Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islands

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Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islands

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:53 am UTC

From the Globe and Mail:

Spoiler:
China’s incoming leader re-emerged this weekend after an unexplained two-week absence, just in time to see the country he’s about to inherit consumed with rabid anti-Japanese nationalism that his Communist Party unleashed, and which the United States warned on Sunday could lead to a regional war.

Beijing’s rapidly deteriorating relationship with Tokyo will top the agenda as Xi Jinping takes over as general secretary of the Communist Party from President Hu Jintao, a promotion expected as early as next month. While Mr. Xi will continue to share power with Mr. Hu for months afterward, the stakes could scarcely be higher for his first test.

Six days of sanctioned anti-Japanese protests – which escalated Sunday into a nationwide day of rage that saw Japanese businesses and diplomatic missions attacked – have whipped up hatred and created a situation that leaves the Chinese leadership little room to compromise in a showdown over disputed islands in the East China Sea. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who is on the verge of calling an election that will see him challenged from the nationalist right, similarly has little room to negotiate.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he was worried the growing tensions between China and Japan could result in a war that would “have the potential of expanding.”

The U.S. is bound by treaty to defend Japan in the event it is attacked. China and Japan are the world’s second and third-largest economies.

“A misjudgment on one side or the other could result in violence, and could result in conflict,” Mr. Panetta said in Tokyo at the start of a tour that will take him to Beijing this week for talks with senior leaders.

The confrontation over the uninhabited islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, escalated from obscure to alarming last week after Tokyo moved to purchase them from the Japanese family that privately owned them for the past four decades. Beijing responded by unilaterally declaring new sea borders around the islands and then dispatching patrol boats to the area on Friday. Japanese boats were also sent to the area, leading to a nine-hour pursuit before the Chinese ships finally left the disputed waters.

That showdown at sea was followed by a weekend of dangerous street theatre around China. Tens of thousands took part in marches in dozens of cities Saturday and Sunday that were officially condoned and disturbingly xenophobic. “Declare war on Japan!” thousands shouted as they marched past the Japanese Embassy in Beijing. Some waved portraits of Mao Zedong, and pelted the embassy gate with eggs and bottles as rows of military police looked on.

Japanese restaurants a few blocks away were forced to close, draping their exteriors in red Chinese flags so as to leave no question as to where their loyalties lay. An adjacent Chinese restaurant on the same street drew crowds by putting up signs declaring “pet dogs welcome, but not Japanese dogs.”

“We insist that the government take some hard actions” to seize the disputed islands, said Lu Zhentao, the restaurant’s manager. “The Japanese attitude is that they will not bow their heads to us.”

In the southern city of Guangzhou, a crowd smashed the windows of a building housing the Japanese consulate. In the neighbouring city of Shenzhen, police used tear gas, water cannons and pepper spray to disperse an estimated crowd of 10,000 that attacked a Japanese department store. In all, demonstrations were reported in 85 Chinese cities.

Anger is expected to rise ahead of Tuesday’s anniversary of the Mukden Incident of 1931, a staged attack on a Japanese railway line that was used as pretext for the Imperial Army’s invasion of Manchuria, and later the rest of China, at the outset of the Second World War. Considered a day of national humiliation in China, the anniversary is marked by protests even when ties between Beijing and Tokyo are businesslike.

“Regrettably, [there] is a problem concerning the safety of Japanese nationals and Japan-affiliated companies,” Mr. Noda said in televised remarks Sunday. “I would like to urge the Chinese government to protect their safety.”

However, Mr. Noda gave no indication he was considering Chinese demands that Japan abandon its purchase of the disputed islands. Tokyo does not recognize any dispute over the ownership of the islands, which have been in Japanese hands since 1895, except for a 26-year American occupation following the Second World War.

China’s own claim is based on the fact the islands appeared on Chinese maps for centuries before the Japanese annexed them.

