South Korea could build counter museums but why bother. Finders keepers, losers weepers. The islands will stay with South Korea and China no matter how many museums the Abe-LDP gang build.

The Senkakus can not "Stay with China" because they are not in China's hands. And since the US has declared multiple times that they will defend them against attack, they will NEVER be China's.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

I was rummaging around a closet either day and found some papers showing that I actually own these rocky islands.

I’ll open a museum in my pantry soon to put these documents on display.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

What a surprise! Like they never expected that reaction, but got to say their timing is as bad as you could hope to imagine!

gaijintraveller

Enough Koreans were killed by US bombs in the Korean war.

Not forgetting that NO Koreans were killed by US bombs, North or South untill after the North launched an unprovoked surprise attack on the South. Your comment is disingenuous to say the least!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Hi domtoidi, How many dashes does your line claim?

Nine and a third? 

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) rejected the Governments of China shenanigans .

Well at least when the Philippines Government formally initiated arbitration.  

I am inclined to believe and except your museum in my pantry has a legitimate claim.

At least you won't be able to threaten your neighbours with anything other than a spice rack

1 ( +1 / -0 )

British imperialism, long before my time.

The here and now, is that the South China Sea is a busy international open waterway that global trade worth more than $5 trillion passes and will grow to more than double that number within ten years.

No matter how many lines or dashes the Government of China places on a map, the global community, including Australia not tolerate President Xi Jinping fortified sandcastles.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It is time for Japan to enter talks with the Peoples Republic of China to resolve differences. Like it or not they are an important country in the world. They are going to take the lead in new TPP agreement. The USA has isolated themselves from the world. As for what the southern faction of Korea, who cares what they think. It is time to step back from that conflict and let the civil war take its course. Japan needs to be a peaceful country and embrace Article #9 which is the true path to peace and security.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Japan's contradicting statements regarding the Tiauyutai rocks is the strongest evidence that those islands were snatched away from Taiwan and then illegally occupied by Tokyo.

First , Abe's government stated that the TYT/Senkakus are an 'inherent' or 'indegenous' part of Japan.

Second, Tokyo then based their claim by sayin they first explored the islands and found it to be terra nullius so they claimed it knowing that Taiwan and China were weaklings then and didn't have the voice and power to resist.

The USA of course is aware of this very fact so it's not surprising that Uncle Sam will never officially say that that Nippon have sovereignty over the Taiwanese islets.

This is a fact that Tokyo should face squarely and not deny and deny again and again.

As a matter of fact , Abe should instruct the museum to also include the USA's official stand and not try to fool the world.

Using deceit would only be like Japan shooting her own foot.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Spice rack? I have a tactical rolling pin. Whack!

I heard that these islands are no more owned by China and/or Korea (which one?) than Japan owning the Ryukyu islands.

Oh, wait...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Which is abut 1971. PRC maps from the 1950s/1960s show the islands as being Japanese.

How about older Japanese maps which showed Hawaii as being Japanese? Maps are not the last say on territory.

When Japan annexed Okinawa did they care what earlier maps showed? Possession is 99% ownership.

Japan is also a comedian if it thinks China is going to be convinced by a museum or two. Japan could have had the moral high ground but having modern day leaders deny Ninjing's history puts it's credibility at zero.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

If China takes it with a force, What will Abe do?

China would then control the whole South China Sea

Radar Station, Missiles Aimed at Taiwan and Japan?

Troops and make artificial land fill and runways with piers for ships

Abe will request assistance from the U.S. and the U.S. can respond very quickly with military forces stationed on Okinawa.  Look at the proximity of Okinawa to the Senkaku Islands and the South China Seas.  That's why Japan and U.S. mutually agree having U.S. military presence on Okinawa is strategic to the stability of that region. 

The U.S. military presence on Okinawa is China's major obstacle to their expansionism in that region and occupying the Senkaku Islands.

If Onaga gets his way and the entire U.S. military presence is removed, of course China will move aggressively into the region, invade the Senkaku Islands, build a military base on the Senkaku Islands and claim the Island.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan and China, and Japan and South Korea, must come to the table and discuss the relevant issues with cool-headedness before they simply claim the islands are their inherent sovereign territories.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

China only asked Abe to recognize the dispute. I think it is very reasonable first step to resolve the problem. The best solution I have is to unify the Northeast Asia, then there will be no disputes. Abe is a trouble maker to make Asians against Asians.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Akie-san,

If you keep saying there's no room for discussion, which is Tokyo's official stance regarding the Senkaku issue, this hysterical bickering will go on forever. 

