Battleland

Japan Frets over U.S. Support in China Dispute

  • Share
  • Read Later

Reuters

TOKYO – When the U.S. Defense Secretary arrives in Asia this weekend, his biggest challenge may not be convincing China that America will give its full support to longtime ally Japan in the escalating dispute over islands in the East China Sea.  His biggest challenge may be convincing Japan.

“There is a perception in Japan that the U.S. commitment is ambiguous,” says Yoichiro Sato, director of international strategic studies at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in southern Japan. “If China thinks Japan will hesitate to respond or that America will hesitate, that will embolden the Chinese. It’s better that America sends a clear, explicit message now than have to respond to something worse later.”

On Friday, a group of six Chinese marine-surveillance ships entered territorial waters around the remote Senkaku Islands, which are claimed and administered by Japan as sovereign territory. It was the latest and most serious escalation in the dispute over the small but potentially valuable islands; they are also claimed by China, where they are known as Diaoyu.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is scheduled to meet separately with Japan’s Foreign and Defense ministers on Monday before continuing on to China and later New Zealand. It will be Panetta’s third trip to Asia in 11 months as the U.S. looks to rebalance its forces in the region in response to China’s growing military power and assertiveness.

The disagreement between Japan and China over ownership of Senkaku/Diaoyu, a group of tiny islets and rock outcroppings near Taiwan, has grown increasingly bitter. Though surrounding seabeds are believed to hold large deposits of oil and gas, the dispute hinges largely on issues related to Japan’s wartime and colonial period.

(PHOTOSAnti-Japan Protests Hit China’s Capital)

The lightly armed Chinese marine-surveillance ships’ entry into Senkaku/Diaoyu territorial waters was an apparent display of Beijing’s displeasure at the purchase of the islands by Japan’s national government earlier this week. Though Tokyo insists that the purchase — from private owners in Japan — was necessary to preserve the islands in their current state, China views the transaction as illegal and an affront to its sovereign rights.

(Kyodo News reported Saturday that more  than 60,000 Chinese citizens staged anti-Japan rallies in at least 24 cities to protest  the purchase of the islands. These appeared to be the largest anti-Japan demonstrations in China in terms of participants and cities involved since the two countries normalized diplomatic relations in 1972. Some rallies turned violent, with protestors clashing with police and destroying Japanese-brand cars. The rallies appeared to have the tacit approval of Chinese authorities amid a flood of anti-Japan reports and broadcasts by official Chinese media.)

Officially, the U.S. takes no position on the Senkaku-Diaoyu dispute or the many other conflicting territorial claims that are upsetting the region. Under the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, the U.S. is obligated to respond to any attack on Japan or its territory. Pressed to declare whether that security umbrella includes Senkaku/Diaoyu, U.S. officials stated publicly that the treaty applies to “all areas under Japanese administration” — a seemingly clear nod to Senkaku/Diaoyu.

But Sato says that’s not clear enough.  The alliance also calls for Japan to take “primary responsibility” for territorial defense. That could give the U.S. a loophole to avoid confronting its most important trading partner and leave Japan on its own, he says.

“If Japan loses the islands and the U.S. doesn’t come to aid Japan, the credibility of not only the U.S. alliance with Japan but of all U.S. alliances globally would be severely harmed,” Sato says.

For an officially pacifist country, Japan has a deceptively large and powerful military. More than 250,000 of its men and women are in uniform, and its annual defense spending is the 6th highest in the world. Its maritime forces bristle with modern submarines and surface warships.

In 2010 Japan adopted a realignment plan to better protect its southwestern islands, which extend more then 750 miles (1,200 km) from Japan’s home islands. But it has a long way to go. While Japan’s naval forces are more than a match for China’s navy and armed patrol fleet, ground forces still have little capability to retake islands that China, if so inclined, might succeed in occupying.

About 40 Japan Ground Self-Defense Force troops are conducting their first-ever amphibious warfare training this month with U.S. Marines in Guam; the JGSDF plans to buy four amphibious assault vehicles — but not until next year. That’s too little, too late to help with Senkaku/Diaoyu.

