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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site More

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.
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