Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Financial Times: China Is Trying to Expel Japanese From China's Territorial Waters around Senkaku Islands

Apple's unique and unintended "solution" aside, China is taking a tougher line over the Senkaku (Diaoyu to Chinese) Islands. Whether because of the "head in the sand" mentality of the Japanese, or because of a translation problem, the Japanese don't seem to pay enough attention.

China Daily quoted the Chinese vice foreign minister saying:

China will have no alternative but to respond forcefully so as to remove disturbance and obstacles

China Daily's quote is from the official Chinese news agency Xinhua. So, regardless of the original language the minister used (probably Chinese), the English translation must have been carefully vetted. The word "forceful", however, was translated into Japanese by the Japanese media as "strong", as you see in this Yomiuri Shinbun article (10/27/2012):


There is no backing down, and we should respond strongly.

Forcefully or strongly, what's the difference? Some English sites that quoted the China Daily article seem to think "forcefully" means "by force". I thought so too. But clearly not people in Japan, not even those on Twitter (it's possible that I'm only following a peaceful bunch of people) about the vice minister's comment. I wouldn't pay much attention either, if all I read was Yomiuri's article.

Then, Financial Times (10/30/2012) says China is trying to expel Japanese ships from their "territorial water" around their "Diaoyu" Islands. According to FT,

  • Chinese surveillance ships approached the waters that Japan claims it controls, with a warning sign that says "You are in waters administered by the People’s Republic of China. You are already breaching the law. Move away immediately", warning the Japanese that they were operating "illegally" on Chinese waters.

  • An expert in the Chinese government says the situation changed when the Chinese created a legal basis for enforcing their claim by announcing the territorial baseline for the islands in September.

Apparently, the Chinese have been doing this for twelve days straight. Yomiuri Shinbun (10/31/2012) reports this incident as follows:

中国監視船5隻、尖閣接続水域に…12日連続... 海上保安庁の巡視船が領海に近づかないよう警告を続けている。

Five Chinese surveillance ships enter the adjacent area near Senkaku territorial waters, 12 days in a row... Japan Maritime Safety Agency's ship has been warning the surveillance ships not to come close to the territorial waters.

In the minds of Chinese, it is Japan who is invading the Chinese territorial waters, and that is what's reported in an English media.

Despite the professed concern by many in Japan over how they are portrayed and perceived by foreigners, most do not pay real attention to the substance of what's reported. Rightly or wrongly, Chinese is building a case for their claim's legitimacy by using the foreign media, and Japanese are asleep at the wheel, or at most only snickering at Chinese. "Look how stupid they are!"

A similar recent case was over Mr. Seiji Maehara's speech in the US. "Oh what a pathetic English pronunciation! What a disgrace in the eyes of the world! I'm ashamed as a Japanese!" was the most popular and common reaction among Japanese people on Twitter. I don't think anyone bothered to listen to the speech and understand what he said (he spoke like a real prime minister), how he delivered the speech (at ease), and how he was received (very warmly). The only comment I got from my followers about my tweets listening to his speech was "He's just a pro-US dog."

Hate to say it, but it's a cultural thing. Style and label over substance, and they do not comprehend the world around them, and the world doesn't comprehend them.


Anonymous said...

It gives me pause to think that it would no longer be necessary to dispatch 334 B-29 bombers and 1700 tons of incendiary bombs in order to inflict huge pain and suffering on the Japanese people.

China need only send a couple of spies to disable a few water pumps at any one of the many aging nuclear reactors Japan has yet to decommission. They could even do it tonight with spies already in country at their embassy in Tokyo! With this they could cause even greater damage than the WWII firebombing of Tokyo.

Of course to send a political message, China would have to take credit for the attack, and once they did confess to it, then soon thereafter, there would be a plutonium-based retaliation whose scale would make Japan's 20th century atrocities in China look like a mere historic footnote in comparison.

Japan's leaders need to understand that nuclear plants are an enemy's and a terrorist's easiest target to achieve great destruction. Japan has no business operating them and should be making every effort to put ALL nuclear material in bomb-proof, quake-proof, tsunami-proof, and TEPCO/idiot-proof containers ASAP.

And China's leaders need to understand that their Japanese counterparts are idiots - idiots with a huge stockpile of plutonioum and no fear of dying in defense of Japan. Oh, and they also have a security agreement with the world's only remaining superpower.

Think twice China. A miscalculation will cost many, many Chinese lives.

Think twice Japan. You are very vulnerable to an attack on your nuclear plants. You may win in the end, but with all the radiation released it will be a Pyrrhic victory at best.

Think twice US. You are downwind of this coming catastrophe. Let China know NOW that you will intervene forcefully if they continue to escalate.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I often see everyone everywhere saying Japan loves child porn. Then I see Japanese people saying Western people love child porn.

It's like nobody knows anything about anyone else. They just make shit up all the time and don't care.

As a general rule, always question information from people who don't know what they're talking about. That includes the mainstream media, who are often also biased and have ulterior motives.

Anonymous said...

Let's not confuse the FT - a suck up to power wherever if ever there was one - with all English-language (or even all British) newspapers.

Anonymous said...

To put it simple, I disagree with the three comments over there.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:36. Educate us. What are you disagreeing with and why. Think it through and explain. Even if you need to comment in Chinese, it's OK. Important thing is that you are thinking about the issues involved.

Anonymous said...

Educate yourself !
I agree with the admin's post :
- China slowly grinding the case and in good position to eat it.
- Japan loosing the rocks and the sea around. Still so vulnerable in debates as a WW2 agressor.
- no nuke delirium in sight.
- FT is a must read, whatever you think of it, that is if ever you want to understand power games. And it's not a main stream media run by puppets.

Anonymous said...

You would think that Japan imperialistic policy until WW2 would be kind of irrelevant more than 70 years later. As if the US expanded territorially in Mexico and in Hawaii as a result of free elections.

Anonymous said...

Here's a solution for anyone who's listening...

Japan gives the islands to the UN on the condition that they leave New York City and move their HQ there.

Japan, China and Taiwan agree that the natural resources that are at the root of China's land grab would either be divided, co-developed, or perhaps given away to third countries who are going to suffer the worst from rising sea levels brought about by global warming (if you believe in that sort of thing).

Jewish fundraising ideas said...

Japan will never pay attention to what other says about their country like what China trying to expel them as long their are making money or earning for their country which China should mine their own business.

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