politics

Kishida calls for summits with China, S Korea

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Kishida's calls just add pressure on Abe, making him look increasingly incapable in world politics. Won't actually achieve any dialog of course.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Well of course he's not going to get anywhere; what does Japan expect when Abe has spent so much of his premiership making calculated moves to antagonise Korea and China? Both countries rightly perceive that Abe is pushing an aggressive, unccoperative foreign policy which includes Japanese remilitarisation, and a hostile diplomatic environment just helps him to do that.

Abe is fully aware of how visiting Yasukuni Shrine and making denialist statements on Japan's wartime atrocities reflects on the country in the eyes of Korea and China. Any diplomatic sense would have told him that if he wanted constructive dialogue, that was a terrible foot to start off on. Add in that he's calling for negotiations on issues such as the Senkaku/Diaoyu and Dokdo islands while saying that there is nothing to negotiate, because self-evidently they belong to Japan.

If China and Korea were to agree to a summit, it would be seen as a victory for Abe and a show that Japan can get away with whatever it likes. Both countries' leaders would be fools to agree to a summit unless Japan makes some conciliatory moves of its own.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

He can "call" all he wants. Japan needs to take the first steps - to meet China and South Korea halfway. Promising never again to visit Yasukuni shrine, and compensating wartime sex slaves would be a tremendous start

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Japan is the only one of the three countries actually behaving like a rational mature country. Any adult knows that differences can only be resolved through communication. To deny communication to take place, as China and South Korea are doing, is simply childish and perpetuates disagreements.

aussie-musashiJan. 18, 2014 - 09:45AM JST He can "call" all he wants. Japan needs to take the first steps - to meet China and South Korea halfway.

He already has by offering to have talks.

Promising never again to visit Yasukuni shrine,

LOL. Promising not to go visit a place in your own country? Even China and South Korea haven't made such a stupid demand.

and compensating wartime sex slaves would be a tremendous start

Korean individuals, including of course military prostitutes, who suffered under Japanese rule were compensated in the 1965 Treaty signed by the South Korean government. That hey failed to distribute the money to the victims is hardly Japan's problem.

-1 ( +5 / -7 )

Here we go again, Japanese government fanning the flames again. By tomorrow, Japan government will say something completely contradictory or they'll make another move that runs contrary to what they say they want. Can't they just leave it alone? If Japan really want to mend fences, just remain silent and do nothing because only time may heal - that is if Japan doesn't say something stupid or do something else again to stir up the hornet's nest.

-2 ( +7 / -8 )

These Japanese clowns never fail to amaze. First they step on other people's toes and instead of apologizing insist on talking. There is no point for any talks when the perpetrator has no credibility; is dishonest and cannot be trusted. They might as well continue talking to themselves which is what they have been doing all along.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Promising not to go visit a place in your own country?

Yasukuni shrine enshrines convicted war criminals, hardly making it a normal memorial place. Japan can bleat all it wants about the 1965 treaty. It could even escape the burden of compensation if it simply acknowledged once and for all that the women were "sex slaves". Abe could lead the way. A simple statement like that would do wonders
-4 ( +2 / -6 )

aussie-musashiJan. 18, 2014 - 10:26AM JST "Promising not to go visit a place in your own country? > Yasukuni shrine enshrines convicted war criminals, hardly making it a normal memorial

Really? The Class-A War Criminals were enshrined in 1978. Japanese PMs made 20 visits to the shrine before China ever said anything in 1985. Why is that?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

"Promising not to go visit a place in your own country?"

So then don't complain if Korea's president visits Dokdo islands, eh?

"Japanese PMs made 20 visits to the shrine before China ever said anything in 1985. Why is that?"

So maybe the Chinese had other things to worry about, so what? That makes it right? What's the statute of limitations on massacres?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Abe would also do well to acknowledge coercion of the sex slaves. That would be more effective than any compensation money ever would

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

make efforts to solve them, shouldn’t they?

Abe is the chairman of the Shinto Political Alliance Diet Member's Roundtable, which seeks a greater role for Shinto in politics. Yasukuni was long the spiritual center for State Shinto, the consolidating rationale for Japan's chauvinistic expansion across Asia and anti-democratic policies at home. So when Abe visits Yasukuni, his claim that he is merely praying for peace is entirely disingenuous. The Chinese know it, but unfortunately much of the Japanese populace (as well as much of the West) doesn't.

