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No matter what tricks Japan tries to play, it does not alter the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China.
On Saturday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda admitted that his government was negotiating with a "private owner" to "nationalize" part of the "Senkaku Islands", which are China's Diaoyu Islands.
Noda has chosen a wrong turn; one that imperils ties between China and Japan.
The Diaoyu Islands and their adjacent islets have been inherent parts of Chinese territory since ancient times, and that China has indisputable historical and jurisprudential evidence for this. Any unilateral action taken by the Japanese side is illegal and invalid.
The farce to "purchase" the Diaoyu Islands was initiated by Tokyo' governor Shintaro Ishihara in April. Since then, Japanese right-wing groups have enthusiastically embraced Ishihara's absurdity. Japanese activists have made several attempts to land on the islands in an attempt to demonstrate Japan's self-proclaimed sovereignty over the islands.
Japan's shenanigans have already cast a shadow on Sino-Japanese relations. Even though many in China believe Ishihara's move does not represent the mainstream of the Japanese society and the policy direction of the Japanese government, it has aroused great indignation.
Ishihara's real motive in initiating this farce was to gain political capital at home. But now Noda has chosen to jump on the bandwagon and helped fuel Ishihara's mischief making.
China's Foreign Ministry was quick to brush aside Noda's ill-advised remarks on Saturday, stressing that the Chinese government will continue to take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the country's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islets.
But China should be fully aware of this ill trend, which does not bode well for Sino-Japanese relations, especially as the two countries are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties this year.
Should Japan continue to make provocative moves, China will be justified in taking more aggressive measures to safeguard its territorial integrity.
(China Daily 07/09/2012 page8)