Japan-China dispute clouds APEC focus on trade


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How do you pivot to Asia when the President of the United States cancelled the most important trip and gives up the lead off spot to China as the leader and closer of APEC? Did anyone even cared that Kerry was there at all? Everything about the US is how we are irresponsible on playing chicken among the great divide. How can we lead when there's a political civil war going on?

And secondly, APEC has nothing to do with settling or even discussing territorial disputes. This is an economic cooperation forum across the pacifics. No one care about Japan's domestic grievances with China. It got so ridiculous that the PM of Malaysia had to remind certain somebody that this is an economic conference, not the place to bring in ASEAN issues, which will take place in Brunei immediately after. This is another reason why no one respect Abe. He needs to know there is a time and place for such discussions and APEC is not it.

Notice how no one cared about anything Abe had to say other than Kerry? Even the Aussies backtracked after saying that they can co-exist with being security partner with US and economic partner with China that there is NO conflict among the three. Some how, Japanese politicians and leaders all lack any geo-political perspective and all have this foot-in-mouth disease where they simply can't help themselves.

How about instead of focusing on this petty island dispute, get on the same page with the rest of the pacific nations? There are 18 other ones outside of China, Japan, and US. Mingle a little and make a friend or two instead of having even the host nation's foreign minister laugh at your digression and the Malaysian PM mocking you. Even the Filipino President is saying that the issue should be brought up in the meetings at ASEAN, ASEAN + 1 (China) and ASEAN +3 (China, Japan, SK).

Somehow, Abe always try so hard to be the protruding nail that's waiting for someone to hammer down. While at the same time embarrasses himself and Japan along the way.

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@Highball7 You must know that Japan must keep the hatred for China and China must keep the hatred for Japan. I agree with almost everything you said but what I hear in Japan is that we, as a group, the group mentality, hate China and there is no looking at an individual as in Japan there is no individual. They do not even have a word for individual. With that said, I do not think there will be a trade agreement. Apec, trade agreement when Japan has so many enemies in the Pacific? How can they trade? Abe wants to blame everyone else. The Japanese have paid a lot of money to try to make things right but then they come out with statements that the "comfort" women were doing a service, doing a service to war criminals. Perhaps japan should just own up and say it was wrong and then not elect politicians that wish to honor those who were actually war criminals. Japans disgrace will never go away until the people like Abe are not ruling the people.

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highball7Oct. 08, 2013 - 06:31PM JST WOW! Read your comments. I will never take the position that you do not have the right to speak your mind. However, as such I have the right to disagree with some of you comments that are just slightly a skewed. Some people, who turn on Japan, and omit Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy! Pity those respondents are so lop sided. “You must know that Japan must keep the hatred for China and China must keep the hatred for Japan”. - Where did that come from?

The Chinese incursions are real and provocative. They are overt, and have challenged the sovereignty of several nations, and the region! A Comment “How about instead of focusing on this petty island dispute” Well sovereignty is not petty, unless wherever you reside, you don't give a dam about it! Strikes me that a comment like that only makes people who feel that way pee their pants when it happens to them! The US-Japan-Australian governments again ratified their commitment of unification as allies that message that has set China back 5 steps. Which caused them to react as predicted that they feel threatened, now they have a taste of how that feels too countries with less than 1.5 billion souls! The President of the United States of America does in fact have issues at home that require that he must be present for. The Chief Executive Officer of the USA, must govern his nation first! I agree that there are issues, but to rip Presidents, and leaders when you have no idea of their burdens, as arm chair quaterbacks, simoly is an in justice. Walk a mile in their shoes mates!
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Kent McgrawOct. 08, 2013 - 09:14PM JST @Highball7 You must know that Japan must keep the hatred for China and China must keep the hatred for Japan. I >agree with almost everything you said but what I hear in Japan is that we, as a group, the group mentality, hate China >and there is no looking at an individual as in Japan there is no individual. They do not even have a word for individual.

Japan has never had hatred for China, at least since 1945. Certainly there was no hatred in 1972 when the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Friendship was signed and China asked Japan to help their economy resulting in the first Panasonic plant in China opening in 1978. Hatred for China has been a reaction to the anti-Japanese sentiment fomented by the forced ":Patriotic Education" in the Chinese schools vilifying Japan at every turn and the CCP government using public anti-Japan sentiment as a political and diplomatic tool. As for Japan not having a word for individual, try 個人。And no it's not Fu Ren. Where do you get this nonsense that Japan "has so many enemies in the Pacific" when the article makes clear that China is regarded as the biggest threat to the region?

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@ mulan - do you have a reference to Japanese children being left behind in WWII by their parents? I'll do a search but I'm skeptical.

The problem that the world has with the image China is presenting is that China is also behaving in a similar fashion with the Phillipines and Viet Nam. There is also a lot of anti-Japanese sediment in China that is used (and approved by the party) to whip up anti-Japanese protests. Japan has become the bogeyman for everything wrong in SE Asia, according to Korea and China. But China is the country who is making (by international standards) unreasonable territorial claims on it's neighbors and refusing to negotiate over the Spratley Islands, etc.

With that kind of track record it's no surprise Japan doesn't want to negotiate with China over islands.

I agree that Obama should have gone to the summit and left Biden to mind the economy. But, apparently, Reid and Biden can't agree on what to do so there are issues. Not that Obama is taking a position of leadership in either the US or SE Asia. Obama "pivots" like a ballerina...as Russia and China have noticed.

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With the absence of Obama, Abe, the leader of a major democratic and economic power, should of seized the opportunity to take the leadership role in promoting trade in the Asian Pacific region. Instead he focused on his gripe with China.

Many APEC Countries like Mexico, Chile, and Peru don't care about Senkaku Isle dispute.

With the absence of Obama, major US papers are such as the New York Times and USA Today are mentioning China and Xi as taking center stage at the APEC SUMMIT with absolutely no mention of Abe or Japan.

What a d a m n shame!

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Actually I'm German-American (with 25% Scot just to be a thorough mongrel) working in NY. I used to work in Japan and China in the late 1980s through late 1990s. Wouldn't mind getting back to Japan. But that's a different topic.

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