By Li Hongmei, Special to Sina English
While the current conflict between Japan and China shows no signs of reaching an end, and many are pondering over its possible consequences, most analysts do not foresee the trouble spiraling into a military conflict. Instead they predict a renewed rapprochement between Japan and the United States along with the deteriorating relations and the freezing cultural or economic agreements with China.
This will, most probably, not bode well for Japan because, for the last decade, Japanese authorities have been trying to diversify its foreign policy to engage Asia and to eliminate American influence.
A restructuring of international relations is under way in the region now. This is primarily to do with the notable rise of China. Meanwhile, South Korea is also gaining more leverage in the region. Generally, China and South Korea are on the rise, whilst Japan is weakening. The time when Japan was regarded the region’s leader, and an example for other countries, is over. Thus, the unfurled territorial issue is only a tip of the iceberg, which may indicate a new balance is coming into being.
Viewed from economic perspective, the islands dispute between China and Japan may impede the world’s economic recovery. That is the opinion of analysts at Morgan Stanley, who have downgraded their global GDP growth forecast for 2012 and 2013 as a result of this conflict.
But the deterioration in trade and economic relations may result in much more serious economic consequences for Japan than for China: China is the key market for Japanese goods and under the conditions of a growing conflict it is difficult to develop economic cooperation. It is unlikely that Chinese consumers will refuse Japanese cars; however, Japanese business is already calculating its losses after a wave of pogroms and production stoppages.
In a long run, Sino-Japanese relations are crucial not only for the region, as both are playing visible roles on the world arena, assuming shared international responsibilities and facing common challenges. More often than not, a wound that hurts one will hurt both.
As for Japan, it should take into account the changing landscape and stand up to the changed reality.
It will be a grave hazard not only posed to the nation but to the region and even the entire world that Japan is retracing its way to the extremist past, anxious to clinch a deal of the islands betraying its mindset.
By Yuan Yue,Sina English
The illusion of “Beijing-Seoul forging a united front against Japan” is fraying the nerves of the Japanese politicians and media, in a time when Tokyo is torn in disputes both with China and South Korea.
The logic might go like this: Enemy’s enemy is friend.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun held consultations regarding the Diaoyu Islands in Beijing on Tuesday with the visiting Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai, who is the highest-ranking Japanese official to visit China since the Japan's "nationalization" enraged the Chinese government. The majority of Japanese media, however, describe the consultation as "futile".
Yonhap reports that Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met his South Korean counterpart Kim Sung-Hwan on September 24 in the UN headquarters in New York, a day before the 67th UN General Assembly, and exchanged views over the Korean Peninsula situation and the historical problems concerning Northeast Asia.
The two ministers "arrived at a consensus about bringing related countries to establish correct conception of history, and about maintaining order in northeast Asia," report says.
This is indicating South Korea and China's suggestion that if Japan were to lay inappropriate claims in the UN General Assembly based on incorrect historical perspective, the two countries may join efforts in opposition to it, the report interprets.
Meanwhile, TV Asahi Japan alleged on September 25, with huge anxiety, that "the Foreign Ministers in China and South Korea have agreed to stand up against Japan. They are planning to combine the territorial disputes with historical issues, and to ratchet up pressure on Tokyo together."Full story