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Japan Sends Arrested Chinese Activists Home

Earlier this week, Japan arrested Chinese activists on the disputed Senkaku Islands, adding to rising tensions across the China seas. Today Japan has decided to deport the them, reports Reuters.

This incident will fade from public memory with time, but the nationalism that incited it is here to stay. A story in the The Wall Street Journal highlights Japan’s rising nationalism and anxiety about China:

“Many Japanese are beginning to realize we’ve been too complacent,” says Keiji Furuya, an opposition politician who, among other things, spearheaded the Uighur effort and joined the Korea protest in New Jersey. “Just look at all the claims made on our territories from China, South Korea and Russia. We’ve never been made to look so foolish.”

Chinese indignation is just as strong. Take the latest dispatch from the Chinese government mouthpiece People’s Daily:

“If Japan, the initiator of the Diaoyu Islands dispute, continues to stir up troubles, China will definitely launch strong counterattacks and Japan’s foreign affairs will fall into the deadlock. Chinese will not forget the history.”

Both countries’ nationalist activists are escalating conflicts by planting flags on distant rocks and protesting at home. Is either government doing anything to rein them in?

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  • Eurydice

    It’s interesting how nationalism rises when economies go down – as if fighting over a distant rock will make the public forget its domestic problems.

  • TimG

    The trouble is the Chinese are being the aggressors here – especially when they committed an act of war by blocking rare earth exports the last time this issue flared up.

    The Chinese are leaving the Japanese no choice but to respond in kind (i.e. can anyone really expect the Japan just to cede territory to a bully to keep the peace especially since doing so would simply embolden the bully)

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