Japan’s “purchase” and “nationalization” of the Diaoyu Islands makes a mockery of the World War II victory and the following arrangements for Japan set out in the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation, an expert said on Sunday.
Li Guoqiang, deputy director of the Research Center For Chinese Borderland History and Geography under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a major government think tank, explained how the two international documents outlined arrangements for Japan after the Second World War.
At the end of World War II, China, the U.S. and Britain met in Cairo, Egypt, to discuss how to handle the aftermath and formed a declaration on Dec. 1, 1943. It said that all the territories Japan had stolen from China, such as northeast China, Taiwan and the Penghu Islands shall be restored to China.
“Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed,” said the Cairo Declaration.
The Potsdam Proclamation, issued on July 26, 1945 by the three countries, stipulated, “The terms of the Cairo declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.”
Both documents were among the most important anti-fascist achievements, but came with the price of lives including those of the Chinese people during the war, said Li.
However, over the past decades, Japan has denied the fact and refused to abide by the documents, he said, although it promised to return the Diaoyu Islands as the affiliated islets of Taiwan to China in the Japanese Instrument of Surrender.
One of the so-called “basis” for Japan to occupy the Diaoyu Islands is the Treaty of Peace with Japan (1951), commonly known as the Treaty of San Francisco, which was a “treaty” signed by Japan, the US and other countries, placing the Ryukyu Islands, now known as Okinawa, under the trusteeship of the US, Li said.
The Ryukyu Islands do not include the Diaoyu Islands, which are Chinese territories.
As the Treaty of San Francisco was signed without the presence of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese government deemed it as illegal, and refused to recognize it.
In 1953, the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands arbitrarily expanded its jurisdiction to include the Diaoyu Islands without a jurisprudential basis to justify this action.
In 1971, Japan and the U.S. signed the Okinawa Reversion Agreement, which arbitrarily included the Diaoyu Islands in the territories and territorial waters to be reversed to Japan.
The Chinese government protested and issued a statement saying that it was illegal to arbitrarily include the Diaoyu Islands and that it could not change the fact that China owned the Diaoyu Islands, Li said.
“It was a brazen infringement upon China’s territorial sovereignty, which the Chinese people cannot not tolerate,” he said.
The U.S. illegal transfer of the Diaoyu Islands to Japan through backroom deals ignited the indignation of the Chinese people and triggered a worldwide campaign of defending the Diaoyu Islands at that time, Li said.
“Japan always avoids to mention the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation over the Diaoyu Islands issue, but refers to the Treaty of San Francisco,” Li said, adding Japan’s “basis” is groundless.
Japan has also claimed that the Diaoyu Islands were without ownership in ancient times. Li refuted this and said a large number of historical facts proved that the Diaoyu Islands were on the record of China’s Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) Dynasties.