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Home >> World
UPDATED: 07:54, June 21, 2005
Japan sets up address plate on controversial reef in Pacific
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The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry of Japan announced Monday that it had set up an address plate on the so-called "Okinotori Island" in the Pacific last Friday.

The titanium plate measuring 1 by 1.5 meters was established on the "island" with the address of "No.1, Okinotori Island, Ogasawara Village, Tokyo," the Kyodo News Service reported on Monday.

The plate, which stands on the concrete embankment on the northern part of Okinotori, also indicates the rock's latitude and longitude and says it is "an island in the southernmost end of Japan" and is "managed by the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry," said Kyodo.

The ministry said on Monday that it was "necessary to indicate who is responsible for the management of the Island because the international community is concerned about it."

The ministry also publicized photos of Okinotori, an uninhabited reef 1,700 km south of Tokyo, on Monday.

Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara visited Okinotori on May 20 and claimed that the reef was an "island."

According to Article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, an island is a naturally formed area of land surrounded by water, which is above water at high tides. Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zones or continental shelves.

On Okinotori, there is no human life and it doesn't meet the conditions for economic operations. During high tides, merely two mattress-sized reefs are above the surface.

The Chinese government has stressed several times that China and Japan have different views over the nature of the Okinotori waters and the two sides should properly handle the problems arising therefrom through friendly negotiations.

Source: Xinhua

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