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: In September 1996, members of the Japan Youth Federation repaired a lighthouse on one of the Diaoyu (J. Senkaku) Islands, a small group of uninhabited islets north of Taiwan in the Liuqiu (J. Ryukyu) chain, known today as Okinawa. For months, outraged ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong and Taiwan protested Japan's presence in the islands, and violent confrontations between protesters and Japanese forces resulted. This is an investigation of the highly topical issues involved in the Diaoyu/Senkaku confrontation. It begins by addressing the historical development of the dispute. Other issues centre on Chinese views of sovereignty and their methods of delimiting territorial boundaries during the Ming and Qing periods, the Chinese concept of hegemony, and the history behind the deep mistrust that permeates Sino-Japanese relations.