News / Asia

Japan Embroiled in Diplomatic Row with China, S. Korea

Chinese activists detained after landing on a disputed island are escorted by airport officials as they board a flight to Hong Kong, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 17, 2012.
Chinese activists detained after landing on a disputed island are escorted by airport officials as they board a flight to Hong Kong, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 17, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
TOKYO – Japan is embroiled in a set of diplomatic crises with China and South Korea over two groups of disputed islands.  The long-standing disputes flared up as countries in the region commemorated the end of World War II.

Authorities deported 14 Chinese activists and journalists accused of illegally entering the country's territory when they landed on an island that Japan controls but China claims.

The group traveled by boat to rocky outcroppings  known in Japan as the Senkaku islands. In China and Taiwan they're called Diaoyu.

Several activists landed on one of the islands Wednesday, and Japanese authorities arrested them.

Japan and China's Disputed Islands

  • Known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese
  • Uninhabited archipelago of 8 islands  
  • Located in gas-rich area and surrounded by rich fishing grounds
  • The islands have a land area of about 6 square kilometers
Chinese authorities said the arrests were illegal and called for the immediate release of the group. Demonstrators supporting Beijing have gathered in front of the Japanese Embassy and its consulates in China.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda decided Friday to deport the activists without pressing charges.

Noda says it is "deeply regrettable" that the activists entered Japan's territorial waters and landed on one of the Senkaku islands illegally, despite repeated warnings.

Some Japanese see the deportation as an attempt to avoid additional frictions with China, a key trading partner. Japanese opposition parties have criticized the decision, saying the activists should have been punished more severely.

In separate developments, Japanese authorities want to take a territorial dispute with South Korea before the International Court of Justice (ICC).

The dispute centers on a group of islets called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea. Seoul controls the islands but Japan claims them. 

The dispute was reignited last week, when South Korean President Lee Myung-bak visited the islands, drawing a sharp protest from Tokyo.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Friday Tokyo is determined to deal with the territorial dispute calmly, under international law.

He says Tokyo proposed to the South Korean government that they take the case to the ICC within the next few days, with the aim of resolving the issue based on international law in a calm, fair and peaceful manner.

Japan needs South Korea's approval to take the matter to court. But South Korea's foreign ministry dismissed the proposal, saying the islands are unequivocally part of its territory.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
August 21, 2012 4:12 AM
the united states are very happy to see these.


by: Anonymous
August 18, 2012 11:02 PM
President Vladimir Putin has NOT been in Kurir Island, but Mr. Medvedev is.


by: Sam Lee from: San Francisco Bay Area
August 17, 2012 4:53 PM
Just imagine:

* President Putin visits the Kuril Islands
* President Lee (from South Korea) visits the Dok Du Island
* Chinese Territorial Sovereignty activists (from Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan) land on the Diaoyu Island

All happen at the same time!

In Response

by: Samurai from: Japan
August 19, 2012 4:14 AM
Just imagine! A gangster intentionally picks a quarrel with a good man on the street. He demands money or valuables. Then, he destructs the properties of the good man, if he ignores the gangster's illegal and lawless demand. Compare what Chinese are now doing against Japanese restaurants or even vehicles made in Japan with what the gangster does. Can anybody teach Chinese how to learn laws and at least ethics and manners?

In Response

by: Txa from: coco island
August 18, 2012 8:55 PM
Japan -US treaty is not useless, it's there in case WW3 break out. But for smaller wars or disputes should be solved by parties involved. You don't come to cry to the United States for every little thing. Similarly with the US-Vietnam friendship.

In Response

by: Hide from: japan
August 18, 2012 1:33 PM
Sadly, Japan is surrounded by not friendly countries.
AND, US-Japan treaty is completely useless.

In Response

by: Anonymous
August 17, 2012 9:45 PM
The 21st century kind of war, not conquering land but territorial waters.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid