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Beijing's ire at Japanese atoll port plans

Beijing's ire at Japanese atoll port plans

Beijing: China has expressed displeasure with Japanese plans to build a port on the Okinotorishima atoll, according to Reuters.
Previously, China had argued that the Pacific landmass, which Japan owns, did not meet the U.N.'s criteria for an island because it was uninhabitable.
If Okinotorishima was recognized as an island, then Japan would have indisputable claim to an exclusive economic zone around the atoll. In other words, special rights to marine resources and passages in up to 400,000 square kilometers of adjacent ocean.
The construction of a port would make the atoll habitable and, presumably, an island.
But China's foreign ministry has already attacked this idea, releasing a statement that "building facilities on it would not change the atoll's legal status." [08/01/10]

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