Sat, October 13, 2012
China > China & World > Japan in islands row

People's Daily urges Japan to return to negotiations over Diaoyu Islands

2012-10-12 12:44:09 GMT2012-10-12 20:44:09(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government should admit that a dispute exists over the Diaoyu Islands and go back to negotiations to solve the issue, a commentary in the Friday edition of the People's Daily said.

Japan's repeated claims that no official territorial dispute exists is a trick to encroach on China's territorial sovereignty and challenge international order and stability, according to the commentary carried by the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China.

On Sept. 19, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba appeared at a press conference and cited talks held between former Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka and former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in 1972, indicating that the two leaders did not reach a common ground over shelving the Diaoyu Islands dispute, said the article.

The commentary said the foreign minister left out a key part of the talks during which Zhou and Tanaka agreed that priority should be placed on the overall interests of recovering bilateral ties and that the Diaoyu Islands dispute should be shelved until a later date.

In 1971, just before the talks, the United States signed the Okinawa Reversion Agreement with Japan to return the Ryukyu Islands (known to the Japanese as Okinawa), which were placed under U.S. trusteeship by the Treaty of San Francisco.

The 1971 agreement arbitrarily expanded the jurisdiction of the Ryukyu Islands to include the Diaoyu Islands, which are Chinese territory.

China has firmly opposed this backroom deal between Japan and the U.S. since then.

However, for the sake of the overall interests of the two countries, Zhou proposed shelving the issue until the normalization of bilateral ties, the article said.

"I believe that other questions can be solved once the normalization of bilateral ties is realized," Tanaka said in response to Zhou, according to minutes taken from the talks.

The stance was reiterated by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1978 during his talks with former Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda. When Deng proposed bypassing the Diaoyu Islands issue and concentrating on the China-Japan Peace and Friendship Treaty, no one on the Japanese side opposed, the commentary said.

"Was the Foreign Minister unable to see the full text of the 1972 talks, or did he intentionally garble and distort the facts?" the article said.

"Daring to tamper with and deny authoritative historical records produced just several decades ago -- what else does the Japanese government dare to do?" it continued.


The Japanese side claimed that China has overreacted over its"purchase" of part of the Diaoyu Islands and that Japan has been threatened by violent acts.

"This is totally calling the white black and black white," said the article.

The Chinese government, along with the Chinese people, strongly condemned Japan's act after it announced the "purchase" of part of the Diaoyu Islands.

The Chinese government released a series of statements opposing Japan's move and delivered official documents regarding the Diaoyu Islands to United Nations General secretary Ban Ki-Moon and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

In the meantime, Chinese surveillance ships have continued to patrol around the Diaoyu Islands and conduct normal activities to assert sovereignty, the article read.

China's countermeasures are reasonable, sober and a must for safeguarding the territorial sovereignty, the commentary said. They are in line with humanitarian and legal principles and have won support from the international community, the commentary said.

The commentary said China has strictly fulfilled its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and protected the interests of foreign organizations in China in accordance with the law. The safety of the staff of Japanese enterprises in China has also been ensured, the commentary said.

China has also thoroughly investigated and handled several isolated incidents according to law, the commentary said.

"China did not threaten any country in the past, is not threatening any country at present and will not threaten any country in the future," said the article.

But, if any country dares to undermine China's territorial sovereignty, China will not sit back and looks on unconcerned, it said.

"If the Japanese side is really afraid of being 'threatened,' it should think about how to pull back before it is too late and correct its wrong deeds immediately," the article said.

China's will and resolution to safeguard its territorial sovereignty are unswerving and brook no doubt, the commentary said.

China strongly urges Japan to face the severe state of bilateral ties and admit the dispute over the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands. Japan should correct its wrong deeds of encroaching upon China's sovereignty and return to the track of solving the Diaoyu Islands issue through negotiations, it urged.


The Diaoyu Islands were first discovered, named and used by the Chinese.

Since the 14th and 15th centuries, the islands have been included in Chinese maps.

Foreign maps also show that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China.

The Map of East China Sea Littoral States created by the French cartographer Pierre Lapie and others in 1809 indicated that the Diaoyu Islands, Huangwei Yu, Chiwei Yu and Taiwan Island were part of China's territory.

Other foreign maps, such as A New Map of China from the Latest Authorities published in Britain in 1811, Colton's China published in the United States in 1859 and A Map of China's East Coast: Hong Kong to Gulf of Liao-Tung compiled by the British Navy in 1877 all mark the Diaoyu Islands as part of China's territory.

However, at the end of the 19th century, Japan stole the Diaoyu Islands from China in the 1895 Sino-Japanese war and then forced the Qing court to sign the unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki and cede to Japan the island of Formosa (Taiwan), as well as the Diaoyu Islands and all other islands appertaining or belonging to the island of Formosa.

In December 1943, the Cairo Declaration stated in explicit terms that "all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa (Taiwan) and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China. Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed."

In July 1945, the Potsdam Proclamation stated in Article 8: "The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine."

On September 2, 1945, the Japanese government accepted the Potsdam Proclamation in explicit terms with the Japanese Instrument of Surrender and pledged to faithfully fulfill the obligations enshrined in the provisions of the Potsdam Proclamation.


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