Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Diaoyutai/Senkuka Islands (East China Sea) Dispute and a Way to Peace, Part 1 of 2

     The Diaoyutai Islands—known in Japan as the Senkukas—is as unfamiliar to most people today as Archduke Ferdinand was to his contemporaries in 1914.  Just as it was in 1914, an accidental (or deliberate) spark in the vicinity of that tinderbox can start a major war than no one other than international bankers could want.
     Three nations—Taiwan, Japan, and China—claim the Diaoyutais/Senkukas as their sovereign territory.  All three nations make historical claims to the one island and the seven rocky islets in that archipelago.  Taiwan and Japan both point to treaties and other official documents to bolster their claims.  I briefly alluded to them in the October 15, 2010, American Action Report article “The Diaoyutais:  Whose are They?”  In fact, the issue is extremely complicated, and there’s no telling what lawyers will decide when they get their heads together.
      Here’s the rub: The issue has not yet reached the level at which the public demands international arbitration, but it has reached the level at which a single miscalculation could result in a war between China and Japan.  Worse, the security treaty between the United States and Japan would guarantee that the United States would be drawn into this war, should it occur.
     Beijing’s String of Pearls strategy for maritime supremacy over the Indo-Pacific regions postulates maritime supremacy by the year 2050, and a war with the United States by 2035.  The Diaoyutais/Senkukas conflict could start a war a couple of decades earlier than anyone could desire.
     A key component of Beijing’s String of Pearls strategy is to keep Japan in a “post-war” status for as long as possible; and harping on Japan’s history books and wartime atrocities are part of this strategy.  Nothing the Japanese can do to atone for war crimes will be enough to cause Beijing to admit that enough is enough.  To make matters worse, in Taiwan there are a few quislings who fawn over Beijing as slavishly as Renfeld fawned over Dracula and are just as eager to do Beijing’s bidding.
     Japan’s best defense against Beijing’s propaganda offensive is to take and occupy the moral high ground.  There is a significant peace movement among the Japanese people, and it’s a considerable source of untapped strength.  Unfortunately, Japanese militarists and the politicians who are beholden to them are unwittingly doing Beijing’s work for them.
     Here’s a possible solution: Raise the diplomatic stakes to a new level by capturing the imagination of the world while encouraging a significant portion of the Japanese population to demand a peaceful settlement to this issue and related issues.  A peaceful settlement would likely result in one of, or a blend of, the following outcomes:
  1. A determination that the Diaoyutais/Senkukas belong to one of the three claimants,
  2. A determination that two or all three claimants share sovereignty over the Diaoyutais/Senkukas.  (Some have brought forth the example of Antarctica.  We may also point to Andorra, which is jointly administered by France and Spain.)
  3.  A determination that the Diaoyutais/Senkukas belong to the commons; or, if you will, that the Diaoyutais/Senkukas belong to their Creator; and that the claimants are caretakers for the common good.  Those who take this position disagree on whether “the common good” may be defined as mutual development or—to use the awkward phrase some have used—“mutual non-development.”  This use of the word development is misleading and possibly blasphemous, since the Creator has already developed the Diaoyutais/Senkukas.
     I have a great deal of faith in the fairness and good sense of the Japanese people.  The greatness of Japan has come about because of the people—often in spite of the government.  Let me give a few examples.
     1. It was the Japanese people who built one of the greatest civilizations in history.  The government deserves little or no credit.
     2. After World War II, the Japanese government used taxes taken from the Japanese people to promote economic enterprises that the government said would boost Japanese prosperity.  A certain electronics business (well known today) applied for a government subsidy and was refused.  The Japanese government said that Japan had no future in electronics.  Thus, Japan’s signature industry and core competency was built in spite of the government—in spite of having to bear the added expense of paying taxes to support less productive enterprises.
     3. During the 1990’s, it was a Japanese historian (not the Japanese government, which concealed the truth) who uncovered the fact that, during World War II, the Japanese government defrauded and even kidnapped as many as 300,000 Asian young women and girls as young as 14 and dragged them off to far-flung military bases to be raped from 30 to 50 times a day for years.  When this scandal was exposed, the Japanese government denied it.  When proof was given, the Japanese government claimed that the women were willing prostitutes.  When this lie, in turn, was disproven, the Japanese government hid behind an agreement that exempted the Japanese government from responsibility for any as-yet-undisclosed war crimes.
     4. It was the Japanese people who took it upon themselves to take up a collection for the surviving “comfort women” as they were euphemistically called.   It was the Japanese people, not their government, who apologized to the women. To this day, the militarists in the Japanese government have done nothing to propitiate for their crimes against these women, preferring instead to live in infamy.

     Peaceful solutions to the Diaoyutais/Senkukas controversy and other lingering controversies from Japan’s militarist past are impossible without the support of the great Japanese people.  Before any such peace movement can gain critical mass, however, the matter must be deemed important to the world at large.  That would require, as I said earlier, raising the diplomatic stakes to a new level.  It would require capturing the imagination of the world in a way that would gain the peace movement international support and demands for a peaceful settlement.
 (To be continued in part 2 of this 2-part series.)


  1. I haven't finished reading this yet, but immediately had a reaction to the "war" statement, so decided to post it early and follow up later on anything else I might like to comment on.

    The war is schedule to occur and any conflict that leads to it, was planned that way. Like any other false flags that have led to war, this is and will be no different.... since the leaders on both sides of the conflict are in on it.

    The war is nothing more than a money making mafia enterprise, used to depopulate the planet for easier control and to refill the coffers of the fascists until they run out of money again. They have done this three times in 100 years not to mention lesser wars like No Korea, and vietnam.

    1. Take another look. I've just posted part 2 of the series.

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