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Japanese defense of Diaoyutai actions contradictory: ministry

ROC Central News Agency

2012/09/28 23:02:41

Taipei, Sept. 28 (CNA) Taiwan on Friday challenged Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's rhetoric from a speech at the United Nations Wednesday, saying it contradicted Japan's recent move to nationalize the disputed Diaoyutai Islands.

Japan has denied the existence of a territorial dispute over the Diaoyutais, and its unilateral and illegitimate move to nationalize the islets by buying some of them from their private owner has done nothing but escalate regional tensions, the ministry said in a statement.

That flew in the face of Noda's contention at the United Nations General Assembly that "any attempt to realize a country's ideology or claim by unilateral use of force or threat is inconsistent with the fundamental spirit of the United Nations charter," the ministry said.

During his speech in New York Wednesday, Noda pledged that Japan would seek peaceful solutions based on international law, but reasserted in a press conference after the speech that the Senkakus, as they are called in Japan, are inherently Japanese territory.

The Foreign Ministry said that unlike Noda's rhetoric, President Ma Ying-jeou's initiative to promote peace in the East China Sea conforms with the spirit of the U.N. charter.

It urged Japan to face up to the fact that territorial disputes exist and respond to Ma's initiative by joining all claimants to the islets in shelving differences, pursuing rational and peaceful talks, maintaining regional peace and exploring resources together, it said.

The ministry also urged Japan to respect Taiwanese fishermen's rights to fish in waters around the Diaoyutais, which it said have been their traditional fishing grounds since the Qing Dynasty.

The Diaoyutais, uninhabited East China Sea islands located atop potentially rich natural gas reserves, are held by Japan but also claimed by Beijing and Taipei.

Tensions flared up after Tokyo purchased three of the islets from private owners on Sept. 11, prompting anti-Japan protests in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The ministry also reiterated that Taiwan does not recognize Japan's unilateral move over the islets, saying that it will not affect Taiwan's sovereignty over the islands.

Meanwhile, Leo Lee, Taiwan's deputy representative to the United States, said that Taiwan and the U.S. have been in contact over the islands dispute, with the U.S. urging that the dispute be solved peacefully.

Asked whether the U.S. uses the name "Senkakus" or "Diaoyutais" in official settings, Lee said both are used.

(By Chen Pei-huang, Lin Shu-yuan and Scully Hsiao)

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