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TOKYO, March 17. /TASS/. Japan considers the Senkaku Islands (also known as Diaoyu Islands) its integral territory and will continue to insist on it, Japan’s Cabinet of Ministers Secretary General Yoshihide Suga told a press conference on Tuesday.
"China does not have any grounds to consider Senkaku its territory. There is abundant evidence of this. These islands belong to Japan historically, and we control them on legal grounds," Suga said.
On Monday, the Japanese Foreign Ministry posted a map on its website that is claimed to be taken from a Chinese geography atlas of 1969. The disputed islands are marked there by a Japanese toponym Senkaku. Japan claims this proves that China changed the islands’ name to Diaoyu only after natural gas reserves were discovered close to the islands.
The territorial dispute between Japan and China around Senkaku intensified after Tokyo announced in 2012 that it bought the islands from private owners. Mass anti-Japanese demonstrations were held in China after that. Since then, Chinese ships constantly remain in the proximity of the disputed islands and occasionally enter the coastal zone.