News

China Against Japan Getting a Permanent Seat on UN Security Council

Leta Fincher

China's premier Wen Jiabao has warned Japan that it must face up to its past aggression toward its Asian neighbors before it will be ready for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. Mr. Wen's comments come after a weekend of anti-Japan protests in several Chinese cities. Leta Hong Fincher has more.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's comments (Tuesday) are the most direct indication yet that China may oppose Japan's bid for a permanent UN Security Council seat.

"I think the core issue in the China-Japan relationship is that Japan needs to face up squarely to history," says premier Jiabao.

Mr. Wen said during a visit to India that only a country that wins the trust of people in Asia and the world can take on greater responsibilities in the international community. 

His comments come after two days of violent anti-Japan protests in Beijing and several other Chinese cities. Mr. Wen said the protests targeted Japan's campaign for a permanent Security Council seat.  

Another trigger for the demonstrations was Japan's approval of a new history textbook that critics say glosses over wartime atrocities, such as the rape of thousands of "comfort women" used as sex slaves by the Japanese military.

Critics in China and South Korea argue that the textbooks justify Tokyo's military expansion and call World War Two the "Great Asia War," a wartime propaganda term.

In Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (Tuesday) demanded that Beijing protect Japanese people in China.

"China has responsibility in securing Japanese free activity in China. We need this to be fully acknowledged by China," says Junichiro Koizumi.

Japan's Trade Minister, Shoichi Nakagawa, added (Tuesday) that the violence made him think China is a "scary country."  Japanese officials have asked for an apology for the protests and compensation for damage to diplomatic missions.

Beijing has not yet apologized.

Analysts say that economically, Japan and China are edging closer together through tens of billions of dollars in trade and investment.  But several thousand Chinese recently marched through Beijing calling for a boycott of Japanese-made goods

Yuki Tatsumi is an expert on Northeast Asian security at the Henry Stimson Center research group in Washington D.C.

"Those [Chinese actions] really help those within Japan who want to emphasize the threatening aspect of China, as opposed to those who want to emphasize the cooperative aspect of China and the potential of a good relationship with China," says Yuki Tatsumi.

Analysts say Japan's unease with China's surging influence and China's discomfort with Japan's military ambitions will make it difficult to improve relations anytime soon.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs