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My Senate / Diaoyu dispute: Japan’s vote to change the status of the islands is also claimed by China



China flexes military muscle amid coronavirus pandemic

Ishigaki City Council in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture approved a law that changed the administrative status of the uninhabited island group, 1,200 miles (1,931 kilometers) southwest of Tokyo.

The islands, known as Senkakus in Japan and Diaoyus in China, have been managed by Japan since 1972, but both Tokyo and Beijing say their claims to the group have been around for hundreds of years.

China warned before Monday’s vote of a change in the status quo in the islands.

“Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are territories inherent in China,” a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday. “We ask Japan to adhere to the spirit of consensus of four principles, avoid creating new incidents on the Diaoyu Islands problem, and take practical action to maintain the stability of the East China Sea situation.”

One of the four principles is that Japan recognizes that sovereignty over the islands is in dispute.

But a bill passed on Monday in Ishigaki brushed aside concerns about how the move might be felt in Beijing.

“The approval of this case does not consider the influence of other countries, but is considered to improve the efficiency of administrative procedures,” the council said.

Earlier, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported the bill “insisted the islands were part of Japanese territory.”

This is the type of language that tickles in Beijing.

A a story in the Global Times run by the Chinese government this month also warned of the consequences of any change in island status.

“Changing administrative appointments at this time can only make disputes more complicated and carry more crisis risks,” Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the Chinese Foreign Relations University, told the Global Times.

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Concerns about the possibility of confrontation escalated last week with announcements from Japanese coast guards that Chinese government vessels have been seen in waters near the Senakaku / Diaoyu Islands every day since mid-April, setting a new record for the number of consecutive days.

On Monday, the sightings had reached 70 consecutive days, with Japanese coast guards saying four Chinese ships were in the area at the time the vote took place in Okinawa.

Responding to the increasing presence of Chinese people, Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, reiterated Tokyo’s determination at a press conference last Wednesday.

“The Senkaku Islands are under our control and there is no doubt that our territory is historically and international law. It is very serious that this activity continues. We will respond to the Chinese side firmly and calmly,” Suga said.

This aerial photo taken on September 15, 2010 shows the disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China in the East China Sea.

Violent protests in China

Before Monday’s vote, the latest “crisis” over the islands occurred in 2012.

That year, Japan nationalized privately owned islands to ward off planned sales to the then governor of Tokyo, a hard-line nationalist who reportedly hoped to develop the islands.

The plan sparked massive and highly unusual street protests throughout China, amid a wave of nationalist sentiment.

The demonstration turned violent when protesters threw rubble at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, searched Japanese shops and restaurants and overturned Japanese cars.

In a vivid illustration of how the islands burned into Chinese consciousness, a Chinese man was beaten to a coma by his compatriot just because he was driving a Toyota Corolla.

What complicates the dispute about the islands, if it continues to rise to the point of military confrontation, is that the United States is obliged to maintain them as part of Japanese territory under a joint defense pact with Tokyo.

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William Choong, a senior colleague at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, recently warned that the Senkakus / Diaoyu might be more powdery than other contested areas in East Asia.

“Compared to other flashpoints in the region – the South China Sea, Taiwan and North Korea’s weapons program – the East China Sea combines a unique and flammable mix of history, honor and region,” Choong wrote this month on The Interpreter, a blog from the Lowy Institute in Australia.

“The question is not whether China, which is now the target of a full press trial by the Americans, wants to challenge Japan over the islands. The question is when, and how? This is what keeps Japanese (and American) policymakers awake at night,” Choong wrote.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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