World News

Japanese Lawmaker in China for Talks on Island Dispute

Japan's New Komeito's party leader Natsuo Yamaguchi (C) accompanied by the Japanese ambassador to China Masato Kitera (L) waves his hand as he walks out from the VIP exit of Beijing Capital International airport, January 22, 2013.
Japan's New Komeito's party leader Natsuo Yamaguchi (C) accompanied by the Japanese ambassador to China Masato Kitera (L) waves his hand as he walks out from the VIP exit of Beijing Capital International airport, January 22, 2013.
VOA News
A Japanese ruling party envoy is in China for talks aimed at reducing tensions over a bitter territorial dispute.

Natsuo Yamaguchi arrived Tuesday in Beijing, where he is delivering a letter from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Yamaguchi hopes to meet with new Chinese leader Xi Jinping and other senior leaders during his four-day visit.

Earlier, he expressed hopes the visit would help normalize relations and lead to a bilateral summit.

Yamaguchi is the first Japanese lawmaker to visit China since the hawkish government of Abe came to power in December.

Both sides have given recent indications they are ready to de-escalate the dispute over the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Last week, Jia Qinlin, who heads China's top political advisory body, called for talks. He said China places "great importance" on its ties with Japan.

The dispute worsened considerably after Japan last year nationalized some of the islands, known in Japanese as Senkaku and in Chinese as Diaoyu.

But although the dispute may be cooling, there are no signs that either nation intends to back down from its claim to the islands, which are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and potential energy deposits.

Yamaguchi, the Japanese envoy, told reporters Japan still views the islands as its own territory, and that it does not formally recognize that a dispute exists.

Chinese state media Tuesday quoted a foreign ministry spokesperson as saying "Japan's so-called existence or control" of the area is "illegal and invalid."

Although there have been no clashes, both countries have sent fighter jets to the islands in recent weeks, raising fears of a conflict between Asia's two largest economies.

Japan annexed the islets in the late 19th century. China claimed sovereignty over the archipelago in 1971, saying ancient maps show it has been Chinese territory for centuries.

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

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Nigeshabi from: Canada
January 25, 2013 12:28 AM
The report is biased and misleading, why it said "Japan annexed the islets in the late 19th century". How can the reporter be so sure "annexed"? Actually Japan invaded China and robbed (NOT annexed) the islets in the late 19th century (Japan-China war was launched by Japan's invasion to China). The reason "China claimed sovereignty over the archipelago in 1971" is because China became a UN member in 1971 due to cold war (not just due to potential oil/gas reserve, Japan is even more anxious to get more energy resources, WWII war launched by Japan is an evidence), and China have never had a chance to speak to the world due to invasion of Western countries and Japan , and civil war in the past hundreds of years. Actually China claimed sovereignty of Diaoyu islands from Ming dynasty, Qing dynasty, Republic of China (Taiwan) until now.

Japan, as a robber in the past hundreds of years, is rich now, but their richness is based on their invasion to other countries, especially in WWII, this is the fact and no body can deny this truth.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
January 24, 2013 4:21 AM
Mr. Yamaguchi is merely a leader of a small coalition party of PM Abe's liberal democratic party. He has little power to influence Abe's administration. What he said in China concerning the archipelago is reported in Japan as different from Abe's opinion which clealy declares no existence of territorial disputes between Japan and China. Several ministers in Abe's administartion who have direct power to take measures in foreign affairs were envoyed to South Asian countries lately. We could see Abe's deplomatic position taking over a halkish political family line against communism.


by: remie from: canada
January 23, 2013 3:24 PM
@stephen real
You are dead on all your points. 100% facts not fiction not like others who like to comment their emotions. Others can not except that their people are in the wrong because they think they are betraying their race if they speak negatively.


by: Stephen Real from: Columbia USA
January 23, 2013 12:15 PM
A Qing dynasty map printed in Shanghai shows Hainan was the most southern tip of China. Viet Nam has a VN map in 18th centuries shows Spratly and Paracel islands on it. These islands were occupied by French during its colonization of VN and returned to VN after they withdrew.

