「尖閣」外交 領有の正当性示す広報戦略を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 4, 2012)
Govt should counter China's propaganda on Senkakus
「尖閣」外交 領有の正当性示す広報戦略を(10月3日付・読売社説)

China's propaganda campaign over the Senkaku Islands has run rampant, conveying false and improper messages to the world.

The Japanese government should counter China's campaign by demonstrating the legitimacy of Japan's territorial claim on the islands to the international community.

The newly reshuffled Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has approved the government's basic policy over the Senkaku Islands, which stipulated that the government will "fulfill its duties of defending the nation's land and territorial waters, including isolated islands, in accordance with international law."

The government should redouble its efforts to tell the world that the Senkaku Islands are an integral part of Japan's territory.

This is necessary to cope with China's tactics over the islands--on top of flexing its muscles by sending surveillance ships to the waters around the islands, it has also been striving to control the direction of international public opinion. China has launched a propaganda campaign against Japan in the United States and Europe, such as by running ads in major U.S. newspapers claiming that the islands "belong to China."


Don't let China get the upper hand

Japan has maintained a consistent stance over the issue that "there is no territorial dispute over the islands" based on the facts that the nation's territorial rights over the islands have already been established under international law and Japan has effective control over the islands.

Of course, there is no need for the government to change this policy, but if the nation continues ignoring China's claims, those claims may spread across the world. At a recent press conference, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said, "The nation's stance [over the islands] will remain unchanged, but we need to present our stance to the international community in an easy-to-understand manner."
We regard Gemba's remarks as appropriate.

The home page of the Foreign Ministry's website has a new banner labeled "Japan-China relations: Current situation of the Senkaku Islands," which links directly to a page explaining its view on the islands. For next fiscal year, the ministry has requested about 600 million yen for public relations, investigation and research over the nation's territorial integrity, including such work for the Senkaku Islands.

It is essential for the nation to conduct public relations activities tenaciously and with a clear strategic vision.

It is also important to swiftly respond to China's actions at diplomatic events.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi recently made remarks on the Senkaku Islands at the U.N. General Assembly. He claimed that Japan "stole" the islands in 1895 at the end of the Sino-Japanese War, and forced the Chinese government to sign an unequal treaty to cede the islands.

Yang's remarks were a distortion of historical facts. It was totally appropriate for Kazuo Kodama, Japan's deputy U.N. ambassador, to exercise Japan's right to reply in General Assembly debate.


China's claims distort history

Based on international law, the Japanese government incorporated the Senkaku Islands into Japan's territory in January 1895 after confirming that the islands were not under Chinese control. The islands were thus clearly Japanese territory when the two nations signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki, which ended the Sino-Japanese War, in April that year. Kodama explained the facts to the assembly and concluded that China's claims were untenable.

It was only since the 1970s that the Chinese government began claiming territorial sovereignty over the islands, after the existence of an oil deposit was confirmed beneath the nearby seafloor. Before then, Beijing had never objected to Japan's possession of the Senkaku Islands. This fact clearly supports Japan's claims.

The Chinese government has demanded that Japan admit the existence of a territorial dispute over the islands and settle it through dialogue.

It is important for Japan to have discussions with China to improve the strained relations with the country. However, efforts to advance discussions must never undermine Japan's stance over sovereignty.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 3, 2012)
(2012年10月3日01時17分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-05 07:55 | 英字新聞

<< 生活保護改革 自立促す就労支援... 野田内閣改造 日本の再生を託し... >>