Saturday, September 15, 2012

• Japan: Chinese Patrol Ships Leave Disputed Waters








An aerial photo from a Kyodo News aircraft shows the Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (front) cruising as a Japan Coast Guard ship sails near the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, Septembe

All six Chinese surveillance ships have left Japanese-controlled waters after briefly conducting a patrol mission near a group of disputed islands.

Japan's Coast Guard say the ships left the area surrounding the uninhabited archipelago Friday after both sides exchanged warnings in the contested waters.

Japan had organized an emergency task force and summoned the Chinese ambassador in response to the move, which it called "regrettable" and "unprecedented."

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said the "routine law enforcement" mission was "completely justifiable," saying the current tensions between Tokyo and Beijing are "completely caused by Japan."

China's official Xinhua news agency said the mission dealt "a big blow to the inflated swagger of Japan."


Tensions surrounding the rocky islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, have heightened since Tokyo angered China by purchasing them this week from a private Japanese landowner.

Since then, anti-Japan protests have broken out across China. On Friday, dozens of protesters waved Chinese flags and chanted slogans as they marched outside Japan's embassy in Beijing, calling for Japan to leave the uninhabited islands.

The protests came as the Japanese consulate in Shanghai reported that a group of Japanese citizens were hurt during an assault in a Chinese restaurant. Their injuries were minor. Japan's foreign ministry has warned its citizens in China to be aware of anti-Japan protests and not draw attention to themselves.

China's vice commerce minister, Jiang Zengwei, warned Thursday the dispute could affect trade between China and Japan, while Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba called for calm.

China is Japan’s largest trading partner.

On Monday, Japan announced a $26 million deal to nationalize the disputed island chain, whose waters contain rich fishing grounds and potential oil reserves. Japanese officials said the move was meant to ensure that no one triggers a confrontation with China by developing the uninhabited islands.

China called Japan's purchase a violation of Chinese sovereignty, saying China does not recognize any Japanese ownership of the islands. China urged Japan to revoke the purchase immediately.

Japan rejected China's demand, saying Tokyo will not reconsider a transaction involving what it considers to be sovereign Japanese territory.
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A Chinese surveillance vessel called Hajian 66, front, sailed ahead of a Japan Coast Guard vessel near disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea on Friday morning.

TOKYO — Six Chinese maritime patrol vessels entered Japanese-controlled waters around a group of disputed islands on Friday in the first such move by China since the Japanese government announced that it had bought the islands this week, the Japanese Coast Guard said.

The coast guard said one of its patrol ships tried to warn off the Chinese vessels, which later left the area. In Tokyo, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda met with advisers at his office’s crisis management center, while the Foreign Ministry summoned the Chinese ambassador to protest.

On Tuesday, the Chinese government announced that it was dispatching vessels to protest Japan’s purchase of three islands in the uninhabited chain, called the Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China. The islands, in the East China Sea between Okinawa and China, are administered by Japan but also claimed by mainland China and Taiwan.

That dispute has flared anew in recent months, after the nationalist governor of Tokyo declared that he wanted to buy the islands, which were owned by a Japanese family. The national government stepped in to buy them instead, a move that prompted angry street protests in China.

The Coast Guard identified the Chinese craft as unarmed Haijian-type vessels used for law enforcement in Chinese waters. It said they began entering Japanese-controlled waters near one of the islands early Friday morning. The Coast Guard said all left by late afternoon on Friday.

When a Japanese vessel warned the ships against entering Japanese waters, the Chinese replied that they were in Chinese territorial waters and asked the Japanese to withdraw instead, the Coast Guard said.

In Tokyo, Vice Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai said he protested to the Chinese ambassador, whom he also asked to ensure the safety of Japanese individuals and businesses in China from demonstrators.

Coast Guard ships tracked the Chinese vessels but did not try to stop them, in an apparent effort to prevent the episode from escalating. Japanese leaders said they were monitoring the Chinese and were ready to take additional action if necessary.

“We will take all possible measures” to ensure security around the islands, Mr. Noda was quoted as saying on Friday by the Kyodo News Agency of Japan.

China’s use of unarmed patrol ships also appeared to be a move to make its protest without causing a larger showdown. China frequently uses such vessels in the East China Sea to patrol near the disputed islands and around offshore gas drilling platforms that it operates in waters also claimed by Japan.

The Haijian-type ships are run by the China Marine Surveillance agency, which has functions similar to coast guards of other nations. Both Japan and China use such craft to assert their claims to disputed waters without using military vessels, as a way of avoiding a dangerous escalation.

Japan annexed the disputed islands in 1895, saying that they were unclaimed territory. It says China only started showing interest in them in the early 1970s, after possible oil reserves were discovered nearby. China says that the islands were Chinese for centuries and that Imperial Japan took them as a first step toward its later invasion of the Chinese mainland.

To reinforce its claims on the islands, China planned to file a copy of its version of the coordinates and territorial boundaries of the islands with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, the state run news agency, Xinhua, said Thursday.

