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Taiwan emphasizes claims over Diaoyutai despite Japan's planned name change

The city of Ishigaki wants to rename the islands 'Tonoshiro Senkaku,' though both Taiwan and China claim sovereignty

Diaoyutai Islands

Diaoyutai Islands (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Plans by the Japanese city of Ishigaki to change the official name of the uninhabited Diaoyutai Islands to “Tonoshiro Senkaku” (登野城尖閣) will not affect Taiwan’s claims of sovereignty over the archipelago, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Saturday (June 6).

The islands have been controlled by Japan, but both Taiwan and China claim sovereignty. The area contains rich fishing grounds, while some believe oil or gas might also be found.

The latest moves by the city government of Ishigaki in Okinawa will not promote stability and security in the region, so Japan should handle the matter with the utmost care, CNA quoted MOFA as saying.

The ministry emphasized that Taiwan had always proposed a peaceful resolution of territorial disputes, without any unilateral decisions or actions. Protecting the interests of Taiwanese fishermen in the area would also continue regardless of any name changes, according to MOFA.