The Diaoyu Islands were seized by Japan at the end of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95), but the islands were returned to China in key declarations following the end of World War II.
In spite of the historical facts, Shintaro Ishihara, the right-wing Tokyo governor, unveiled plans on behalf of the city government to “buy” the islands in April. Prime Minister Yoshihito Noda joined the bid and announced in July a plan to “nationalize” the islands.
On Saturday, demonstrations were held in more than 20 major cities across China as public anger grew against Tokyo’s most recent provocations in its illegal claims on the Diaoyu Islands, which have always been a part of China historically.
Emotions gained momentum, especially in Beijing, shenzhen , Nanjing, Xi’an, Qingdao, Chongqing and Changsha, where protestors waved banners that urged the boycott of Japanese goods. Observers described the events as a natural reaction, but cautioned that demonstrators must “assert sovereignty in an accepted manner”.
As the row over the islands heated up, many Chinese canceled planned tours to Japan, especially for the Mid-Autumn and National Day holidays just around the corner, resulting in a huge dip in the number of travelers to Japan, according to local travel agencies.
Tokyo said on Wednesday that the purchase of the islands from “private owners” was completed, a move that sparked strong protests from Beijing.
China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Li Baodong, met with United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon on Thursday and filed a copy of the Chinese government’s announcement of the base points and baselines of the territorial waters of Diaoyu Islands and affiliated islets.
China has now fulfilled all obligations as stipulated in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and completed the legal process. The State Oceanic Administration on Saturday also released geographic coordinates of the Diaoyu Islands to help the public learn more about the territory.
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