US pressures Japan on Senkaku Islands

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Yusuf, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Last month U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made headlines and won high praise for mediating between Israel and the Palestinians, and restarting the perennially start-stop “Middle East peace process.” Then, Kerry boarded Air Force One and jetted to Brunei to catch the last day of the ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, Korea) meeting.


    Stephen Harner
    For the world’s media, Kerry’s Middle East diplomacy was of major, possibly historic, geopolitical significance. By contrast, Kerry’s attendance at the ASEAN+3 meeting, and the U.S. diplomacy in Asia, was an unimportant sideshow.

    But the media had it exactly wrong. For fundamental U.S. interests, whether progress is achieved in the Middle East, or the talks eventually stall, is of trivial importance.

    Of profound importance and potentially grave threat to U.S. interests is the dynamic that dominated the ASEAN+3 meeting. That was the complete breakdown in the top-level official contacts between China and Japan’s Abe Shinzo-led government.

    As the June 7-9 Sunnylands Summit affirmed, the economic, political, and security relationship between the United States and China will be the most fateful and potentially beneficial for both countries during this century.

    Under the U.S.-Japan alliance, a legacy of WWII and the Cold War, Japan is effectively a security protectorate of the United States, as well as the main platform for U.S. force deployments in Asia. Japan’s foreign relations, and particularly territorial disputes, have potentially dangerous derivative risks for the United States.

    Today, no global conflict presents for the United States more potential long-term danger than the dispute between Japan and China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. It is imperative that the Obama administration engages both China and, particularly its client, Japan, to seek a resolution of this dispute.

    The Japanese press reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping told President Obama at the Sunnylands Summit that the Diaoyu islands are among China’s “core territorial interests”--i.e., on the same level as Taiwan and Tibet. Xi’s confirmation was the fillip necessary to end the Obama administration’s inertia and for the State Department to begin putting pressure on Japan to resolve the dispute.

    On June 25, former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage and Harvard professor Joseph S. Nye, in the company of John J. Hamre, called on Japanese Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo. Former Japanese diplomat Amaki Naoto writes that these men surely conveyed to Abe the great dissatisfaction in Washington, D.C. with his nationalistic stances on war history. I believe that they would also have counseled him that the Obama administration expects Japan to go “more than half way” in meeting Chinese demands to resolve (or, at minimum “reshelve”) the Senkaku/Diaoyu island dispute.

    China, as we might expect, is setting conditions for holding top-level talks with Japan over the territorial dispute. On June 30 Prime Minister Abe complained publicly about China’s conditions that would include, but certainly not be limited to, Japan abandoning its fanciful stance that Japan’s claim is undisputed.

    The June 27-July 2 ASEAN + 3 meeting passed with China’s foreign minister Wang Yi refusing a bi-lateral meeting with Japan’s foreign minister Kishida Fumio. (This follows rejection by President Obama of a meeting with PM Abe during the G8 meeting in Northern Ireland, held a week after the Sunnylands Summit.)

    Abe’s complaints about China’s conditions surely reflect pressure being felt also from Washington, D.C. Very likely, U.S. Secretary of State Kerry delivered more pressure in meetings with his Japanese counterpart on the sidelines of the ASEAN + 3 meeting.

    Amaki writes that Abe is close to being unofficially designated “persona non grata” in Washington, D.C. for his nationalist stances and pandering to right-wing groups. He is being told by U.S. diplomats to desist from using such stances to gain support in the July 21 Diet upper house elections.

    It has been taken for granted that serious Japan-China negotiations on the Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute would be delayed until after the Diet election. It seems now certain that Abe’s coalition will gain at least a majority, if not two-thirds, of upper house Diet seats. With his political back thus protected, he will have ample flexibility to seek rapprochement with China.

    But Japan-China rapprochement will not be easily accomplished. And it will not be based on a simple return to the status quo ante, either of Japan-China relations, or of Japan-U.S. relations, or of U.S.-China relations.

    The fundamental cause of the dangerous geopolitical instability in East Asia--of which the Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute is product--is the United States hegemonic post-WWII, Cold War military/strategic order. The main element of this order is the U.S.-Japan “alliance” and U.S. forces based in Japan. A secondary element is U.S. military forces in South Korea.

