Japan Finds Document on Earliest Landing on Senkakus (News)
Tokyo (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government has announced the discovery of a document indicating that royal family members of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, which ruled the islands southwest of Japan including today’s Okinawa, landed on the Senkaku Islands in 1819, the oldest recorded visit to the Japanese-administered islands.
The documented visit precedes that of a Briton in 1845, previously considered the first person to set foot on the Senkakus.
The discovery serves as a counterargument to China’s claim that Japan was not linked to the Senkaku Islands, said an official at the Cabinet Secretariat's Office of Policy Planning and Coordination on Territory and Sovereignty.
China claims the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea as its own, calling them Diaoyu.
The document was discovered in a book about the Ryūkyū Kingdom in the custody of the Okinawa Prefectural Library, during a government-commissioned project to research Senkaku-related documents, the government said Friday. The kingdom existed for about 450 years until the establishment of Okinawa Prefecture in 1879.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]