A Japan-based Chinese scholar claims that he has found new evidence collected in Japan which proves China’s sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea, China’s state media reported.
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Zhu Jianrong, a professor at Toyo Gakuen University, said that he had found several pieces of evidence – including a telegram and newspaper clippings from the 1920s to 1930s – which could prove that the Japanese government at the time acknowledged China’s sovereignty in the Spratly and Paracel Islands, Xinhua reported.
In a telegram found in the diplomatic archives of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 1933 Japan’s consulate general in Nanjing told Uchida Kosai, Japan’s then-foreign minister, that the nine islets occupied by France, between the Philippine Islands (the name of the Philippines before 1935) and Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), were under China’s sovereignty and under the jurisdiction of the Xisha islands – the Chinese name for the Paracel Islands, Xinhua quoted Zhu as saying.
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In 1933, France invaded nine isles of the Nansha Islands, using the Chinese name for the Spratly Islands, Xinhua reported.
Newspapers at that time mistakenly reported that France had seized the Xisha Islands.
After Japan learnt that the islands France had seized at that time were part of the Nansha Islands, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper published an article on July 21, 1933, which cited a report sent by Harukazu Nagaoka, the then Japanese ambassador to France, to Japan’s foreign ministry.
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In the report, Nagaoka said that there had always been Chinese people living on Zhongye Island (Thitu Island) in the Nansha Islands, while on one of the nine isles seized by France, there were also signs of Chinese people living there before.
Zhu also found some government archives, which showed that the Japanese government recognised that the Paracel Islands belonged to China, Xinhua reported.