BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhuanet) -- China lodged solemn representations with Japan on Saturday over a plan by Japanese nationalists to go to the Diaoyu Islands to perform Shinto rites.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said that China has urged Japan to immediately stop this action that seeks to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty.
Qin said any unilateral action taken by Japan on the Diaoyu Islands is illegal and invalid. Japanese media said a group of 150 people, including lawmakers and right-wing members, plan to go to the Diaoyu Islands waters to commemorate Japanese who died in the final stages of World War Two.
They were expected to set sail on Saturday evening and reach the disputed waters on Sunday morning. The Japanese government has refused to give permission to land on the Diaoyu islands, but the group is free to sail near them.
The action aims to reassert Japanese ownership of the islands. Local media also says some Tokyo officials plan to land on the Diaoyu islands later this month to make preparations for buying the islands.
They will make an application to the government next week. If the government refuses permission, they will send ships to the waters near the islands to do a probe some time later.