national

Tokyo gov't survey team on its way to disputed islands

31 Comments
By Yuri Kageyama

Tokyo metropolitan government officials intending to buy tiny islands at the center of a longtime territorial dispute with China will arrive by boat on Saturday night to survey the area ahead of the purchase they hope will bolster Japan's claim.

The five uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that are controlled by Japan but also claimed by China and Taiwan have become a major symbol of patriotic pride for some people in China and Japan. They are near key sea lanes, and are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and untapped natural resources.

Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara has already raised 1.45 billion yen in private donations over the last several months to buy the islands in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, from individual Japanese owners.

Ishihara, a popular nationalist and prize-winning fiction writer, told reporters Friday he had spoken with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, and offered to turn over ownership to the central government for free.

The Japanese think having the government own the islands will strengthen their control over them, and send a tougher message to China. Noda said he would consider but did not have an immediate reply, according to Ishihara.

The city government says the purpose of the trip, composed of a team of 25 experts and officials, is to survey the area to assess real estate value in preparation for the purchase. The central government did not grant permission to land on the islands, possibly to avoid a flare-up of tensions with China. No official reason was given.

The boat, scheduled to leave southwestern Japan late Saturday, will circle the islands Sunday for about 10 hours to study the area, check out animal and plant life, and measure the depth of the coastal waters, according to the city government.

Ishihara wants to eventually build a lighthouse, a dock and weather observatory on the islands. He has expressed interest in going to the islands, possibly next month, but is not part of this weekend voyage.

Last month, Japan detained and later released 14 Hong Kong activists who landed on the islands. Japanese activists have made similar trips. One such group, including several lawmakers, landed a few days after the Chinese were detained.

Hundreds of Chinese have staged anti-Japanese demonstrations in several Chinese cities over the islands. Anti-Japanese sentiments run deep in China because of bitter memories of atrocities committed by imperialist Japanese soldiers during World War II.

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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31 Comments
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Watch out. Typhoon Kamikaze Ishihara is heading toward Dioayu island!!!!

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Even though its Japanese soil, this is just a pathetic move to lure out a reaction from China. These guys, seriously they are like a bunch of kids.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Not too sure if they are like kids, my guess, WORSE than kids!

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Ishihara really is being a headache to the national government, isn't he? Perhaps someone should tell the old git to stop messing around as its causing problems??

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So... hang on... isn't Japan trying to DIFFUSE the situation with China? This certainly won't help at all. So once again you have a few old men with power making things bad for everyone else out of selfishness.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Ohh that fear of china!

What are they going to do? launch of missiles toys in tokio?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Gambare Ishihara-san!

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

I get angry when I see stupid, selfish old fools ruining my potential of a safe and decent future. Maybe I shouldn't be in Japan.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

GO JAPAN!

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Watch out. Typhoon Kamikaze Ishihara is heading toward Dioayu island!!!!

Governor Ishihara is not in the team of 25 experts and officials. So he is not going to the senkaku islands.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I get angry when I see stupid, selfish old fools ruining my potential of a safe and decent future. Maybe I shouldn't be in Japan.

These idiot nationalists are rocking the national security. A small minority group of people are ruining the safety and security for the majority.

For those who are supporting him... shame on you.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

These islands are in Okinawa prefecture, surely if a government entity was going to buy these islands it should be whatever government area the islands are in, Ishigaki city, Okinawa prefecture or the national government, not the Tokyo government.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They are not idiot nationalists and not right-wingers either. They have an official job to have to be done there. lighthouse may be needed there for Japanese, Chinese fishermen.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

A lighthouse, dock, weather observatory, All useful and peaceful structures that will aid not only Japanese fishermen but those of China and Taiwan if they should ever be in need. Plus placement of structure will further firm Japan's rights as administering the islands at the same time. Ishihara has stated from the outset that he is doing this because the DPJ J-govt is too afraid of upsetting China to do what is obviously the right thing to do. In this instance I fully commemd the Tokyo govts actions and suggest PM Noda get on the ball. This has nothing to do with right-wing, it has to do with taking corrective action over an issue that has been follishly disregarded by previous J-govt administrations,

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This will smooth things over....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

These islands are in Okinawa prefecture, surely if a government entity was going to buy these islands it should be whatever government area the islands are in, Ishigaki city, Okinawa prefecture or the national government, not the Tokyo government.

