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China-Japan row: Tensions rise over islands dispute

11-11-2012 20:50 BJT Special Report:Diaoyu Islands: China’s Inherent Territory |
Special Report:18th CPC National Congress |

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This year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries, but tensions have been rising sharply since Tokyo declared it would purchase China's Diaoyu islands in September. China has consistently warned Japan from taking further provocative actions.

On September 10, the Japanese government officially declared it would purchase the Diaoyu Islands.

The following day, the government signed a contract with the Kurihara family, the self pro-claimed "private owners" of the Diaoyu Islands. By nationalizing the islands, the Japanese government sought to strengthen its legal claim over the area.

Japan’s provocative move sparked a sharp rebuke from China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said, “We hope that Japan will change its erroneous decision, and stop any actions that hurts China’s sovereignty. China will take the necessary measures to resolutely protect the country’s sovereignty according to developments in the situation.”

The warning was backed up with actions.

China dispatched a group of surveillance ships to the Diaoyu islands to enforce the country’s sovereignty. The People’s Liberation Army also carried out military exercises across the country to make it clear that China wouldn’t make any concessions on its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

But Japan has remained defiant. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ordered the country’s Self Defense Forces to be fully prepared for any emergency.

As tensions flared up, trade between Asia’s two biggest economies has been hurt severly.

Many Chinese tourists cancelled their travel plans to Japan. Some Chinese airlines also cancelled or cut flights to the country. And more and more Chinese people began boycotting Japanese products.

Some of the hardest hit were Japanese automakers, including Toyota, Honda and Nissan, who were pressured to shut down several factories in China.

China’s Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said that Japan should take full responsibility for the damage to economic ties.

Chen Deming from China’s Minister Of Commerce, said, "Two way trade has decreased by a certain level. This is something we don’t want to see continue. The responsibility of such severe damage should lie with the Japanese side, especially the Japanese government."

China has repeatedly urged Japan to refrain from any statements or actions that undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and to let talks get back on track. But thus far, Japan has done little to improve the situation.

 

Editor:Zhou Minxi |Source: CCTV.com

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