This is not the first time I have read and linked to articles in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus that I find sensible, instead of the misinformation and disinformation we see so often preached in Western press and Japanese press.
I thought this article by Kimie Hara gives a more balanced Japanese view of the issue of territorial dispute between China and Japan and (ultimately, I suppose) U.S. A pdf copy from the site downloaded today is archived below.
It’s never good to dip into one’s savings just to live large. Gluttony and largess – when one can ill afford it – is foolish … and a sign of decadence. To me, the U.S. so-called pivot to Asia – emblemized by President Obama’s trip to Japan – represents just that.
TOKYO — President Obama encountered setbacks to two of his most cherished foreign-policy projects on Thursday, as he failed to achieve a trade deal that undergirds his strategic pivot to Asia and the Middle East peace process suffered a potentially irreparable breakdown.
Mr. Obama had hoped to use his visit here to announce an agreement under which Japan would open its markets in rice, beef, poultry and pork, a critical step toward the trade pact. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was not able to overcome entrenched resistance from Japan’s farmers in time for the president’s visit.
This trip was supposed to show that the U.S. is back – and that the pivot is back on track. Yet, on the Washington Post, you will not see any article on Obama’s Japan trip on the top (home) page. On New York Times Home Page, you see just one (the one linked above) – with that one lamenting the visit’s failure.
If the “pivot” is back, it seems hard to tell. The U.S. seems distracted by other world events in Middle East Ukraine. Read more…
World War II began near an unremarkable town called Wanping, China in July 1937 and ended with soul-destroying fury that ballooned as giant mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
With two atomic bombs, the United States stuffed the genie of Japanese militarism into the American bottle. Under its watch, post-war Japan has maintained an elegant deception as a beacon of pacifism.
But the benign façade is cracking under the pressure of China’s rise and rise. The resurgence has sparked an existential crisis for Japan, its sense of drift even more acute as its erstwhile victim steams ahead.
Japan must find fresh bearings. The bad news is that whenever Japan casts around for new directions, it leaves a bloody trail of terror and destruction. Read more…
The following tweet by Gady Epstein, a correspondent for the Economist based in Beijing, is not surprising. The way I read it, he seemed dissatisfied that China and Japan haven’t yet escalated their tension into war.
Yes, this is that same trash magazine that had a sort of mea culpa not too long ago for their role in justifying British imperialism against the Chinese. Remember the Opium Wars? Yes, they ‘regretted’ fueling that war! Earlier in the year they announced a dedicated section to China coverage, and in response I suggested they have an editorial overhaul, because that very announcement were filled with bigotry they said they wanted to avoid. Apparently, that overhaul didn’t happen, and their century-old tradition of fact-twisting continues. Here we are today, on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute, I just want to share a few bits of the anti-China propaganda this thing, The Economist, is. Read more…
The following short article is by Han-Yi Shaw, a Research Fellow at the Research Center for International Legal Studies, National Chengchi University, in Taipei, Taiwan. Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times has decided to publish it on his blog, with a short forward. It is an important piece of work tracing the history of the ownership of the Diaoyu (Senkaku) Islands, using both Chinese and Japanese official documents.
September 19, 2012
The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands
Separately Tuesday, prosecutors reportedly seized records from the operator of the video-sharing site YouTube to try to determine how the footage was posted online.
Further details of the records were not immediately known Tuesday evening.
YouTube is a subsidiary of Google Inc. of the U.S.
Although the Google camp has expressed willingness to cooperate with the investigation, the prosecutors believe it would be difficult for the search site to voluntarily submit user information, given its policy of keeping such data secret, the sources said.
Is Google siding with Japan’s claims at the expense of China? Search for “Diaoyutai” or the Chinese character equivalent, “钓鱼台群岛,” you’ll not be able to find the disputed islands. Circled in red below is where a pin should be placed. Nothing shows up.
"Diaoyutai" or "钓鱼台群岛" not labeled on disputed islands between China and Japan.
Instead, if you search for “Senkaku-shoto,” Google Maps takes you to the disputed islands. They are labeled with Japanese names. Same effect if you explore that part of the world without the keyword search. See snapshot below: Read more…
Japan’s NHK World has just reported the detained Chinese captain (Zhan Qixiong) since September 8 will be released. The report said:
Japanese prosecutors have decided to release the captain of a Chinese fishing boat involved in collisions in the East China Sea. The captain’s detention has stirred tension between Japan and China.
钓鱼台群岛 (Diaoyutai) Map Location
I’d be shocked if the captain is dragged through some trial in Japan using Japanese law, because Diaoyutai (or Senkaku as known in Japan) is a disputed territory. If Japan prosecutes Zhan, it implies Japan has unconditionally rejected China’s claims. Doing so would have put Japan’s hope for a form of Asian Union on the line. The Chinese government has shown restraint too, in my opinion. If not, they’d put that same hope on the line as well. So, I am personally happy to see this issue coming to an end without further escalation (ok, reading Western media, it appears Japan and China are at each others throats with knives). Read more…
The news this morning is of a new resource-sharing agreement in the East China Sea that represents the start of a new era in east Asia. Japan and China has agreed to ignore territorial demarcation for now, and instead focus on extracting oil and gas from fields in the area.
Many Chinese see in the agreement a government desperate to buy international peace before the Olympics, at any price. One post (原贴) from Tianya:
The Olympics is only a game, how can it be used to kidnap China; how can it lead to such a heavy loss in Chinese interests?
China has 100% sovereignty over the East China Sea continental shelf, this is our most fundamental principle. Once China makes a mistake on this basic principle, then the consequences are long-lasting and severe. This naturally implies China will fall into the hopeless situation of having to negotiate. Once China accepts Japan’s demand for “joint development”, it inevitably dilutes China’s sovereignty over the East China Sea continental shelf.
The Chunxiao natural gas fields have already been fully developed by mainland China, why is there any talk of joint development? Japan’s is using its claims of sovereignty to request a taste of Chunxiao’s rewards. I absolutely can not accept this perspective.
If China agrees to sharing the East China Sea oil and gas fields, this is equivalent to recognizing Japan’s sovereignty over the continental shelf. This is a very serious strategic mistake, with unimaginable consequences.
Two different Diaoyutai’s are front-page news today.
First, Diaoyutai islands: a Taiwanese fishing ship collided with a Japanese patrol ship off of the disputed Diaoyutai islands. One man was slightly injured as the boat sank; the passengers have been repatriated, but the crew remains held under Japanese custody.
The sovereignty of Diaoyutai is disputed by all sides on the basis of conflicting history; it’s either part of mainland China, Japan, Okinawa, or Taiwan depending on who is doing the talking. Wikipedia has the details in English. It certainly remains a potential flashpoint. Chinese nationalists (from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland) have at different times made attempts to plant Chinese flags onto the island. Japanese nationalists have done the same.
These pictures come from an attempt in 1996, during which a Chinese activist (David Chan) tragically drowned.