Beijing is also unlikely to back down ahead of its own sensitive transition of power, which is expected to begin in late October and which requires the support of the hawkish leadership of the People’s Liberation Army. Seven of the nine current members of the all-powerful Standing Committee of the Politburo are due to retire at an upcoming Communist Party meeting, making way for a new generation of leaders headed by Mr. Xi, the current vice-president.

Mr. Xi returned to the public eye on Saturday – the Xinhua news agency published five photographs of him touring the China Agricultural University on Saturday – after an unexplained 13-day absence, putting to rest rumours that he was deathly ill or had been targeted in an assassination attempt.

He looked hale during his visit to the university, but did not address the showdown with Japan in brief remarks reported by Xinhua.

Many protesters outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing spoke of boycotting Japanese products until Tokyo withdrew its purchase of the disputed islets.

“If Chinese people boycott Japanese products, I don’t believe the Japanese could be so aggressive,” said 36-year-old Zhang Binglan, an insurance saleswoman who said Sunday’s protest was the first time in her life she had ever joined a political demonstration.

The Communist Party initially encouraged the protests with inflammatory media coverage of the islands dispute and laissez-faire policing that cleared a route for the demonstrators and allowed them to bring in boxes of eggs and other projectiles. But, as passions rose, police began trying to calm the crowd, using loudspeakers to urge the demonstrators to respect the law.

“I agree with their patriotism, but I disagree with their way of expressing it,” Zhang Liguo, a 17-year-old performing arts student, said of the attacks on Japanese interests. He wore a handmade sign reading: “Drive away the disrespectful Japanese!”

Some saw the protests as a convenient distraction for the Communist Party.

Even before Mr. Xi’s disappearing act, the party was dealing with the fallout of the scandalous Bo Xilai affair, which saw the one-time rising political star purged amid allegations he had helped cover up the murder of a British businessman by his wife Gu Kailai.

The treason trial of Wang Lijun, Mr. Bo’s former police chief in the southeastern city of Chongqing – who instigated his downfall by trying to seek refuge in a U.S. consulate – begins Tuesday, the same day the anti-Japanese demonstrations are expected to crest.

“It’s all staged. Only the Japanese could help us to have such a demonstration,” dissident artist Ai Weiwei told The Globe and Mail while wandering past Sunday’s protest in Beijing. “We haven’t had such street protests for decades. The Japanese are helping us get back our rights.”


tl;dr: There's some uninhabited islands claimed by both China and Japan. The Japanese government tried to buy them from the current private owner, and China has retaliated by launching patrol boats to secure the islands, and anti-Japanese protests have swept the country. China's government is in the process of transition and Japan's is facing an election, making it difficulty for either party to back down and risk losing face to a historic rival.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:29 am UTC

I'm hoping this is the Chinese communist version of campaign bluster.

Also,

“The Japanese attitude is that they will not bow their heads to us.”


Lolled at that. We're protesting their control of uninhabited islands they've controlled for over a hundred years, calling for war against them, targeting their businesses, boycotting their products, and vandalizing their embassies! How dare they not be polite and conciliatory!

Edit: Here's a gallery of some of the protests It is kind of frightening.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:33 am UTC

http://www.creditwritedowns.com/wp-cont ... prices.png

food prices going sky high and making a big fuss and stiring up nationalism over something stupid.
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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Arrian » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:29 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:http://www.creditwritedowns.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/China-food-prices.png

food prices going sky high and making a big fuss and stiring up nationalism over something stupid.


Or brilliant! The people are unhappy about a lot of things, with good reason. So focus their attention on an outsider to both distract them from their real problems and encourage nationalistic feelings, making people willing to sacrifice a little more because "the motherland needs you in a time of crisis." Do not look at the man behind the curtain!

Sounds like the plot of a mediocre novel.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Sano » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:41 pm UTC

There is oil near the islands' shore, IIRC. Also the guy who bought it is a nationalist that denies that the Rape of Nanjing happened or something. Both issues explain a lot of this, I think.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Роберт » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:01 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Edit: Here's a gallery of some of the protests It is kind of frightening.

