The MOFA reiterated its position that the R.O.C. has consistently claimed sovereignty over Diaoyutai and asks the Japanese side to practice self-restraint in order to avoid damaging relations between Taiwan and Japan。
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lodged a grave protest with representatives of the Japanese government following Japan’s unilateral decision to name four previously unnamed island reefs in the Diaoyutai islands, which are located just to the east of Taiwan.
On February 2 an article on the Japanese Cabinet’s official website dealing with “General Maritime Policies” announced that Japan had given names to the four island reefs that are claimed by Japan, Taiwan and China and are called Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyutai by Taiwan and China.
The MOFA reiterated its position that the ROC has consistently claimed sovereignty over Diaoyutai and asks the Japanese side to practice self-restraint in order to avoid damaging relations between Taiwan and Japan.
In May 2011 the Japanese government announced that it was defining its maritime economic zone with 99 islands as its basic point and also including 49 islands which were all unnamed at the time.
Ten of these islands were subsequently given names, leaving 39 islands that remained unnamed. This group included the four Diaoyutai reefs.
On February 2 the Japanese government announced that these 39 islands were being incorporated into Japan’s exclusive maritime economic zone and published a list of names for the 39 islands.
The names for the four Diaoyutai reefs as announced by Japan are Kita-nishi kojima, Kita-kojima and Kita-higashi kojima in the Kuba-jima Group and Oki-no-kita-jima in the Taisho-jima (Chiweiyu) Group.
Taiwan lodged a protest with the Japan Representative at the Japanese Exchange Association’s Tokyo office for the first time in November 2011 after reports of the naming of the islands were disclosed by Japanese media. Two other protests were submitted in January this year. At that time Japanese media said that the names for the four islands in the Diaoyutai chain had been “decided upon but not yet announced”. That news brought a public warning from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 30.
A few days ago Okinawa Prefecture magistrate Hirokazu Nakaima told the Okinawa Board of Supervisor that he had carried out an aerial “inspection” of the Senkakus aboard a Self-Defense Army airplane last April. He emphasized: “The Senkaku islands are a part of the administrative area of Okinawa’s Ishigaki City and from now on, we will take advantage of every opportunity to inspect them.” The Okinawa Prefecture government announced that this was the first time the prefecture magistrate had “inspected” the Senkakus since Okinawa was returned to Japan by the US in 1972.
On February 2 the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that it will continue to maintain the position it has always taken on Taiwan’s sovereignty over Diaoyutai. The ministry also pledged to strengthen communications with the Japanese side and appealed to the Japanese side to strive to maintain the peace. All sides in the dispute need to find a rational solution, the Ministry urged, in order to avoid the possibility of unintended incidents.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published a list of the names of 70 islands, both inhabited and uninhabited, in much of the same area claimed by Japan in its maritime economic zone. The list includes some minor changes such as Diaoyu Dao for Diaoyutai, as well as completely new names for islands that were previously unnamed.
The Ministry noted that the naming of the islands and China’s claims in the area are totally independent of any action taken by the Japanese government. An MOFA spokesman emphasized that Japan’s publication of a list of names in Japanese has have no bearing on China’s claimed sovereignty and welcomed all interested persons to visit the websites of the Ministry of Civil Affairs or the State Oceanic Administration to check the list of names.