Japanese paper urges Abe to back Taiwan peace initiative
CNATAIPEI--An English-language Japanese daily has urged Japan's new government to heed President Ma Ying-jeou's call for resolving the sovereignty dispute over the Diaoyutai Islands through peaceful dialogue.
January 12, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Referring to simmering tensions between Tokyo and Beijing over the disputed islets known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, the Japan Times urged in a Jan. 8 editorial that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration make strenuous diplomatic efforts to put bilateral relations back on a normal track.
Japan's ultimate goal should be to turn the waters around the Diaoyutais in the East China Sea into an area that generates mutual benefits for both Japan and China through fishing and the exploration of underwater natural resources, the newspaper said.
“To this end, Japan should pay serious attention to Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou's call for talks among China, Taiwan and Japan for joint development of the seas around the Senkaku Islands and for shelving the sovereignty issue,” the editorial concluded.
The appeal came amid repeated face-offs between Japan and China in waters around the Diaoyutais in recent months.
Located some 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan, the uninhabited island cluster has been under Japan's administrative control since 1972, but is also claimed by Taiwan and China.
Beijing acknowledges Taiwan's jurisdiction over the islands, but claims them because it also claims sovereignty over Taiwan.
China's official patrol ships have been spotted off the disputed island chain on numerous occasions since Japan nationalized three of its islets last September to reinforce its sovereignty claim.
Utility aircraft from China's State Oceanic Administration have also been observed in airspace near the Diaoyutais several times since last December.