Lawmakers’ Senkaku trip nixed

Kyodo

The government has turned down an application by a group of lawmakers to land on one of the Senkaku Islands to commemorate the victims of U.S. attacks on vessels sailing near the area in 1945, officials said.

The decision, made Monday, is in line with the government’s policy to prohibit landings on the islets in the East China Sea except by government officials and landowners, officials said. China and Taiwan claim the islets.

The Diet members, who hail from both ruling and opposition parties, had sought to land on the islet of Uotsuri on Sunday to hold a commemorative ceremony.

In turning down the request for a landing permit, the government also took into account relations with China, the officials said.

The lawmakers are now considering holding a commemorative ceremony at sea.

In July 1945, two vessels came under U.S. attack while evacuating to Taiwan from Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture. One was sunk and the other drifted to the Senkaku Islands.

A commemorative ceremony is held every July on Ishigaki Island.