News / Asia

Japanese React With Fear, Anger Over China Islands Dispute

Henry Ridgwell
The dispute between Japan and China over the ownership of a chain of islands in the East China Sea continues to escalate, with China boycotting a meeting of the IMF being held in Tokyo. A growing sense of fear over China's increasing strength is being reported in the Japanese capital.

In August a fleet of Japanese boats headed for the disputed islands, called the Senkaku by Japan, and the Diaoyu by China. After a journey of several hours, some of the activists - including Japanese lawmakers - swim out to the uninhabited rocks.

The expedition was organized by 'Ganbare Nippon', a nationalist group whose name loosely translates as 'Go Japan.' Its founder is the right-wing filmmaker and playwright Satoru Mizushima.

"Historically the Senkaku are Japan's islands and China never owned the islands before. The Chinese state media accept that fact," said Mizushima. "But in 1970 gas and oil was found beneath the ocean floor; only then did China start to say that the Senkaku belong to them."

In recent weeks the dispute has sparked violent anti-Japanese protests across China, with Japanese businesses and property targeted. The group Ganbare Nippon has organized counter-protests in Tokyo.

Satoru Mizushima said he fears further violence.

"China organized the anti-Japanese protests on purpose because they would like to hide their own contradictions in their own country," he said. "If we let China do what they are trying to do, it will be the same as the appeasement of the Nazis in Germany. China will encroach on the rest of Asia."

After Japan's World War II defeat in 1945, the United States controlled the islands until 1972, when they were handed back. China said it owned the islands until the Sino-Japanese war of 1895.

Much of the dispute is rooted in the history of conflict.

The Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo is meant to house the spirits of Japan's war dead, including many convicted war criminals. A series of visits in recent years by Japanese politicians has prompted fury in Beijing.

On a recent public holiday, Japanese citizens visiting the shrine supported their country's stance in the island dispute.

One man said, "Many people don't know about Japanese history. Originally the Senkaku belonged to Japan. America announced the Senkaku are Japanese before and after World War II. China's way of doing this is illegal, therefore they won't get the islands."

"In international law, Japan believes it is right. Because of the Chinese education system, Chinese people believe they are right," said another man. "If you want to decide which one is right, you need another party, such as America, they can make a just and clear judgement."

Observers say that with both international pride and potentially huge natural resources at stake, neither side is likely to back down soon.

You May Like

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Tour Will Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

US secretary of state to visit 5 countries in the Middle East, South Asia in bid to strengthen economic and security ties, ease concerns over deal with Tehran More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 3
    Next 
by: clarky from: Brazil
October 15, 2012 9:56 AM
This is the Chinese...uncivilized , underdeveloped and barbaric. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUkHSrq_1go

by: gotto from: Canada
October 14, 2012 8:19 AM
Japan nationalized Senkaku in 1894 after invesigating no one had ever lived or occupied the islands, which is a internationally recognized legal procedure.

China suddenly started claiming those islands after UN found rich oil field around the there in 1970s.

China is a greedy aggressor and sick man in Asuia.

by: Negeshabi from: Canada
October 12, 2012 11:47 PM
Wangchuk, gotto and Sakura, when you lose confidence in Diaoyu islands debate, you guys will change the topic to others, Diaoyu island is a spearate topic from others (it is NOt the right place to discuss Tibet and other topics, be prepared to read and learn something before you talk about Tibet and othe topic in other forum or after the right post), you have nothing more to say on realizing your shaky stand on Diaoyu islands, is this right?

by: Wangchuk from: NYC
October 12, 2012 12:19 PM
The CCP wants China to be the Middle Kingdom again & all other Asians to kowtow to China. The CCP invaded Tibet in 1950 & has colonized E. Turkestan & Inner Mongolia. Now the CCP asserts Chinese sovereignty over the entire S. China Sea. Japan & other Asian nations to stand up to the CCP & resist Chinese hegemonism.

