Japan's Diaoyu diplomatic futile in the West

2012-11-15 03:05:56 GMT2012-11-15 11:05:56(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

By Yuan Yue,Sina English

An editorial published in World Journal, a daily Chinese-language newspaper based in North America, on Nov.12 says the "island purchase" started by Noda administration has led to the deterioration of Sino-Japan relations.

Japan lobbied, not long ago, in the European countries over the islands dispute, only to find UK, Germany and France turning cold shoulder. This is a no doubt a diplomatic setback, commented the paper. But Japan was once again frustrated over its explanation on the country's diplomatic ground.

As it claims, Japan has been exploring in the waters off the Diaoyus since 1885, when it found the islands uninhabited, and later seized them. But long before that, China already had the islands incorporated into its territory, as proved iron-clad by history.

Meanwhile, Japan resorted to the Treaty of San Francisco signed in 1951, claiming that the Diaoyu Islands are not included in the territory that article two of the treaty requires Japan to renounce; it claimed that the Diaoyu Islands fit under article three of the treaty, covering areas under the administration of the US, while the US returned the islands to Japan under the Return of Okinawa Agreement.

But Japan should not forget that in Cairo Declaration, which was signed before the WWII ended, it has already been decided that Ryukyu should be returned to China, which--of course-- includes the Diaoyu Islands. Can the defeated countries steal the territory of the victors? It wouldn't make any sense. That the US handed these islands over to Japan later for administration is just an implicit plot. Anyway, sovereignty and “control” are two different concepts.

It is true that Japan used to "administer" the Diaoyu Islands, but that is the consequence of Japanese militarist aggression, which is not acknowledged by the international community. Similar logic applies to what the Japanese call "Northern Territories" and "Dokdo", where Japan's "administration" is not admitted by Russia and South Korea, either.

The article points out that China's countermeasures are multi-faceted: first submitted the outer limits of continental shelf in East China Sea to UN, then announced the baselines of its territorial waters. This not only conforms to the international laws, but also sets the legal principle to safeguard maritime rights in the future. Following that, China dispatched maritime surveillance vessels and fishery patrol vessels into the waters, setting the new standard practice.

The author also noticed various advertisements on America's mainstream newspapers, proclaiming China's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands-- this, combined with the publicity by diplomatic envoys, has shattered Japan's notion that "this is no dispute over the islands."

The boycott of Japanese products and suspension of tourism, as the article says, are all initiated by Chinese civilians; but with the proper supervision of the government, we can see the huge losses incurred to Japan's export and tourism. It is now estimated that Japan's GDP will fall by 1% this month and the next.

When Tokyo was hosting the 2012 IMF-World Bank Annual Meeting, the finance minister and central bank governor of China both refused to present, so did the four major banks, this has thrown the international community into anxiety that Japan's unilateral act will inflict adverse impact on the global economic growth.

Taking these pressures into consideration, Japan's ruling party has no alternative but to negotiate with China. If China is determined to stick to the principles, and Japan has to take a step back, the ruling party would be so humiliated and would be sure to lose to the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan's next election. Japan is now caught in the middle.

In the past, Japan used to warn Chinese vessels not to travel into the waters off the Diaoyu Islands. If the LDP were to take power, we may expect both two sides play rough, and China already warn Japanese ship to stay away. After all, the Diaoyu Islands belong to China.

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Editor: Mei Jingya
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