Thursday, September 16, 2010

Appeasement Does Not Work

The Japanese have tried it with the Chinese recently, but it only emboldened the Chinese. The ChiComs and liberals in the U.S. were enraged by visits of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the Yasukuni Shrine.
Outgoing Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi commemorated the anniversary of the end of World War II in the Pacific on Tuesday with a provocative visit to a Tokyo war shrine, a move seen as a parting shot at his critics in Asia who have decried his visits there as a glorification of Japan's militarist past.

Koizumi's annual trips to Yasukuni Shrine -- which is said to harbor the souls of 2.5 million fallen warriors, among them war criminals including Gen. Hideki Tojo -- have sharply heightened tensions with China and South Korea, both countries where memories of imperial Japanese aggression still run deep. However, until Tuesday, Koizumi had carefully avoided fulfilling an earlier campaign pledge to worship at the shrine on the sensitive anniversary of the end of World War II.

With only a few weeks left in his five-year tenure, Koizumi completed that promise on a drizzly Tuesday morning. Dressed in a formal morning coat and greeted by groups of enthusiastic Japanese nationalists, he made a solemn and deep bow at Yasukuni that was broadcast nationwide. It brought a fresh wave of anger in South Korea and China, whose relations with Tokyo have already reached their lowest point in decades in part because of the shrine visits.

South Korea and China immediately denounced the visit in the strongest terms. Even some officials in Koizumi's ruling alliance said they "regretted" his decision.

"We strongly protest against an action that has greatly hurt the feelings of the victims of Japanese military aggression and destroyed the political foundation of the China-Japan relationship," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on its Web site.
Of course, the new Japanese government under the Democratic Party and Prime Ministers Hatoyama Kuiko and Kan Naoto capitulated to the Reds and refused to visit Yasukuni Shrine.
August 15 marked the 65th anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and all of his cabinet members reportedly did not visit Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine; vice-ministers and administrative officials of the incumbent Japanese government also did not visit the war shrine on Sunday.This situation, which made Japan's ultraright forces depress or dishearten, has been rare or unprecedented for years, is by no means strange.First of all, both social and political trends in Japan and overseas today are being "de-ultraright". Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made six pilgrimages to the Yasukuni Shrine during his tenure of office from 2001 to 2006, and seriously impaired Japan's relations with Asian neighbors and its global image. This led the whole Japanese society to remorse or introspect, and Japan's political ultraright tendency going to extremes has been resisted. Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power in September 2006, it has become a conventional practice for Japanese leaders not to pay respects to Yasukuni
Jinjya and, since the cabinet of Yukio Hatoyama was formed in Sept. 2009, all of his cabinet members have not paid any homage to the war shrine.Besides, principal members of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) were in firm opposition to Junichiro Koizumi's visit to the war shrine even when their party was a party in opposition. After former Prime Minister Koizumi paid homage to Yasujkuni Jinjya on August 15, 2006, Yukio Hatoyama, then as the secretary of DPJ, reprimanded his visit sternly from the perspective of facing up to the historical and national interests. Subsequently, the DPJ became the ruling party in late August that year instead of losing the ballot.
It was promised that better relations would follow, but encouraging the crocodile does not change the nature of the crocodile. As a result, the ChiComs have become more aggressive the Pacific.
With each passing day, China's reaction over last week's incident between a Chinese trawler and Japan Coast Guard vessels in the East China Sea appears to be escalating.

Diplomatic tension has increased with the cancellation of a senior legislator's visit to Japan this week as well as postponing bilateral talks aimed at signing a treaty over joint gas field development in the East China Sea.

And now, the situation has reached a point where it looks like Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will not be holding a bilateral meeting in New York, where both leaders are expected to attend the United Nations General Assembly, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said Thursday.

Critics doubt this issue will be drawn out for long but warn that Japan needs to be careful about how it deals with the situation so as not to inflame Chinese sentiment any more than it is to avoid serious damage to bilateral ties.

Akio Takahara, a professor of modern Chinese politics at the University of Tokyo, said both China and Japan know that the more important focus is to proceed with developing the "mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests," a bilateral agreement made in 2008.

"China and Japan understand the basics that they need to find a good way to deal with the incident and focus on cooperating in areas of common interests," Takahara said. "I don't think this incident is something that will cause long-term and serious damage to bilateral ties."
Compared with several years ago when the bilateral relationship was severely strained by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to Yasukuni Shrine, the current situation is not as bad, Takahara pointed out.

During Koizumi's time in power, there was strong anti-Japan sentiment in China and bilateral ties were seriously damaged. Koizumi did not visit China for five years, and summits weren't held for a year and a half.

For China, however, the clash in the East China Sea is about a deep-rooted territorial dispute and it can't back down against Japan easily, Takahara added.

"A territorial dispute is something that China definitely cannot give up because the country's existence depends on it," Takahara said. "Nationalism is much stronger there than in Japan and most of the Chinese people think their country should not compromise."
However, whether it was visiting Yasukuni Shrine or daring to resist Red Chinese encroachment on Japanese territory, the result was the same, an enraged Red China. Appeasing expansionary dictatorships results in more expansionary behavior. You might as well do both, as consilatory gestures did not work. And China seems perfectly willing to risk common strategic interests on both irrelevant issues like visits to the Yasukuni Shrine and in important self defense issues like protecting Japanese territory. Certainly lessons to learn over appeasing Muslims. Riots continue despite the fact that Pastor Jones did not burn any Korans. If the Korans had been burned, Muslims would have been alot more respectful because we stood up to them.

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