A banner on a store called pattad reads: "pattad firmly defends China's right to the Diaoyu Islands. / We will give a 15% discount to customers who yell THE DIAOYU ISLANDS BELONG TO CHINA! in the store / We will give a 20% discount to customers who yell JAPAN ALSO BELONGS TO CHINA!"
Well, apparently there's insanely stupid nationalism and war mongering in China, too. Who'da thunkit?
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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Zamfir » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:10 pm UTC

You have to admit, that's the least communist nationalism you've ever seen.

I also liked the photo with the policeman keeping order. Some of the overturned cars behind him are neatly in their own parking spot, so the neighbouring cars are not hindered. You can just imagine him shouting 'You there, your rioting is not spontaneous enough. Step it up'

Image

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Роберт » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:16 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:You have to admit, that's the least communist nationalism you've ever seen.

I also liked the photo with the policeman keeping order. The overturned car behind him is neatly in its own parking spot, so the neighbouring cars are not hindered. You can just imagine him shouting 'You there, your rioting is not spontaneous enough. Step it up'

All the destruction is incredibly disturbing. It makes no sense to me.
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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby PeterCai » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:18 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:they've controlled for over a hundred years

Wrong, Japan erected the marker in 1950, and U.S controlled the island from 1945-1972, the islands were of no significance, and nobody controlled it before WWII.

In any case, this is a stupid argument that a lot of people make in a lot of territorial disputes. Time of occupation doesn't matter, what matters is the justifiability of the claim. India was controlled by the British for three hundred years, were they unjustified in fighting for independence? In this case, Japan has no justification in the claim: it was not historically part of their territory, and they've only asserted administrative power over the island after the 1971 U.N survey, which suggests a possibility of oil and gas reserve around it.
Last edited by PeterCai on Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:37 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:23 pm UTC

PeterCai wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:they've controlled for over a hundred years

[citation needed]


From the original article...

However, Mr. Noda gave no indication he was considering Chinese demands that Japan abandon its purchase of the disputed islands. Tokyo does not recognize any dispute over the ownership of the islands, which have been in Japanese hands since 1895, except for a 26-year American occupation following the Second World War.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Zamfir » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:23 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
Zamfir wrote:You have to admit, that's the least communist nationalism you've ever seen.

I also liked the photo with the policeman keeping order. The overturned car behind him is neatly in its own parking spot, so the neighbouring cars are not hindered. You can just imagine him shouting 'You there, your rioting is not spontaneous enough. Step it up'

All the destruction is incredibly disturbing. It makes no sense to me.

China is big. A few cars and shops are not that much, and it looks great on TV. It's presumably very well controlled.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby PeterCai » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:38 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
PeterCai wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:they've controlled for over a hundred years

[citation needed]


From the original article...

However, Mr. Noda gave no indication he was considering Chinese demands that Japan abandon its purchase of the disputed islands. Tokyo does not recognize any dispute over the ownership of the islands, which have been in Japanese hands since 1895, except for a 26-year American occupation following the Second World War.


Yeah...I'd like to see their evidence for Japanese control before WWII

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Wnderer » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:44 pm UTC

20120908_wwd000.jpg


I like the little Taiwan seat in the corner.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Роберт » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:46 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Роберт wrote:
Zamfir wrote:You have to admit, that's the least communist nationalism you've ever seen.

I also liked the photo with the policeman keeping order. The overturned car behind him is neatly in its own parking spot, so the neighbouring cars are not hindered. You can just imagine him shouting 'You there, your rioting is not spontaneous enough. Step it up'

All the destruction is incredibly disturbing. It makes no sense to me.

China is big. A few cars and shops are not that much, and it looks great on TV. It's presumably very well controlled.

