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Japan, Korea, China squabbles

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Who do you reckon will consider backing down?


War between China and Japan looms, with neither power willing to back down over a disputed chain of islands, expert warns.


The spat over the Diaoyu or Senkaku islands has escalated dramatically in the past month with violent protests across China.


But with a national election approaching in Japan, and a change of leadership in China, politicians on both sides have refused to step back from the brink, afraid that they will appear weak.


"There is a danger of China and Japan having a military conflict," said Yan Xuetong, one of China's most influential foreign policy strategists, and a noted hawk.


"One country must make a concession. But I do not see Japan making concessions. I do not see either side making concessions. Both sides want to solve the situation peacefully, but neither side can provide the right approach," he added.


He warned that unless one side backs down, there could be a repeat of the Falklands Conflict in Asia.


"Generally speaking, according to the theory of international relations, unless one country makes concessions to the other, the escalation of a conflict between two countries will not stop until there is a military clash, like between the UK and Argentina," he said.


He added: "China takes a very tolerant policy elsewhere, with smaller powers. But the case of Japan is different. There is history between us. Japan is a big power. It regards itself as a regional, and sometimes a world power. So China can very naturally regard Japan as an equal. And if we are equal, you cannot poke us. You cannot make a mistake."


Mr Yan is the dean of International Relations at Tsinghua university, the elite college that schooled both China's president, Hu Jintao, and his likely successor, Xi Jinping.


He is also one of China's representatives to the Council of Security Cooperation of Asia-Pacific, a non-governmental body that coordinates security in the region.


Chinese and Japanese diplomats have met this week for talks over the crisis, but no agreement has been reached.


Yesterday, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign ministry attacked Yoshihiko Noda, the Japanese prime minister, for telling reporters at the United Nations that the islands belonged to Japan.


"There are no territorial issues as such. Therefore, there cannot be any compromise that represents a retreat from this position," Mr Noda said.


"China is strongly disappointed and sternly opposes the Japanese leader's obstinacy regarding his wrong position on the Diaoyu Islands issue," replied the Chinese Foreign ministry.


In the balance is some £216 billion of bilateral trade. Last year, exports to China were responsible for three per cent of the Japanese economy.


Meanwhile Japan's new opposition leader, Shinzo Abe, is, if anything, more determined than Mr Noda. "Japan's oceans and territory are being threatened. It is my mission to overcome these difficulties," he said.


Several Japanese businesses on the Chinese mainland have had to shut down because of the crisis. Nissan, which relies on the Chinese market for as much as 25 per cent of its revenues, has shut down until October 7 after demand for its cars plummeted.


Toyota has suspended plants in Tianjin and Guangzhou until October 8.


Chinese consumers are shying away from Japanese cars not just because of nationalism, but out of fear after one man in Xi'an was beaten into a coma for driving a Japanese marque.


All Nippon Airways, meanwhile, said 40,000 reservations had been cancelled on flights between China and Japan from this month to November. A cruise line between Shanghai and Nagasaki will suspend its operations from October 13. Guizhou television has banned all advertisements by Japanese brands.


Mitsumi, a supplier for Nintendo, has not reopened its factory in Qingdao since September 16, while two toothbrush factories owned by Lion Corporation also remain shuttered.


Mr Yan predicted that if there was a military confrontation between China and Japan, the United States would not physically intervene.


"I do not think they will send soldiers to fight against the People's Liberation Army," he said. "They [the US] will be involved, but they can be involved in many different ways, providing intelligence, ammunition, political support, logistical help and so on."


Mr Yan said he expected whoever wins the US presidential election to continue to toughen policy on China.


"In terms of the economy, China and the US are partners. But in terms of security, they are rivals. We both know we cannot get along. Both sides are always alert to the other's military policy," he said.


"In the future, the military relationship will become more important. There is a simple reason for this: American hegemony is based on military capability and the military gap with China. When China narrows that gap, it will scare the US," he said.


However, he added that China increasingly needs to change the ideology that guides its foreign policy. "Deng Xiaoping said China should not take a leadership role, make no alliances, and focus on the economy.


