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China grows more wary about Abe

by Takuya Karube

Kyodo

China is apprehensive about Japan becoming more nationalistic after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition scored a comfortable win in Sunday’s Upper House election, giving the ruling bloc control of both Diet chambers for the first time in six years.

Chinese media and some experts expressed concern that the already strained bilateral relationship could unravel further and said they will be closely watching Abe in the days ahead for signs of whether he will moderate or toughen his already hard-line stance.

“It’s none of China’s business whether Japan has a stable government or not,” said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China. “As long as Prime Minister Abe is in power, it will be difficult for the two countries to find ways in the near future to improve diplomatic ties.”

China views Japanese politics as having shifted to the right since Abe returned as prime minister in December.

“The election win will allow Abe to push forward his agenda to revive Japan’s economy and paves the way for his long-sought pursuit of revising the country’s pacifist Constitution, a move that would further complicate Tokyo’s relations with its neighbors,” China’s state-owned Global Times said Monday in a front-page story.

Beyond the friction growing out of the Senkaku Islands dispute, China has been irked by Abe’s major goal of relaxing the Constitution’s war-renouncing Article 9 to allow a full military, as well as his repeated comments suggesting he is unapologetic about Japan’s wartime aggression.

Shi said there are increasing worries that the big win in the Upper House election will make Abe and his backers in the LDP more confident in pursuing a nationalistic agenda. A more muscular push to amend the Constitution would have “repercussions on relations with China and South Korea,” which is embroiled in a territorial dispute of its own with Japan, he said.

Shi believes that the time is far from ripe for China and Japan to arrange a meeting between their top leaders later this year on the sidelines of multilateral gatherings.

“To have a summit meeting, both sides need to have some tangible achievements that can be explained to their own people, but the current situation is not like that,” he said, mainly citing the Senkaku dispute.

Liu Jiangyong, vice dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing, expects momentum for Abe to rewrite the Constitution will build, given that not only is there “no real opposition party any more, but also that many opposition lawmakers are now right-leaning.”

“As foreign policy is an extension of domestic policies, I am concerned that repairing bilateral relations will be harder,” Liu said, adding that he will be paying close attention to what kind of role New Komeito, which has maintained a friendly relationship with China and is cautious about revising the Constitution, will play in the administration.

Liu also believes that the United States is frustrated by Japan’s frayed relations with China and South Korea.

“There is a possibility that Mr. Abe will not listen to what the United States has to say” now that the election is over, though the LDP constantly criticized the previous administration headed by the Democratic Party of Japan for its “diplomatic failures,” such as weakening the security alliance with Washington, Liu said.

  • AC

    It is good that Abe won the upper house for he will stop what’s China doing in intruding other country’s sovereignty that China using force and coercion on that issue. Oh hail PM Abe!!

  • JimmyJM

    China can assume some of the blame for Japan’s veering off to the right. China’s aggressive tactics in laying claims to territory throughout Asia has alarmed many people here. No country’s populace likes seeing another country’s ships in its territorial waters and right wing calls for aggressive action in response are more likely to be encouraged when that type of aggression occurs. So voters who, before Chinese imperialism became flagrant, were rather liberal in their views now see a need for a more right wing government. If China continues these tactics, the Japanese government could get more support from the people to rewrite the constitution. And that in turn, could lead to a more militaristic government. I hope this doesn’t happen but every time a Chinese ship sails into the waters near the Senkakus, otherwise liberal Japanese feel threatened and turn to the right.-JJM

  • http://ameblo.jp/cluttered-talk/ Michiko

    If there’s Kakuei Tanaka alive and well, as long as he’s a man who made promises between Zhou Enlai, there has been no territorial dispute with China, or major resurging of the Cult of Yasukuni, since there’s few reason for our piliticians to go worshipping the place which cooperated the war as an accomplice, upon the Communique which declares our full resposibility of the aggression and war.
    At least if he could have lasted little long, so as Masayoshi Ohira.
    There might be no need for Osprey if there was no territorial dispute.
    There might be no fear for going down of Osprey either.
    There might be no need for spending more money to afford Osprey or drones to be an equipment of Jieitai.
    There might be no need for selling nuclear merchandise to far abroad either, as long as it’s convenient and reasonable to deal with China, a most close, and vast, populated country which planning to dig a 123km tunnel under Bohai sea.
    There might be no fear for getting hated from Chinese people, or despised by other foreign people.
    There might be no Abe to be our PM if there was no territorial dispute, as long as this sick resigned man, had no available card without exaggerating a threat from abroad.
    It might be getting better with a negotiation between North Korea, or relationship with South Korea, if the one between China was going well.
    There might be no dead supposed to, on the area either.
    There might be no worry about our next time seceding from UN.

