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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 3
     Previous   Next 
    by: Nguyen tung dan from: Hanoi
    October 12, 2012 12:18 AM
    Come on my Japanese friend, we are in the whole world support you against the expansionism, Chinese brainless invader. The Chinese plundered Tibet, Uighur people as Xinjiang now they stupid come to claim the entire Vietnamese sea and Philipine. This knowledgeless and childist Chinese, hopefully, Japan, USA, along with the world must teach them one lesson on how to behave properly.

    by: RLEE from: China
    October 11, 2012 11:42 PM
    I like VOA for its brevity and as-the-matter-of-fact. I believe a good report is like writing history, with tangible facts. Any comments shall be avoided, any bias shall be shunned. Report is report.

    by: Habi from: Canada
    October 11, 2012 11:37 PM
    Japan education doesn't teach Japanese about invasion of Japanese to China and other Asian countries, and all atrocities made by Japanese army in WWII, Japanese didn't know how many Chinese were killed by Japanese in WWII(~30 million), and how much treasures and money Japanese robbed from China in the past 100-200 years. Japanese didn't know that Japanese used Biological weapons when Japanese invaded China from 1931-1945, Japanese may not know Japanese army used Civilian Chinese for experiments for their chemical and biological weapons; Japanese may not know either that Japanese has never paid any reparations to individual Chinese, China government, or Taiwan until now due to their war crime and huge damage to China and Chinese people in WWII, so they don't understand why Chinese are so angry at Japanese when Japan refused to follow Potsdam Declaration (1945) (US, UK, China, Russian) to return Diaoyu islands to China (New Japanese Fascist since Japan doesn't even want to talk about Diaoyu islands), what Japanese is doing is to rob Diaoyu islands again without talking, just like Japanese Fascist in WWII.
    In Response

    by: wai man from: singapore
    October 13, 2012 10:19 PM
    Come on guys, the past is the past. A mistake had being make with severe consequenses. Dont make the same mistake again. When 2 asian giants fight its the white people who will benefit.They be watching and when the time is right they will scoop up everything.
    we will be colonise again and all our forefathers bloodbefforts will be wasted. Japan, China DONT BE STUPID
    In Response

    by: cvc from: USA
    October 12, 2012 2:28 AM
    The Communist under Mao killed more people than you mentioned. The Koreans, Vietnamese, Mongolians, Tibetans are waiting for the Chinese to compensate for years under barbaric ruled by the Chinese. First the Chinese wants Senkaku, the whole south china sea, then the entire Pacific ocean?

    by: ali from: malaysia
    October 11, 2012 11:27 PM

    everybody in the world knows that America stand the same line with Japan, both of them are trying to against China.

    by: WHO from: China
    October 11, 2012 11:22 PM
    Two nuclear bombs educated Japanese how listen to American.Chinese should learn from American.
    In Response

    by: shily from: canada
    October 12, 2012 3:08 AM
    yeah!!!!. Learn from great big brother USA. Two bombs taught Japan a good lesson , and US government wants which Japanese prime minster to be a PM or step down, then he will be or step down. US government holds the dog chain firmly in hand.

    sent tones of boms to Afhan, Iraq, if you don't listen to me. try ... bomes... bombs work best. wait to see Iran....





    by: Chang Kei Sheik from: China
    October 11, 2012 11:19 PM
    Communist China point his finger those direction is belong to him. They said historic evidences in their dream or maybe. Shameful. Some fect they use their troop violently occupied up like KYUKOKE at Burmese Border via KWUNLON rope bridge which they built for good will relationship between 2 countries. Shamefully never keep their Impression internationally. Also Presley Islands, now Japan Island, then Eussia,then USA then all over the world.

    by: David from: Hawaii
    October 11, 2012 11:16 PM
    This article is ridiculously irrigorous and surprisingly single-sided. Only wild accusation without actual evidence were made between the lines. The last statement of "If you want to decide which one is right.... America ...[has]....clear judgement" is simply funny and naive, as if the US is not trying to suppress China and not a friend of Japan.

    It is so absurd that VOA will post such a non-journalistic BS on its website...... Shame on you.
    In Response

    by: a from: Canada
    October 14, 2012 11:19 AM
    Shamful for VOA!!!

    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    October 11, 2012 10:37 PM
    We general Japanese don't feel any fear nor anger against violence to Japanese companies by Chinese people becaue we know these mobs are only a few part of Chinese. We are just feeling pity to them. Journalism cannot help picking up only a sensational sketch of incidents. Vice versa. Those who landed the islands were a few of Japanese nationalists. This news was not taken sensational in Japan. Concerning the disputes over islands, the fact is Japanese government bought the islands in order to avoid the purchase by metropolitan Tokyo from a private owner of Japanese.

    by: Michael from: Chicago
    October 11, 2012 8:15 PM
    VOA nice work being impartial ... no mentions of why China claims the island at all. Here is China's and Taiwan's position
    1) Discovery and early recording in maps and travelogues[20]
    The islands were China's frontier off-shore defence against wokou (Japanese pirates) during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368–1911). A Chinese map of Asia, as well as a map compiled by a Japanese cartographer[21] in the 18th century,[20] shows the islands as a part of China.[20][22]
    Japan took control of the islands during the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894–1895, to whom they were formally ceded by the Treaty of Shimonoseki. A letter of the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1885, warning against annexing the islands due to anxiety about China's response, shows that Japan knew the islands were not terra nullius.[13][20][22]
    The Potsdam Declaration stated that "Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine", and "we" referred to the victors of the Second World War who met at Potsdam, the USA, the UK and the Republic of China. Japan accepted the terms of the Declaration when it surrendered.[22][23][24]
    China formally protested the 1971 US transfer of control to Japan[25]

    by: Abe
    October 11, 2012 6:50 PM
    Is Satoru Mizushima forget that Japan is the Nazis of asia who fighted together with the German Nazis while he said china will be the Nazis? Why they are still paying respect to the criminals who made so big tragedy on the people all over the world? Japanease are so hypocritical and barbarous. Every body of the world should be careful on Japanease!
    Comments page of 3
     Previous   Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    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 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 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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora