152. The sovereignty over Okinawa is unsettled? China has eventually revealed its desire

Copyright (Sep.10,2005) by TAKESHITA Yoshirō
Reissued as an English Edition (Oct.27,2006) by IWAYA Bunta


Shuri Castle
Shuri Castle (Naha, Okinawa)
In my previous essay which I wrote in 2002, No. 100 (Taiwan is "Japan's life line" — the hidden meaning of the Taiwan Issue), I mentioned the "potential extent of China's rightful territory" what China itself defines. It includes even Japan's Okinawa (沖縄)[1] as a part of Chinese territory that China must recapture in the future. Even after I wrote the essay, China's violations and provocations against Japan's marine rights and interests have been escalated. Chinese naval ships repeatedly conducting seabed surveys (investigating natural resources and hydrographic surveys for submarine operations) within Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), China proclaimed to discredit Japan's sovereignty over Okinotori Island (沖ノ鳥島),[2] a Chinese naval nuclear-powered submarine intruded into Japan's territorial waters near Ishigaki Island (石垣島), and moreover, China has conducted gas field exploitations in a sea area very close to Japan's EEZ in the East China Sea nevertheless Japan claimed to stop many times. In such a circumstance, China eventually exposed its venomous fangs against Okinawa on August 1, 2005.

"The sovereignty over Okinawa is unsettled"
A research paper in a Chinese journal

August 1, 2005 JST 10:38PM
Kyodo News (Japan)

The August 1 (2005) issue of a Chinese journal, the Shijie Zhishi [World Knowledge] (世界知識) carries a research paper on the topic of the "sovereignty over Okinawa is unsettled" by Xu Yong (徐勇), professor of history at the Beijing University (北京大學). "Okinawa became a Japanese territory because of the result of Japan's invasion on the Ryûkyû Kingdom (琉球王國).[3] Okinawa was returned from the US to Japan after the World War II but there is a lack of a legitimate basis under the International Law."

Professor Xu pointed out, "Ryûkyû was an independent kingdom until the Edo period[4] and there were diplomatic relations between Japan and Ryûkyû that is like between Japan and Korea. The Ch`ing Dynasty[5] of China did not approve when Japan abandoned Ryûkyû and set up the Okinawa Prefecture in 1879." He explained that the United States put Okinawa under control after the World War II without any basis on the Potsdam Declaration.[6]

He also quoted a Taiwanese scholar's opinion that the return of Okinawa from the United States to Japan in 1972 was "only a transfer between two countries without any approvals by the Allied Powers of the WWII." He concluded that the "status of Ryûkyû is unsettled."

(originally written in Japanese)

It is obvious what the author, Professor Xu Yong of the Beijing University means to say:

Okinawa is not a Japanese territory!!

It is amazing that China is not satisfied by only demanding its sovereignty over Senkaku Islands (尖閣諸島)[7] — that China just started to claim only a few decades ago since 1971[*1] — and now it is too obvious that its evil design actually aims at the whole Okinawa Islands. In fact, there is an essential aspect that China decisively lacks of, — because it is China — the most important matter, the "will" of the Okinawa people. The essential aspect of democracy, the "public consensus" is totally missing in China's concept. I am doubtful whether the Chinese people know the definition of respecting public consensus though.

Since the establishment of the "People's Republic of China" (Communist China) on October 1, 1949, China has claimed its sovereignty over Taiwan which has never been ruled by the Communist China. China holds its principle of the "Armed Liberation" to "invade Taiwan" if Taiwan attempts to become independent by replacing the name "Republic of China" with "Republic of Taiwan." But actually, not just invading Taiwan, now we know that China is also watching for a chance to capture Okinawa.

China (People's Republic of China) is not a country of parliamentary democracy with a multi-party parliamentarian system. Since its establishment, the Chinese Communist Party is the sole party in power in China that controls the Chinese People's Liberation Army. In reality, the one-party dictatorship formulates the system, "Party=Army=Government." The system of democracy — the cabinet administrates the national politics that is selected from the parliament consisting of elected members — does not exist in China. The leadership of the Communist Party is eternal and there is no concept of the public consensus. Although China defines its principle "liberation" as a "return to homeland China," Taiwan will never be "liberated" by such a nation of one-party dictatorship since there is no concept of "public consensus." Do Taiwanese citizens really wish to "return to China?" If not, what issues does China need to consider? However, China only keeps menacing Taiwan by launching its "Armed Liberation" to restrain the independence movement. China's attitude only makes the Taiwanese people to be cautious.

"The sovereignty over Okinawa is unsettled" — the danger of Okinawa is the same matter as Taiwan. China attempts to build up a "quibble theory" as a bridgehead to claim Okinawa as its territory. The consensus of Okinawa people is lightly dismissed by China. We know the history of Okinawa that it used to be an independent kingdom Ryûkyû, the Satsuma domain (薩摩藩) [curt. Kagoshima 鹿兒島][8] made it a subject in 1609 (Shimazu rule), and the new Meiji Government abandoned the "Ryûkyû domain" to establish the "Okinawa Prefecture" in 1809. Because of the historical background, there is some antipathetic and distrusting sentiment to the Yamato [Japan proper, or the mainland Japanese] (大和) among the Uchinanchu [native Okinawan] (沖縄聚).[9] Okinawa has a painful history that was the only place a land battle took place in Japan[10] during the Great East Asian War [Pacific War] (大東亞戰爭). Okinawa became under control of the United States for 27 years and was returned to Japan on May 15, 1972 by the strong wish of the Okinawan peoples.