The U.S., meanwhile, has more than 14,000 Marines stationed in Okinawa, many of them veterans of multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. The powerful U.S. 7th Fleet is homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, within easy range of the East China Sea.

But for all that, a direct confrontation at sea is unlikely, says Alessio Patalano, a Japan naval historian and East Asia security specialist at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.  He notes that the patrol vessels cruising Senkaku/Diaoyu belong to neither China’s navy nor its coast guard; instead, they are part of the Chinese marine-surveillance service, a largely civilian organization charged with environmental protection, scientific research, enforcement issues related to exclusive economic zones and similar duties.

“The PLA Navy is aware of its limitations, and they don’t want to get a beating from the Japanese,” says Patalano, who presented a series of lectures in Beijing and Tokyo this month. “The more likely scenario would be for China to insert special forces under cover of night, by parachute or other means. When the Japanese wake up in the morning and see Chinese soldiers on one of their islands, what do they do then?”

Brad Glosserman, executive director of the Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu, says there’s little doubt that the U.S. would respond if shooting were to break out between China and Japan. The key, Glosserman says, is to make sure the Japanese know exactly what they can count on from the U.S. — and what, if anything, they can’t.

“The U.S. will be there, because if we aren’t, our credibility is shot and the Japanese will never trust us again. That would transform the regional security environment, and the Chinese will think they have carte blanche,” says Glosserman. “But the problem is, do Americans and Japanese agree on what ‘being there’ means? Does that mean submarines? Surface warships? Helicopters with Marines rappelling to the ground? The Americans need to understand what the Japanese expect of them, because failure to do those things could cause big problems.”

187 comments
island
island

USA and Japan Super power number 1 and 3 join against a new comer China Super Power number 2 for Diaoyu Island or Senkaku.

Diaoyu is close to Taiwan, Taiwan is a peaceful country.

poo321
poo321

japanese are embarrassing themselves 

mikedean12
mikedean12

" are all Japaneses are evil" no but perverted a most of them are descendants of rapist and there government  still visits war criminals shrines and china isnt good either but they never killed people for the fun of it and raped women, yes Mao killed lots of its own people but he never did it for fun or game he did it to make china strong as it is today and i know no will agree with me but without Mao china will be like Africa and china needs to start following the rules but first i think japan and all of its people should apologies to china about what happend in world war 2. So china can get over the hate of japan, and the people in china can move on to better things like taking down there own goverment!! but right now that will never happend since all the chinese people hate japan so much they dont even care that there goverment is evil.

owbak
owbak

HOW TO IMPROVE ON THE CHINESE IMAGE.1.5 billion people have droopy upper eyelids (better known as slant eyes). Foreigners call us Chinx, Chinky, Chino, Jap,Button Hole, Tokyo Joe, Chinaman.I've developed a home-made technique to crease the Chinese upper eyelids without surgery, stitches, Krazy Glue or adhesivetape (Japanese style). Beauty is a woman's most fungibleasset, instantly exchangeable for love, money or power. Inshow biz, relationships, interviews, cocktail parties, productdemos, image is everything.For more info : boo@null.net

Mike F Chang
Mike F Chang

to Jason Brown

 

Didn’t you read the latest congressional report titled ”Senkaku

(Diaoyu/Diaoyutai) Islands Dispute:U.S. Treaty Obligations” released on

September 25, 2012?

It stated clearly the US returned the only the administration

of Okinawa (including Senkaku Inlands) to Japan, but not the ownership/sovereignty.

mike921
mike921

End of the day, the xenophobic, gaijin-hating japanese want the US out of Okinawa (and other places as well) so the US should remove all forces from japan.  Let's face it, japanese feel they are superior to every human on the planet, so it should be no problem for them to handle the Chinese, as they have in the past.

The japanese are so great - let's see them prove it.