Senkaku Islands belonged to Ryukyu, an independent island empire before Japan conquered the empire and occupied it of as part Ryukyu. Before that, Ryukyu paid tribute (annual presents) to both the Empire of Japan and the Qing Dynasty. And after the defeat of the Qing Dyansty in the Sino-Japanese war, Qing retracted all claims to Ryukyu. So it is the spoil of war, much like Tibet.

The islands in West Filipino Sea had not been under Chinese administration ever. So there was no occupation by Chinese of these islands at all. Filipino, Viet, Thai, Malay, Cambodian and Chinese fishermen visited these islands frequently in the past. But no ownership was claim by China till the 1980's.

In Response

by: Bill from: Canada
January 24, 2013 11:01 AM
To Hoang: Please do research and give us the fact if any wrong on my comment. Don't just say China makes up its own history without any support on your comment.

In Response

by: Hoang from: Canada
January 24, 2013 7:14 AM
Read Bill from Canada explanation as Chinese propaganda.
China make up its own history.

In Response

by: Bill from: Canada
January 23, 2013 3:05 PM
Suggest you to do more research before comment on it.There is ample historical and jurisprudence evidence for China’s sovereignty over Diaoyu Dao. From the historical perspective, massive volumes of documentation suggest that Diaoyu Dao had long been under China’s jurisdiction since the early Ming Dynasty (early 15th century). In multiple official maps thereafter, Diaoyu Dao was clearly marked as the Chinese territory. The earliest Japanese documentation of Diaoyu Dao happened in 1785, which also clearly marked the island as the Chinese territory. In addition, maps published during the 19th century in France, Britain, and the US all marked that Diaoyu Dao belonged to China. Some Japanese historians, after careful examination of historical evidence, also concluded that Diaoyu Dao had been a part of China since the Ming Dynasty.

From the jurisprudence perspective, Japan got hold of Diaoyu Dao in 1895 through a war of aggression. The Qing court was defeated in the war and was forced to sign the unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki and cede to Japan “the isand of Formosa (Taiwan), together with all islands appertaining or belonging to the said island of Formosa”. Diaoyu Dao was ceded to Japan as one of those islands. When the Chinese government officially declared war against Japan during the World War II, it also declared the abrogation of all treaties between China and Japan, including the Treaty of Shimonoseki, annulling the jurisprudence grounds for Japan to claim Diaoyu Dao. After the victory of the Anti-Fascist War, such important documents as the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Proclamation, and the Japanese Instrument of Surrender all provided that Diaoyu Dao, as an appertaining island to Formosa (Taiwan), shall be restored to China. In 1951, Japan, the US and a number of other countries signed the Treaty of San Francisco, which placed the Nansei Islands south of the 29th parallel of North Latitude under the United Nations trusteeship, but it did not include Diaoyu Dao. In 1971, Japan and the US signed the Okinawa Reversion Agreement, which in the absence of China provided that any and all powers of administration over the Ryukyu Islands and Diaoyu Dao would be “returned” to Japan. In the aftermath, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a solemn statement. In response to the strong opposition from China, the US publicly clarified its position on the sovereignty over Diaoyu Dao, stressing that the US took a neutral position with regard to the competing Japanese and Chinese claims to the islands.

As China and Japan were normalizing relations and concluding the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship in the 1970s, the then leaders of the two countries, acting in the larger interest of China-Japan relations, reached important understanding and consensus on “leaving the issue of Diaoyu Dao to be resolved later.” But in recent years, Japan has repeatedly taken unilateral measures concerning Diaoyu Dao and conducted in particular the so-called “nationalization” of Diaoyu Dao. This severely infringed upon China’s sovereignty and ran counter to the understanding and consensus reached between the older generation of leaders of the two countries. It has not only seriously damaged China-Japan relations, but also rejected and challenged the outcome of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. This shows Japan is the one trying to steal the islands from China.


by: samuel from: moscow
January 23, 2013 3:38 AM
though,all countries deployed millitary artillaries on the conflicted islands,chine has extremed its war weapons and do patrolling beyond its waters to japans'boaders a signal to japan that china is more ready for what may come,let it be war or what.But ideally let china not be more confident with its mighty,it should put in mind the presence of US and its allies in favour of japan.


by: Redcliff from: Aus
January 22, 2013 7:58 PM
@ Stephen Real from Columbia

" For example friend, in just the last 24 hours Prime Minister Abe suggested the dispute(over the Islands) should be shelved and 'left for future generations' to solve

Gosh Stephen this statement by Abe is exactly the same word for word China Deng Xiao Peng said to the Japanese PM when China cemented its Friendship Agreement with Japan.
What a coincidence.

