The Japanese government officially decided to directly "buy" China's Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated north island and south island from the so-called "owner of Senkaku Islands" on the afternoon of Sept. 10.
Japan's action of severely going against the common view of the two countries, unilaterally starting turbulence and damaging the overall situation of China-Japan relations has arisen strong protests from the government and people of China and made people once again pay attention to whether China and Japan have a tacit agreement and common view on the Diaoyu Islands issue.
In the preliminary stage of the China-Japan negotiation on establishing the diplomatic relations, the territorial sovereignty over Diaoyu Islands was a major obstacle. At that time, since normalizing the diplomatic relations was the priority in the two countries' diplomatic strategies, leaders of the two countries, in order to prevent the Diaoyu Islands issue from hindering the course of establishing their diplomatic relations, agreed to "talk about it in the future." It could be regarded as the origin of China and Japan's "tacit agreement" on the Diaoyu Island issue.
In the second half of 1970's, China and Japan were making effort to reach a peaceful and friendly treaty. Therefore, the fact that Vice Primer Deng Xiaoping reached a tacit agreement on the Diaoyu Island issue with leaders of Japan was known well by the media and public of the two countries. On Oct. 25, 1978, Deng said during a meeting with Primer Fukuda Takeo, "It is understandable that the two sides have different opinions on certain issues. For example, we have different opinions on the place that you call Senkaku Islands and we call Diaoyu Islands. It is a good choice that we do not talk about it in our negotiation. Our next generations will be wiser. We should take the overall situation as the priority." Fukuda Takeo did not express disagreement to that.
However, after the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea took effect in 1996, the Foreign Ministry of Japan suddenly changed its official stance of practically admitting the dispute and tacit agreement with China. Therefore, diplomatic authorities of China refused many times to negotiate about it.
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