Japan says sovereignty of disputed islands not in doubt

PTI United Nations | Updated on March 12, 2018

Japan hopes to resolve a territorial dispute with China and Taiwan over a remote island chain peacefully, but regards its sovereignty there as indisputable, officials said.

“We do not believe that there is a dispute to be resolved,” said Naoko Saiki, Deputy Director-General for press and public diplomacy at the Japanese Foreign Ministry, as officials briefed presspersons yesterday in New York.

“We do not believe there are disputes to be resolved in terms of sovereignty or territory, because in light of historical fact and of international law the Senkaku Islands are an equal part of Japan’s territory,” she said.

Japan administers the uninhabited but strategically positioned archipelago under the name Senkaku. Beijing says it has owned the islands for centuries and calls them Diaoyu. Taiwan also claims the islands.

Earlier yesterday, coast guard vessels from Japan and Taiwan duelled with water cannons off the islands after dozens of Taiwanese boats escorted by patrol ships sailed into waters claimed by Tokyo around the island.

“We do not want to have any war or battles or use of force, so we have to stabilise the situation though dialogue in a peaceful manner in accordance with international law, that’s the basic position maintained by Japan,” Saiki said.

The Japanese delegation provided presspersons with copies of documents that it said supported Tokyo’s claim on the islands, including copies of Chinese maps from 1932 and 1960 that mark the islands as Japanese territory.

Published on September 26, 2012

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