China dismisses Japan's protest over Senkaku Islands in new map

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson has dismissed the Japanese government's protest over a description of Japan's Senkaku Islands in a new map released by Beijing. Japan controls the islands. China and Taiwan claim them.

The Chinese government published the 2023 version of the country's standard map last week. The map indicates most of the South China Sea as Chinese territory, as Beijing claims, drawing protests from countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.

It also reflects China's claim on the Senkaku Islands in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, and includes the term Diaoyu, the name China uses for one of the islands.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu told reporters on Tuesday that the map has a description about the Senkaku Islands based on Beijing's own claim.

He said the islands are unquestionably an inherent part of Japan's territory, in terms of both history and international law.

Matsuno added the Japanese government has lodged a strong protest with China through diplomatic channels and demanded the immediate retraction of the description on the map.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Wednesday that "Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands have all along been China's territory."

She said it is only natural that the islands are marked as Chinese territory on a map, and China does not accept Japan's protest.