The 3 Senkaku islands now belong to Japanese private owner. Japan is a free country. Tokyo Metropolitan Government can buy these islands with people's donation if the owner says "Yes" and Governor Ishihara would sell them to J Government later.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

fools

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The islands belong to China. The Senkaku islands are known as the Diaoyu in China. Japan first gained control of the islands after the 1894 war. The Japanese government attacked China to grab territory -- imitating the way the European imperialists were carving up the world for investment opportunities. Japan also annexed Taiwan after that war. The historical record, documented in works by Kiyoshi Inoyue, a historian who worked at Kyoto University, shows that the islands were in Chinese territory, not Ryukyu territory (now Okinawa).

Do not fall for the tricks of Ishihara. His aim is to divide the people of Japan and China -- to the benefit of the rich Japanese. Ishihara pretends to be the one who can say no to the US. But look how he promotes the US strategy of controlling Asia by dividing China and Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

How will spending a lot of private and tax money to make the islands part of Tokyo would make them more secure from foreign aggression? Maybe Ishihara and the J-goverment fears that the current owners of the islands could one day decide to sell them to China? Or maybe he just wants to get some attention from the media. Either way he is a fool. The gutless head of the state Noda cannot tell local mayor to shut up. It's time for Noda to step down, because he has no leadership skills at all. Such a weak leader and one of the worst PM that Japan had.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The 3 Senkaku islands now belong to Japanese private owner.

The so called private ownership of the disputed islands is just a joke, kwatt.

Do Japanese know how to read documents such as the Potsdam Agreement, San Francisco Peace Treaty and the 1971 reversion treaty?

The Potsdam Agreement says "The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine."

The San Francisco Peace Treaty says the disputed islands will be placed under a trusteeship to be approved by the UN, under the sole control of the US.

And the 1971 Reversion treaty says the US will hand over the administration (trusteeship that must be approved by the UN) of the disputed islands to the government of Japan.

Since when did the so called Koga's ownership become part of those agreements or treaties between the 2 governments?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Potsdam Agreement says "The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine."

Now, China, Korea and Russia all say Japan's claim over their islands is a violation of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender and Potsdam Agreement.

In 2010, China and Russia joined forces and vowed to defend the outcome of WWII, i.e. the Potsdam Agreement. Perhaps, S Korea can consider joining forces with them and bring up Japan's violation of the Potsdam Agreement and Japanese Instrument of Surrender to the UN which was founded based on WWII conferences such as those in Potsdam, and settle the disputes once and for all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

jackdlSep. 02, 2012 - 01:33AM JST The islands belong to China. The Senkaku islands are known as the Diaoyu in China.

No they don't. If China believes so let them take it to the ICJ.

Japan first gained control of the islands after the 1894 war. The Japanese government attacked China to grab >erritory --

First off there was no war in 1994. Secondly the Senkakus were not taken by war. They were Japanese terrotory before the suyrrender and signing of the treay in April 1885.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Guru29Sep. 02, 2012 - 04:51AM JST

Do Japanese know how to read documents such as the Potsdam Agreement, San Francisco Peace Treaty and the >1971 reversion treaty?

The Japanese do, And so do the Americans and ereyone else on this planet except for the Chinese iot seems.

The Potsdam Agreement says "The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty >shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine."

The Senkakus were dewtermined to be exempt.

The San Francisco Peace Treaty says the disputed islands will be placed under a trusteeship to be approved by the >UN, under the sole control of the US.

And they were.

And the 1971 Reversion treaty says the US will hand over the administration (trusteeship that must be approved by >the UN) of the disputed islands to the government of Japan.

And they were. So that's where China's claim ends.

Since when did the so called Koga's ownership become part of those agreements or treaties between the 2 >governments?

