Territorial disputes are pushing governments and the peoples of various Asian nations closer to the edge. The media is full of reports about governments urging calm, open-minded responses, with statements such as “I don’t understand what the problem is.” Talks between the concerned parties go nowhere, and this, for some reason, baffles all involved.
Of course, they go nowhere; the starting point is that each nation believes that the disputed lands are part of that nation, that there are no territorial disputes, that “There is no room for compromise.”
What to do? Well, outright war is not far over the horizon, which would be far more damaging economically than any economic benefits gained from controlling said territories.
A modest proposal: In the spirit of the recently concluded Olympic Games (which Beijing hosted in 2008 and which Tokyo wishes to host in 2020), let’s have the leaders of these nations, plus South Korea and Russia, get together for a round of janken (rock-paper-scissors). The winner keeps the territory. End of issue.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.