Riots by young people against Japan and looting Japanese firms in Chinese cities several years ago are fresh in my memory. They vandalized Japanese firms, shouting the Diaoyudaos (Senkakus) belonged to China. Some rioters even shouted Japan must be demolished with atomic bombs. 

If these islands really belong to China with no speck of cloud, then their action might be understandable, unlawful and unforgivable though it may be.  Certainly, dialogue, especially on the grassroots level, is needed for a harmonious, friendly relationship between the two nations and for the prosperity of East Asia.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well, South Korea has no right to protest this museum since they already built one of their own to try and prove their claim over Takeshima. So if SK is so confident it has sovereignty over Takeshima, why does it refuse to take the matter up with ICJ and get it settled once and for all? Would that not be the most mature and sensible thing to do? Would an irrefutable resolution to the situation not be preferrable to an ongoing dispute?

and I want to emphasise that nothing can change the fact that Diaoyu belongs to China," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular press briefing.

So tell me, Miss Chunying: why is it that China has never taken this case up with the ICJ to get it settled? If nothing can change the fact of sovereignty over Senkakus, then surely that means they belong to China? Or could it be that you're lying, and you know as such, and so you make claims without evidence? Could it be that you know the ICJ would rule that Japan has sovereignty over Senkakus?

China only asked Abe to recognize the dispute.

And do you know why Abe says that there isn't one? Because China won't take the dispute to ICJ for resolution. A dispute typically involves two or more sides making an argument and providing evidence to back up that argument. Japan has made its case, and has evidence. China refutes the claim, and the evidence, makes its own claim, but presents no evidence. It refuses to take the matter up with ICJ despite asserting that it has sovereignty. Ergo there is no dispute, only a petulant child claiming "it's mine!"

The simple fact of the matter is that this could all be resolved if South Korea and China would actually take the matter to ICJ. IIRC, only the claimant can do this, but the opposition needs to also be involved. China is the claimant in the case of the Senkakus, but they are not a signatory of the ICJ and refuse to recognize their authority, and so refuse to take up the case with them. The case therefore cannot even begin, let alone proceed. Since China doesn't make a claim in ICJ, Japan states that there's no dispute over Senkakus. In the Takeshima case, IIRC, Japan is the claimant, however South Korea refuse to go along with the proceedings. They themselves claim there is no dispute, and once again there can be no official case. Two countries insisting that they have sovereignty, and evidence to back up those claims, and yet both refuse to go to ICJ. Why is that? Because they know they would lose, would be the simplest and most logical explanation. They know they would lose the cases and be forced to acknowledge Japan's sovereignty.

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Didn’t China and SK used to be owned by the Mongol Empire? Shouldn’t these countries be given back to their rightful masters? Where does it end

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voiceofokinawa, may your voice be heard.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

dcog9065, Mongol Empire and China became one country, Yuan Dynasty.

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Fox Sora Winters, ICJ is not proper place to resolve territorial dispute. There is a difference between law and justice. Law can be injustice, and the judges can be biased.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

The islands belong to Japan. China is a known bullying nation and it thinks everything from Tibet, Nepal, Taiwan, Korean territories, Russian territory and islands, Philippine islands, Vietnamese islands etc. are theirs.

China believes that its "onion" strategy and its nuclear weapons will ultimately force numerous Pacific nations to surrender their sovereign territory to the bully nation of China.

The many Pacific nations must stand up to the bully dictators of China.

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The best solution I have is to unify the Northeast Asia, then there will be no disputes. Abe is a trouble maker to make Asians against Asians

Akie, unify under which government leadership? China PRC as you seem to be implying? If anything, it is China, through their manipulating propaganda, who blames the west for almost everything. 

https://qz.com/751338/the-complete-guide-to-chinas-propaganda-videos-blaming-the-west-for-almost-everything/

And you seem to echo their sentiments.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Here's food and help for your thought when you discuss the Senkaku issue.

Chinese people tend to think that the Senkaku Islands, which they call Diaoyu Islands, were ceded to Japan by the Qing dynasty in the Treaty of Shimonoski as a result of the First Sino-Japanese War. They then argue that since Japan accepted the terms of unconditional surrender stipulated in the Cairo Declaration after World War II, it should observe these terms and fulfil its obligation.

