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Plan to buy Diaoyu Islands a political farce

By Wang Chenyan and Zhang Yunbi  (China Daily)

08:20, June 13, 2012

Individual ambition and strategic anxiety have fueled tensions between Japan and China, observers said after the audit committee of Japan's Lower House began testimony on Monday about the Tokyo governor's plan to purchase the Diaoyu Islands.

Shintaro Ishihara, the outspoken hawkish politician, was given the chance to lay out his plan in front of a group of lawmakers.

Osamu Fujimura, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, said on Monday that the government was considering buying the islands.

Yang Bojiang, a professor of Japanese studies at the University of International Relations, said that the latest provocations around the Diaoyu Islands embodied the strategic intent of Japan's conservatives "to contain China".

"Ishihara's purchase proposal and the fishing campaign held by a right-wing group cannot be viewed as moves of its government. However, they do have a long-term goal. The extreme right-wing nationalists, as the vanguard of Japan's conservatives, are pushing forward the fight against China in the battleground along boundaries both on land and sea. They aim at containing China's development," Yang said.

"Japan lost two decades of growth while China is growing rapidly. Its whole society feels frustrated and anxious about its own development. Such social sentiments have given birth to a silent and sympathetic atmosphere toward words and deeds of the right wing," Yang said, referring to the considerable popularity the right-wing provocation has gained.

He pointed out that the frustration and anxiety also give rise to the deep distrust between Tokyo and Beijing.

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