Japanese Territory
 

May 1, 2014

Japanese Territory

Japanese Territory Q&A

Q1What is a "territory"?

  • A1
  • Generally, a "territory" means the land which is subject to the sovereignty of a state.

Q2 How large is the Japanese territory?

  • A2
  • The total land area of the Japanese territory is about 378,000 square kilometers, which is about the same size as Germany, Viet Nam, Iraq, Zimbabwe, or Paraguay.

Q3 How was the Japanese territory determined?

  • A3
  • The present territory of Japan was determined legally by the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which came into effect in April 1952, following World War II.

Q4 What is a "territorial dispute"?

  • A4
  • The Government of Japan generally defines any issues of territorial sovereignty with other states that need to be resolved as "territorial disputes." The territorial disputes that Japan is involved in are the Northern Territories issue with Russia and the Takeshima issue with the Republic of Korea.

Q5 What is Japan's position regarding the Northern Territories issue?

  • A5
  • The Government of Japan maintains its consistent policy of concluding a peace treaty with Russia as soon as possible by the resolution of issues concerning the attribution of the Northern Territories (the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and Habomai). If the attribution of the Northern Territories to Japan is confirmed, Japan is prepared to respond flexibly regarding the timing and manner of their return.                                    

Q6 What is Japan's position regarding the Takeshima issue?

  • A6
  • Takeshima is indisputably an inherent part of the territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law. The Republic of Korea unilaterally took over Takeshima and has been illegally occupying it ever since. Continuing a peaceful existence since the end of World War II, Japan will continue to seek a peaceful settlement of the dispute.                                    

Q7 What is Japan's position regarding the situation of the Senkaku Islands?

  • A7
  • There is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are clearly an inherent part of the territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law. Indeed, the Senkaku Islands are under the valid control of Japan. There exists no issue of territorial sovereignty to be resolved concerning the Senkaku Islands.                                    

Q8 What is Japan's territorial sea?

  • A8
  • The territorial sea of Japan comprises, as a general rule, the sea areas extending 12 nautical miles (around 22.22 kilometers) from the baseline (normally the low-water line along the coast), as defined by the Law on the Territorial Waters and the Contiguous Zone, based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The sovereignty of Japan extends to its territorial sea.

Q9 What is Japan's territorial airspace?

  • A9
  • "Territorial airspace" refers to the skies above a territory and territorial sea of a state. Japan has sovereignty over its territorial airspace. 
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