China / Government

Japan's island 'purchase' challenges post-WWII order

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-09-12 19:40

BEIJING - The Japanese government's move to "purchase" the Diaoyu Islands not only hurts the feelings of the Chinese people, but also challenges the post-WWII order in the Asia-Pacific region set by documents such as the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation.

Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's sacred territory since ancient times. This is supported by historical facts and jurisprudential evidence.

In 1895, as the Qing government's defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War was all but certain, Japan illegally occupied Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands. After that, Japan forced the Qing government to sign the unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki and cede to Japan "the island of Formosa (Taiwan), together with all islands appertaining or belonging to the said island of Formosa."

After the end of the World War II, China recovered the territories invaded and occupied by Japan, such as Taiwan and the Penghu Islands, in accordance with the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation, which was accepted by Japan at its surrender.

According to international laws, the Diaoyu Islands have already been returned to China.

Today, the Japanese government's move in regards to the Diaoyu Islands issue is a clear violation of what it had accepted and should alarm all those who suffered in the anti-fascist war.

The Cairo Declaration issued in 1943 and the Potsdam Proclamation in 1945 laid the legal foundation for international order in the Asia-Pacific region in the post-World War II era, and the two treaties upheld the victory of international efforts against fascism that cost many people their lives.

Over the past six decades, the Asia-Pacific region has been one of the most energetic economies in the world. Japan itself has greatly benefited from decades of regional peace and stability since World War II, as it was during this period that the country rose as an economic giant and major player in international affairs.

There will be great danger if this legal foundation is shaken.

The "nationalization" of the Diaoyu Islands, as well as territorial disputes between Japan and its other neighbors, have indicated that Japan has not shown any sincere regret for past invasions, but is, instead, attempting to recover its pre-defeat prestige.

The Japanese government's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands has also harmed the "important understanding and common ground" reached between the two nations. Therefore, China will by no means remain silent and abstain from action.

The normalization of Sino-Japanese relations over the past 40 years has been the result of the hard work and wisdom of several generations and is an outcome worth cherishing.

The Japanese government should be held responsible for the current situation for conspiring with, instead of restricting, the country's right-wing forces.

For the sake of the region and the country itself, Japan should back up and return to the right track of negotiating a settlement on the dispute with China.

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