Chinese Claims to Okinawa Gain Support Among Historians

There are increasing voices among Chinese historians claiming territorial rights over Okinawa, the Japanese island where the U.S. has a massive military base.

Japan's Mainichi Shimbun on Wednesday said some Chinese historians argue that Okinawa, when it was the Ryukyu Kingdom, flourished thanks to trade with China and was essentially a part of it.

In a conference in Beijing in December last year, some insisted that the annexation of the Ryukyu Islands by the Meiji government in 1879 and the U.S.' return of Okinawa to Japan in 1972 was invalid under international law.

The reason this view is gaining support, according to the Mainichi Shimbun, is because China believes it appeals to the island's people at a time when complaints of the continuing U.S. presence there are growing.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 19, 2010 12:49 KST