Japan’s Deputy PM admits Diaoyu Islands Dispute: “Both Sides Must Fix the Current Situation Through Dialogue.”

Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada. Photo: AFP

The top deputy to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has acknowledged that a dispute with China exists over the East China Sea – a key concession and potential olive branch to Beijing.

Speaking at a meeting of the ruling Democratic Party, Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada said Tokyo’s control of the Diaoyu Islands – known in Japan as the Senkakus – could not be questioned, even as he admitted Beijing took issue with its claim.

“The Senkaku issue is not a territorial problem, but, as a matter of fact, there is a dispute between China and Japan,” Okada was quoted by Kyodo News as saying. “Both sides must fix the current situation through dialogue.”

Tokyo has long refused to acknowledge even the existence of a disagreement, a key roadblock to Beijing’s efforts to draw it into negotiations. Noda’s government has maintained the position even as coastguards from mainland China, Japan and Taiwan conduct competing patrols in the surrounding waters.

The dispute has resulted in widespread anti-Japanese protests and boycotts in mainland China, which have begun to take a toll on the Japanese economy. Japanese exports fell 10.3 per cent year on year in September.

Okada blamed nationalist Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara’s bid to buy the islands from their private Japanese owner for triggering the row. Noda announced his own purchase plan in a bid to defuse the situation, but it only further angered Beijing.

“We need to tell China that it is safer for the islands to be controlled by the central government than by the Tokyo metropolitan government,” Okada said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing had always wanted to resolve the row through negotiations.

Luo Zhaohui, the ministry’s Asian affairs director, went to Tokyo to meet his Japanese counterparts earlier this month, paving the way for bilateral talks.

But Beijing has kept the heat on. Japan’s coastguard said yesterday that four China Marine Surveillance vessels were spotted in waters around the islands.

Zhou Yongsheng, an expert in Japanese affairs at China Foreign Affairs University, said Tokyo was trying to ease tensions ahead of the leadership reshuffle at the Communist Party’s national congress next month.

“The row has had a big impact on the Japanese economy and it is possible that China will come up with tougher measures after the party congress if tensions are still running high,” Zhou said.


SCMP/RTHK Hong Kong’s Top Story 2012


Foreign Ministry: fishing island is a territory of the Republic of China

Foreign Ministry reiterated that 22 Diaoyutai is the traditional fishing grounds of the inherent territory of the Republic of China, Taiwan fishermen 100 jobs over the years, this fact beyond doubt. (AP file photo)

(Central News Agency reporter Chen Peihuang Taipei 22) Ministry of Foreign Affairs today reiterated that the Diaoyutai is the traditional fishing grounds of the inherent territory of the Republic of China, Taiwan fishermen 100 jobs over the years, this fact beyond doubt.

Katsuya Okada, Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister, said yesterday that the “nationalization” of the so-called Diaoyutai, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Share island into the sky, he publicly acknowledged for the first time the Chinese mainland and the Japanese government in the controversial issue of the sovereignty of the Diaoyutai.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Xia Jichang afternoon interview, reiterated that the the Diaoyutai are inherent territory of the Republic of China. He said, has taken note of Japan and mainland China Diaoyutai different proposition, resulting controversy.

He pointed out that the relevant parties should shelve disputes in a rational manner to discuss, and to seek common development resources program.

Xiaji Chang said, the Japanese Foreign Minister Genba Koichiro has called for calm and the overall situation and in response to the Japan-Taiwan “unsolved”, on behalf of both cognitive indeed there are problems to be solved, the Japanese side also understand there are some, including fishing rights between with Taiwan, including need to further resolve the dispute.

He said, the government needs to keep the Japanese side in a rational way, to further dialogue and communication. 1011022


China casts doubts on Armitage visit

A US delegation including former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has embarked on a visit to Japan and China, aiming to help mitigate mounting tensions between the two nations over the Diaoyu Islands, according to a report of the New York Times.

The delegation will meet Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on October 22 before heading to meet with Chinese senior officials in Beijing. The US shows concerns about the Sino-Japanese tensions just because of its own interest in the Asia-Pacific Region and the visit may not make great contribution to easing the dispute, said Chinese media.

News portal ifeng.com quoted commentator He Liangliang as saying, “the reason behind the frequent visits by high-level US officials is that the US is becoming more concerned about how the Sino-Japanese dispute will influence its East-Asian strategy.”

He argues that from an economic standpoint, a dispute between China and Japan could benefit the US as the trade between the world’s second and the third largest economies may decline dramatically.

However, as the US remains the dominant power in Asia since World War II, a mounting Sino-Japanese conflict may change the existing balance and pose a challenge to US interests, He added.

“Since the US does not want to open a pandora’s box, particularly before the presidential election, Obama’s government sent Armitage in order to survey opinions while unofficially express the US’s stance,” He noted.

Shenzhen TV (SZTV) commented that this visit to China and Japan aims to show the Obama administration’s keen awareness for Sino-Japanese dispute, but may not go as expected.

Armitage is an expert in Japanese affairs, which is likely to curry favor with Japan. But China sees Armitage as a Japanophile who in the past has advised Japan on how to restrain China, said the report.

China shouldn’t expect this hawkish Japanophile to help in mediations and we should stand our ground, the station added.


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