2009-08-10

Tsugaru Strait: Japanese territorial claim is not always "greedy"



In an old post I blogged about Japan's territorial claim. I used this map (above) which shows how "greedy" it was in this respect. Well, "greedy" is a neutral word here. There is nothing wrong with it. Every country does so. China and the several SE Asian countries do so over South China Sea, US/Russia/Canada/Norway/Denmark(Greenland now) all tried to claim as much as they could over the Artic. You want to maximize your own interests before you go to a negotiation table. The only problem is that one often ends up in the situation of forcing oneself into a "non-negotiable" position as it is hard to explain any concession to one's citizen domestically (e.g. India today over the Sino-Indian border, and China at its secrecy over its border negotiation results)

Anyway, I just noticed that Japan's ocean claim is very "restrained" over the strait passages, in particular the Tsugaru Strait (i.e. between Honshu and Hokkaido), and also Tsusima and others. The reason, according to wiki, is quite simple, "Japan's territorial waters extend to three nautical miles (5.6 km) into the strait instead of the usual twelve, reportedly to allow nuclear-armed United States Navy warships and submarines to transit the strait without violating Japan's prohibition against nuclear weapons in its territory.[1]"

以下の図は、特定海域での領海の限界線を表示したものです(濃青色は内水を、青色は領海を 表しています)。For maps below, deep blue="internal water", blue=claimed sea border. I am not sure the technical difference between them though.

Soya (north of Hokkaido - subcumbed to USSR/Russian pressure and presence at Kuril)


Oosumi (South of Kyushu - facilitate US fleet passage)


Tsusima (Japan/Korea passage - facilitate US fleet passage)


Tsugaru (facilitate US fleet passage)


This is, of course, a product of the cold war and of the post-WWII situation of Japan, as a conquered state. Given time, Japan would like to normalize it, to at least the "normal" twelve nautical miles (and it is fair for it to do so).

The maps come from a post I found recently, commenting on a report that Chinese navy ships passing the Tsugaru strait late last year. Perhaps China wants US to respond to this, given the incidents of American spy planes and boats over the "international waters" just off Hainan on the edge of China's waters. America has been very silent on this event.
  • 中国戦闘艦の津軽海峡通過の意味

     津軽海峡の最狭部は、18.7kmです。日本における「特定海域」に指定されています。

      国連海洋法条約(1994年)では、同条約で定義された重要海峡での船舶・航空機への「通過通行権」が認められています。
     「通過通行権」とは、特定海域に指定された海峡での“迅速な通過を行う場合のみ”航行および上空通過を認める性質のものです。
     日本には国際海峡は5つ(宗谷海峡、津軽海峡、対馬海峡東水道(対馬海峡)、対馬海峡西水道(朝鮮海峡)、大隅海峡)存在しますが、それらは1977年の領海法によって定められたものであり、1994年の国連海洋法条約とは規定の経過が直接的に関係がありません。

     これらの海峡では領海が3海里(5.5km)に大幅に縮小されており、海峡の中央部は事実上公海となります。

     しかし、これらの海峡は、海上交通の要衝にあたることから、外国船舶にはこれらの海峡における通過通行権が認められ、外国艦艇には無害通航権が認められています。

     しかし、中国海軍は、近年、これらの海峡を通過する際に、無害通航、或いは迅速な通過を行っているとは言いがたいのが現状です。


Lucky whale, for escaping the fate of ending up on the sushi bar, or shall I say smart whale, for pretending to be a sub (pun)?

2 comments:

Pilland said...

Konnichiwa!
Just to complete Your interesting report, look at the rich gallery of political boundaries shown in my site http://www.pillandia.blogspot.com
Itariakara sayounara!

Mind said...

Interesting post