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Japan Faces Up to China's Long Shadow

The conservative Liberal Democratic Party of Shinzo Abe won Japan’s election in a landslide, an outcome which in part reflects Japan’s nervousness about a fast-rising China. Perhaps no issue represents the regional rivalry and nationalism more than the territorial clash over five small islands in the East China Sea, also claimed by Taiwan and known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Large oil and gas reserves could be waiting underneath nearby waters. Throughout the campaign Abe was assertive, suggesting that China engaged in economic warfare and that Japan might construct a port on the islands for security purposes. Such rhetoric over the islands could give way to pragmatic policies or lead to military conflicts. “Japanese analysts agree that the island dispute has the potential to turn much more serious if China persists in escalating the dispute on the sea and in the air,” reports Rupert Wingfield-Hayes for the BBC News. Analysts urge more communication between Asia’s two largest economies and new leaders, Abe and Xi Jinping. – YaleGlobal

Japan Faces Up to China's Long Shadow

New leaders in China and Japan will either take pragmatic steps on resolving territorial disputes over Senkaku/Diaoyu islands or escalate the conflict
Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
BBC News, 19 December 2012
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Source:BBC News
Rights:BBC © 2012