Japan has territorial issues with three of its neighbours. Each and every instance seems intractable, and each is a major issue in Japan’s relations with those neighbours. North of Hokkaido, Japan claims the four islands that it calls the ‘Northern Territories’. To Japan’s northwest is Takeshima, claimed by the South Koreans. West of Japan is the Senkakus, which China claims. Nearby lie lucrative gas fields that could ease the burden of energy security on both sides.This post is the second of three that examine the territorial disputes of Japan. Today we will examine the disputes between China and Japan. It is about a whole lot more than barren islands. Each side wishes to extend its exclusive economic zone around the gas and oil fields of the East China Sea. To make things even more interesting, the Republic of China in Taiwan also lays claim to the islands which will henceforth be referred to as the Pinnacle Islands (as named by British navigators) for the sake of neutrality.
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