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Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012

37 prefectures: Be firm on Senkaku, Takeshima


Thirty-seven prefectural assemblies have adopted resolutions or opinions urging the central government to take a robust stand on the island disputes with China and South Korea.

The resolutions began emerging in August when the long-standing territorial disputes intensified with the landing of two Hong Kong activists on one of the Senkaku islets in the East China Sea on Aug. 15.

Further aggravating tensions was South Korean President Lee Myung Bak's trip to Takeshima, claimed by Japan and controlled by South Korea.

Resolutions by 35 prefectural assemblies referred to the dispute over the Senkakus and 33 referred to Takeshima.

Many of the resolutions urge the central government "to lodge a protest in a resolute manner and take measures to prevent a recurrence" of landings by Chinese on the Senkakus or to reject China's sovereignty claim. They also called for legislation to protect Japan's territories.

Some assemblies, including those in Aichi and Ehime, refrained from calling for direct protests targeting China and asked the central government to work toward early restoration of the strained relations and to protect Japanese people and companies in China.

Of the resolutions on Takeshima, several protested Lee's trip, with the Shimane assembly calling it "a reckless deed that rocked the amicable relationship" between Japan and South Korea.

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