The Japanese government plans to include the Senkaku Islands into UNESCO’s list of World Natural Heritage sites. Initially, Japan was preparing to put Amami and Ryukyu Islands on the list, while the city of Ishigaki thought of including the Senkaku Islands too as part of the application earlier this month, according to Japanese media.
The Ishigaki government prepared a draft plan and proposed to send investigation teams to the Senkaku Islands in order to obtain enough data for the Japanese authorities and the UNESCO.
Chinese media described Japan’s action as a “clear provocation” and a “political move” against China’s territorial claim over the islands. It also stated that the plan, once carried out, will amplify the territorial conflict between the two countries over the Senkaku islands, also known as Diaoyu in China.
Japan has a hidden purpose of obtaining recognition from an international organization on the sovereignty over the islands, Chinese media comments. This time, Japan’s plan will incur China’s opposition and strong countermeasures, it added.
UNESCO’s procedure states that a country has to first make a list of its natural heritage sites placed within its borders in order to begin the nomination for the list of World Natural Heritage sites.