Japanese islanders want to open relations with Taiwan…..

HUALIEN, Taiwan–Twice snubbed by Tokyo, residents on Yonagunijima island, Japan’s westernmost point, are banking on Taiwan for survival.

Town officials from Yonaguni, Okinawa Prefecture, opened a liaison office here last week to revive the close ties with Taiwan that were severed when Okinawa reverted to Japanese control in 1972.

“The survival of this most outlying island of Japan hinges on exchanges with Taiwan,” said Yonaguni Mayor Shukichi Hokama.

For Yonaguni residents, Taiwan looms larger than any of Japan’s main islands.

Yonagunijima is only 110 kilometers from Taiwan across the East China Sea.

By comparison, Okinawa Prefecture’s main island is 500 km away.

Such examples show how, as in Africa, modern national colonial borders cut across traditional social and economic relationships. Islanders in the northwest Pacific, Taiwan, and the Philippines all had relationships with each other prior to the division of the area among the Powers. Taiwan is the last prize remaining in that Great Game….