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Ishigaki, an island’s rise from China-Japan spat

(People's Daily Online)

07:50, August 24, 2012

The quiet Ishigaki Airport. (Photo/People’s Daily Online)

Translated and edited by Chen Lidan, People’s Daily Online

Ishigaki Island where the patrol vessels and air force of the Japan Coast Guard’s 11th region are stationed, has gained great attention from the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands between China and Japan. As the JCG’s nearest base to the Diaoyu Islands, Ishigaki is becoming the Japan’s forefront on the sea to contain China.

Chinese elements can be seen everywhere on the island. Due to its geographic location, the Ishigaki Island historically served as a transport center for people-to-people and trade activities between China’s coastal southeast and Japan’s main islands. Till today, the local culture, customs and industries still take influence from China. Tourism has turned to be the pillar of the local business and the number of tourists coming from Chinese mainland and Taiwan keeps climbing. Instead of sense of tension, the locals harbor high expectation on China’s economic rise.

The Ishigaki Island is today’s China-Japan ties in miniature that economic closeness and political coldness oddly coexist at the same time.

Read the Chinese version: 探访石垣岛:浓重大陆情结下的制华前线; Source: People's Daily Online; Author: Li Runze

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