• Tokyo


I appreciate the The Japan Times’ publishing letters to the editor that tell the other side of the story, like Xiao Jin Yuan’s Nov. 11 letter, “Safeguarding Territorial Integrity.” It’s good to get a variety of views on an issue as complex and important as this.

That said, the letter is absolutely ridiculous. There is no connection whatsoever between the Senkaku islands and Japan’s military aggression against China in the past. The government of Japan has changed since then and is under a new constitution, having sworn off war forever.

Next, the writer claims that the Chinese people are no longer under the “communist yoke.” That’s funny — the last time I checked, the Communist Party still controlled China. Ignoring the fact that the party has very little to do with communism, or even socialism, these days, I also don’t understand what that has to do with the territorial issue. A second anti-Japanese war?

Seriously, what world is Xiao living in?

China and Japan are huge trading partners. They are not likely to go to war and risk billions of dollars in international trade over the island sovereignty issue. Nor would it be advisable. The people of Okinawa have expressed little desire to become independent and, again, that has little to do with the territorial issue.

Meanwhile, China has many more territorial disputes with various other countries and a huge military that is growing by leaps and bounds every year.

I think Xiao would do well to focus on China’s problems, such as wealth disparity, lack of civil liberties, lack of human rights, lack of democracy, environmental degradation and government corruption rather than demonize Japan over a few small rocks in the ocean.

Xiao made no argument for China’s position on the Senkaku Islands — just vitriol and nationalist hysteria.

It is my hope that the two nations can resolve this problem through legitimate legal avenues, instead of stoking nationalist sentiment that only leads to regret.

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.

timothy bedwell

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