Talking about the conflict between China and Japan means directly thinking about the Senkaku-Diaoyu conflict. Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands are apparently a set of five uninhabited Islands and two reefs. However, to be located within the Eastern China’s Sea means not only a military and security geostrategic point, but also to be bordered by a rich fishing potential. This facts aroused the interest of several countries over the Islands such as the both aforementioned or even Taiwán.

This interest overSenkaku-Diaoyu turned even more important after the United Nations speculations (1968) about the oilfields located within them. Even, destabilizing Sino – Japanese relations.

Nowadays, there is no clear holder of the Islands. But then, we will see the justification of both parties.

In one hand, China considers Diaoyu Islands as part of their territory since ancient times and they base this position on historical evidence and legal basis.

We are strongly committed to safeguarding the country’s sovereignty and security, and defending our territorial integrityChinese president Xi Jinping

China argues that the historical evidence indicates that they not only discovered, but also named and explored this group of islands before the 15th century.

On the other hand, Japan suggests that according not only to International Law, but to historical facts, there is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are clearly an integral territory of the Japanese country. The arguments are based on the fact that the Islands were not included within the territory that Japan renounced under art. 2 of the San Francisco Treaty –it legally defined the territory of Japan after the 2nd World War.

Due to that fact, Japan decided to inspect the Islands and declared them “terra nullius” (land belonging to nobody). according to the accurate procedure. Thus, Japan recognized sovereignty over the Islands exercising the effectiveness control over them.

It all seems to be an overlap of sovereignty. How could it be solved? Obviously, the best way to resolve any international conflict in a peaceful manner is by the ruling of the International Court of Justice and under International Law. Even more, when there is an undisputed existing economic interdependence among interested parties that would be unconditionally affected by an armed conflict.

However, China does not want to lead the case to a Court. It sounds weird, isn’t it? Also is extremely curious that China wants to solve the dispute throughout a diplomatic way. Probably the country thinks that an international ruling would go against their sovereignty justification. On the contrary, Japan doesn’t want to attend to an International Court because the country believes that there is no existing conflict.

Thus, according to the principles of corpus occupandi and animus occupandi of International Law, the country which has demonstrated the intention of occupying effectively the island, in this case Japan, has enough evidence to proclaim sovereignty over the Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands. Adding this to the previous rulings of the International Court of Justice over similar cases, we can conclude saying that the ownership of this islands belongs to Japan.


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