China, Japan island dispute escalates

2012-09-14 10:02
China's surveillance ship Haijian 15 arrives at waters around disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea. (Xinhua, Zhang Jiansong/ AP)

China's surveillance ship Haijian 15 arrives at waters around disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea. (Xinhua, Zhang Jiansong/ AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Chinese Culture
    Read all you need to know about the Chinese culture in this insightful title. Now R447.00
    buy now
Tokyo - Six Chinese ships sailed into waters around a disputed archipelago on Friday, with Beijing saying they were there for "law enforcement" around islands Japan nationalised earlier this week.

The move - dubbed "unprecedented" by Tokyo - marked the latest stage in a deteriorating row between Asia's two biggest economies and came as reports emerged of Japanese nationals being physically attacked in China.

Tokyo summoned the Chinese ambassador to protest what it insists is an incursion into territorial waters around islands it controls, called Senkaku, but claimed by Beijing as Diaoyu.

However, China was resolute, with the foreign ministry issuing a forthright statement claiming the boats were patrolling sovereign territory.

"Two Chinese surveillance ship fleets have arrived at waters around the Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islands on 14 September 2012 to start patrol and law enforcement," the statement said.

"These law enforcement and patrol activities are designed to demonstrate China's jurisdiction over the islands and safeguard its maritime interests."

Coastguard on scene

Japan's coast guard said the ships had all arrived by 07:00, with three of them having left the area by 08:30.

Coastguard vessels were on scene, demanding the ships leave, a spokesperson said.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda established a task force to deal with the issue on Friday morning and his foreign ministry summoned China's ambassador, Cheng Yonghua, to lodge a protest.

"We understand that [the dispatch of] six ships is surely an unprecedented case, considering past incidents," Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters.

Fujimura said Yonghua had reiterated Beijing's claims to the islands in the East China Sea, which lie around 400km from the Okinawan capital of Naha and 200km from Taiwan.

"The Japanese government stated its position firmly about the issue of Senkaku, while asking him about the safety of Japanese nationals in China."

Group attacked


Japan urged "that China do its utmost - above all else - to secure the safety of Japanese nationals in China", he said.

Fujimura's comments come as the Japanese consulate in Shanghai reported physical attacks on its nationals.

"A group was dining late at night, and they were harassed and assaulted by Chinese," said a statement on the consulate's website.

The consulate said bottles were thrown at some Japanese, and drinks and food were poured over others, while one person reported having a pair of glasses broken.

Japan's foreign ministry has warned its nationals who are in China or who are planning to visit there to be aware of anti-Japanese demonstrations and to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

The embassy in Beijing said Japanese should avoid approaching the building, where protests have been reported, unless absolutely necessary.

Rising nationalism


Relations between the two countries - often rocky because of a difficult history - have worsened since pro-Beijing nationalists landed on one of the islands in August.

They were arrested and deported by Japan, but followed days later by Japanese nationalists, who raised their flag there.

Anti-Japanese protests broke out in China and have continued since Japan on Tuesday announced it had nationalised three of the islands in the chain. It already owns another and leases the fifth.

The purchase was intended at least partially to head off an attempt to buy them by Tokyo's provocative Governor Shintaro Ishihara, who charged Japan was not doing enough to protect its territory.

Commentators say Noda's solution - nationalising the islands and continuing its policy of doing nothing with them - was an attempt to navigate between rising nationalism at home and China's growing assertiveness on the oceans.

But Beijing's reaction has been sharper than many analysts expected. Some observers have pointed to the forthcoming leadership change in China's Communist Party and say the islands issue is being used as a way to distract public attention from the less-than-smooth transition.

Read more on:    china  |  japan
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/World
 

The truth about painkillers and exercise

Many of us use painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines to mask pain so they can continue with their training.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Where were you when you last felt alive?
Watch: Fishing under ice
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
This is why you need to get fit in your 20's

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on electronics!

Get mind blowing savings on top electronic products. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be spending too much time organising and trying to control things to make sure everything is perfect instead of just...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.