Ostasiens Inseln nationalistischer Fantasie

TOKIO – Sie sehen nach nichts aus, diese paar unbewohnten Felsen im ostchinesischen Meer zwischen Okinawa und Taiwan, ebenso wie einige kleine Inseln in der japanischen See, bewohnt von ein paar Quotenfischern und einigen südkoreanischen Beamten der Küstenwache. Erstere, in Japan Senkaku-Inseln und in China Diaoyu-Inseln genannt, werden von China, Japan und Taiwan beansprucht; die anderen, die auf japanisch Takeshima und auf koreanisch Dokdo heißen, von Südkorea und Japan.

Diese winzigen Steinhaufen haben wenig materiellen Wert, und trotzdem hat der Streit über ihre Zugehörigkeit international viel Staub aufgewirbelt. Botschafter wurden abberufen. In China fanden massive antijapanische Demonstrationen statt, im Zuge derer Japaner und ihr Eigentum zu Schaden kamen. Zwischen Tokio und Seoul fliegen Drohungen hin und her. Es wurde sogar von Militärmaßnahmen gesprochen.

Die historischen Fakten sind ziemlich simpel. Nach dem sino-japanischen Krieg von 1895 und der Aneignung von Korea 1905 hat Japan die Inseln als Teil seines Imperium-Bauprojekts an sich gerissen. Davor waren die Besitzverhältnisse unklar, auf Takeshima/Dokdo lebten Fischer aus Japan, und Senkaku/Diaoyu erfuhr etwas Aufmerksamkeit aus dem kaiserlichen China. Aber kein Staat erhob formale Ansprüche.

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