“By doing so, we can proclaim to the international community our indisputable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands,” Deng Zhonghua, the head of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, was quoted as saying.

The charts being submitted to the United Nations showed that China had jurisdiction over the islands and their 12 nautical mile zone, Xinhua said.

Jane Perlez contributed reporting from Beijing.

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TOKYO — Six Chinese maritime patrol vessels entered Japanese-controlled waters around a group of disputed islands on Friday, the Japanese Coast Guard said, in the first such move by China since the Japanese government announced that it had bought the islands this week.

The Coast Guard said one of its patrol ships tried to warn off the Chinese vessels, two of which soon left the area. In Tokyo, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda huddled with advisers at his office’s crisis management center, while the Foreign Ministry summoned the Chinese ambassador to protest.

On Tuesday, the Chinese government announced that it was dispatching vessels to protest Japan’s purchase of three islands in the uninhabited chain, called the Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China. The islands, in the East China Sea between Okinawa and China, are administered by Japan but also claimed by China and Taiwan.

That dispute has flared anew in recent months, after the nationalist governor of Tokyo declared that he wanted to buy the islands, which were owned by a Japanese family. The national government stepped in to buy them instead, a move that drew an angry response from Beijing.

On Friday, the Coast Guard identified two of the Chinese vessels as the Haijian 51 and Haijian 66, unarmed ships used for law enforcement in Chinese waters. It said the two ships entered Japanese-controlled waters near one of the islands early Friday morning, and left two hours later.

When a Japanese vessel warned the ships against entering Japanese waters, the Chinese replied that they were in Chinese territorial waters, and ignored requests to turn back, Japan’s Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard did not identify the four other vessels, which Japanese news reports described as similar maritime patrol ships. China frequently uses such vessels in the East China Sea to patrol near the disputed islands, and around offshore gas drilling platforms that it operates in waters also claimed by Japan.

The Haijian-class ships are run by the China Marine Surveillance agency, which has functions similar to coast guards of other nations. Both Japan and China use such law enforcement vessels to assert their claims to disputed waters without using military vessels, as a way of avoiding a dangerous escalation.

Japan annexed the disputed islands in 1895, saying that they were unclaimed territory. It says China only started showing interest in them in the early 1970s, after possible oil reserves were discovered nearby. China says that the islands were Chinese for centuries, and that Imperial Japan took them as a first step toward its later invasion of the Chinese mainland.

Beijing also blames the United States, which seized the islands during World War II, for handing them over to Japan along with Okinawa in 1972 without consulting China.

READ MORE:
:mrgreen: Defying Japan, China sends ships to disputed islands
http://www.france24.com/en/20120914-chi ... s_disputed

:mrgreen: China surveillance ships near islands disputed with Japan
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/09/1 ... =worldNews












Chinese ships carry out patrols around islands at center of dispute with Japan

by Junko Ogura and Jethro Mullen, CNN
September 14, 2012 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)



okyo (CNN) -- Six Chinese maritime surveillance ships briefly entered waters around a group of islands at the center of a heated territorial dispute between Tokyo and Beijing, ignoring warnings from the Japanese authorities amid escalating tensions in the region.

The Chinese ships arrived near the uninhabited islands -- which Japan calls Senkaku and China calls Diaoyu -- on Friday morning and began patrols and "law enforcement," China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

The islands, situated in the East China Sea between Okinawa and Taiwan, are currently under Japanese control, but China claims they have been an "inherent" part of its territory "since ancient times." The long-running argument over who has sovereignty has resulted in occasionally violent acts of public protest.

The United States,a key ally of Japan, has repeatedly urged Tokyo and Beijing to resolve the dispute through dialogue. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will meet with his counterparts in Japan and China during a visit to the region that begins this weekend, the Department of Defense said Thursday.

The Chinese ships entered Japanese territorial waters Friday despite warnings from the Japanese Coast Guard, said Shinichi Gega, a spokesman for Japan's 11th Regional 
Coast Guard Headquarters.
Disputed islands in East China Sea Why is Japan feuding over islands?
The vessels had all left the waters by mid-afternoon and headed north, the Japanese Coast Guard said later Friday, noting that sea in the area was getting rough as a huge storm, Super Typhoon Sanba, approached from the south.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Japan would intensify its own patrols of the area in response to what he described as an "unprecedented scale of invasion" of Japanese waters.

See a map of Asia's disputed islands
Tokyo has protested the "inappropriate, illegal act" to the Chinese authorities, Fujimura said.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Japan would "take all possible measures to ensure security" around the islands.
Two of the Chinese ships responded to a Japanese Coast Guard vessel's warning by reiterating China's territorial claim to the islands and saying they were carrying out patrol work, according to Gega. Japanese ships and helicopters are continuing their own patrols of the area, he said.

