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Senkaku Islands

Senkaku Islands

In southern Japan, a local council has given the green light to a proposal to rename an area that includes the Senkaku Islands. The new name will be Tonoshiro Senkaku, replacing the previous name, Tonoshiro. It’s important to note that these islands are a source of dispute between Japan, China (where they are known as Diaoyu), and Taiwan (referred to as Tiaoyutai).

About Senkaku Island

The Senkaku Island dispute concerns a territorial dispute over a group of uninhabited islands known as:

  • Senkaku Islands in Japan,
  • Diaoyu Islands in China, and
  • Tiaoyutai Islands in Taiwan.

Both Japan and China claim ownership of these islands.

Location: Eight uninhabited islands lie in the East China Sea. They have a total area of about 7 sq km and lie northeast of Taiwan.

Strategic Importance: Islands are close to strategically important shipping lanes, offer rich fishing grounds and are thought to contain oil deposits.

Senkaku Island Dispute

Japan’s Claim:
  • After World War II, Japan renounced claims to a number of territories and islands including Taiwan in the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco.
  • But under the treaty, the Nansei Shoto islands came under USA trusteeship and were then returned to Japan in 1971.
  • Japan says that Senkaku islands are part of the Nansei Shoto islands and hence they also belong to Japan.
  • Besides, China raised no objections to the San Francisco deal.
  • Only since the 1970s, when the issue of oil resources in the area emerged, Chinese and Taiwanese authorities began pressing their claims.
China’s Claim:
  • These Islands have been part of its territory since ancient times, serving as important fishing grounds administered by the province of Taiwan.
  • When Taiwan was returned in the Treaty of San Francisco, China said the islands – as part of it – should also have been returned.

Significance for India

  • After the tense clash between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley, Japan’s recent developments are worth noting.
  • Considering the strong economic ties between India and Japan, it’s crucial for India to make thoughtful decisions.
  • Supporting Japan’s move could enhance India’s diplomatic stance regarding the Galwan Valley issue.
  • It’s important to recognize Taiwan’s support for India in the Galwan Valley dispute, despite its disagreement with Japan’s actions.
  • China has been boosting its naval strength in the Indian Ocean, and Japan’s move provides India with an opportunity for a strategic advantage in the region.

Read Also: Islands in India

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