Beijing | Japan has joined India, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan to lodge protests against China over its new "standard map" for including the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea as part of its territory.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told the media in Tokyo on Tuesday that Japan has lodged a strong protest to China through diplomatic channels over a new map released by Beijing last month.
Tokyo urged Beijing to rescind the map because it has a description based on China's unilateral claims on the Senkaku Islands in southern Japan's Okinawa Prefecture, Matsuno has been quoted by the Japanese media.
The map describes the Senkakus as the Diaoyu Islands, the Chinese name for the islands. The Japanese-administered islands in the East China Sea are claimed by Beijing.
The islands are "indisputably an inherent part of Japanese territory, both historically and under international law," Matsuno said.
Japan "responds in a calm and resolute way, based on its policy to stand firm in protecting people's lives and properties, as well as the country's land, seas and airspace," he said.
Reacting to Japan's protest, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning rejected Tokyo's claim over the islands.
Diaoyu Islands and neighbouring islands are part of China's territories, Mao told a media briefing on Wednesday.
"It is reasonable for China to include them in our standard maps. We do not accept relevant statements," she said.
Earlier, the Governments in the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan joined India in rejecting China's new national map, issuing strongly worded statements accusing Beijing of claiming their territory.
China published a new version of its national map last week to correct what Beijing has in the past referred to as problematic maps that it claims misrepresent its territorial borders.
India lodged a strong protest with China over its so-called "standard map" laying claim over Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin, and asserted that such steps only complicate the resolution of the boundary question.
The External Affairs Ministry also rejected China's claims as having "no basis".
"Just making absurd claims does not make other people's territories yours," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said while reacting to the Chinese move.
The Philippine government has also slammed China's 2023 edition of its so-called standard map that still shows swaths of Philippine features in the West Philippine Sea.
The Malaysian government has said that it will send a protest note to China over the latter's claims on the South China Sea as outlined in the China Standard Map Edition 2023', which also covers Malaysia's maritime areas.
The Malaysian Foreign Ministry said last Wednesday that Malaysia does not recognise China's claims in the South China Sea, as outlined in the China Standard Map Edition 2023," which also encompasses Malaysia's maritime areas.
The Vietnamese government also criticised China's latest provocation.
Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs last Wednesday rebuked China's new "standard map" by saying Taiwan has never been ruled by the People's Republic of China