Calm diplomatic efforts needed to solve territorial issues: JCP Ichida

August 21, 2012

Commenting on territorial issues of Senkaku and Takeshima islands, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi said on August 20, “It is important to solve the issues with calm diplomatic efforts based on historical facts and international law.”

Each government should refrain from actions or remarks which could lead to an increase in tensions and worsen relations between Japan and China or between Japan and South Korea, Ichida said at a press conference in the Diet building.

Regarding the Senkaku Islands, Ichida referred to the JCP’s 2010 statement which made clear that Japan’s possession of the islands is legitimate based on history and international law. “Since the 1972 normalization of relations between Japan and China, Japan’s successive governments have failed to make all-out efforts to present to China and the international community the legitimacy of Japan’s sovereignty over the islands,” he pointed out.

Ichida also referred to the following points: When the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty was concluded in 1978, Japan in effect accepted then Chinese vice premier Deng Xiaoping’s proposal for a “temporary suspension” in addressing the issue and did not claim Japan’s sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands. When China adopted in 1992 a domestic law to include the Senkaku Islands in its territory, the Japanese government only registered an oral protest against the move.

In 2010 when a Chinese fishing boat crashed into Japanese patrol vessels off the Senkaku Islands, then Prime Minister Kan Naoto stated during Diet discussions in response to JCP Chair Shii Kazuo, “We continue to make efforts to obtain a correct understanding” on Japan’s position from China. Although more than 30 talks were held between the two governments since, the Japanese government has not made any concrete discussions on this issue with China or conveyed Japan’s position to the international community, Ichida said and added, “Now is the time for the Japanese government to make calm and reasoned diplomatic efforts to fairly and squarely demonstrate the legitimacy of Japan’s sovereignty over the islands.”

Regarding Takeshima Island, Ichida referred to the JCP’s 1977 statement which stated that Japan has historical grounds to claim its sovereignty over the island. At the same time, the following fact should be taken into account, he stressed, that Takeshima was incorporated into Japan in 1905 when Japan was imposing colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula by using armed force, and Korea’s diplomatic rights were taken away. He went on to say, “What is important is to create a diplomatic basis for rational talks. In order to do so, Japan needs to sincerely reflect on and apologize for its past war of aggression and colonization.”

“Based on such grounds, the two governments should make a joint effort to encourage their citizens to consider the historical facts and solve the issues in a way that satisfies both parties,” he said.

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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