Emanuel’s talk on the problem with islands: Solutions for the Senkaku-Diaoyu Conflict
November 11, 2012
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“The Problem with Islands:
Long term solutions for the Sengaku-Diaoyu conflict”
The Asia Institute
November 2, 2012
The Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Islands in Chinese) are a set of uninhabited islands not far from Taiwan, the coast of Fujian, People’s Republic of China, and the Japanese island of Yonaguni in Okinawa that have become the site for remarkable dispute between China, Taiwan and Japan. The collision between the Chinese fishing trawler Minjinyu and a Japanese coast guard vessel on the morning of September 7, 2010 (and the subsequent detention and release of the captain of Minjinyu) made a long-brewing dispute over territory into a cause célèbre in China that has taken the form of a series of protests in both China and Japan of a severity not seen in since the Cultural Revolution.
The announcement by the City of Tokyo that it would buy the Senkaku Islands from its private owners, thus conflating private real estate with national territoriality, set off an even more virulent set of protests in China in 2012 that have created a sense of distrust and foreboding in Asia at a time when many looked forward to an age of increasing economic and cultural exchange. 2012 was slated for a series of celebrations to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the normalization of relations between Japan and the People’s Public of China. All of those events have been cancelled or postponed. In fact, even an innocent conference of comparative literature to which I had been invited was abruptly cancelled. On the Japanese side as well, protests are planned and emotions have run high—a marked contrast to previous demonstrations that were widely ignored in Japan.
Link to original paper