Maybe. That nationalistic stickers on that one Japanese auto "I bought this before Japan f*cked up and will never buy anything Japanese again" sounded an awful lot like "please don't wreck my car".
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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby aoeu » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:49 pm UTC

It's more than just a token dispute. Claiming the islands gives you claim to the waters around it too. There's oil in there so they are valuable. Plus Japan's invasion of China is still a sore topic.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Diadem » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:54 pm UTC

On the face of it, the Japanese claim seems to be the superior one. They have controlled the Island for at least the last few decades, possibly longer, while China has never controlled them. Perhaps China 'discovered' them in the 14th century, but that is hardly relevant.

Geographically, the islands seem to be part of the Ryukyu Islands, which are already controlled by Japan. The Islands are also quite close to mainland Taiwan, so I can see them having a claim on them. But China? That just makes no sense.

(Of course China claims Taiwan as well. So yeah, there's that.)
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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby PeterCai » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:58 pm UTC

Wnderer wrote:I like the little Taiwan seat in the corner.

:roll:
I'd like to clear up the misunderstanding that Chinese government somehow intentionally stirred up the nationalist sentiments in China, and directly caused the riots. They did not.
Nationalism, especially the kind that stems from frustration over border disputes is not a friend of the current administration. One of the biggest complains the current administration gets is that it's too soft on sovereignty issues. In fact, as were demonstrated time and time again, the current administration prefers to use diplomatic means to resolve international tensions. To give a few examples, the recently ousted party leader, Bo Xi Lai, was the leading figure of the populist, maoist faction of the CCP, and http://www.wyzxsx.com, China's biggest left nationalist forum, and a staunch critic of the CCP, was shut down in April.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Zamfir » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:57 pm UTC

@ peter, the protests don't look organized, but they look remarkably tolerated. Not much police in many videos, the police you see is very passive, the people don't look particularly worried about the police. That's not universal, I have seen videos with serious numbers of riot police as well, but the overall image is not one of people going against determined local authorities.

It's always difficult to judge these things from a distance, but surely authorities could take much stronger action if they really wanted to? Or is that a matter of time?

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Derek » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:11 pm UTC

Well the Wikipedia page for these islands appears to have already broken out into an edit/vandalism war, so I can't even get some good background information on the islands. Currently it appears to be stuck in a redirect loop between the two names. :roll:

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby sigsfried » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:18 pm UTC

Why is it that all the minor territorial disputes seem to be bubbling up at the moment, I even saw a protest recently calling for the Channel Islands to be "returned" to France when I was last in Normandy.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Роберт » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:52 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:@ peter, the protests don't look organized, but they look remarkably tolerated. Not much police in many videos, the police you see is very passive, the people don't look particularly worried about the police. That's not universal, I have seen videos with serious numbers of riot police as well, but the overall image is not one of people going against determined local authorities.

It's always difficult to judge these things from a distance, but surely authorities could take much stronger action if they really wanted to? Or is that a matter of time?

I recall certain protests in China where there were more police than protesters...
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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:21 pm UTC

sigsfried wrote:Why is it that all the minor territorial disputes seem to be bubbling up at the moment, I even saw a protest recently calling for the Channel Islands to be "returned" to France when I was last in Normandy.


It's the decline of US influence military influence and the massive reduction in Russian interventionism. With no concern for an internationally sponsored communist revolution after a war and little fear of American reprisal, why not press claims on tiny, unimportant islands? China and France in particular can veto UNSC resolutions against themselves. Look at what the US is saying in response to China's provocations:

Fox Business wrote:In line with repeated U.S. statements, Mr. Campbell [assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.] said Washington didn't take positions on the various and increasingly bitter territorial disputes around Asia.


We get an assistant secretary no one has ever heard of saying the US is neutral and urging peaceful solutions, last week at that. We don't get a statement from Hilary Clinton or Leon Panetta. The President is apparently too busy campaigning to concern himself.

This is Japan, the US's closest and strongest ally in the entirety of Asia, with whom we have a treaty to defend them from attack, and the current administration refuses to even directly acknowledge Japan's ownership of the islands even though they were included in the territories formally returned to Japan in 1972. If the US isn't going to support Japan, why should other countries expect us to support the minor players in the world? If the US isn't going to exert it's influence as the global superpower, then inevitably we will return to the Great Powers stage of international politics, where the strong attack the weak whenever another great power does not want the same prize.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Vaniver » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:35 pm UTC

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who is on the verge of calling an election that will see him challenged from the nationalist right, similarly has little room to negotiate.
Woo democracy!

