China lays claim to Okinawa as territory dispute with Japan escalates

Justin McCurry
The Guardian
May 15, 2013


China is attempting to open a new front in its territorial dispute with Japan by questioning Tokyo's sovereignty over the island of Okinawa, home to 25,000 US troops.

The two countries are already pushing rival claims to the Senkakus, a chain of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that are controlled by Tokyo. The dispute over the islands, known as the Diaoyu in China, has hit bilateral trade and sent diplomatic relations to their lowest point for decades.

Beijing began its attempt to broaden the territorial dispute earlier this month when the communist party newspaper, the People's Daily, ran an article in which two Chinese academics challenged Japan's sovereignty over the Ryukyu chain of islands, which includes Okinawa.