A team of Japanese surveyors yesterday sailed to a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea, the Diaoyutais (釣魚台), that the nationalistic governor of Tokyo wants to buy, with Beijing lodging a “serious protest” at the action.
Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, known for his outspoken views, dispatched the team that arrived at the island chain claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan, known as Senkaku in Japan.
Ishihara wants to buy some of the islands from their private owners to highlight Japan’s claim and build a small harbor for fishing vessels.
Photo: Reuters / Kyodo
The 25-member team remained on their boats to survey the shoreline and waters around the rocky uninhabited isles, Japanese television showed.
The national government rejected the team’s request to land on the islands.
“Seeing it with your own eyes is different from seeing them on a map,” Seiichiro Sakamaki, the Tokyo official leading the team, told Japanese television networks as he stood aboard a survey ship near the islands.
“The scale and size are very clear to see. The governor has asked what could be done to build a small harbor. We want to check the islands with that in mind,” he said.
Ishihara, a vocal critic of China, has previously said he hoped to visit the islands himself next month when he sends another survey mission.
In Beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman told reporters that China “has once again lodged a serious protest to the Japanese side” over the surveying mission.
“The Chinese side reiterated that any ... action taken by the Japanese side is illegal and invalid and can never change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islands are part of China’s territory,” the spokesman said.
Chinese state media earlier yesterday also said the surveyors were acting “illegally,” describing the mission as the “latest provocative move that infringes on Chinese territory.”
“To curb such provocations and ease tensions over the islands, the Japanese government should avoid being crippled by the right-wingers and handle relevant issues from the overall interests of the Sino-Japanese relations,” a commentary on Xinhua news agency said.
Testy Japan-China ties turned for the worse last month after pro-Beijing activists landed on one of the islands, which are controlled by Japan. They were arrested by Japanese authorities and deported.
About a dozen Japanese nationalists raised their country’s flag on the island days later, prompting protests in cities across China.
The car of the Japanese ambassador was targeted in Beijing when an unidentified man ripped Japan’s national flag off the vehicle.
Japan’s national government is also considering buying some of the islands for ￥2.05 billion (US$26 million) from the same landowners with whom Ishihara is negotiating, the Nikkei Shimbum said yesterday.
By avoiding Ishihara’s direct involvement in managing the disputed islands, Japan wants to prevent the dispute with China from heating up further, local media have said.
Three cases of Candida auris, a fungus that can cause a yeast infection known as candidiasis in humans, have been reported in Taiwan over the past few years, but they did not display drug resistance, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said yesterday. Lo made the statement at a news conference in Taipei, one day after the Washington Post reported that the potentially deadly fungus is spreading in US hospitals. The fungus was first discovered in Japan in 2009 and poses a danger to immunocompromised people, with an estimated mortality rate of 30 to 60 percent, Lo
‘COINCIDENCE’: The former president should keep in mind local and global response to his actions and abide by the law to safeguard national interests, the MAC said The Presidential Office yesterday confirmed that it has received an application from former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to visit China next week and would be discussing his security detail. “As the travel restrictions on former president Ma have expired, we respect his plan to pay respect to his ancestors in China,” Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said. “We will review his travel plan and consult concerned agencies to assist him in arranging his security detail.” “We also hope that Ma, as a former commander in chief of Taiwan, acts in a manner that aligns with national interests and does not hurt
‘DIRE’: Taiwan would not engage in ‘dollar diplomacy,’ the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, after China reportedly offered Honduras up to US$3 billion to establish relations The government yesterday recalled its ambassador to Honduras after the Central American nation sent its foreign minister to China, signaling that it would sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Suspicions concerning ties with Honduras are rife after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday last week wrote on Twitter that her country would pursue diplomatic ties with China. Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina traveled to China on Wednesday “to promote efforts for the establishment of diplomatic relations” on instructions from Castro, Reuters yesterday quoted Honduran presidential spokesman Ivis Alvarado as saying. The government “has decided to immediately recall the ambassador to Honduras
‘NOTHING NEW’: China should not use Tsai Ing-wen’s transits through the US as a pretext to step up aggressive activity in the Taiwan Strait, a Washington official said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to stop over in the US on her way to and from Central America next week, but her administration would not confirm a meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Tsai’s delegation is to leave Taipei on Wednesday next week and stop over in New York City, Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) told a news conference yesterday. Tsai is then to head to Guatemala on Saturday next week for talks with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and to meet with Taiwanese expatriates, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. On April 3, Tsai is scheduled to travel