Iulus Cofield wrote:The President is apparently too busy campaigning to concern himself.
It is worth mentioning how stupendously bad this is. This sort of thing leads to wars, especially if the weaker party thinks the stronger party won't defend itself. If the American president is not publicly willing to drown the world in fire and blood to maintain supremacy, weaker parties push their luck. And Obama's twenty times the milquetoast Kennedy was.
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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby sigsfried » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:42 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:
sigsfried wrote:Why is it that all the minor territorial disputes seem to be bubbling up at the moment, I even saw a protest recently calling for the Channel Islands to be "returned" to France when I was last in Normandy.


It's the decline of US influence military influence and the massive reduction in Russian interventionism. With no concern for an internationally sponsored communist revolution after a war and little fear of American reprisal, why not press claims on tiny, unimportant islands? China and France in particular can veto UNSC resolutions against themselves. Look at what the US is saying in response to China's provocations:

Fox Business wrote:In line with repeated U.S. statements, Mr. Campbell [assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.] said Washington didn't take positions on the various and increasingly bitter territorial disputes around Asia.


We get an assistant secretary no one has ever heard of saying the US is neutral and urging peaceful solutions, last week at that. We don't get a statement from Hilary Clinton or Leon Panetta. The President is apparently too busy campaigning to concern himself.

This is Japan, the US's closest and strongest ally in the entirety of Asia, with whom we have a treaty to defend them from attack, and the current administration refuses to even directly acknowledge Japan's ownership of the islands even though they were included in the territories formally returned to Japan in 1972. If the US isn't going to support Japan, why should other countries expect us to support the minor players in the world? If the US isn't going to exert it's influence as the global superpower, then inevitably we will return to the Great Powers stage of international politics, where the strong attack the weak whenever another great power does not want the same prize.


So you think the only reason everyone isn't constantly fighting is because America would intervene if they did. This I suppose is why during the Cold War Argentina would never have dared attack any territory belonging to an American ally? And that when they did the American response was a huge show of American power?

America is probably doing the right thing in remaining neutral on the relatively petty territorial disputes, certainly it is doing the thing most in-line with American interests.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Jahoclave » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:45 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:You have to admit, that's the least communist nationalism you've ever seen.

I also liked the photo with the policeman keeping order. Some of the overturned cars behind him are neatly in their own parking spot, so the neighbouring cars are not hindered. You can just imagine him shouting 'You there, your rioting is not spontaneous enough. Step it up'
Spoiler:
Image

Also, when you're done here, right those cars so the won't be blocking the path. T'would be rude to leave it like that.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby PeterCai » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:08 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:@ peter, the protests don't look organized, but they look remarkably tolerated. Not much police in many videos, the police you see is very passive, the people don't look particularly worried about the police. That's not universal, I have seen videos with serious numbers of riot police as well, but the overall image is not one of people going against determined local authorities.

It's always difficult to judge these things from a distance, but surely authorities could take much stronger action if they really wanted to? Or is that a matter of time?

Right now the protests are directed at Japan, cracking down on them would just enforce the weak and "hanjian"(traitor of the han people) image of CCP. Especially with a internal power struggle just concluded and a major power transition in sight, it's no surprise that CCP doesn't want to crack down.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby morriswalters » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:00 pm UTC

I liked Kennedy however I am perfectly happy with the idea that we don't need to nuke China to save Japan. However this is about resources and is only going to get worse. But unless mainland Japan is attacked I'm not sure we should do anything. One fear that I haven't heard mentioned is the militarization of Japan. And they certainly possess the skills and the technical ability to join the Nuclear club.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby omgryebread » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:08 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:This is Japan, the US's closest and strongest ally in the entirety of Asia, with whom we have a treaty to defend them from attack, and the current administration refuses to even directly acknowledge Japan's ownership of the islands even though they were included in the territories formally returned to Japan in 1972. If the US isn't going to support Japan, why should other countries expect us to support the minor players in the world? If the US isn't going to exert it's influence as the global superpower, then inevitably we will return to the Great Powers stage of international politics, where the strong attack the weak whenever another great power does not want the same prize.


