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Japan to establish military outposts on remote islands

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Because there are no better ways of spending this money.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

I've been to all the islands mentioned in this story. They're quiet, sleepy, relaxed places with amazingly distinct scenery, cultures, and even languages if you know who to talk to. Even an American base in this region would be more welcome than what the Tokyo government is trying to do. Putting military bases in these places -- and mainland SDF soldiers will not have the sense of being "guests" that the Americans sometimes thankfully have; they will behave like overlords -- will seriously damage these cultures.

-9 ( +11 / -19 )

The Chinese are already fleeing Vietnam (after have a few killed in riots) because of their shenanigans in the recognized Vietnamese Economic Zone. Somehow I don't think they see a few Japanese soldiers as much of a threat.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Here we go...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I can see Japan is still kicking its own butt for not grabbing Takeshima before the Koreans did.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Welcome news! It is not about wasting money it is all about national security and self-defence. People should happy to know that Japan is still a safe and sound country to live. Remember China has waited over 60 years to get it revenge and the time is near. Considered what has happened in the 12 months in the South China Sea and East China Sea. If we don’t take this seriously and play by the rules we are making huge mistake. Rules to be broken if it necessary to defence your country.

You ask for a strong leader and now you got one, why don’t we support Mr Abe and let him and his party get on with Job.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

@MyJT

"You ask for a strong leader and now you got one...."

Who's "You"?

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Tokyo is now planning to set up new outposts on three islands, including Amamioshima, some 150 kilometers south of the Senkakus, the Yomiuri said, citing unnamed senior defense ministry officials.

What? Amamioshima is more than 600 km away from the Senkakus to the North East. It is not even in Okinawa, but in Kagoshima. Kadena Air base in Okinawa is much closer to the Senkakus than Amamioshima is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amami_%C5%8Cshima

7 ( +8 / -1 )

CH3CHO, I think the author mistook Ishigaki for Amami. Ishigaki is the one that's 150 km south of the Senkakus; Yonaguni is 105 km southwest of them. Amami is part of Kagoshima prefecture but is culturally closer to Okinawa than Kyushu; it might be best to think of it as one of the northernmost Ryukyuan islands.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What could possibly go wrong?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

ThonThaddeo,

I've been to two of the three islands and agree with your assessment of them being " quiet, sleepy, relaxed places with amazingly distinct scenery, cultures, and even languages".

I don't agree with your assessment of JSDF members of bases. I have lived near two installations and, other than during national emergencies when there where a lot of helicopters flying about, they were discreet and quiet neighbors. Unlike when I lived not quite as close to a US Air base, where there always seemed to helicopters flying about.

Military outposts will mean business. I don't expect they'll be large installations at this stage. I would expect that the majority of locals will be pleased with the news.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@lucabrasi Don’t worry about who I am? It is not relevant to the debate. What are your solutions to this problem?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Yeah!! More useless construction projects to waste our tax money! Bet Abe is loving the tax hike!

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

LOL.. who's you = who is you in your sentence

You ask for a strong leader and now you got one

We didn't ask for him :( but I support the a military base over there. Should construct the new airbase over there instead of Henoko in Okinawa. see two problem solved at same expense.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@MyJT

Sorry, I wasn't clear....

I meant "Who asked for a strong leader?"

I didn't.....

4 ( +6 / -2 )

And tomorrow Abe will mak a statement he is seeking peace in Asia, mark my words.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Taj,

My opinions come from spending time with Yaeyamans in their 80s and 90s who have strong memories of the pre-WWII era and absolutely detest the Japanese military. It is hard to believe, in these days of reports on US military members getting drunk or violent or whatever that the US military could have been welcomed in Okinawa 70 years ago, but compared to what the Japanese army did on those islands, the Americans were like teddy bears.

Go ahead and Google the names of Robert Tuggle, Vernon Tebo, and Warren Loyd and read about what the IJA did to them, and how the IJA covered it all up and ordered the islanders never to speak of it. There aren't too many people from those times still alive on Ishigaki, but there are a few, and I've met them. Ask them what they think of the idea of the mainland military coming back.

The JSDF is certainly a different organization than the IJA was, but to Okinawans they're still outsiders. I hope they can keep to themselves and be respectful of their adopted home. But I remain skeptical.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@lucabrasi Your apology is accepted! You still don’t have solutions? By the way, whether you like Mr Abe or not he won a majority in the 2012 general election.

