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Japan VS China – Japan ambassador returns to discuss Senkaku issue

Monday, July 16, 2012

Laaska News July  16,2012

Japan’s ambassador to China has made a temporary return home to report on the recent developments over a group of islands in the East China Sea.

Uichiro Niwa arrived in Tokyo on Sunday and met Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba.

They are believed to have discussed the Senkaku Islands that belong to Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture but are claimed by China. Chinese patrol boats entered Japanese waters near the islands twice last week.

Gemba told reporters that he asked Niwa to return to hear the details of China’s policy toward Japan.

He also said he instructed the ambassador to tell China that the islands are an integral part of Japan’s territory and no sovereignty dispute exists.

China is increasingly unhappy about Japan’s plan to buy 3 of the 4 uninhabited islands from a private owner who has been leasing them to the government.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is also considering buying the islands.

China urged Japan to give up the plan at a meeting of the 2 countries’ foreign ministers in Cambodia last week.

Gemba said his talks with Niwa did not touch on personnel matters. Niwa has been criticized for a remark he made last month that bilateral relations will face a serious crisis if Tokyo buys the islands.

Jul. 15, 2012