As the government of Japan continues to stumble over Nagata-cho politics, fumble away the Senkaku Islands and bumble the introduction of the MV-22 Osprey aircraft to Japan, it may soon find itself isolated from its people, the international community and its only alliance partner, the United States. So much so that I see a September crisis in which Noda administration might lose power, the Senkakus, and the U.S. as an ally — all in one swing.
In this situation, China might actually move on the Senkakus (in the East China Sea), making a fait accompli. Naysayers may argue that it can’t happen, but history shows the results of wishful thinking that is oblivious to the potential for blitzkrieg-like attacks.
Of course, I could be wrong. Why, after all, would China want to seize the undefended Senkakus, near the undefended southwestern islands, from a Japan that does not have a joint defense plan among its Self-Defense Forces, yet is ratcheting up the rhetoric with talk of buying the islands from private owners to nationalize them?
Moreover, in September, Japan will be distracted by political party presidential elections, the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York, and the relocation of Ospreys from Iwakuni to Okinawa. The Self-Defense Forces brass is also going through some changes this summer. Not that the SDF would be a challenge to China, but what better time for Japan’s revisionist neighbor to act then now?
Let’s hope it won’t happen, but hope is not a plan.
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.
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