In Gregory Clark’s Jan. 18 article, “So much for Abe’s reconciliation policy,” there are no references to China’s ongoing military buildup, which has officially recorded double-digit spending increases for more than a decade. There are no remarks about the worries of other Asian nations over Chinese claims to the Spratly Islands, the Senkakus and other areas.

Hasn’t China deployed up to 900 missiles aimed at Taiwan, a self-ruled island for more than 50 years with democratically elected leaders? And why does the European Union have a ban in place on arms sales to China? (It’s because the Chinese government turned the People’s Liberation Army on its own people in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.) Nor does Clark talk about China’s deplorable human rights record or the fact that more Chinese have died at the hands of the Beijing government since 1949 than were killed by the Japanese Imperial Army.

Clark thinks North Korea is not to blame for its long record of deceit when it comes to the nuclear weapons issue. He criticizes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for insisting, after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il released five Japanese abductees in 2002, that Pyongyang liberate “many more alleged abductees, including those Pyongyang insists do not exist or are dead.” If Pyongyang says they don’t exist or are no longer living, must it be true?

Yes, the rise of rightists in Japan is something that needs to be monitored, but Clark should realize that the resurgence of Chinese nationalism, combined with North Korea’s rise as a nuclear power, is the biggest threat to security in East Asia.

james boyden

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