BEIJING, March 9 (ChinaMil) -- A senator from the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan announced he "discovered" a Chinese map printed in 1969 that showed the Diaoyu Islands were included in the Okinawa Prefecture of Japan. He then reported it to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and scheme to negotiate with China, according to a recent report.
I have seen more than 100 relevant maps from home and abroad. From the maps, it is no doubt that the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands (hereinafter referred to as the Diaoyu Islands) have been the inherent parts of Chinese territory. To distort the facts with only one map is impossible.
Maps identifying the Diaoyu Islands were mainly from China, the Ryukyu Kingdom, Japan and European and American countries. Most of them can prove the Diaoyu Islands belong to China. And the Diaoyu Islands have been included in maps of coastal defense from the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Maps of the Ryukyu Kingdom drawn in 1372 to 1897 show that the Diaoyu Islands were not annexed to Ryukyu. And before the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, Japan didn't include the Diaoyu Islands as a part of its territory, according to its official maps.
On the contrary, the Map of the Three Provinces and 36 Islands of Ryukyu drawn by Hayashi Shihei in 1785, and a global map in 1810 all show that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China.
The map, Complete Graph of Okinawa Prefecture, published on the eve of the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, didn’t mark the Diaoyu Islands. It clearly shows that the Diaoyu Islands are excluded in the Ryukyu Islands, according to the arc-shaped boundary between the Taiwan Straits and the Yaeyama Islands.
Japan's maps of the Diaoyu Islands were mainly from China, European and American countries.
Maps in European and American publications include two sources: one is French ancient maps. The French version was affected by the Records of Message from Chong-shan (Zhong Shan Chuan Xin Lu) written by Xu Baoguang, a deputy title-conferring envoy from the Qing Dynasty in 1719. And the pronunciation of the islands' names was recorded according the dialect of the South of Fujian, affecting the names' pronunciation in the European and American regions.
The other source is a map made after the Britain warship Samarang's investigation in 1845, and the Chinese Navigation Maps (Zhong Guo Hai Zhen Lu Zhi) revised for many times in 1894. The Britain government officially marked the Diaoyu Islands as northeast islands of Taiwan.
The ownership of the Diaoyu Islands was known from the Britain maps and documents before Japan's secret inquiry of the Diaoyu Islands in 1885. As Japan didn't raise any objections, it means they acquiesce in the fact that the Diaoyu Islands are affiliated islands of Taiwan. These maps are enough to prove the fact: The Diaoyu Islands are China's inherent territory before the disputes between China and Japan.
In 1895, China was forced to sign the unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki with Japan, under which the entire island of Taiwan and all of its affiliated islands including the Diaoyu Islands, were ceded to Japan.
At the end of World War II in 1945, the Diaoyu Islands were returned to China in accordance with legally recognized documents, including the Cairo Declaration, Potsdam Proclamation and Japanese Instrument of Surrender. As the abrogation of the unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki, maps and documents during this period should be abolished.
The Ryukyu Islands were occupied by the United States from 1945 to 1971 and the present Okinawa Prefecture was not included in the administration of Japan. Japan didn't mark the so called "Senkaku Islands" on its map until 1970. Someone argued that the Diaoyu Islands belongs to Japan for it is not marked on the Taiwan map of both sides of Taiwan Straits. The excuse is groundless.
It should be admitted that affected by Taiwan maps during the Japan's colonial rule, some maps from the two sides of the Straits mistakenly copied the Japanese names of the islands before 1945. The wrong maps must be corrected and it didn't represent the position of the Chinese government.
In addition, Japanese maps printed by China in 1956 didn't include the Diaoyu Islands. And a draft written for the Treaty of Peace with Japan in 1950 recommended the return of the Diaoyu Islands, Chiwei Yu and Taiwan.
Internationally or in Japan, there are very people who transmit rumors and cook up maps trying to include the Diaoyu Islands into Japan. So the facts should be made clearer to avoid continued misunderstanding.
(By Professor Liu Jiangyong, vice president of the School of Contemporary International Relations, Tsinghua University)