The legitimacy of Japan’s annexation of the Ryukyus and the international community’s arrangements for the status of the Ryukyu Islands during and after World War II is a matter of modern East Asian history. This has always been a matter of interest to academia in Taiwan, and there are indeed many similarities between the Diaoyutais sovereignty issue and the Ryukyus.
The ROC’s post-war position on the status of the Ryukyus has been consistent, the Ryukyuan view of Taiwan has been relatively positive and, in addition, there are no official diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Japan; this means that the Taiwanese government will not be embarrassed even if the current debate about the Ryukyus spreads to Taiwan. However, as we discuss the issue, we should take note of the blind spots in the Chinese debate that, among other things, is making the Chinese ignore Ryukyuan public opinion.
John Lim is an associate research fellow at the Institute of Modern History at Academia Sinica.
Translated by Perry Svensson