I just don’t understand why so many Japanese are against Japan re-arm themselves as self-defence. Ok the economy is considered very important but when you are under threat of losing part of the nation and you still worry about the economy. Take a look around the world Japan economy is not that bad but if you compare Japan itself 20 years ago, yes it look pretty bad. With the Olympics game around the corner hopefully the economy will pick up a little. Where is your pride?

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

And tomorrow Abe will mak a statement he is seeking peace in Asia, mark my words.

And he might well be. Your algorithm of being overly sensitive to Japanese defensive moves while never putting out a peep on China's ever increasing antagonism is horrifying.

I say he might as well go the whole shebang and put "coastal watchers" on the Senkakus proper - it won't be monetarily efficient, but guarding outlying islands rarely is. At that point, China would either have to shut up or take a reaction so strong it'll buy the antipathy of the world.

@ThonTaddeo If we are comparing the IJA to the Americans, yes, no doubt the Americans were a pleasant sort. But the comparison is to the SDF.

The dominant factor here is societal status. The IJA is above the law. The US Armed Forces is a well-respected organization, but only one of many. The SDF's societal position is weak. Their levels of arrogance is roughly in line with that status.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

And tomorrow Abe will mak a statement he is seeking peace in Asia, mark my words.

...and send one more delegation to China.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Given today's Asia, and the increasing cases of Chinese aggression against Vietnam, Japan, the Philippines and other nations, I'd say that Japan would be wise to apply the maxim that "Possession is 9/10ths of the Law." If Japan does not have forces in forward positions where the question of sovereignty is on its side, China will inevitably rush in to fill the vacuum, knowing full well that once the area is occupied and forcefully manned, the response to such a move would carry far more dire consequences for the injured party.

As for Korea, again, the fact that Japan claims Takeshima is seriously undermined by the far more potent fact that Korean forces have already occupied the main Liancourt Rocks and base their Coast Guard there with impunity. Japan can waive around the Rusk Documents and other US briefs that support its claims, but unless it wants to use force (and Japan won't), the Koreans aren't leaving anytime soon. (Interesting to note: the US has never claimed that Japanese sovereignty of the Senkakus falls under the US/Japanese military alliance guarantees in the way it did make such claims in Japan's favor over as against China in the Senkakus...)

Similarly, regardless of the fact that China did indeed promise Vietnam on several occasions that it would solve the bilateral dispute about sovereignty over the Paracel Islands through arbitration, the fact that it has had occupying troops there for decades makes it much more difficult for Vietnam to realize its aims or to thwart China's drilling for oil nearby. And yet again, Japan looks set to be disappointed on the issue of the Kurile Islands, and why? Russia maintains de facto sovereign possession over them (with Russian populations and military on site to boot.)

Possession IS 9/10ths of the Law, unfortunately. Thus, Japan would do well to "put boots on the ground" in all outlying territories, lest the unelected autocrats over in Beijing decide it's high time to do a bit of island grabbing around "their" ocean-wide and unilaterally decided EEZ...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The only Japanese territorial claim that US Policymakers say is 100% Japan are the northern territories, occupied by Russia, all the rest have weasel words, like, administered by Japan, per Jim Zumwalt at the State Dept, in charge of East Asian Affairs. Still, Abe's moves are seen as sound and welcome.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Correction: I meant to say "Interesting to note: the US has never claimed that Japanese sovereignty of TAKESHIMA falls under the US/Japanese military alliance guarantees in the way it did make such claims in Japan's favor over and against China in the Senkakus." Apologies...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

China will inevitably rush in to fill the vacuum,

The last 45 years has seen China rush in like a turtle. An almost dead turtle.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

BNlightenedMay. 19, 2014 - 06:06PM JST

If Japan does not have forces in forward positions where the question of sovereignty is on its side, China will inevitably rush in to fill the vacuum,

Your post is so late for many decades. Militarily PRC has just active in recent years. However Civilian ships from PRC and Taiwan have been come and go there since 1960s. Back then there were not publicity and media interest. Japan has been sharing fish with PRC and Taiwan although it has been unhappy.

it much more difficult for Vietnam to realize its aims or to thwart China's drilling for oil nearby.

PRC is reclaiming undersea soil for making the shore. In my opinion, it is more difficult for PRC to realize their project will meet the deadline. As long as they have to use water cannon for deterring Vietnamese boats and ships, they can not concentrate on the project.

