TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Japanese government has rejected Beijing's proposal to allow only official Chinese and Japanese vessels to enter waters surrounding the disputed Diaoyutai Islands.
On Wednesday (Nov. 25), Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅) suggested the solution to ease tensions. He said the proposal would prevent suspicious boats from entering the area and help calm the territorial dispute.
In response, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference Thursday (Nov. 26) the proposal is "unacceptable" and the Diaoyutai Islands are "undoubtedly Japan's inherent territory under international law and from a historical viewpoint." He emphasized the Japanese government will continue to take a "calm and determined" stance on the matter, reported Kyodo News.
Territorial disputes over the Diaoyutai Islands have been going on between Taiwan, Japan, and China for decades. Both Taiwan and Japan have claimed jurisdiction over the uninhabited islands since the 1970s, while Beijing bases its claim on the grounds that it views Taiwan as an offshore province.
In recent years, Chinese Coast Guard ships have approached the islands and tried to prevent Japanese fishing boats from doing the same. Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga asked Beijing to take action and resolve tensions in the East China Sea during a meeting with Wang on Wednesday, according to Radio Taiwan International.