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Tensions Flare Between China And Japan Over Disputed Islands

Xueqiao Ma |
April 24, 2013 | 10:17 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Tensions between Japan and China rose again after both countries sent ships to a disputed area of the East China Sea following a visit from 68 Japanese lawmakers.  

map of disputed island
map of disputed island

Eight Chinese government surveillance vessels entered waters near the contested islands Tuesday morning, according to CNN.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned Tokyo would "expel by force" any Chinese landing on the disputed islands, while Beijing accused Tokyo of showing no respect for its history, according to South China Morning Post

But in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Japan was trying to deny its "history of aggression".

"This is a nice break that China showed its sovereign rights over the disputed island," said Ping Du, chief editor of Phoenix Satellite Television.

"It is not exactly an escalation since both sides have maintained a law enforcement over the islands and will not rush to take radical measures," said Shiao Zhang, Law and Politics PhD candidate of Osaka University.

"But the situation probably will last till the House of Councillors Elections in Japan," said Zhang.

In Weibo (Chinese twitter), people also commented on the disputed island tension these days. "Excellent defense!" commented Dabing.

Some people transcribed a British scholar's comments on Weibo, " Japan won't be the one who first opens fire," transcribed Kangzhan.

Japanese Ambassador to China, Kitera Masato, said on Wednesday, "China-Japan relations are in a difficult stage. I believe the two countries should make more efforts to promote exchanges at all levels, including high-ranking officials at this particular time. We also need more exchanges on the economy, culture, and private sector personnel," according to CCTV.

The competing claims to the islands are intertwined with the region's complex history.

"Due to the brutal Japanese occupation of China in the 1930s, sentiments over the status of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands run deeper in the Chinese psyche than any other territorial dispute in modern Chinese history, with the exception of Taiwan," the International Crisis Group said in its report this month, according to CNN.

More history links about the whole story of disputed islands are here.



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