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






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)?


Gio Ve said...

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Itariakara sayounara!

Unknown said...

Interesting post