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What are the chances of Japan's territorial disputes with China, Taiwan and South Korea escalating into a military conflict?

23 Comments

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I'd say it's just one rash decision away.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Zero. Because America will support Japan, and China doesn't want to get into a war with the U.S. If the U.S. gets involved, so will the U.K.. No matter how strong China thinks it is, it'd get it's rear end reamed.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

SimondBSep. 26, 2012 - 08:49AM JST I'd say it's just one rash decision away.

Sadly I agree. All that's needed is for some Chinese fisherman to throw a marlin spike or something similar and kill a Japanese coast guard and that'll be the beginning. Unfortunately the Japanese government seems to lack the will to engage in the show of force that'll make it clear that it can and will defend its terriitory and that it is willing to use deadly force. China has already begun to move military vessels into the area, why hasn't Japan?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

seems better than 50% to me with all the feelings running so high. Not sure US alliance with Japan a major deterrent right now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As long as they stick to water cannons and perhaps some water-filled balloons everything will be okay.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zero. Because America will support Japan, and China doesn't want to get into a war with the U.S. If the U.S. gets involved, so will the U.K.. No matter how strong China thinks it is, it'd get it's rear end reamed.

Why would on Earth would the UK get involved in a territorial dispute in support of the US when their president recently pandered towards Argentina with respect to the Falklands?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think if it wasn't for the US, China might just take them. I wonder if a future event, for example Iran trying to close the Hormuz Strait in response to an attack from Israel, might make it simply too expensive for the US to engage in yet another conflict at the same time. In which case the dynamic could change.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Congratulations Japan, you've managed to piss off China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea all at the same time. Looks like you've learned nothing from WW2.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Thomas AndersonSep. 26, 2012 - 07:47PM JST Congratulations Japan, you've managed to piss off China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea all at the same time. Looks like you've learned nothing from WW2.

Be realistic. There are lots of reasons for this mess and very few of them have anything to do with anything Japan did:

1) Japan has something they all want, the Senkaku islands - energy resources, oil, expanded territorial waters, fishing rights... those islands are potentially worth trillions of dollars in resource value alone, never mind strategic value.

2) China's ruling boyd is undergoing a major reorganisation (this happens about every 10 years) and no-one wants to look weak, so they're picking an issue they can posture over and look strong.

3) South Korea has elections soon, so the logic is the same as China's.

4) Taiwan also has elections this year.

Face it, this is all about domestic issues in Taiwan, South Korea and China. Even if Japan handed the islands over to one of them tomorrow all it would do is make one country happy (or maybe just continue muttering and then ask for Okinawa), and the other two countries hopping mad. This is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved.

Japan's only real option here is a show of force and to make it clear that these countries can find something else to bicker about. At the end of the day China, South Korea and Taiwan can't AFFORD to make war on Japan. It would seriously destabilise the ASEAN area economy, result in the loses of millions of jobs, and make the common people very unhappy... which is not a winning move in any election environment.

Japan just needs to hang tough until the elections are over... and then it'll all repeat again in 5 to 10 years. Gross stupidity as far as I'm concerned.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Zero chance. Frungy and Probie make the only sensible comments above.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Blah, blah, blah. You're turning this into everybody else's fault but not Japan's. The fact is that those countries are pissed with Japan - for whatever the reason - and that's never a good idea. You can blame it on everybody else, sure, but what will that achieve? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. They are pissed and they are pissed.

1) Of course, it's not Japan's fault, it's everybody else's fault! Never mind the fact that Taiwan and Hong Kong used to have good relations with Japan. It's just that coincidentally, everybody got pissed off at the same time! Awesome logic.

2) Japan nationalized the islands at the worst time possible - 40th anniversary of the normalization of the relations between China and Japan. Nice going, Japan! Way to show those Chinese how you really care.

3) Dokdo! Duh!

4) Why the HECK would Taiwan be anti-Japan? They're NOT! So why would they pull this anti-Japan stunt? Oh I know... Senkaku!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Sorry but if you think that Japan can sweet it under the rug again and hope that everybody will forget about the issue (typical Japan attitude) will work - how's that worked out for Japan after WW2?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Zero chance. Frungy and Probie make the only sensible comments above.

Ah yes, even the UK will get involved somehow.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Thomas AndersonSep. 27, 2012 - 09:24AM JST Blah, blah, blah. You're turning this into everybody else's fault but not Japan's. The fact is that those countries are pissed with Japan - for whatever the reason - and that's never a good idea. You can blame it on everybody else, sure, but what will that achieve? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. They are pissed and they are pissed.

And even if it wasn Japan's "fault" (and I don't think it is, I think this is purely about a limited resource and those countries using Japan to score points in domestic elections), what do you propose? Your analysis contributes absolutely nothing in the way of a solution except scapegoating, which is an unproductive strategy generally practiced by those with nothing to add to a discussion.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's already at its peak in conflict. All sides are clashing with one another in the form of water cannons.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Frungy-san,

China has already begun to move military vessels into the area, why hasn't Japan?

They will, as soon as an American politician or diplomat tells them to.

Remember, robots don't move until commanded to by their operators.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

firstly, don't think that usa will helf japan when the war with china beginns. make clear sense of usa, what it wants, is only the usa economic winning, it doesn't care about the economic and life of japan at all. Anymore usa hope to see the war between china and japan, on the one hand it could sell many military weapons to japan in order to get off from the usa ecomonic depression, you know usa alway likes making this strick for a boom of the economic. On the other Hand it can hit the two of biggst competitors in the word, japan and china, especially china. so usa keeps to being the no.1 of the world.

secondly, when the war beginns, it is very nearly from the home country japan, it doesn't like ww2, far from japan. so it would be much bigger hit for the home country japan. and it is so small and tiny, we must think about when the war really happys in the home country, how long can we go through with it, comparing with china, how long could china go through with the war.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

And even if it wasn Japan's "fault" (and I don't think it is, I think this is purely about a limited resource and those countries using Japan to score points in domestic elections), what do you propose? Your analysis contributes absolutely nothing in the way of a solution except scapegoating, which is an unproductive strategy generally practiced by those with nothing to add to a discussion.

Both sides should agree to leave the whole issue alone for another 40 years, 100 years, 200 years, whatever. Obviously the problem won't be solved by this generation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And I hate to break it to you dude, but Ishihara also tried to score points by proposing to purchase the islands. Noda too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I see a trade in the works. Russia wants some territorial concessions near Mongolia, Japan wants the Kurile islands back more than they want the Senkakus and China wants the Diaoyu Islands.

Why don't they all trade a little, Russia could get their territorial concessions, China could get the Diaoyu Islands and Japan could get the Kurile island back!

Everybody wins!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Military conflict for china is a null, they know, even when they think they have a large military, it's all a farce. Look at the latest carrier, all looks and no depth of technological know how. You can't fight a war on looks.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

None of the prizes involved are really worth fighting over. This is a classic example of Asians posturing over the all-important "face." And that is why it is so dangerous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All it takes is another Chinese fishing boat ramming into a Japanese coast guard ship. That, somebody accidentally firing a real machine gun instead of a water cannon. But then again, it could all blow over in a couple weeks after the CCP power transition and all this posturing will go away. Remember, nobody on either side wants a real war. We're talking about WW3 here, people. Nobody gains, everybody, the whole planet, the entire human race loses. Let's hope cooler heads prevail.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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