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Taiwan dismisses Tokyo governor's 'unilateral' claim to Tiaoyutais

ROC Central News Agency

2012/08/28 20:35:44

Taipei, Aug. 28 (CNA) Taiwan does not recognize any unilateral move or argument by Japanese officials on the disputed Tiaoyutai Islands, a Taiwanese official said Tuesday amid growing tensions over the issue.

From the perspectives of geography, history and international law, "it is indisputable that we hold sovereignty over the Tiaoyutais," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Steve Hsia told CNA.

Hsia was responding to report in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, which said Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara was proposing that Japan build a telecommunications base, a port and a meteorological station on the disputed islands.

"Without such things, we won't have effective control of them (the islands)," the paper quoted Ishihara as saying in a recent interview. The Tokyo governor is a well-known nationalist, who has proposed that his city buy the islands.

"We absolutely do not recognize any unilateral claims or actions by Japanese politicians of the ruling or opposition parties over the Tiaoyutais that will affect our sovereignty," Hsia said.

"It won't change the fact that we hold sovereignty over the Tiaoyutais," he added.

Lying about 100 nautical miles off Taiwan's northeastern tip, the Tiaoyutais are known as the Diaoyutai Islands in China and as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, which currently controls them.

Taiwan, Japan and China have made competing claims to the Tiaoyutai Islands for several years.

In a recent flare-up of the territorial dispute, a group of Hong Kong activists' went ashore on the island group earlier in the month and were detained by Japanese authorities. The activists were later released.

Following that incident, Japanese lawmakers led a group of activists on a visit to the Tiaoyutais and some of them also went ashore.

Hsia reiterated that Taiwan will address the dispute with the relevant parties, on the basis of safeguarding sovereignty, shelving differences, pursuing peace and reciprocity and jointly exploring resources in the area.

(By Elaine Hou)

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