Similarly, regardless of the fact that China did indeed promise Vietnam on several occasions that

Paracel Islands has been under control by PRC since 1979. Interestingly there has never been oil rig before Obama tour to S E Asian nations recently. Obama lectured Vietnam and Philippines for more assertive with PRC. In the return, Obama will stand up for them if PRC has become aggressive. I guess PRC has broken the promise for testing Obama Asian pivot. Not only PRC, Obama should keep his promise for showing his touch talks has become the reality.

Beijing decide it's high time to do a bit of island grabbing around "their" ocean-wide and unilaterally decided EEZ.

I do not see PRC will be deterred by 350 Japanese soldiers on the new out post. The real deterrence of PRC is US seven fleet. Without US intervention, there will be no more islands left for other nations in South China Sea. As Obama slogan " Yes! We can!, it is the right moment for US to liberate South China Sea from PRC.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stop messing about and build a strong Japanese presence on the Senkaku chain now - that's the only way China will understand.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

if japan is very serious about the senkakus, then why not build something on the islet,,something for research or perhaps some troops,,or else, just wait for another oil rig from china to be placed on the island like what is now true in Vietnam..

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Kevin & souka

Japan could but the obvious PRC reaction would be similar to Vietnam in which PRC boats start ramming against Japanese construction ships or worse.

It will just heighten tension further which is neither necessary or wanted.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yep, fair enough. It's their territory, and China's belligerent and aggressive manoeuvring has really forced their hand here.

You only need to see what they Chinese are trying to do in Vietnamese territorial waters to get an idea of the intent of that country - hegemony.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

it is the right moment for US to liberate South China Sea from PRC.

Just a word : try ! Show us your so-called 'courage'.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I just don’t understand why so many Japanese are against Japan re-arm themselves as self-defence.

@MyJT2014 The Japanese are re-armed. Quite seriously re-armed. This is not re-armament, its expansion of a military already armed to the teeth. And every bit of it is totally against the law, as in, the constitution of this country.

If those islands disappeared tomorrow, 99 percent of Japanese or more, would never feel the impact of the loss. Its like spending 100 dollars to make sure one dollar is safe. Its crazy. And it could be another cobblestone in the road to war, which is like buying a one hundred dollar lottery ticket where the prizes are starvation, mutilation and death.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I just don’t understand why so many Japanese are against Japan re-arm themselves as self-defence.

What evidence do you have that "so many" Japanese are against re-arming as self defense?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

If it were not for China's military and territorial expansion in he South and East China Seas, Japan would have been happy to go along as it has since 1945. Japan's moving towards a greater role in regional security is welcomed by everyone except China. Which says it all.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Inhope Japan will keep its head on, cant focus all your attention on those islands. In situations like these its all about who will give in first. And it looks like Japan is willing to fight for those islands. What will china do?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well if there is some discovery of minerals or oil around these islands you can bet China will dispute ownership faster than they can get a boat there. And of course then these islands have been part of Chinas mainland for a couple of thousand years. Similarly if Chinas drills find nothing I guess Vietnam may well get invited to talks about the Paracels. So what could be the common denominator here ;-) The demands for energy alone will make China step on everyones toes if they have to. This is why they need an enormous military. Blaming Japan is nothing but a nice cover during their own expansion. Nothing really new about that but what is new in the south-east scenario is that India just elected a nationalist to head the country. This may change the situation quite a bit.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good move imo, but I also think Japan should start utilizing the natural resources there since that is the main reason China has been trying to land grab all over the region. Would bring Japan added income and grow GDP a bit.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

China shouldn't be allowed easy and illegal access to the Pacific. At the same time Japan needs to do this intelligently and lay off the unnecessary nationalist rhetoric. There is no reason to bait an already unreasonable and bellicose Chinese government by resorting to equally unreasonable histrionic historical revisionist theories. Japan is right to want to defend its territory. Its not right for the governement to churn out propagandized historical revisionism that is equally as distorted as China's view of its own history. Japan should make maintaining its territorial sovereignty its main focus and leave its history were it belongs...in the past.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Here's an idea; Give Senkakus to a neutral country. Or even USA.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I do not understand why Abe made the statement, he should have just gone ahead and done it then announced what had happened, giving china the heads up on your next strategy is not smart.

Kazuaki Shimazaki nice post specially the first part.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Kazuaki: "Your algorithm of being overly sensitive to Japanese defensive moves while never putting out a peep on China's ever increasing antagonism is horrifying."

