News / Asia

Abe: China-Japan Ties 'Similar' to Britain and Germany Before WWI

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gestures as he speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gestures as he speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.
VOA News
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the rocky relationship between Japan and China is comparable to that of Germany and Britain before World War I.
 
Speaking to reporters Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Abe also referred to China's steady increases in military spending as a "provocation."
 
In a later keynote speech, Abe said Asian countries should be more forthcoming in order to avoid conflict.
 
“We must, ladies and gentlemen, restrain military expansion in Asia which could otherwise go unchecked. Military [budgets] should be completely transparent and there should be public disclosure in a form that can be verified,” said Abe.
 
Tokyo and Beijing have long shared a fraught past, but ties have been especially strained because of a worsening territorial dispute and mutual concerns over each other's military intentions.
 
Most analysts think strong economic ties make an outbreak of hostilities between the two countries unlikely, but Prime Minister Abe pointed out that close economic relations did not prevent Britain and Germany from going to war in 1914.
 
His spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, on Thursday denied the prime minister thinks war is inevitable between the two Asian powers.
 
“As you can see, Abe basically said things should not become like they were during World War I. I have no idea why it was misinterpreted in that way,” said Suga.
 
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang dismissed the comments, saying it would be better for Abe to "face up to what Japan did to China before the war and in recent history," than discuss Germany-Britain relations.
 
Qin also said it is Japanese, not Chinese, military motivations that should be questioned.
 
“It is Japan that should increase transparency. Japan should explain to Asian countries and the international community why it is attempting to rectify its pacifist constitution, and why it is trying so hard to expand and build up its military. What is its real objective?" asked Qin.
 
Ankit Panda, an associate editor at The Diplomat, told VOA the outlook for improved China-Japan relations is poor, as the two countries have not held high-level diplomatic meetings for over a year.
 
“Even though economic ties between Japan and China are so high today, the possibility of conflict remains very real. What makes the Japan-China case even worse though than the pre-World War I era, is that [public] perceptions of China and Japan and Japan and China are very bad," explained Panda.
 
Many in China have become more critical of Japan since Mr. Abe took power in 2012, vowing to change Japan's pacifist, World War II-era constitution and build a greater regional role for Japan's defense forces.
 
The moves come in response to what Japan and others in the region view as China's increasingly assertive military behavior.

Beijing last year set up an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea, where China and Japan both claim a series of uninhabited but strategic islands.
 
Japan, along with its ally the United States and South Korea, have rejected the ADIZ as a unilateral provocation, and say it has heightened regional tensions.
 
The islands, known in Japan as Senkaku and in China as Diaoyu, have been under Japanese control since 1971. However, in recent months, a steady stream of Chinese patrol ships has attempted to change the status quo.
 
Beijing said tensions were only raised after Japan effectively nationalized some of the islands in 2012, buying them from their private Japanese owner.
 
China also reacted furiously to Prime Minister Abe's recent visit to a Tokyo shrine that many Chinese view as a symbol of Japan's military past in Asia.
 
Abe on Wednesday defended his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, saying he was honoring the souls millions of dead Japanese soldiers, and not just war criminals enshrined there.

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Atlas from: Canada
January 24, 2014 2:38 PM
It is totally Japan fault starting up the tensions by purchasing the islands, deny history, worhsipped the ghostly Shrine, increase military spending even under US protection. Don’t forget this liar Abe crying in loud voice to the world that China spending double digit on military spending but comparsion in 2013, Japan military spending is 36% of China and China is 24% of US. This liar Abe is acting like his uncles in the imperial Japan army. Always lying.

by: Tuan
January 23, 2014 2:46 PM
China claim 90% of SE Asia seas. China plays dirty and creates tension in the many regions.
To all Chinese people Beijing is at wrong doing.

