Disputes in the East China Sea


The East China Sea, a territorial dispute place between China and Japan over the Senkaku or Diaoyu Isalnds, continue to raise tensions. Mari Yamaguchi, a reporter of abcNEWS delivered information that Japan ministry officials said that Kenji Wakamiya, Japan’s deputy defense minister met the mayor Yoshitaka Nakayama of a southern island to support the plan about deployment troops to region nearby disputed East China sea islands for emergency response in case of infiltration on nearby islands. Tensions in the East China Sea have been there and China’s aggressive play with declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone seems continuing. This is quite not good news for not only East Asia’s security but is also dangerous international economy and security. Japan is not having good relationship with China and South Korea as before because of historical issues and Diaoyu and Dokdo Islands disputes continue to bother the relationship. Many people who live in the East Asia foresee that militaries action will happen by accidental acceleration rather than a planned attack.

Tensions in the East China Sea have risen sharply after Japan planned to deploy couple hundreds of Japanese Self-Defense Forces. SDF has long been preparing for East China Sea possible conflict with China. The fact makes me very discomfort that they are already ready to fight. Now SDF can operate military action anytime they want because Prime Minister Shinzo Abe enacted new security laws. According to the yearbook of Military Spending and Regional Security in the Asia-Pacific, Japan has been steadily increasing their defense budget and their moves towards increasing military spending and rearmament represent the reality that they are concerning with security situation in the region. The data shows that China’s military spending is also keep increased year by year.

According to the Japanese defense ministry, “China flew eight bombers, two surveillance aircraft, and one early-warning aircraft near Okinawa. Beijing said the flyby was part of a scheduled exercise to improve the long-range combat capabilities of the people’s Liberation Army Air Force.” If the plan to deploy hundreds of ground soldiers on the island in 2019 became real, China would press harder on its territorial claims that might increase the accidental escalation.


As I learned from the class that despite the diplomatic and territorial problems between the two nations, the economic ties them. These two largest economies countries in Asia should find out the way to solve their conflicts and securities problems for peace in the East Asia, however it seems hard to be solved soon that the latest incident represents distrust and tension still remain in their relationship. China and Japan, both countries are rapidly increasing their number of army and armaments and widening their military activities at the sea, in the air and on the space. Security dilemma explain that South Korea and North Korea also put more budget to military. If a window got cracked once, it would get damage easier than earlier with an even weaker impact. How long economic relationship will tie East Asian countries together?









Can South Korea and Japan overcome disputes and build stronger relationships?

Tensions rise on the South Korean peninsula recently for several reasons. South Korea is under suspension of fire with North Korea. Two months ago, two South Korean border patrol troops were severely injured by landmines that turned out to be laid by North Korea. And South Korea-Japan relations have been worse during past year by tensions over apologies forgotten for past aggression, disputed territories, and JSDF (Japan Self-defense Forces). They are in the midst of negotiating issue of security and economics to recover their relationships, however, conflictual political relations would not move to toward reconciliation easily because of tensions I mentioned.

Foreigners could get such an idea that South Korea seem stuck in the past that they still strongly argue that Shinzo Abe who is a Japan’s Prime Minister should apologize for the Japan’s action in the past such as ‘comfort woman’ and to the peoples of the victim nations by Japan’s aggression in WWII era. Even though Abe said, “Japan has repeatedly expressed feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its actions during the war,” but here’s what he actually said, “On the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, I bow my head deeply before the souls of all those who perished both at home and abroad. I express my feelings of profound grief and my eternal, sincere condolences.” This is much like an apology, but many victims had expectations to hear the word ‘sorry’ or ‘apology’, however he never used such word. When he insists that he did apology, Abe used the word, ‘apology’ or ‘remorse’, however, he did not use it when he apologized. Furthermore, Abe visited the ‘Yasukuni Shrine’. Did Abe really apologize? What kind of apologize is this?


Relations between the two countries have been further strained by tensions over disputed territories. Few years ago, former president, Lee Myung-bak visit to the islands known as Dokdo to South Koreans and Takeshima to Japanese, it raised highest diplomatic tensions between two countries. There are several reasons that the significance and importance of the Dokdo island to South Korea and Japan. History of Dokdo shows that why it is Korean Island. Since 512 A.D. Dokdo inhabitants from South Korea lived in there. Why now Japanese show movement toward to Dokdo? Japan is always concerned about the economic interests. Japan already showed their power and stressed it to change the name of sea in the maps that they changed from ‘East Sea’ to ‘Sea of Japan’. Maybe their next step will be taking a Dokdo island. Korea should maintain possession of the islands based on historical claims.


The new laws allow Japan to defend itself when they feel they need to defend themselves or if their close allies attacked, they would use their Self-Defense Forces for the reason of resolving international disputes. However what South Korea worry about is that possibility of JSDF’s intrusion on South Korea sovereignty.

In conclusion, It is obvious that the economic relationship between South Korea and Japan is close. However they are maintaining conflictual political relations at the same time by numerous issues over the years. It seems not solved soon. How long can they maintain this kind of relationships without solving disputes?

Supporting Articles










Song: piece of Long peace

Do you support the idea with what Thomas Hobbes declared that primitive human life was “Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, and Short”? Or with what Rousseau said “Nothing can be more gentle than man in his primitive state.”? In the news, it is sad reality but there is more news that delivers us about negative reports such as, murder, rape, sexual assault than positive happy news. This is not things that suddenly happen; however, the effects of terrible news stories on crime and violence are big enough to raise awareness of people. If the mass media is the only way to relies on for the facts recently happen, whole world suffers from an epidemic of violence and crime, significantly high death rates. Pope Francis told that World War III is already started because violence on the streets seems to be rising. Are we really living in dangerous times, does it just feel that way?


Harvard psychology professor and also writer, Steven Pinker, in his book, “The better Angels of Our Nature,” he wrote that we are living in the most peaceful era in our human existence. Pinker argues that despite of the negative events that mass media deliver us, its war, crime, violence has actually been down over history. According to another resource, the article written by Steven Pinker and Andrew Mack, “The World is Not Falling Apart”, every chart, embedded on the article, shows that the point of the trend lines for genocide and other civilian killings is descending. He wanted to explain the reason that the rates of violence in the world have fallen. He argues that still tons of troubles remain in the society, but he thought, similar to Thomas Hobbes’s idea, people made it possible the decline of violence with many processes to civilizing that people’s consideration of others made them more civilized.


Could we make society that become more considerable and humanely to decline in violence continue in the future? It is true that human condition is ameliorating, such as education, technology, health and any other parts of field, even so worldwide moralistic shaming acts are still existing, such as violence against women, punishment of children or torturing animals etc. In the future, it will exist bunch of criminals; however, the global economy getting better than now. All of violent crime has happened before and will happen again and again. What important to know is that somehow violence is down; nevertheless, its fear people feel is still have gone up. We should understand and admit that live in the great times, not the worst. Persistent historical humankind development that visible on scales from the charts is quite optimistic.