Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 September 29 - October 5  > Exchange between residents of China and Japan - Akahata ‘current’ column
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2010 September 29 - October 5 [TERRITORIAL ISSUE]

Exchange between residents of China and Japan - Akahata ‘current’ column

October 1, 2010

Koga Tatsushiro, who reclaimed the Senkaku Islands and started a business there with the export of albatross feathers and marine products, died in 1918. His business was then taken over by his son, Koga Zenji. In 1919, a fishing boat from Fujian in China was wrecked in a storm off the Senkakus and the survivors were rescued by Zenji.

He took the wrecked ship and its 31 crewmembers to Okinawa’s Ishigaki Island, where residents warmly received them and cared for them. After their ship was repaired, they safely went back to China. The following year (1920), the Chinese government sent a letter of appreciation to Zenji and Ishigaki residents.

Signed by China’s consul in Nagasaki, the letter described the place where the fishing boat was wrecked as within the Senkaku Islands, in the Yaeyama district of Okinawa Prefecture, the Empire of Japan. Zenji later recalled that the Chinese government at that time clearly recognized the Senkakus as Japanese territory.

The year 1920 was when China was experiencing a strong anti-Japanese movement which was triggered by Japan’s demand after WW I that China’s Shandong Peninsula be given to Japan. After Chinese students staged a demonstration on May 4, 1919, the boycotting of Japanese products expanded nationwide.

Japanese author Akutagawa Ryunosuke, during his trip to China in 1921, was surprised and impressed by Chinese female students who braved their difficult conditions to reject to buy any stationeries or other daily necessities made in Japan. The above-mentioned exchange between Chinese and Japanese residents in the East China Sea took place at that time. This is one frame of history which should be paid attention to now to place the ongoing dispute in a proper historical context.
- Akahata, October 1, 2010
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved