Just a week after Chinese troops violently attack and killed Indian soldiers near the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, Japan has begun to assert its power against China by initiating the legal process of complete integration of Senkaku islands over which it has a dispute with China.
According to the reports, the Japanese authorities have approved a measure changing the status of disputed Senkaku islands, which is also claimed by China.
The Ishigaki city council in Japan’s Okinawa division has passed a bill to change the name of an administrative area covering the disputed uninhabited island chain to Tonoshiro Senkaku from Tonoshiro, starting from October 1.
The new bill will assert Japan’s claim over the chain of Islands in the East-China sea, which is situated island 1,931 km southwest of Tokyo. The Senkakus island chain, which China refers as Diaoyus, has been administered by Japan since 1972. However, the legal status of these islands is disputed currently.
China opposes the bill, stakes claim on islands
Meanwhile, China on Monday has warned Japan against any change in the status quo and called the islands as its “inherent territories”.
“The approval of this case did not take into consideration the influence of other countries, but was considered to improve the efficiency of administrative procedures,” the council said.
China also urged Japan to “abide by the spirit of the four-principle consensus, avoid creating new incidents on the Diaoyu Islands issue, and take practical actions to maintain the stability of the East China Sea situation”.
However, the Japanese city council said that the bill was necessary to improve the efficiency of administrative procedures.
China’s aggressive push in East China sea
Following the decision of Japan to make administrative changes in uninhabited islands, China has dispatched a “fleet” of ships to the area surrounding the islands. to the area.
Reportedly, since mid-April this year, Japan has spotted at least 67 Chinese government ships near these waters. Japanese authorities claimed that there has been increasing in the presence of Chinese in the region surrounding the islands in the last few months.
The Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu Islands in China or Diaoyutai Islands or the Pinnacle Islands in Taiwan are a group of eight uninhabited islands and rocks that lies in the East China Sea. They have a total area of about 7 sq kms and lie northeast of Taiwan.
The dispute is over the claim of Senkaku islands, which are currently controlled by the Japanese since 1895. However, in between 1945 to 1972, the islands were administered by the United States. In 1971, the US handed over the authority to Japan in 1971.
Since then, China and Taiwan push their claim on the islands and demands the return similar to the returning of Imperial Japan’s conquests in 1945.
Senkaku Islands are known to have abundance of natural resources, rich fishing grounds and are thought to contain oil deposits. It is also strategically important as it is close to international trade routes.