Japan buys islands in East China Sea
The Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary, Osamu Fujimura, has confirmed that Japan has bought three uninhabited islands in the East China Sea from a private family who the government recognise as the owner. The government has paid 2.05 billion Yen for the three islands.
The ownership of the islands is heavily disputed with China and there has been a ramping up of rhetoric by both sides in the last few months.
The Chinese government was quick to respond to the purchase, a press release on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website states that:
“Despite the repeated solemn representations of China, the Japanese government announced on Sept. 10 the so-called “purchase” of the Diaoyu Islands and the affiliated Nanxiao Dao and Beixiao Dao to “nationalize” them. This act is a severe infringement of Chinese territorial sovereignty, which gravely hurts the feelings of the 1.3 billion Chinese people and seriously tramples on historical facts and international laws. The Chinese government and people have expressed firm opposition and strong protest toward the act.
The Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets have been the sacred territory of China since ancient times, backed by historical and legal evidence. They were first discovered, named and used by the Chinese. Throughout the years, Chinese fishermen have conducted production activities on these islands and neighbouring waters. They were within China’s maritime defense sphere as early as the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and have been the affiliated islets of China’s Taiwan. The Diaoyu Islands have never been the so-called “Terra Nullius.” China is their indisputable owner.”
Following a lengthy exposition of the historic situation behind the islands from the Chinese viewpoint the press release ends by saying;
“The Chinese government has solemnly stated that the Japanese government’s so-called “island purchase” is illegal, invalid and cannot in the least change the historical fact of the Japanese occupation of Chinese territory, and cannot in the least change China’s territorial sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets. The era of the Chinese people’s humiliation has passed, not to return again. The Chinese government will not sit back as its territorial sovereignty is violated. The Chinese side strongly urges the Japanese side to immediately stop all acts that harm China’s territorial sovereignty, come back 100 percent to the consensus and understanding reached by both sides and use negotiation to resolve disputes. If the Japanese side clings obstinately to its own course, all serious consequences from this can only be borne by the Japanese side.”