[Rising Tensions ]Fair Observer°2012.11（米国ワシントン研究調査誌掲載記事）
[Rising Tensions ]Fair Observer°
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2012年11月12日 - “The Japanese government and Japan-China trade and business groups do not have strong relations with China or special channels to reach top Chinese officials under this kind of situation,” says Konosuke Takegami, ...
China's Territorial Disputes: Security or Strategy?
The two sides exchanged angry tirades at the U.N. annual General Assembly last month, where Kazuo Kodama, Japan’s U.N. ambassador, flatly rejected Chinese Foreign Minister Yan Jiechi’s declaration that “the Chinese side will by no means tolerate any unilateral action by the Japanese side on the Daioyu Islands. China will continue to take firm measures to safeguard its territorial integrity and sovereignty.” Kodama reiterated Tokyo’s stance that the islands belong to Japan, based on “historical facts and international law.... China’s assertions have no grounds at all,” he said.
In the past two weeks, officials on both sides have held quiet meetings in preparation for formal talks. Ultimately, it is hard to imagine how the standoff can be defused. So far, the U.S. has sought to remain neutral. “The Japanese government and Japan-China trade and business groups do not have strong relations with China or special channels to reach top Chinese officials under this kind of situation,” says Konosuke Takegami, professor at Takushoku University’s Graduate School of Commerce. For dealings with China, Japan has depended on the U.S., he says. “But the U.S. is not going to help Japan unless there is some kind of military conflict.”
For now, the situation remains perilous. The U.S. and Japan sent a signal of unity to China with joint military exercises in Guam in later September, though nobody wants an open confrontation, says Chovanec. “But there are patrol boats floating around that could easily crash into one another. It does not take much miscalculation for someone to get hurt. It is a very dangerous situation right now,” he says.
Ultimately, Japan needs to reformulate a long-term strategy for dealing with China, whose economy has surpassed it in size, though the Japanese people themselves appear not to have realized how powerful it is. “What alternative does Japan have? Japan does not have strong military power like China and does not have the strong economic power it used to. China now has both,” says Wharton’s Allen. “In the end, in the next few years the Japanese government has to decide what it will do about dealing with China. Are they going to let the Chinese dominate and push them around?”
Japan’s own political situation is compounding the uncertainty, given the possibility that the next election, due by the summer of 2013 at the latest, could return the more conservative Liberal Democratic Party to power. The LDP’s recent selection of hawkish former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as its secretary-general virtually ensures that the issues will likely flare up again, Allen says. “The problem will not go away any time soon.” Chovanec agrees: “It is going to go on for while because there is not much room for comprise.”
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
*[This article was originally published by http://www.knowledgeatwharton.com.cn/index.cfm?fa=viewfeature&articleid=2684&languageid=1]