News / Asia

Japan Protests Chinese Report Questioning Sovereignty of Okinawa

A Okinawa boy touches the map of Okinawa carved on a stone face near the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan. (File)A Okinawa boy touches the map of Okinawa carved on a stone face near the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan. (File)
A Okinawa boy touches the map of Okinawa carved on a stone face near the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan. (File)
A Okinawa boy touches the map of Okinawa carved on a stone face near the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan. (File)
VOA News
Japan has sent a "strong protest" to China after a Communist party-run newspaper published a story questioning Tokyo's ownership of the southern prefecture of Okinawa.

The People's Daily on Wednesday quoted experts at a state-run research organization who say it is time to reconsider Japan's sovereignty over the Ryukyu island chain, which includes Okinawa.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga Thursday said it would be "absolutely unacceptable" if the article reflected the opinion of the Chinese government. He says the Chinese side responded that the view in the commentary was solely held by the researchers.

Sino-Japanese relations are already tense because of a recent flare-up in a dispute about a tiny but strategic island chain in the East China Sea.

China has regularly sent patrol vessels near the Japanese-controlled islands, raising fears of a military conflict. The uninhabited islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and possibly by energy deposits.

The People's Daily article repeats China's arguments for ownership of the island chain, which was annexed by Japan in the late 19th century, but claimed by China in 1971.

Okinawa, which lies farther north, hosts a large U.S. military presence. It is home to 1.3 million people.

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Comment Sorting
by: Wangchuk from: NYC
May 17, 2013 11:08 AM
The CCP considers China to be the Middle Kingdom & all other peoples are barbarians & vassals to them. The PRC is a hegemonistic empire & considers any territory where Chinese people have set foot to be parts of China. The US should watch out. I woudn't be surprised if the PRC one day claims Chinatowns in the USA to be parts of China.

by: John Davis from: Naha, Okinawa
May 12, 2013 11:36 PM
How about Okinawa for the Okinawans?

Right now, it's owned (on paper) by Japan and infested with US troops who do pretty much what they want with it. Using the lesser populated areas for target practice and jungle training and flying Ospreys and other aircraft in and out of the huge bases in highly populated areas.

Okinawans don't want US troops, and they don't want to be owned by Japan or China.

Okinawa has had enough with war and land grabbing.

May 09, 2013 9:20 AM
The Chinese always started off territorial disputes by using some nationalist experts'biased opinions.If you didn't protest,the Chinese would claim,well everybody agreed with their studies,and they would use that as the foundation for their claims.However if you protested,they would turn around and say,well these are independent opions and don't reflect China's policies.Being a vassal state,didn't mean that you were part of China.You paid tributes to China so that it would not launch attacks and invade your lands.In other words,you paid ransoms for peace.

Throughout their history,the Chinese have invaded and taken over by force several countries,including Tibet and Inner Mongolia,and refuse to give them back to the rightful owners.Even if Okinawa was taken from China,why should Japan give it back when China does not give back Tibet,Xinjang,Inner Mongolia and the Paracel Islands to their rightful owners.Chinese double standards are totally unacceptable,and Chinese imperial ambitions should be restrained before it is too late!
In Response

by: remie from: canada
May 10, 2013 8:09 PM
Seato is completely accurate and Seattle is another brainwash chinaman. If China is so confident in their claim ,why do they not produce it to international tribunal? Vietnam has invited international representive to look at their proof such as old maps from France, Vietnam and even China.
The countries that never showed up were China and Taiwan.
Secondly, China is the only aggressor in the south sea such as sending big navy ships to disputed area, shoot flares at fisherman, cut exploration cables, etc. Vietnam know they are no match for Chinese navy and not stupid to pick on China.
Seattle, your brothers are claiming 80% of sea swallowing up allreefs, uninhabit and inhabit island within that boundaries . This U shape claim goes right to shorelines of all in the disputed parties. Now who has the" imperialism ambitions"? THINK FOR YOURESLF, its right in front of you.

In Response

May 10, 2013 9:01 AM
@Seattle: I disagree with your comment.The Mongols conquered many countries including China,Tibet and Russia and annexed them under the Yuan Dynasty,controlling their new found empire from China.The word "united" that you used,deliberately implied that all lands conquered by the Mongols,would automatially become Chinese territories,and would provide China with a good excuse to go on seizing lands from their neighbours.Tibet, China anr Russia were all victims all the same.You can't claim the Mongols' ill-gotten gains.As for South Vietnam,the Champa people kept launching attacks against Vietnam,who on the counter attacks,defeated them and vietnamised them in the process.This is a parallel to the Manchus' counter attacks against Ming China and conquered the Chinese in the process.The only difference is,the Manchus were swallowed up by the larger Chinese population in their Manchu-Han one family policy,and became Chinese.

