Osaka Mayor argues approach to Senkakus
The feuding over how to handle the Senkaku Islets dispute has Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto at odds with Japanese lawmakers.
Hashimoto contends diplomacy and international law must remain the way to resolve various territorial disputes with China, South Korea and Russia, arguing with Diet members who want staunch action by Japanese officials. Hashimoto says he disagrees with conservatives who are calling on Self-Defense Forces to be stationed on the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
“I’m opposed to stationing the SDF on the Senkakus,” Hashimoto says. “If you look at the situation in the Senkaku islet group, the dominant facts are that China is there and Chinese fishing boats have begun surveys within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.”. He contends that “If as the Liberal Democratic Party says, it was necessary to nationalize the Senkakus, they should have done it before,” during their five decades in power.
Likewise, Hashimoto believes Japan and South Korea should jointly control the South Korean-held islets known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea. “You cannot change the fact the islands are effectively being dominated by the South Korean armed forces,” he says, so “we should steer a path toward bringing them under joint management.