Japanese PM Confirms: No ICJ for Senkakus/Diaoyu Dispute with China

Japanese PM Confirms: No ICJ for Senkakus/Diaoyu Dispute with China

The Japanese Prime Minister made clear in remarks yesterday that he has no intention of proposing international arbitration to settle or mediate the ongoing Senkaku/Diaoyu Island dispute with China.  Indeed, China’s government-controlled English language paper, noted the inconsistency of Japan’s position given its willingness to send its similar dispute with South Korea to the ICJ. (A point I noted here).

Noda also said on Monday that Japan has no intention to use the International Court of Justice to solve tensions with China over islands in the East China Sea. “We are not considering using the ICJ”, and there is no doubt the islands are an integral part of Japanese territory both internationally and historically, he said.

However, China rejected Japan’s claim of sovereignty over the islands which are known as the Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islets in China. China said it enjoys indisputable sovereignty over the islands. Noda’s government has been embroiled in territorial spats with China and South Korea in recent months, but his remarks suggest that Japan will deal with the two neighbors in a different manner.

In August, the Japanese government formally proposed to South Korea that the two countries jointly seek a resolution at the ICJ in The Hague to their dispute over a group of sparsely inhabited islands controlled by Seoul but claimed by Tokyo.

Does this suggest China might be open to such an arrangement? Or are they just needling him?

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Asia-Pacific, Courts & Tribunals, Law of the Sea
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Phu Nguyen
Phu Nguyen

I find it very helpful if anyone can show that China is ready for ICJ in any dispute. Given China’s consistent rejection of using ICJ as a dispute settlement method, I believe that the Japanese knows so well that an ICJ proposal will never be heard by Chinese. So, why ever try?