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China-Japan: Senkaku Islands Dispute

The Senkaku Islands dispute, or Diaoyu Islands dispute, concerns a territorial dispute over a gaggle of uninhabited islands referred to as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, the Diaoyu Islands in China and Tiaoyutai Islands in Taiwan. Eight uninhabited islands dwell the East China Sea. They have a complete area of about 7 sq km and lie northeast of Taiwan.

The Senkakus island chain has been administered by Japan since 1972, but its status has remained disputed so far. Both Japan and China claim ownership of those islands. 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.

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Japan’s Stand:

  • Resolving Administrative Confusion: The name change is aimed toward resolving administrative confusion between a locale in downtown Ishigaki, which shares the name “Tonoshiro” almost like the island.
  • Increased Chinese Presence: it’s also wiped out response to the increased Chinese presence within the waters on the brink of the Senkakus. In a move to guard territorial integrity, Japan has decided to vary the name.
  • Support of the USA: The us features a mutual defense treaty with Japan. If Japanese territory is attacked by a far off power, the us is obligated to defend it.

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China’s Stand:

  • China’s Territorial Sovereignty: Bill by Japan may be a serious provocation to China’s territorial sovereignty. The move is illegal.
  • Four-Principle Consensus: Urged Japan to abide by the spirit of the four-principle consensus, avoid creating new incidents on the Diaoyu Islands issue, and take practical actions to take care of the steadiness of the East China Sea situation.A four-point principle on improving China-Japan ties was approved in 2014 to develop a interdependent relationship supported common strategic interests.
  • Risk of a Crisis: Changing the executive designation would only make the dispute more complicated and convey more risks of a crisis.

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Significance for India:

  • The development from Japan came just after the violent clash between Indian and Chinese troops over the road of Actual Control in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.
  • Given the trade volume and economic dependency that’s the foremost dominant feature of the bilateral relationship, it might be crucial for India to act wisely.
  • By supporting the japanese move, India can diplomatically strengthen its position over Galwan Valley.
  • However, Taiwan’s engagement within the dispute is critical because it has supported India over the galwan valley but opposes the move of Japan.
  • China has also augmented its naval power to strengthen its overall presence within the Indian Ocean . The move of Japan would give a chance to India to possess a strategic edge over its presence within the Indian Ocean .

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Overall Impact:

Asia’s next military flashpoint:

  • Japan isn’t the sole territorial and maritime dispute that China has long had with many of its neighbours.
  • It has island and maritime border disputes with Taiwan, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam within the South China Sea and its extension.
  • Hence, Japan’s move can strengthen the opposite countries territorial and maritime claims.

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