Sovereign Rights and Territorial Space in Sino-Japanese Relations: Irredentism and the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands

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Association for Asian Studies and University of Hawai'i Press, 2000 - Political Science - 298 pages
In September 1996, members of the right-wing Japan Youth Federation repaired a light-house on one of the Diaoyu (J.Senkaku) Islands, a small group of uninhabited islets north of Taiwan in the Liuqiu (J.Ryukyu) chain, known today as Okinawa. For months, outraged ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong and Taiwan protested Japan's presence in the islands, and violent confrontations between protesters and the Japanese Marine Self-Defense Force resulted. Tension over these incidents has subsided since 1996, but the sovereignty of the islands remains a concern for both China and Japan.

Sovereign Rights and Territorial Space in Sino-Japanese Relations is an investigation of the highly topical issues involved in the Diaoyu/Senkaku confrontation. It begins by addressing the issue of the historical development of the dispute: To whom do the islands belong? When did China and Japan become involved? Does historical evidence prove who has sover-eignty over the islands? How has irredentism (the claim to territory based on one or another historical "right") become a major state policy in both countries? Other issues center on Chinese views of sovereignty and their methods of delimiting territorial boundaries during the Ming and Qing periods, the Chinese concept of hegemony, and the history behind the deep mistrust that permeates Sino-Japanese relations. Finally, the author discloses the interwoven relationship between geography and history in East Asia.

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International Law and the Diaoyu Islands
Critics of the Irredentism Debate over the Diaoyu
The Diaoyu

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About the author (2000)

Pradyumna P. Karan, professor of geography at the University of Kentucky, is the author of "Japan in the Twentyfirst Century: Environment, Economy, and Society,"

Unryu Suganuma is associate professor of geography at J. F. Oberlin University in Tokyo and the author of "Sovereign Rights and Territorial Space in Sino-Japanese Relations.

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