After the US President elected Joe Biden, China recently called the Japan-USA mutual security pact a product of the Cold War following USA’s criticism of the presence of Chinese coast guard vessels in Japanese-claimed territorial waters.
Japan-US mutual security treaty
- The Japan-US mutual security treaty signed on 19 January 1960, assures the United States of America would come to Japan’s aid in the event of an outside attack on Japanese forces or territory.
- The United States of America criticized China as the Chinese ships have been repeatedly encroaching the Japanese territorial waters surrounding the Senkaku Island (or Diaoyudao Islands or Diaoyutai Islands).
- Whereas China has long accused the America of maintaining a “Cold War mentality” due to which it tries to bring Japan in its Bloc against China.
- The Senkaku Island Dispute
- The Island dispute concerns a territorial dispute over a group of uninhabited islands known as:
- Senkaku Islands in Japan
- Diaoyu Islands in the People’s Republic of China
- Tiaoyutai Islands in Taiwan (the Republic of China)
- Both China and Japan claim ownership of these islands.
- 8 uninhabited islands lie in the East China Sea. They have a total area of about 7 sq kilometer and lie northeast of Taiwan.
- Strategic Importance
- Islands are close to strategically important shipping lanes, offer rich fishing grounds and are thought to contain oil deposits.
- Japan’s Claim
- After World War II (1 Sep 1939 – 2 Sep 1945), Japan renounced claims to a number of territories and islands including Taiwan in the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco (Treaty of Peace).
- But under the treaty, the Nansei Shoto islands came under United States of America trusteeship and were then returned to Japan in the year 1971.
- Japan says that Senkaku islands are part of the Nansei Shoto islands and hence they also belong to Japan.
- Recently, a local council in southern Japan has approved a bill to change the name of an area containing Senkaku Islands from Tonoshiro to Tonoshiro Senkaku.
- Besides, China raised no objections to the San Francisco deal. Only since 1970s, when the issue of oil resources in the area emerged, Chinese and Taiwanese authorities began pressing their claims.
- China’s Claim
- These Islands have been part of its territory since ancient times, serving as important fishing grounds administered by the province of Taiwan.
- When the Republic of China (Taiwan) was returned in the Treaty of San Francisco, China said the islands as part of it should also have been returned.
Senkaku Island Dispute