Vaniver wrote:It is worth mentioning how stupendously bad this is. This sort of thing leads to wars, especially if the weaker party thinks the stronger party won't defend itself. If the American president is not publicly willing to drown the world in fire and blood to maintain supremacy, weaker parties push their luck. And Obama's twenty times the milquetoast Kennedy was.


I mean, the most powerful country in the world challenging the second most powerful country in the world in a resource dispute involving a third country with a terrible history with the second country? A resource dispute that hasn't actually involved international violence and doesn't look especially likely to?

This sounds like a great idea what could go wrong I mean its been like 70 years since the last world war we're overdue.
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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Роберт » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:10 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote: And they certainly possess the skills and the technical ability to join the Nuclear club.

Japan, go nuclear? Really? I was under the impression they are against the principal of the thing, but I see that they have been thinking about it after all. :|
Last edited by Роберт on Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:12 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:11 pm UTC

In the event this turns into a war, it is unlikely US ground troops would be necessary, except maybe, maybe, in South Korea if China asked North Korea to invade them to deprive the US of bases on the mainland. A pretty slim possibility.

Really, I'm willing to bet deploying two carrier groups to Okinawa (instead of the Persian Gulf) would be enough to get China to back down.

Regarding the increased militancy in Japanese politics, that's a long term concern and has been since the end of the American occupation. Hawkish stances have become more acceptable in Japan, but I don't think they have anything approaching the support needed to amend the Japanese Constitution.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby morriswalters » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:43 pm UTC

Deploying two carrier groups could be interesting. I seem to remember an article about one of China's diesel boats popping up inside a carrier group undetected a couple of years ago, perhaps I'm wrong though.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Zamfir » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:06 pm UTC

PeterCai wrote:
Zamfir wrote:@ peter, the protests don't look organized, but they look remarkably tolerated. Not much police in many videos, the police you see is very passive, the people don't look particularly worried about the police. That's not universal, I have seen videos with serious numbers of riot police as well, but the overall image is not one of people going against determined local authorities.

It's always difficult to judge these things from a distance, but surely authorities could take much stronger action if they really wanted to? Or is that a matter of time?

Right now the protests are directed at Japan, cracking down on them would just enforce the weak and "hanjian"(traitor of the han people) image of CCP. Especially with a internal power struggle just concluded and a major power transition in sight, it's no surprise that CCP doesn't want to crack down.

Then again, they didn't do much to temper anti-Japanese feelings either. I am for example always amazed by the number of war movies on Chinese TV. You pick up a remote at some random time, zap around, and as often as not you'll find some communists-vs-japanese historic drama. Though I guess there's a lot of historic drama of all stripes on anyway. Newspapers also seem rather aggressive on Japan.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby sardia » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:29 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:In the event this turns into a war, it is unlikely US ground troops would be necessary, except maybe, maybe, in South Korea if China asked North Korea to invade them to deprive the US of bases on the mainland. A pretty slim possibility.

Really, I'm willing to bet deploying two carrier groups to Okinawa (instead of the Persian Gulf) would be enough to get China to back down.

Regarding the increased militancy in Japanese politics, that's a long term concern and has been since the end of the American occupation. Hawkish stances have become more acceptable in Japan, but I don't think they have anything approaching the support needed to amend the Japanese Constitution.

