In recent years, along with the occurrence of the affairs of Diaoyu Island, “Chunxiao” oil gas farmland and Chun-Chi-Nio reef, the disputes about the rights of East Sea between Japan and China have been intensified. The governments of Japan and China have different claims and standpoints about the disputes. This text is divided into four parts. It primarily accounts for the affairs, puts forward the standpoints, and then analyses the disputes from the point of view of international law.
One of the focuses of the disputes about the rights and interests of East Sea between china and Japan is Diaoyu Island. In recent years, Japanese right wing radicals put lighthouse, set up the “the Sun Ensign” and the wooden plaque to commemorate the dead on Diaoyu Island. Japan's Militia started out battleships to hold back Chinese folk persons who protected Diaoyu Island to land. Japan starts incidents continuously, challenges the reality that China is in possession of the sovereignty of Diaoyu Island. After World War II, a series of illegal actions made by the governments of America and Japan caused Japanese government occupied Diaoyu Island actually. So Japanese government tees off some legal trumps continuously, such as “the first occupation, the first ownership”, “actualizing valid governance”, “time limited efficacy occupation ”etc, and pronounces that Japan is in possession of the sovereignty of Diaoyu Island. However, whether Japanese government claims her sovereignty of Diaoyu Island for above excuses or the treaties or agreements between America and Japan, Japan can’t be in possession of the sovereignty of Diaoyu Island from the point of view of international law.
The “ Chunxiao” oil gas farmland is also a fuze of the disputes about East Sea between China and Japan. There are bifurcations about the delimitations of the continental shelf areas and exclusive economic zones of East Sea. China and Japan claim their rights and interests on the basis of the Law of the Sea Convention. The Law of the Sea Convention regulates that the right of the near sea is not beyond 200 sea miles, and the right of exploitation the nature resources. The breadth of East Sea is not more than 360 sea miles. This causes the partial overlap of the exclusive economic zone areas that China and Japan claim respectively. The bifurcations about the delimitations of the continental shelf areas and exclusive economic zones of East Sea have led to the dispute about “Chunxiao” gas farmland. Chinese government argues the principle of “natural extension of continental shelf”. Japanese government argues the principle of “middle line”. The two arguments are two representative opinions about the disputes of delimitations of seas. The principle of “equal middle line” argued by Japan emphasizes that neighboring countries should go halves with each other in the exclusive economic zone of East Sea. In fact, we can see distinctly this argument is minority, for there are only more than 30 nations in the world which agree to this standpoint. If the nature of the dispute were determined as a dispute about continental shelf, the International Court of Justice has prejudications about such disputes long ago, such as the dispute of the continental shelf of North Sea among Germany, Denmark and Holland. The provisions of the International Court of Justice and international social common regards now are that the standard of the delimitation of continental shelf is equity principle, and the “ equal midline” can't be used as a common principle of the delimitations of the continental shelf areas and exclusive economic zones. As for the issue of the delimitation of sea, concluding agreement through consultation should be priority to the principle of “middle line”. The principle of “ middle line” can only be used to delimit sea when it accords with equity principle. “Middle line” is just a start point for negotiation between disputed countries.
In order to get more of China’s economic marine area, Japan even built up a lighthouse on the reef called Chun-Chi-Nio which was not be accepted as an island by Chinese government. This is another focus of the disputes about East Sea between China and Japan. Chun-Chi-Nio reef was intendly changed into an island by Japanese government by pinning up through manual work. However, islands that are pinned up through manual work can not be a legal warrant of owning 200 sea miles exclusive economic zone around the islands. The Article 121 of the Law of the Sea Convention prescribes that reefs can not be a legal warrant of claiming exclusive economic zones. The two specific items of Article 121 are as follows: firstly, island is the natural land area which is above the sea level duration of high tide; secondly, the reef which can not sustain the inhabitation of living or economic existence for human beings can not have exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. Chun-Chi-Nio is a reef rather an island, so Japanese government can not take it an island and therefore its ownership.
When facing the disputes, Chinese government sticks to the promise all along, put forwards the suggestion of “setting the disputes aside, and then to develop it jointly”, and tries our best to solve the issue peacefully, which incarnates the grace and bearing of a great nation. Now, before solving the issue perfectly, building up an effective cooperation system, setting it aside and developing it jointly is an active and practical way. It is a good sample to sign the Sino-Japan fishing agreement between the governments. Setting the disputes aside doesn’t mean we want to give up the ownership but to waiting for a good chance to solve the issue thoroughly .We could believe the disputes could be solved perfectly through peaceful way.