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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid