Japan v. China

It seems to be Protest Week around the world:

BEIJING — Anti-Japanese demonstrators took to the streets again on Sunday in cities across China, with the government offering mixed signals on whether it would continue to tolerate the sometimes violent outbursts.

Protesters burned a replica of the Japanese flag at a protest in Wuhan, in central China, on Sunday.
The protests were orderly in Beijing, with several hundred people circling in front of the Japanese Embassy demanding Chinese control over a small island group known as Senkaku in Japan and as Diaoyu in China. Protests were also reported in other cities, including Shanghai, Guangzhou and Qingdao.

On Saturday, protests occurred in more than 50 cities, with some violence reported. A factory for the Panasonic Corporation was set on fire in Qingdao, and a Toyota dealership was looted, according to photographs posted on social media sites and local residents reached by telephone.

Poor China. They picked the wrong week for this.

I have to believe that there is a certain amount of staging going on here. Common sense tells us that the Chinese people do not all of the sudden get angry because of some obscure uninhabited island Japan has occupied since 1895 (and one China only became interested in once oil was speculated to be there). The official excuse is because the islands were nationalized by the Japanese government. That nationalization may indicate Japan plans to exploit them soon. So, again, I suspect this is really a dispute over who controls a precious resource; oil, most likely.

(I was just a reading a primer on this and, apparently, China thinks they should be part of Taiwan, a nation neither China nor Japan acknowledges. Foreign relations get very strange sometimes.)

Keep on eye on this one. It sounds like China is rattling the saber a little bit. They do this periodically, usually to distract the populace from some internal trouble (China’s economy is looking bad in the near term). I seriously doubt they want to do anything since we are obligated to protect Japan and a couple of aircraft carrier groups would take out their entire navy and air force.

Comments are closed.

  1. West Virginia Rebel

    It’s the oil. Japan has complained in the past about Chinese harrassment of Japanese oil rigs in disputed waters. Also, there were rumors of a coup attempt in China recently.

    Between this and the possibility of Israel hitting Iran, I have to wonder what the next couple of months will bring…

    Thumb up 1

  2. AlexInCT

    Not just oil WVR. Natural gas, minerals, fishing rights. This is good old fasioned third world colonialism directed at grabbing the rights to all maner of natural resources.

    Thumb up 1

  3. Mississippi Yankee

    I have to believe that there is a certain amount of staging going on here.

    A YouTube video might incite this too yanno

    Common sense tells us that the Chinese people do not all of the sudden get angry because of some obscure uninhabited island Japan has occupied since 1895

    Right, ‘Cause the “Rape of Nanking” was forgiven years ago.

    As WVR and Alex have said natural resources are a very big part of this but what’s being overlooked is China is using these islands and Japan, a US ally btw, to give the neophyte prince the equivalent of bullies shove. This shoving has gone on for about 2 months, her Filthiness has gotten nowhere. She has been derided in the Chinese press and was being actively snubbed for the two weeks before the Cairo indecent.

    With China it’s ALWAYS about “face” and coming off rumors of a failed coup our weak-kneed leaders are the perfect foils. This story is far from over.

    Thumb up 1

  4. Hal_10000 *

    Right, ‘Cause the “Rape of Nanking” was forgiven years ago.

    Well, yeah, there’s that, especially as the governor of Tokyo, who is in the thick of this, is a raving Nanking denier. I read Iris Chang’s book a few years back and it’s pretty appalling that no one was ever held accountable for that.

    Thumb up 2

  5. TxAg94

    This is good old fasioned third world colonialism directed at grabbing the rights to all maner of natural resources.

    This simply cannot be. Only the U.S. and maybe the UK have ever done, or can ever do, anything that resembles colonialism. If it’s about oil and resources we must be putting them up to it. A rich, white American must be behind it all, don’t you know that?

    Thumb up 4

  6. Argive

    I read Iris Chang’s book a few years back and it’s pretty appalling that no one was ever held accountable for that.

    In 1997 I spent six months in Japan (my dad was teaching over there; I was eleven years old). One day my mom took me to Tokyo Disneyland. Now, for the most part, it’s the same Magic Kingdom as you find in the US. But there are a few Japan-specific things to do. One such activity is a short film featuring a cartoon crane teaching two Japanese kids about their heritage. The film covers much of Japanese history, but when it reaches 1933 (it might have even been 1905, my memory’s fuzzy on the exact year), the screen goes completely black for about 10 seconds. The lights come back up and magically it’s 1952. Then the following dialogue happens:

    Kids: “Oh, it was so dark!”
    Crane: “Yes, it was very dark. But it’s over now!”

    To this day, Japan’s crimes in World War II have never been fully dealt with in the same way that Germany confronted the Holocaust. I don’t think they ever will be.