Manchuria, Taiwan, the Pescadores and other affiliated islands were restored to China automatically when Japan surrendered. The Ryukyu Islands, together with the Senkakus, were stripped from Japan and put under a US trusteeship.

Why weren't the Senkakus returned to China when Taiwan was restored? Apparently, they were not considered spoils of war taken from China.

The international community took the post-World War II regime for granted. Even the People’s Republic of China that had assumed power in Beijing in 1949, kept acknowledging the “status quo” until 1971.

An article was discovered among Chinese government archives in December 2012 and is reported to describe the Senkakus as part of the Ryukyu Islands, which were a geo-political entity at the time.

The Treaty of Taipei signed on April 28, 1952, stipulates that Japan renounced all rights to Taiwan, Penghu, the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) and the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島), over which Japan no longer had any jurisdiction, but it left out the Senkakus (Diaoyus).

These documents reflect that China -- regardless of who was in power in Beijing -- had thought until at least 1971, that the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands were Japan’s sovereign territory, not just something that Japan won after the First Sino-Japanese War.

Based on Chin-kan (陳侃)'s recordings of 1534, China claims the islands have been China's sovereign territory historically. The Chinese name "Diaoyu" dates back to Chin-kan, who came to the Ryukyu Kingdom as China's royal emissary to bestow peerage upon or crown King Sho-sei of Ryukyu. But one must know that these islands had been called by Ryukyu seamen and traders by vernacular names way long before the Chinese emissary knew about them.

What Chin-kan recorded as Diaoyu was Iigun (rhymed with "eagle") in the local vernacular; Chin kan's 黄尾礁and 赤尾礁were, and still are, (Iigun) Kubajima and (Iigun) Akajima in the local dialect. They are namesakes of original Kubajima and Akajima located near the main island of Okinawa (Uchinaa)on the same ancient Fuchuan-Ryukyu sea lane.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa, one thing is that Okinawa and Senkakus are under US control after the surrender of Japan but they are not US territory. Legally speaking, US has no sovereign right to transfer Senkakus to Japan and US doesn't recognize it as a part of Japan either. That is the reason why Okinawa is controversial as Japan's territory.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Halwick, EU is one example for the United States of Northeast Asia, USA is another model. China blames west for anything ? That is propaganda. In fact, China has benefited tremendously from west civilization. The very reason for China to develop so fast is that China has an open attitude toward the west. Unlike Abe who has very narrow minded value, China is more open minded than Japan. China has more students in Japan than Japanese students in China. This happened since 100 years ago. How can you win if China keeps absorbing good things from Japan while Abe refuses everything from China because everything China does is bad to him ?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Abe can order 100 more such museums to be built as he pleases but he never can change the basic truth .

Though the USA have backstabbed the democratic Naruwan Republic of Taiwan many times it's notable and fortunate that America have da-kine retained some of the basic values such as fairness.

Washington knows that geography and geology and proximity to Taiwan plus the solid cultural evidence of the Taiwanese burial grounds ( US servicemen saw it first hand when those rocks were still USAF practice bombing targets) scattered all over Tiauyutai points to Taiwanese ownership , Old Uncle Sam therefore will never officially simply say that TYT/Senkakus belongs to Japan.

My bad, Abe can never force Americans to betray their own moral standards on this issue because even though Taiwan is a very small island nation America's very broad and strong and very deep moral standard with regards to truth and fairness remains as big as the State of Texas.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

AkieToday 09:14 am JST

dcog9065, Mongol Empire and China became one country, Yuan Dynasty.

No, the Mongol Empire conquered China, which ceased as a seperate political entity and was subsumed in to the Empire just like all the other subject dependencies. Therefor any legal rights claimed to flow from the Mongol empire would at best revert to the modern day state of Mongolia as the successor state or cease with the cessation of the political entity of the Mongol Empire. Either way China has no claim therefrom.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The simple fact of the matter is that this could all be resolved if South Korea and China would actually take the matter to ICJ. IIRC, only the claimant can do this, but the opposition needs to also be involved. China is the claimant in the case of the Senkakus, but they are not a signatory of the ICJ and refuse to recognize their authority, and so refuse to take up the case with them. The case therefore cannot even begin, let alone proceed. Since China doesn't make a claim in ICJ, Japan states that there's no dispute over Senkakus. In the Takeshima case, IIRC, Japan is the claimant, however South Korea refuse to go along with the proceedings. They themselves claim there is no dispute, and once again there can be no official case. Two countries insisting that they have sovereignty, and evidence to back up those claims, and yet both refuse to go to ICJ. Why is that? Because they know they would lose, would be the simplest and most logical explanation. They know they would lose the cases and be forced to acknowledge Japan's sovereignty.

