Map of the Senkaku/Diaoyu/Tiaoyutai Islands dispute.
As resources worldwide began running out, Japan, who left the United Nations, annexed the Senkaku Islands. This action caused much tension across Asia, as many outside observers saw that Japan was on the road to becoming an Empire once again, as Japanese society was once again becoming militarized. When the Sino-American War began in 2066, Japan joined the war on the side of the US, sending troops into China to help the Americans. Taiwan, now recognized by the US as the legitimate Chinese government, was also on the Americans' side. With neither side wanting to jeopardize their alliance with Washington, Taiwan and Japan agreed to hold a referendum about the islands' fate once the war ends. However, this referendum never came as the governments of Taiwan and Japan were destroyed by the Great War.