China's claim, "the sovereignty over Okinawa is unsettled" is no other than insulting the Okinawa peoples by trampling on their will. The China's slogan, "Return to the homeland China, the big family of the Chinese" does not sound attractive for the Taiwanese nor the Okinawan if China keeps menacing to launch its "armed liberation" in its Sinocentric concept.

Before concluding this essay, I am introducing a news article on March 18, 2005.

Okinawa town assembly votes to invite the SDF base

March 18, 2005
Kyodo News (Japan)

NAHA, Okinawa Pref. (Kyodo) The assembly of Irabu, Okinawa Prefecture, has adopted a resolution to have the town urge Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to deploy the Self-Defense Forces to the airport on Shimojijima Island, which is located close to Taiwan.

The move Wednesday comes in connection with a proposal by the United States for the joint use of the airport by its military and the SDF as part of Washington's global military realignment plans.

The resolution was adopted a day after Irabu signed an agreement with four neighboring municipalities to merge to form the city of Miyakojima on Oct. 1...

The resolution also calls for various economic promotion measures for Irabu. But many Irabu residents have expressed opposition to a merger, and the Irabu assembly's action could affect the planned adoption of merger resolutions at assemblies of the participating municipalities Friday.

The resolution, which was passed by nine votes to eight, was submitted to the assembly as an urgent motion by some of its members.

It says Shimojijima airport "must be utilized" in a situation in which the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands, a group of Japanese-controlled islets that are also claimed by China and Taiwan, poses an immediate threat to the town.

The document also demands that the SDF units that would be stationed in Irabu possess ground, maritime and air combat capability. This may fall in line with the Defense Agency's aim to reinforce the nation's defense capabilities in the southwestern island areas.

Shimojijima airport, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Okinawa Prefectural Government, is a facility for training private jet pilots and has a 3,000-meter-long runway.

The central and prefectural governments have exchanged a memorandum of understanding limiting the airport to civilian use.

But in fact the facility is used for refueling U.S. military aircraft involved in tasks such as joint exercises in the Philippines and humanitarian aid following December's Asian tsunami disaster, based on the Japan-U.S. Status-of-Forces Agreement.

In April 2001, the Irabu assembly adopted a unanimous resolution inviting the SDF to conduct training in the town...

Shimojishima Airport
Shimojishima Airport
This news is about the assembly's resolution of Irabu Island near Taiwan and Senkaku Islands. As this article describes that the island is "in a situation in which the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands poses an immediate threat to the town," it shows that people of the "island near the boundary" feel alert to "China's threat," so that they are demanding to station the "border guard" in the Shimojishima Airport (picture). The resolution was dismissed afterwards and the SDF units have not been stationed in the Shimojishima Airport. But it is the fact that the "resolution" of the assembly (Irabu town consists of Irabu and Shimoji islands in the Miyako Island Group) is the "public consensus" of Irabu that is supposed to be the "answer" to China's claim, "the sovereignty over Okinawa is unsettled."

The teachings of ancient China says, "an excellent ruler is a man of noble and virtue rather than being excellent in military powers." If China wishes not only Taiwan but also Okinawa to "return to the homeland China, the big family of the Chinese," China itself must be the "patriarch of virtue" that makes anybody wish to belong to, rather than threatening or claiming. But the true color of the Communist China is:

People's Republic of China was born from the gun muzzle.

Unfortunately, the reality is not the one we can expect to be the patriarch of virtue anyway...

Incidental Remarks

As long as China neglects Japan's sovereignty over Okinawa and the public consensus of Okinawa, keeps the stance that "Okinawa is China's potential territory" and claiming "The sovereignty over Okinawa is unsettled," we can simply regard that the "sovereignties over Tibet, East Turkestan, South Mongolia and Manchuria are unsettled" — that nations all China invaded and annexed under the name of "Liberation" — to support independence movements of these suppressed nations. China has no right to complain, "it is interference in internal affairs of China" because China has already interfered Japan's internal affairs more than enough. The current condition of the relations between two countries is far from "friendly coexisting neighbors" and is rather "confronting competitors in life and death struggle." To maintain peace and stability in East Asia, it is indispensable to conduct the Fukoku Kyôhei [Enrich the country, strengthen the military] (富國強兵)[11] to restrain China gaining its hegemony. The diplomatic attitude what Japan needs is "to say clearly whatever we need to say" no matter they like or not.

(Tibet Autonomous Region 西蔵自治區, Qinghai 青海省, and parts of Sichuan 四川省 and Guizhou 貴州省)
East Turkestan (Xinjian Uyghur Autonomous Region 新疆維吾尓自治區)
South Mongolia (Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region 内蒙古自治區)
Manchuria (滿州) (Liaoning 遼寧省, Jilin 吉林省 and Heilongjinag 黒龍江省)


*1. China started claiming its sovereignty over Senkaku Islands since 1971 after the United Nations' marine survey in 1969 and 1970 that reported there is a possibility of existing of estimated 109.5 billion barrels of oil under the seafloor around the islands.

Terms and Related information (Wikipedia Links)

  1. Okinawa Prefecture (沖縄縣)

  2. Okinotori Island (沖ノ鳥島)

  3. Ryûkyû Kingdom (琉球王國)

  4. Edo Period (琉球王國), 1603-1867.

  5. Ch'ing [Qing] Dynasty (淸), 1644-1912.

  6. Potsdam Declaration, July 26, 1945.

  7. Senkaku Islands (尖閣諸島)

  8. Satsuma han (薩摩藩)

  9. Uchinanchu [the native Ryûkyûans] (沖縄聚)

  10. Battle of Okinawa (沖縄戰), 1945.

  11. Fukoku Kyôhei [Enrich the country, strengthen the military] (富國強兵)