we touched this same spot with our hands, our feet, our gaze and our dreams

Monday, November 25, 2013

Airspace Over Disputed Islets Could Lead to War


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Between 1945 and ’72, the U.S. ruled the islands, and to this day the U.S. military controls two of them — Kuba and Taisho. The U.S. used Kuba for bombing practice until 1978. The status-of-forces agreement between Tokyo and Washington says that “the facilities and areas used by the United States armed forces shall be returned to Japan whenever they are no longer needed for purposes of this Agreement.” Yet the pair of islands remains under U.S. control 35 years after the U.S. last conducted bombing runs there.

Senkaku Islands
Sankei via Getty Images
Three of the eight islands

In fact, Japanese citizens cannot land on either of the islands without first getting permission from the U.S. military, Akira Kato, a professor of political science at Tokyo’s Obirin University, said in an April report by the East-West Center in Washington, D.C.

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