By Zhao Wei, Sina English
The Japanese government struck a deal on Wednesday with the "owner" of China's Diaoyu Islands, enraging the Chinese government and public. Japan’s move to “nationalize” Diaoyu Islands will certainly lead to escalating tensions with China.
Still, Japan also said the government intends to prevent friction with Beijing from further heightening, in time for a possible meeting with the Chinese leader on the sidelines of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Russia’s Vladivostok slated for Sept. 8-9.
According to Japan’s Kyodo News Agency, Japan will exert effort to avoid further friction with China after the Japanese government reached the deal with the “landowner” at 2.05 billion yen (170 million yuan). The Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda plans to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao to explain its decision during the APEC forum in Vladivostok.
At a press conference Wednesday morning, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura, responded to China’s resent to Japan’s “nationalization” drive of the Chinese Diaoyu Islands, saying that the government would carry out its plan to “maintain the islands chain peaceful and stable.”
As scheduled, Japanese Cabinet meeting to be held in mid-September will approve the use of reserves from this fiscal year’s budget for the purchase. The government plans to sign a formal contract with the “landowner” by the end of this month.
However, Makoto Watanabe, the lawyer representing the “landowner”, said the owners had told him there was no deal as yet during their talk through telephone, which means the Japanese government rides before the hounds announcing the deal, without notifying the “landowner” beforehand.
On the flip side, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei reiterated on August 24 that the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. The Japanese side's attempt to strengthen its claim on the Diaoyu Islands through adopting the resolution is illegal and futile and cannot change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China.
Since the Japanese side expressed its commitment to deepening China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit and regional peace and stability, it should take concrete actions to this end.
Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reported on Wednesday that Japan’s announcement of reaching the deal with the “owner” of Diaoyu Islands indicated the Japanese government is accelerating its pace on “nationalization” drive. The Chinese government will not only express strong discontent, but will also slap economic sanctions or dispatch official patrolling ship as counter measures.