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Release Diaoyu Islands activists a wise move


15:11, August 18, 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo has made a wise move by releasing all 14 Chinese captured Wednesday on and off the Diaoyu Islands, easing the anguish of millions of Chinese, who, along with the activists, are determined to safeguard China's sovereign rights.

The dispute over the islands will never be settled unless the Japanese government drops its "island-purchasing" farce.

Tokyo should realize that heading down the path of "nationalizing" the islands is a dangerous move and it needs to rein in right-wing politicians, such as Tokyo mayor Shintaro Ishihara, who has trumpeted "buying the islands."

To properly solve the issue of the Diaoyu Islands, the Japanese government should reflect from three perspectives.

Firstly, the Japanese government should reflect on its conception of history. The Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islets have belonged to China since ancient times, but were stolen by Japan, which took advantage of the embattled Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) during the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-1895.

The islands, occupied by Japan until its defeat at the end of World War II in 1945, are a manifestation of Japan's half-century-long aggression against China.

Unfortunately, the islands were not returned to their rightful owner but were handed to Japan again in 1972 after the United States ended its "administering" of the islands, which China has never recognized.

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