The Straits Times
Published on Nov 20, 2012

Japan ruling party stands tough on territorial spat


TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's ruling Democratic Party will promise to do its utmost in protecting Japanese territory and putting an end to nuclear power generation by the 2030s, according to draft campaign pledges issued on Tuesday ahead of next month's election.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is running far behind the biggest opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in opinion polls taken ahead of the Dec 16 parliamentary election.

"We will expand and fortify guard and vigilance carried out mainly by the coast guard, and take all possible measures to protect our land and waters, including the Senkaku islands," the draft statement, obtained by Reuters, said.

Sino-Japanese ties took a tumble after the Japanese government in September bought disputed East China Sea islets, giving a fresh headache to Mr Noda, already tasked with leading Japan's recovery from last year's massive earthquake and tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear disaster.