Abe's calls for dialog look admirable only to people who don't know his true colors.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The fact that Abe's approval rating has grown reflects Japanese public opinion has shifted to right, more aggressive internationally. This trend will continue as long as U.S. meddling in disputes among the three countries. Japan's diplomatic policy has never been consistent and independent, it boils down to how U.S. - China relation shifts. The current administration admitted that Japan plays as an extension of U.S. instead of an independent country. Why should China and S. Korea talk with Japan if the later considers itself a non-Asian entity? Wasting no time, both S. Korea and China should directly talk with Washington, Japan's master.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

North Korea has been calling on South Korea for talks for weeks now (while they develop nuclear weapons and keep threatening to lay waste to Seoul in sea of fire, but who notices these right?) . South Korea has all but ignored North Korea and keeps telling them there will be no talks until you guys show us concrete conciliatory steps to talks. The situation is exactly the same with Japan, vis a vie South Korea. South Korea will keep on ignoring Japan until Japan shows that they really want to mend fences. But just today, North Korea has shown that they maybe ahead of Japan in some ways in conciliatory gestures. North Korea announced today that they will unilaterally suggest a peaceful solution to the conflict with South Korea, as gesture of good will. Of course, most South Koreans think this is a joke of some kind, but who knows? If Japan is really that desperate to hold meetings with her neighbours, then why not Japan do the same as what North Korea says they'll do? Japan, make the first move.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

aussie-musashiJan. 18, 2014 - 10:55AM JST Abe would also do well to acknowledge coercion of the sex slaves. That would be more effective than any >compensation money ever would

Perhaps if those who claimed they were all coerced presented irrefutable evidence then maybe it might happen. However to date the only proven case of coercion involved women in Dutch Indonesia and that issue was prosecuted and tried at the Tokyo Trials.South Korea which has been the most vocal on the comfort women issue has not presented any evidence other than testimony, which even under an investigation conducted in South Korea proved unreliable. Objective scholars are aware that the recruitment system was open, that a great number of women had been sold by their families to settle debts, a practice that existed in both Korea and Japan at the time, and some were mislead.deceived by Korean recruiters who worked to supply the Japanese military. So why should he acknowledge that ALL were coerced when no one has been able t substantiate this? Japan has made compensation in 1965 and the Kono Statement expressed an apology.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Japan, make the first move.

Yes, I agree with this one. They should enact a law making it a crime to deny the Nanking massacre and coercion of sex slaves. That would put inept politicians like Ishihara, Hashimoto and Abe in their place while sending the right message to the rest of the world. Japan already has an information protection law, making it a crime to leak "secrets". They may as well have a ban on denialist statements as well

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The US Congress passed the "Comfort Women" bill yesterday, Ossan. The Japanese government was much chagrined, horrified. The Japanese government officials also tried to meet with city of Glendale officials to try to convince them to tear down the Comfort women memorial, but the officials told the Japanese delegation, we're not going to meet with you nor talk to you so please go away. Most countries don't buy the Japanese revisionist history, and Japanese flying around the world everywhere and trying to convince the world that the world is wrong when it comes to WWII history, is not going to help in getting a meeting with South Korea, not to mention China. Because you see, actions count more than empty words.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

On the need for dialog, it's useful to realize that China and SK are not under much pressure. China and Korea are not bothered so much by the worsening relationship with Japan as Japan is. Japan wants to become a "normal" country, a reasonable enough aspiration for any country, but Abe's been doing it in a way that consistently upsets China and SK (and other countries in Asia, who dare not to speak up.)

So Japan suffers a great deal of pressure from the Americans to make up with China and Korea. In contrast, although Korea also gets advice from US to make up with Japan, it is not under great pressure to do so. SK feels reasonably comfortable in the region. It doesn't fear China so much, and on the NK matter they don't need the US as much as they need China. So American's cannot really apply effective pressure on SK.

So Japan alone is under the most pressure. Of course most of that pressure falls on the PM himself. He got too many things happening that have tangled up. At this point a very courageous political move is required.