    A new, stable East Asian order will not be possible until the U.S. withdraws most of its forward strategic power from the region, greatly downgrades or abrogates the U.S.-Japan alliance, and agrees to follow China’s lead in resolving many regional problems, including Korean Peninsular denuclearization.

    Progress toward such a new order was begun at the Sunnylands Summit. It should and, I believe, gain momentum during the next four years. Japanese Prime Minister Abe is certain to be feeling more pressure from both Beijing and Washington in the months ahead.

    Stephen M. Harner has been a U.S. Foreign Service Office, banker, and consultant based China and Japan since 1975. He is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

    http://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign...pressuring-japan-to-concede-on-senkakydiaoyu/
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Another obama foreign policy failure to an already long list.
     
  4. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    As I have held all along, Japan is in no position to counter Chinese designs as long as US keeps two-timing Japan with China. It has been official since early 1970's.

    In other words, as long as Democrats are the helm in US, American support for Japan would continue to be token, patchy & half-hearted, if at all. Truth is, US (read, Pentagon affiliated think-tanks) still consider Japan to be a potentially grave threat (more than a tamed Germany).

    So, any resurgence of nationalistic sentiment in Japan is viewed with concern, marked by trepidation & a sense of foreboding by Japan observers in US.

    While the US is unlikely to let loose its leash on the Japanese for multiple reasons, China, carousing in full knowledge of this very fact would keep on testing Japanese resolve from time to time.

    Anyway, PRC's ever-growing list of core interests & increasingly delicate sensitivities has already placed it in confrontation with multiple power-centres.

    Looks like someone is repeating the mistake Germans did pre-1939. Developments in this region seem quite redolent of Western Appeasement of an increasingly hostile industrial power, unheeded clamour for succor by bit players, the alarmed big players listening & preparing for contingencies, etc.

    Lets see how long can the nuke-factor forestall the watershed movement for everyone.
     
    LETHALFORCE likes this.
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The US is sending mixed signals it appears.
     
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  6. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    So, Japan need the support of US to counter Chinese. Then Japan have to understand US needs to put US interest before Japan!

    There is no difference between Democrats and Republics on the control of Japan because they all fought Japanese in Pacific oceans. And it would be natural to think that way after you throw 2 atomic bombs in Japan. Just rember an US navy officer once told Chinese delegation:"We are doing everyone a favor by putting that crazy dog under the chain!"

    Because Japanese nationalisem has the same ultimate goal as Chinese: push US out of asia!

    When power balance is moving, you can expect everything will remains the same!

    No, China is challenging only one power-centre-US in its own neighbourhood. The others are not power-centres, including india!

    Oh, you can say that someone is trying to re-build the strategic balance before 1840s which was lasting for more than 1000 years.

    There is no nuke-factor involved here:
    Chinese plan is to win without fighting a war!
    US doesn't want to have a war with China because they worry they may be exhausted by the war against major power.
    Japan can't afford a war!
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    US' need is to remain the dominant power in the world, and that is being challenged by China.

    There are no powers challenging in the Atlantic seaboard.

    Therefore, domination of the Pacific remains a high priority for the US.
     
  8. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

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    Everything is leading up to Japan eventually moving away from the US and a more independent and self reliant foreign/defence policy. Perhaps they might even consider going nuclear considering the threat China is.

    Interesting tidbit from Wiki(Treaty of San Francisco):

     
  9. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    @no smoking

    Would look at your post & reply in a few hours. Going out now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  10. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    its critical not to push both side too hard. there is a red line that neither china/japan/US should cross, doing so could start a war over some non-inhabitted rock. we don't want to say the island is japan, doing so might make japan much bolder at the claim, the balance is delicated. hopefully both will back off a bit, and negoiated a common ground so both can share the resource and access to the disputed area.
     
  11. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    No one wants the war for the time being! But the question is what will happen in the future. The current trend is US & Japan's advantage is declining relatively. So, with Chinese is rising, Japanese may worry if China still wants to share the resources with her or if US is willing to provide unconditional support in her conflict with China when their military edge in this area disappears!
     

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