politics

New Chinese islands don't settle sea disputes: Japan

50 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2015 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

50 Comments
Login to comment

"China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and we do not need to prove this by building facilities on the islands and reefs..."

Of course not. And you can be sure they will continue to build on other islands and reefs because they don't need to prove their "indisputable sovereignty".

4 ( +8 / -4 )

It also sounds like an environmental crime but, hey, when did that ever stop them. Or anyone else. It seems to be ok to trash the environment in pursuit of nationalist agendas too.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

they have a very smart and caring for their patriotic country to win over a dispute like that especially over usa. now no matter what japan and usa does those islands are set by international authorities to be part of china

-22 ( +4 / -26 )

...a joint exercise between Japan and the Philippines, as the relationship blossoms between the two regional powers

The silver lining here is that the PRC government is causing Japan to improve its relations with the Philippines and other Asian neighbors. China would be much wiser to build positive relations with its neighbors.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

It is interesting that Washington is just now raising comcerns over Communist China's "Land Reclaimation"??

Is that what they're calling it these days? I was think of something more in the lines of Imperialism via Militarism aka Illegal Land Grabbing.

Any historical maps to back up these territorial claims?

Nope. Just were taking it - And the Oil Reserves just South of these "Reclaimed Islands" near Malaysia.

I am really worried. Washington assured the world that they wouldn't allow Iran to build Nukes and I believe Iran will build Nukes.

Washington assured our Asian Allies, like JAPAN that they would not allow Communist China to expand and Comminize The Pacific but at this rate that is exactly the way things are shaping up to be - A Comminized Pacific Region.

Wake Up Washington - Somebody's sleeping at the switch again!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

With the completion of the reclamation, we must not accept the land reclamation as a done deal. We demand (China) not take unilateral actions that bring irreversible and physical changes,” he added.

Suga....pot-kettle-black! As much as I am for the proposed move of a base here in Okinawa to a landfill extension project at another location on the island, it's hypocritical, in my opinion, for Suga and the government to be telling China or anyone for that matter about "irreversible and physical changes".

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

“We demand (China) not take unilateral actions that bring irreversible and physical changes”

a bit late, innit?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Actually even China accepted that Senkaku islands is part of Japanese territory. Just look these official links:

http://www.marefa.org/images/thumb/f/f0/1953renminribao.gif/300px-1953renminribao.gif

Renmin Ribao, one of the major Newspaper in China describes these islands as part of Japanese territory.

http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/senkaku/images/qa/img03.jpg

A chinese news in 1940s also describe those islands with Japanese name. Just look the Kanji used to these islands.

https://ampontan.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/senkakus-4.jpg?w=910&h=761

now a map in 1970/ January.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

This is an extraordinarily audacious and aggressive course of action China is taking here, and could have quite serious ramifications. Just looking at the map tells the story. There is no way they have legitimate claims over that territory. No way. It's laughable.

The Chinese Communist Party are doing it's people no favours here. Again.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Diplomatic negotiations between parties involved is more important than ever here. Although it is sad to see that significant damages have been done to the ocean, we do not afford to let some militant politicians use this political situation as an outlet of their aggressive means that will prove highly unproductive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru the new American base on Okinawa is too far away to be effective in the South China Sea. These new Chinese bases are sitting ducks to any American attack. What the USA needs is new bases in the Philippines and that is were the US Marines on Okinawa should be relocated. The Philippines is wide open to Chinese invasion. They do not have an air force, navy or army to repel them.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Notice that they said that the reclamation itself would stop. The construction on the reclaimed islands will go on.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If Japan's position is that reclaiming land isn't sufficient to give a country territorial rights, it means that Okinotorishima also has no exclusive economic zone (which is the Chinese view).

Similarly, the Chinese cannot claim any exclusive economic zone around their newly-reclaimed islands whilst denying Japan the same rights around Okinotorishima.

