Japan urged to face change on Diaoyu issue
Updated: 2012-11-01 08:02
By Zhang Yunbi (China Daily)
Tokyo's hard-line approach blocks progress in dialogue with Beijing
Beijing on Wednesday told Tokyo to face up to a major change in the Diaoyu Islands' situation, as Japan announced that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will elaborate on the country's territorial disputes at next week's Asia-Europe Meeting.
Observers said Japan's hard-line gestures and rhetoric on the heated islands dispute have not led to any major progress in its dialogue with Beijing, and publicity on the international stage will drag Tokyo deeper into deadlocked diplomacy with its neighbors.
Japan's Jiji Press News Agency said Noda will talk about "the solution to disputes in territorial land and waters" when he makes a speech during the two-day Asia Europe Meeting, which starts on Nov 5 in Vientiane, the Laotian capital.
Jiji said that in view of Japan's territorial disputes with China and South Korea, Noda's speech will emphasise points he made during the September UN General Assembly in New York.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday confirmed there is no plan for Chinese and Japanese leaders to meet during the summit in Laos.
Lu Yaodong, director of the Japanese diplomacy teaching and research section under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said: "Most of Japan's proposals that have been made public so far are not constructive, and it has just glossed over things without due sincerity."
Despite few major progress, Lu said it is essential to underscore China's strong desire to guard sovereignty in further talks. Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba on Wednesday told reporters that now is not the right time for an official meeting between him and his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, aimed at improving ties with China, Kyodo News Agency reported.
Chinese surveillance ships on Wednesday continued to patrol waters off the Diaoyu Islands, which have belonged to China for centuries.
On Tuesday, the Chinese fleet dispersed Japanese vessels in China's territorial waters.
Beijing on Wednesday said the recent patrols and law-enforcement measures were part of "regular missions" and "normal government service".
"There is no grounds for blame," a Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters during a daily news conference.
Asked if China was constantly patrolling waters off the Diaoyu Islands, the spokesman said: "The Japanese side should face up to the reality that the situation over the Diaoyu Islands has seen a major change."
China's absence at the annual Tokyo Defense Forum, which started on Wednesday in Tokyo, triggered Japanese media speculation on worsening ties between the two countries.
The defense forum has been held annually by the Japanese Defense Ministry since 1996.
During an opening speech, Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto said the forum will further discuss the United States' role in the region in response to challenges, and called on countries in the region to cooperate in facing new security challenges and to maintain peace and stability.
Xinhua contributed to this story.