News / Asia

Japan Decision Raises Stakes in Island Dispute

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura speaks during a news conference in Tokyo, September 2, 2011.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura speaks during a news conference in Tokyo, September 2, 2011.
William Ide
BEIJING — Japan’s decision Monday to purchase disputed islands China says are part of its territory is raising tensions between the two Asian neighbors.  

Following a meeting of Japanese government leaders, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura announced Tokyo’s plans to push forward with the deal and Japan’s aims to nationalize the uninhabited islands.

The islands, which are located near rich fishing grounds and near waters believed to hold potential oil reserves, are known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Fujimura tried to play down the potential impact of the decision, stressing that Japan was just transferring ownership of the land from private to state hands.

Fujimura says Japan does not want the issue to interfere with Sino-Japanese relations. He says it is important to avoid misunderstandings and Tokyo has been keeping in close contact with China over the issue through diplomatic channels.

The decision comes just a day after Chinese President Hu Jintao warned Japan against making any wrong decisions over the dispute.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a stern statement chastising Japan over the decision and noting the days of bullying China are over. The statement said the Chinese government will not sit back and watch as its sovereignty is violated.

China Foreign Affairs University Political Scientist  Wang Fan says the government is likely to take some tough measures against Tokyo in response.

Wang says the Japanese government should know that by acting this way there will be consequences, and it will have to face those consequences. He says Japan’s decision could have a big impact on trade and diplomatic relations.

Just how far the situation could escalate is unclear.

The last time tensions rose severely between Japan and China was in 2010, when a Japanese coast guard ship collided with a Chinese trawler it was chasing away from the disputed islands.

After Japanese authorities decided to detain the Chinese captain of the ship, Beijing responded by suspending political and cultural exchanges and stopping the export of rare earths to Japan.

You May Like

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Avery from: JP
September 11, 2012 12:59 AM
These comments clearly written by Chinese nationalists cannot have been from America. Any Americans who look into this will realize that the Senkakus have always been Japanese territory, and there is nothing irrational at all about the government buying Japanese land to protect it.
In Response

by: Neil from: CN
September 11, 2012 9:13 PM
It is there on the headline, despite of ur doubts, I've no idea how you guys are fooled by ur government by making up new history books, the thing is JP has never abandons ur millitary expansion dreams, Let's see if it works. U push us this hard, then ready to welcome our missles and nude.
In Response

by: Ian from: USA
September 11, 2012 4:35 PM
Of couse, everyone knows they are not americans, but sleeper cells that were put in place by mainland communist China (they are all over the world now to carry out the motherland's directive to steal other countries' industrial technology & state secrets)
By the way, I think you mean Mainland communist chinese, not the nationalist chinese ( Taiwanese )

by: Walten from: US
September 10, 2012 9:33 PM
Even though Japanese citizens are eager to wide their territory of mainland, with regard to Diaoyu islands, Japan ignores the real history with misleading of irrational enthusiasm... Japan government is arrogantly playing fire with its strong Asian partners for its own political election now...

by: Peter from: DC
September 10, 2012 9:22 PM
We don't know why Japan wants to nationalize Diaoyu which doesn't belong to itself. And Japan says it doesn't want the issue to interfere with Sino-Japanese relations. We are wondering whether China can be tolerant of the dishonorable conduct.
In Response

by: jonathan huang from: canada
September 14, 2012 8:25 PM
norman from HK, i dont think you are from HK or you are a shame of HK just after brave hongkongers landed Diaoyu island. You are just a brain washed ignorant. China told Japan to focus on economic cooperation and leave Diaoyu island dispute to the next generation, this conversation between then Chinese and Japanese PMs was recorded and it is the first base of relationship between Japan and China (communist). and Taiwan hongkong also protested against the illegal transfer of Diaoyu island in 70's between US and Japan. read some history before you post nonsense here.
In Response

by: Ian from: USA
September 11, 2012 4:51 PM
well said, Norman

The same thing China did to south vietnam's paracel islands (Hoang Sa) in 1974 , then further south ,part of the Spratly group (Truong Sa) from Vietnam in 1988, the other part of Spratly from Philippines in 1995 . and lately in 2012 the Scarborough Shoal of Philippines .
Communist China invades and claims other countries' islands when they smell oil & gas
In Response

by: norman from: Hong Kong
September 11, 2012 2:28 AM
If it doesn't belong to Japan, why did America return it to Japan after the war? Why did Taiwan and China did not lay claims to the islands before 1970's when the rich seabed was not discovered yet? Please know what you say before you make such statement. It was uncontested Japanese islands only after rich seabed is found.... that is greedy part of Taiwan and China who bully Japan for its past, not the other way around.

by: White Hat from: Japan
September 10, 2012 8:23 PM
VOA reporters have to be more careful in writing the news.
", when a Japanese coast guard ship collided with a Chinese trawler it was chasing away from the disputed islands."----This should have been described in the following manner: ", when a Japanese coast guard ship was intentionally hit by a Chinese trawler that invaded the Japanese inherent territory." Although tens of thousands of enemies invade, they are all rabbles. Justice (supported by international law and history) lies on Japan side. Evil never wins. Justice always defeats evil. It is high time Japan put away its generous policy for gangster Chinese and reinforced its military as once chased and drove Chinese paper fleets.
In Response

by: Timmy from: Ottawa
September 11, 2012 11:07 AM
Please! Read the history before making any comment, especially Japanese ppl. I know you guys changed history text book @school, but you can't change the history!
In Response

by: foreverfuckjapan
September 11, 2012 2:08 AM
"...reinforced its military" Forget japan's fate at the end of World war Two? military japan is doomed!

"...japanese coast guard ship was intentionally hit by a Chinese trawler..." who hit who? Which one is bigger?! Liar! Shameless Liar!
In Response

by: REBECCA from: CHINA
September 11, 2012 1:29 AM
Diaoyu Islands belong to China always! Get out of it, you Japanese!
In Response

by: Roger from: SH
September 11, 2012 12:34 AM
If you realy read the international law and the history,you can kown how outrageous is Japanese goverment!Chinese people love peace.But guys like you in Japan will lead Japan to perdition.
In Response

by: Betty from: US
September 10, 2012 11:38 PM
Yes, justice wins. That's why US and China defeated Japan during WWII.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs