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Does Japan still claim Taiwan?


Japan and Taiwan have a rich history dating back to the early 17th century. Over time, there have been territorial disputes and political tensions between the two nations. One of the most significant disputes is whether Japan still claims Taiwan. In this article, we will explore the history of Japan-Taiwan relations, examine the current status of their relationship, and determine whether Japan still claims Taiwan.

The Early Years

Japan’s relationship with Taiwan began in 1592 when Toyotomi Hideyoshi invaded Korea and sent troops to Taiwan to secure ports for his navy. In 1895, after the Sino-Japanese War, China ceded Taiwan to Japan in the Treaty of Shimonoseki. For the next 50 years, Japan ruled Taiwan as a colony. During this time, Japan implemented policies that forced Taiwanese people to adopt Japanese culture and language.

Japanese Snack Box

The End of World War II

In 1945, at the end of World War II, Japan was forced to give up Taiwan under the terms of the Cairo Declaration, which recognized Taiwan as part of China. The Treaty of San Francisco signed in 1951 further confirmed that Taiwan was a part of China. However, Japan did not officially recognize the People’s Republic of China until 1972.

The Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands Dispute

One of the major points of contention between Japan and Taiwan is the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute. Both countries claim sovereignty over these uninhabited islands located in the East China Sea. The dispute has flared up in recent years, with both sides sending coast guard vessels to patrol around the islands.

The Current Relationship Between Japan and Taiwan

Since the 1970s, Japan and Taiwan have had a strong economic relationship. In recent years, they have also strengthened their political and security ties, with the two countries signing a free trade agreement and holding defense talks. However, Taiwan’s relationship with Japan is complicated by its unresolved status as a sovereign state.

Japan’s Official Position on Taiwan

Japan officially recognizes Taiwan as a part of China, in line with its foreign policy of maintaining close relations with Beijing. However, Japan also maintains unofficial diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which is referred to as “Taipei Representative Office in Japan” instead of an embassy.

Does Japan Still Claim Taiwan?

Despite Japan’s official recognition of Taiwan as a part of China, there are some who argue that Japan still claims sovereignty over Taiwan. Supporters of this theory point to the fact that Japan has not officially renounced its claim on Taiwan, and that there is no clear consensus on the issue within Japan’s government.

Japan’s Rejection of Territorial Expansion

One reason why it is unlikely that Japan still claims Taiwan is because of its rejection of territorial expansion after World War II. Japan’s constitution explicitly prohibits the use of military force to settle international disputes and renounces war as a sovereign right of the nation.

China’s Pressure on Japan

Another reason why Japan is unlikely to claim Taiwan is because of China’s pressure on Japan to adhere to the “One China” policy. China considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province and has threatened military action if Taiwan declares independence. As one of China’s largest trading partners, Japan cannot afford to risk its economic ties with China.

Taiwan’s Status in International Law

Taiwan’s status in international law is currently ambiguous. It is not a member of the United Nations or recognized as a sovereign state by most countries. However, it has diplomatic relations with many countries and participates in various international organizations under the name of “Chinese Taipei.”


In conclusion, Japan officially recognizes Taiwan as a part of China and maintains unofficial diplomatic ties with Taiwan. While there are some who argue that Japan still claims sovereignty over Taiwan, it is unlikely that Japan would pursue territorial expansion at the risk of damaging its relationship with China. The Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute remains a point of tension between Japan and Taiwan, but overall, their economic and political ties continue to strengthen.

Does Taiwan still belong to Japan?

In the Treaty of San Francisco, which became effective on April 28, 1952, Japan officially gave up its control over Taiwan, renouncing its sovereignty over the island.

Is Taiwan claimed by Japan?

The Qing dynasty of China annexed the island in 1683 and it was later given to the Empire of Japan in 1895. Following Japan’s surrender in 1945, control of Taiwan was taken over by the Republic of China, which had previously overthrown the Qing in 1911. Japan officially relinquished its claim to sovereignty over Taiwan in 1952.

When did Japan give Taiwan back to China?

On October 25, 1945, Taiwan officially became part of the Republic of China, and this day has been celebrated as Retrocession Day ever since.

Does Taiwan no longer claim China?

The ROC and PRC both claim ownership of mainland China and Taiwan in their constitutions. However, in reality, the PRC only governs mainland China and asserts Taiwan as part of its territory based on the “One China Principle”.

Does Taiwan belong to Japan or China?

Since 1949, Taiwan has been operating as a separate entity from China, however, China still considers Taiwan to be part of its territory. China has expressed its goal to eventually reunify Taiwan with the mainland, even if it requires using force. This statement was made as recently as August 3rd, 2022.

What country is Taiwan independent but under?

China asserts that Taiwan is a province of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), while the current Taiwanese government, led by Tsai Ing-wen, argues that Taiwan is already an independent country as the Republic of China (ROC) and sees no need to pursue formal independence.

It is important to note that the relationship between Japan and Taiwan has evolved significantly over the years. While their history is marked by conflict and tension, both nations have made significant efforts to move past their differences and build a more cooperative future.

In recent years, Japan and Taiwan have collaborated on a range of issues, including economic development, cultural exchange, and scientific research. They have also worked together on disaster relief efforts, with Japanese aid and support playing a crucial role in Taiwan’s recovery from devastating earthquakes and typhoons.

Despite these positive developments, there are still challenges that must be addressed in the Japan-Taiwan relationship. The Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute remains a significant point of contention, with both sides asserting their sovereignty over the territory. The issue has the potential to escalate into a larger conflict if not managed carefully.

In addition to territorial disputes, there are also concerns about Taiwan’s political status and its relationship with China. While Japan officially recognizes Taiwan as a part of China, many in Taiwan see themselves as a distinct entity with their own culture, language, and political system. This has led to tensions between Taiwan and China, which views any suggestion of independence as a threat to its national sovereignty.

Overall, the relationship between Japan and Taiwan is complex and multifaceted. While there are certainly challenges that must be addressed, both nations have shown a willingness to work together for mutual benefit. As they continue to navigate their shared history and build a more stable future, it is clear that Japan and Taiwan will play an important role in shaping the Asia-Pacific region for years to come.

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