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2012年9月20日 (木)

反日デモ続く 対中感情の悪化を招くだけだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 20, 2012)
Anti-Japan rallies can only worsen feelings toward China
反日デモ続く 対中感情の悪化を招くだけだ(9月19日付・読売社説)

In the face of days of fierce anti-Japan demonstrations in China, Japan's attitude toward China has continued to deteriorate. We wonder to what extent the Chinese government is aware of the serious effect the protests are having on bilateral relations.

On the 81st anniversary of the Liutiaohu Incident, which triggered the Manchurian Incident, on Tuesday, large-scale anti-Japan demonstrations were held in dozens of places across China. Demonstrations over the Japanese government's nationalization of the Senkaku Islands have been held for the eighth consecutive day.

In Shenyang, Liaoning Province, where the Liutiaohu Incident took place, the windows of the Japanese Consulate General were smashed by rocks thrown by demonstrators. This reckless violence followed vandalism against Japanese-affiliated companies in a number of places in China last weekend.

Although the Chinese government appears to be trying to stem the extreme violence, it still permits the demonstrations. Some Japanese-affiliated companies have been forced to suspend factory operations and close their outlets. Chinese working at Japanese-affiliated companies or Japanese restaurants are also victimized by the acts of destruction.


Income gap also protested

Demonstrators holding portraits of Mao Zedong aloft apparently were also showing their strong discontent over the growing income disparity under the current Chinese administration. This indicates the demonstrations were not simply aimed only at Japan.

If China's pressure on Japan escalates, tensions between the two countries will increase further. To prepare for unpredictable events, the Japanese government should keep in close contact with Japanese citizens and Japanese-affiliated companies in China. It also should strongly press the Chinese government to ensure the safety of Japanese people and companies.

It has been reported that more than 10,000 Chinese fishing vessels set sail in the East China Sea and that about 1,000 vessels are expected to arrive in areas around the Senkaku Islands. In an attempt to wrench the islands from Japan's control, those vessels, escorted by fishery surveillance ships of the Chinese Agriculture Ministry, may enter Japan's territorial waters.

Ships sent by the Chinese authorities entered Japan's territorial waters Friday and Tuesday. The Japan Coast Guard must not relax its vigilance and surveillance activities in the immediate future.


Japan, U.S. should cooperate

In talks in Tokyo on Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba agreed the two nations would cooperate to prevent Japan-China relations from being irreparably damaged. Japan and the United States must continue to urge China to handle the matter in a levelheaded manner and resolve the situation as soon as possible.

The Japanese and U.S. governments also have agreed that deployment of the U.S. Marine Corps' new Osprey transport aircraft in Okinawa Prefecture will proceed as planned.

Strengthening the functions of the U.S. forces stationed in Japan will help guide China to act in a restrained manner.

The Chinese government has submitted to the United Nations a nautical chart that identifies the areas around the Senkaku Islands as its "territorial waters." Beijing also has decided to submit an application to move the outer limit of its continental shelf beyond the 200 nautical miles from the baseline of its territorial waters in the East China Sea. These are steps apparently aimed at strengthening China's territorial claim over the Senkaku Islands.

The Japanese government for its part must make its stance clear to the international community that the Senkaku Islands are an integral part of Japan's territory.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 19, 2012)
(2012年9月19日01時50分  読売新聞)


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