Okinawa 1988-1991

Okinawa 1988-1991

Friday, April 14, 2006

China won't return Okinawa treasures

China will turn down any request to return ancient Japanese treasures given in tribute to past Chinese rulers, a government official has said.

Zheng Xinmiao, curator of Beijing's Palace Museum and vice minister of culture, was responding to Japanese media reports that Okinawa officials had asked Japan's new ambassador to China to 'return the Ryukyuan treasures to their hometown.'

The Beijing museum has several hundred items given to Chinese emperors by the Ryukyu Kingdom, now Japan's prefecture of Okinawa.

'This is impossible if they are referring to articles given as tribute to emperors during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties by the Ryukyu Kingdom, a dependency of China at that time,' said Zheng.

'We would like to be of assistance, if the people of Okinawa wish to borrow these treasures for exhibition,' said Zheng, adding China had not received a formal request in this regard.

'We organized an exhibition of these items in Okinawa once, and that is the only time they have been abroad for show,' Zheng said.

Historical records show the Ryukyu Kingdom formally became a Chinese dependency in the 1300s and the association lasted nearly five centuries before Japan claimed it as a prefecture in 1879.


Post a Comment

<< Home