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MOFA sticks to argument that Diaoyutais secretly annexed by Japan

ROC Central News Agency

2016/02/27 19:38:52

Taipei, Feb. 27 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) insisted on Saturday that it is consistent with historical facts to describe Japan's occupation of the Diaoyutai Islands as a 'secret annexation.'

The MOFA issued the statement in response to an opinion piece published Thursday in the Liberty Times, in which the writer challenged the ministry's argument that the Diaoyutais were 'secretly annexed' by Japan.

The writer argued that making a public announcement was not a prerequisite for the occupation of terra nullius (ownerless land) under international law, but the ministry said it was, citing the Treaty of Berlin of 1885.

Because of that treaty, Japan announced its occupation of Iwo Jima (硫磺島) and Minami Torishima (南鳥島) but did not announce its occupation of the Diaoyutais in 1895 because it was well aware that the island group belonged to China and was not terra nullius, the ministry said.

Documents exchanged between Japan's Home Minister Aritomo Yamagata (山縣有朋) and Foreign Minister Kaoru Inoue (井上馨) in 1885 also prove that the Japanese government was fully aware that the Diaoyutais were part of China's territory, the ministry said.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Y.F. Low)

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