It’s Japan Focus time again, with an article entitled "Much Ado over Small Islands: The Sino-Japanese Confrontation over Senkaku/Diaoyu". Before I get into the details, I will say that there are a couple of interesting claims that I’d like to hear more about.
So, off we go:
the San Francisco Treaty that purportedly resolved the Asia-Pacific War
"Purportedly" gives you an early indication of how the article is going to go.
In a draft paper prepared in 1950, soon after the Chinese Communist party came to power, it referred simply to the islands by their Japanese name as "part of Okinawa." Some doubt must remain on the status of this proposal until the actual document is published
We see that China thinking the Senkakus were Japanese is "doubtful", according to the author.
In 1943, he [US President Franklin Roosevelt] considered China’s claim to the Okinawan islands as a whole so strong that he twice asked Chinese president Chiang Kai-shek whether he would like to take possession of them in the eventual post-war settlement. Chiang, in a decision he is said to have later deeply regretted, declined.
That is an interesting new claim that I’d like to hear more about, although is "he considered China’s claim […] so strong" actually true, or is this wishful thinking by the author?
Why then, did the US split Senkaku from Ryukyu in 1972? Hara Kimie, Toyoshita Narahiko, and others, attribute the decision to Machiavellian US design.
occasional landings (by Chinese activists from a Hong Kong base and by Japanese rightists sailing from ports in Okinawa)
What’s the difference between an activist and a rightist?
In 2010, the Democratic Party of Japan’s government arrested the Chinese captain of a fishing ship in waters off Senkaku
Err, the DPJ or the government did not arrest him, it was the coastguard and police, and there was the small matter of the captain ramming a coastguard vessel twice, and the government did its best to try to pervert the course of justice to appease China.
Protest demonstrations followed in Hong Kong and cities and towns across China – cars were overturned, Japanese restaurant windows smashed, Japanese goods trashed
Err, what about the two department stores trashed top to bottom?
In April Diaoyu was for the first time declared a “core interest,” and in May the People’s Daily added that the status of Okinawa itself had to be negotiated.
And that is not worthy of any comment or analysis?
When the Government of Japan “nationalized” the “Senkakus” in 2012, it acted in relation only to the three of them nominally in private hands.
The scare quotes and phraseology is straight out of the Chinese playbook.
They are commonly known, even to the Japanese Coastguard, by their Chinese names, Huangwei and Chiwei, rather than their Japanese names, Kuba and Taisho
Can we get a reference for that one?
the inequity in the hand China is bequeathed by its forbears because they did not establish a chain of island colonial and dependent territories like the other powers of the early modern and modern world
Although anti-Japan sentiment in China is undoubtedly subject to some manipulation by government
You sure on that point?
if, for example Japan were to successfully to extract some resource, to attempt then to transport it across the Ryukyu Trench to Japanese markets would also be forbiddingly difficult and expensive
No. The Chunxiao gas field at least is quite far north of the Senkakus, so that avoids most of the trench issues, I think.
The election in Japan late in 2012 of a government of “Shinto” believers
who were denialists of Nanjing and “Comfort Women”
No, there are people in the government who disagree with the number of people killed at Nanking, and no-one (that I am aware of) in government denies that Comfort Women existed, it is the compulsion issue that is being debated by people, including Hashimoto.
Japan’s claim is rhetorical, ambiguous, manipulative, and hostile to compromise or negotiation, yet few doubt that the Japanese position is "fundamentally solid and quite tenable under existing international law."
So, Japan’s claim is correct, then. (Note, the author previously established that morality should trump the law.) How about describing China’s claim?
Cooperative arrangements for fisheries and resource extraction had been put in place in parts of this sea before the crisis that erupted in 2010 froze most of its mechanisms
So, it is all China’s fault, as I noted above. Existing fishing agreements did not include the EEZ, and it was the Chinese captain doing the illegal fishing and the ramming.