TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed regret and lodged a strong protest with Japan after that country's new name for the disputed Diaoyutai Islands went into effect Thursday (Oct. 1).
The Japanese city of Ishigaki voted in June to change the official name for the area containing the uninhabited islands from Tonoshiro to “Tonoshiro Senkaku” (登野城尖閣), with Senkaku being the Japanese name for the islands.
MOFA said that at the time of the city’s decision, it had requested that Japan abstain from any action that might hurt the feelings of the Taiwanese people and the friendship between the two countries, CNA reported.
Taiwan has sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands, and no unilateral statement or action can change that fact, the ministry said in a statement. It also called for the peaceful resolution of conflicts and disputes, referring to Chinese naval activity in the area.
Japan should also show restraint and not make any unilateral moves targeting Taiwan’s sovereignty or its fishing trawlers, MOFA said. The Diaoyutai, with its rich fishing waters and alleged oil and gas reserves, are also claimed by China.