This kind of arrogant thinking is what causes wars. Haven't you read any asymmetrical warfare plans? Typical anticarrier tactics that the Canadians use involve diesel electric submarines to deny coastal waters or to trade ship for ship in combat. If you know where the fleet is going to be, send the sub there and leave it motionless. Being motionless means its almost impossible to detect passively. You'll lose the submarine, but you just traded a 300 crew sub, for a city size carrier. http://www.torontosun.com/2012/07/28/go ... -navy-ship

I think this was discussed earlier when Taiwan was the hot potato that the Chinese/Americans were arguing over. I could just as easily say that the threat of a sunk carrier with thousands of US sailors dead would be enough to get America to back down.

morriswalters wrote:Deploying two carrier groups could be interesting. I seem to remember an article about one of China's diesel boats popping up inside a carrier group undetected a couple of years ago, perhaps I'm wrong though.
The sub got within torpedo range of the Kitty Hawk IIRC.

@peter: What do you think of the CCP using the protestors or taking advantage of the protests to pressure Japan? Because I always considered the government against any sort of disorder or protests lest they veer towards criticizing the CCP itself.

Lastly, there's almost no reason to back down here for any parties involved. You're asking two energy hungry nations to say "Naa, my generous neighbor needs the oil and gas more than I do."

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:32 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:In the event this turns into a war, it is unlikely US ground troops would be necessary, except maybe, maybe, in South Korea if China asked North Korea to invade them to deprive the US of bases on the mainland. A pretty slim possibility.

Really, I'm willing to bet deploying two carrier groups to Okinawa (instead of the Persian Gulf) would be enough to get China to back down.

This kind of arrogant thinking is what causes wars.


A show of force to demonstrate that the US is fully willing to protect Japan, the country that it is legally obligated to protect from military aggression, is arrogant? I'm not betting that the Chinese have forgotten the amount of firepower the US has at its disposal, I'm betting that since the US hasn't said much of anything for the last month about the Senkaku dispute that they think the US is reluctant to get involved at all and therefore it is safe to incite anti-Japanese violence and make aggressive rhetoric.

The vulnerability of carriers probably isn't much of an issue anyway. The Okinawan and South Korean bases are in range of much of the Chinese coastline and the Air Force has some pretty impressive mid-flight refueling capabilities as well. If there was any likelihood of a full scale, all possible forces deployed war, sure. But I really don't think China is actually willing to do more than land in Senkaku and fight some skirmishes. Which again, obligates the US to get involved.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby sigsfried » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:08 pm UTC

It only obligates the USA to get involved if it considers it naturally Japanese. The US position on nearly every international territorial dispute is to maintain neutrality. Plus of course US involvement would be a very dangerous escalation that Japan might not even want direct military aid from the USA.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby sardia » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:45 am UTC

sigsfried wrote:It only obligates the USA to get involved if it considers it naturally Japanese. The US position on nearly every international territorial dispute is to maintain neutrality. Plus of course US involvement would be a very dangerous escalation that Japan might not even want direct military aid from the USA.

"While claiming he was not taking sides, Panetta confirmed in Tokyo that the islands were covered by the Japan-US security and defence treaty. "
Don't read too deeply into this because this is reading tea leaves territory. When the Japanese national government bought the disputed islands from private hands. Japan did it to prevent the private owners from escalating the conflict, but China charged that the sale itself is illegal since they don't own the island, and the attempt is an excuse to solidify Japanese ownership. Same event, different interpretations and reactions.

@Iulus: That depends if the US wants to take sides in an overt manner. The various opinions out there are that the US is trying to contain China by destabilizing the situation, is siding with Japan, is neutral and wants to maintain peace in the region, or the US hasn't decided on a position and is just buying time by hedging. I can understand the Chinese charge that with open dialogue backed by the US, other countries in the region would bargain harder than they otherwise would if they were negotiated one on one.

Edit: I can't find the article stating that the islands were covered by the defense treaty, but I'm pretty sure he said it was covered.
Ok, I found it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... s-standoff

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby PeterCai » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:46 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:Then again, they didn't do much to temper anti-Japanese feelings either. I am for example always amazed by the number of war movies on Chinese TV. You pick up a remote at some random time, zap around, and as often as not you'll find some communists-vs-japanese historic drama. Though I guess there's a lot of historic drama of all stripes on anyway. Newspapers also seem rather aggressive on Japan.

