China Questions Japan's Ownership of Okinawa

      May 09, 2013 11:45

      State-run Chinese media claim that Japan's southernmost island chain including Okinawa really belongs to China.

      The People's Daily on Wednesday published a contribution by a researcher at the nationalist-tinged Chinese Academy of Social Sciences arguing the U.S. violated postwar treaties when it handed over control of the Diaoyu and Ryukyu islands to Japan.

      He said the Ryukyu kingdom that ruled the island chain was a vassal state of the Chinese empire before being annexed by Japan in the late 19th century.

      The author recalls that the Qing Dynasty protested against the annexation and held negotiations with Japan, during which Japan offered to divide the Ryukyu Islands, with Japan controlling the northern half and China the southern half.

      The Qing emperor instead wanted to put the Ryukyu king back on the throne to control the main island, while China and Japan each control the southern and northern island chains. The First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) put an end to further negotiations.

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