Nicely put but this has been written by previous posters but the typical posters on here fail to grasp this concept and keep repeating what they learned from their country: to bash and revile Japan. The facts are there and laid out for them to learn but they can't believe it since that is not what they learned. Hence, rinse and repeat the propaganda and lies.

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englisc aspyrgend, China has many dynasties, Yuan was only one of them.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Akie, you made the statement northeast asia would be better off unified.  I asked "unify under which government leadership?  Answer my question directly and without obsfuscation.  Would you rather see northeast asia under China PRC, yes or no?

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Halwick, yes, if majority northeast Asians decide so.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I actually agree that a unified east Asia would be good for them, but unless China becomes democratic, Japan and Korea would never do it under China.

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Strangerland, then give Chinese a chance to vote, they could vote out Chinese govt, who knows.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The terms "(Iigun) Akajima" in the last paragraph of my post above should be "Kume-Akajima", that was renamed "Taishojima" by the Japanese Government in 1921.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Strangerland, then give Chinese a chance to vote

Only the Chinese can give the Chinese a chance to vote.

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Strangerland, OK, good. Then let us set up time to vote for the president of united state of northeast Asia. Just talked to Chinese govt, they are all in.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Japan had better quickly acquire an enormous arsenal of Nuclear Weapons is she wants to be able to defend herself from communist China and its aggression.

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YuriOtani: "As for what the southern faction of Korea, who cares what they think."

The "southern faction of Korea"? Really? In any case, obviously YOU care what they think -- you spend most of your posts misdirecting anger about them.

"Japan needs to be a peaceful country and embrace Article #9 which is the true path to peace and security."

THAT we can agree on.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Strangerland, OK, good. Then let us set up time to vote for the president of united state of northeast Asia. Just talked to Chinese govt, they are all in.

That would be pretty impressive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

AkieJan. 29 03:01 am JST

englisc aspyrgend, China has many dynasties, Yuan was only one of them.

Well done you managed to completely miss the point (or deliberately to obfuscate it). Subsequent dhnasties or any other form of government are irrelevant if the claim is based on the Mongol Empire.

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AkieJan. 29 07:47 am JST

Strangerland, OK, good. Then let us set up time to vote for the president of united state of northeast Asia. Just talked to Chinese govt, they are all in.

Still does not address the point raised by Halwick, no rational, liberal, democratic government is going to willingly saddle them selves with a militaristic, aggressive, overbearing dictatorship like the PRC.

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englisc aspyrgend, you are not a professor of international laws, are you ? There is big difference between govt and country. As a country, China has inherited all 8000 years civilization, including territorial marks.

On the other hand, you are not a professor on democracy, are you ? China is more open and liberal than Japan, in many many ways. China opened a minister position for Abe, a Japanese scholar, 1600 years ago, in Tang dynasty. Can you open a minister position for Chinese in Japan's govt ? Japan is 1600 years behind in terms of openness and freedom of choice.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Akie, are YOU a professor of international laws, trained by the JCP and PRC?  You seem well versed on their version of history and propaganda.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Halwick, no, I am not a professor of laws. I only read 200 books. I don't think I know a lot, only know that you know a little. If you want to talk about China, you have to read 2000 books. Otherwise, you just fool yourself.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

A further tip on facts about the Senkakus:

The U.S. Air Force used Kubajima and Taishojima in the Senkakus as live firing ranges as recently as 1976. Even so, the islands technically remain as U.S. facilities still today because Ishigaki City is receiving a so-called proportional "base-hosting subsidy" from the central government. In other words, the U.S. cannot say it isn't involved with territorial matters in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa, administrative right and sovereign right are two very different concepts. Occupation and effective control can't change sovereignty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Akie-san,

Occupation and effective control can't change sovereignty.   

If you mean to say the U.S. occupation and effective control of the islands can't change Japan's sovereignty over them, you must be misunderstanding me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Akie, as it happens I have studied law and international law.

loosely put a country is an internationally recognised legal entity; a government is the recognised legal authority controlling a given geographical entity, usually a country.

It is not the country as such which has inherited a long history but the culture, neither of which have any relevance to any purported territorial claim. By your assertion Italy could claim the majority of Europe and Mongolia has a right to the entirety of China. In reality they have no such claim and nor does China.

