Australia Japan China
Japan's ambassador to Australia Shingo Yamagami addresses the National Press Club in Canberra, Australia, on Wednesday. Photo: Lukas Coch/AAP Image via AP
politics

Japan envoy in Australia says Tokyo struggles every day with China

29 Comments
By ROD McGUIRK

Japan’s relationship with China was no better than notoriously strained Sino-Australian relations, the Japanese ambassador to Australia said on Wednesday.

Japan’s ties with China are often held up as an example to Australia of how productive relations can be maintained with Beijing despite national differences. But Ambassador Shingo Yamagami said he had encountered a common misperception in Australia about the state of Japan’s relations with China since he took up his post in December last year.

“The nutshell of that argument is Japan is doing far better than Australia when it comes to dealing with Japan’s neighbor, China,” Yamagami told the National Press Club of Australia.

“My simple answer is: no way. I’m afraid I don’t subscribe to such an argument. Why? Because each and every day Japan is struggling,” Yamagami added.

Japan, Australia and other countries needed to join forces to address challenges caused by China’s rise, he said.

“Don’t worry. You are doing an excellent job. We are in the same boat and we should work together,” Yamagami said.

China has become increasingly hostile toward Australia since early last year, when the Australian government called for an independent investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Relations between the China and Australia have soured in recent years, with Australia blocking Chinese technology and investment in key infrastructure, and China using tariffs and other measures to reduce its imports from Australia.

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, president of the Asia Society, a New York-based think tank, a scholar of Chinese history and a former Australian diplomat to Beijing, is among the Australian foreign policy critics who applaud the Japanese example for dealing with China.

Rudd has urged both Beijing and Canberra to “put the megaphone away” in their bilateral dealings. Japan, which like Australia is a close U.S. ally, had managed its relationship with China without retaliatory trade sanctions in recent years through deeds instead of words, Rudd said.

President Joe Biden’s administration and Japan have recently said they will stand by Australia against what they describe as China’s campaign of economic coercion through informal trade sanctions.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga argues that trade should never to used as a tool to apply political pressure, Yamagami said.

“I applaud the way Australia has faced up to tremendous pressures in a consistent, principled and resilient manner,” he said.

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29 Comments
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That is an understatement to say the least.

Japan Support for Taiwan pushed China over the edge recently.

Threats of Nuclear War if we help Taiwan, even willing to change its Nuclear Policy to be able to use it on Japan first if even one plane, one soldier is sent. JT igorning this news because of the Olympics.

S. Korea right next door letting Japan carry all the weight, all the responsibilities and risk in East Asia. A democratic country unwilling to fight for democracy, but expecting 100% full support if North Korea attacks again.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

South Korea

Can join Quad Alliance to Balance China but hasn't done so.

No Article 9 for S. Korea, no restrictions, millions trained to fight. Weapons with no restrictions on distance, capabilities.

S. Korea is more powerful then Australia, with a bigger population, more money, more capabilities. More soldiers trained. Where is S. Korea??

Playing All Sides.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Yeah, mates. It’s heaps difficult in J schools to teach geography when Big Brotha keeps scribblin’ on our maps!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

What business is it of Japan, in regards to Australia's relationship with China?

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

The Japanese have this timid diffident manner at the company where they can’t say what they want to say to a person in an older or stronger position, 言えない、言い辛い。They either can’t say what they’re thinking or they choose to hold their tongue and not say what they’re really thinking in order to avoid the relationship breaking down 言ってしまうと喧嘩になるから言わない. This transfers to trade relations.

Australia knows what will happen to bilateral relations but has the courage to call for investigations. Japan has the same perspicacity and chooses not to call for investigations or does it in a very round about way not to be offensive. The response from China been far more punishing for Australia than Japan. Japan, by design, is protecting its business relations.

It’s disingenuous for Yamagami to say Japan is struggling while Australia has been in the trenches and Japan hiding in the rear in a cave miles behind. If this were school, the Japanese would keep quiet and say nothing to the bully for fear of retaliation then go to Australia who’s bleeding and say it must hard but we support you.

