China: Restitution of Cultural Relics in Japan 179
X JEAIL 1 (2017)
During the Japanese Occupation of China (1931-45), countless Chinese cultural
relics were simply destroyed or looted in accordance with Japan’s notorious ‘Three
Alls Campaign,’ also known as ‘Burn all, loot all, and kill all’. Due to the 1972
Japan-Chian Joint Communiqué, however, the Chinese Government renounced its
demand for war reparation from Japan. The question then becomes whether, when
the Chinese Government renounced its claims for war reparations in a peace treaty.
Chinese individuals still have a means to vindicate their rights to request restitution
of Chinese cultural relics from Japan. The primary purpose of this research is to tackle
two questions: First, was the taking of Chinese cultural relics during the Japanese
Occupation prohibited by law? Second, can the Chinese individuals legally require
the restitution of looted cultural relics? This paper handles a case of a 1300-year’s old
Tang dynasty stele in Japan which has been asked to hand over to China since 2014.
Chinese Cultural Relics, Japanese Occupation, Restitution and Individual
Can Chinese Individuals
Request the Restitution of
Chinese Cultural Relics
in Japan?: A Revisit under
∗ Research Fellow at TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland. LL.B. (Guangdong Univ. of Foreign
Studies), Ph.D. (Queensland). ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4103-6328. This paper is fully revised and updated
version of the author’s doctoral dissertation presented to the graduate committee of the University of Queensland,
Australia. The author may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org / Address: TC Beirne School of Law, Forgan Smith
Building, St Lucia Campus, Queensland, Australia.