  • disqus_m9QKlBe6Ns

    China appears as a pacifists in words, but a bully in their actions in the South China Sea. When you put pressure on a nation by slowly bullying your way into their territory what do you expect them to do? These bullied countries will realize that they need to do something and in the meantime china will try to convince them otherwise that bilateral dialogue is the way to go, China will try and project themselves as pacifists in dealing with territorial disputes, resorting to so-called bilateral dialogues, but behind the scenes are acting slowly but with purpose to claim areas that it will soon populate with their civilians. If japan returns to its militaristic past, China will blame no one else but itself.

    • http://ameblo.jp/cluttered-talk/ Michiko

      Hi there, or having unspecific HN person. I’m a Japanese citizen, not going to lose to anyone in my own language, but never mind, nice to meet you.
      “If japan returns to its militaristic past, China will blame no one else but itself”, no I totally don’t agree.
      If we’re going to be like that, it’s our coming, for spoiling education of history, or human rights, flushing every bad memories into the water, can’t be justified even if there was no intent of evil, it just belongs to our own responsibility.
      No excuse can be available.
      That’s what I think as a Japanese.
      How can we make a complaint with tears as “Mom, China is bullying us” no way, breaching a diplomatic promise, pretending not to remember, saying which promise is not existed in the first place, being perky and rude to China, losing respect to the neighbor, eager to get along with countries but neighbors, just like circling China, then started accusing them after Chinese people have got angry.
      There’s no way but sitting on a table as long as there’s a dispute, nothing comes up from remaining in denial, even ambassador Niwa had severely warned before the naturalization, that requiring to talk it over.
      Our previous government or recent one both were not taking any rational way of management, to keep the relationships with Asian neighbors but flattering US.
      China, South Korea, both are not villains of Asia, or toward Japan, but old friends in need, or indeed.
      How can we Japanese blame China for our own problem.
      At least I CAN’T.

      • disqus_m9QKlBe6Ns

        I truly believe, like you, that dialogue is the way to go and that countries must exhaust this avenue no matter how long it takes because the alternative is never good. Having said that, however, dialogue between two or more countries must be done “on equal footing” and one country cannot “be dragged” into it because one country is using coercion and intimidation to force a “dialogue”. What China is doing in our part of the world (The Philippines) is exactly that: using coercion, force and bullying to bring force another party to bilateral talks. Bilateral talks between a more powerful country, that succeeded in forcing the dialogue and a small country with no defense against it, is a no-win situation for the smaller country. The Bigger country will always have the option of resorting to bullying if the dialogue doesn’t go its way. The only way to be on equal footing with the bigger country is to arm oneself and be prepared to defend its territory with sufficient force. No one wants wars or territorial disputes, but a country that does not honor another nations territorial integrity and insists on having a dialogue or else is a bully and one must stand up to bullies no matter what.

      • http://ameblo.jp/cluttered-talk/ Michiko

        Thank you for replying me, I’m going to talk to an unknown English native person for now.
        But one thing, I don’t think you’re a person fair enough.
        As for your point, I guess maybe it’s like this, “The world is all about strong and weak, there’s no decent dialogue happened when two contracting parties are quite not the same in their capabilities of force”, or “There’s no singularity or specific difference in Asian diplomacy nowadays anymore, they’re supposed to do the same as Westerners do”, “It’s not so important if there’s any promise breaching kind of thing existed between two contracting parties, it’s all about power”.
        I know a decent way to make up to China, just we’re going to be polite and honest, like 40 years ago, and review how it’s been far or wrong with our attitude comparing with one 40 years ago, for recent years.
        Consequently, so far I think it’s very hard for you and me to happen any worthy dialogue between us, I know why China’s doing this, or they have to.
        The one keeping refusing a negotiation, is very us Japan, after broke a promise, I wonder if it doesn’t matter to you.
        It’s going to mean “we gave it up” if they did nothing, first they called for a talk, and still do, then what Japan is doing for responding it, is just answering “There’s no territorial dispute, that’s all and enough”.
        It’s not only around a territorial issue we’ve been breaking the promise between China, but I’m not going to refer to it, maybe it means nothing to you either.
        If there’s something left to say, I wonder if you really think that there’s no progress to confirm about, but that power and power thing as always, that you’re believing in, in entire human history, or civilization.

      • disqus_m9QKlBe6Ns

        Well, this is an opinion and it seems to me you believe that the chinese can really sit down and talk to another country and have a compromise. In our case, if they came up with the dialogue first without the current “bullying and posturing” of ships and other maritime vessels in the area of contention, then they might have the dialogue that they want. But, as it stands they post their ships in the area of dispute first and then ask for a dialogue.