Mr Green
Mr Green

China is becoming a bully when they became 1 of the world superpower. This should be stopped. All the affected countries should unite against China. To all Pinoy we should learned the danger of China occupying the island within our exclusive economic zone, for more info please visit: http://mrgreenpinoy.blogspot.c...

Brian Marks
Brian Marks

id actually love to kill me some red Chinese.

poo321
poo321

@Brian Marks u know, id like to kill some japanese

KMTH
KMTH

Senkaku was annexed by Japan in January 1895 after carefully checking if it had been controlled by any party and finding it was a no-man's land.

Japan deprived Taiwan by Shimonoseki Treaty in April 1895. If Senkaku was a recognized territory of Taiwan, it was not necessary for Japan to take such procedure to annex it.

KMTH
KMTH

There is a dispute between two countries over the dominium of Senkaku. If both parties want a peaceful solution, they should bring the matter to International Court of Justice in order to get a judgement under the international law.

It is not wise to escalate the conflicts for Japan as there are 23,000 companies operating in China today and employing 10 million Chinese workers after tremendous investment.

China also should do utmost to protect those operations in order to be a respected member of the world society.  Unless otherwise lots of companies hesitste to invest in China or accelerate to move their factories to other Asian countries.

Danyz
Danyz

Oh boy, so now the U.S. has a sushi eating Far East BiBi to deal with. For the sake of preserving vestige trophies of Japanese aggression, America is being asked to fight the Chinese?  

dollyrama
dollyrama

Time is on China's side. China can just sit it out, 10 years, 20 years. Chinese have all the patience. In 10 years, China's naval assets will match and exceed Japan's. The Diaoyus are legitimately China's, as per the Cairo declaration in WW2. Does America risk an all out war for something that Japan is not entitled to?

eternalfriendly2012
eternalfriendly2012

The only reason the tiny island now becomes a dispute because the oil reservoir is discovered around it many years ago. Before the discovery, nobody gave a dime it belongs to whom. Historically speaking, it has always been part of Chinese territory. Even in old Chinese maps, it is shown as its territory. Let's be fair--Japanese government started to act as the owner of the island only after the discovery of the oil reservoir.

Also, don't forget not long ago--during the World War II, Japan was America's #1 enemy and China was America's loyal ally.

Now, the ascending China has made the US Government to think differently--China has become an imagined rival, if not enemy, and Japan, the ever aggressive nation, suddenly becomes an ally to the US government.

poo321
poo321

@eternalfriendly2012 t's japanese' fault they discovered japan and instead of china. just saying, this war thing is kinda dumb

eternalfriendly2012
eternalfriendly2012

The only reason the tiny island now becomes a dispute because the oil reservoir is discovered around it many years ago. Before the discovery, nobody gave a dime it belongs to whom. Historically speaking, it has always been part of Chinese territory. Even in old Chinese maps, it is shown as its territory. Let's be fair--Japanese government started to act as the owner of the island only after the discovery of the oil reservoir.

Also, don't forget not long ago--during the World War II, Japan was America's #1 enemy and China was America's loyal ally.

Now, the ascending China has made the US Government to think differently--China has become an imagined rival, if not enemy, and Japan, the ever aggressive nation, suddenly becomes an ally to the US government.

eternalfriendly2012
eternalfriendly2012

The only reason the tiny island now becomes a dispute because the oil reservoir is discovered around it many years ago. Before the discovery, nobody gave a dime it belongs to whom. Historically speaking, it has always been part of Chinese territory. Even in old Chinese maps, it is shown as its territory. Let's be fair--Japanese government started to act as the owner of the island only after the discovery of the oil reservoir.

Also, don't forget not long ago--during the World War II, Japan was America's #1 enemy and China was America's loyal ally.

Now, the ascending China has made the US Government to think differently--China has become an imagined rival, if not enemy, and Japan, the ever aggressive nation, suddenly becomes an ally to the US government.

Emmanuele Padilla
Emmanuele Padilla

Sadly we better get used to this. China has started these "issues" with everyone of its neighbours and will not stop anytime soon.  I pnce spoke to a Chinese Student about this his answer is the they claim Nepal, Bhutan, and everyother nation that borders them.  But they will playthe victim and use this issue to not discuss the current problems (nee leadership, bad economy etc.)