by: gotto from: Canada
October 12, 2012 7:35 AM
Chinese are uncivilized, underdeveloped and barbaric second class citizens who vandalize and loot Japanese shops in China.
They haven't changed since the Boxers era.
Before condemning Japan, they should condemn their own corrupt government.
China is a sick man in Asia.
In Response

by: William from: Canada
October 12, 2012 11:42 AM
You are wrong. Who start the World Word II? It is Japan that killing millions of people. Please study the modern histroy before making any judgement. China still need to change but compare with the evil deeds of Japan in the WWII, it is nothing.

by: steven from: china
October 12, 2012 5:18 AM
just as the US people will never forget the surprised attacks on the American military base in Pearl Harbor during WWII ,we chinese people will never forget japan's military aggression in the past . what we really cannot tolerate is that they have kept denying japanese forces conducted Nanjin Massacre or killed any innocent civilians in china , can you trust such a shameful nation?

by: Andy from: US
October 12, 2012 3:19 AM
This report is ridiculous and full of bias...it just focus on a little group of irrational Chinese people but not the truth. Every country has this kind of nationalists but what we really care is the truth.
And I feel so horrible when I saw the Japanese said China would act like Nazis in German. In my memory, Japan was the Nazis of Asia who brought lots of pain to the people in other Asian countries, like the Nazis in German brought to the peoples in other European countries. And till now, Japan had never reflected on its history and make a sincere apology to the people it hurt.
In Response

by: Sakura from: Tokyo
October 12, 2012 11:00 AM
you are chinese, not US

by: jianhua from: east areas
October 12, 2012 3:14 AM
why don't Japanese feel ashamed for what they did one hundred years ago and did invasion to China and east Aisa areas during the second world war ? Fascism's country has what reasons and what qualifications to say other country is Fascism ?!

by: Samurai from: Japan
October 12, 2012 2:31 AM
@Nguyen tung dan from Hanoi, thanks for your support; however, we Japanese do not feel fear. As you know, we Japanese defeat Chinese navy during Japanese-Sino War. Chinese were very arrogant at that time with much more battle ships than Japanese navy had, but Chinese battle ships were completely destroyed. 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 put away its generous policy for gangster Chinese and reinforced its military as once chased and drove Chinese paper fleets. Chinese dirty way of provoking Japan has set fire on Japanese nationalism!
In Response

by: moo m. from: vietnam
October 13, 2012 9:30 AM
Japan has never been a puppet of anybody as far as the world could see ! you want to look back in history ? the chinese were not any better ! China invaded so many countries, robbed, raped, looted countless places ..in your 10,000 year or so history.
In the modern days. Japan has recalled their defective goods to protect their customers how about China, any time it recalled its poisonous, defective goods... that;s just a start !
In Response

by: tony from: hong kong
October 12, 2012 8:42 AM
no matter what you are saying how brave you are now, how mighty you can be, you are but a puppet of your US master. Without the US, you are nothing. you are probably a sympathiser of your extreme right wing politicians. You want to challenge China, you must think twice, because China's claim is a strong claim in terms of history, with huge amount of historic evidence which some japanese are evading. I challenge you to state your case, with all the evidence you have got.

by: Jane from: rcldtc1
October 12, 2012 12:50 AM
Historically Japan is China's island.
In Response

by: Mark Donners
October 12, 2012 7:43 AM
Historically the entire earth belongs to the animals. Humans are only here by invitation but they've overstayed their welcome a long time ago. Japan lost it's right to Japan when it started kiling whales and raping the oceans
In Response

by: kathy from: canada
October 12, 2012 2:56 AM
That's true. The prince of Japan said his ancestor is a Chinese or Korean. Actually the first Japanese king was the l that the Chinese King of Dang Dynasty sent to look for the medicine of living forever and never die.

I am not sure the Japanese know this or not. maybe the young Japanese should learn their history very carefully in case of making jokes.
Comments page of 3
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
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 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.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs