Dispute Over Islands Reflects Japanese Fear of China’s Rise

When the flotilla of 21 fishing boats arrived at an island chain at center of a growing territorial dispute with China, the captains warned dozens of activists and politicians aboard not to attempt a landing. Ten of the activists jumped into shark-infested waters anyway, swimming ashore on Sunday, planting the rising sun flag that evokes painful memories of the Imperial Japan’s 20th-century march across Asia. “We feel that they dragged us into an international incident,” said Masanori Tamashiro, one of the boat captains. That feeling is widely shared in Japan, where a small number of nationalists has pushed country to assert itself more boldly to counter China’s and South Korea’s economic rise and China’s quickly evolving territorial ambitions. The conflict with China has raised the specter that the United States, Japan’s longtime defender, could be pulled into fight. The nationalists have gained traction for their cause in recent months by taking advantage of government’s political weakness, forcing the governing party to take a tougher stand on the islands west of here, known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. But the activists are also tapping into a widespread anxiety over China, which intensified two years ago during last major flare-up over Senkakus. China retaliated then for Japan’s arrest of a fishing captain by starving Japan of the rare earths needed for its already struggling electronics industry. That anxiety became more pronounced in the recent months as China expanded its claims in the nearby South China Sea, challenging Vietnam, the Philippines and others over more than 40 islands in a vast area, and backing its statements with aggressive moves included sending larger patrol boats to disputed waters. There is still little appetite in pacifist Japan for a full-blown confrontation with China. But analysts say consensus is growing on need to stand up to China as power in the region appears to slip further from economically fading Japan and the United States. “We are all gearing up for an international tug of war in this region,” said Narushige Michishita, an expert on security issues at National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. “Whenever distribution of power changes in a dramatic way, people start to redraw lines.” That is precisely what is happening in South China Sea, which has received more international attention than the Japan’s territorial battles. But experts say the increasingly shrill war of words over disputed islands between Japan and its East Asian neighbors, including China and South Korea, is potentially more explosive. Unlike in South China Sea, where frictions center on competition for natural resources, East Asian island disputes are more about history, rooted in lingering, easily ignited, anger over Japan’s dominance decades ago. Those raw emotions were loosed over the weekend, as hundreds and possibly thousands of Chinese, in protests that were at least tolerated by the government, poured into the streets in several cities to denounce Japan’s claims over the Senkakus (…..)

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/22/world/asia/dispute-over-islands-reflect-japanese-fear-of-chinas-rise.html


Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

One Response to Dispute Over Islands Reflects Japanese Fear of China’s Rise

  1. (NYT GOLDEN PICK) Professor Uziel Nogueira says: The Senkaku islands conflict is just a provocation by the Japanese elite out of pure frustration. That is, FEAR of becoming part of China’s Co-Prosperity Sphere in this new century. After all, the future of the Japanese economy is no longer in Washington but in Beijing. However, this kind of nationalistic-induced conflict may have unintended consequences, not necessarily in favor of Japanese and American interests. What IF China declares possession of the islets and sends its navy to patrol the waters around it? will Obama react by sending the Pacific fleet or back down? What if China applies the salami tactics and take back Senkaku and other disputed areas around its continental territory? Japan has been a US protectorate since its military defeat and two devastating nuclear attacks at the end of WWII. The country’s economic prosperity was linked to its ability to sell high quality goods in the US market. The American economy is in decline and the US navy no longer rules supremo in the Pacific waters. China — Japan’s historical enemy — is the new superpower. Though times for the proud Japanese elite that once ruled the Asia-Pacific region with iron fist. The Senkaku islands is just the beginning of a major geopolitical shift taking place in that part of the world. China is in, the US is out. The writing is on the wall. Take the case of Taiwan. There is no need for an invasion anymore, the island will return to Beijing’s rule sooner than later.



Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Google+ photo

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Google+. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )


Conectando a %s

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: