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2012年8月22日 (水)

中国反日デモ 邦人の安全確保へ沈静化図れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 22, 2012)
Beijing should ensure safety of Japanese in China
中国反日デモ 邦人の安全確保へ沈静化図れ(8月21日付・読売社説)

Following the illegal landing by Hong Kong activists on one of the Senkaku Islands last week, anti-Japanese demonstrations have spread in China. The Chinese government should quickly take action to calm the situation.

Anti-Japanese demonstrators, who support China's territorial claim to the Senkaku Islands, took to the streets in about 25 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, on Sunday. In Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, and other cities, demonstrators became violent and smashed the windows of Japanese restaurants.

The large-scale demonstrations imperil Japanese who live in China. The Chinese government has a weighty responsibility for causing turmoil by tacitly approving the demonstrations. We urge the Chinese authorities to do everything they can to secure the safety of Japanese individuals and companies in the country.

The Chinese government obviously is trying to counter Japan's moves over the islands, but at the same time it apparently wants Chinese people to vent their frustrations over economic disparities and other domestic issues through the demonstrations. Some observers say the "anti-Japan card" was used as a tool in the power struggle ahead of the National Congress of the Communist Party of China in autumn in which the Chinese leadership will undergo a complete change.


Attitude unlikely to change

It is highly likely China's anti-Japan attitude will remain unchanged. The Japanese government needs to respond to the situation while keeping in mind that problems stemming from China's domestic circumstances will continually occur.

The Chinese government criticized the landing by 10 Japanese on Uotsurijima island, one of the Senkaku Islands. However, this criticism is way off the mark. Vice Foreign Minister Kenichiro Sasae is correct in rebutting the protest by Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua by saying, "The latest move [by Japanese individuals] comes against a backdrop of the landing by Hong Kong activists."

What the Japanese government should do first is gradually strengthen the management of the Senkaku Islands. The Tokyo metropolitan government, which plans to purchase three of the islands, has applied to the central government for permission to land on the islands.

It is essential for the central government to steadily put the Senkaku Islands under state control in cooperation with the metropolitan government.


Territorial protection essential

Aside from a bill to revise the Japan Coast Guard Law, which would allow JCG officers to apprehend criminals on uninhabited islands, it is also an urgent task to develop a system to protect Japanese territory and territorial waters.

Akihisa Nagashima, a special adviser to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, said on a TV program that the government "will review territorial patrol operations, including relevant legislation."

Jin Matsubara, chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, said, "We should treat illegal entry into the country to violate Japan's sovereignty separately from ordinary illegal entry and heavily punish the former illegal entrants."

Japan's preparedness for national crises such as unlawful intrusions into its territory is woefully inadequate.

Japan had to take this problem to heart on a number of occasions after the incursion of North Korean spy ships in 1999. At that time, The Yomiuri Shimbun proposed "territorial patrol operations" as a new duty for the Self-Defense Forces and that the SDF be commissioned to conduct "guard-and-watch" missions.

Illegal landings by anti-Japan organizations, such as in the latest case, may be a frequent occurrence in the future. The government should also consider legislation to beef up territorial patrol operations.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 21, 2012)
(2012年8月21日02時06分  読売新聞)


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