News / Asia

Japan PM Vows to Protect Disputed Islands from China

Japan Coast Guard patrol boats approach a Chinese fishing boat, left, off the northeastern coast of Miyako island, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) southwest of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, February 2, 2013.
Japan Coast Guard patrol boats approach a Chinese fishing boat, left, off the northeastern coast of Miyako island, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) southwest of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, February 2, 2013.
VOA News
The Japanese Coast Guard has intercepted a Chinese fishing boat near Japan's southern island of Okinawa and detained its captain on suspicion of unauthorized fishing in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone.

The Coast Guard said the Chinese boat was stopped some 40 kilometers off Miyaki island, about 150 kilometers from islands in the East China Sea that are claimed by China, Japan and Taiwan.  The Coast Guard said the Chinese vessel had a crew of 13.

A long-simmering dispute over control of the islands - known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China - has escalated in recent months, as China seeks to assert its claim to wide swaths of the East and the South China seas.  Both sides have scrambled fighter jets and deployed patrol ships as tensions have risen.

Earlier Saturday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Coast Guard members in Okinawa that Japan would defend the disputed islands at all costs.

"Since the country has acquired the ownership of the Senkaku islands, there has been an increase in incursions and patrols by Chinese government vessels.  I highly commend the daily work and the effect that you of the Coast Guard [have] as you protect the waters around our country," he said.

Abe also warned that the security situation regarding the islands was likely to get worse before it gets better.

"It can be predicted that the situation in the southwestern ocean will continue to be difficult.  I hope that you of the Coast Guard will continue in your work of protecting Japan's sovereignty," he said.

Japan's Kyodo news agency said Saturday's action marked the first time Japan has detained a Chinese fishing boat in the Okinawa region since September 2010, when Japan arrested a Chinese trawler captain after he rammed his vessel into two Japanese Coast Guard cutters.

The arrest sparked a furious diplomatic exchange, before the captain was released weeks later without prosecution.

Late last month, Japanese Coast Guard vessels used water cannons to repel a ship carrying Taiwanese activists who were headed to the disputed island.  Japan said the Taiwanese vessel and four escort ships were turned back about 30 kilometers from the island.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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by: norman from: canada
February 05, 2013 11:14 PM
These island is not worth the tension and energy. Come on, lets sit down together and have a beer, and work something out. Taiwan claims these island also, so lets sit down with all three parties and work on a join exploration of the islands.

by: SEATO
February 05, 2013 3:15 PM
The Ryukyu Kingdom used to be vassal state of both Qing Dynasty and Japan who were stronger neighbours.It secured its existence as an independent state by paying tributes to both countries.In 19th century Japan became stronger and forced Ryukyu to pay tributes only to them.Japan later annexed the Ryukyu Kingdom and renamed it as Okinawa.Being a vassal state does not mean that you are part of that country.You appease them by paying tributes so that they would not invade and conquer you.The Chinese have been claiming that Japan seized the Ryukyu and Senkaku from them by force and now want them back,that is loads of craps.China never had the sea ability to attack and seize any island nations.Only one Ming general renegade succeeded in taking Formosa from the Dutch in 17th century which was later seized by the Manchus and annexed it under the Qing Dynasty together with Mongolia,Ming China,Tibet and Xinjang.Even if the Senkaku used to belong to China,you can not demand its return when you don't you return Inner Mongolia,Xinjang and Tibet to their rightful owners since they were seized by force by the Chinese.That is a paradox and a double-standard and is totally unacceptable.The Manchus founded an empire which fell apart at its demise in 1912 and can not claim these autonomous regions on the Manchus' behalf.Nobody want to be ruled over by foreigners,including the Chinese themselves,so you should respect their asperations for self-determination.Territorial ambitions would only lead to wars and destruction.Throughout your history,whenever you were strong,you would always have been a threat to all the neighbouring countries.So stop acting innocent and claiming to be a peace-loving nation.What the Chinese suffered at the hands of the Japanesein WW2 was mild in comparison to what the Vietnamese,Tibetans and Mongols at the hands of the Chinese over the years.So stop using that as an excuse to vent your anger on your smaller neighbours and justify your acts of aggression

by: Alex from: Texas
February 04, 2013 7:02 PM
Be aware that many of the posters here are not who they appear. They are Chinese who are paid to post pro-China comments in the comments sections of any news articles that mention China. They choose Western names and locations to add to the ruse. Search Google for "Internet Water Army".

