Taiwan Foreign Minister Timothy Chin-tien Yang summoned Sumio Tarui, head of Japan’s Interchange Association Taipei Office, Aug. 19 to lodge a protest over visits to the Diaoyutai Archipelago by Japanese legislators and activists.
“The Diaoyutais are an inherent part of ROC territory, administered as islands affiliated to Taiwan,” Yang said. “ROC sovereignty over the Diaoyutais is indisputable, from the perspective of geography, history, practical use and international law. Unilateral claims or actions by the Japanese ruling or opposing party will not change this fact.”
Yang was referring to a visit to the islands by a group of 150 Japanese, including several parliamentarians, the same day. Some of the activists swam ashore and planted Japanese flags.
“The Japanese government should immediately stop any actions that infringe on ROC sovereignty over the Diaoyutais,” Yang stressed, adding that “the Japan activists’ provocative trip to the Diaoyutais has raised tensions in the East China Sea.”
He noted that the East China Sea peace initiative proposed by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou Aug. 5 aims to maintain peace and security in the region, as well as jointly enhance regional stability and prosperity through cooperation in exploring and developing resources.
“The ROC government once again urges Japan to demonstrate sincerity, exercise self-restraint, deal with the Diaoyutai issue peacefully and rationally, and collaborate in the maintenance of regional peace, stability and prosperity.”
Located 170 kilometers northeast of Taiwan proper, the Diaoyutais, comprising Diaoyutai Island and the islets of Huangwei and Chiwei, are administered by Toucheng Township of Taiwan’s Yilan County. Japan also claims sovereignty over the archipelago, which it calls the Senkaku Islands.