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In May 1969, a United Nations report suggested that there might be oil deposits in the region of the Senkaku Islands, known in China as the Diaoyu Islands and in Taiwan as the Diaoyutai Islands.

Most everyone is aware of the current dispute concerning which nation holds true sovereignty. It is a very messy problem as the Wikipedia page for “Senkaku Islands dispute” illustrates.

It’s not likely that the sovereignty question will be resolved based on historical precedents. So, will new ways of thinking resolve this problem without sacrificing human resources? Do all three nations realize how much they depend on one another?

The dispute demonstrates how capitalistic competition brings nations to conflict and, sometimes, to war. Competition for resources is what Asian nations have learned from the West. We now have a chance to see whether the wisdom of the Orient will achieve something better than what the militarized industrial complexes of Western “Christian” nations could manage.

There is the possibility for a three-way prosperity venture in which everyone benefits and no one is sacrificed to war. Can we expect something better from these three nations?

At present, Taiwan, Japan and China all make use of one another’s resources, natural and human. All have entered into joint ventures with one another. So why not consider a joint venture in exploration and utilization of the possible resources to be found in this area of the East China Sea? Eventually demand is going to force capture and utilization of such natural resources.

Why not do it peacefully for everyone’s benefit without resorting to what U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower called “stupid war”? Shouldn’t wisdom be put into practice?

raymond wilson
normal, illinois

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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