Also remember that the Chinese claim to own and invent everything! Discovered America, invented the airplane, the car etc.

eternalfriendly2012
eternalfriendly2012

Really?  "The Chinese claim to own and invent everything!"  Really?

poo321
poo321

@eternalfriendly2012 it's true. japanese think they own all land

eternalfriendly2012
eternalfriendly2012

C'mon, you spread rumors here.  Everything you said is an exggeration.

Your intention is to smear China.

The laughable one is "Chinese claim to own and invent everything!"

Really?

According to my experience while traveling in China, Chinese are friendly and humble people.

DonRickles2
DonRickles2

China will not force the issue. In doing so they risk an embarrassing naval and air defeat. In fact, Japan can more than hold their own against China militarily should it come to that. U.S. assistance is superflorous in anything short of a nuclear confrontation. I will hazard to guess that Japan will feel obligated to increase their defence spending in the future rather than to rely on U.S. policy constraints. The history of who the islands belongs to is academic at this point as thay are Japanese hands. The question is whether the Chinese feel they are capable of changing that fact. 

Joe Far
Joe Far

The Chinese government has shown the world again, that they are not civilized enough to be an integral citizen of the international community. I have the deepest wishes that this can change.  The details that date back over 100 years ago when Japan first claimed Senkaku is disputable.  Who the hell knows. Sure, it may have belonged to China before that somewhere down in history or even during the same time, transcribed in some ancient documents no one knows who wrote. They should mind as well claim Korea and other neighboring countries as theirs too if that's there line of thought. The important part of it all is how they carry things out because the WORLD is watching and sooner or later people will get fed up with China. They are being too aggressive and the world doesn't appreciate it. 

Like what some other posters are saying, China had PLENTY of time to question this issue and even bring it to international court. They didn't. China only started making claims after the UN released a report in the 70's that there could be natural gas fields in the seabeds near the islands. Fast forward to today and now it's waay too late for them to be groaning and being barbaric about it . The Chinese government and the Chinese people, despite their feelings and what they were taught by textbooks about the matter also need to realize that the majority of the world (i'm guessing) acknowledges that the islands are part of Japan at least in the last century. Therefore, it's not strange that Japan would purchase the island from the private owners who were Japanese. They only bought it because otherwise, it would've gotten in the hands of the governor of Tokyo who is known to be a right-winger. That is potentially more dangerous.  

Also, I'm sick of hearing the analogy with Hong Kong and Taiwan being returned to China so why shouldn't the islands. No one has lived there, literally forever! It's definitely not the same. In fact, if the islands were "returned" to China, what other lands and islands will they be able to claim? Anyhow, if China cares so much about the feelings of their people and their lost ancestors, China should've attempted open discussion with Japan and suggest things like making this entire area an off limits zone. Neither country gets it. Don't know how that would fly, but sometimes the thought and attempts for peaceful resolution that count. This options is perhaps not too late to pursue. 

If China wants to rightfully gain sovereignty, then bring the evidence to prove it to the international court of justice. That is how matters are settled these days.   I personally didn't care much about who gets the islands or who it really belongs to. I do care now  that China is trying to disrupt progress of world peace. It sounds like they are the only ones in the world who would go to war over this matter. I'm just going to close by saying that in the end, what all of this will boil down to is politics. The fate of the islands will be with the best interest for the security of those who hold majority of the world's power. China's aggression and character leads me to think that China will not be favored. But that's just me. 

poo321
poo321

@Joe Far who cares? it's CHINA'S land. and u can't just say that just because people dont live there, it's still theirs not japan's

kclh
kclh like.author.displayName 1 Like

China does not need to go to war with Japan, but only need

to keep the issue alive.  I don't think even the US will allow Japan to

actually occupy the islets, since it risks war with China. As long as China

keeps growing economically and militarily even at lower rates than in the past,

in 15 years or so, China can settle the issue at a time of its choosing. 

