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Japan must make a strategic choice

(People's Daily Online)

09:38, October 06, 2012

The currently grim situation over the Diaoyu Islands has severely impacted China-Japan relations. In the past two years, the conflicts around the Diaoyu Islands waters had never ceased and even became increasingly fierce. The dispute over the Diaoyu Islands has developed into the most controversial issue in China-Japan relations. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of China-Japan relations, the bilateral relations encountered a crisis once again.

The Chinese side does not hope the circumstance happens and the far-sighted people of Japan also expressed their concerns about it. Some politicians in Japan especially those who had made positive efforts for the normalization of China-Japan relations showed their suspicion to Japanese government's way of dealing with the Diaoyu Islands issue.

Recently, more and more Japanese media outlets called on the government to calmly and properly handle the Diaoyu Islands issue. The Japanese government has sent the deputy foreign minister to China to negotiate about the Diaoyu Islands issue, and ministers of foreign affairs of the two countries will also have a meeting when they attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The problem of the Diaoyu Islands not just involves the territorial sovereignty dispute; it is a serious infringement of China's territorial sovereignty, a blatant denial of the fruits of victory of the world's anti-fascist war and a severe challenge of post-war international order. The Diaoyu Islands issue is a mirror, reflecting Japan's mentality against China and regional policy and disclosing the value orientation of Japanese parties.

In the mirror, we can see that the right-deviationist tendency is becoming increasingly apparent in Japanese society and politics. After the Meiji Restoration, Japan chose a wrong militaristic road of expansionism, colonialism and jingoism, which had not been thoroughly eliminated after the Second World War. Therefore, the extreme right-wing forces survived and developed in Japan and were used by some political parties. These political parties became extreme right-wing when treating Japan's history of aggression, the Peace Constitution and the defense and foreign policies, trying to win the supports and votes of the public by means of tough foreign policy and forming a new right-wing force, which includes both the presidential candidates of Liberal Democratic Party and current Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Democratic Party. The combination of the two parties led to the farce of "islands purchasing" and sinister trick.

A nation cannot choose its neighbors but can choose the way to get along with them. Does Japan choose to negotiate, put aside dispute, quell tumult and develop friendly China-Japan relations or to antagonize China, enlarge dispute, intensify contradiction and lead to the termination of bilateral cooperation?

In regional strategy, will Japan choose a peaceful route, build partnership with neighbors and actively participate in and promote regional cooperation and integration, or choose an extreme rightist line, estrange neighbors and provoke confrontations and cutthroat competition between neighbors?

In foreign policy, will the Japanese government and the ruling party choose to resist and curb domestic right-wing forces or cater to and utilize them?

Anyway, Japan must make a strategic choice.


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