Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou criticised President Chen Shui-bian yesterday for being 'limp' in dealing with the Diaoyu Islands sovereignty dispute with Japan. 'Japan has even come to our territory to [arrest] our fishermen, but our president has remained mum. He should have stood up to tell the Japanese that the Diaoyus are our territory,' Mr Ma said. 'Why can't he say that? It is hard to believe a president can be as limp as him.' But Mr Chen's chief aide and his ruling Democratic Progressive Party hit back, saying the president had never shifted his position that the Diaoyu Islands belonged to Taiwan. They said Mr Ma was distorting the facts to win more publicity for his campaign to become chairman of the opposition Kuomintang. Mr Ma is fighting a tough battle for the post with popular legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng. Both men are vice-chairman of the KMT.