In Japan as in most democracies, private opwnertship of land that is part of a sovereign country is permitted. I can privately own land in TExas which is paret opf the sovereign nation of the United States of America. What? You canb't personally own land that is part of the People's Republic of China?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Guru29Sep. 02, 2012 - 04:55AM JST The Potsdam Agreement says "The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty >shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine."

Now, China, Korea and Russia all say Japan's claim over their islands is a violation of the Japanese Instrument of >Surrender and Potsdam Agreement.

Nonsense. THe PRC didn'r exist then. And the USSR which existed them doesn't now. And South Korea most certainly didn't exist then as it was part of Japan.

In 2010, China and Russia joined forces and vowed to defend the outcome of WWII, i.e. the Potsdam Agreement. Perhaps, S Korea can consider joining forces with them and bring up Japan's violation of the Potsdam Agreement and Japanese Instrument of Surrender to the UN which was founded based on WWII conferences such as those in Potsdam, and settle the disputes once and for all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

USA gave the Islands to japan. END

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

">smithinjapanSep. 01, 2012 - 11:03AM JST "Ossan: "No it didn't. Japan lost territories that were gained by greed or war. The Senkakus were not taken from anybody as they were uninhabited and unclaimed."

Ill-informed and jumping to conclusions, as usual. They were taken from China by force during the Japan-Sino war >in the 1800s. Stop reading those white-washed textbooks and do some actual research.

Totally incorrect. The Senkakus were incorprated in January 1895. The Sino-Japanese War wasn't concluded and the Treatuy of Shimonoseki ewasn;t signed by bioth countries until April 1885. In the Treaty, the Ching Dynasty (China) gicves up territories to Japan. But the Sevkakus are not included. Why? Because China never considered them theirs in the first place.

"2.The islands were neither part of Taiwan nor part of the Pescadores Islands, which were ceded to Japan by the Qing Dynasty of China in Article II of the May 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki,[30] thus were not later renounced by Japan under Article II of the San Francisco Peace Treaty.[31]""

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

">Guru29Sep. 02, 2012 - 04:55AM JST

The Potsdam Agreement says "The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty >shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine."

Now, China, Korea and Russia all say Japan's claim over their islands is a violation of the Japanese Instrument of >Surrender and Potsdam Agreement.

Nonsense. The PRC didn'r exist then. And the USSR which existed them doesn't now. And South Korea most certainly didn't exist then as it was part of Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The boat, scheduled to leave southwestern Japan late Saturday, will circle the islands Sunday for about 10 hours to study the area, check out animal and plant life, and measure the depth of the coastal waters, according to the city government.

It doesn't seem like you would need a survey team to do this, though it might be a fun trip. "Oh, look! A fish!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ossan: "First off there was no war in 1994."

Wow, you don't even read what you quote? No one said there was a war in 1994, they said 1894. And yes, China seized the islands during the Sino-Japan war. Get your facts straight, please.

"In the Treaty, the Ching Dynasty (China) gicves up territories to Japan. But the Sevkakus are not included. Why?"

Because they didn't want to give them up? Your point means nothing here. All this "look at old maps" when it's the Senkakus and then conveniently NOT looking at them when it's old Japanese maps that don't include Dokdo is just hypocrisy.

"Nonsense. The PRC didn'r exist then. And the USSR which existed them doesn't now. And South Korea most certainly didn't exist then as it was part of Japan."

So, what? Japan is exactly the same now as it was then? It hasn't changed one bit? The hypocrisy is astounding.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

overchan: "USA gave the Islands to japan. END"

Wasn't theirs to give.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The PRC&JP central governments are probably competing which is more "gutless" / "weaker": not asking a mayor to shut up or not defending territory and safe guarding a country's interests. Let's go fishing and seek energy together, if Japan and China fight, some certain country can relax and get ready to sell weapons- it's probably part of their recovery plan. Rare earth for rare earth, for Chinese ( note that both republics are China) Diaoyu/ Senkaku is that piece of rare earth. Trading is much better than war, everybody makes money at least, not just those which enjoy watching others fight and making profits out of others' "trouble waters".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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