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2012年9月15日 (土)

尖閣国有化 中国の圧力外交は行き過ぎだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 15, 2012)
China should not go too far in its response over Senkakus
尖閣国有化 中国の圧力外交は行き過ぎだ(9月14日付・読売社説)

China is escalating its opposition to the Japanese government's nationalization of the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, over which China claims sovereignty.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao stressed that Beijing would never concede, even half a step, on issues concerning what it claims as its sovereign and territorial rights.

The Chinese Defense Ministry said the Chinese government and military would reserve the right to take appropriate measures. They apparently aim to unnerve Japan and force it to cancel the purchase of the islands.

There is no doubt that China's leaders cannot allow themselves to appear weak-kneed toward Japan given domestic circumstances dominated by the Chinese Communist Party's upcoming National Congress, in which the nation's new leadership will be installed.

Will China repeat the reckless measures it took against Japan two years ago, in the wake of the collision incident involving a Chinese trawler and Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels? Beijing at that time imposed stricter restrictions on the export of rare earth minerals. If China wishes to call itself a responsible major power in the international community, it should restrain itself from imposing excessive diplomatic pressures.


No doubt that isles are Japanese

Japan maintains that a territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands does not exist. It was a matter of course that Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba firmly refuted China's claim, saying, "The Senkaku Islands are inherent territories of our nation, and this is a fact without doubts in light of international law and in historic terms."

Regarding the nationalization of the islands, the Japanese government has explained that it was "for peaceful and stable maintenance and management" of the islands. It is important that the government persistently make the case to the international community.

The Japanese government must beef up its vigilance over actions taken by China in an attempt to undermine Japan's effective control over the Senkaku Islands. Chinese state media recently reported that two patrol ships of China's State Oceanic Administration had started patrol activities in waters near the islands.

A scenario in which many patrol ships and armored fishing boats enter Japan's territorial waters and take other demonstrative actions cannot be excluded from possibility.


Coast guard must be strengthened

The Japanese government needs to expand and strengthen the Japan Coast Guard's structural functions so that all possible measures can be taken to ensure security in the nation's territorial waters.

Growing anti-Japan sentiment in China also is a cause of concern. With the approach of the Sept. 18 anniversary of the Liutiaohu Incident, which triggered the Manchurian Incident, calls to join anti-Japan protests have been made through the Internet across China.

Japanese communities in China also have been shaken by developments such as the postponement of an athletic meet at a local Japanese school. We urge Chinese authorities to act quickly to calm such situations and ensure the safety of Japanese citizens and companies there.

It is also problematic that a number of exchange programs have been suspended. China told a group of about 30 Japanese lawmakers from different parties to postpone their visit to Beijing to attend events to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China diplomatic relations. An increasing number of Chinese tourists have also canceled their plans to visit Japan.

Japan and China have historical ties. For the sake of further development of bilateral relations, China should not unilaterally close the channels of exchange and communications.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 14, 2012)
(2012年9月14日01時24分  読売新聞)


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