A Chinese two-star general has said out in public what would probably be the next level on the ongoing territorial dispute between Japan and China – that Okinawa does not belong to Japan. Luo Yuan, a general in the People's Liberation Army, has said that Japan has no rightful claim on sovereignty over the Ryukyu island chain – of which Okinawa is a part of – because the ancient leaders of the territory had started paying tribute to China 500 years or so before they had done so to Japan.
In the latest event on this issue, China on Thursday criticized the Japanese government for lodging a diplomatic protest against an article published in a Chinese state-run newspaper that questioned Japan’s sovereignty over the Ryukyu Islands, which include Okinawa, currently Japan’s southernmost prefecture. The heated exchange continues to degrade relations between the two neighboring Asian nations as territorial disputes come to the fore.
Relations between Japan and China are bad enough as it is due to a territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, but now the latest issue seems to be blowing up pretty fast. Japan has filed a complaint with China over an article published in the state-run People's Daily that questioned Japan's ownership of the Ryukyu island chain, including Okinawa, where major U.S. military bases are.
After a controversial article was published by China’s state-run paper The People’s Daily about a think tank’s opinion of the Ryukyu island chain – which includes Okinawa and is currently part of Japan’s southernmost prefecture – Chinese officials have refused to confirm Japan’s ownership of the territory. This recent developments will continue to cause escalating tension in an already strained relationship between Beijing and Tokyo, already throwing verbal assaults at each other over a group of uninhabited isles southwest of Okinawa.
China’s most popular newspaper on Wednesday published an article that pushed for the government to “reconsider” Japan’s sovereignty over the Ryukyu island chain, which includes Okinawa – home to most of the United States bases and forces in Japan. Okinawa is Japan’s southernmost prefecture, but the People’s Daily newspaper thinks that China may have rights to the group of islands, and opinion that is likely to escalate the already tense situation between the two countries regarding sovereignty of territories in the East China Sea.
China limiting diplomatic archives access after discovery of document proves Japan’s Senkakus ownershipNational Ida Torres on Feb 1 2013
The Chinese Foreign Ministry's archives might be in possession of a historical document that could very well prove Japan's sovereignty over a group of islands disputed between the two countries, but the ministry has restricted access to the archives as of early this year.
While Japan and China are still engaged in a territorial squabble over the Senkaku group of islands (Diaoyu in China), some Chinese nationalistic groups are already making other claims on Japanese soil. According to these groups, there is historical basis to prove that the island of Okinawa belongs to China.
As the tensions continue to heat up between Japan and China over the disputed Senkaku Islands, a Chinese military official has proclaimed that the islands of Okinawa are also rightfully Chinese territory. Major General Jin Yinan told a state-run radio program that Japan's return of the Senkaku (known as Diaoyu in China) was not enough, and that Okinawa and the rest of the Ryukyu archipelago should be recognized as Chinese. While the Chinese government has made no such statements in support of the leader of strategy research at China’s National Defense University, the comments are still unsettling.