Japan Prime Minister Refuses To Cede To Chinese Demands For Apology As Japanese Protester Throws Smoke Flare At Chinese Consulate
Just as everyone was expecting things between China and Japan to moderate quickly following the fishing trawler incident, things just got heated again. Early Sunday, Japanese PM Naoto Kan violently rejected China's demand that Tokyo apologize and compensate for detaining a Chinese fisherman. The PM has already suffered stinging critique at home for relenting to release the boat captain after Chinese pressure, demonstrating just how tight tensions between the two countries remain to be, especially when it comes to how weak they believe they are perceived by the international community. "Senkaku is a Japanese territory. From that point of view, apology or compensation is unthinkable," Kan told reporters. "I have no intention at all of meeting (the demand). Both sides should first become calm and (then) deepen mutually beneficial strategic ties. What is necessary is for both to calm down and act based on a broad perspective."And while the boating incident occurred near islands in the South China Sea where the waters are believed to be rich in oil and natural gas, the last thing this spat is about is commodity access: it is all about the historical animosity between the two cultures, and with China's economy on the ascent, and owning more American IOUs than Japan, one can see why the Japanese sense of sovereign pride may have been challenged.
Kan's government has come under fire from domestic media and ruling as well as opposition lawmakers for "caving in" to Chinese pressure by releasing the captain after China detained four Japanese citizens, although Japanese officials denied a linkage.
The four were detained on suspicion of violating the law regarding protection of Chinese military facilities, though the exact offence is not clear.
A former Japanese foreign minister said that international perceptions of China would be hurt by its refusal to back down.
"It was our territory and there was no fault in arresting him in accordance with the law," Katsuya Okada, secretary-general of the ruling Democratic Party and foreign minister until a September 17 cabinet reshuffle, told public broadcaster NHK.
"There have been views that this affair was a complete defeat for Japan, but this was a loss for China. China showed the world what kind of a country it is."
We believe that those who think this incident is now over, are in for a rude awakening. At this point it is sure to only escalate, with brief periods of calm, as the entire world recedes into the hypermodern equivalent of world war: protectionism, trade wars and FX intervention.
A Japanese man was arrested in Nagasaki, western Japan, on Sunday after he threw what appeared to be a smoke flare into the grounds of the Chinese consulate general, Kyodo news agency said.
The consulate general was unstaffed, and no one was injured, Kyodo said, adding that police believed the incident could be related to the territorial spat.
At the end of the day, he who has the biggest printer, wins.