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  • The Japan Times: China, Japan need to shelve Diaoyutais dispute

    Toyko, Sept. 11 (CNA) An editorial in Monday’s edition of the Japan Times has asked China and Japan to shelve the dispute over the Diaoyutai Islands and instead focus on improving bilateral ties.

    In the editorial published on the fifth anniversary of Japan’s nationalization of the islands, the oldest English newspaper in Japan argued that both parties should set "aside their differences over the Senkaku (Diaoyutai) dispute" and focus on the "need to improve bilateral ties."

    While the dispute over the islands has, according to the editorial, "sent bilateral ties plummeting to their worst level since the two governments normalized diplomatic relations in 1972," there are signs that both countries are seeking to reconcile.

    The editorial pointed to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge of cooperation with China’s "One Belt, One Road" initiative, the ceremony held last Friday to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the 1972 normalization of relations in Beijing, and talks of each leader visiting the other’s country as clear indicators that the once chilly relationship is thawing.

    Acknowledging that changing either side’s stance on the Diaoyutais would be difficult, the editorial argued that a practical solution is "to shelve the dispute given the stakes of improving the bilateral relationship."

    It accepted China’s regular incursions into the territorial waters around the Diaoyutais and Japan’s keenness to maintain the status quo of its claims over the islands, and in doing so, appealed to both countries to look past the issue long enough to rebuild their ties.

    Taiwan, Japan and China all claim the Diaoyutai Islands, but Japan currently controls them.

    (By Kelvin Huang and Kuan-lin Liu)