Mon, July 16, 2012
China > China & World > Focus on China's Neighborhood

Japan: recalling ambassador not a protest to China

2012-07-16 03:38:42 GMT2012-07-16 11:38:42(Beijing Time)

By Zhao Wei, Sina English

Uichiro Niwa, Japan's ambassador to China, left  Beijing to Tokyo on July 15 following an order from Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba for discussions on the simmering tension over the Diaoyu Islands.

Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba met Niwa on the afternoon of the same day, requiring the envoy to "accurately convey" Tokyo's stance over Diaoyu Islands to Beijing.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry said Uichiro Niwa will return to Beijing on Monday, dismissing concerns that Tokyo wanted to remove the ambassador following his warning in June that Japan's plan to "nationalize" the Diaoyu Islands would endanger its relations with China.

During the meeting, Uichiro Niwa was said to have reported to Gemba on the situation about China's protest over Japan's government planning to "nationalize" the Diaoyu Islands and also, they discussed countermeasures, according to report. Meanwhile, they talked about activities encouraged in China to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations.

Gemba told reporters after the meeting that he asked Niwa to return to Japan over issues of the Diaoyu Islands. The minister said he "instructed Niwa to accurately convey Japan's views", adding they did not mention anything about removing the ambassador during the meeting.

The Foreign Ministry claimed Niwa's return to Japan is not a 'recall' aimed at protesting against China. However, a temporary visit home, as a diplomatic convention, is often used as a countermeasure.  

Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported on July 12 that the Tokyo Metropolitan government has made 6,000 posters highlighting its plan to "buy" the Diaoyu Islands in a bid to win public support.

It is reported that the posters will be put up at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo organizations abroad, and 101 stations under the administration of Toei Subway. They will also be distributed to all levels of municipalities and prefectural governments. 

By July 11, Tokyo prefectural government had already collected more than 1.35 billion yen (110 million yuan) in donations to fund the "purchase" plan.

During a press conference on July 9, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin remarked that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands, which have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. China will not allow the Japanese side to take any unilateral action on the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islands

Related news:

China "strongly dissatisfied" with Japan on Diaoyu Islands: spokesman

Stranded Chinese frigate around Nansha Islands refloats

Japan lodges yet another protest for China's patrolling Diaoyus

"Buying-Islands" farce to badly damage hard-won China-Japan relations

Japan told to respect sovereignty

${Focus on Chinas Neighborhood}


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