中国漁船長提訴 尖閣の主権を内外に明示した

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 15, 2014
JCG collision lawsuit is logical response to China’s actions over Senkakus
中国漁船長提訴 尖閣の主権を内外に明示した(2月15日付・読売社説)

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made a logical response to China over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.

The Japan Coast Guard has filed a lawsuit with the Naha District Court against the captain of a Chinese fishing boat that was operating in Japan’s territorial waters off the Senkakus when he intentionally rammed JCG patrol boats in defiance of a JCG order to stop in September 2010.

The government has repeatedly asked the Chinese side to cover the cost of repairing the JCG boats, but to no avail. It decided to file the lawsuit because the statute of limitations on damages will expire soon.

It is natural for the government to seek a judicial judgment based on domestic laws regarding an illegal act committed in Japan’s territorial waters.

It is also hugely significant that the lawsuit once again underscores Japan’s sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands.

When the incident occurred, the administration of then Prime Minister Naoto Kan was subjected to outrageous protests from China. The Naha District Public Prosecutors Office released the arrested captain of the fishing boat—a difficult decision the Democratic Party of Japan administration was forced to make following a series of events, including the detention of Japanese citizens by Chinese authorities in an apparent tit-for-tat.

But the government’s excessively conciliatory stance weakened Japan’s assertions of sovereignty, leading China to trumpet its irrelevant claims. This is a lesson Japan should heed.

Since the ramming, China has been escalating its attempts to change the status quo regarding the Senkakus by force. The Abe administration must convey Japan’s assertions abroad to disseminate them widely in the international community. Maritime surveillance activities around the Senkaku Islands should not be neglected.

Video to back claim

“In filing the suit, we will submit video records to prove that the government’s claim is justified,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has said, indicating that the JCG will make the video available to the general public upon request.

The video has been widely viewed after a JCG officer posted it on the video-sharing site YouTube and other developments.

But officially releasing the video to the public is intended to demonstrate to people both at home and abroad how just the Japanese government’s legal action is.

Viewing the video will make it clear that the Chinese captain was at fault for intentionally ramming the JCG boats.

Furthermore, the latest release of the video is apparently aimed at underscoring the significance of the law on protecting specially designated state secrets enacted last year.

The Kan administration deemed the leak of the video by the JCG official unpardonable, which prompted it to consider establishing a legal system to protect state secrets. However, Abe has said that the video showing the ramming should not be categorized as a specially designated secret.

Instead, as he has emphasized, the enactment of the law will prevent administrations from arbitrarily concealing information as they see fit.

The government is expected to appropriately distinguish between classified information connected to state security and information that does not cause harm when released to the public.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 15, 2014)
(2014年2月15日00時13分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク


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