Friday, December 27, 2013

Abe goes to Yasukuni. Fasten your seatbelts!

The die is cast... Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has decided to cast all caution to the divine wind. ST carried a story on page 1 and on an inside page too:

TODAY, however, put its story several pages back:

Its story also has a Japanese academic making a poignant assessment of Abe's political outlook -- with a comparison to Margaret Thatcher:

Interesting. Margaret Thatcher took her country to war over some contested islands in the South Atlantic. In her case, she won, with backing from the US (albeit a tad reluctantly at first; she also had the advantage of a cosy relationship with Ronald Reagan). So, is Prof Nakano alluding to Abe taking a more strident line over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands?

China, for sure, will not let up. By now, its citizens won't allow that. There will be an increasing focus on Japan's wartime atrocities and humiliation of China.

And who's caught between a rock and a hard place? The hapless USA.

Meanwhile, pundits are in overdrive churning out commentary pieces on the imbroglio. Here's one which suggests that China does not really want the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and that it has a deal in mind!...

Here's an extract from the article titled "Why China Doesn't Really Want the Senkaku Islands":

Whatever the origins of the revived Senkaku claim forty three years ago, Mr. Xi knows he can get much more fossil fuel to feed his carbon-thirsty economy from the South China Sea deposits than he could from the comparatively meager East China Sea. His strategy is to create the biggest fuss possible with brinksmanship tactics over the Senkaku Islands in order to bring a frayed and twitchy Japan to the bargaining table, with the US nervously in the background pushing hard for peace. And then, he will pitch his grand bargain. In exchange for relinquishing China's claim to the Senkakus, Mr. Xi would want Japan to support China's claim to the South China Sea. Politically, the Japanese government comes home with a huge victory that costs it virtually nothing. But of course, what Japan gives China in this grand bargain is far more valuable to China than a handful of rocks near Okinawa.

I must say it's a great storyline for a novel.

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