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Taiwan lays claim to disputed islands

The disputed islands in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyu in China and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan Photo: Reuters

Toucheng is a small township on the east coast of Taiwan, sitting at the foot of jungle covered hills and facing the Pacific Ocean.

From the wide beach, beyond the waves which attract a small surfing scene, you get a view of Turtle Island, a local beauty spot.

It's not the only island that the locals claim as theirs.

The small islands at the centre of the bitter row between Japan and China are also contested by Taiwan and most intensely by the people of Toucheng.

One local shows me a photo on his phone, he tells me:

This is the actual official Taiwanese address for the Islands

The photo shows a red number one on a standard style road sign.

Taiwan was ruled by Japan for many years in the past. Many elderly people still speak Japanese.

The Island is a mix of Japan and China in many ways. The shops and buildings remind you of the fishing towns along the North East coast of Japan but Chinese is the language spoken.

True the disputed Islands are nearer the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, than they are to Tokyo but Taiwan's claim is contested by both China and Japan, and both countries continue to claim they own the Islands and not Taiwan or the people of Toucheng.