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News Analysis: Japan shows short-sighted rashness in island disputes (3)

By Wu Xia (Xinhua)

07:47, July 27, 2012

The unpopular Noda administration is splintering over planned tax hikes as political kingpin Ichiro Ozawa left the ruling Democratic Party (DP) along with 49 other lawmakers to form a new party early July, pledging to overturn the tax proposal.

The move seriously threatened the prime minister's grip on power as his party's seats in the 480-member lower house slipped to 250. Ozawa's new party, now the third largest in the lower house, could dislodge the prime minister if it joins hands with other opposition parties.

Meanwhile, Japan's largest opposition party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), has been pressing Noda to dissolve the lower house to start a snap election in a bid to push for a change of power.

If the LDP wins majority in the next election, the current LDP Secretary-General Nobuteru Ishihara, Tokyo governor's elder son, would be only one step away from becoming prime minister.

The senior Ishihara's plan to "buy" the Diaoyu Islands is intended to expose the DP's so-called "softness" and "compromise" on the issue, fanning right-wing extremism to corner the already fractured ruling party.

Noda's alleged plan to "nationalize" the Diaoyu Islands also serves to transfer public dissatisfaction from internal to international affairs, attempting to score domestic points at the expense of angering China, experts say.

Marking the 40th anniversary of normalized diplomatic relations this year, China and Japan have witnessed ever-tightening economic ties and deepening cultural exchanges.

However, Japan's foreign policy lacks far-sighted planning as frequent political fights within the country and anti-China groups poison bilateral relations.

Chaos features in contemporary Japanese politics, and differing voices come from various interest groups in the country, Yang Bojiang, a Japan studies professor at the University of International Relations in Beijing said.

Conflicting positions are common among Japanese politicians because the country has not clarified its strategy on China. The senior officials' opinions remain far from unified, he said.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:朱蕤、张茜)

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