Japan Considers Unacceptable China Order to Scrap Maps in Muji Retailer Catalog

Japan Considers Unacceptable China Order to Scrap Maps in Muji Retailer Catalog
REUTERS/ KyodoAsia & Pacific13:07 31.01.2018(updated 13:18 31.01.2018) Get short URL

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Japan considers China’s order to destroy catalogs of the Japanese retailer Muji, which pictured disputed islands and Taiwan outside the Chinese borders, “unacceptable,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide said on Wednesday.

“We are worried about future incidents that may affect the activities of Japanese companies in China. On January 30, the government notified the Chinese side through the diplomatic channels between Beijing and Tokyo about its position on this matter, including the fact that these measures are totally unacceptable, and is asking for confirmation and explanation of these facts,” Suga told reporters, as aired by the NHK broadcaster.

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On Tuesday, the Chinese authorities ordered the Muji retailer to destroy its catalogs since maps inside in them violated the country’s map control ordinance. In particular, the disputed Senkaku Islands, referred to by China as Diaoyu Islands, were shown as the Japanese territory, while Taiwan was pictured as an independent state.

The senior official stressed that “from the point of view of history and international law the Senkaku Islands are the Japanese territory.”

China and several US allies in the region — namely Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines — have competing claims to the maritime borders and responsibility areas in the South China and East China seas. The islands, called Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China, are at the center of the heated dispute between Tokyo and Beijing. The United States handed control over the chain of eight islets to Japan in 1972, but Beijing argues they were marked as Chinese territory on maps dating back to 1783.

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Taiwan is not recognized as an independent state by China, which claims sovereignty over the island. Taiwan similarly does not recognize the central government in Beijing.