China-Japan dispute has a harsh history

  • Article by: John Ho
  • Updated: December 2, 2013 - 6:15 PM

Japan’s unacknowledged atrocities left China with wounds and a resolve not to be bullied.

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ruphinaDec. 2, 13 7:00 PM

Does the writer understand that it is not about the islands, but rather the sea and air control the owner can claim? If you look at Google satellite, it is very clear that the islands themselves are part of the ridge forming the Japanese islands, NOT mainland Asia. That is why I believe we and Russia should participate in a little nuclear arms reduction by blowing them off the map completely so the whole surrounding area is open sea and international air and water. Bill G.

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timwardDec. 2, 13 7:08 PM

I generally agree with the position of this article. However, I believe Admiral Zheng He created 16 new tributary states and reinforced existing tributary relationships. This power projection was not the same as colonization, but it was not as kind as the author presents it. The article stands without this historical evidence.

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hounanDec. 2, 13 8:05 PM

Why don't they just give it to Taiwan and call it a day?

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edinawaterDec. 2, 13 8:46 PM

Here are some facts left out of the article. At the end of World War II land that Japan had captured from China was returned to them. The three disputed islands were controlled by the US at the end of World War II. No one had any concerns about that until 1969 when potential oil and gas reserves were discovered in the vicinity. In 1972, the US handed control of the islands back to Japan.

At the end of World War II control of Taiwan shifted from Japan back to China. In 1949, the Chinese civil war came to an end when the rulers of China (the Republic of China) fled to Taiwan while revolutionaries took control of the mainland. From 1949 to the present Taiwan has functioned as a de facto independent nation yet China claims they control it (through the 1980's Taiwan claimed to control China).

Whatever the case, mainland China has no right to any territory the revolutionaries did not take control of in 1949.

If anyone has grounds to challenge ownership of the islands it would be the Republic of China (Taiwan). And in fact Taiwan does claim ownership.

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stpaulisbestDec. 2, 13 9:33 PM

This is more than funny. So the empress of China grants islands she doesn't own to a guy who never goes to them and that somehow legitimizes China's claim? No. China is claiming the islands only now because there is likely to be oil in the area around the islands. Just like two other island groups that China is claiming that the writer conveniently overlooks. Both the Paracels and the Spratlys are uninhabited island groups to which at least two other countries have better claim than China. But China has now also claimed them. Why? Because they very likely have oil. And that's what this is all about. Japan committed horrible atrocities before and during WWII. Worse than most Americans know. but that doesn't make these islands part of China.

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chuckdancerDec. 3, 13 7:21 AM

Biggest whopper of all: ..."Today, Japan has the world’s fifth-largest military budget as its imperial ambition is on the march again"..

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mnanimatorDec. 3, 13 9:05 AM

Ahhh. If only history were as simple as that, Mr. Ho.

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csjohnDec. 3, 13 9:06 AM

chuck dancer: not a whopper at all. Check your facts, easy to do. Google rank of japan's military budget and learn.

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nearasfarDec. 3, 13 9:48 AM

Ah yes, China is not the country showing its imperial muscle (or desire for rich gas fields near the disputed islands), it's Japan! Of course, I get it, China's expansion into Vietnam in 1974 and again into the Spratlys Islands in 1988 was simply Vietnam gifting its oil and fishing rights to China. Now if anyone believes that let's take a look at China's claims for the Philippines' resource rich islands and their desire for fishing rights and control of maritime traffic in the West Philippine Sea. Not too long ago Tibet or East Turkistan were not part of China, but they are now.

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ClewinDec. 3, 1310:08 AM

Japan's military budget may be #5, but China's is #2 and China spends 100 billion more on military than Japan. In fact China's purchasing power parity (basically, common currency equivalent) is 5x that of Japan. Also Japan's military budget has been static for the past 11 years while China's has exponentially increased (but kept largely lockstep to about 2% of GDP). In fact, Japan has proposed increasing military spending for the first time in years because of this crisis. This clearly suggests China has far more imperialistic goals if you use military spending as a basis.

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