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Diaoyu Islands

The Diaoyu Islands are a group of uninhabited islands located roughly due east of mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island, and north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands. They are currently controlled by Japan, which calls them Senkaku Islands. Both China and Taiwan claim sovereignty over the islands. 

NewsChina
TERRITORIAL DISPUTE

Abe's adviser blasts China in barbed Hong Kong speech

Abe aide's address read out at HK forum accuses Beijing of using force in islands row

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 January, 2013, 12:12pm

Japan's top foreign policy adviser, in an inflammatory speech delivered at a regional forum in Hong Kong yesterday, accused China of asserting a territorial claim by force and breaching the international order.

Yachi Shotaro's speech, read on his behalf by a former Japanese official, at the third Sino-US Colloquium, was immediately rebuffed by Chinese participants.

Retired People's Liberation Army major general Pan Zhenqiang, now a government adviser, described Yachi's statement as "very rude and arrogant", and warned Tokyo to treat China as an enemy at its peril.

The fiery exchanges came as Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang yesterday expressed "strong discontent" about comments by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton over the Diaoyu Islands. Clinton said earlier that the United States acknowledged Japan's control of waters near the disputed island although it did not have a stance over who had ultimate sovereignty.

This is the first time that Japan has sent delegates to the annual forum, organised by the China Energy Fund Committee in Hong Kong. Among its speakers were two former US four-star generals, one PLA general and two former Japanese commanders, as well as top thinkers and government advisers from the three countries.

All attention was on the speech by Yachi, widely believed to be the architect of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's foreign policy and who was recently appointed a special foreign adviser. Yachi did not attend the talk in person but wrote the speech read by Takujiro Hamada, a former deputy foreign minister of Japan.

Yachi warned China to be careful of its behaviour or risk being isolated by its neighbours. He said Chinese leaders "made absolutely no claim" over the Diaoyu Islands after the second world war or in 1997, when the countries normalised their ties.

"You are now asserting the claim by force," said Yachi, referring to Beijing's dispatching of surveillance planes and ships to waters near the Diaoyus, which Japan calls the Senkakus.

"One must say that the act alone is breaching the rule of international order," he said. "I should like to ask you: is this a China you want to show to the world? Is this a China that your children will be proud of?

"My message to the Chinese is that now it is time for you to be content about who you are and what you have accomplished. Now it is time for you to be a good neighbour of Japan, a good neighbour to the Philippines and a good neighbour to Vietnam.

"Use of force and intimidation will buy you no goodwill from your neighbour or that of the international community. You will be a superpower - much feared but not much liked."

He called for the US to strengthen ties with Japan and said Tokyo was ready to "activate the dormant right of collective defence" - which could be interpreted as a step for Japan to rearm.

General Pan rebuffed Yachi's remarks. "I feel shocked and a bit sad about his historic view and his value system," he told the forum. "Mr Yachi's comments are so rude and arrogant. It is confusing [on who is in] the right and the wrong. [He] is saying that China can only be a responsible member if it totally complies to Japan's demands, otherwise China is irresponsible.

"When Japan invaded China [in the 1930s and 40s], this was the kind of attitude they showed to Chinese people: you can only enjoy peace and prosperity if you listen to our command. Do they still want to send that message to [the] Chinese today?"

Pan called Japan Asia's revisionist power, as Abe's government was trying to change the international order established after the second world war, which imposed a peaceful constitution on Japan and banned it from full-fledged militarisation.

"I just want to remind Japanese friends: is it in Japan's interest to treat China as an enemy? Is this the way for Japan to win respect by insisting on such strange historic view?" Pan said.

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This article is now closed to comments

lib_prc

I have to say General Pan's rebuff was a rare and timely engagement directly on point in light of China's normally passive officialdom...on balance China has a better legal claim than Japan on the DY Islands although one cannot say Japan has no claim.
ianson
The Communist Party, like the fragile Argentinian government other regimes tottering on collapse, loves a call to nationalism. The Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands perfectly fit that bill. Why else do they suddenly become a matter of national concern when they did not figure in any way on the national agenda from the start, 60 years ago, when their administration was legally given to the Japan?
The Diaoyu debate is a Party cheapshot in times of plain decay in their support at home.
be.way.5
@ianson,
Obviously a neo-con redneck like you is always prepared with your standard propaganda of lies, deceit and smear declaring that "China is bad, China is evil". However you forget to see yourself in the mirror of how uncivilized and barbaric the Western Imperialist is when they continue to wage wars against sovereign nations in their cowardice attempt to blackmail and coerce the world under Western hegemony. It's ludicrous indeed for you in your failed attempt to mislead the ignorants that the islands was legally given to Japan when the owner of the islands ie. China, was not a party to the agreement.
bobozhuce@gmail.com
CCP is following the will of 1.3 b Chinese on the Diaoyu Island issue. It even has the support of peddlers on the street.
The ignorance and arrogance of Yachi indicate the militarism is gaining momentum even in the very top leaders of Japan. The best way to deal with militarism is to let such people know the pain and sufferings of militarism themselves.
Japan wants to have Diaoyu not for any other reson, but for the natural resouces, because this country is as small as a cockroach.
Japan is the real enemy to peace of the region. A country that never regrets its militarism past can never be trusted by anyone.
tsoshun
ianson, I think you should re-educate yourself by studying the Potsdam Declaration. The Diaoyu Islands were never legally given to Japan. In fact, Japan legally owns nothing other than the 4 main islands of Japan after the 2nd World War.
babyhenry
You must have you head up you ar*e for your whole life, to even blame China for this when the Japanese started all this farce with their nationalism fiasco or to call the Diaoyu island a "suddenly" national concern. Well what can one expect when you are a already an apologist for the Pirate Brits, why not be the stooge of another pirate closer to home the Japanese.
fearonjones
Everyone chooses the point that suits them best historically when it comes to territorial claims. We have to think about the future not the past - what is possible and ethical now. We inhabit and share a different world from even just a few decades ago. Let us hope that wisdom, rather than all the tired old dogmas we see in the comments here and from the die-hard nationalists in both countries, prevails.

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