Tuesday, September 21, 2010

From China seas to Arctic: new maritime tension ahead!

World War I Posters: Buy bonds and the importance of merchant marine

The territorial turmoil about China seas and Japan already alarms Asian nations and the West, it won't be difficult to imagine what the future Polar Maritime cruising confusion might be within 10 years and launches new security challenges!

Chinese and Japan nationalism grow, and same with their navy and ability to project power in the oceans and sea lanes. In the Senkaku Daioyu territorial disputes, China cut off all high-level ties and exchanges for the time being while Japan secures the area as Asian Gazette wrote previously here.

Not without tension, facing China will to control the continental shelf, Japan actively develops its military control over Senkoku Daioyu and the US might intervene suggest US media "the Japan-U.S. security treaty specifies that the U.S. will help defend areas that Japan administers. And in 1972, when the U.S. handed Okinawa back to Japan, it agreed that Japan should administer the Senkakus. So we’re in the absurd position of being committed to help Japan fight a war over islands, even though we don’t agree that they are necessarily Japanese." writes the NY Times (Look Out for the Diaoyu Islands Sept 10, 2010)

The passage to the Arctic

"Anti-Japan sentiment is easily whipped up in China, where nationalist netizens refer to their neighbor patronizingly as "little Japan." For its part, Japan, while all too eager to do business with China, doesn't have a very good image of the giant to the west. Concerns range from the safety of Chinese food imports to China's increased military muscle-flexing," writes Global Post "Asia's titans can't seem to make nice. What does it mean for the region?".

Most Japanese government officials continued to call for calm, today, Sept. 21 with Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda: "We need to respond in a level-headed manner to avoid the row from having any impact" on the nations' economic ties. Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akihiro Ohata said: "I believe we can overcome this issue with both countries dealing with it in a calm manner," and that he will watch the developments in hopes that it will not affect negotiations over a trilateral free trade agreement between Japan, China and South Korea. Las with Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa: "We need to convey the "real situation" to the Chinese government and people", he voiced doubts whether they were properly informed about the fact that it was the Chinese boat that collided with the Japanese vessels.

On her side, China said Japan’s detention of a Chinese ship captain over a collision in disputed waters has "severely hurt bilateral relations" and warn of consequences. "Obviously not suitable" for Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to meet with Japanese counterpart Naoto Kan when both leaders attend the coming United Nations General Assembly.

"The pain has to be piercing. Japanese politicians need to understand the consequences - votes will be lost, and Japanese companies have to be aware of the loss of business involved. Japanese citizens will feel the burden due to the downturn in the economy. China's domestic law, business regulations and consumers can all be maneuvered" warns today the Global Times of China in a vitriolic editorial "Finding the Achilles' heel of Japan"! http://bit.ly/cWMiAC

The Arctic: From Asia-Pacific to Western Europe

Businessmen, traders, and seafarers have spent hundreds of years wishing for a shortcut through the Arctic to ship goods between Asia and the West. Now, they're about to get what they wished for: global warming has cleared out enough ice to allow a shipping route to cut directly through the Arctic and the vessels to make the voyage herald the opening of the most important shipping passage since the Suez Canal.

"... As most of the Arctic warmed significantly in the 2000s and 1990s compared to the 1980s, Scientists have been monitoring ongoing changes in Arctic sea ice for decades. By collecting samples of ice as well as a wide range of satellite-based data to document the changes, scientists find that Arctic sea ice is melting at an increasing rate. If the trend continues, Arctic sea ice may be gone by the year 2100."

Japan more discreetly than in China seas opts for a similar strategy for the future Arctic maritime transport to control the new sea lanes. Harbors such as Hokkaido - Otaru, also Akita, Rokkasho, Tomakomai are to compete to become a hub ready to update an economical success faded away. Much development expected for the militarization of the Arctic maritime sea lanes zone with Japan most powerful Navy and Coast Guards fleet. In addition, Japan started to educate maritime pilots specially trained for sailing in these vulnerable seas.

Military detachment on permanent stand-by

And here, not only are to be picked the same "quarrel partners" such as China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea, but also, and this is to be a more difficult piece to face, the Russia, the northern European nations and north America.

Killing waves ahead.

This "Arctic Governance" is the topic of the INTERNATIONAL ARCTIC CONFERENCE. GEOPOLITICAL ISSUES AND EQUATIONS IN THE 21ST CENTURY to be held at Lyon, 22-23 November 2010 at Centre d’Etudes Canadiennes de Grenoble - Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Grenoble - Université Pierre Mendès France. Conference Webpage http://www.pacte.cnrs.fr/spip.php?article2268

Sources: "Le Japon Renouveau d'une puissance" Par Remi Scoccimaro. La Documentation Francaise. NY Times, Global Post, NASA Earth Observatory, Maritime Journal, Reporter's Notes.

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