The newspapers are also rather aggressive on government's inaction. They are just reflecting popular opinions.
I think everyone in this thread is underestimating how much ordinary Chinese hates, and I mean, HATES Japan. The CCP is not powerful, they don't have control over public opinion. Just try going to youku.com and open one of the news videos on China's diplomatic response to Japan, and see the number of dislikes. There's really nothing they can do to calm the anti-japanese sentiment. The CCP is incompetent, yes, but they are not involved here.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Vahir » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:23 am UTC

PeterCai wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Then again, they didn't do much to temper anti-Japanese feelings either. I am for example always amazed by the number of war movies on Chinese TV. You pick up a remote at some random time, zap around, and as often as not you'll find some communists-vs-japanese historic drama. Though I guess there's a lot of historic drama of all stripes on anyway. Newspapers also seem rather aggressive on Japan.

The newspapers are also rather aggressive on government's inaction. They are just reflecting popular opinions.
I think everyone in this thread is underestimating how much ordinary Chinese hates, and I mean, HATES Japan. The CCP is not powerful, they don't have control over public opinion. Just try going to youku.com and open one of the news videos on China's diplomatic response to Japan, and see the number of dislikes. There's really nothing they can do to calm the anti-japanese sentiment. The CCP is incompetent, yes, but they are not involved here.


And this is what's scary. Scratch the surface, and there's still a lot of hate left over from WW2. While I agree that the lack of Japanese recognition for wartime atrocities is worrying, I'm more concerned about the fact that the Chinese hate the Japanese for things done by men who have been dead and buried for years.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:23 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who is on the verge of calling an election that will see him challenged from the nationalist right, similarly has little room to negotiate.
Woo democracy!

Iulus Cofield wrote:The President is apparently too busy campaigning to concern himself.
It is worth mentioning how stupendously bad this is. This sort of thing leads to wars, especially if the weaker party thinks the stronger party won't defend itself. If the American president is not publicly willing to drown the world in fire and blood to maintain supremacy, weaker parties push their luck. And Obama's twenty times the milquetoast Kennedy was.


I wouldn't go that far. Did he not order the shooting of the Somali pirates, an act that made our ships a much less attractive target for piracy? I'd ping him for having that kind of a reputation on domestic issues, sure, but less so in foreign affairs.

And yeah, in a naval shooting war...we'd trump china so hard it wouldn't even be fair. Sarda...there's a degree of "knowing where a carrier's going to be" that's difficult to pull off. When effective strike ranges are measured in hundreds of miles, hoping that out of all that ocean, they park it exactly on top of your sub is...reliant on a lot of luck.

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Re: Japan, China, on collision course over uninhabited islan

Postby kiklion » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:53 pm UTC

Vahir wrote:
PeterCai wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Then again, they didn't do much to temper anti-Japanese feelings either. I am for example always amazed by the number of war movies on Chinese TV. You pick up a remote at some random time, zap around, and as often as not you'll find some communists-vs-japanese historic drama. Though I guess there's a lot of historic drama of all stripes on anyway. Newspapers also seem rather aggressive on Japan.

The newspapers are also rather aggressive on government's inaction. They are just reflecting popular opinions.
I think everyone in this thread is underestimating how much ordinary Chinese hates, and I mean, HATES Japan. The CCP is not powerful, they don't have control over public opinion. Just try going to youku.com and open one of the news videos on China's diplomatic response to Japan, and see the number of dislikes. There's really nothing they can do to calm the anti-japanese sentiment. The CCP is incompetent, yes, but they are not involved here.


And this is what's scary. Scratch the surface, and there's still a lot of hate left over from WW2. While I agree that the lack of Japanese recognition for wartime atrocities is worrying, I'm more concerned about the fact that the Chinese hate the Japanese for things done by men who have been dead and buried for years.


This is not that uncommon. People have hatred and teach their children to hate.


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