by: George321 from: Canada
January 23, 2014 9:38 AM
It is totally Japan fault starting up the tensions by purchasing the islands. Even wrose is now under the ultranationalist Abe leadership who denied history, worhsipped the ghostly Shrine, increase military spending even under US protection. Don’t forget this liar Abe crying in loud voice to the world that China spending double digit on military spending but comparsion in 2013, Japan military spending is 36% of China and China is 24% of US. This liar Abe is acting like his uncles in the imperial Japan army. Always lying
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
January 24, 2014 6:55 PM
To anonymaous and George321, I would like to tell you some additional information. First, Abe's grandfather was just a commercial minister during the WWII and he was acused but conducted after all not guilty of war criminal A. So, he was not enrolled in Yasukuni shrine. Second, what I think most serious for us Japanes, we have not asked ourselves since all after the war, who were actually responsible for the war suffering not only neighbors but Japanese nationals. I guess Abe is skeptical about the responsibilty of war criminal As saying they were merely punished at the "unilateral" war trials. It could be said a commander of the winner is a hero and those of looser are criminals. I am sure all nations having concerned the WWII should reflect on who were really responsible for it. No nation probably could declaire I was completely not responsible for that disaster.
In Response

by: Tuan
January 24, 2014 1:38 AM
Keep your mouth shut! You are an ugly Chinese with false history. In 1979 Chinese invaded, shot and killed Vietnamese on Spratly islands in South China Sea 2000 miles from China main land.
Chinese is HYPOCRITE!
In Response

by: Anonymous
January 23, 2014 2:59 PM
greetings Godwin. should read history especially in the text of Sino Japanese war and WWII Asia theater along with the defeat and Japan signing the surrender documents in more details. Then you may come out with a different conclusion and viewpoint. Japan do not own the islands in dispute just administering them! Abe is a son of Class A war criminal and want to restore Japan past imperialistic " glory". I called it SHAME.
In Response

by: George321 from: Canada
January 23, 2014 2:46 PM
@Godwin
You must not know the history yet and make this mistake thinking Japan own the islands. No wonder you are fool by the liar Abe and his team making falsewood to the world. The real owne is China, Japan illegally took them in 1895 base on unequal treaty. After WWII, Japan was defeated and need to return the stolen properties to China but they didn't. It is the history and you are talking nonsense on this.

Do you know that Japan Abe background now talking peace, he is from the famous WWII war criminal family member and his grandfather is a key member of the evil imperial Japan army. His worship to that ghosty Shrine is an insult to all WWII victims in the world. He should go back to lerarn histroy before to be Japan leader. Shame on him.
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
January 23, 2014 1:11 PM
Shut up George321, China wants to show it has arrived. Last night I learned China is now the world's biggest trader, trading over 4trillion dollars a year. With so much money to throw about, China wants to be everywhere, as well as try to beat Japan to the background after overtaking it in size of economy and trade earning. If Japanese citizen has had an island since 1971, why do you want to say today that it does not belong to Japan? China is trying to flex its muscles in the region even as we see it moving slowly and steadily to become the world number 1 in everything. But a Japan which sees the feeling between Britain and Germany before WW1 will be an obstacle to its expansionist agenda. Don't mistake me here, I am gradually falling in love with China, only IF it should remain steadfast in resisting imperial subterfuges from Britain and USA.

by: oldlamb from: Guangzhou
January 23, 2014 9:17 AM
Acording to Shinzo Abe's diplomatic theory, China has been propagandized as a negative country in the international community by western media.Any one those who confronts China would be deemed as a positive country, regardless of who it is involed,how poor it is or how rich it is.
It must be pointed out that Abe will be more unscrupulous and dare to provocate China deliberately in future. By doing so Abe always in an effort to be this hero and would be acclaimed as a brave watch dog by the US’government.
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
January 24, 2014 3:03 AM
I am sure US does not support Abe's hawkish stance. US officials said they were disappointed when Abe suddenly visited Yasukuni shrine last year. Most of the general Japanese also do not agree with his right wing policy weighing budgets on millitary. He should seek for some reconciliating measures with China and Korea to solve territorial disputes.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs