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Taiwan urges Japan to recognize disputes over Tiaoyutai Islands

ROC Central News Agency

2012/08/16 21:59:48

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) Taiwan on Thursday called on Japan to recognize that there are indeed disputes over the sovereignty of the Tiaoyutai Islands, over which Taiwan and China lay claims.

"Japan should not turn a blind eye to this fact and overlook the our sovereignty claim over the islands," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement following arrests made by Japan of Hong Kong activists who landed on the uninhabited islets to lay claims a day earlier.

"The Tiaoyutai Islands are the inherent territory of the Republic of China ... (They) come under the administration of Daxi Village, Toucheng Township, Yilan County," said the statement.

"Any unilateral actions cannot change the fact that our country has full sovereignty over the Tiaoyutais," it said, adding that "Japan should not turn a blind eye to this fact" and overlook Taiwan's sovereignty claim over the islands.

On Wednesday, a group of activists from Hong Kong and China who traveled by boat to the islands were arrested by Japanese coastal guard personnel for alleged illegal entry. The activists were carrying Republic of China, Taiwan's official name, and People's Republic of China flags.

The Tiaoyutai Islands, some 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan, are known as the Diaoyutai Islands in China and the Senkaku Islands in Japan.

In the statement, the foreign ministry urged Japan to handle the disputes over the islands in a "practical and efficient" manner.

The ministry called on all concerned parties to exercise self- restraint and to refrain from instigating their peoples to participate in confrontational activities.

All parties are advised against taking populist or other actions that might lead to regional unrest or damage regional stability, said the foreign ministry.

Earlier this month, President Ma Ying-jeou proposed an initiative aimed at promoting peace and stability in the resource-rich East China Sea. He urged all parties to refrain from taking antagonistic action, shelve their differences, observe international law and resolve disputes through peaceful means.

Acknowledging that the disputes over the Tiaoyutais and surrounding fishing rights still need to be solved, the ministry said that Taiwan and Japan are close in relations in terms of economy and civil affairs.

"The ROC government will continue to actively push for the progress of its East China Sea Peace Initiative in the spirit of peace," it said.

(By Nancy Liu)

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