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Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands Dispute: The U.S. Legal Relationship and Obligations



September 30, 1996


New tensions among China, Japan, and Taiwan over disputed islands in the East China Sea are based on long-standing territorial claims they have maintained. The United States has important relationships with all three disputants, and has had a legal relationship to the islands since the conclusion of the Peace Treaty with Japan in 1951. The chief components of this legal relationship are: (1) U.S. administration of the islands from 1953 to 1971; (2) inclusion of the islands in the terms of the U.S.-Japan Okinawa Reversion Treaty of 1971; (3) a U.S. position on the claims themselves; and (4) the application of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty to the islands under the provisions of the Okinawa Reversion Treaty. Wikileaks release: February 2, 2009. The author is a Specialist in Asian Affairs, Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division, United States Congressional Research Service.

Keywords: Senkaku, Diaoyu, China, Japan, The U.S., The U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, international relations

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