Makiko Tanaka, Japan’s new education minister, opposed the nationalization of the islands. (Photo/Xinhua)
Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s five major newspapers, has offered evidence that the United States illegally handed over the disputed Senkaku (Diaoyu or Diaoyutai) islands over to Japanese administration along with Okinawa in 1972 by citing two declassified CIA reports, according to Duowei News, an outlet operated by overseas Chinese.
The two reports, regarding natural resources beneath the islands and the sovereignty dispute between China, Japan and Taiwan, were completed before the signing of Okinawa Reversion Agreement on Jun. 17, 1971. Though the Republic of China on Taiwan was at the time desperately trying to gain support from both the US and Japan to keep its seat at the United Nations, it was more aggressive than the People’s Republic of China to demand the return of the Diaoyutais, as Taiwan refers to the islands. The report indicated that the armed forces of the ROC might launch an amphibious assault against Japan if the sovereignty of the disputed islands was turned over to Tokyo.
The documents also stated that joint developments of the resources in the area might prompt Beijing to deploy its navy to the region. Considering that China under Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai was manipulating the issue to play Japan off against the United States, the-then US national security adviser Henry Kissinger suggested the Nixon administration turn the administration but not the sovereignty of the Senkaku islands over to Japan. Because of Taiwan’s opposition to the handover, the United States remains officially neutral regarding the matter to the present day.
In related news, Japan may be hoping that the appointment of Makiko Tanaka as minister of education may go some way to mending fences with Beijing after the nationalization of three of the islands in the East China Sea triggered massive demonstrations in China. Tanaka has previously criticized Japan’s history textbooks for not teaching the atrocities committed by imperial forces in China and other Asian countries during World War II. The daughter of Kakuei Tanaka, the prime minister who normalized Japan’s relations with China in 1972, she also opposed the decision by the government to nationalize the disputed islands on Sept. 11.