This is also precisely why the Japanese is in a hurry to formalize their de

facto control, because they know time is not on their side. A lot depend on the

US, but I don't think it will risk war with China because at the end of the day

the US is out to look after its own interest, not Japan's

poo321
poo321

@kclh it's true that they dont need to start war but, japan gone overboard

kclh
kclh

China does not need to go to war with Japan, but only need

to keep the issue alive.  I don't think even the US will allow Japan to

actually occupy the islets, since it risks war with China. As long as China

keeps growing economically and militarily even at lower rates than in the past,

in 15 years or so, China can settle the issue at a time of its choosing. 

This is also precisely why the Japanese is in a hurry to formalize their de

facto control, because they know time is not on their side. A lot depend on the

US, but I don't think it will risk war with China because at the end of the day

the US is out to look after its own interest, not Japan's. Historical facts? In the Great Game, it only matters who has the bigger gun!

styxcruiser
styxcruiser

can't they just split  the islands in half?  give each  the section closes to their country . or is that to easy  just sayin

hyomin42
hyomin42

Look at israel and palestine "sharing land" and see how well that's going.

Ben Parkés
Ben Parkés

i was just in china and the people thought they were protesting about an airline being purchased by japan so they are boycotting japanese goods. chinese government power at it's greatest

David1180
David1180

I just hope this will not drag the US in.

Unlike Germany, Japan has never truely apologized to Asian countries for its war crimes in WWII. For example, the "comfort women" (sex slaves) issue is still not resolved with the Japanese openly denying it. Or the Japanese openly deny that the Nanjing massacre ever happened or dispute the number of civilians killed.

Can you imagine Germany disputing the numbe rof Jews that they killed during WWII?

That's why this is always very emotional, be it, Chinese, or Koreans, et al.

Phoenix31756
Phoenix31756

Were going to see a repeat of history being played out here once again !

And once more, America is going to respond because it CAN'T keep it's BIG NOSE out of other countries business, much like IRAN. 

MarkR307
MarkR307

The State department has made it very clear, our position in this conflict is neutral.   With luck, we WILL manage to keep our nose out of it, this time!  

David1180
David1180

I certainly hope so and get my fingers crossed, considering its treaty with Japan which the US says does cover the Diaoyu Islands.

Japan and China can fight it out. But if the US is involved, it will be truely tragic. Mis-judgement and mis-interpretation can start a war, just like the Korean war where McArthur miscalculated and got too close to the China boarder, and China misinterpreted that as US wanting to invade China. A buffer zone is needed between big countries. Getting too close, bound to have trouble.

Ivan
Ivan

China is always wrong...no doubt about it...they jus believe is sending people to Gulags all the time..

mouyan
mouyan

According to an article in the People's Daily of 8 January 1953, under the title of "Battle of people in the Ryukyu Islands against the U.S. occupation", it made clear that the Ryukyu Islands consist of 7 groups of islands including the Senkaku Islands.

 

It is after the 1970s when an academic survey indicated the possibility of the existence of petroleum resources on the East China Sea, China began making their own assertions on territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands.

cadsiesk
cadsiesk

Where is the article, please?

mouyan
mouyan

According to an article of People's Daily (January 8, 1953) under the title of "Battle of people in the Ryukyu Islands against the U.S. occupation", it  made clear that the Ryukyu Islands consist of 7 groups of islands including the Senkaku Islands.

It is after an academic survey indicated the possibility of the existence of petroleum resources on the East China Sea in 1968, China began making their own assertions on territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands

Rj Florida
Rj Florida

Am I alone in thinking that this is a completely useless conflict that would easily be solved by Japan and China jointly sharing the islands and developing them together?

poo321
poo321

@Rj Florida actually, it's china's land and Japan has no right just to say "oh this land is mine" or " let's share this island because I like it too" It's their fault they ruined their own impression from both sino wars. 

