Archive for July 27th, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hanover, Scotland: Shadows of the Past

Tai De, a usually well-informed blogger from neighboring Lower Saxony, reports that his land’s government is planning a big formal apology to Scotland for reasons of history and cultural sensitivity. That and more insights  into European diplomacy of the regions there ».

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sino-Japanese Communiqué: Fully Understood

A-Gu‘s Taiwan Politics Blog links to a report today which quotes Japan’s new ambassador to China, Uichiro Niwa (丹羽宇一郎), as saying that Japan had never recognized Taiwan as part of China. The Liberty Times writes that the ambassador, who hasn’t yet arrived at his new post in Beijing, told a press conference in Tokyo today that Japan’s and China’s joint communiqué of 1972 contained no direct recognition by Japan of Chinese sovereignty claims on Taiwan, and that Japan’s position was rather that it only “understood and respected” that assertion, and that Japan maintained its position on the issue (一九七二年日中共同聲明有關中國對台灣領有權的主張,日本的立場只是「理解並予尊重」,並未直接承認,今後日本對此問題仍然堅持同樣的態度).

Bilateral documents signed by both countries after the joint statement (which was issued on the occasion of establishing diplomatic relations between Tokyo and Beijing) were also based on Tokyo’s non-recognition of China’s assertion that Taiwan were “an inseparable part of [China’s] territory”.

Japanese vice foreign minister Masatake Kazukimi (武正公一) had reportedly made a similar statement in a hearing of one of Japan’s parliamentary committees on May 19 this year, saying that based on the joint statement of 1972, Japan had renounced all its rights to Taiwan in the San Francisco Treaty, but with no recognition of other positions concerning Taiwan’s legal status.

The 1972 communiqué contains Beijing’s “three principles for the restoration of relations”, which include the recognition of the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China, and that the Japanese side reaffirms its position that it intends to realize the normalization of relations between the two countries from the stand of fully understanding the “three principles”.

An Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies paper explains that

three principles as presented by China contained elements which the Japanese Government could not accept. […] With regard to Taiwan, the two sides agreed to state their positions in paragraph 3 of the Joint Communique of September 1972, which says “The Government of the People’s Republic of China reiterates that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China. The Government of Japan fully understands and respects this stand of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, and it firmly maintains its stand under Article 8 of the Potsdam Proclamation.”*) When China raises questions about Japan’s attitudes toward Taiwan, China refers to this Joint Communique. On our part, Japan has always reiterated its commitment to fully comply with the Joint Communique. Japan has also expressed its earnest hope for the peaceful solution of the problems concerning Taiwan by the talks between the parties on both sides of Taiwan Strait.

As A-Gu writes, Uichiro Niwa reiterated a “rarely-spoken fact”. But it is one that other countries which also have diplomatic relations with China should study and take into consideration for their own positions – even when bearing in mind that the KMT, the party currently governing Taiwan, is at odds with Japan’s position. In 1993, Phyllis Hwang, co-wrote an article for the International Herald Tribune, saying that

“After World War II, the Japanese empire was dismantled but Taiwan was never legally reincorporated as part of China. The 1951 San Francisco treaty, in which Japan relinquished its sovereignty over Taiwan, did not specify to whom title to the island would be transferred.”

Yun Feng-Pai, then Information Division Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in New York (and therefore representing a KMT government in 1993), objected to this position in the same paper.


*) Excerpt from the Potsdam Declaration:
(8) 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.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

VoA, Zhai Dequan: Future Drills “in Both Seas”

A relocation of the Invincible Spirit naval exercise from the Yellow Sea to the Sea of Japan would hardly happen as a mere reaction to Beijing’s objections, Peter Lee of the Asia Times wrote on July 16. Rather, there was evidence that the South Korean military had botched the Cheonan investigation, and therefore undermined Seoul’s case at the United Nations. He refers to the objections of two academics in Japan, published in detail by Japan Focus. The article also provides the Joint Investigation Group members list. The Joint Investigation Group (JIG) had come the conclusions presented by Seoul – among them investigators from South Korea, the US, Australia, Sweden, and Great Britain.

US military officials denied that they had bowed to pressure from Beijing and moved the maneuvers from the Yellow Sea, saying the Sea of Japan actually was the most appropriate venue for the current drill, writes the Voice of America (VoA). The report doesn’t give the military officials’ names, but adds their statement that future exercises would be held off Korea’s west coast, i. e. in the Yellow Sea.

Zhai Dequan (翟德泉), deputy secretary general of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association (中国军控与裁军协会), is quoted by China Daily with a similar forecast. Zhai reportedly said that future drills would be held in both seas and China should do more to prevent exercises in the sensitive Yellow Sea.

Nanjing Military Region artillery troops are currently conducting the biggest live ammunition exercises to date near the Yellow Sea, Enorth quotes CCTV (China Central Television), using artillery location radar (炮位侦校雷达), unmanned aerial vehicles, and other equipment for battlefield intelligence and reconnaissance which are effective to improve battlefield transparency (战场透明度) and information exchange to make long-range strikes more accurate.


“Sharp rebuke to China”, New York Times, July 23, 2010
“US to pay for provoking China”, China Global Times, July 6, 2010
“Arousing Public Mistrust”, May 30, 2010

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