Regarding the Oct. 27 Kyodo article “Abe issues fresh warning to China on isle [Senkaku Islands]row“: I think the Japanese understand the virtues of peace very well — unlike the Chinese imperialists who think they can go back to the days of being the Middle Kingdom and East Asian countries being their vassals.
Remember that for 250-plus years Japan didn’t do anything aggressive until American aggression led by Commodore Perry forced open Japan.
After Hideyoshi’s Korean misadventure, the Japanese had little interest in aggression against others until Western imperialism reached their doorstep in the mid-19th century.
By contrast, the history of China is full of one Han dynasty after another conquering non-Han territories, dumping Han settlers there and Hanizing the whole place. Even Shi Huangdi, more than 2,000 years ago, is recorded to have conquered the Yue people in what is now southern China and to have dumped Han settlers there.
Is it not China that maintains an empire? Together, Tibet and East Turkestan (or Xinjiang), under Han occupation, make up one-third of “Chinese” territory. It is China that invaded India in 1962, Vietnam in 1979, and recently grabbed Kazakh land and Scarborough Shoal.
It is China that has territorial disputes with almost everyone of its neighbors. The rest of Asia, except for the Chinese and Koreans, now want an assertive Japan, not a Japan that submits to every Chinese demand in the name of “peace.”
We have no interest in Chinese emotional appeals to a war finished nearly 70 years ago. They are not a good reason to continue keeping Japan defenseless.
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.