Given Abe's personality (as explained by his wife), it's unlikely he can take a really courageous move. So, he may prove to be yet another short lived Japanese PM.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

slowguy2Jan. 18, 2014 - 10:39AM JST "Promising not to go visit a place in your own country?"

So then don't complain if Korea's president visits Dokdo islands, eh?

Takeshima/Dokdo is a disputed island. Is some country claiming the Yasukuni Shrine as theirs?

"Japanese PMs made 20 visits to the shrine before China ever said anything in 1985. Why is that?"

So maybe the Chinese had other things to worry about, so what?

It exposes the fact that whining about the Shrine was something that was thought up and implemented by Chinas as a political and diplomatic tool well after the Class-A criminals were enshrined.

That makes it right? What's the statute of limitations on massacres?

If we go by Tiananmen Square and Chinese law, about a year. "The Communist Party of China (CPC) forbids discussion of the Tiananmen Square protests,[197] and has taken measures to block or censor information. Textbooks have little, if any, information related to the protests.[198] Following the protests, officials banned controversial films and books, and shut down a large number of newspapers. Within a year, 12 percent of all newspapers, 8 percent of publishing companies, 13 percent of social science periodicals and more than 150 films were banned or shut down. In addition, the government also announced it had seized 32 million contraband books and 2.4 million video and audio cassettes.[199] Access to media and internet resources on the subject are restricted or blocked by censors.[200]"

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The fact that the Chinese pay or may not have said anything before 1985 doesn`t make it right for Japanese leaders to insult Chinese and South Koreans by visiting Yasukuni, which enshrines war criminals

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@Well Said

The fact that Abe's approval rating has grown reflects Japanese public opinion has shifted to right, more aggressive internationally. This trend will continue as long as U.S. meddling in disputes among the three countries.

No. The fact that Abe's approval rating has grown reflects a temporary optimisim with regards to Japan's economic future and Abenomics. This trend will continue until the tiny bubble he is creating bursts with a tiny pop, and we find ourselves worse off than before.

Ordinary folk couldn't give a monkey's about international relations....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@lubracasi: Yes with your latter point, therein lies the rub

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

aussie-musashiJan. 18, 2014 - 12:48PM JST The fact that the Chinese pay or may not have said anything before 1985 doesn`t make it right for Japanese leaders >to insult Chinese and South Koreans by visiting Yasukuni, which enshrines war criminals

Japanese leaders, apart from having very right to visit any shrine in their own country, are going and praying for peace, and are not insulting Chinese and South Koreans. It is these two countries who are merely claiming to be insulted as a diplomatic weapon. That neither China nor South Korea said nothing until 1985 is proof that the enshrinement of the Class-A war criminals is not the real issue. If it were, they would have complained in 1978.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Kishida, leave them along. They don’t want to deal the people who downplays war crimes. Stop whining and move on.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Japanese leaders, apart from having very right to visit any shrine in their own country, are going and praying for peace, and are not insulting Chinese and South Koreans. It is these two countries who are merely claiming to be insulted as a diplomatic weapon.

If that's the attitude of Japan, then there is really no point in this meaningless talks that Japan keeps on calling for, is there? Why is Japan complaining all the time? Japan can do as they please, just don't expect any meetings. Well maybe if Japan holds its breath until turning blue may change Korea and China's minds.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@ossan america. Doesnt matter what date they started complaining. The war criminals shouldnt be enshrined there, period

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Why is Japan complaining all the time?

If I remember well it's South Korea complaining every time about Japan. Korean president going to Europe talkning about Japan (no one really cares about Korean and Japan relations there) or Chinese going to Africa talking about Nanking and Japanese (no one really cares as well).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

aussie-musashiJan. 18, 2014 - 02:30PM JST @ossan america. Doesnt matter what date they started complaining. The war criminals shouldnt be enshrined there, >period

Why not? How many Chinese or South Korean people are getting injured by it? What Chinese or South Korean territory is being taken by Japan because of it? How does their enshrinement increase the risk of war and conflict in the region? Seems to me that China's military and territorial expansion and South Korea's anti-Japan policy are doing far more to destabilize the region than some dead peoples names written somewhere.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

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