The World: Isles of Ill Feeling

The general atmosphere of distrust between Japan and the U.S. is so great today that even the seemingly unimportant issues can set off new tremors of ill feeling. A case in point is the fate of the tiny Senkaku Islands, which lie between Okinawa and Taiwan (see map).

The Senkakus have been claimed by the Japanese since 1896. For the past 27 years they have been administered by the U.S., and they are due to be returned to Japanese control, along with the Ryukyus, on May 15. The problem is that the islands are now...

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