Experts warn Japan against making a wrong move

Updated: 2012-09-10 18:48


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BEIJING - In response to the Japanese government's official decision to "purchase" China's Diaoyu Islands, experts here warned that the Japanese government should give second thought to their strategy.

Gao Hong, deputy director of the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told Xinhua on Monday that the Chinese government will take countermeasures if Japan remains on the wrong path and crosses the line of what China can tolerate.

"The consequences will be on Japan," he said.

The Japanese government officially decided to purchase the Diaoyu Islands at a ministerial meeting held Monday afternoon.

The Japanese government announced last Tuesday that the Kurihara family, who claims to own the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, has agreed to sell three of the five uninhabited islands for 2.05 billion yen ($26.15 million).

In April, Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara announced that the Tokyo government planned to purchase the islands.

The act of "buying islands" is commonly considered a farce by Chinese researchers on international relations.

"Although the Japanese government insisted that there would be fewer risks if the central government 'bought' the islands instead of Ishihara, there is no essential difference between the Japanese government's plan and Ishihara's claim," Gao said. "They want the same thing, which is to control the islands. That's why the Chinese will always oppose such moves."

Qu Xing, head of the China Institute of International Studies, said there would be long-term complications if the Japanese government managed to "gain possession of the islands" from their so-called private owners.

In the long term, there will be much greater risks that Sino-Japanese relations will spiral out of control over the issue, he said.

It would leave less room for diplomatic negotiations on the issue and intensify confrontations between people of the two countries, Qu said.

This year, which marks the 40th anniversary of China-Japan bilateral diplomatic relations, should have been a good occasion for China and Japan to deepen mutual understanding, Qu said.

However, Japanese rightists, including Ishihara, have chosen to sabotage bilateral ties through manipulating the Diaoyu Islands issue, which has led to strong clashes in public opinion in the two countries, and the Japanese government seized this opportunity to satisfy its own political purposes, Qu said.

"The Japanese government should be fully aware of how severe the situation is," Gao said.

The only way out is to sit down with the Chinese side to reach a solution, he said.

The Diaoyu Islands were first found, named and used by the Chinese. They have been within China's maritime defense sphere since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Japan asserted its sovereignty over the islands during the China-Japanese War in 1895 and seized the islands through illegal means.