Australia: We support Taiwan.

Japan: Taiwan, a country of….

China: what!?

Japan: sorry sorry Taiwan not a country.

S. Korea right next door letting Japan carry all the weight, all the responsibilities and risk in East Asia.

And if Japan wants to support Australia, Japan needs to carry its own weight. Saying 大変ですね are only words.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Alan

Simple. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Or if there is a bully around, those being bullied join together to teach the bully a lesson.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

South Korea

Can join Quad Alliance to Balance China but hasn't done so.

No Article 9 for S. Korea, no restrictions, millions trained to fight. Weapons with no restrictions on distance, capabilities.

Let it go.

South Korea will never join QUAD, and is not welcome anyway. They are more closely tied to Commie China - no sane person wants them in QUAD - the NATO of Asia.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Watched the speech to kill some time in lockdown. He did a great job pandering to the crowd mimicking our bogan sayings. The media was also very considerate until the last reporter asked him about Fukushima and how it impacts Japans future nuclear roadmap and what their plans are, he skipped around the question, the reporter asked him again and he the then refused to answer saying “I’m going to stop right here on this topic”. Guess the program couldn’t execute that one.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

until the last reporter asked him about Fukushima and how it impacts Japans future nuclear roadmap and what their plans are,

Completely off the wall question. What did you expect?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Some quotes from the joint statement that was published at the conclusion of President Moon's meeting with President Biden in Washington DC this past May.

"The significance of the U.S.-ROK relationship extends far beyond the Korean Peninsula: it is grounded in our shared values and anchors our respective approaches to the Indo-Pacific region. We agree we will work to align the ROK’s New Southern Policy and the United States’ vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific and that our countries will cooperate to create a safe, prosperous, and dynamic region."

"The United States and the Republic of Korea oppose all activities that undermine, destabilize, or threaten the rules-based international order and commit to maintaining an inclusive, free, and open Indo-Pacific. We pledge to maintain peace and stability, lawful unimpeded commerce, and respect for international law, including freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea and beyond. President Biden and President Moon emphasize the importance of preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. As democracies that value pluralism and individual liberty, we share our intent to promote human rights and rule of law issues, both at home and abroad."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

China has struggled with Japan throughout history.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

@Thomas: China has struggled with Japan throughout history

Well said! Japan has prejudice with neighbours but she is gaining money through trade especially automobile exports! How bitter struggling is with China? That is very ungrateful!

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

China has struggled with itself throughout history. Only autocracy can maintain keep a grip on the reins of power. Xi understands this and has therefore made himself emperor for life.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

China is a basket case waiting to explode. The tighter the grip on it's own people, the more they slip through the finger's.

China may well become a failed state in the near future.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Blasting China on the world stages through microphones. Doing businesses with China in secrets.

japan is all talk but no spine.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

@Septim : Thats why I said they were ungrateful!

"japan is all talk but no spine" They have lost it since Meiji-era and they barely can talks in G7 besides sitting alongside!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@ReasonandWisdomNippon

Japan Support for Taiwan pushed China over the edge recently.

Japan would drop Taiwan like a hot potato if it's finances were at risk. Facts.

Threats of Nuclear War if we help Taiwan, even willing to change its Nuclear Policy to be able to use it on Japan first if even one plane, one soldier is sent. JT ignoring this news because of the Olympics.

JT is not the only news outlet. A lot of other outlets are reporting it. Also, did the Biden administration threaten to nuke China in return? Nope. The response from Japans nuclear allies has been deafening silence. Also, does the threat of being nuked by China mean that Japan will boycott the 2022 Olympics in Beijing? Care to place a wager?

S. Korea right next door letting Japan carry all the weight, all the responsibilities and risk in East Asia. A democratic country unwilling to fight for democracy, but expecting 100% full support if North Korea attacks again.

What weight has Japan been carrying? Giving away a bunch of AZ vaccines to curry favor with Taiwan and Vietnam? I'm sure the Chinese are shaking in their boots.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Japan envoy in Australia says Tokyo struggles every day with China

More like Tokyo struggles every day with hiding all the trade deals with China. Japan's dishonesty is nauseating.

