Japan Press Weekly
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Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi on an NHK debate program broadcast on October 10 discussed the Senkaku Islands and other questions with the leaders of other parties, criticizing their calls for a military buildup to take advantage of the incident.
On the Senkaku Islands question, Shimoji Mikio, general secretary of the ruling Peoplefs New Party, said, gJapan should have established the stance that a nation must defend itself on its own.h Thus, he called for the deployment of the Self-Defense Forces to the Sakishima Islands on the border between Okinawa and China. Ichida refuted this, saying, gDiplomacy is what is required of the Japanese government.h He criticized successive governments for failing to legally claim the Senkaku Islands as part of Japanese territory since the Japan-China normalization of relations in 1972, and rationally arguing the case against Chinese territorial claims. Ichida stated that Japan should make efforts to publicly and legally make the territorial claim known to the world.
On the need to defend Japanfs territorial waters, Ichida said the need now is for the Coast Guard to carry on with its policing and coast guarding activities. Ichida said that introducing the SDF into the picture in the aftermath of the collision between the Chinese fishing trawler and Japanese Coast guard boats would, on the contrary, endanger the peaceful relations between Japan and China.
Ishihara Nobuteru, general secretary of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, agreed with Shimoji, saying gA defense buildup at the Sakishima Islands would be in the national interest.h
Yosano Kaoru, co-representative of the Sunrise Party of Japan, said, gDiplomacy must include military backup. Japan has only the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.h
Ichida stressed, gThe time to settle disputes with military strength is a relic of the past.h He explained that only four military alliances in the world, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Japan-U.S. alliance, the U.S.-South Korea alliance, and the U.S.-Australia alliance, are functioning at present. He said, gBoth Japan and China have agreed to make the sea near the Japan-China border a sea of peace, amity, and cooperation. So, it is reasonable for Japan to call for Chinafs self-control based on peaceful relations. A military buildup by Japan in response would only aggravate the issue.h
Okada Katsuya, general secretary of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, said, gThe coming Defense Outline refers to the need for the defense of outer islands. However, it is not good to link this with the recent Senkaku incident.h
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