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Taiwan recalls envoy to Japan to protest Tokyo's island plan

ROC Central News Agency

2012/09/11 16:00:30

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday recalled Taiwan's representative to Japan in response to Japan's decision to nationalize the disputed Tiaoyutai Islands.

Foreign Minister Timothy Yang said at a press conference that the ministry filed a strong protest against Japan's move and said his ministry has sent a telegram asking envoy Shen Ssu-tsun to return home.

The ministry wants him to return to Taiwan "in the shortest possible time" to explain the situation, and he could return home as soon as Wednesday, Yang said.

Earlier Tuesday, Yang summoned Japan's top envoy to Taiwan, Sumio Tarui, to protest the decision made by Japan's government at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday morning to spend 2.05 billion Japanese yen (US$26 million) to buy three of the Tiaoyutai islands from private owners.

The Japanese government later signed a contract with the owners to cement the deal, according to Japanese media.

Yang said he told Tarui that Japan's move had not only seriously infringed on Taiwan's territorial sovereignty, hurt Taiwan-Japan relations and intensified regional tensions, but had also hurt the Taiwanese people's feelings toward the country.

He told the Japanese representative that Taiwan will "absolutely not accept and absolutely not recognize" Japan's actions, and he urged the Japanese government to immediately withdraw its decision or be responsible for the consequences.

Yang said he also reiterated the government's stance that the Tiaoyutais "are the inherent territory of the Republic of China," which he said is a historical fact that cannot be changed.

Japan should first admit to the fact that there are territorial disputes surrounding the Tiaoyutais to help resolve the issue, Yang said.

The Tiaoyutai Islands, called the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyu Islands in China, lie about 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan. The island group is claimed by Taiwan, Japan, and China.

China acknowledges that the islands fall under the jurisdiction of Taiwan, but stakes its claim to the Tiaoyutais on its contention that Taiwan is part of its territory.

(By Christie Chen and Alex Jiang)
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