Wed, August 15, 2012
World > Asia-Pacific > Japan in islands row

Tokyo governor nudges PM to set foot on Diaoyus

2012-08-15 06:15:18 GMT2012-08-15 14:15:18(Beijing Time)

By Wang Qi, Sina English

Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, a hard line right winger, published an article Monday in Sankei Shimbun calling on Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to take an inspection tour to the disputed Diaoyu Islands on behalf of the Japanese people.

Ishihara in his article mocked Japanese central government’s recent reaction to South Korea’s president’s inspection tour to Dokdo, calling its protest a non-effective “diplomatic procedure.” He then linked the Dokdo disputes with South Korea to the Diaoyu Islands spat with China.

The Tokyo government does not intend to hold Diaoyu Islands so tight, but if South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s recent tour to Dokdo (Takeshima in Japanese) has brought a real sense of crisis to the Japanese central government, why not Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda do the same to Diaoyu Islands to send the message that it is “Japan’s territory,” said Ishihara in his article.

He added that Noda, as the leader of the nation, should go to Diaoyu Islands himself and take part in the project of building fishing harbors for Japanese fishermen on the islands.

Ishihara once again called China “Shina” in his article, criticizing that the Japanese government released the “perpetrator of Shina” after his armed fishing vessel had clashes with Japan’s patrol vessels in September, 2010.

The Chinese government in 2012 warned Japan through its state media that “Diaoyu Islands concerns China’s core interests” and it will take firm action to protect its own territory, writes Ishihara in the article, saying China’s tough stance strengthened his determination to safeguard the islands for the central government and deepen Japan’s real grip over the islands.

But the central government’s sudden “nationalization” proposal wrecked the Tokyo government’s purchase plan, he said. ”Two friends of mine in the US government shared my views immediately after I revealed my determination,” said Ishihara.” But I want to ask the Japanese government, do they have the intension deep in their heart to protect their territory?”

If Noda really cares about Japan’s national interest, he should not go against the will of Japanese people, he said in the conclusion. “I hope Prime Minister Noda can set foot on the islands himself for Japanese people” to show the government’s determination to protect its “inherent territory.”

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