Japan has once again brushed off efforts by China to obfuscate ownership of the Japanese Senkaku Islands with Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato telling a press conference in the Japanese capital Thursday that the latest Chinese attempt at diluting international recognition of Japan’s ownership is “unacceptable.”
Speaking in response to a suggestion by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that neither nation’s fishing boats be allowed near the islands, and that only government flagged ships be allowed to transit the waters near the Senkakus, Mr. Kato said the islands are “without doubt Japan’s inherent territory from a historical viewpoint and under international law.”
Continuing “There is no problem with Japanese fishing boats operating in accordance with our laws,” Mr. Kato also ignored any claims the eastern Taiwanese county of Yilan has made in recent months to the islands – a point of view not openly aired in Taiwan.
The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had said that by following this route, (both nations could) “make sure suspicious boats don’t enter sensitive waters.”
In the wake of a meeting in Tokyo with Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday, however, Mr. Wang was careful to say, that the dispute should not become an issue that in any way affects economic cooperation between Beijing and Tokyo.
He had earlier been told by the Japanese Prime Minister to take “positive action” regarding his nation’s escalation tactics which has seen Chinese flagged vessels in nearby waters on an almost daily basis in recent months.
This article was first published in The Taiwan Times and is republished with permission.