Context: A local council in southern Japan voted recently to rename an area, including islands disputed with China and Taiwan.

More on the news:

  • The local assembly of Ishigaki city approved a plan to change the name of the area covering the Tokyo­ controlled Senkaku Islands known currently by Taiwan and China as the Diaoyus from “Tonoshiro” to “Tonoshiro Senkaku”. 
  • The rationale for the move has been given as there is another part of Ishigaki which is also known as Tonoshiro, and the name change was cast as a bid to avoid confusion.

Source: Aljazeera

Reactions by the associated nations

  • The uninhabited islands are at the center of a festering row between Japan and China and the move sparked anger in both Taiwan and mainland China.
  • China considers the move as a serious provocation to their territorial sovereignty.
  • Taiwan says that the sovereignty of Diaoyu islands belongs to their country and any move attempting to alter this fact is invalid.


Japanese claim: After World War Two, Japan renounced claims to a number of territories and islands including Taiwan in the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco. 

  • These islands, however, came under US trusteeship and were returned to Japan in 1971 under the Okinawa reversion deal.
  • Japan says China raised no objections to the San Francisco deal. 
  • And it says that it is only since the 1970s, when the issue of oil resources in the area emerged, that Chinese and Taiwanese authorities began pressing their claims.

Chinese claim: China says that the islands have been part of its territory since ancient times, serving as important fishing grounds administered by the province of Taiwan.

  • Taiwan was ceded to Japan in the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895, after the Sino-Japanese war.
  • When Taiwan was returned in the Treaty of San Francisco, China says the islands should have been returned too.

Source: TH

Image Source: France24