Yeah, horrifying if you choose to ignore the facts. "Let's visit Yasukuni because China does not want to agree with us!" says, Abe, and a day later wants to seek dialogue with China and SK. "Let's put military here and there on rocks that are disputed!" and a day later wants to seek dialogue with China and SK on trade, saying how it's regwettable but out of his control. "Let's revise the constitution in the name of peace so that we can make war if we want", and then ask neigbouring countries to understand what a peaceful nation Japan is! Let's isolate China! and then ask China to come to the table in peace.

What a crock. You do realize you are no different in your beliefs than what you claim China is, don't you?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

That's provocative. This move by the Japanese simply escalates the situation. You're getting us into war by forward momentum. We won't have it.

I suggest that Japan simply return administration of the Senkakus to the US. In addition, the US should/will garrison US marines on the islands, thus stopping any consideration of an invasion by China, until sovereignty of these islands is adjudicated by an international body. At the very worst, if Japan is not accorded sovereignty, the Senkakus would be assigned to Taiwan, not the PRC.

If such a scenario evolved, Japan could conduct back-door negotiations with Taiwan to the effect that Japan would not contest the ruling, as long as both countries coordinate, develop and share the undersea energy resources without militarizing the islands themselves.

How can the PRC, which considers Taiwan one of its provinces (and which bases its claims to the Senkakus on Taiwan's claims) object to Taiwan having sovereignty? Even if Taiwan was eventually absorbed by the PRC, the guarantee of anti-militarization of the islands would still be in effect.

Let's not forget that Japan needs locally derived energy now. The Senkakus are the answer, but they cannot be developed until sovereignty is settled. Going head to head with China is a bull-headed approach; such backward nationalism ensures that the Senkakus will not be exploited for the benefit of Japan's economy for decades to come. Such a state of affairs leaves Japan weaker by needing to import oil and gas.

Take my word for it. Save face. Return administration of the Senkakus to the US with the proviso that sovereignty be adjudicated by international law. You may lose sovereignty, but you will gain international respect and access to all the oil and gas the Japanese economy needs to compete against China in once again becoming the second largest world economy.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Makes sense to me. Japan needs to keep up pressure on China just as the rest of the neighbors do. The only way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yeah, horrifying if you choose to ignore the facts.

They are not facts, smith.

Yasukuni is an internal issue which China agreed to not to "meddle". The military outposts are not "on" the "rocks that are disputed". The constitution review is to make clear specifically of what SDF can and cannot do with primary emphasis on collective self defense which is guranteed by all members of the United Nations. So no. Your comparisons are again way out in left field.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Chinese military growth is making all of us economic partners uneasy and weary of our own un-readiness but Japan must not give China reason to act rashly by posting military installation on the disputed island.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

World of Tanks, what about the Japanese nationals on these islands? Are you saying Japan should only defend the "home islands"? All three of these islands are undisputed Japan territory. I am sure they would rather have the SDF troops vs American troops. It is the right for Japan to defend ourselves! If a war starts the Peoples Republic of China has to start it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Abe needs a good reason for a Lighttower in senkakus.maybe its already made of steel and stored somewhere so it can be installed in a week

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Senkaku/Diaoyu islands has elevated risk of Japan-China armed clashes by recent announcement by China of overlapping "air defense identification zones" with Japan, and with the recent clashes with Vietnam in the South China Seas, Japan is preparing for the worst. U.S. and Japan are now jointly redrafting guidelines of managing joint operations. The outcome of which has expanded Japan's authority in surveillance of Chinese movement by building hi-tech military outpost near the disputed islands, expanding responsibilities for its own defense, and having assurance of U.S. forces in the event of conflict.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Because there are no better ways of spending this money"

I'd laugh, but I think I'm going to cry instead.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

World of Tanks, what about the Japanese nationals on these islands?

@YuriOtani Are you operating under the belief that they are unprotected at this time?

This is not about protecting those people. This is about protecting the Senkakus. China has made no claims or moves against those inhabited islands in the article, and neither has anybody else.

What putting bases etc. on those islands will do is paint targets on all their backs if it comes to blows over the Senkakus. That would not be in their defense or best interest.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

World of Tanks May. 20, 2014 - 07:25AM JST China has made no claims or moves against those inhabited islands in the article, and neither has anybody else.

