Thursday, September 09, 2010

New waves! China Japan bruised with territorial confrontations

Ritual Training for Japan Coast Guards

No, this time it's not about US Japan Korea China military naval war-games in the China southern seas, whaling or oil and gas research, this time it is about the recurrent territorial disputes that Easterners have been unable to resolve in decades.

Japan Coast Guard (under civilian control) just arrested Zhan Qixiong the captain of a Chinese ship yesterday for allegedly colliding his boat with their patrol boats in the East China Sea. All of this happens while Japan and China are negotiating on economy and trade files, the Korean peninsula. The captain is a 41-year-old Chinese national and he was held on "suspicion of obstructing public duties" after his boat clashed with Japanese CG in the highly disputed territory north-east of Taiwan. Islands known as Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyu in China and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan... Problem. These islands are claimed together, especially with the oil-rich surrounding area, by all three countries.

One can always talk about Free Trade area while nobody here is able to fix the territorial situation. A several decades old crisis.

No one was injured in the incident... But Tokyo and Beijing both registered formal complaints with each other's ambassadors, news reports said. Then, since the arrest of the Chinese fishing boat captain, diplomatic tensions between China and Japan escalated yesterday. Why? Beijing called in Japan's ambassador for a second time after the (minor) boat collision.

China PR boss said that Japanese Ambassador Uichiro Niwa was summoned to see Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue, who demanded that the Chinese vessel be released immediately. The crew, who do not have passports, are waiting on the boat. Then, ambassador Niwa was re-summoned a 2nd time. In Tokyo, Japanese officials repeated their territorial claims over the islands, adding that they had no immediate plans to release the captain or the boat.

Japan has also lodged a protest over the incident to the Chinese side and for Chief cabinet secretary Sengoku, its business as usual: "Procedures were carried out in an orderly manner. The matter was handled according to domestic Japanese law because Japan's position has always been that no territorial issue exists over the Senkaku Islands."


The Chinese media naturally strongly criticized. The Global Times carried a report that said, "The collision was a Japanese conspiracy. The objective is to heighten the risk for Chinese fishing boats trying to enter the waters of the Diaoyutai." The owner of the trawler involved in the incident told a local newspaper: "We often fish near those islands and are often chased away by Japanese patrol vessels. We have had many run-ins and there was one such incident in August." Zhan was described as a "very experienced" captain, the Asahi shimbun writes today

So why should he collide with Japan Coast Guards boats...?

Most Desired Tropical islands calling blue water navies to flex muscles

The "Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyu in China and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan" waters alleged collision happened, Japan said, in Japanese territorial waters off the northwestern coast of Japan's Kuba island, just north of uninhabited, disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. The islands, about 120 miles (190 kilometers) east of Taiwan, are controlled by Japan but are also claimed by China and Taiwan.

One cannot imagine that November APEC forum is to be set this year in Japan. An other reason to understand that this APEC forum is nothing else than a gathering of procrastinated bureaucracies. As ex presidential adviser, strategist, and author Jacques Attali wrote in his latest books, "Tous ruinés dans dix ans ?" "Vivre en crise" or "Le Sens des choses" from G20 to UN, APEC, none of these formula work and people don't count. Time to reinvent our leaders. (French Radio "L'Ete en pente douce" August 2010)

Ichiro Ozawa

In the meantime, foreign affairs happen to be invited in the current election. Election campaign seen as the most boring ever critics say, one of them is in the English version today page 13 of the world biggest newspaper Yomiuri shimbun with Akitoshi Muraoka. Worth reading.

Finally China and Korea relations with Japan appeared on the course of the election for the next ruling party top-boss and future prime minister. Japan's politician and king makers for 2 decades Ichiro Ozawa, who is seeking to become the prime minister next week against his fellow party member Naoto Kan, made this breakthrough statement that he would never visit Tokyo's controversial Yasukuni war shrine which keeps "souls" of some of World War II war criminals condemned to the death penalty by the Tokyo tribunal.

Ichiro Ozawa runs as the leader of the governing DPJ (Minshuto) against current DPJ president and prime minister Naoto Kan, and for him such war criminal souls should not be honoured at the site, which enshrines the souls of 2.5 million dead, including critical 14 leading war criminals which remind to all that this Shintoist sanctuary is seen as a symbol of Japan's past aggressions. "Class-A war criminals ended up like that because of their political responsibility"Ozawa said. The top war criminals from World War II were secretly enshrined in the 1970s, including General Hideki Tojo, the prime minister who ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor and was hanged for war crimes by a US-led tribunal.

DPJ Campaigning...

Counter acting to Japanese revisionists, Ozawa promotes ties with Japan's East Asian neighbors and last December took more than 140 young DPJ lawmakers on a visit to Beijing, where they were greeted by President Hu Jintao. As a pointer of future political courses, Ozawa also agreed with plans to give Asian long term resident foreigners the right to vote in local elections. For Ozawa: "South Korea has introduced local election voting rights, while Europe is on course to approve it. Such an idea follows a global trend."

The idea is to grant local and regional but not national suffrage to almost one million permanent residents of ethnic Korean, Chinese and other foreign backgrounds, both those who were born overseas and their descendants living in Japan after colonization and invasion of Korea and China by Japan Imperial Armies last century.


The day when history is studied and collectively formated into a fundamental treaty, such as the Treaty of Rome cemented Europe foundations, maybe the East Asian nations will get rid of their decades old psychological insecurity. Energy and natural resources potential key-marks?

Sources: Internets, Agencies, Twitter, Wiki, Reporter's Notes

✍✍✍ Ozawa? he gotta GTL (GTL = Gym, tan, laundry). It has to be done everyday to achieve maximum potential...

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