In Response

by: Stephen Real from: Columbia USA
January 23, 2013 11:55 AM
Hardly a coincidence friend. The old man, Deng Xiao Peng, is not in power...if he was he would tamp down the war rhetoric


by: Bill from: Canada
January 22, 2013 2:30 PM
The imperial Japan government trys to use this to distract the world that they try to talk with China. In fact, they are more eager to expand the military forces. This right wing Japan government is going to more extreme and it is create an unstable Asia. Hope they can learn from WWII lesson and be sincere & repentence what they did to Asia. Also US gave wrong support signal to Japan as the islands are not belonging to Japan according to the WWII treaty.

In Response

by: Anonymous
January 23, 2013 11:26 AM
To Stephen Real: You are wrong. Japan Abe originally comes from WWII famous world war criminal family and he is showing aggression to China & Asia with increasing its military expenses and asking neighbours to join Japan to against China. This is not a way to resolve the problem in peace.
Your example "in just the last 24 hours Prime Minister Abe suggested the dispute (over the islands) should be shelved and “left for future generations” to resolve." showing you did not understand it is not from Abe and he never suggest this. I don't know where you get this wrong information. Please note the fact is these islands are belonging to China according to Potsdam Proclamation referred to in the Joint Statement is that "The terms of the Cairo Declaration.

In Response

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
January 22, 2013 11:21 PM
you lie Stephen Real from: Columbia.
it was Natsuo Yamaguchi suggested to shelved the dispute. And Abe already denied.
And actually it was the Chinese former prime minister Zhou enlai who first suggested this shelving strategy, and it was the base stone of Sino-Japan relation. But Abe denied this agreement ever existed.
Shame on Japan government, and shame on you Stephen the liar!
Shame on Japan government still worshipping those class-A war criminals in the shrine! And the deny of the crimes of genocide, sex slaves

In Response

by: Stephen Real from: Columbia
January 22, 2013 6:55 PM
Gosh Bill.
I've read Yomiuri and Japan Today since the late 1980's at least once a week.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe does not strike me as some war hawk. Your 60 year old opinions of modern day Japanese politics is seriously out of date. One should do their homework before speaking on subjects they clearly do not understand.

For example friend, in just the last 24 hours Prime Minister Abe suggested the dispute (over the islands) should be shelved and “left for future generations” to resolve.


by: stephen Real from: Columbia
January 22, 2013 6:54 AM
The Chinese Communist Party is using political distraction by creating artificial, teritorial crisises with Japan, Phillipines, Vietnam and friends to deflect from it's modern history of financial corruption and the dynastic positions of it's party members.

The Chinese masses swallow these disputes like peaches and cream. It's a perfect political distraction for thge majority of the Chinese peoples.

In Response

by: Stephen Real from: Columbia USA
January 22, 2013 12:25 PM
The Chinese Communist Party members need a diversion from their own ahhh..let's say "indiscretions". They really messed things up lately.
This would be a great time to pick on Japan.
That's the easy play.
The Chinese peasants will follow that political distraction like lemmings off a cliff.
You could not ask for a better business partner then the Chinese Communist party.You got love the 18th party congress.
Everyone can payed off. And I mean everyone.
We all have dreams for China.
It's true what they say
Beijing looks like London in 1952.

In Response

by: truth teller from: usa
January 22, 2013 10:45 AM
The Japan government is using political distraction by creating artificial, teritorial crisises with China, Korea, Russia and friends to deflect from it's modern history of financial corruption and the dynastic positions of it's party members.

The Japan masses swallow these disputes like peaches and cream. It's a perfect political distraction for thge majority of the Japanese peoples.

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