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Japan wants its citizens in China to be kept safe

Publication Date : 16-09-2012


Japan's Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba instructed yesterday Foreign Ministry officials to take all possible measures to ensure the safety of Japanese citizens in China following the spread of anti-Japan demonstrations there.

Gemba met with senior ministry officials including Chikao Kawai, vice minister for foreign affairs, and Shinsuke Sugiyama, director general of the ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, at the ministry to discuss responses to the demonstrations and the intrusion of six Chinese surveillance ships into Japanese waters around the Senkaku Islands (known in China as Diaoyu Islands) in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, on Friday.

The Foreign Ministry believes anti-Japan sentiment in China may further be inflamed with the approach of the Sept. 18 anniversary of the 1931 Liutiaohu Incident, which triggered the Manchurian Incident, on top of the recent rise of Chinese people's resentment against Japan's purchase of three Senkaku isles.

The ministry plans to make thorough efforts to alert Japanese citizens and companies in China considering the possibility that unexpected incidents could take place in that country.

At the meeting, Gemba and ministry officials also analyzed the intrusion of the six Chinese surveillance ships, and confirmed Japan's procedures for dealing with similar intrusions, such as issuing warnings when Chinese ships show signs of approaching Japanese waters.

Gemba and the officials decided to further gather information on the issue as the Chinese government said it expects a number of fishing boats and fisheries patrol vessels to head toward the Senkaku Islands from China beginning tomorrow.

Defence Minister Satoshi Morimoto also met with senior Defence Ministry officials at the ministry building yesterday to discuss the intrusion of the Chinese ships, and confirmed that warning and surveillance activities of the Self-Defence Forces will continue in the area.

Earlier in the day, Gemba and Morimoto returned from Japan-Australia ministerial meetings held in Sydney, cutting short their trips due to the development of recent incidents regarding the Senkaku Islands.


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