The controversial Chinese move to begin patrols around the islands follows the Japanese government's purchase of several of the islands from a private Japanese owner earlier this week, a deal that China described as "illegal and invalid."
Read about China's warning of economic fallout

The purpose of the patrols is "to demonstrate China's jurisdiction over the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islets and ensure the country's maritime interests," Xinhua reported Friday, citing a government statement.

This week, China announced what it said were the boundaries of its territorial waters around the islands to back up its claim of sovereignty. It said it had filed a copy of the announcement with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday to comply with international law.

But Fujimura insisted Friday that the islands are an "integral part of Japanese territory" under international law, highlighting how directly opposed the two sides are.
Animosity between the two countries over the islands runs deep.

They have come to represent what many Chinese people see as unfinished business: redressing the impact of the Japanese occupation of large swathes of eastern China during the 1930s and 1940s.

China says its claim goes back hundreds of years. Japan says it saw no trace of Chinese control of the islands in an 1885 survey, so formally recognized them as Japanese sovereign territory in 1895.

Japan then sold the islands in 1932 to descendants of the original settlers. The Japanese surrender at the end of World War II in 1945 only served to cloud the issue further.
The islands were administered by the U.S. occupation force after the war. But in 1972, Washington returned them to Japan as part of its withdrawal from Okinawa.
Tokyo's diplomatic corps suffered an unexpected setback Thursday when the newly appointed Japanese ambassador to China, Shinichi Nishimiya, collapsed in Tokyo and was hospitalized just two days after he was named to the post





Defying Japan, China sends ships to disputed islands

by LATEST UPDATE: 14/09/2012 - CHINA - DIPLOMACY - JAPAN



Six Chinese ships entered waters surrounding a disputed island chain claimed by both China and Japan on Friday amid deteriorating relations between the two regional powers, prompting Japan to summon its Chinese ambassador in protest.

Six Chinese ships sailed into waters around a disputed archipelago on Friday, with Beijing saying they were there for "law enforcement" around islands Japan nationalised earlier this week.

The move -- dubbed "unprecedented" by Tokyo -- marked the latest stage in a deteriorating row between Asia's two biggest economies and came as reports emerged of Japanese nationals being physically attacked in China.

Tokyo summoned the Chinese ambassador to protest what it insists is an incursion into territorial waters around islands it controls, called Senkaku, but claimed by Beijing as Diaoyu.

However, China was resolute, with the foreign ministry issuing a forthright statement claiming the boats were patrolling sovereign territory.

"Two Chinese surveillance ship fleets have arrived at waters around the Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islands on September 14, 2012 to start patrol and law enforcement," the statement said.

"These law enforcement and patrol activities are designed to demonstrate China's jurisdiction over the islands and safeguard its maritime interests."

Japan's coast guard said the ships had all arrived by 7:00 am (2200 GMT Thursday), with three of them having left the area by 8:30 am.

Coastguard vessels were on scene, demanding the ships leave, a spokesman said.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda established a task force to deal with the issue on Friday morning and his foreign ministry summoned China's ambassador, Cheng Yonghua, to lodge a protest.

"We understand that (the dispatch of) six ships is surely an unprecedented case, considering past incidents," Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters.

Fujimura said Yonghua had reiterated Beijing's claims to the islands in the East China Sea, which lie around 400 kilometres (250 miles) from the Okinawan capital of Naha and 200 kilometres from Taiwan.

"The Japanese government stated its position firmly about the issue of Senkaku, while asking him about the safety of Japanese nationals in China."

Japan urged "that China do its utmost -- above all else -- to secure the safety of Japanese nationals in China," he said.

Fujimura's comments come as the Japanese consulate in Shanghai reported physical attacks on its nationals.

"A group was dining late at night, and they were harassed and assaulted by Chinese," said a statement on the consulate's website.

The consulate said bottles were thrown at some Japanese, and drinks and food were poured over others, while one person reported having a pair of glasses broken.

Japan's foreign ministry has warned its nationals who are in China or who are planning to visit there to be aware of anti-Japanese demonstrations and to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

The embassy in Beijing said Japanese should avoid approaching the building, where protests have been reported, unless absolutely necessary.

Relations between the two countries -- often rocky because of a difficult history -- have worsened since pro-Beijing nationalists landed on one of the islands in August.

They were arrested and deported by Japan, but followed days later by Japanese nationalists, who raised their flag there.

Anti-Japanese protests broke out in China and have continued since Japan on Tuesday announced it had nationalised three of the islands in the chain. It already owns another and leases the fifth.

The purchase was intended at least partially to head off an attempt to buy them by Tokyo's provocative Governor Shintaro Ishihara, who charged Japan was not doing enough to protect its territory.

Commentators say Noda's solution -- nationalising the islands and continuing its policy of doing nothing with them -- was an attempt to navigate between rising nationalism at home and China's growing assertiveness on the oceans.

But Beijing's reaction has been sharper than many analysts expected. Some observers have pointed to the forthcoming leadership change in China's Communist Party and say the islands issue is being used as a way to distract public attention from the less-than-smooth transition.