Guanghualiao was located in Kyoto, Japan. It used to be the students' dormitory, its 5 floors and 1 basement covering an area of 2,130 square meters. Kyoto University rented it to the Chinese students in the World War II. In May 1950, the Taiwan “mission” in Japan purchased the estate by the public funds from selling off the properties that Japanese army plundered in the War of Aggression against China. In December 1952, Taiwan “Embassy to Japan” signed the purchasing contract with the former owner of the estate and registered it under the name of “the Republic of China” on June 1961. In 1967, Chen Zhimai, Taiwan “Ambassador to Japan,” lodged a lawsuit to the Kyoto Local Court, requesting the patriotic overseas Chinese living in the estate to move out of the estate. As a matter of fact, the estate had been occupied and used by the patriotic overseas Chinese and overseas Chinese students since the Japanese surrender without any involvement of the Taiwan authorities. Chinese Embassy to Japan and Consulate General in Kyoto have all along given regular surveillance and guidance since the normalization of the bilateral relations. The Chinese government also has contributed special funds for its maintenance and used it as the dorm for Chinese overseas students in Japan.
In September 1977, the case was brought to trial at the Kyoto Local Court, the plaintiff's claim on the estate was overruled. The Court ruled that, as the diplomatic relations were normalized between China and Japan, the ownership of Guanghualiao belonged to the People's Republic of China, yet the plaintiff (the Taiwan authorities) was also considered “to be of the capacity of party.” In October 1977, the Taiwan authorities appealed to the Osaka High Court under the name of “the Republic of China.” In April 1982, the Osaka High Court named the Taiwan authorities as “the de facto recognized government,” pronounced to accept the appeal of “the Republic of China” and returned the case to Kyoto Local Court for retrial. In February 1986, Kyoto Local Court cited the main evidence of Osaka High Court and ruled that our patriotic overseas Chinese lost the lawsuit. In February 1987, Osaka High Court reviewed the case, and accepted the ruling of the Kyoto Local Court. It once again openly conducted activities aiming at making “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan” in public. The patriotic overseas Chinese appealed to the Japanese Supreme Court in March 1987.
From 1974 till today, the Chinese side has for many times made representations to the Japanese side, emphasizing that Guanghualiao has been an estate of China's national property. After the normalization of the bilateral relations, it should be returned to the People's Republic of China and Taiwan should assist in changing its registered name accordingly. It should be noted that Guanghualiao is not just a civil lawsuit but a political case concerns the legal rights of Chinese government, as well as the basic principles of bilateral relations. The essence of the issue is an effort of making “two Chinas” openly by using judicial ruling. The action has violated the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the Treaty of Peace and Friendship Treaty, and the bilateral agreement that Japan can only maintain its non-governmental and local contacts with Taiwan. The ruling of the Osaka High Court is not only wrong politically, but groundless in juridical theory as well. It violated the rules of international law on the validity of the recognition of government, mixing up the differences between the inheritance of nation and that of government, and confusing the nature of the property. Moreover, it contradicts certain subjects of the Japanese Constitution. The case is now still pending for review in the Japanese Supreme Court. China will keep a close watch on the development of the case.