Japanese-Controlled Islands in the East China Sea

  • 30 May 2024

On May 29th, 2024, Chinese Coast Guard vessels marked a record 158 consecutive days of unprecedented presence in the waters surrounding the Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea, surpassing the previous record set in 2021.

Key Points

  • The islands have long been a contentious issue in Japan-China relations, and both nations asserting historical claims over the uninhabited rocky chain, which is located just 205 miles from China’s east coast but 1,200 miles southwest of Tokyo.
  • Tensions escalated in 2012 when Tokyo’s purchase of some of the islands from a private Japanese owner as a direct threat to China’s sovereignty claims.