News / Asia

Japanese Study Warns of China's Rising Military Assertiveness

A Chinese woman drags a Japanese flag on the ground as she follows a group holding up Chinese flags during a protest march towards the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, Sept. 18, 2012.A Chinese woman drags a Japanese flag on the ground as she follows a group holding up Chinese flags during a protest march towards the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, Sept. 18, 2012.
A Chinese woman drags a Japanese flag on the ground as she follows a group holding up Chinese flags during a protest march towards the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, Sept. 18, 2012.
A Chinese woman drags a Japanese flag on the ground as she follows a group holding up Chinese flags during a protest march towards the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, Sept. 18, 2012.
VOA News
A Japanese government-funded study published Friday is warning that China is becoming less afraid of angering its neighbors as it pursues a bolder maritime policy.

The annual report by the National Institute for Defense Studies said China's rising national strength and enhanced military capabilities are helping drive Beijing's rising assertiveness.

China-Japan relations have suffered since September when Tokyo nationalized a group of East China Sea islands that have been the focus of a decades-long dispute.

Beijing responded angrily. It began sending regular government ships to patrol the Japanese-controlled islands, in what observers say is an effort to establish de facto control of the area.

The Japanese report Friday said signs of Chinese aggression were evident before the island purchase. It said China's actions "clearly reveal it was meticulously preparing measures for advancing its claim over the islands from a very early stage."

Ralph Cossa, president of the Hawaii-based Pacific Forum, says the Japanese report is an attempt to "throw the ball back in China's court."

"The Chinese have said the problem was the nationalization of those islands, that this changed the status quo, and that it is all Japan's fault," said Cossa. "So the Japanese are trying to point out that the Chinese were already preparing to do this, they were already flexing their muscles in the South China Sea and they were already doing other things."

Cossa says there is a degree of truth to the argument of both sides. But he says the report will not likely change Japan's foreign policy since it is already well aware of what it is dealing with in China.

He says China may continue to "annoy" and "bully" the Japanese over the island issue, but he does not foresee a wider conflict between the two Asian powers.

"The real question is now that [Chinese President] Xi Jinping has fully come to power, will he want to defuse some of this or will he want to continue to ratchet it up?" asked Cossa. "We've seen some signals in both directions, so I think it's a little too soon to tell."

Observers are also watching Japan's new leader, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is known for his nationalistic views and has taken a firm stance on the island issue since coming to power.

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Comment Sorting
by: angelina from: las vegas
April 01, 2013 4:11 AM
Japan their present and future generations should never forget the atom bomb thrown over Hiroshima by america and still its adverse effects are faced by Japanese.Japan should never trust this nation again or it will remain slave of USA and will never grow till all its resources are captured.

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
March 31, 2013 12:22 AM
Japan has no match with China on this island issue. Time is on the Chinese side. China is growing fast and Japan is declining. It is just a matter of time that Japan lose it eventually.
In Response

March 31, 2013 5:16 PM
Chinese double-standards are ethetically unacceptable.When the Mongols and the Manchus conquered China,many Chinese fought back,sacrificing themselves,trying to defend your motherland and safeguarding your national identity,and you considered that as the rightful thing to do.However,after you invaded your neighbouring countries such as Tibet and Mongolia,the local people fought back,and you consider these independence fighters as terrorists and separatists.You didn't want the Chinese people to be known as Manchus,neither do these people want to be parts of China.Fair and square ! Chinese people are used to shamelessly claim everything based on history,belong to China in ancient times,but in reality they know nothing about their own history.Most of China is on stolen lands,which didn't belong to China in the first place.The Potsdam and Cairo declarations asked for the return of areas that were seized by force.The Senkaku islands were in 19th century still uninhabited and unclaimed pieces of rocks sticking out of the sea that had no strategic or economical values, and nobody cared about,which sea-faring Japan claimed and annexed peacefully into her empire.That was the reason why America returned them back to Japan,and China had no objection until a study found out that there might be oil there in 1969.As for China's military growth,you might think that one of these days China would become unchallengeably strong,and it would conquer the world,that remains to be seen.Such irresponsible statements indicate the narrow-minded,war-mongering nature of the Chinese,a contradiction to the peace-loving image that China has constantly tried to fool the world to believe in.Throughout history,we all know that "Righteousness would always prevail over evils !". Going on the warpath would only isolate China even more and would eventually lead to the destruction of China itself.Treachourous people like you,who keep biting back at the hands that feed you,shouldn't have been given shelter in the West in the first place and should be given a one-way ticket back to your Chinatopia to rid us of all future threats

by: James Ong from: Singapore
March 29, 2013 4:05 PM
China's increase military spending is in tandem with its economic rise. And China's claim over Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands is legitimate and supported by history, geography and international law.

