Chinese coast guard vessels never stop intruding into Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands, the sovereignty of which belongs to Japan historically and under international law. They entered the contiguous zone near the Senkaku Islands for 95 consecutive days as of July 17. Furthermore, a Chinese survey vessel carried out its activities without prior consent from the Japanese government in Japan’s exclusive economic zone near Okinotorishima Island—a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, about 1,800km south of Tokyo—for six consecutive days from July 9 to 14. With regard to China’s hegemonic expansion of its territory, there is always a conventional strategy. Once China finds a chance to expand its territory, it makes the best of it persistently, and creates an accomplished fact that China owns that territory, and finally insists its vested rights. As a result of this process, China makes new legal evidences to justify its ownership of the acquired territory. (This theory is said to be derived from China’s military strategy of “Three Warfares” which includes public opinion warfare, psychological warfare, and legal warfare).
While all people in the world are struggling with new coronavirus infections, China has been persistently promoting its hegemonic expansion of its territory in South China Sea and East China Sea, and at the same time promoting its diplomacy of providing a large number of masks to its friendly countries, and furthermore, China’s national security law for Hong Kong adopted by China’s National People’s Congress on May 28 has collapsed Hong Kong’s current status of ‘one country, two systems’ which was once guaranteed by China. In a joint communique between the governments of the UK and China announced in 1984, China pledged to preserve capitalism in Hong Kong under its policy of ‘one country, two systems’ for 50 years until 2047. Therefore, the US, the UK and some European countries are currently protesting against China’s new national security law for Hong Kong. China’s hegemonic expansion of its territory, including Okinotorishima Island though it is a small island in the Pacific Ocean, cannot be neglected. We should be cautious about China’s hegemony.
The joint committee consisting of the Research Commission on Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Affairs Division of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was held almost every day in early July. Almost all members of the committee felt a sense of crisis against these hegemonic actions of China, and proposed the LDP to urge the government to strengthen Japan’s effective control on its territories. At the General Council’s meeting, I briefly explained to the members the outline of Japan’s diplomatic relations with China, mentioning about the public-opinion poll conducted by Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) in which 65% of respondents supported the suspension of Xi Jinping’s visit to Japan, and I also referred to the fact that China started to enter the exclusive economic zone near Okinotorishima Island. Mr. Seishiro Eto, Chairperson of Research Commision on Foreign Affairs, took note of my explanation and brought it to the attention of the LDP’s top three officials—Secretary General, Chairperson of Policy Research Council, and Chairperson of General Council.