Contention over South China Sea

In news: Senkaku Islands

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Senkaku Islands

Mains level : China's territorial expansion plans

A local council in southern Japan voted to rename an area covering the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku Islands — known by Taiwan and China as the Diaoyus — from “Tonoshiro” to “Tonoshiro Senkaku”.

Try this:

Q. Recently, Senkaku Island was in the news. Where is it located?

a) South China Sea

b) Indian Ocean

c) East China sea

d) Red sea

Senkaku Island Dispute

  • The Japanese-administered island chain, formed by five islets and three barren rocks, covers an area of 7 square km.
  • It is located about 200km southwest of Japan’s Okinawa Island and a similar distance northeast of Taiwan.
  • Japan annexed the archipelago following China’s defeat in the first Sino-Japanese war from 1894 to 1895.
  • Yet the islands were left out of the Treaty of San Francisco at the end of the second world war that returned to China most of the territories previously occupied by Japan.
  • Under the terms of Japan’s surrender, the island chain was controlled by the US until 1971, when it was returned to Japan along with Okinawa and other surrounding islands.

Why are the Islands so coveted?

  • The region appears to have great promise as a future oil province of the world.
  • Japan and China are among the world’s top importers of fossil fuels.
  • Abundant fishing resources are found nearby, as can important shipping lanes used by Japan, South Korea and China for energy imports.
  • The islands have also become a focal point of the broader rivalry between the two countries.
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