by: Tom from: USA
February 04, 2013 4:08 PM
Why the Japanese cannot follow the German did - they apologized to the Jews and built the memorial to show that they were truly sorry for what they had done to the millions of Jews . Most of the people around the world had forgiven the German. The Japanese should come out of the hole and applogize for the wounds it had inflicted on millions of Asian during WWII? Rather than apologizing for the crimal acts they have committed, they denied them. Sad for the future generations of Japanese, they have to constantly live under the shadow.

by: Mathew
February 04, 2013 3:41 PM
@Seato

Get your facts right before criticizing others. Firstly, both Taiwan and mainland China claim the entire spratly island chain, paracel islands and diaoyu/senkaku islands. Its not just mainland China, because the claims are legitimate. The current communist government did not start inventing these claims, they date back over 50 years

The Republic of China government first occupied and administered the spratly islands in the 1930s, and when Japan invaded them, they surrendered them back to the Republic of
China, the Republic of China in the 1940s then drew up a map which claim the entire south China sea. After the communists defeated the Republic of China, which moved to Taiwan, they inherited the claims and the map, thats why both mainland China and Taiwan claim the islands.

The philippines and vitnam were not independent countries at the time. Their colonial masters France and America never challenged the Republic of China's claims. Philippines became independent in 1945, vietnam in the 1950s. The philippines wasn't even a historical state, they base some of their claims on spurious property claims by individual filipino citizens.

China refuses to bilaterally negotiate and so does taiwan because they rightfully claim all the islands. Taiwan refused to budge on Taiping island when vietnam complained about its military, and even fired on a vietnamese ship in 1996.

by: Hoang from: Canada
February 04, 2013 12:13 PM
To Jonathan Huang,
The world does not recognize Taiwan. Even the U.S. is concerned of Taiwan's claim to entire East and South China Sea(this means south and east of China, not belong to China)same as China. This shows that if China is democratic, it is still threat to world.
Japan is a stronger and more reliable ally than Taiwan. Japan is capable of managing China and Taiwan militarily by itself.

by: Hoang from: Canada
February 04, 2013 7:01 AM
Notice all these Chinese from Canada like Habi, Jonathan Huang and others who have no loyalty to Canada but defend China with no logic to their arguments. These Chinese can distort facts and you can't have logical debate with brainwashed Chinese. These Chinese should never be allowed in Canada.

by: UnderNoMake from: Japan
February 04, 2013 5:14 AM
Dear Habi-san,

In Okinawa, Ryukyu kingdom was established in 1421. But according to a Japanese very old history book, Okinawa belonged to Japan in 8th century. In 1186, the Shogun of Japan ordered Shimazu family to oversee Okinawa. That means Ryukyu Islands were Japanese territory at least in 12th century.
However, you said, “Japanese invaded Ryukyu Islands in 1872 and robbed these Islands”. How could you explain the above facts rationally and chronologically? I would like you to teach it to us in plain English as everybody could understand.

by: Ryu from: Japan
February 04, 2013 3:08 AM
To Habi,
I am very sorry, but you are completely wrong… unfortunately for you, however, at least since 715, Okinawa has been Japanese territory. That is recorded in the Japanese old history book, “Shoku-Nihongi”, which was written in 8th century. And the islands name of “Okinawa” was found at least in 753, which was recorded by Chinese monk, Ganjin. It means Okinawa has been there as a Japanese territory before ‘Rykyu’ was ‘invaded’ by Japan in1609. To whom should Japan steal Okinawa? It's been ours....

by: Wu from: USA
February 04, 2013 12:53 AM
To Habi from Canada
Abe has sent a letter to Xi Jinping. The content of a letter is still a secrete. And the Chinese leaders have been quiet ever since. Have you questioned on that?
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