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In the article “Japan, China engage in war of words at ASEM summit,” Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is quoted as telling Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi: “Historically speaking and in line with international law, there is no doubt that the Senkakus are an integral part of our territory and Japan now effectively controls the islands. There is no dispute over the sovereignty of the isles that should be settled. We aim to continue to play a responsible role to maintain peace and prosperity in the international community.”

Those are empty words. In the international arena, no leader can speak with a private version of history and his own interpretation of international law. Are the Cairo Communique and Potsdam Proclamation not part of history?

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