Tokyo: Japan and China had agreed to shelve the territory row over Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea when the two countries normalized relations in the early 1970s, a former Japanese minister has said.
Japan`s former chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka, who is leading a delegation of current and former Diet members on a visit to China, told reporters that just after the normalization of relations, he was told clearly by then-Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka that a decision was made on the normalization by shelving the Senkaku issue.
According to the Japan Times, the remark by the former Liberal Democratic heavyweight, a disciple of the late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, who cut the normalization deal with Beijing in 1972, contradicts the government``s official stance that there was no such agreement at the time. The comments from Nonaka came after meeting in Beijing with Liu Yunshan, the fifth-ranked leader of the Chinese Communist Party.
Liu is said to have told the delegation that Japan is responsible for the current confrontation with China. In Tokyo, top officials reiterated the government`s view that the Senkakus are not an issue Japan should put on the shelf since no territorial dispute exists, the report added.