World War III? : Rising Tensions Between China and Japan

Mike Bang

Quick Review! - Historical claim to disputed island between China and Japan

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The small disputed island
One small island from the East China Sea has become the battleground between the Asia’s two strongest countries, China and Japan. Profitable gas drilling rights in the island is the real issue to China and Japan. To occupy the island completely, China and Japan are now trying to make the issue as a territorial dispute. According to maritime law, if one country has an economic life and human habitations in an island, the country can claim the island. This is why China and Japan are allowed to claim for the island at the same time. Both sides say they have a history of economic use of the islands. China points to a 1893’s farming activity in Diaoyu island. On the other hand, Japan points to 19th century use on the island to collect seabird feathers and guano.
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An activist takes part in protest in front of the Japan Interchange Association in China
An activist takes part in protest in front of the Japan Interchange Association in China

A Japanes soldier tries to drive China from the disputed island

The latest controversy over this hot dispute erupted when Japanese patrol officers arrested the captain and crew of a

fishing boat near the disputed island, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, in this September. The crew was released, but the Chinese captain is still in Japan because he needs to have a trial in Japan according to Japanese government. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao urged Japan to release the boat captain immediately without any punishment on Sep 27th. Also, most importantly, one of Chinese secretaries threated that if Japan does not release the boat captain, China will declare a war against to Japan.

Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, is having speech about responding plan against Japan

A simulated World War III caused by China and Japan

Also, the economic counterattack was immediate. The Chinese government decided not to export high-level of resources, such as coal, anthanum, cerium, and dysprosium, that Japan needs extremely for their industries.
The dispute also threatens planned talks on a 2008 agreement to together develop gas fields located near the disputed islands and in other parts of the East Chi
na Sea.

In the past, the most important thing for China and Tokyo was to try to make this issue go away and to keep a lid on nationalist sentiment. However, with great concerns of nationalists in Japan and China watching, officials in Tokyo and Beijing will face increasing pressure not to blink in the current conflict.

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