Japan’s government decided to nationalize three out of five Senkaku islets and has already started discussing with a landowner and the Tokyo metropolitan government, which expresses its willingness to purchase them, Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko made this announcement on July 7.
The Japanese Communist Party takes the position that it is reasonable for Japan to nationalize the Senkaku Islands.
China and Taiwan may, however, react strongly against this move as they also stake claim to the Senkakus.
The following is the JCP statement issued on the next day:
The Japanese Communist Party has insisted that it is inappropriate for a local government to intervene in the territorial dispute between nations as with the Tokyo metropolitan government’s announcement to purchase the Senkakus.
The national government has rented the three islets from the landowner for about 24.5 million yen a year (Taishojima has been a national property since 1921). It is legitimate for Japan to purchase and nationalize the Senkakus in order to “peacefully and stably maintain and administrate” them.
However, the nationalization will not in itself solve the problem. The need for active efforts to settle the issue through diplomatic negotiations is greater than ever. The Japanese government, when it restored diplomatic relations with the Chinese government in 1972, went along with the idea of putting the issue on the shelf. Moreover, Japan has recently been avoiding discussing the issue on the diplomatic stage as it proclaimed that no territorial issue exists.
The Japanese government is required to initiate diplomatic efforts to present the case of the legitimacy of its sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands in a straightforward manner to the Chinese government and the international community, based on the historical facts and international law.
The Japanese Communist Party calls on the Chinese government to refrain from aggravating the situation or increasing tensions and to adopt a behavior and response in a calm manner. The JCP also encourages both the Japanese and Chinese governments to make efforts toward a peaceful solution to the problem through negotiations.
The Senkaku Islands are an uninhabited island chain consisting of Uotsurishima, Kubashima, Taishojima, and other small islets under the administrative jurisdiction of Ishigaki City in Okinawa. Japan has had effective control over these islands since January 1895 when they became part of Japan. China began claiming them in 1971. In regard to unowned lands, international law entitles the first possessor an acquisition right and effective control over the land in question. In light of the historical background and international law, the Senkakus belong to Japanese territory and waters.