China dismisses 1950 ‘unsigned’ documents ‘acknowledging Senkakus as Japan’s islets’

China's embassy in Tokyo has dismissed the significance of a 1950 diplomatic document that refers to a disputed cluster of islands their Japanese name and that indicates they are part of Japan's islets.

The embassy said that 'the fact that the Japanese side is planning to use an unsigned reference document to support its own erroneous stance reveals its lack of confidence.'

It also said that that it is clear from the historical background of the Diaoyu Islands that Japan has never legally exercised sovereignty over them, the Japan Times reports.

The embassy's statement pointed out that there are a number of postwar international legal documents relating to the territorial issue that support China''s claim, the report said.

It cited the 1943 Cairo Declaration issued by the Allies in WWII, as well as documents from Japan''s own diplomatic archives, the report added.

The ten-page document, dated May 1950, was reportedly found stored in the Chinese Foreign Ministry's archives.

Titled "Draft outline on issues and arguments on parts concerning territories in the peace treaty with Japan," the document only refers to the islands by their Japanese name, indicating there was no practice in Beijing then of calling them Diaoyu.

According to the paper, Japan, which nationalized the islands this year, says it was not until the early 1970s that China started claiming the sovereignty over them, after an academic survey indicated the possibility of the existence of petroleum resources in the surrounding area.

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