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Governor gets involved in Senkaku islands feud

Date Posted: 2007-03-16

Japan, China and Taiwan all claim ownership rights to the Senkaku Archipelago.

Okinawa’s governor this week made plans to visit the contested islands, which he considers part of Okinawa Prefecture. He was scheduled to travel to the islands aboard a Japanese Air Self Defense Force plane.

The Chinese Consul General in Japan, Buaho, fired off a letter to Governor Hirokazu Nakaima, warning him to “stop going to inspect Senkaku, because that is Chinese owned territory you can’t go on.” “What?” was Nakaima’s retort. “That’s our own territory. It is not Chinese owned, and I’m going there as planned.”

“Your actions are one-sided,” the Chinese Consul General’s letter stated. “It might make both countries’ relationship complex.” Buaho has sent a copy of the protest letter to Japan’s Foreign Ministry in Tokyo. The Foreign Ministry as “we are not going to take any action. If the (Okinawa) Prefecture Governor says he wants to check his own territory, why not? It’s his responsibility to check the territory.”

Taiwan has leaped into the fray as well, insisting “No, no, these are Taiwan’s islands.” Japan’s Foreign Ministry told Taiwan “Don’t say that. The Senkaku Archipelago territory is one part of Okinawa.”

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