Japan-China economic ties flourishing

https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/japan-china-economic-ties-flourishing

China passes US as top Japanese export buyer, topping 20%

https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Trade/China-passes-US-as-top-Japanese-export-buyer-topping-20

Japan ratifies world's biggest trade deal involving China, ASEAN

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/06/91edf5b2fc74-urgent-japan-ratifies-worlds-biggest-trade-deal-involving-china-asean.html

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Blasting China on the world stages through microphones. Doing businesses with China in secrets.

Which OECD members not doing business with China?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Threats of Nuclear War if we help Taiwan, even willing to change its Nuclear Policy to be able to use it on Japan first if even one plane, one soldier is sent. JT ignoring this news because of the Olympics.

JT is not the only news outlet. A lot of other outlets are reporting it. Also, did the Biden administration threaten to nuke China in return? Nope. The response from Japans nuclear allies has been deafening silence. Also, does the threat of being nuked by China mean that Japan will boycott the 2022 Olympics in Beijing? Care to place a wager?

Security Council PM with nuclear deterrent is big joke? Right? No wonder North Korea wouldn't listen no matter what. Rather than spitting on where you live no matter how much you hate it, why not make noise not for spitting but for helping it armed with nukes?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japan, which like Australia is a close U.S. ally, had managed its relationship with China without retaliatory trade sanctions in recent years through deeds instead of words, Rudd said.

Japan was the first country against which China used trade as a weapon when it stopped the exports of rare metals to Japan over the Senkaku Islands dispute. That was 11 years ago.

Until the rest of the world adopts the same strategy and hurts China economically where it counts, we are going to keep seeing China pull this on every country that criticizes or says anything negative about China.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

So do other countries, except North Korea and Russia.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who are these posters criticizing Japan for not being steadfast against China and for what they always quote as it's historical debt to China at the same time? Huh? Just trolling?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Alan

Simple. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Or if there is a bully around, those being bullied join together to teach the bully a lesson.

Serendipitous1

How exactly is China bullying Japan at the moment?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Alan HarrisonToday  05:45 pm JST

Alan

Simple. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Or if there is a bully around, those being bullied join together to teach the bully a lesson.

Serendipitous1

How exactly is China bullying Japan at the moment?

How exactly do you define the verb "bully" then?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What is China? It is not PRC run by CCP. Is it? Who has been feeding the CCP to grow like this stacking up this much?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Kenny

Japan’s approach to China is exactly the same as how Japanese behave so it’s easy to read: duplicitous.

Make statements about China but keep trading with China. Where are the sanctions against China by Japan?

At least Australia is taking one for the team.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan’s approach to China is exactly the same as how Japanese behave so it’s easy to read: duplicitous.

Make statements about China but keep trading with China. Where are the sanctions against China by Japan?

At least Australia is taking one for the team.

Sanctions through trades are mainly being done by China against Australia, not the other way around, where the boss, US is filling the slots Aussie lost by increasing exports to China.

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/4e4a3a960810dde49c5a976b5d0c19a9de275d4c

Australia's sanctions against China are , as in the article, mainly in technology restriction (squeezing out Huwaei and ZTE) for the security reason. and investment restriction (about to abolish 99 years lease contract of Darwin port) and provocation of agreement for One Belt, One Road Initiative, OBOR)

For Huwaei, and ZTE, Japan has already started to keep paces to align with others in governmental and quasi-governmental organizations and critical private companies for security consideration.

For investment restriction, you know new law has just been implemented to block Chinese investments into property in Japan.

For OBOR, Japan did not join in the beginning and still keep some distance as " the 3rd party country"

Over-all Abe was more tough against China, whom you all have hated so much.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I watch and listen to Yamagami Shingo San talk. I found it very informative, warm and friendly. I came away from his talk feeling confident of a great partnership and friendship going forward into the future. I notice a bracelet he was wearing which was very appealing and well made. It was a chain of small enamel Kisshoki 15mm x10mm each. It was unique and showing Japanese patriotism. I wonder if all diplomate wear this bracelet ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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