By Zhao Wei, Sina English
Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba rejected the demands from China to reverse its decision to “purchase” and “nationalize” the Diaoyu Islands on Wednesday.
Gemba said during the press conference that the island “nationalization” is an internal affair, which only involves the land ownership transfer from a “private owner” to the government, "There is no way we would reconsider the transfer, acquisition and possession of their ownership right."
The Japanese Cabinet on Tuesday decided to disburse reserve funds to "purchase" the three islands of Diaoyu Islands for 2.05 billion yen ($26.18 million) from a "private owner".
Yo-hei Kono, a veteran Japanese politician and member of the Liberal Democratic Party, criticized Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s foreign policy as deviating from a "peaceful diplomacy".
Kono believed Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara’s “buying “of the Diaoyu Islands was just for show. But Noda’s government has worsened the situation by initiating the concept of "nationalizing" the islands.
Kono said that Japan’s foreign diplomacy should be based on "rationalism, honesty and history". And the amendment to the diplomacy and security law that Noda’s government has made harms Japan’s image as a "peaceful nation", he said.
Meanwhile, he pointed, Japan has not demonstrated the right position and released enough information to back up its "peaceful stance", and this, if continued, will do great harm to Japan’s international image.
In a separate report by Japan’s Kyodo News Agency, the U.S. is changing its attitude to the scenario with Japan’s “Diaoyu purchase”.
The U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters on Monday that Washington is concerned about rising tensions between China and Japan, saying good relations between the two are crucial for the region and the United States. Nuland recapped Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's call during her recent Asia visit for the need to resolve disputes diplomatically.
Although she didn’t criticize Japan’s move to “purchase” the islands, a noteworthy difference, albeit in a subtle way, this time was that she didn’t mention the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty to be extended to the Diaoyu Islands issue.
An official of the U.S. government has already said that the obligation to defend Japan under the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty is applied only to special situations.
Reiterating China’s stance on Japan’s purchase of the Diaoyu Island, Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a routine press briefing on Thursday afternoon that the determination of the Chinese government and people on safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity is unswerving.
Hong said Japan’s move has prompted the Chinese government to take a range of necessary measures, which have gained wide support from the Chinese people. Japan’s wrongdoing has aroused strong indignation of Chinese people home and abroad.
The spokesman also urged Japan to pull back the “nationalization” decision and come back to the sound track of negotiation.