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A Bestseller on the Senkakus is Curiously Snubbed by Ishigaki Newspaper

Citing "bias against China," an Ishigaki paper refused an ad because the book presents historical facts affirming Japanese sovereignty over the Senkakus.



Senkaku Islands in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture. (©Sankei by Kenji Suzuki)

Journalist Ryusho Kadota released his latest book, Senkaku 1945 (published by Sankei Shimbun Publications Inc), in November 2023. On January 12, it emerged that a newspaper had refused to run an advertisement for the book. The newspaper in question was the Yaeyama Mainichi Shimbun, a local paper based in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, where the Senkakus are located.

Kadota's book is a nonfiction account of the shipwreck of two evacuation ships en route from Ishigaki island to Taiwan in June 1945. Drawing on historical facts, Kadota shows that the Senkaku Islands were historically Japanese territory. Yaeyama Mainichi Shimbun commented, "After careful review of the manuscript, we have decided against advertising it."

"Senkaku 1945" (©Sankei Shimbun Publications Inc)

According to Sankei Shimbun Publications, the Yaeyama Mainichi explained their decision through an advertising agency at the end of 2023. It said, "Advertisement content that displays bias against China is difficult to publish. Because the content may upset readers, we decided not to advertise the book." Initially, the advertisement was scheduled to be published on January 9, before the Senkaku Shoto Kaitaku no Hi, or Development of the Senkaku Islands Day on January 14.

Yaeyama Nippo, another Ishigaki City-based newspaper, published the advertisement for Senkaku 1945 in its January 11 edition. Since the book's publication in November 2023 through mid-January 2024, the advertisement for the book has appeared in several newspapers. These include The Sankei Shimbun, the Ryukyu Shimpo, the Okinawa Times, and the Yomiuri Shimbun.

Number One Seller

Sankei Shimbun Publications says the book depicts the Senkaku islands' involvement in the dramatic shipwreck rescue operation in June 1945. Senkaku 1945 has also become the number one best-seller in Amazon Japan's International Affairs category. 

The advertisement in question describes the book as "an epic drama full of stunning facts." It also calls it "a tale of miraculous survival" and "an inspiring nonfiction account of the ownership of the Senkakus." 

The advertisement that Yaeyama Mainichi Shimbun refused to run.

Furthermore, the ad hails the book as "a tearful, emotional, and courageous story you will want to pass on to your children and grandchildren." It also states, "The historical facts presented here will put the nail in the coffin of China's lies." 

In addition, the ad also includes comments from Ishigaki Mayor Yoshitaka Nakayama. He describes the book as "a fantastic publication. It contains historical facts that most people, even residents of Ishigaki island, do not know."

Sankei Shimbun Publications has said, "We are puzzled as to why Yaeyama Mainichi chose not to publish the advertisement. If they did so out of consideration for China, it would call the paper's journalistic integrity into question."



(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: The Sankei Shimbun

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