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Japan Protests To China Over Okinawa Sovereignty

Japan on Thursday lodged a protest with China over an article in a state-run newspaper challenging Japanese sovereignty over Okinawa, Japan's southernmost prefecture, which is home to major U.S. military bases, Japanese media reported quoting officials.

The Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece 'People's Daily' carried an article on Wednesday calling for a review of Japan's sovereignty over Okinawa islands.

Citing several treaties on the ownership of the islands, the article said now was a "suitable time to revisit the historically unresolved issue of the Ryukyu islands," as Okinawa is known in China.

Okinawa is home to 1.4 million Japanese nationals and also having sizable U.S. military personnel with important airbases.

The lengthy article was written by two academics from China's top state-run think-tank. Citing treaties from the Sino-Japan war and from World War II, they argued that ownership of the Ryukyu islands should be discussed.

Japan took control of Okinawa after the Sino-Japanese War in the late 19th century, along with Taiwan and the Senkaku Islands. China's Qing dynasty was unable to assert its claim over the islands at that time, they wrote in the article

Calling the article "injudicious," Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on Thursday that Beijing was told via diplomatic channels that Japan strongly protested if the article represented an official stance. He had said earlier that Okinawa was Japan's territory, both historically and internationally.

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