In what can only be viewed as a slap in the face to a number (well, a number of hundreds of millions) of Chinese, the Prime Minister of Japan had a few choice words for the Chinese about their expansionist policies in Asia.
The conversation went something like this, and yes I’m paraphrasing:
“This is the Kettle. You’re Black”
The actually words were closer to this….
“I’ve realized that Japan is expected to exert leadership not just on the economic front, but also in the field of security in the Asia-Pacific,” Shinzo Abe told The Wall Street Journal. He also stressed it is important to “not shut the door to dialogue just because of one issue.”
Abe was referring to what he believes to be the use of Chinese naval power to exert its influence in the region, certainly nothing that Japan has ever done. It smacks of near Alzheimer’s Disease-like memory issues. Never mind the invasion of Manchuria nor the full-scale invasion of Mainland China by Japan in 1937.
Frosty Relations between Japan and China
My World War II history might not be as good as it should be but I don’t remember the Germans raping the city of Nanking for a six-day period in December of 1937. I promise I will read up on this further once I’ve finished this piece but I’m nearly certain that was Japan’s doing, an action that involved the deaths of somewhere between 150,000 and 300,000 people in a single city in a single week.
Relations have been “frosty” between the two Asian powers for some time but this nonsense could start an outright blizzard followed by a cold spell and a rain of bullets. Having spent years in China, I’m comfortable saying that the majority of Chinese hate the Japanese with nothing short of a burning passion. These statements don’t help.
While nothing will come of this, it represents a shortsightedness and the distrust that each nation has for the other.
China has aspirations beyond its borders
While Japan is right to believe that China has aspirations beyond its borders, the island nation’s leaders might wish to diffuse rather than losing site of the fact that Japan had similar ambitions in the region not so long ago.
Abe and Chinese leader Xi Jinping shook hands at a summit in Indonesia weeks ago, but haven’t held formal talks since Abe took office last December. Much of this is over the islands that Japan administers and calls the Senkakus, but China, referring to them as the Diaoyus, claims them as its own.