尖閣無人島命名 領土で中国の圧力に屈するな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 4, 2012)
Resist Chinese pressure over Senkaku Islands
尖閣無人島命名 領土で中国の圧力に屈するな(2月3日付・読売社説)

What does the Japan-China agreement to make the East China Sea "a sea of cooperation and friendship" actually mean?

The government should call on China to exercise self-restraint and show a resolute attitude over territories and maritime interests.

The Chinese government recently protested the Japanese government's plan to name four uninhabited islands in the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

The Jan. 17 issue of the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, carried an editorial comment denouncing the plan as "a blatant move to damage China's core interests."

It is the first time China has used the expression "core interests" in connection with the Senkaku Islands.

China defines "core interests" to mean national sovereignty, maintenance of territorial integrity and other areas over which it will not compromise at any price.

China has used the expression for Taiwan and Tibet, but in recent years, Beijing reportedly used it for the South China Sea where armed conflicts with neighboring countries have occurred.

By using such a strong expression, China is pressuring Japan with the apparent aim of forestalling the move to name the islands.


Naming islands is correct

The Japanese government manages remote islands based on the Basic Law on Ocean Policy, which was enacted in 2007. Since 2009, Japan has named uninhabited islands one after another.
Until this process, the islands had no names although they are within the country's exclusive economic zone.

The Senkaku Islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory and the Japanese government's move to name the islands is correct.

There is no reason for Japan to be condemned by China.

The Japanese government must quickly name the four islands with the help of the Okinawa prefectural and Ishigaki municipal governments and put those names on nautical charts.

Since September 2010, when a Chinese trawler collided with Japan Coast Guard vessels, Chinese fisheries patrol boats have increased their activities around the Senkaku Islands, and have even intruded into Japan's territorial waters.

As seen in its hard-line stance in the South China Sea, China has a strategy of expanding the sea areas it controls through faits accomplis.

The JCG and the Self-Defense Forces must strengthen their vigilance and monitoring activities.


Improve management

Depending on China's actions, it also will be necessary to improve management of the Senkaku Islands.  中国の出方次第では、尖閣諸島に対する管理を強化することも必要だ。

Conducting maritime, meteorological and other scientific research on the Senkaku Islands is one idea.

Among gas fields near the median line between Japan and China in the East China Sea, Japan and China agreed to jointly develop a gas field known as Shirakaba in Japan and Chunxiao in China.
However, China has refused to resume negotiations on a treaty on joint development. This is a problem.

A flare was recently confirmed at the Kashi gas field, known as Tianwaitian in China.

Beijing's development of gas fields without Japan's consent closes the path to resolving problems through negotiations.

It is natural for Japan to protest to China and it must continue to press Beijing to stop developing the gas fields unilaterally.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 3, 2012)
(2012年2月3日01時19分 読売新聞)

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