        Is this fair? Also, I was referring to my last post about our issue here in the philippines and not about your current situation there in japan. Maybe, as you suggested, you need to talk to a real native english speaker because it seems to me you don’t comprehend my posts and just insists on your own understanding that my posts is all about japan.

        China posts ships and other armed vessles in territories within the philippine’s area and then when we file a protest to the U.N. they insists that the only way to resolve the issue is thru bilateral-talks?

        Had they first suggested talks a long time ago, then this issue about bullying would not have been brought up. Heck, even the US Senate condemned this act of China as bullying. Please google about it…its not hard to do.

        Read first then comprehend. You need a lot of help.

      • http://ameblo.jp/cluttered-talk/ Michiko

        Thank you for replying me.
        Of course I’m not proud of my English skill, but it’s not what I’m ashamed of, since I’m proud of my language faculty on my own language.
        Not managing English as same as native people usually do, is not what un-native people have to be ashamed of.
        I assume, you suggested that you’re Filipino on your previous comment, not on your first reply, after you wrote “If japan returns to its militaristic past, China will blame no one else but itself” on your comment I responded.
        Which is not what I can afford of, since there’s a lot of things to cause our complicated circumstance of ourselves that you don’t know.
        Also I knew you refered to “Philippine” word “once”, yes I remember it, but it’s not meant for your nationality in my understanding, you never gave your nationality up with me, having said that, it’s fine if only you think it’s enough to do to “me”.
        What I undersand is you’re such a person, and it’s OK while we’re not going to be in touch, or you’re not going to bother me or relationships between Japan and China or South Korea.
        What I wanted you not to keep doing is, just “not refered to what Japan or Japanese could or would or should do like the first time you said, around a sensitive issue”, that’s what I meant at the first time, and I think which is not too much of me to ask for others, as Japanese.
        It’ll be glad if you spell “japan” to be “Japan” from next time, in any of your posts.
        As I’m not suggesting any of issues between The Philippines-China, I hope you’re going to make sure more carefully, when you’re going to refer to “what Japan or Japanese could or would or should do”, if there’s something not so appropriate with foreign people to say or not, and I’m not going to share with you or people of Philippines some “anti-China spirit”, also it seems that you might be the one who needs help more than me, thank you.

      • disqus_m9QKlBe6Ns

        I understand your concern about Japan (there, I made it “Japan” not japan so as not to hurt your feelings. Please don’t cry) becoming nationalistic and your desire for more dialogue as against resorting to the alternative.

        By the tone of your post, it seems to me you would rather that Japan remain neutral in all issues relating to territorial disputes for as long as your issue with China (or other country) is resolved and no threat comes to all your territories. As long as your territories are yours, you are in good terms with other countries then all is well for you. That is what I read from your post.

        I can’t understand though that your PM comes to the Philippines to discuss issues concerning China’s instrusion and to offer us 10 Coast Guard vessels to augment our capability.

        Is it just possible that for a nation be respected and met on equal terms by another country, you have to show you are willing to defend your territory when push comes to shove?

        Your country is already in that situation — you can defend yourself suffiiciently that another country might think twice of antagonizing you. You can now go into dialogue with another country in “equal terms”

        That I think is the mission of your PM to us — give us the means to be able to fend for ourselves so as to be in “equal terms” with another country.

        That is why when two countries on “equal terms” have issues they resort to dialogue and not intimidation.

      • http://ameblo.jp/cluttered-talk/ Michiko

        Thank you for your reply and spelling Japanese as I asked for.
        For reading my other posts as well.
        Maybe it’s not possible to tell you correctly about what has been happening in Japan, by my capability of English.
        “No threat comes to all your territories”, it’s “so far” correct.
        As for the situation between China, which is all about the “promise” of 41 years ago, and our attitude after broke the promise.
        China is doing something they have to respond what Japan does, which makes sense.
        For South Korea, they haven’t ever threatened with force to our mainland as well, or any Japanese life, and which rock is not worth to insist on to make trouble with them in the first place, as long as which is practically administered by South Korea for long time after the war of the Peninsula, and we were not going to take it back seriously till recent years.
        It’s fine if only fishing deals go fine with the rock.
        Rock is not worth to kill with each other.
        Japanese honor or dignity, which thing is no more existed since lost 68 years ago, and never ever come back, we don’t own such thing from the start of the post war age and there’s no need for us to have such one again, since which is not for use, but just bringing us harm as once before.
        Being eager to take back or keep up any rocks only for owning our
        Japanese ideal figure or honor or dignity, which is just rediculous, since which idea is not existed for our possesion from the start.
        Japanese honor or dignity, which might be at a place where far from force, or enthusing about keeping up rocks if I can find one.
        What our present PM is currently doing with your country, aiming to circle China, is not what I expected or support of, very deplorable.
        Japanese government shouldn’t have dragged other countries into our problem, which kind of demeanor is not allowed.
        We shouldn’t have intervened a relatonship or problem between your country and China, we had to stay out from you two as long as we’re not entitled to do so in the first place.
        By the way, I think Ruby Moreno would be most famous actress of who came from The Philippines in here, she’s got many prizes, not watched yet her movie which awarded, but I had watched her in a TV drama before, not sure if you knew it.