Where have you been? China imposes restrictions on air space over Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands by establishing the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). China’s armed forces will adopt defensive emergency measures to respond to aircraft that do not cooperate in the identification or refuse to follow the instructions.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

To make a long comment short. This is another step in the direction of escalation by both Japan and China. It's becoming a military chess game. Your move next China. Check mate means direct confrontation. It seems to be right over the horizon and everyone may lose unless they come to their senses and realize what could happen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Jack Stern

Sure, the risk is that this move could possibly be viewed as escalatory in China and might provoke a counter. However, the certainty is that if actions like this are not taken, China will continue to sense that Japan is willing to use only those softer tools of national power and diplomatic to which will turn a deaf ear. The worst is that China apparently is unwilling to respond to anything short of credible military strength. However, there may be no better opportunity than this for Japan to deter China from aggression through signals of collective military strength of U.S. and Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Howardstern

Every time the government propose to change the pacifist constitution people are up in arms and the next thing you will see is the vote of no confident from the people. If majority support the idea there would be a new constitution introduce by now. Too much self-interest and not enough national interest that is the way I see it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Jack SternMay. 20, 2014 - 07:59AM JST

Check mate means direct confrontation. It seems to be right over the horizon and everyone may lose unless they come to their senses and realize what could happen.

China understands what will happen and they want it. If you look at the history of China after WW2, they invaded Russia, India and Vietnam. They had bloody naval war with the Philippines and Vietnam.

The coast guard confrontation between China and Vietnam this month and the lies by Chinese Government on that confrontation should convince everyone. China thrives on wars.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

ThonThaddeo, Fair enough, but your "Yaeyamans in their 80s and 90s who have strong memories of the pre-WWII era and absolutely detest the Japanese military", are no longer the minority. My opinions are largely based on the 20-60 year olds who run or work in cafes and grocery stores. Hospitals and izakayas. Fish mongers and barber shops. People hoping their kids will be able to find a job on the island and not all move so far away.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan like any nation has the right to place troops anywhere within their own territory.

Wow, what a concept, placing troops on your own land rather than invading other nations territories just because you want to.

Wulfe N. StraatMay. 20, 2014 - 01:09AM JST That's provocative. This move by the Japanese simply escalates the situation. You're getting us into war by forward momentum. We won't have it.

Yeah, placing Japanese troops on Japanese sovereign territory is so proactive! Wow.......

smithinjapanMay. 19, 2014 - 05:07PM JST And tomorrow Abe will mak a statement he is seeking peace in Asia, mark my words.

So, Japan doesn't have the right to move troops around their own territory, got it.....Another big Wow...

Kazuaki ShimazakiMay. 19, 2014 - 05:18PM JST And tomorrow Abe will mak a statement he is seeking peace in Asia, mark my words. And he might well be. Your algorithm of being overly sensitive to Japanese defensive moves while never putting out a peep on China's ever increasing antagonism is horrifying.

Well said!!!!! Bravo Zulu to you!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan wants to move some of its military around on it's land that it controls and smith doesn't like it, WTF, Japan can put its troops anywhere it likes on any land it controls, being a blind supporter of china and korea while ignoring reality only serves to show your bigoted opinion is backward.

Anyone else who thinks what Japan is doing is wrong needs a dose of reality, while china moves around asia staking claims to what ever it decides it wants.

If you find Japan so bad and so wrong then please take a flight to a land that you dearly love, japan and the Japanese do not need haters living here using valuable resources and spreading your hate.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Those remote islands would probably greet their new neighbors with open arms since they will most likely bring their family with them. Most of those islands do not have a high school on their islands so they send away their children to Okinawa main island by themselves or are forced to relocate whole/part of the family during that time. With these troops stationed some islands may gain enough children to create a local high school or at least develop better infrastructre so they can open remote classes at their islands.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Up to 350 troops each could be stationed on three islands in the far southwest, close to the Senkakus,

It's not a question of if China attacks but when. Just look at what the Chinese did at Damansky Island . As David Archibald states:

The Yaeyama Islands would provide plenty of basing opportunities and have the benefit of enveloping Taiwan, significantly reducing the amount of military effort required to subjugate that island nation.

A Chinese plan for seizing the Yaeyama Islands would likely involve staging naval exercises southeast of Taiwan and from that postion attacking the Yaeyamas from the south. This would be combined with swarming of fast missile attack boats from the mainland to the northwest. The first stage of the attack would involve Chinese special forces seizing the four airfields in the Yaeyamas, denying them to the Japanese and making the defence of the Chinese positions much easier. The Japanese may get only as little as half an hour's warning of the Chinese attack. The Chinese may be able to concentrate 40 capital ships and 40 fast attack missile boats in the Yaeyama Islands overnight. China would rush reinforcements into the airfields that it was able to capture intact. Japan would then be in a difficult position of trying to recapture the islands with a traditional opposed landing.

