AAP staff report
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on September 29, 2010 voiced hope that China and Japan can amicably resolve their current differences, in light of the recent tensions that arose between the East Asian neighbors over a boat collision near disputed territory. Relations between China and Japan have been strained for over three weeks after Japan’s detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain whose trawler collided with two Japanese Coast Guard vessels near islands in the East China Sea that both sides claim.
According to media reports, the trawler captain was released on Saturday, but Beijing wants compensation and an apology, a demand Tokyo has rejected.
“The Secretary-General hopes that China and Japan, as two good neighbors, will resolve their current difficulties in an amicable way,” UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York.
“Good cooperation between these two nations is essential,” he added.
The uninhabited islands in the South China Sea are a valuable fishing area and have some strategic and mineral interests and have been administered by Japan since 1895, but were under the control of the United States during post-war occupation until they were returned to Japan as part of the Okinawa treaty in 1972.
Known as the Diaoyu Islands in China, which claims historical ownership of them as does the Republic of Taiwan.
The Japanese government stated on September 25 that the Senkaku Islands are “clearly an inherent territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law.”
That the Islands are under the valid control of Japan, the government states that there should be no issue of territorial sovereignty to be resolved. The recent collision incident was handled under in accordance with domestic law with concern to obstruction of the execution of official duty by a Chinese fishing trawler – and so considers the Chinese demand for and apology and compensation as completely groundless and utterly unacceptable.
The statement concluded with a call for continued development of Japan-China relations as extremely important for the region and the international community.