    Thumb up 3

  7. Hal_10000 *

    To this day, Japan’s crimes in World War II have never been fully dealt with in the same way that Germany confronted the Holocaust. I don’t think they ever will be.

    Chang discusses this in her book. There were a variety of reasons: we had invaded and occupied Germany but never did that to Japan; they wanted to bring up Japan quickly to oppose Communist Russia (and eventually China). But another reason, and I hate to say this, is that Holocaust happened in Europe, was focused on certain ethnic groups and was broadly publicized. it was easy to get a handle on and understand: Hitler murdered six million Jews (and about 4-5 million others).

    The Rape of Nanking — and that was just the highlight of a reign of terror over the entire pacific rim — was quiet, generalized and spread over many nations. Much more difficult to grasp. There are still people who have never heard of comfort women, for example. And even now, estimate of just how extensive it was are difficult to get.

    Thumb up 1

  8. Seattle Outcast

    China has attempted to claim everything of value in the oceans around them since forever, and the locals be damned. Ironically, Japan has done much the same thing to China and Korea, so I’d say they treat each other equally poorly.

    Just a lot of sabre rattling which will amount to mostly nothing.

    Thumb up 2

  9. Miguelito

    Kids: “Oh, it was so dark!”
    Crane: “Yes, it was very dark. But it’s over now!”

    Anyone else immediately think of the Family Guy bit where Stewie and Brian were on the tour bus in Germany? Unfortunately the copies on youtube I could find sucked… but it just seems similar.

    Thumb up 1

  10. CM

    Yeah, travelling in Germany and visiting many war places and monuments, I noticied they have a theme running through it all about their “break with civilization”.

    Thumb up 1

  11. Hal_10000 *

    The Germans, to their credit, own up to their crimes. I visited Dachau and there was no shying away at all from what happened there. God, that was a depressing visit. I was, well not glad, exactly, but I think it was important for me to see it. But I needed a lot of beer afterward.

    Thumb up 0

  12. Mississippi Yankee

    There were a variety of reasons: we had invaded and occupied Germany but never did that to Japan; they wanted to bring up Japan quickly to oppose Communist Russia (and eventually China).

    There are many Japanese that would disagree with you, even today. Same story in Okinawa too.

    Thumb up 0

  13. Hal_10000 *

    There are many Japanese that would disagree with you, even today. Same story in Okinawa too.

    Good point. But the mainland was never invaded and the Japanese government not torn up the way the German was.

    Thumb up 0

  14. Hal_10000 *

    The country itself was devastated, sure. But had we invaded, it would have been far worse. I seriously doubt they would have an Emperor anymore. And we would have demanded the justice from their leaders that we never really got.

    Thumb up 0

  15. Mississippi Yankee

    But had we invaded, it would have been far worse. I seriously doubt they would have an Emperor anymore. And we would have demanded the justice from their leaders that we never really got.

    Worse than Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Worse than the huge firestorms that Doolittle’s bombers were doing to Tokyo in 42?
    Or strategic bombing and urban area bombing that began in 1944 after the long-range B-29 Superfortress bomber entered service, first deployed from China and thereafter the Mariana Islands. B-29 raids from those islands began on 17 November 1944 and lasted until 15 August 1945, the day Japan capitulated. And you don’t even want to know what my Marine Corp did to Okinawa.

    As for the emperor, he had been little more than a figurehead in a guided cage since the early 20’s when the Vast Right Wing Military Industrial Complex (see what I did there) began their quest for dominion over the far east.

    Because of the Marshall Plan Germany fared no worse then Japan after WW II. No one would allow the economic devastation that central and eastern Europe experienced after The War to End All Wars. There was never going to be another Corporal Schicklgruber, of any race, to reignite another defeated enemy.
    BTW The Marshall Plan was arguably the only time in US history that “throwing money at the problem” actually worked.

    If you combine Japan’s military leadership that were allow to commit Seppuku and the civilian leaders were executed Nuremberg’s totals would seem quaint.

    Your University has a History Dept. right? Stop staring at the sun with your telescope during the day time… and do my horoscope ;)

    Thumb up 0

  16. Hal_10000 *

    Your University has a History Dept. right? Stop staring at the sun with your telescope during the day time… and do my horoscope ;)

    :) I know my history. Back in elementary school, there was a running joke that every report/term paper I did was on World War II. I was the History Channel before the History Channel was cool.

    Thumb up 0

  17. Seattle Outcast

    :) I know my history. Back in elementary school, there was a running joke that every report/term paper I did was on World War II. I was the History Channel before the History Channel was cool.

    You too?

    WWII is such an interesting war to study – you can easily consume a century of world history by studying everything that led up to the war, the relatively short war itself, and the consequences up to where the Berlin Wall came down.

    If you don’t know WWII, you really don’t know what’s been going on since the Civil War…

    Thumb up 1