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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 September 29 - October 5  > Kasai: Gov’t must insist internationally on Japan’s sovereignty over Senkaku Islands
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2010 September 29 - October 5 [TERRITORIAL ISSUE]

Kasai: Gov’t must insist internationally on Japan’s sovereignty over Senkaku Islands

October 1, 2010
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Kasai Akira called on the government to tell China and the international community in an assertive way that Japan’s sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands is justifiable historically and internationally.

This remark was made during intensive discussions over the issue of the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture on September 30 in the House of Representatives Budget Committee.

Kasai said that successive Japanese governments have neglected to make efforts to proclaim Japan’s sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands to the Chinese government and the international community. He criticized Prime Minister Kan Naoto for failing to provide an explanation for Japan’s claim on the islands in his speech at the U.N. General Assembly in late September.

Foreign Minister Maehara Seiji said, “The government will sincerely reflect on whether it has sufficiently made efforts to inform China and the international community of Japan’s avowed entitlement to possess the Senkakus.”

Kasai urged Kan to aggressively explain that Japan has clear evidence of its de facto possession of the islands at the Asia-Europe Meeting to be held from October 4.

Kan replied, “As Kasai said, I will claim Japan’s sovereignty over the Senkakus at every possible opportunity in the international arena and try to convince the international community to support our position.”

Kasai explained that the JCP for almost 40 years has been insisting that the Senkaku Islands is part of Japan’s own territory. Based on historical facts and international law, he pointed out the following three points: Until 1895 when the Japanese government decided to include the Senkaku Islands as part of Japanese territory, no nation had established settlements there; Japan’s effective jurisdiction over the islands has continued under international law which acknowledges that the right to possess an unoccupied land belongs to the first nation which occupies that land; until the 1970’s, no objection from other countries had been raised to Japan’s claim of possession of the islands.

Kasai mentioned that the Chinese government in 1971 began claiming its sovereignty over the Senkakus and in 1992 listed the islands in the Chinese territorial-sea law as its territory, and stressed that China’s argument is groundless.

Kasai said that it is necessary for both governments to resolve this issue in a peaceful and diplomatic manner without increasing tensions.
- Akahata, October 1, 2010
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