Japan wants to use PR in Senkakus brouhaha

With both China and Taiwan angry with Japan over its claiming sovereignty over the Senkaku islands, Japan’s turning to public relations in seeking international support.

Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba has made some policy shifts on behalf of his Japanese government, noting “although Japan has refrained from sending a message to the international community based on its view that no territorial issue exists, I informed the ministry we’d better made a policy change.”  It’s Genba’s first time making statements about Japan’s position, which is critical with China getting more and more agitated.

At the same time, while Genba’s talking one way, Chief Cabinet Secretary  Osamu Fujimura says Japan has no intention of using the Interantional Court of Justice at The Hague to resolve the Senkakus issue.  “We don’t feel the need to take it to the ICJ at all”, Fujimura says, noting the Senkakus are an integral part of Japanese territory.

Several months ago, in a dispute with South Korea over another set of islands which South Korea calls Dokdo but are claimed by Japan, which calls them Takeshima, Japan recommended the two countries let the ICJ resolve the sovereignty dispute.  Japan, says the Foreign Ministry, plans to argue the Senkakus are historically part of Japanese territory, as well as based on international law.

Japan’s diplomatic missions are now preparing to post Japan’s position online in a number of different languages, hoping to gain additional public support.