Japan is a proven liar. There was indeed a dispute over Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. Former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, afiirmed that at the time of signing the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People's Republic of China in 1978, China and Japan had decided to temporarily lay aside the issue of Diaoyu Islands sovereignty.

Furthermore, it is very clear from Kiyoshi Inoue, a notable Japanese historian, who recorded in his book “History and Sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands,” that Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands belong to China. And according to Meiji era documents unearthed by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, in 1885, Japan acknowledged China as the owner of Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. It seems pretty clear from the documents that Japan effectively stole the islands as spoils of war in 1895. Lastly but not least, both the Potsdam Proclaimation and Cairo Declaration says particularly that the territories of China which were occupied by Japan before WW2 must return to China.

Though the world had gone through two world wars, US and Japan are still eager to provoke China to a war, and possibly to another world war. The US’ 2013 Defense Authorization Act serves only the purposes of US and Japan to subtly declare war on China.
In Response

by: Remie from: Canada
March 31, 2013 9:22 AM
Seato you are totally right. China are well known to make up history and occupy other countried using fake proof which i have yet to see them proof . They go back 1000 and 1000 of years so they can lie easier and alter history. China has always wanted to rule ASia and world. They think of themself as the superior race in which they still havent proven. For all their bad deeds ,Karma in whatever form it may present itself will get them.
In Response

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
March 31, 2013 12:14 AM
@SEATO, Japan's returning Diaoyu islands to China is ordered by international laws as the Potsdam Proclaimation and Cairo Declaration. Japan must follow these international laws!
But as far as I know, there is not international law asks China to return any territory to her neighbours.
If you cant see the difference then you are a fool.
In Response

March 30, 2013 4:16 AM
China simply can not claim everything based on history.Historically,Southern China,Inner Mongolia,Tibet and a lot more countries,never belonged to China in the first place.The were invaded and annexed into China by force.China keeps claiming that the Senkaku was seized by force from them and now they want them back.What about the lands that China seized by force? Would they give them back to their rightful owners? China has always adopted a policy of cultural eradication.Every country it invaded,it would do everything possible to destroy all indigenious cultures and force-assimilate the local population to justify their occupation.If the Mongols and the Manchus had adopted the same policies,would there now be an Han culture left? You couldn't just copy some European maps,give them some Chinese names,and claim them all to be indisputable parts of China.That is totally unacceptable.ASEAN countries have to unite together and form an alliance.By keeping quiet and think that China would spare them,is wishful thinking.China's greed has no end.America needs to show their permanent in the region and show that they mean their business,otherwise China would carry on terrorising all their neighbours until they get the whole area under their sole control.
In Response

by: emerson bigguns from: us
March 29, 2013 8:49 PM
You had me in your corner until the last paragraph. Your compilation of historical facts do indeed indicate .China has a legitimate claim to the islands, but I disagree that the US and Japan are eager to draw China into a war. That being said, I must say I enjoyed your post. Well done!

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
March 29, 2013 11:30 AM
Hard to understand as to why? Japan would be spending money on studies of what is self evident, by reading news reports. The money would be better spent in increasing deterrence postures, by spending the money on preparing its forces. China is rapidly acquiring a massive range of tactical military resources and technical capabilities to fully sustain the grand strategy which aspires to the mantle of a full global power, including a military power.

Such powers, are usually expansionist in nature; given China's population, a very high rate of economic growth is required to sustain it; economic growth goes hand in hand with an expansionist strategy, which does not have to be militaristic, but it does need a military backbone to support itself. For China to remain competitive, massive, low cost, resources will be required. The expectation is that much of those resources are found under the waters of the China Sea and beyond. We have seen this grand strategy from even before the day of the Roman Empire.
In Response

by: Peter from: USA
March 29, 2013 3:38 PM
China has 20 neighbors. currently it has an active problem with Japan, Philippine, and Vietnam. India is on the back burner and no flare up recently. So 3 out 20.

Any government funded study on a nation that itself have active problem with = propaganda.

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