The Chinese Foreign Ministry has lambasted Tokyo’s protest against Beijing’s creation of a digital museum laying out its claims to a group of Japanese-administered islets in the East China Sea, called the Senkakus in Japan.
“Japan has no right to make irresponsible remarks” about the digital museum, which was opened on last week, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters Friday.
“The Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands are China’s inherent territory. This is based on sufficient historical and legal basis,” she added, using the Chinese name of the uninhabited isles.
The museum is currently viewable only in Chinese but will be available later in other languages, including English, Japanese and French, according to local media.
On Monday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato reiterated the government’s stance on the remote islands during a regular news conference.
“The Senkaku Islands have been recognized historically and under international law as an inherent part of Japan’s territory and we maintain effective control over them,” he said.
China is “not in a position” to create such a website regarding the islets, Kato, the government’s top spokesman said, adding Japan has demanded through diplomatic channels that it be taken down.
The dispute over ownership of the isles has often strained Japan-China relations. China has frequently sent official ships to waters around the islands in a bid to push its claims to them.