Katsuji Nakazawa is a Tokyo-based senior staff and editorial writer at Nikkei. He spent seven years in China as a correspondent and later as China bureau chief. He was the 2014 recipient of the Vaughn-Ueda International Journalist prize.
On June 4, the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, published a controversial story on the top of its front page.
In it, Chinese President Xi Jinping himself spoke in detail on the history of the Ryukyu Kingdom, present day Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture.
His comments have triggered a mini “Ryukyu boom” among Chinese historians, who have come out and issued commentary after commentary about the subject.
With one comment, he has pulled the strategically located chain of islands into the raft of geopolitical maneuvering.
The People’s Daily piece is a report about Xi visiting the China National Archives of Publications and Culture, a facility established on the outskirts of Beijing last year to collect and preserve Chinese publications from different eras.
During the tour on June 1, Xi stopped in front of a woodblock-printed book about the history of the Ryukyu Kingdom.