06:55 GMT +325 March 2017
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    A helicopter lands on the Izumo, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force's (JMSDF) helicopter carrier, at JMSDF Yokosuka base in Yokosuka

    China to Retaliate If Japan Sends Izumo Warship to South China Sea

    © REUTERS/ Kim Kyung-Hoon
    Asia & Pacific
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    China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying stated that the situation in the South China Sea was improving in comparison with the last year due to the efforts of the regional states, and countries outside of the region must respect the efforts to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) — China will take the necessary response measures if Japan sends its largest warship, the Izumo helicopter carrier, on a three-month tour to the South China Sea, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday at a briefing.

    Earlier this week, media reports emerged that Japan planned to send the Izumo on a tour with stops in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka in order to test the ship’s capabilities before joining the Malabar joint maneuvers with India and the United States.

    "Based on its own interests, Japan has recently been creating problems and polarization over the issue of the South China Sea. This approach has caused strong resentment of the Chinese citizens. Japan continues to do this, and the attempts to have military presence in the South China Sea indicate a threat to the interests of China and increase tensions in the region. China, of course, will take countermeasures in this case," Hua said.

    Hua added that the situation in the South China Sea was improving in comparison with the last year due to the efforts of the regional states, and countries outside of the region must respect the efforts to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

    Hua noted that Tokyo was not a party involved in disputes over the South China Sea, and Japan should reflect on its history and refrain from steps that could harm peace and stability in the region.

    China and several countries in the region, namely Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, are involved in a dispute on maritime borders and responsibility areas in the South China and East China seas. Japan and China have had a territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands, called in Chinese the Diaoyu Islands, since the 1970s. Japan controls the territory, while China lays claim to it.

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    Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, Japan, South China Sea, China
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    • 2007harleydavidsonsg
      The Japanese senkaku islands is the Japanize ancestor name that predated Chinas so called 1970 claim to them.
    • avatar
      Matthewbleu2in reply to2007harleydavidsonsg(Show commentHide comment)
      2007harleydavidsonsg, The name "Senkaku" in Japanese means Peak or Pinnacle and that name was given to the Daioyu islands (also known as the Pinnacle Islands in English) only in 1904, nine years after Japan annexed the islands as a war booty in 1895.

      According to the Potsdam Declaration of 1945, a defeated Japan in WW2 had to return all territories stolen from China but the US handed the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands to Japan for administration with no sovereignty in May 1972.

      In Sept 1972 China's Premier Zhou EnLai and Japanese Premier K. Tanaka agreed to shelf the disputes for future generations to solve.

      But in Sept 2012 (40 years later) Japan nationalized the islands. That started the disputes with China.

      More history from the New York Times below:

      kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/the-inconvenient-truth-behind-the-diaoyusenkaku-islands
    • 2007harleydavidsonsgin reply toMatthewbleu2(Show commentHide comment)
      Matthewbleu2, Thank you! Prior to 1970 neither the PRC nor ROC disputed sovereignty to the senkaku islands. Earlier accounts of maps and government documents from both countries after 1945 refer to the islands by their Japanese name senkaku. Although the ancient fishing/trade lanes of the Ryukyu islands will probably remain one of contention.
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