The Japanese Foreign Ministry yesterday claimed that it has evidence that the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands are its sovereign territory, Apple Daily reported. It released a map printed by the Chinese State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping in 1969 that uses the characters referring to the islands as Senkaku rather than Diaoyu.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded that the Diaoyu Islands are China’s territory, and it has sufficient historical and legal evidence to back up its claim. It also claimed Japan is attempting to deny this fact and its map is meaningless.
Following World War II, China made no claim on the islands until 1971, after surveyors discovered potential oil reserves in the area in May 1969. Tensions between China and Japan have been rising in recent years over the territorial claims. Taiwan has gotten involved in the dispute, but has taken a more diplomatic approach to dealing with Japan. In 2013, Taiwan signed a fishing agreement with Japan for part of the region.
The Economist has this explanation of Japan’s territorial claims.