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2013-02-23 10:50

A landing by Japanese activists Sunday on an island claimed by Japan, China and Taiwan sparked anti-Japanese protests across China, as tensions continued to rise in a pair of territorial spats roiling relations in East Asia.


The flare-ups are also adding to the challenges for Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who's likely to face increased opposition pressure to call early elections when parliament returns from a week-long break on Monday.

中日关系趋紧还将令日本首相野田佳彦(Yoshihiko Noda)面临的挑战增加。野田佳彦可能面临来自反对派的越来越大的压力:反对派要求在国会周一结束为期一周的休会后宣布提前进行国会选举。

The disputes - involving two sets of islands whose sovereignty is contested - are stirring nationalist sentiments throughout the region in a way that hasn't been seen since 2010, when Japan's detention of a Chinese fishing-boat captain who'd collided with a Japanese patrol vessel in disputed waters sparked demonstrations throughout China.


Sunday, 10 Japanese activists defied Japanese coast-guard warnings, the coast guard said, and swam to one of the group of East China Sea islands called the Senkakus by Japan and Diaoyu by China. The islands are controlled by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan as well. The Sunday landing followed one last week by a group of activists from Hong Kong; the Japanese government deported those activists on Friday.

日本海上保安厅说,周日,10名日本活动人士不顾海上保安厅的警告,游至东中国海(East China Sea, 中国称东海)的尖阁列岛(Senkakus, 中国称钓鱼岛)。该岛在日本的控制下,但中国大陆和台湾也均声称对其拥有主权。日本活动人士周日登岛之前,一群来自香港的活动人士曾于上周登上岛。日本政府上周五将这些活动人士遣返。

Although the coast guard said it didn't know the identities of Sunday's swimmers, Japanese press reported they were likely among a group of around 150 people, including national and local politicians, who'd taken boats to nearby waters to honor the dead from a ship that sank there during World War II.


The landing sparked anti-Japanese protests in several Chinese cities Sunday. About 1,000 demonstrators in the southern city of Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong, paraded through the city's streets, waving Chinese flags and calling for the government to defend the country's territorial claims against Japan. A number of Japanese-brand cars were overturned or smashed.


Protesters staged a sit-in in front of the Japanese consulate in nearby Guangzhou, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported, and a similar protest in China's northeast city Shenyang also targeted the Japanese consulate.


The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Sunday released a statement saying it had lodged protests with Japan's ambassador in Beijing.


Meanwhile, Mr. Noda's government is continuing to apply pressure in a separate territorial dispute triggered by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's recent visit to the Liancourt Rocks, controlled by South Korea but claimed by Japan as well. The islands are referred to as Takeshima by Tokyo and Dokdo by Seoul.

与此同时,野田佳彦政府继续在另一宗领土争端问题上向韩国政府施压。这起争端是由韩国总统李明博(Lee Myung-bak)近期登上利扬库尔岩(Liancourt Rocks)所引发的。利扬库尔岩目前由韩国控制,但日本声称对其拥有主权。日本将这一系列岛屿称作“竹岛”(Takeshima),韩国称“独岛”(Dokdo)。

Mr. Lee followed the visit by criticizing Japan over its treatment of Korea when it held the peninsula as a colony last century, saying Tokyo had not properly atoned. He further raised the tension with remarks in a talk to students last week that if Japan's emperor visited Korea, he should 'make a genuine apology' over the Koreans who died fighting the Japanese. The remarks were widely reported in Japan, where they were taken to mean that the emperor should offer up an apology if he wanted an invitation from Korea.


Japan has responded with unusual vehemence, cancelling a meeting this week of the two country's finance ministers and saying it could cancel part of a currency-swap agreement. The Japanese government also announced Friday that it wanted to take the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice. Seoul quickly dismissed the idea, as it had when Japan proposed it in 1954 and 1962. The court requires that both parties agree to its hearing any dispute.

日本以异乎寻常的激烈态度对此做出了回应:日方取消了韩日两国财长本周计划召开的一个会议,并说可能会取消两国间部分货币互换协议。日本政府上周五同时宣布,日方希望将领土争端诉诸海牙国际法庭(International Court of Justice),但韩国方面迅速驳斥了这种观点。日本政府曾于1954年和1962年就该岛主权问题向国际法院提起诉讼,但韩国拒绝回应日方诉讼。有关任何一项争端,国际法庭都要在双方同意进行仲裁的前提下做出裁决。

'It will be difficult to improve relations with South Korea while Mr. Lee is in office,' Seiji Maehara, policy chief of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, said on a Sunday talk show.

曾在日本执政的民主党政府担任外务大臣的前原诚司(Seiji Maehara)在周日的一个脱口秀节目中说,只要李明博在任,想要改善日韩关系就非常困难。

Foreign-affairs experts say the escalating tit-for-tat is at least partly driven by domestic politics. Analysts in Seoul said that Mr. Lee's more-assertive approach reflects his frustration with a lack of progress in resolving historical disputes with Tokyo, as well as a desire to raises his low public approval ratings before his term in office ends in February.


Japan's Mr. Noda is also under pressure to show a strong hand. Opposition lawmakers伟who are pushing for elections soon, to take advantage of the ruling party's sinking popularity伟criticize his handling of the territorial disputes. On Sunday, some opposition lawmakers blasted the government's decision to deport rather than prosecute the Hong Kong activists who'd landed on the disputed island.


Sadakazu Tanigaki, president of opposition Liberal Democratic Party president, said in a speech in central Japan Saturday that the current government has proven itself incapable of diplomacy, and that his party will consider submitting no-confidence and censure motions against Mr. Noda, according to business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

据日本国内财经日报《日本经济新闻》(Nihon Keizai Shimbun)报道,日本自民党总裁谷垣祯一(Sadakazu Tanigaki)上周六在日本中部发表演说称,现任政府已经证明其在外交上的无能,还说自民党将考虑对首相野田佳彦提出不信任和谴责动议。

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