News / Asia

China Keeps Close Eye on Japan Politics

Japan's main opposition leader Shinzo Abe of the Liberal Democratic Party answers a reporter's questions at the party headquarters in Tokyo, Dec. 16, 2012.
Japan's main opposition leader Shinzo Abe of the Liberal Democratic Party answers a reporter's questions at the party headquarters in Tokyo, Dec. 16, 2012.
Shannon Sant
China says it is highly concerned about the direction of Sino-Japanese relations following Sunday's elections in Japan, which will bring a conservative government to power.   Relations between the two countries have been strained in recent months over an island dispute in the East China Sea.    
China will pay close attention to the actions of incoming prime minister Shinzo Abe after his Liberal Democratic Party won national parliament elections in a landslide in Japan. 
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chuying says Beijing is highly concerned about which direction Japan will take now that the election is over, and is hoping for constructive and peaceful development of ties between the two countries.  
The election followed months of rising tensions between the two Asian powers about  a chain of islands knows as the Diaoyu in China and Senkakus in Japan.  

In September, a standoff over the islands inspired violent anti-Japanese protests throughout China.  More recently ships from both countries have been shadowing each other near the islands, and last week a Chinese government airplane entered into what Japan considers its airspace.  
During the election Abe stoked nationalist passions calling for a stronger military, and the Liberal Democratic Party says it might construct buildings on the islands, a move that would certainly provoke China.  
In a news conference after the election, Abe affirmed again Japan’s ownership of the islands.   He said Japan owns and actively controls the Senkaku islands and there is no room to negotiate on this point.
But with a weak Japanese economy and export sector, some analysts say Abe’s provocative statements regarding the islands are merely campaign rhetoric.    
Australian Defense Force Academy Professor Carl Thayer says the global recession will force Japan and China to place internal issues at the top of their agenda. 
“Both leaders, in particular Abe, have massive domestic problems to look at, particularly with the economy," noted Thayer. "So it is unlikely that they want a foreign policy crisis that would prevent them from dealing with domestic issues.” 
But with a general shift to the right in Japan’s political sphere, Abe's stance towards China may be stronger than it was the last time he was prime minister, five years ago.

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Comment Sorting
by: Rongkai
January 11, 2013 6:50 PM
Fact 1: The islands are in dispute, see both country's stands on Wikipedia.

Fact 2: Japan started this chain reaction last year by nationalizing the islands

Fact 3: Mr. Abe says 'there's no room for negotiation'

by: James D from: Palo Alto
December 22, 2012 5:52 PM
Your story neglects to mention Japan's coalition partner, New Komeito, a party dedicated to preserving the Peace Constitution, and thoroughly respected by the Chinese government for its cultivation of Sino-Japanese friendship since the 1970's. New Komeito will play a crucial role in restraining LDP's jingoistic nationalism, and in providing real cooperation with the Chinese for solutions.

by: Friend of Justice from: us
December 19, 2012 10:07 AM
We should know more about the differences between Germany and Japan's attitudes toward their past war crimes.
Japanese never truely regret the crime they committed to other countries, unlike the honest German. That's why their punishment hasn't been ended.

by: Impartial judgement
December 18, 2012 5:10 PM
Germany's Third Reich started WW2 and was responsible for the death of about 40 million people in Europe.The crimes committed by Germany were far worse and more evil than Imperial Japan,but even to this day Germans are very much welcome all over the world.On the contrary,despite Japan's continuous efforts to amend for their wartime crimes,by working tirelessly all these years,to contribute to Asia and the world's prosperity,we still look at Japan with suspicion and distrust.Do you think that is fair? China's constant condemnation of Imperial Japan's wartime past,is simply a continuous smear campaign,aiming to isolate Japan from world politics,so that Japan could not take a global part in influencing and reshaping the geopolitics of North and South East Asia.By constantly threating the USA to stay out of the region on one hand,smearing and defaming Japan,undermining its economy on the other,China hopes to subject the whole of Asia under its total control where it could do as it pleases without being challenged.America is war-weary and untrustworthy.A strong and independent Japan is the only hope for Asia who can counter-balance China's power and influence.China has to be restrained before it is too late!

by: Peace from: US
December 18, 2012 2:31 PM
You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Japanese militarism is coming back alive.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 18, 2012 6:58 AM
I think it is probably not appropriate to predict that Japan has so many domestic concerns including economic recession that next prime minister Abe would not take actions to disputes against neighboring countires. We Japanese have been discontended against government's weak attitude toward provocative nieghboring countries' actions enough to give super-hawkish Ishihara a parliament seat in this election who is dare to say in public it's time for Japan to possess nuclear weapons. When Abe fails in managing domestic problembs, his adminstration would have a good reason to make nation's attention payed to foreign affairs first territorial dispute. We should not forget why we Japanese advanced into China and South Asia before the breaking out of WWII.

by: Deep Blue Sea from: U.S.
December 18, 2012 12:34 AM
Contrary to those two faces, double talks, self righteous Japanese propaganda, Japan is having islands disputes with Russia, Korea and China for more than 10 years.
The sarcasm is Japan is looking into China's domestic market to revive it's economy.
On one hand, Japan is telling China, how important is China and Japan business relationship.
On the other, telling China that, I want to rob you with your eyes' open.
Most important is today is 2012 not 1800s or even 1970s.
Can't holding on to yesterdays, Japan!

December 17, 2012 2:05 PM
China has been the roots of all troubles and the causes of all major security concerns in the region the past 10 years.It is the best news for all Asia that the Japanese people have come to their senses and voted into power a party which is down to earth,brave and tough enough to face up to China's imperial ambitions.A strong and assertive Japan is essential and vital to peace,stability and prosperity in the region and the best deterrence to China.So don't go around blaming Japan for all the problems you have created
In Response

by: Anonymous
December 20, 2012 5:03 AM
China has not been roots to all trouble. What as China ever done to Japan? I think that you are a bit biased! So I am going to give my point of view. The only reason why people are all against China is because of the media influence produced by the U.S. As China is becoming more strong, Japan is growing jealous.
In Response

by: Anonymous
December 18, 2012 2:09 AM
Japan government is truly cheater, it denied the 2nd world war and never apologize to the Asian people. All of Asian people should cooperate together to punish Japan government.
In Response

by: Samurai from: Japan
December 18, 2012 1:53 AM
Yes, China is always posing problems in the world, because it respects obsolete imperialism and hegemonism and aims at other countries' natural resources, threatening Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, and even Japan. Japanese incoming government is ready to amend the Japanese Constitution for enabling Japan to fight with countries that recklessly try to invade Japan's inherent territories such as Senkaku islands. Although tens of thousands of enemies invade, they are all rabbles. Justice (supported by international law and history) lies on Japan side. Evil never wins. Justice always defeats evil. It is high time Japan stopped its generous policy for gangster Chinese and reinforced its military as once chased and drove Chinese paper fleets.
In Response

by: tianlong
December 17, 2012 11:33 PM
you are not objective about china,there are just too many positive and false news about this great country in your country .

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