NAHA, Okinawa Pref. — A flotilla of 10 Chinese surveillance ships was spotted near the Senkaku Islands on Thursday, keeping political tensions high over Japan’s purchase of some of the disputed East China Sea islets last week.
Since Tuesday, a total of 16 Chinese official surveillance ships — 10 marine surveillance vessels and six fisheries surveillance ships — have entered Japanese territorial waters off the islands, which are claimed by China and Taiwan, or the contiguous waters around them.
Six of them left the area Wednesday night, the coast guard said. An armada of fishing boats that was reported in the Chinese media to have set sail for waters off the islands was not spotted.
Meanwhile, the coast guard is preparing to submit a report to police about two Japanese men who landed on Uotsuri Island, one of the uninhabited islets in the group. The police, who questioned the pair on a voluntary basis, are considering building a misdemeanor case against them.
China marks 81st anniversary of 9/18 Incident
By CCTV reporter Guan Yang
Today China marks the 81st anniversary of the September 18th Incident in Shenyang City, the capital of north eastern Liaoning province. Thousands of people have visited the 9/18 museum there to remember and warn against forgetting history, and national humiliation.
The world and history will not forget September 18th, 1931. On what’s considered the darkest day in modern Chinese history, Japan attacked Shenyang. This was a step toward their occupation of the entire northeastern China.
Zhang Juxin, Marshal Zhang Xueliang’s grandson, says, “It is an important date for us to remember, as my grandfather has told me, the young generation shall always remember 9.18 incident, and to learn the importance of being Chinese.”
The 9/18 plot provided Japan with a pretext for a formal invasion. They masked their action as a so-called legitimate measure to protect a vital railway of industrial importance. The memory of the incident has been kept alive through the generations.
Japan purchased three of the five disputed islets on Sept. 11 over Chinese objections, sparking a wave of anti-Japanese protests across China. Tokyo says the move is aimed at administering them in a stable manner and that no territorial dispute exists. The purchase brought its total to four.
The government has banned anyone, including Japanese nationals, from landing on the isles without approval but a landing by a group of Japanese last month ended without a single arrest.
Here is the guy who started this via the purchase of the islands from a private Japanese landowner on Sept 11 for $26 million, which was only five days after the Chinese started allowing oil traded in their gold-backed Yuan currency on Sept 6.
Japan to buy Senkaku-Diaoyu islands in dispute with China
“But I don’t think it’s a wise decision. It’s as if Japan is picking a fight.”
Yamamoto said Japan was stuck between nationalist pressure and an increasingly assertive China.
“Domestically, the decision was obviously caused by Governor Ishihara’s move,” he said.
“I don’t think Japan can find a solution to the territorial dispute. All it can do is to maintain the status quo without enlarging the problem.”
The chain, which lies on vital shipping lanes, is believed to sit on top of potentially rich gas fields.
Comprising five islands and an outcropping of rocks, it is around 2000 kilometres from Tokyo, but less than 200 kilometres from Taiwan.
Great read on the history of these islands here.
The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands
“Negotiations with China never took place and this decision was passed during the Sino-Japanese War. It was never made public.
In his biography Koga Tatsushiro, the first Japanese citizen to lease the islands from the Meiji government, attributed Japan’s possession of the islands to “the gallant military victory of our Imperial forces.”
Collectively, these official documents leave no doubt that the Meiji government did not base its occupation of the islands following “on-site surveys time and again,” but instead annexed them as booty of war. This is the inconvenient truth that the Japanese government has conveniently evaded.”