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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora