U.S. hopes Japan and China resolve dispute through ‘friendly’ means


The top U.S. diplomat for East Asian affairs expressed concern Saturday over the persistent wrangling between Japan and China and said he hopes Asia’s two biggest economies will settle the Senkaku dispute and other disagreements in a peaceful manner.

“The friction and tension between Tokyo and Beijing is a matter of concern to all neighbors and certainly to the United States,” Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told reporters in Beijing, the last leg of his five-country Asian tour.

“We hope leaders on all sides will exercise restraint and sensitivity, and will consistently pursue diplomatic and friendly means to manage disputes or to resolve outstanding issues,” Russel said after meeting with senior Chinese officials, including Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Liu Zhenmin, vice foreign minister in charge of Asian affairs.

Russel said the international community is concerned about two such important nations remaining at odds at a time when “the global economy is too fragile.”

“We hope that quiet diplomatic engagement between Japan and China bears fruit,” he said, adding that Washington noted with interest the first face-to-face contact between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Xi Jinping earlier this month on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Russia.

Before arriving in Beijing on Friday for a two-day visit, Russel visited Brunei, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea on his first Asian trip since taking up his post in July.

Relations between Japan and China have sunk to their lowest point in years since the central government last September bought a significant portion of the uninhabited Senkaku Islands from their private Japanese owner.

The islets are claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu.

Meanwhile on Saturday, four Chinese Coast Guard ships sailed in Japanese territorial waters near the islets, the Japan Coast Guard said.

The intrusion was the first since Tuesday and the 64th in the last 12 months.

The four ships entered the waters around 10 a.m. and left around 2:35 p.m., according to the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.

  • Denny Pollard

    There is not dispute in this matter China is completely wrong and needs to get over it the Senkaku are Japanese. The islands official name is called the Senkaku
    Islands and the news media needs to stop referring to them as Diaoyu. Diaoyu is a term the Chinese have put out to confuse the unlearned and it is simple propaganda from the communist country of China to confuse the issue. China is not only at odds with Japan of land, but China is at odds the Vietnam, Philippines,
    India and others. This clearly shows a pattern with China want to grab land that is clearly not theirs just for the resources.

    • Ken5745

      @Denny Pollard

      Since you show yourself to be ignorant of the history of the dispute here are remarks made by Japanese Professors and writers to show that Japan knew the Diaoyu belonged to China before annexing it in 1895 as a war booty :

      “In 1885, the Japanese Governor of Okinawa Prefecture, Nishimura Sutezo, petitioned the Meiji government, asking that it take formal control of the islands.”

      “However, Inoue Kaoru, the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, commented that the islands lay near to the border area with the Qing empire and that they had been given Chinese names. He also cited an article in a Chinese newspaper that had previously claimed that Japan was occupying islands off China’s coast. Inoue was concerned that if Japan proceeded to erect a landmark stating its claim to the islands, it would make the Qing empire suspicious.”

      “Following Inoue’s advice, Yamagata Aritomo, the Minister of the Interior, turned down the request to incorporate the islands, insisting that this matter should not be “revealed to the news media”.

      Source: Unryu Suganuma (2000). ‘Sovereign Rights and Territorial Space in Sino-Japanese Relations’ University of Hawaii Press. pp. 89–97. ISBN 0-8248-2493-8.

      Next :

      1 In his article “Japanese Militarism & Diaoyutai (Senkaku) Island A Japanese Historian’s View”, Prof Kiyoshi Inoue, History Professor at Kyoto University wrote :

      “Proceeding from the Japanese people stand of opposition to militarism, one should reject the name Senkaku Islands, which was adopted by Japanese Militarism after seizing them from China.”

      “Use the only correct name in history, namely, the Diaoyu (Diaoyutai) Islands”

      For more info refer to his book “Senkaku Retto”.

      2 In June 2004, Japanese professor Tadayoshi Murata of Yokohama National University, published “Senkaku Islands vs the Diaoyu Islands Dispute” and supports the fact that “Since the Ming Dynasty, Chinese maps and documents of many kinds marked Diaoyu Islands, Huangwei Islands, Chiwei Islands as being lying within the territory of China”.

      “‘Japan’s claim of its purported “discovery in 1884″ of the Diaoyu Islands contradicts with the navigation map in its own 1783 historical document Sankoku Tsuran Zusetsu published by prominent Japanese military scholar Hayashi Shihei clearly stating the area a part of China.” he said.

      • Denny Pollard

        So you think that any country can lay claim to any land based on history or we were here first not on treaties or documents that were
        agreed on and signed to end conflicts/wars that drew up boundaries? History has nothing to do with the current land grab by the Chinese around the Pacific Rim, in exercising the bully
        process as they always have. Tibet is a good example of China’s land grab care to discuss that history fact? China is wrong in the Tibet matter and is completely wrong in trying to establish other areas as well based on history. The problem is China does not like it when they are told to NO and cannot accept it so they try. As a result China will bully everyone it’s the communists way of doing business. So I have to wonder who is being ignorant.

      • Ken5745

        If you brush aside history with the stroke of a pen and want to talk “on treaties or documents that were agreed on” then do yourself a favor and read up on the ‘shelf” that Japan and China agreed in 1972 on the disputed islands..

        As for Tibet, it was annexed by the Mongols when Tibet had no Govt circa 13th century and it was incorporated into the Yuan dynasty, ruled by the Mongols invaders..

        Hey Pollard, if you wish to discard history why bring up Tibet?.

    • There had to be a promise because there was already a dispute.
      There’s no 1972 Communique standed if Tanaka had not agreed with shelving.
      There’s no renormalization if Tanaka refused it in 1972.
      Just think it more logically.

  • Paul Kyl

    Read up on the Cairo Accord.

    • Ken5745

      And the Potsdam Declaration of 1945.

  • I’m really disgusted by their double tongue.
    As “we can offer Osprey for keeping the islets safe from China”, “our alliance has to be tighten up because of the threat of China”, “maybe you’ll feel safer if you buy this equipment from us”, then “consistently pursue diplomatic and friendly means to manage disputes”, I wonder if they were really believing all of Japanese being so stupid, to a degree of not noticing.

    • Ken5745

      The US started the island dispute by violating the Potsdam Declaration of 1945 and by extension the spirit of the Cairo Conference before that.

      But both China and Japan tried to undo the dispute started by the US and agreed to shelf the dispute in 1972 and again in 1978.

      China has honored the shelf agreement. If Japan also honors the shelf agreement there will be no tension between Japan and China.

      Peace and prosperity are good for Japan and China. But this not what the US wants. The US wants to divide and rule.

      I hope more Japanese like you can see through the dirty tricks of the US Govt.