      • disqus_m9QKlBe6Ns

        Believe me when I say that we want no part of the encirclement of China. We don’t have the resources to do so; We also do not have the desire to be aggressors. What we NEED is to be able to defend ourselves sufficiently from external threats and for other countries to respect our sovereignty.

        In an ideal world where all nations adhere to rules of law and have signed and agreed to all UN agreements there would be no need to form Navies, Air Force and armaments whose only purpose is to subjugate and extend ones territory. One may form these defense capabilities for self-defense and preservation, but when your armaments are of such sophistication and magnitude that it can be used to subdue other nations then it becomes a threat whether you openly declare them to be so or sugar-coat it to mean “only for self-defense”.

        When another country signs and adheres to proper conduct in the dispute of territories then dialogue is the only way to go. Unfortunately there are those who still believe in the primal doctrine of “might is right” and if this is not corrected then freedom and goodwill among nations will always be threatened. Also a country cannot talk about “engaging in peaceful dialogue” but whose actions are the opposite, which is aggression and territorial expansion. One should walk the talk.

        As for Ruby Moreno, I recall hearing about her but I might be mistaken when I say that I don’t recall her being in one of our local movies or shows. I might be mistaken about this though. Its nice of you to tell me about her.

      • http://ameblo.jp/cluttered-talk/ Michiko

        Thank you for your reply.
        I’m regretting I’ve almost mistaken you for one of those Japanese troller boys on abroad, slandering and insulting China or South Korea, whom I’m taking care of always not to spoil.
        I haven’t got such a skill to tell which person is which yet, but I’m trying now.
        What our PM offered your country last month, 10 vessels, which is not for Japan to do, considering the situation between China, as long as which activity is easily taken to be another provocation against China.
        It was obviously our side to flame the islets issue, by naturalizing the 3 of islets, with ignoring the promise to shelve the issue.
        Besides, pretending not to remember the promise since then, keep saying there’s no territorial dispute, officially.
        China getting angry toward Japan makes sense, also there’s another problem as worshipping, or historical recognition as well.
        Also Japan is not a country to intervene or interfere, or make influence to a security issue of other countries, we have no constitution to allow us to do so, and we made a promise with China on the Communique, not to intervene her domestic issues, admitting every responsibility for the former aggression, or not to cooperate ones which posing against China, or ones trying to take hegemony.
        I’m not specifically saying that The Philippines is the one.
        It’s Japan’s responsibility to take care of how it’s taken by China in this circumstance.
        We were barely forgiven by making such promises, hard earning promises, after all these atrocities.
        But our government and some of Japanese has kept breaking each of the promises, even many of us nowadays are not aware of how promises had been made.
        Our present PM had to make up to China more than anything, before he went to your country.
        Thinking about encouraging neighbors of China, is just stupid, harming our national interest.
        We have 650,000 of Chinese people in here, and we’re sending 140,000 of Japanese and 20,000 of Japanese enterprises to China, a hard earning promise has grown a big tree now, this love is not able to lose again.
        Then what our government has to do is becoming polite to China first.
        Unfortunately, they’re just doing the opposite so far, making me mad.
        I don’t have much knowledge about the situation between your country and China, one thing concrete is Japan is never a party entitled to participate a security issue of other countries as long as our Constitution doesn’t allow us to do so.
        It seems your concern of security is quite serious, even I have no idea how it is urgent, maybe progress of human being is seen in how or what EU people are doing, or weighing, I hope there’s any sign of progress to find.
        By the way, the movie in which Ruby Moreno was many awarded, is “月はどっちに出ている”, maybe in English “Where’s the moon rising” would be close, which was directed by Korean director, starred by Filipino actress, very international one to say a Japanese movie.
        I’m going to watch it in time since I was always thinking about the movie but forgotten to check out.
        I heard a heartbreaking news on this forum today, a 83 years old Filipino woman who suffered by Japanese Army back then, came in Tokyo and made a speech about her sorrowful story.
        Maybe anything what I’m going to say to her means nothing, just wish she’s going to enjoy her stay in Japan for a while, her rest of the days to be calm and healthy, and our government’s going to be honest to her, and other women.