By Liu Jiangyong (People's Daily Overseas Edition)
Nearly 80-year-old Shintaro Ishihara, the governor of Tokyo, said in the United States that the Tokyo metropolitan government would purchase some islets of the Diaoyu Islands. Shintaro certainly has some special political motives to make such defiant and extreme remarks when China and Japan usher in the 40th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral diplomatic relations.
Firstly, he wants to damage the Sino-Japanese relations with extreme remarks. Shintaro once was the backbone of Seirankai or "Blue Storm Group," a group of right-wing members of Parliament in Japan that tried hard to thwart the normalization of Sino-Japanese relations 40 years ago. Today, he is a high-profile supporter of the mayor of Nagoya who denied the fact of Nanjing Massacre. His remarks to buy the islets of the Diaoyu Islands are consistent with his acts 40 years ago.
Secondly, he hopes to indirectly disturb the Sino-Japanese relations through pressuring on the Japanese government. In fact, Shintaro wants to prod the Japanese government to take hardliner position on the Diaoyu Islands issue in an attempt to worsen and disturb the relations between China and Japan.
Thirdly, he hopes to stir up the nationalism in Japan and please the public, helping the right-wing force to snatch the political power.
Fourthly, he caters to the United States' strategy of returning to Asia and hopes to ally the United States against China through hyping the "China threat theory." Shintaro made statement of buying the Diaoyu Islands in the United States, aiming at dragging the United States into the Diaoyu Islands dispute between China and Japan so that the Japanese right-wing force would make profit from the antagonism between China and the United States.
Shintaro's statement of buying the Diaoyu Islands made the Japanese authority feel embarrassed. It will be very dangerous once the Diaoyu Islands issue becomes a hot topic and influences the election campaign in the context of forthcoming elections in Japan in 2012 and in 2013. Shintaro and his right-wing force will continue to talk a lot of nonsense irresponsibly and the Japanese ruling party will be more passive and beset with difficulties both at home and abroad.
However, it cannot change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belongs to China no matter what happens in Japan.
(Edited and translated by People's Daily Online)