Will Senkaku Island dispute lead to China-Japan war?

Written By: N S Venkataraman
New Delhi Published: Oct 17, 2020, 12:03 AM(IST)

(Representative Image) Photograph:( Twitter )

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Japan would certainly like to avoid friction with China but there needs to be reciprocity from China in this approach

Ever since the end of Second World War, Japan has adopted a determined policy of not having conflict and confrontation with any nation. People of Japan today certainly regret Japan’s participation in Second world War and consider it as a historical mistake. 

The defense expenditure in Japan has since been kept to a minimum and its entire focus is on scientific, technological and industrial advancement. With such proactive pursuits, Japan has achieved spectacular growth and now remains one of the most respected and admired countries in the world.

Unfortunately, it appears that China would not allow Japan to live in peace.

The Senkaku island dispute has been dug up by China. It claims ownership and in doing so, ends up provoking Japan. To what extent will Japan be able to resist China's moves?

Apart from Japan’s commitment to the cause of peace, the problem for Japan in dealing with China is huge level of Japanese investment in China and the high volume of trade.

Almost every large company in Japan has deep involvement in China. Japan cannot ignore this while tackling China

Japan would certainly like to avoid friction with China but there needs to be reciprocity from China in this approach.

In recent years, China has constantly given signals that it wants to dominate in every way. Though US President Donald Trump declared a trade war with China to check its aggressive plans, no country including Japan has extended active support to the US in this effort.

Attracted by the large Chinese market and wary about safety of its investment in China, every nation wants to avoid confrontation with China. While President Trump has taken the bull by the horn, no one knows whether the next President of the USA, (if President Trump was to lose the election) would adopt the same policy of tough measures with China. 

In such a situation, Japanese government is in a spot as to how to go ahead with China. At the same time, Japan cannot surrender its sovereignty over Senkaku islands to China.

China certainly knows the Japanese government’s predicament. It would certainly not mind conducting a limited war with Japan, knowing fully well that the USA and other West European countries will not go to Japan’s defense beyond a certain point.

With what appears to be a reckless government in China, Japan has now entered in the QUAD alliance. However, it is still not known to what extent the QUAD alliance would help Japan in the event of military conflict.

Certainly, Japan now has to take measures to defend itself against China’s aggression. It faces the most serious challenge to its policy of confrontation with none.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL.)

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