According to Japanese media, the Ishigaki government of the Okinawa Prefecture has raised the idea of listing the Diaoyu Islands as part of its application for the inclusion of the Amami and Ryukyu Islands on UNESCO's provisional list of candidates for World Natural Heritage sites. Ishigaki claimed that if the application succeeds, it means that UN organizations admit that the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands belongs to Japan.
Ishigaki is a relatively poor city in Japan with very few presentable industries. Mayor Yoshitaka Nakayama has a fairly good relationship with former Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara.
Nakayama learned from Ishihara how to make provocations against China by putting the Diaoyu Islands on the world heritage application. He wants to make a name for himself, and then make Ishigaki a political and economic center.
In Japan, Sino-Japanese relations have become a tool Japanese politicians can play with. Chinese would be driven mad if they counted on Japanese politicians to be responsible.
For years, Japan has wanted to define the Amami and Ryukyu Islands as a World Heritage site. Now Ishigaki has made the Diaoyu Islands a special point. The goals of its application program have now changed.
A new conflict point may therefore be formed. From China's point of view, UNESCO shouldn't approve Japan's application. It would also be bad for China if Japan's original application was approved, because Ishigaki's absurd proposal has been reported, and the Japanese government could spread the false impression that UNESCO stands by the Japanese side.
Japanese politicians have been pushing the conflict between the two countries. China has not sought an eye-for-an-eye response against Japanese right-wing forces, however, this hasn't brought about a peaceful situation.
China's equally retaliatory restrictions on Japan should include the Chinese public making proposals so as to counter Japanese right-wing forces. At the public level, China lacks the creativity and initiative to formulate equal restrictions against Japan.
China has a much larger population than Japan and there are many more overseas Chinese than overseas Japanese. Japan is not expected to take a rational attitude toward China. The Chinese public and overseas Chinese should take the initiative and carry out legal campaigns against Japan.
The time when Japan gained advantages from moves like this has long gone. China's retaliatory restrictions have shocked Japan. If Japan makes provocations once again, it is Japan that is bound to suffer.