As for the Paracel Islands,they were uninhabited islands.Vietnam was the first country to set up a continuous administration over them, and they automatically became de facto Vietnamese territories.Even the Qing Dynasty's official maps confirm China's southernmost point is Hainan Island.China seized the eastern half from Vietnam in 1956,and the western half in 1974.The Chinese are the aggressors no more no less.Japan is now a democratic country,unlike a Communist dictatorship China,who is willing to sacrifice half of its population to realise the Chinese dream of world domination.I feel sorry for the brainwashed Chinese,who have been fooled and misled by their leaders, to embark on a stupid cause,leaving behind their loved ones.Those who bebefit at the end of the day,are Xi Jinping and his mates
In Response

May 10, 2013 8:07 AM
@Jonathan: Don't try to be ignorant about this issue.You have already known that Okinawa was part of the Ryukyu Kingdom,which used to be a Chinese vassal state.It later became a Japanese vassal state before it was annexed into Imperial Japan in 1879. These cunning Chinese scholars,under the instruction from the Chinese politburo,deliberately raised the question of the ownership over Okinawa.What it meant was: Well,Okinawa was part of Ryukyu Kingdom which was a Chinese vassal state.

So basically, it was part of China. And according to the Potsdam convention, Japan should return all territories that it has taken from China by force. China got a case then,you see. In raising this question, China wants a concession from Japan. You either give Senkaku to us, or we complicate the matter by claiming Okinawa as well. By smearing Japan, China simply wants to divert all attentions away from its evil dream of world domination. Those who connive with China, like Thailand and Cambodia, would soon be sorry because they themselves would eventually become victims of Chinese expansionism
In Response

by: Lefil
May 10, 2013 3:35 AM
@aarck from: us

European people invaded most of areas. America originally belonged to the Native Americans, Hawaii originally belonged to the Native Hawaiians. Alaska originally belonged to the Native Alaskans...
In Response

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
May 10, 2013 12:14 AM
SEATO, show me where in this article mentioned that the Chinese commentary claims that Okinawa belongs or belonged to China?
If that is your ability to comprehend I wonder how true is your comments.
In Response

by: Seattle
May 09, 2013 10:26 PM
To SEATO: First, let me make clear some basic points that you are expected to know before commenting on this issue. Tibet, Mongolia and China proper first became united as a result of invasions by the Mongolian Army, not because China invaded any of its neighbors. In fact, the Mongols invaded your home country (Vietnam) too, only failed to conquer it. Second, Paracel Islands have no "rightful owner" if we are to be historically rigorous. They were uninhabited. Third, the historically "rightful owner" of South Vietnam is the Kingdom of Champa, which was destroyed by the invading Vietnamese Le Dynasty. Yet you guys are still unsatisfied and want to claim the Spratlys too. Is it the time to restrain Vietnam's "imperial ambitions before it's too late"?
In Response

by: aarck from: us
May 09, 2013 11:52 AM
it is understandable for us to see strong responses by some japanese people. but when you search the history, you may found that it is obviously true that japan has invaded a lot of areaes, including those islands south of Japan. in recent history. it is very lucky that the U.S. and its allies defeated japan in wwii.

by: Michael from: USA
May 09, 2013 7:48 AM
The "People's Daily" claims it was being objective by quoting from an organization of experts. Yet it has the ability to interview Japanese officials at the same time, but didn't. So to claim objectivity means ignoring how it's article could provoke anger. That is misuse of the word "objective"

by: Khmerkrom from: Prey Nokor
May 09, 2013 6:46 AM
These researchers maybe drunken so they just laid a crazy claim like this. Next time, the expansionists, Chinese will claim the entire world belong to them because of the presence of Chinese immigrants in every country. So poor the Chinese.
In Response

by: Lefil
May 10, 2013 3:42 AM

"The People's Daily" is published and owned by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. They usually represent CCP's views.
In Response

by: jim1980
May 09, 2013 7:41 AM
It is very odd Japanese government will protest against Chinese government due to commentaries by researchers. What's next. Japanese government will protest against US government because they found some commentaries by Fox news too offensive.
In Response

by: remie from: canada
May 09, 2013 7:29 AM
@Khmerkron, How true you are, and the worst part is their people actually believe it. All it takes is just a little logic thinking chinese people

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