The Taiwan Factor in Tokyo’s Territorial Disputes with Beijing
In this chapter we will first identify five disputed areas that offer a microcosm of the relations between Tokyo, Taipei, and Beijing. In the first section, we will touch on Japan’s options over the last sixty-plus years in resolving territorial disputes with its neighbors. The issues not basically related to both Taipei and Beijing will be first described and explained in brief. Second, we will narrow it down, from the Japanese perspective, to the disputes over the Diaoyutai/Senkaku Islands.1 We will also explain why there is not much to say from the Japanese perspective regarding Okinotorishima Islet and a major portion of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf in the East China Sea (ECS). The third section has three sub-sections, and the main focus of each is on the period after the drastic change in Taiwan’s political landscape in May 2000, when Chen Shui-bian, the separatist politician, became President. Each of the three scenarios follows a different assumption. The first subsection assumes that Taipei is siding with Tokyo. In that context, we will describe and explain how Tokyo’s options will affect its relations with Beijing. In the second subsection we assume that Taipei is on Beijing’s side. In the second subsection we assume that Taipei is on Beijing’s side. In this context, one can figure out what kind of options Japan would choose and the probable consequences.
KeywordsContinental Shelf Exclusive Economic Zone Coast Guard Territorial Dispute Taiwan Area
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- 11.Douglas M. Johnston observes that there are eleven diplomatic options regarding maritime delimitation: do-nothing policy, agreement to disagree, agreement to designate, agreement to consult, agreement on access, preliminary joint enterprise, operational joint development, agreement on sharing of services, agreement on limited joint management arrangement, agreement on permanent joint management, final boundary treaty. Cited in Sun Pyo Kim, Maritime Delimitation and Interim Arrangements in North East Asia (Leiden: Brill Academic, 2004), 12, 23.Google Scholar
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- 23.First, the United States is fully behind Japan and vice versa, and the former can use 11 civilian airports and 7 harbors in Japan in the event of a war. For the record, the Pacific Command, headquartered at Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii, with 300,000 Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force troops, oversees territory of more than 100 million square miles, stretching from the U.S. West Coast to the Indian Ocean, including the pirate-infested Straits of Malacca. Second, the Pacific Command, under its Blair Witch Project, plans to use 1,500 fighters to fight against the Chinese PLA. But it has ruled out any involvement by Taiwan. See http://www.zaobao.com/special/newspapers/2005/06/homeway050612.htm, June 12, 2005.
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- 33.It is expected to achieve four things: (a) obtain samples of sulfides, rocks, and sediments near the hot liquid mouths in target areas in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans; (b) make an initial survey on the resources distribution of hot liquid sulfides in some sea floor areas; (c) push forward the development of ocean scientific research, such as obtaining fluid chemical properties; (d) bring about the development of related ocean technological equipment. See http://english.people.com.cn/200504/05/print20050405_179522.html, April 5, 2005.
- 34.The PRC’s State Council Information Office (SCIO) has denied that the Chinese PLA is building aircraft carrier in Shanghai Municipal City. See http://english.people.com.cn//200506/16/eng20050616_190666.html, June 16, 2005.
- 39.According to Japanese Foreign Ministry officials, “nearby the coast of the other” was understood to mean a theoretical median line. See Vincent A. Pace, “The U.S.-Japan Security Alliance and the PRC: The Abandonment-Entrapment Dynamic, the Balance of Threat and National Identity in the Trilateral Relationship,” May 3, 2003, http://www.vincentpace.info/thesis/senkakus_islands_crisis.html.
- 40.CT, June 17, 2005, p. A2. Yonagunia Jima is a sister city of Hualian City of the Taiwan Province, R.O.C. Some of the residents have been calling for independence in the first half of 2005. See http://www.zaobao.com.sg/special/newspapers/2006/01/renmin060126.html, January 27, 2006.
- 45.The incumbent Director General Yoshinori Ono does not perceive a Chinese PLA threat but urges the latter to be more transparent. See http://www.zaobao.com.sg/special/realtime/2005/07/050725_29.html, July 5, 2005.
- 50.Beijing leaders constantly remind Japanese leaders not to go to the Shrine. What they have in mind is the following saying: Qianshi buwang houshi zhi shi (“If one remembers the lessons of the past, they will serve as a guide to avoiding mistakes in the future.”) In April 2004 the Fukuoka District Court ruled that the then Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro’s visits to Yasukuni Shrine were tantamount to religious activity and, therefore, what he did had violated the Japanese Constitution. In September 2005, the Osaka High Court also ruled that Koizumi violated the constitutional separation of church and state. In October 2005, a Japanese court in another law suit ruled that Koizumi did not violate the Constitution. Up to now, only two out of ten cases found Koizumi to have violated the Constitution. In October 2005, Koizumi went to the Shrine for the fifth time since becoming Prime Minister in April 2001. In December 2005 Koizumi defended his visit by saying “I go there not to glorify the war, but to repent it, to vow never again to wage war, and also pay respects for the war dead.” See http://taiwansecurity.org/Reu/2005/Reuters-131205.htm, December 13, 2005. In February 2006, Koizumi defended what he did again, saying Japan had not been isolated from other Asian countries because of his deeds and arguing that his visit was “a spiritual issue.” See http://english.people.com.cn//200602/09/eng20060209_241316.html, February 9, 2006. In November 2005, Republic of Korea (ROK) President Roh Moo-hyun urged Koizumi to stop visiting the shrine, which is a symbol of unrepentant Japanese militarism. But the latter defended himself by saying he was praying for peace there. See TT, November 20, 2005, p. 5. In March 2006, the ROK’s President, Roh Moo-huyn, said he would like to see the shrine for himself, and Koizumi said he would welcome his visit of the shrine. See China Post (hereafter CP)(Taipei), March 19, 2006, p. 11.
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- 68.This concept was first broached by James C. Hsiung in June 2004 at an international conference held at Ming Chuan University in Taipei City. The idea is that since 1949 the ROC has retained its control of sovereignty over Taiwan, while the newly established PRC has only gained control of the sovereignty over the mainland part of China (minus Taiwan). It is a case of incomplete loss of sovereignty by the ROC matched by incomplete succession to sovereignty by the PRC). The ROC and PRC added together make the complete, whole China. Hence comes the concept of the two half-Chinas. I have also used a similar term in two of my works: (a) Bicoastal China (New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1999); and (b) The Crab and Frog Motion Paradigm Shift: Decoding and Deciphering Taipei and Beijing’s Dialectical Politics (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2002), ch. 17).Google Scholar
- 71.http://japanfocus.orf/article.asp?id=247. In July 2005, the Russian defense minister said his country would not give up the Southern Kuriles. See SHDN, July 31, 2005, p. 12.
- 75.http://japanfocus.orf/article.asp?id=247. Due to the robust rise of the PRC, the New York Times (NYT) reported that Japan is seeking reconciliation with Russia. See CT, February 1, 2005.