The Straits Times
Published on Dec 16, 2012

Disputed islands are Japan's inherent territory: Shinzo Abe


TOKYO (AFP) - Mr Shinzo Abe, who piloted his Liberal Democratic Party to victory in Sunday's election, said there is no doubt about Japan's ownership of islands at the centre of a dispute with China.

"China is challenging the fact that (the islands) are Japan's inherent territory," said Mr Abe, who is expected to become prime minister.

"Our objective is to stop the challenge. We don't intend to worsen relations between Japan and China."

Japan and China have been at loggerheads for decades over the sovereignty of a small chain of islands in the East China Sea.