With reference to your second paragraph, the actions of 1600 years ago are irrelevant to current circumstances and anyway the granting of some honour to a non national has no relationship to democracy, openness or freedom of choice.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Additional food for your thought about the Senkaku/Diaoyu issue;

Common nouns in a language are very ad hoc in naming objects. There's no reason why things are called as they are in languages. However, proper nouns are different from common nouns in that there's always some reasons behind -- why they are called by such and such names.

Kubajima (久場島) in Japanese or Huangwei Yu (黄尾鱮)in Chinese in the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands was an important landmark for ancient Ryukyu seamen and traders navigating on the Ryukyu-Fuchuan sea lane. These seafarers, who were thoroughly familiar with the Senkaku waters more than anyone else, called this landmark island "Kubajima" because, according to one theory, the island was covered full with kuba (or Areca) palms. But I think it was called by that name because the island's shape is quite similar to that of another island called Kubajima, that is located about 40 km west of Okinawa Island, on the same sea lane. When necessary, the former was called "Iigun Kubajima" to distinguish it from the latter.

Wasn't Chinese "Huangmao (Yu)" (黄毛)as recorded by Chen Kan (陳侃, 1534)or "Huangwei (Yu)" as recorded elsewhere, meaning yellow hair and tail respectively, a phonetic conversion of Kuba(-jima)? Note that the k-sound of Japanese (and Ryukyuan) ordinarily corresponds to the h/x-sound in Chinese. Or did the Chinese think the island was inhabited by mythic animals with yellow tails or hair and so named each island as such?

The easternmost island in the chain is officially called Taishojima in Japan, but historically it used to be called Kumi-Akajima by Ryukyu seamen. Here, too, we see the same mechanism of nomenclature as in the case of Kubajima. There's an island called Akajima in the Kerama Islands whereby Kumi-Akajima in the Senkakus must have been named after this with Kumi added to differentiate it from the original.

The Chinese calls this island Chiwei Yu (赤尾鱮), meaning "red-tailed island." Does it mean the Chinese believed the island was inhabited by animals with red tails? Isn't it a semantic conversion of what Ryukyu seamen called Kumi Akajima (久米赤島), which could mean "Kume Red Island" in folk etymology? 

The name "Senkaku" comes from English "Pinnacle Islands." The HMS Samarang of Great Britain called a port at Ishigaki Island three times and on its second port calling in May, 1845, it launched out upon an exploration of the hitherto unheard-of island group which the islanders called Iigunjima. Approaching the islands northward from Ishigaki Island on May 8, they must have been struck with the similarity of the first approaching island to Bartolome Island in the Galapagos, which is famous for its Pinnacle Rock, thus beginning to call the island group Pinnacle Islands. The Japanese name "Senkaku" was coined after this by a natural history teacher named Hisashi Kuroiwa, in 1900, who hailed from Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku and taught at Okinawa Normal School. 

The Meiji government decided to call the largest island in the chain "Uotsuri-jma", which is an apparent translation from the Chinese "Diaoyudao". It also called the adjacent islands lying southeast of it "Kita Kojima" (North Islet) and "Minami Kojima" (South Islet) respectively. The Chinese names "Bei Xiaodao" and "Nan Xiaodao" definitely come from these Japanese names.

 

Ancient Ishigaki fishermen called the island (group) "Iigun-jima." "Iigun" (rhymed with "eagle") means the head of a spear used in dive-fishing, a fishing method probably unknown to the Chinese. The reason why it is called so is similar to why the highest mountain in the Japan Alps in Honshu is called "Yarigadake." The top of the rugged mountain reminds one of the head of a spear ("yari").

Why did the Chinese call the island Diaoyudao meaning "fishing island"? Was it because unworldly men, as often depicted in Chinese drawings, go there and spent days angling for fish? Or have Chinese fishermen come here to engage in blue-water fishing since time immemorial? Note, however, that blue-water fishing started only recently with the development of modern refrigeration technology.

Isn't "Diaoyudao" a semantic translation of what Chinese royal emisaries to and from Ryukyu were explained to by Ryukyu seamen and traders traveling together aboard the same tributary or trading ships? Note that Chinese royal envoys came to the Ryukyu Kingdom 25 times during the period from 1373 to 1866. During the same period, Ryukyu seamen, traders and the Ryukyu King's appreciatory envoys sailed to China more than 200 times.

All these linguistic and historical facts must be taken into consideration before anyone says anything definite about sovereignty over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands on the basis of nomenclature.

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