Double standards all round it seems.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The silver lining here is that the PRC government is causing Japan to improve its relations with the Philippines and other Asian neighbors. China would be much wiser to build positive relations with its neighbors. why would a country care what neighbours do? let them have it, do w.e phillipines and japan wants with each other. as long as china gets their people in better position with a powerfull nation with more opportunities or have what they want. Mitsuo matsuyama u are right. senkaku went to japan. kmj119, negotiations means nothing when u get free land with more ocean control for the biggest trade centre in the world. environment? talk about amerika and drilling in arctic

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Obvious response to these Chinese actions is for Japan to start building its own islands. for air/sea rescue or environmental monitoring or tourism or whatever........

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ Wakarimasen. Japan did. It is Okinotori-shima.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

'China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and we do not need to prove this by building facilities on the islands and reefs,” foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular press briefing, using the Chinese name for the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea

I have posted some useful tools and analysis from Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative that highlight the nature of the dispute, the significance of the Government of China land reclamation program will have on trade and energy (LNG) free movement.

Most of all the scale of the program raises little doubt the intensions of the Government of China is to enforce an air/sea defense zone to seize control of near $10billion worth of trade using the maritime lanes in the vicinity of the Spatly Islands. Su-27SK fighters have been deployed to Woody Island in the Paracel archipelago. If permanently stationed on Fiery Cross, the Su-27SK will cover southern most areas of the South China Sea

The Government of Japan must take the initiative, and stress in no uncertain terms that this is totally unacceptable. It is imperative that a diplomatic solution is found to prevent a full scale military confrontation.

Maps are powerful tools for understanding the complexities of maritime Asia. Explore trade, natural resources, multilateral memberships, territorial and maritime issues, and the military balance in the region........

http://amti.csis.org/atlas/

Island Reclamation Analysis - Follow the latest developments on island reclamation activities in maritime Asia. Exclusive new satellite imagery is added on a regular basis.

http://amti.csis.org/island-tracker/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

itsonlyrocknrol lJUN. 18, 2015 - 10:37AM JST The Government of Japan must take the initiative, and stress in no uncertain terms that this is totally unacceptable. It is imperative that a diplomatic solution is found to prevent a full scale military confrontation.

With no leverage, Japan cannot do nothing. Japan is a handicap country with Article 9, with no value to the neighboring countries. Japan currently has over 20,000 companies operating inside China and if there's a military confrontation in the East or South China Seas, Chinese could potentially freeze all the bank accounts and shut their companies down immediately. There will be a deep recession in Japan. Then what's next for Japan? China is taking advantage of loss of the security umbrella for Philippines that was provided by the U.S. until the early 90's. Philippines got exactly what they deserved when wanted their independence from U.S. Now they are crying and inviting a renewed and enlarged U.S. military presence. Too bad, it's too late. The Chinese seized the shoal in 2012, and set off the current crisis over territorial claims in the sea. If only the Americans hadn't left Subic Bay, there wouldn't be this problem in the South China Sea today.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Apologies, scrote, I didn't see your post before I hastily wrote mine.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

China has made the quite accurate assessment that no country in the region has the strength or willingness to take actual physical action to reverse the actions that China has done and that the U.S., for all of its bluster and words, is not willing to engage with China on this issue, other than through symbolic actions and empty words.

That iss the reality and no amount of words will change it. China could care less what the countries in the region think or even what international bodies think. The nine dash/dotted line map has been at the core of China's territorial sovereignty stance for half a century and there is absolutely no reason for them to abandon it, particularly when they are in physical possession of territory covered under that stance.

As the old saying goes, possession is nine-tenths of the law. Like it or not, for all nations involved facing off to China on this, I am afraid it is check mate.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This ugly bully unilateral act by communist China really shows its culture of taking without shame. The world will teach the CPP a lesson since bullying will run its course. Too bad China chose to pay back the openness of the world this way.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Okinotorishima has never had a Chinese presence, whereas Japan has been involved since the 1920s. No other country has ever had a presence there, unless you want European explorers who discovered it centuries ago and never made a claim. (Not surprisingly as there was nothing to interest them apart from noting a potential navigation hazard. Oil as a resource, at least as we use it now, was unheard of that time, and they wouldn't have had the technology, assume it exists, to drill for it).

So comparing Okinotorishima to what the CCP is doing in the story has absolutely no meaning.

