Shimojo Masao (17): Information war
Posted by ampontan on Friday, September 28, 2012
THE debate over both the Senkaku islets and Takeshima, neither of which should be pending matters at all, has emerged as a major issue in East Asia. One factor is the inept diplomacy of the Japanese government. This situation will change, however, if the world is engulfed in an information war.
The South Korean news media reported yesterday that newspapers in both Spain and France criticized Japan over the Takeshima issue. The Europeans used the South Korean claim that Japanese documents exist which show the islets were not Japanese territory during the Edo period.
With these territorial disputes as a backdrop, the Russian and Chinese have begun making appeals to public opinion. This is dangerous, because the United States is now involved in a confrontation with the Muslim world. It is possible the Russian and Chinese trend could be employed for use in anti-American criticism.
There are problems with the Japanese diplomatic efforts at the United Nations. While China and Japan are couching the Senkakus and Takeshima territorial questions as historical issues, Japan is asserting that they are matters of international law.
The strategy is to brand Japan as invaders, linking the territorial issues to the comfort women in South Korea’s case, and to the Second World War in China’s case. Not only does this render the Japanese objection that there are no territorial issues meaningless, the stronger Japan speaks out, the more likely third parties will doubt what it says.
The UN Secretary-General is now a South Korean. China and Russia are permanent members of the Security Council. The Chinese have already distributed a paper to the council claiming that the Senkakus are Chinese territory.
Regardless of how often Japan insists there is no territorial issue, if the Chinese say that the Senkakus have been theirs since the 15th century, third parties will be likely to side with the Chinese claim. The mass media reports from Spain and France that side with South Korea are the result of South Korean PR.
There is no documentary evidence showing that the Japanese incorporation of the Senkakus and Takeshima was the result of an invasion. That some are making the entirely opposite interpretation shows there is a problem with the Japanese response.
Contemporary Japanese diplomacy has come to resemble that during the sequence of events from the Mukden Incident to the Second World War.
– Shimojo Masao, Takushoku University
Addressing the UN General Assembly session in New York, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said:
“The Diaoyutai have been Chinese territory since ancient times. We strongly urge Japan to immediately cease behavior that harms Chinese territorial sovereignty.”
“(Japan) should take definite action to correct its errors, and return to the course of resolving the dispute through negotiations.”
“Japan stole the islets at the end of the 1895 war….(The Japanese nationalization) is a serious challenge to the objectives and principles of the UN charter.”
Kodama Kazuo, Japan’s deputy permanent representative, exercised the right of rebuttal to argue that China didn’t begin to make this territorial claim until the 1970s. The Chinese UN ambassador came back with: “Japan persists in colonialism”.