MarkR307
MarkR307

Am I alone in thinking that we should let them figure it out on their own, because they are mature adults?  I do not believe they want us to lead them by the hand like children.  If I was them, I certainly would not want that.

hyomin42
hyomin42

The incompetent Japanese politicians are, once again, doing a magnificient job of ostracizing itself from its Asian neighbors and allies. 

Even if the Japanese government had "good intentions" of buying the islands to maintain the status quo before the hawkish right-winged Ishihara got to them, the fact remains that it was incredibly blind and ignorant (willingly?) of China's sensitivity toward the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and that it could easily spark a wave the of anti-Japanese sentiment throughout the country.

Equally, the Chinese themselves are not that innocent. They have the right to hold protests and express their distaste for the Japanese policies, but they do not have the right to hurt or threaten others purely based on their ethnicity. This will only inflame xenophobia in a nation that is finally opening its eyes and doors to the world, setting them back decades of well-deserved progress and recognition.

Although the Americans would like to act as mediators in this issue, I believe that the US should remain neutral. Despite the US-Japanese Alliance, the island remains an ambiguous loophole and it is not America's place to dictate which country the island belongs to. It will only cause more anger and feelings of injustice. Rather, this should be conducted under a neutral court - the International Court of Justice? But how neutral can it be when one of the main judges is Japanese?

MarkR307
MarkR307

As US citizen, I completely agree that US should maintain neutrality in this situation. You guys are mature adults and perfectly competent in resolving this by yourselves.

XIAO JIN YUAN
XIAO JIN YUAN

Hi Fellow Americans,

It is sadly wrong for American government to support Japan in its renewed aggression against its neighbor, my home country China. Current U.S. administration's policy of supporting Japanese occupation of our ancester's Diaoyu island is a shameful and blatant rejection of post second world war order as specified in Cairo Declaration of 1943 and Postdam Declaration of 1945. American and Chinese soldiers fought shoulder to shoulder against Japanese aggressors during second world war. I sadly feel that our brave soldiers, both American and Chinese, died in vain because short sighted Ammerican politicians are encouraging Japan  to harrass China by rewarding Chinese Diaoyu Island to Japan. Have Americans forgot how Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor by surprise and without declaring war and how brutally the Japanese soldiers bayonetted American POWs? If we let Japan grow into a tiger strong enough to tackle America, Japan will attack America again.

I used to be a commodity trader in Hong Kong for 12 years and had personal experience in dealing with several big Japanese companies. When these big Japanese companies came to do business on the international market, they always joined hands and took concerted action, namely fixing prices among themselves, to deal with foreign companies.

Today we Chinese are required to tolerate Japanese occupation of Diaoyu Island. Tomorrow Japan will occupy my motherland and the next day it will occupy Nanking, my beloved hometown, where the Japanese occupying soldiers massacred 350,000.00 unarmed residents during its occupation of Nanking.

Our resolute response to this latest aggression by the Japanese is that we are determined to fight back and take back what the Japanese had taken by force from our country. We would rather die while standing than live like dogs on our knees.

Japan under the auspices of U.S. overnment has forced Chinese government and people into a dead corner.

Phoenix31756
Phoenix31756

Although, I agree with your view here, I have to ask you this question.

Is, what your experiencing in your country, much the same as we are experiencing in ours regarding illegals from Mexico infiltrating America ?  

Am I correct to read that you were born in China and are now residing in Japan ? May I ask, where's your LOYALTIES lie and with whom ? 

hnlee
hnlee

http://www.skycitygallery.com/...

you must read what a Japanese historian said from the above link about these disputed islands.  Of course Japan still maintain today that there is no dispute over the sovereignty of these islands.

to know about this dispute, one must go back to what happened in the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th.  Japan was the aggressor attacking China and grabbing Chinese territories by force. after the second world war, Japan lose all its territories except the four main islands of Japan.  These are undeniable facts.

Why are they claiming all these islands, from China, from Korea, and from Russia ?

what is their intention ?

why is the US siding with japan ?

MarkR307
MarkR307

US is not siding with Japan.  The State department made it very clear that US will not take sides in this situation.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,104 other followers