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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 August 19 - 25  > FM: Japan doesn’t regard China as ‘threat’
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2015 August 19 - 25 [POLITICS]

FM: Japan doesn’t regard China as ‘threat’

August 23, 2015
Akahata Sunday edition

Some commentators and politicians in Japan often talk about the need for Japan to enact “security”-related bills because China is a “threat”. Does the menace from China really exist? The government of Japan, in fact, does not officially argue that China is a threat to Japan. It, instead, says that Japan looks forward to stable friendly relations with China.

Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio in a House of Councilors committee meeting held early this month responded to questions from a Japanese Communist Party Dietmember, “The government of Japan doesn’t consider China as a threat.” Hoping for the deepening of Japan-China economic ties, the minister said, “Promoting stable, friendly relations is crucial for both countries in terms of maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests.”

How US see China as
The United States also seeks to develop a constructive relationship with China. The Obama administration’s National Security Strategy expresses concern about China but at the same time points out, “The scope of our cooperation with China is unprecedented.” Regarding China, the NSS states, “While there will be competition, we reject the inevitability of confrontation.” U.S.-China relations look totally different from the U.S.-Soviet confrontation in the past.

Case of Senkakus
In areas between Japan and China as well as between China and Southeast Asian countries, territorial disputes and military tensions do exist, but what if a county uses a military means to respond to these matters? It would only result in military escalation. This would be the most dangerous road leading to war. The most important thing is to continue to engage in diplomatic efforts to ease tensions and build trust among all the countries in this region

In the case of the Senkaku Islands, China is not violating Japanese territorial waters by sending in its naval force now. Despite that, if Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force dispatches its vessels to the islands, it will certainly increase the level of military tension.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo met face-to-face with Chinese Ambassador to Japan, requesting that China promote self-restraint in regard to the Senkaku issue. As for the dispute between China and Vietnam over the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, Shii published a statement criticizing China for its unilateral action taken in the waters near the islands. The JCP directly submitted this statement to the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo. Tenacious diplomatic negotiations like these should form the essence of Japan’s security.

* * *

Comparing Japan’s international balance of payments which can measure the degree of mutual economic dependence, China is the largest after the United States in terms of Japan’s total trade. Japan and China are expected to continue increasing economic interdependence. From this perspective, there is very little possibility for countries that share future economic interests to wage war against each other.

Past related article:

> Shii issues statement on dispute over Paracel Islands[May 14-16, 2014]
> Solve Senkaku issue through diplomatic negotiations: Shii talks with China’s ambassador [September 22, 2012]
> How to solve the issue of the Senkaku Islands[September 20, 2010]
> Tricky argument about ‘Chinese threat’[August 30, 2010]
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