China objects to Japanese surveyors' visit to disputed islands
Beijing: China on Sunday objected to a visit by a team of Japanese surveyors to a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea, amid attempts by Tokyo's Governor to buy them to reinforce Japanese claims over them.
"A pack of Japanese rightists aboard vessels illegally surveyed around China's Diaoyu Islands on Sunday, a latest provocative move that infringes on Chinese territory," a commentary put out by state-run Xinhua news agency said today.
Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has upped the ante in recent months by making efforts to buy the Senkaku islands called as Diaoyu islands by China, which voiced strong objections to any such plans asserting that it will be a violation of its sovereignty.
Ishihara who wants to buy the uninhabited islands from their private owners to build a harbour for Japanese fishing vessels dispatched a 25-member team by boats to survey the shoreline and waters around the rocky isles believed to be rich oil and mineral resources, Japanese media reports said today.
"To curb such provocations and ease tensions over the islands, the Japanese government should avoid being crippled by the right-wingers and handle relevant issues from the overall interests of the Sino-Japanese relations," Xinhua said.
"Ishihara has said that he will make a visit to the islands himself in October, when a second team will be there for another survey.
"It was exactly Ishihara who first sparked the Sino-Japan territorial row in April by claiming to purchase the Chinese islands," it said.
"Tokyo apparently is playing an expedient balancing act between not irritating Beijing too much on the one hand and not squeezing its far rights too hard on the other," it said.
"The Japanese government, instead of standing by or being handicapped, should make more efforts to deter the rightists' stimulating and unwise moves, which are very harmful to bilateral ties," it said.