If Japan wants to avoid this scenario, it had better have enough troops on these islands to deter the Chinese from attacking in the first place.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The whole reason behind the "reinterpretation" push is because Japanese leaders like Abe do not believe that the US can actually defend Japan. Look what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention Viet Nam. So Japan has to defent itself.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They already can defend themselves - they have a very powerful self-defence force.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Although stationing few hundreds of SDF on three Japan’s island is not a big deal, the timing of such move propelled by Abe’s admin seems suspicious if not provocative.

On the surface, 350 of SDF soldiers hardly are an credible deterrence per se by military standards, nevertheless at the moment that Abe gears up for selling his major nationalistic agenda – collective self-defense to a hesitant Japanese public (poll data collected from two major news agency have shown majority of Japanese people are against reinterpreting of constitution), such deployment along with expected Chinese uproar may serve as a shot in the arm to fan nationalistic sensation and sentiments in Japan’s political arena. In other words, such move is largely political motivated rather need based.

I also suspect that Abe’s admin may also hope leverage this deployment to test American response in terms of its treaty commitment. For some reason, Abe keeps acting like a poor low self-esteem schoolboy, needing constant reassurance to function normally. Unfortunately, Whitehouse has to deal with more urgent issues in Ukraine, and it’s highly doubtful that the US has any appetite to risk a sharp economy u-trun to fight a war for Japan at this point.

In a related news, the Chinese regime is building an airstrip on Johnson South reef in South China Sea, deploying troops there could be play on the deck.

Both Japan and China wish ithe other to give up, yet, no sign is on this regard.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I repeat. That's provocative. This move by the Japanese simply escalates the situation. You're getting us into war by forward momentum. We won't have it.

I suggest that Japan simply return administration of the Senkakus to the US. In addition, the US should/will garrison US marines on the islands, thus stopping any consideration of an invasion by China, until sovereignty of these islands is adjudicated by an international body. At the very worst, if Japan is not accorded sovereignty, the Senkakus would be assigned to Taiwan, not the PRC.

If such a scenario evolved, Japan could conduct back-door negotiations with Taiwan to the effect that Japan would not contest the ruling, as long as both countries coordinate, develop and share the undersea energy resources without militarizing the islands themselves.

How can the PRC, which considers Taiwan one of its provinces (and which bases its claims to the Senkakus on Taiwan's claims) object to Taiwan having sovereignty? Even if Taiwan was eventually absorbed by the PRC, the guarantee of anti-militarization of the islands would still be in effect.

Let's not forget that Japan needs locally derived energy now. The Senkakus are the answer, but they cannot be developed until sovereignty is settled. Going head to head with China is a bull-headed approach; such backward nationalism ensures that the Senkakus will not be exploited for the benefit of Japan's economy for decades to come. Such a state of affairs leaves Japan weaker by needing to import oil and gas.

Take my word for it. Save face. Return administration of the Senkakus to the US with the proviso that sovereignty be adjudicated by international law. You may lose sovereignty, but you will gain international respect and access to all the oil and gas the Japanese economy needs to compete against China in once again becoming the second largest world economy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wulfe N. Straat May. 21, 2014 - 08:10AM JST I repeat. That's provocative. This move by the Japanese simply escalates the situation. You're getting us into war by forward momentum. We won't have it.

More importantly, why do you demand the U.S. or Japan take this or that action make China happy? Do you do realize that this Chinese “fly zone” includes basically all of the East China Sea, and not just the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands? So in your opinion, the Japan should just surrender to the Chinese claims, and suspend all naval/air operations in this zone unless the Chinese give their permission, or not? What is what this boils down to is displace the U.S. and its Allies from the East China sea and allow China unchecked military operations near Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. I don’t see where “leading” Japan to “compromise” over the Senkaku/Daioyu Islands is going to change that.

U.S. have taken no stance as far as sovereignty. However, since the Okinawa agreement in 1971 it has always been U.S. policy that the Senkakus/Diaoyu Islands are under Japanese administration and therefore fall under article 5 of the treaty. If even a minor conflict broke out, and the US provided no assistance, Article 9 may very well go out the window. U.S. is not going to push Japan. They allows U.S. to use their country to station military forces to have a stake in the future of Asia.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Howardstern May19 2014“What evidence do you have that "so many" Japanese are against re-arming as self-defence?

Have you been watching the news or read news paper lately?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There is a mistake in this article. Amamioshima is not south of the Senkakus, it is well to the north and east of the Senkaku islands.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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