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.

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

Al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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!

by: SEATO
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 .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
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 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 Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
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 Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
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 Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs