Japan to rename islands disputed with China
Local council votes for the move
A local council in southern Japan voted on Monday to rename an area, including islands disputed with China and Taiwan, a move Beijing denounced as illegal and a “serious provocation”. The local assembly of Ishigaki city approved a plan to change the name of the area covering the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku Islands — known by Taiwan and China as the Diaoyus — from “Tonoshiro” to “Tonoshiro Senkaku”. Local media said another part of Ishigaki is also known as Tonoshiro, and the name change was cast as a bid to avoid confusion.
But the uninhabited islands are at the centre of a festering row between Tokyo and Beijing and the move sparked anger in both Taiwan and mainland China. “The passing of the socalled administration designation bill by Japan is a serious provocation to China’s territorial sovereignty,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.
Taiwan says the islands are part of its territory, and also protested the move. “The sovereignty of Diaoyu islands belongs to our country and any move attempting to alter this fact is invalid,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.