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III Regions, II Asia, 20 Japan

Masaharu Yanagihara

From: The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law

Edited By: Bardo Fassbender, Anne Peters

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 28 March 2023

History of international law — State practice — Territory — Law of treaties
According to the History Book of Sui (China) drawn up in 656 ad, a king of Japan sent an official letter in 607 ad to the second emperor of Sui saying that the letter was sent by tianzi (the Son of Heaven) of the country from which the sun rises to tianzi of the country into which the sun goes down.1 The Chinese emperor was so angered with this letter especially because the title of tianzi could be used only by him, according to custom in China. This event is usually interpreted to mean that the king of Japan claimed equality with the Chinese emperor, but the...
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