News / Asia

US Defense Chief in Talks Over China-Japan Tensions

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (R) shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba at the latter's audience room in Tokyo September 17, 2012.U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (R) shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba at the latter's audience room in Tokyo September 17, 2012.
x
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (R) shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba at the latter's audience room in Tokyo September 17, 2012.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (R) shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba at the latter's audience room in Tokyo September 17, 2012.
— As anti-Japan protests continued since last week in China, officials in Tokyo told the visiting U.S. defense secretary they are attempting to prevent ties with Beijing over disputed islands from further fraying.

Before flying to Beijing, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met with the Japanese foreign and defense ministers.
 
Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba told Panetta the Japanese government is trying to prevent the dispute over a set of small, uninhabited islands from spinning out of control.
 
Genba says Japan desires to cooperate with the United States to ensure relations between Tokyo and Beijing will not be seriously harmed.
 
Panetta, alongside his Japanese counterpart, Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto, reiterated Washington's stance that while it does not take sides in Japan's territorial disputes with its neighbors, the United States will abide by its treaty agreements to come to Japan's aid if it is attacked. But he made it clear he hopes it never comes to that.
 
“It is in everybody's interest for Japan and China to maintain good relations and to avoid further escalation,” Panetta said.
 
Violent anti-Japanese protests about the barren islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese, have erupted in recent days throughout China.
 
Japan's embassy in Beijing has been the scene of boisterous demonstrations, and Japanese factories, restaurants and shops in several cities have been attacked.
 
Japanese electronics company Panasonic says it has suspended operations at three of its factories in China after protesters damaged two of the plants Saturday.
 
In Beijing Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei called on Chinese citizens to express themselves lawfully, but also said that Japan must account for its actions.
 
He says at the moment the crucial point is that Japan has to face China’s serious requests. He says the Chinese people have justly called for a correct and responsible attitude in coming back to the negotiation table to solve the Diaoyu islands dispute.
 
In Tokyo, the two defense chiefs agreed Monday to move ahead with placing a second sophisticated radar installation at an undetermined site in southern Japan primarily intended to defend against future ballistic missile launches by North Korea.
 
U.S. defense officials deny the new radar facility is also directed against China.
 
The Japanese and American defense chiefs also announced the two countries are close to concluding a safety review that would clear 12 of the controversial Osprey tilt-wing rotor aircraft to operate from a U.S. Marine base on Okinawa.
 
Some civic groups on Okinawa strongly oppose the deployment of the V-22s, saying they are dangerous and the southern islands already bear too much of the burden of hosting U.S. forces and aircraft.
 
But other Japanese say the country has no choice, amid a more assertive China, to continue to heavily rely on the U.S. military.
 
Under the constitution imposed on a defeated Japan after the second world war, the country is prohibited from having an offensive military force. And Japan limits defense spending to one percent of its GDP.
 
However, in China, the view of Japan these days is not that of a pacifist neighbor.
 
Chinese, who suffered under a harsh Japanese colonization in the early 20th century, see Tokyo's recent move to nationalize disputed islands as a serious provocation.

The territory is known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese.

Violent anti-Japanese protests about the barren islands have erupted in recent days throughout China. Japan's embassy in Beijing has been the scene of boisterous demonstrations, and Japanese factories, restaurants and shops in several cities have been attacked.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: pepe from: MD
September 17, 2012 12:24 PM
Media is just stoking the fires so US can get their junky V-22s on the islands. Ridiculous that Japan and China are playing along, and not working out bilateral agreements.

In Response

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
September 17, 2012 9:30 PM
you are wrong. The first thing both governments agreed when China and Japan established diplomatic relationship at 1972 and Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People's Republic of China in 1978,that leave this dispute to next generation and no side shuld provoke on this dispute. now Japan first break its promise by illegally purchasing Diaoyu island. Shame on Japan!


by: Steve_Herman_is_an_idiot from: USA
September 17, 2012 12:19 PM
"Chinese, who suffered under a harsh Japanese colonization..."

What? Japan colonized China?

Where did you learnt that?

In Response

by: Anonymous
September 17, 2012 4:44 PM
It is history.

In Response

by: James from: GZ
September 17, 2012 3:17 PM
God, you don't know that. In WWII, Japan invaded China, North Korea, South Korea, Philippines, etc. The right wing of Japan is evil, and they never admited that history, which was a disaster.


by: Anonymous
September 17, 2012 10:54 AM
There is a duplicate section in this article: "Chinese, who suffered..."

In Response

by: Justice from: Australia
September 18, 2012 8:32 AM
The thief refused to share the stolen things with their original owner(the Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Straits) while the Judge(the USA) said he did not take sides but he would come to the theif's aid if it was necessary.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid