By Mei Jingya, Sina English
In an article published Monday in the monthly Bungei Shunju magazine, Liberal Democratic Party president Shinzo Abe slammed the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) for its "diplomatic failure” on handling territorial disputes with neighbors.
Elaborating on his policy on China, Abe said he would not go into war with China and hopes to build a “strategic and mutually beneficial relationship” with Beijing while stressing his call for enhanced maritime defense.
Japan’s public opinion favors the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to win the lower house election to be held on Sunday. And LDP head Shinze Abe is naturally expected to become the next prime minister.
On Monday, the leading Bungei Shunju magazine published an article by Abe, titled “Toward a new nation”, which outlined his foreign policy as well as goal to boost the stagnant economy.
Abe highlighted Japan’s disputes with China, S.Korea and Russia, which, according to him, speak loud of the ruling DPJ’s diplomatic failure in the past three years while it is in power.
Writing of the disputes over the Diaoyu Islands, Takeshima (known as Dokdo in S.Korea), and the Northern Territories (Russians call Kurils), Abe noted that Japan maintained peaceful relations with the three countries under LDP’s rule. But when the DPJ came into power, Russian and S.Korean leaders landed on the islands one after another and there have been more incidents of Chinese surveillance ships "violating Japan's territorial waters."
Abe said he is wary of China over the Diaoyu Island issue: “I am afraid some day, Chinese warships “entering Japanese waters” would surpass that of Japan. Then, China will probably declare to the world the islands are under their control. Or it may not rob us of the islands, but China could compromise a little and call for joint administration for the purpose of co-development.
In order to prevent this scenario from happening, Japan needs to deal with Chinese ships by legal means. In addition, we must increase defense budget and send used SDF warships for sea patrol.”
However, he added that he would not let the situation escalate.
“DPJ politicians are trying to smear me, claiming war would erupt between Japan and China once I become the prime minister. This is an over-stretched concern. Don’t forget that when I was in power, China was the destination of my first official visit. To start fresh, Chinese leaders and I agreed on an understanding to build 'strategic and mutually beneficial relations'… Both countries must insist on the common understanding and use it as a criterion to solve political disputes,” Abe wrote.
He further added that Japan and China are separated by a sea border and naturally, conflicts may occur from time to time since both have interests here. But the two countries are dependent on each other economically. Japanese businesses gain from investments in China, which in turn provide more than 1o million jobs for Chinese people.