The CCP is building on contested islands without regard to international law.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

So China can do whatever China wants, but if anyone wants to stop it, it's war in the region?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

what can Japan do=0

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hi sfjp330, It will all boil down to approximately 12 nautical miles of a territorial stretch of sea by any reasonable interpretation of international law is rightfully claimed by a whole host of countries, only the Government of China is facilitating the use of force in asserting control that would infringe the international freedom of navigation/overflight that already exists.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has continually stated that, "U.S. military forces would exercise their right to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, and would ignore any Chinese orders to vacate areas surrounding the newly-built islands, and considering how to demonstrate freedom of navigation in an area that is critical to world trade,”.....

The Government of Japan has a crucial role to play, that will require no constitutional jiggery-pokery to Article 9.

The US military are planning to despatch a naval task-force and aircraft carrier group close to the reefs/islands to ensure freedom of navigation.

The Government of Japan has an opportunity to become a honest broker for China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines. Abe San leverage will be to utilize carefully forged aspects to an alliance that facilitates the forward deployment of some 50,000 U.S. troops and numerous U.S. military assets cited on Japanese soil, whilst at the same time forcing the Government of China hand. The land reclamation is coming to a conclusion, the only goal here for Abe San is to maintain the status quo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of COURSE China building the islands won't change the dispute -- but at least Japan is acknowledging that it's now a dispute, instead of saying it isn't. On the contrary now China is insisting it's not a dispute and they have every right to do what they are doing in that territory.

"...unilateral actions aimed at changing the status quo..."

Japan saying this while going to the Philippines and other nations to practice military drills LITERALLY with the aim of isolating China is the pot calling the kettle black, however.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

As far as I can understand from Smith point of view, China can do military drills, kill people and do their madness with their neighbors, but Japan cannot defend herself and help other nations. If not, so how do you expect an army to be prepared to the war that her neighbor is provoking? Do you think that people should only stand on the corner and eat hot dogs and smile as if nothing wrong is happening? You definitely doesn't know what you are talking about.

Dispute only occurs when neither of nations have proof about their claims and both want such lands as their territories. Thing that doesn't happen regarding Japan and China because even Chinese recognize those islands as Japanese territory as mentioned in these links below:

http://www.marefa.org/images/thumb/f/f0/1953renminribao.gif/300px-1953renminribao.gif

Renmin Ribao, one of the major Newspaper in China describes these islands as part of Japanese territory.

http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/senkaku/images/qa/img03.jpg

A chinese news in 1940s also describe those islands with Japanese name. Just look the Kanji used to these islands.

https://ampontan.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/senkakus-4.jpg?w=910&h=761

now a map in 1970/ January.

As you guys can see, all sources are from Chinese newspaper or Chinese government back in 1940,50,60 and 70s. It is not me who is talking about it, but the Chinese themselves.

Now regarding military drills. All army do the same thing; however, Japan is doing it as well as other southeast Asian nations because of China threat. If it were not for it, Japan would not do it with so much frequency.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

No, Basher, you are right that Okinotorishima was not claimed by China or anyone else and this is likely because, without the concrete, and regular additions to it, there would be nothing there to claim. It is controversial however that Japan is making a land/sea/resources grab by continually bolstering these reefs to keep them above the required level. This is not as controversial as China's belligerent claim to existing islands also claimed by others but it is probably disingenuous nonetheless. Sorry for the nuance, I know we are expected to take sides but I can't.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan and USA and Aquino are fighting a futile hypocritical battle. The fact Obama two weeks ago publicly said "China's claims to the islands may be legitimate, ..." already further weakened Aquino's/Japan's view, and it's way too late now to start yapping about it. Japan's own claims to Senkaky/Diaoyu islands (that lie far from Japan but close to China) are not that clear-cut either and makes no sense that its best pal, USA, "gave" these islands to Japan but can't say they belong to Japan's sovereignty. And Japan was the one who changed the status quo, as British govt documents last year revealed indeed Japan and China agreed to shelf the islands issue in the 70s. Filipino claims made in the ICJ are clear-cut?, coming from Aquino who is labelled by his own country's commentators as wrong to keep making those Nazi comparisons when history has shown China has not even invaded any nation nor massacred up to 50 million people like Japan did in Asia and in the Philippines. Abe is always using any (even nonsensical) excuse to point to China to try to bolster his crumbling security bills/militarism pipe dream, but also knows he can't push China beyond her limits. Some posters here are right: what can USA, Japan, Aquino and Vietnam do other than useless patrols , "show of force" (that looks silly when China's might cannot be played with), and harsh language? Even experts have stated China's declaring an air zone is not exactly illegal, just like USA and Japan have a monster zone of their own, and it is an overhype to say China will block sea and air free navigation etc. Aquino and Abe grasping at straws. At least USA and Obama acknowledge certain rights of China's claims and willing to find a mechanism to stabilize the issue, as USA's huge presence so near China is one key reason why China is doing what she has to do under her sovereign right.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

