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Japan's "heritage application" with the Diaoyu Islands included will eventually end up as a farce

(People's Daily Online)

18:11, February 20, 2013

Key Words: China-Japan ; Diaoyu Islands

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Feb. 3, 2013, Ishigaki city of Okinawa prefecture of Japan proposed to the Japanese Government the inclusion of China's Diaoyu Islands into the bundled application for List of World Heritages with the contemplated "Amami Ryukyu" World Natural Heritage project. Ishigaki also plans to carry out a field survey on the Diaoyu Islands to support the application.

The alleged reason for the Islands to be listed as world heritage is that the Islands have a unique ecosystem and rich biodiversity and are one of the world's only two remaining habitats for endangered albatross. Spitefully, Ishigaki Mayor Yoshitaka Nakayama is frank about the true purpose behind the application, that is, once the application is approved, the "fact" will be further clarified in the international arena that the Diaoyu Islands are Japanese territory.

Firstly, Japan's delusional attempt to take advantage of this international platform to achieve its political plan runs counter to the purpose of the protection of world heritages. The selection of world heritages aims at effective protection of natural and cultural heritages of great value worldwide.

But Japan's purpose in the heritage application is to take advantage of the relevant rules and regulations for world heritage protection, obstruct China government from carrying out normal cruising and law enforcement actions in the waters around the Diaoyu Islands, and limit the fishing activity of China's fishermen there.

Secondly, the attempt of Ishigaki city to include China's Diaoyu Islands as world heritage is contrary to the basic requirements of the World Heritage Convention. To apply to the World Heritage Committee, which is under UNESCO, for declaration of a place or a culture as world's natural and cultural heritage project, the state party to UNESCO must have sovereignty over the declared object as a precondition.

Sufficient historical and legal bases prove that the Diaoyu Islands are China's inherent territory. Japan's attempt to control the Diaoyu Islands by hiding it in the "Amami Ryukyu" project for bundled heritage application is a clear violation of other's rights which does not comply with the basic conditions for declaration of world's natural and cultural heritages. It is only unilateral wishful thinking and has no ground in jurisprudence at all.

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