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Taiwan summons Japan envoy to protest Tiaoyutai deal

ROC Central News Agency

2012/09/11 20:30:32

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday summoned Japan's representative to Taiwan to protest Japan's move to nationalize the disputed Tiaoyutai Islands.

Foreign Minister Timothy Yang met with Sumio Tarui before holding a press conference, at which Yang strongly protested Japan's move. Yang also said his ministry has sent a telegram asking Taiwan's envoy to Japan, Shen Ssu-tsun, to return home.

After the meeting with Yang, Tarui was swarmed by local reporters as he walked out of the ministry, but he declined to answer questions.

Earlier Tuesday, Japan's government decided 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 seriously infringed on Taiwan's territorial sovereignty, hurt Taiwan-Japan relations, intensified regional tensions, and 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 take responsibility 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.

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