" Senkaky/Diaoyu islands (that lie far from Japan but close to China "

Please, stop spreading misinformation; the Senkakus are closer to Japan than they are to China!

Are you trying to fool anyone, or you simply don't know of a fact easily ascertained with a 3 seconds search?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan has long criticised China’s attempts to change the status quo unilaterally and by force, mindful of its own dispute with Beijing over islands in the East China Sea.

Oh dear, the Japanese government claims there is no dispute over the Senkaku Diaoyu islands.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Senkakus are not closer to China.

Miyako-jima is Japan and is closer.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Yubaru the new American base on Okinawa is too far away to be effective in the South China Sea.

You missed the point entirely.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Christopher Glen

Japan has not received any formal notification from any international court of arbitration for a hearing concerning Senkaku from any nation. Without it, it is considered not disputed in international norm.

On the otherhand Philippines had filed a complaint against PRC and PRC was notified making disputed.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Without it, it is considered not disputed in international norm.

Ah, so by that logic neither Dokdo/ Takeshima, or the Northern Territories are in dispute. Because South Korea and Russia certainly haven't referred the matter to a court of arbitration. Japan can't have it both ways when it comes to disputes

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The official line is that these new facilities are for air-sea rescue.

So what's to stop US and Japanese ships and planes using them? Just send a couple of C2s down to set up a Japanese coastguard station, "in the spirit of international cooperation".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dumping concrete into the oceans is not legally going to redefine international boundaries. Chinese logic though continues to confound.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If at all these areas were terra nullius , they now have an occupant. People may not like it, but this is not just anyone you can push away so easily.

“This can serve as China’s forward operating base, a refuelling stop for ships and aircraft,” Philippine defence department spokesman Peter Galvez told AFP.

Yes, it can.

“This will allow China easy reach in the West Philippine Sea (the Filipino name for a section of the South China Sea claimed by Manila) and extend their reach up to Australia and other parts of the South Pacific.”

Yes, It will.

“They can do anything they want there. It could be their command and control centre,” he added. Yes, they can.

Philippines,despite my soft spot for you, please desist from being used as an agent-provocateur for others. Take lessons from the Georgian republic's war with Russia over Ossetia and Abhazia ( I know the topography and dynamics are different). It's good to keep powerful friends, but it's far better to know WHICH wars you want to pick. Some wars are worth fighting and dying for even if you know you'll lose. Is this one of those? China has never gone to war with anyone just for wars sake. In The Sino-Vietnamese war (1979) and the Sino-Indian war of 1962 always ended with China withdrawing to pre-hostilities status-quo. It will be nice if Philippines doesn't become the spark of the fuse-powder-keg that this area has become. Plus, should anything go down, Philippines and or its environs will be the primary theatre, and I'd like to think China would want to move with incredible speed and force to swat you and not only set an example to others in the area but to make manifest its power to others in the region. Woe be unto you on the receiving end.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Yes, and no matter how the term is Coined by the Communist Friendly Media these days - "Land Reclamation" = INVASION

Communist China is invading the South China Sea.

Hitler did not "Reclaim" Poland - he Invaded it, occupied it, and expanded Nazi Germany's Territory.

Communist China is going down the same road as Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan did during WW2.

But what do you all really expect from a Contradicting, Corrupt, Communist Party? Clarity?

