Japan writes letter to China as calls to ease tensions grow - letter delivered to top man; hoping to cool down the case for a while, if not for good - China Daily (2012/09/01)
Here's the promising part – Noda writes a letter intended for Hu Jintao, carried by Yamaguchi (senior deputy minister of foreign affairs) and should have gone to the hands of Fu Ying (a deputy foreign minister of similar rank), instead it went to the much higher rank State Councilor Dai Bingguo – now that's what I called constructive negotiation
So when Japanese PM Yoshihiko Noda decided to nationalise the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Islands in Chinese) in hopes to prevent them from falling into the hands of the right-wing Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara (see also how the Japanese right-wing once nationalized Korea's Dokdo in 1945 with a similar tactic in the chronicle on "Dokdo-Takeshima dispute"), things got worse pretty quickly. What was originally politically domestic (within Japan) got turned into an international dispute and sparked riots in China.
I believe China knows all too clear what actually was going on. The party's paper People's Daily published the article "China and Japan should not be kidnapped by an old fogey" - discussing how the two states should not be troubled by temporary trifles and more should not be controlled by some old Japanese (right-wing) fogeys who was trying to purchase the island and build on them with the $19 million raised from 'contributors' - People's Daily (2012/08/27)
Yet the difficult part is how to contain the sentiment of the peoples.
In fact, this is not the first time Japan buys a disputed islands: China-Japan island dispute has long history - seen on map of China, since the 14th century, annexed by Japan, since 1895 after winning the First Sino-Japanese War - VOA News (2012/08/17)
US lawmakers blame China over maritime disputes - China was a "schoolyard bully towards its maritime neighbors" that aspired to be the dominant power in Asia, controlling vital sea lanes that could be used to choke off commerce and oil shipments; U.S. would stand by its allies, the Philippines and Japan - Boston.com (2012/09/12)
Anti-Japan protests in China swell, turn violent - anti-Japanese sentiment has been building for weeks over the disputed East China Sea islands; feelings intensified this week after the Japanese government purchased the islands from their private owners - Chron (2012/09/14)
Japanese manufacturers move to Philippines - Japanese manufacturers are making a beeline to the Philippines due to its young, English-speaking labour market following a rising yen at home and risk factors like floods and political changes in other hubs; Bandai, Fujifilm, Canon, and Brother to follow suit; Japan remains the biggest investor in the Philippines - Asia One (2012/09/17)
"The imperialist nation is China": What Japanese Internet users think about the Diaoyu protests - the Chinese still sees the Japanese as "imperialists" who humiliated China in the 1930s; yet the new generation Japanese born after WWII are more to the left than to the right and they don't see China as a victim; looting and destruction targeted at brands like Rolex, Dior, McDonald's and Samsung – people wonder why this is patriotic, or even has anything to do with Japan; - Slate (2012/09/22)
Hong Kong activists called off a second landing attempt as powerful typhoon Jelawat hit just in time, yet no one knows if the row would quietly subside:
Typhoon Jelawat jumps Japan's island of Okinawa - NASA advisory said the cyclone was comparable to a category 3 hurricane - CNN (2012/09/29)
Both governments seemed to have cared less as to the dire need of the public (as well as the international community) to actually see some hard evidence supporting their respective claims, until this point.
And the U.S. seems to be pleased with Taiwan cooperating: - tourists and business executives from Taiwan will be allowed to travel to the U.S. without a visa for as long as 90 days starting November 1, a major step forward in U.S. long-standing economic partnership with Taiwan - BusinessWeek (2012/10/02)
China and Japan still fighting, in "China banks pull out of meetings in Japan" - last-minute no-shows in Tokyo's high-profile annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund - Wall Street Journal (2012/10/03)
Because election is near with "Japan's coming political quake" - and the whole thing becomes challenges they need to confront at home - Japan Times (2012/10/04)
- DPJ, Democratic Party of Japan, first came to power only in September 2009
but have already had 3 PMs (Hatoyama, Kan and now Noda) since, legislators defected,
shortcomings of policies after the 311 earthquake
- personally, the last thing I want to see is the right-wing back
Nissan Motor to spend $376 mln on new Thai plant - to spend about 30 billion yen ($376 million) on a new plant in Thailand in 2014 to diversify production in the wake of anti-Japanese demonstrations in China last month - Reuters (2012/10/23)
Korea, China, Japan must cooperate - tensions in the region have reached a serious level and must be eased - Chosun Ilbo (2012/10/12)
- a total of 1.52 billion people live in the three countries, accounting for 22.3 percent of the global population; combined GDP totals US$10.6 trillion or 18.6 percent of the world's GDP
Replacing the naval drill with something less provocative and yet equally symbollic: "U.S. displays its might near China" - aircraft carrier George Washington cruised the sea a day after China had exercises nearby - Philly.com (2012/10/21)
Yet, during the Asia-Europe summit in Laos: "Japan-China rift flares at summit" - China explicitly challenged Tokyo's claims on Diaoyutai; IMHO this is rather an unusal action for a well-trained foreign ministry official (probably there's an untold story behind all this) - Wall Street Journal (2012/11/07)
- and so: "Japan seeks tighter pact with U.S. to confront China" - which is, IMHO again, very understandable and natural - New York Times (2012/11/09)
- particularly when: "Japan's Noda mulls December election" - and Japan to start talks on joining a free-trade pact led by the U.S., i.e. Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement - Wall Street Journal (2012/11/09)
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For those you who don't have time
to read all our news excerpts about the Asian island
disputes (links above), you may find the following video,
"The economic impact of a war between Japan and China",
"This trial is another example of the Kremlin's attempts to discourage and delegitimize dissent. It is likely to backfire."
John Dalhuisen, Director of Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Programme
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