Tokyo creates website to promote Senkakus, Takeshima

A new website is now operational by the Japanese government, marketing its rights over islands in its territory that are being contested.

A Cabinet minister says Tokyo has been using an existing Foreign Ministry website to stake its claims, but felt it necessary to have a website exclusively dedicated to defending its sovereignty.  The new website explains Japan’s position on sovereignty in the Senkaku Islands in southwest Okinawa Prefecture in the East China Sea, and over the Takeshima Islands in the Sea of Japan.

China claims rights to the Senkakus, while South Korea insists the Takeshima Islands, which it calls Dokdo, are theirs to control.

Ichita Yamamoto, the state minister charged with monitoring territorial issues, says “As China and South Korea have actively transmitted information, we must also enhance our transmission to the world.” Yamamoto says the plans are to launch the new official website, possibly within a few months.  The website will fall under the Cabinet Secretariat, and will define Japan’s positions –in English—on the disputed islands.  There will also be videos to help get Japan’s messages out, says Yamamoto.

The five uninhabited Senkaku Islands, which sit west of Okinawa Island and are called Diaoyu by China, are administered by Japan. Disputes over the islands have heightened since Japan nationalized the islands in September 2012.  The Takeshima islets are controlled by South Korea, which has its soldiers stationed on the islands to make sure there are no attempts by Japan to physically assert its claims.