"This gap, between China's international status and its foreign policy is widening. We have reached the point where China needs to seriously consider having a new policy consistent with its international status. I do not know when it will happen, but it will not be too long," he said.

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Who would win a "war"?


People who make weapons, bandages, and false limbs.


The Chinese economy looks like its having Japan's economic miracle (50s-60s, manufacturing-based expansion) and bubble (80s, rampant speculation on assets) at the same time.

With things clearly overheating, the politicians might be up for a squabble or two with an old enemy to keep the people distracted.

I doubt many in Japan are actively looking for this, but the country could do well without it.

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Looks like the Chinese dude came out and said Japan "stole" the islands at the UN.


A war of words over islands claimed by both Japan and China continued at the United Nations, as the US called for cooler heads to prevail.

In a speech, China's foreign minister accused Japan of stealing the islands, which lie in the East China Sea.

On Wednesday, the Japanese prime minister called the archipelago an "inherent part" of Japanese territory.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's comments came as he gave China's address to the UN General Assembly.

"The moves taken by Japan are totally illegal and invalid," he said. "They can in no way change the historical fact that Japan stole Diaoyu and its affiliated islands from China and the fact that China has territorial sovereignty over them."


All this over the rights to the milk those goats produce. It just doesn't seem half worth it.


Actually this bit is interesting, I didn't know this:


The Japanese government moved to buy the islands in response to a potentially much more provocative plan by right-wing Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara to buy and develop them using public donations.
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Have we found a solution yet?


A few of my Japanese friends I spoke to have all said that they really dislike Ishihara. Seems to be a love/hate thing with Japanese too. And that the younger Osaka dude is like an upcoming younger version of Ishihara.

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A lot of my Japanese friends like Ishihara. They (and I) like Ishihara because he simply won't won't be bullied. Ishihara gets re-elected because he ignores western bet-wetters who would gladly sign a pluralist democracy over to a dictatorship for some reason or another.

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Yeah, he'd rather lead us into war for a few bits of unihabitated rock that's miles from anywhere.....he's a real great guy.


70 years ago An Austrian painter wouldn't be bullied either and look how that turned out

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Spot on.


Silly me had the telly on last night and some "special" about the abnormal Japanese weather of late was on. P®i(nc)e-ess told me that one of the dudes presenting the show was Ishihara junior. And she was right. I did not know that.

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Watching some of the Japanese morning shows today, with one of their reporters in South Korea. They tried to interview some of the Chinese tourists there, who then refused to speak to the Japanese media.


Kind of funny how it panned out as the report made them out to be quite pathetic really. Probably the aim of the producers, but nonetheless, a bit silly of the tourists.

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A lot of my Japanese friends like Ishihara. They (and I) like Ishihara because he simply won't won't be bullied. Ishihara gets re-elected because he ignores western bet-wetters who would gladly sign a pluralist democracy over to a dictatorship for some reason or another.


The identity of the Japanese people is selfishness. The Japanese people must take advantage of this tsunami as means of washing away their selfish greed. I really do think this is divine punishment.


I never thought that would have gone down well in northern Japan. He retracted it pretty quick though, so so much for having strong opinions and not being bullied.

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All the talk of greed etc...... I bet he's living on the bread line as well, Mr Ishihara. Not.


I think there were just too many Japanese offended by that comment so he had to take it back after being 'bullied'.

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Seems like china wants to up the talk


China has tried to establish its authority over Japanese-controlled islands in the East China sea by demanding that all aircraft flying in the region obey its rules or face "emergency defensive measures".


The East China sea air defense identification zone came into effect from 10am local time on Saturday when the Chinese defence ministry issued a map of the area, which includes the uninhabited East China sea islands.


The ministry said all aircraft entering the zone must notify Chinese authorities and warned they would be subject to emergency military measures if they did not identify themselves or obey orders.


It said it would "identify, monitor, control and react to" any air threats or unidentified flying objects coming from the sea.

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