I think not.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Actually it's Japan itself returned spratly isles and paracel isles, together with Pangu isles and Taiwan to ROC as per The Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty in 1952, which 's also supported by the US. however both of Japan and the US betrayed Taiwan(ROC) to set up relationship with Mailand China and recognize it's sovereignty over their old, betraied friend Taiwan, so China got legal position to own all isles in south china sea. Don't complain others today, it's your own mistakes!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well the mistake was not who gained legal rights of the Spratly Islands and their respective territory - it's been contested for 100's of years but 99% - it's The Phillipines.

The mistake and I may I use the term "Regret" was The Phillipines wanted the United States Military off their islands before 1991.

When Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, the U.S. decided to give the Phillipines what they protested for so many years - We left the Philippine Islands for good.

And now look what happened - China's Invasion.

I hope the Governor of Okinawa is taking notes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As far as I can understand from Smith point of view, China can do military drills, kill people and do their madness with their neighbors, but Japan cannot defend herself and help other nations. If not, so how do you expect an army to be prepared to the war that her neighbor is provoking? Do you think that people should only stand on the corner and eat hot dogs and smile as if nothing wrong is happening? You definitely doesn't know what you are talking about.

Mitsuo, don't bother wasting your breath. Smith is anti-Japan through and through, yet more than happy to suck the good out of this land when it suits. Any sign of trouble and he'll scuttle back to Canada safe and sound.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan and the Philippines are playing fire together now!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

SaketownJun. 19, 2015 - Well the mistake was not who gained legal rights of the Spratly Islands and their respective territory - it's been contested for 100's of years but 99% - it's The Phillipines.

It's not because isles near you so you ownd it, that's why Falklands island belong to Britain and Guam islands belong to the US! Philipine had been colony of Spain and the US for hundred of years until end of WWII, how could it own spratly isles?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

[ “China is alone on this. There’s nobody else in the region that’s supportive of these efforts.” ]

and there are only 3, 2 of them have no business here coming all the way to disturb the peace in this South China Sea. Am I not right? Who else do not like to have a prosperous Asia? that determine the economic stability of the world?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Yosun - Well the British were invading the Faulklsnds - plain and simple. The point being is that The Phillipines have administered the Spratly Islands (just as the Japanese the Senkakku's) since the end of WW2 and there were NO DISPUTES up until 1992 when researchers suddenly discovered Natural Reserrves in this areas and then suddenly Communist China starts moving in claiming "This is our Sovereign Territory - You Go!"

Everyone needs to understand being British, Chinese, or American, just because Natural Reserves become prominent in a region favorable you your Nation does not mean for your Nation to start planting your Military there and making boastful threats to nations that have already regionalized these areas and administered them for many many years.

Finally, there is No Disputing International Waters and I wish the media would stop putting a spin on what is well perceived as an Invasions to be coined as "Land Reclamation" and Territorial Incirsions as "Disputes".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

re: Japan warned China on Wednesday that its extensive land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea does not make ownership

China could care less what Japan or any other country says, they are just empty words, empty words mean nothing in real world. Japan should build a Joint Base on the Senkukus despite what China claims to say against it;. Besides Japan has nothing to lose other than to once and for all prove that the US -Japan alliance will work. Is China willing to find out, that remains to be seen but a good opportunity to test the theory and call a bluff a bluff.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Christopher Glen

Ah, so by that logic neither Dokdo/ Takeshima, or the Northern Territories are in dispute. Because South Korea and Russia certainly haven't referred the matter to a court of arbitration.

SK was notified by international court of arbitration three times, Russia acknowledges the dispute and had called Japan directly to settle the matter. Don't you read the news or History books?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Saketown:...regionalized these areas and administered them for many many years.

Definitely not for spratly isles to Philipine - plain and simple. Instead, Taiwan(ROC) has been administrating the same since 50's, Taiwan has air and sea port in spratly's main island- Taiping island, the biggest and only island with natural fresh water over there!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Triring JUN. 20, 2015 - 09:04AM JST Russia acknowledges the dispute and had called Japan directly to settle the matter.

In 1956, Russia proposed returning the two islands closest to Japan, a deal Japan rejected, in part because the two islands represent only 7% of the land in question. Since then, the dispute has remained unresolved.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites